This will probably surprise a lot of WNYMBA members, but we once joined forces with the Rochester Bicycle Club and IMBA to form the National Mtn. Bike Patrol of Western NY.
In the mid 1990's WNYMBA and RBC lobbied Letchworth State Park to open the FLT to bikes. After much work, it was opened under three provisos:
- It was open only seasonally
- That the clubs do maintenance work, and last but not least....
- That we establish a bike patrol
Club members regularly patrolled the Letchworth section of the Finger Lakes Trail, the only section then and now that's open to bicycles. In 1996-97 the trail was opened for cycling on a trial basis. RBC and WNYMBA committed to many mandatory hours of trail work and bike patrolling . The commitment of those Club members laid the groundwork for the great riding we continue to enjoy there. Some of the people who were Bike Patrollers back then have continued their membership in the National Organization.
They're still WNYMBA Club members too and are among our most active, energetic members. WNYMBA has grown substantially and our trail network is ever expanding. We want to focus the Bike Patrol efforts on trails that are closer to home and that we all ride and care for. The new trails in Sprague Brook and the Hunters Creek Trails have been suggested. Remember, the patrol is not an enforcement organization. It is to inform and assist. Here's the Patrol program in a nutshell:
- Patrol a specified number of hours per season on a pre-arranged schedule.
- Wear the Mtn. Bike Patrol uniform when patrolling.
- Carry the specified first-aid and other supplies when on patrol.
- Represent the Patrol and WNYMBA in a professional, curtious manner. Interact with all trail users and land managers. Keep accurate incident records and log sheets. Know how to contact and provide effective feedback to individuals, agencies and organizations that have jurisdiction in the local area.
- Report trail hazards, obstacles and remedies.
- Assist in care and transportation of injured and ill persons.
- Respect local ecology and trail conditions.
Becoming a Mtn. Bike Patroller requires a commitment of your time, energy and a bit of your money too. Most of all, it requires you to love riding your bike through the beautiful woods of Western NY. Training in the basics of patrolling, first aid, basic bike maintenance environment and trail etiquette are part of it too. Mountain Bike Patrol is not an enforcement group and is not confrontational. We are volunteers and biking ambassadors who are trying to inform, educate and assist fellow mtn. Bikers and other trail users. We promote responsible mtn. biking following IMBA's guidelines as laid out in their "Rules of the Trail".
See you on the Trail,Scott Potter