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Autumn Passion Trail Bikes News # 10

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Autumn Passion Trail Bikes News # 10
Autumn Passion Trail Bikes News # 10

Autumn Passion Trail Bikes News # 10

This week's news and info on December 5, 2008:

1. Celestial news: The earliest sunset is here already
2. Waterdog trailwork Saturday Dec 6 9:00AM
3. Sunday morning shop ride at Waterdog Dec 7 9:00AM
4. Brews Bikes Bucks & Pioneers benefit for Trips for Kids Dec 7th 2pm to 6pm
5. Awesome D'ville conditions NOW, & Downieville Trail Daze Dec 13th
6. Action alert: petition for funding bicycling infrastructure in recovery plan
7. Soquel Forest trailwork Saturday Dec 13th
8. Get yer ticks! Rick Sutton to speak at ROMP holiday party Friday Dec 19th
9. Passion solstice celebration Sunday Dec 21
10. Bicycling and mountain biking non-profit organizations

Past issues of the Passion Trail Bikes Community Newsletter can be found on our website.

1. Celestial report: The earliest sunset is here already

Since we tend to keep track of sunset times so we know whether we need lights for our rides, I thought I'd let you know the good news that your afternoons are only going to start getting longer. Woo HOO!

It's an interesting phenomenon related to the fact that Earth's orbit is not circular--it's elliptical. As Earth moves around the sun in its annual orbit, in June it is further from the sun than it is in December. It also speeds up when it is moving closer to the sun, and slows as it moves away. This creates a time differential between what our watches say and the position of the sun overhead and makes it so the earliest sunset is before the solstice. Most days are not exactly 24 hours long! Wow, who knew? All very complicated in a four dimensional way. There are some cool pages including a short videohere, and more mathematical explanationshere, where you can learn more about this if you are interested.

At any rate, my sunset calendar says that on Tuesday the sun set at 4:48, and that it will continue to set at that time until December 12th, when it will move a minute later to 4:49. And then later, and later, and before you know it we will be riding after work again!

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2. Waterdog trailwork Saturday Dec 6th 9:00AM

Saturday the 6th we will return to Waterdog for our second official workday of the season in Waterdog.

Hardworking ladies clipping and stashing brush in a hiding place off the edge of the trail

Sweating guys rebuilding one of the retaining walls below a switchback

Our first project worked on the lower parts of the Finch Trail, and we think it's much improved! After several years of heavy brush overgrowth, many of the switchbacks had lost their outer edge to shrubbery encroaching into the trail corridor. 15 enthusiastic volunteers pitched in on a cool and crisp morning and cut brush and repaired retaining walls and ruts in the trail tread. Check out more photos of the workday on our flickr photo page.

This weekend we will focus on maintenance on the upper part of the Finch Trail. We will meet at the upper Hastings Drive Trailhead Saturday at 9am.

Please RSVP if you would like to join in on the fun! Send Patty an email at patty@passiontrailbikes.com to get on the list. RSVPs are requested so Patty knows how many bagels to get, how much coffee to make, how many tools to load, and how many crew leaders she needs.

View Larger Map

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3. Sunday morning shop ride at Waterdog Dec 7th 9:00AM

We have another ride posted in the MTBR NorCal forum for Sunday Dec 7th meeting at the shop at 9:00am. Come one, come all! Rumor has it Jay will be pushing Charles up the pavers on the tandem again.

The trails are in awesome condition right now, by the way. The cool weather and fog has left them firm and tacky.

There will be one or more groups doing a regular pace ride. Last week had almost a dozen participants riding a few more trails than the FBG groups did. We also encourage all kinds on the regular ride, but the lackadaisical will be good naturedly heckled. Patty plans to repeat what she did last week, which was lead a slow pace FBG ride with a handful of others, up fireroad and pavement and down singletrack. Newbies, beginners, infirm, and lackadaisical are all encouraged on this ride.

The plan is to roll out of Passion just after 9:00, and ride up to Waterdog. The ride pace, distance, and trail choice is set by those that show up, and all rides return to Passion around noon. We will have beverages and snacks out again, and will take a vote mid ride to determine if we should do burritos for lunch this time.

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4. Brews Bikes Bucks and Pioneers benefit for Trips for Kids, San Rafael Dec 7th 2pm to 6pm

Trips for Kids Brews, Bikes, Bucks Fundraiser

Sunday, December 7
Broken Drum Brewery
1132 Fourth Street, San Rafael

We are inviting all our friends to the 11th annual Trips For Kids beer party and fundraiser featuring Mountain Bike pioneers and celebrities. (Please share this message with friends and co-workers!!)

Come meet mountain bike pioneers such as Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Ned Overend, Scot Nicol, Otis Guy, Jacquie Phelan, Charles Kelly, Ross Shafer, Mert Lawwill, Chris Lang and other pioneers from the "Klunkerz" movie. Invite your friends, and join us for a great event.

There is no charge for admission, but Noah Berry, proprietor of the Broken Drum Brewery, will also donate proceeds from food and drink sales to Trips For Kids.

