The Why and How of the Harris Hill Extension off of East Overland Trail in Gerry, NY.
In 2004, the closest trail to my house was the 4 mile out and back of the East Overland Trail (Harris Hill Section) off of Route 50. It is only 12 minutes away from my door, so I was there 2 to 3 times per week, but being an out and back it’s thrill factor declined over time.
I would venture down to Allegany and E’ville (McCarty Hill Area) to get “premium rides” in, but that meant 30-45 minutes each way. Minutes I could be riding. It was during one of those trips down to E’ville I bumped into a few guys who were jabbering about how they had helped build the trail system. So I got selfish, I realized that these wonderful sections of single track were on State land. I wanted a better ride, closer to home, so I became a WNIMBY.
Brought Attention to Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Park Management
I read in the paper this morning that Former Buffalo News Outdoors editor Michael Levy died this week.
Mike Levy was the journalist who helped bring attention to the don't-ask-don't-tell County management of Hunters Creek and other parks formally known as "land banks". Until the early 00's, going to these parks was technically trespassing, and some people were actually ticketed. Hunters Creek was one of the few places in Erie County where cyclists went to ride their bikes. But it was illegal and there was no way to officially manage it.
A lot of the credit for turning these land banks into parks goes to former Parks Commissioner Larry Jasinski and County Exec Giambra. However, Levy's articles "Posting Raises Concerns" and "Land Locked" brought a big spotlight on this issue and helped move it to resolution.
With the original proposals for Bond Lake work dying due to bureaucracy, a WNYMBA member who is an attorney offered to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to offer as an alternative to the Contract that the county legal folks wanted signed. This was drafted up in 2009. However, with the original champions of the project out of the picture, the original plans for the trails were no longer available and were lost.
In early 2010, the plans were found in a bunch of grainy scans, and at the same time, Brandon S. and Dave K. stepped up to try to push this project forward. They scouted out the proposed route of the first new trail, and developed the red GPS track below:
You all probably noticed that we have the login only on the front page of the website now. We want to make sure everyone gets a look at the latest news from WNYMBA, and the place for that is the front page.
You can help keep the content on the front page fresh but submitting an article. Anyone can do it! You will see a new menu button on the left. Click it and type or paste in your article. An editor will take a look at it, edit if necessary (like make more paragraph breaks so it's easier to read), add in the "read more..." line. Then it will show up as a feature article.
Our insurance company has "strongly suggested" that we tell you that Mountain Biking can be dangerous. If you're visiting this site it's very likely that you're already aware that if you insist on having a good time by riding your mountain bike, eventually you will almost certainly fall down and collect any number of boo-boos, dings and injuries, serious or otherwise, but we have to tell you anyway.
Mountain Biking is a potentially hazardous activity carrying a significant risk of bodily injury and even death. Mountain biking should only be undertaken if you have a complete awareness of these risks. You can reduce the level of risk by wearing a helmet and by riding within your own skill level.