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Strollers and Big Bikes

If I had an infant, the last thing I’d hope for is my petunia-like offspring in an fierce encounter with a fast-moving, multicolored, teenage freerider on a skinny piece of singletrack trail.

No big deal in Mount Shasta. Everyone gets along.

This little northern California enclave is small. Everyone knows each other, which is why our Better Living Through Trails presentation attracted 51 people (a new record). When we asked the 51 people how they envisioned their community developing, most of the participants – local business owners, moms and dads, young gravity-oriented crews, trail builders, land management agency staff, economic development professionals, ski areas, hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians (did I miss anyone?) – stated that more trails and a community of bike-minded people were priorities for the growth of Mount Shasta.

But that’s exactly what’s missing!

It’s bizarre that Mount Shasta doesn’t have more going on. It’s not so quiet – Mt. Shastans (?) are smart and feisty. But for a mountain town right off of I-5, within a quick four hour drive from the Bay Area and within spitting distance of some of the West’s best breweries, you’d expect some rippin’ singletrack and hoppy ales to go with.

This reminds of that one time Sir William Osler said something like “Be calm and strong and patient. Meet failure and disappointment with courage. Rise superior to the trials of life, and never give in to hopelessness or despair. In danger, in adversity, cling to your principles and ideals. Aequanimitas!” Something like that. Did he say trails or trials?

Anyway, cue $113,000 in Recreational Trails Program funding! The Mount Shasta Trails Association applied for the grant in response to this community desire. They were of the 4% who received the grant within the State of California because they demonstrated an off-the-charts good idea of a project: a Gateway Trail! Gateway Trails position standout facilities in places where lots of people can experience the joy of mountain biking. As a result, the MSTA was able to hire a professional trailbuilder to mechanically build the trail, and next spring will have a brand new trail system within riding distance of town.

They saw a need, they represent a constituency, and they found the funding.

We helped the MSTA put some of the final touches on that seven-mile trail system, designed to be the backbone of a future multi-use, stacked loop trail system. The new trail system was built to meet the needs of these 51 people and all of their friends, mamas and freeriders alike, singletrack mavens coming off I-5 for a respite before heading north or south, and maybe someone who got lost on their way to Tahoe. Good job to the MSTA, you guys have a vision and you’re seeing it through.

So who’s up for opening up that brewpub?

P.S. The baby won.



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