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5. Awesome D'ville conditions NOW, & Downieville Trail Daze Dec 13th

For those of you who are bummed about the snow reports, take heart! Downieville is in STELLAR shape right now with some of the best trail conditions for downhill runs EVER. Shoulder draggin' traction yes indeed. Trails so tacky you can lean over and rail it big time! Give Willie at Yuba Expeditions a buzz and make a shuttle reservation. And many of the hotels have off-season rates. With gas below two bucks a gallon, you could get a great weekend away for a lot less than summer rates.

Check out the trailwork reports here, and here. And think about heading up next weekend to help punch through the North Yuba trail!

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6. Action alert: petition for funding bicycling infrastructure in recovery plan

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy writes:

Within days of President-elect Obama taking office, Congress will likely pass a new large-scale economic recovery package, aiming to create millions of jobs. A significant percentage of this package may be allocated specifically to transportation infrastructure. This presents both a threat and an opportunity.

The threat: Unless we speak up, these transportation funds will go overwhelmingly to road projects—the same unbalanced strategy that has created our existing transportation problems.

The opportunity: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, in partnership with Thunderhead Alliance and America Bikes, has collected a list of hundreds of ready-to-go active transportation projects from communities across the country. These projects would create new jobs and revitalize communities by funding trails, bike lanes, sidewalks and other infrastructure.

This would meet the ultimate goal of the recovery package: creating immediate jobs. Additionally, such an investment strategy would provide both immediate economic benefits and lasting positive change.

The long-term benefits are many: promoting local businesses along active transportation corridors; reducing health care costs; and curbing climate change emissions and oil dependency. These projects would also establish the principle that active transportation infrastructure is a wise, efficient and desirable public investment.

Please sign our petition to President-elect Obama and key congressional leaders, encouraging them to fund these important bicycle and pedestrian projects:

I support explicit funding for trails, walking and biking in the upcoming economic recovery package. Funding active transportation is a cost-effective investment that creates jobs and leads to healthier people, stronger communities, decreased oil dependency, and reduced climate change emissions.


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7. Soquel Forest trailwork Saturday Dec 13th

Speaking of woody debris on the trails, we have a workday in Soquel Forest coming up next weekend. We suspect there will be some opportunities for trail improvements. Word is that we will start at 9am from the parking lot on Highland Way, work on the Braille Trail, and finish sometime after lunch. Stay tuned for details.

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8. Passion Solstice Celebration Sunday Dec 21

Solstice is coming!

Please join our annual shop party in celebration of lengthening days ahead as the earth starts a new revolution around the sun, angling the northern hemisphere a bit closer to those warming rays.

There will be food, drink, and great friends. The party will start around 6pm on Sunday December 21. We hope you can be there!

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9. Rick Sutton to speak at ROMP Holiday Party Friday Dec 19th


Every year ROMP hosts a fabulous dinner party for all friends of mountain biking in the area. We usually see a great showing of friends there.

This year Rick Sutton will be there to entertain us with tales from his long career in service to the bicycle community. You may know Rick from when he started up a little race in Monterey called the Sea Otter, or maybe from his stint at Specialized as their concept store visionary, or possibly you know him from his current venture, Plus 3 network which combines three things we totally support: Riding, setting goals, and supporting great causes.

We aren't sure what Rick will be talking about, but we are sure the Q&A session will be awesome. ROMP encourages singles, couples, families, and guests to attend. Dinner is $25 per person, $20 for 12 yrs or under, and the food is great. There is a link on ROMP's webpage where you can buy one or more dinner tickets and state your menu preference.

6:00pm Doors Open
7:30pm Dinner Buffet
8:30pm ish during Coffee and Dessert time Rick Sutton will be speaking

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10. Bicycling and mountain biking non-profit organizations

Tis the season. Time for giving a bit of yourself to make others smile and make the world a better place.

If you have a few bucks available in your budget this year for some charitable giving, consider making a donation or joining one of these fine organizations that work to bring bikes into the hearts, minds, and hands of riders, or that work to make sure the infrastructure and policies are there to make biking fun and safe on our roads, or that advocate for trail access for bikes, or work to make more and better trails.

If you don't have a few bucks to spare, why not make a pledge to donate some of your time to one of these causes? Write a letter, attend a meeting, do some trailwork, mentor a kid, or lead a ride.

Bicycling Advocacy:

Bikes Belong
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC)
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC)

Mountain Bike Access Advocacy:
International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers (ROMP)
Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay (BTCEB)
Bicycle Trails Council of Marin (BTCM)
Access for Bikes (A4B)
Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC)
San Francisco Urban Riders (SFUR)

Bikes for Kids:

Trips for Kids
Norcal High School Mountain Bike Racing League
Turning Wheels for Kids

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS)
Stewards of Soquel Forest
Bay Area Ridge Trail Council
Rails to Trails Conservancy
Volunteers for Outdoor California (VOCal)
The Trail Center

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To contact us, email us at info@passiontrailbikes.com, or call the shop at 650-620-9798.

Happy Trails, the PTB crew
Charles, Patty, Berry, John, Bret, Sterling, Daryl, Daniel, Peter, Reba and Buster

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