While the world is melting down about how bad 2016 was I can’t help but think it was pretty good for BMBA.
No one secretly came in to tear the place down – which is a pretty big accomplishment in itself if you know anything about the history of the trail – we survived, and recovered from, a hurricane, opened a new trail section, created new features, fine-tuned features long forgotten about, worked hard to keep the trail fully open all year (even in the big wet), spent a lot of time and energy convincing many groups of interest (i.e. the Palm Bay Recreational Advisory Committee, the Malabar Greenways and Trails committee, the Brevard County Bicycle Pedestrian and Trails Advisory Committee, etc) to support and keep the GFT and our future projects, and I am full of happy memories from our many rides together. Come to think of it, 2016 was pretty great!
A Fond Farewell to 2016
Thanks for all of your hard work over the last year guys – here is a list of all of the things we were able to do together:Opened the Rock ‘n’ Roll Trail. Laid the ground work on a new XC trail out east. Revitalized the 6-pk jump line and added a lite option. It’s like a whole new section. Re-shaped and raised the Zebra drop (but we maintained that classic Zebra carpet). Added a rock climb to the IMBA drop option. Reshaped the Monty Drop section. Planted 45 oak trees, which came in 25 gallon pots. The BMBA became an Amazon Smile non-profit. If you select the BMBA as your Amazon charity, 0.5% of every purchase will go directly to the BMBA at no cost to you. To accomplish this, we also became registered with GuideStar (the charity and non-profit rating system), and received Bronze status. Presented the 2015 volunteer hours to the City of Palm Bay with a huge “check” for 5,700 hours of volunteer labor! Made strong head way in opening up the super-secret trail which connects the GFT to Turkey Creek. At this time, we have approval to proceed, and we will be working on the design of the bridges in 2017, and we will be seeking grants to build the bridges and implement this trail. The Turkey Creek Trail’s were 100% back open within one week of hurricane Matthew, all from the chain saws of BMBA members. Some of these trees were a long, long way from any trail head, and man is walking SLOW. This created the new feature “Stump Henge” (you will see it on Snake Trail, or Yellow West). Working with the Malabar Trails and Greenways Committee, the BMBA contributed toward:
- Opening a painted and signed official road crossing on Briar Creek Blvd, in the main Turkey Creek trail area. We contributed $500 that allowed the Town of Malabar to afford the project. We consider this a major step forward in rider safety. Cars are at least now SUPPOSED to stop when you are in the cross walk.
- Opening a new “yellow” trail in the Malabar Cameron Preserve, allowing one way traffic and adding more trail to the area. The BMBA contributed all of the colored signage that you see in these areas, and helped develop and deploy the “on trail” map kiosks. We also printed and placed the very large trail maps in the trailhead kiosks.
As many of you know this isn’t just a time of reflection for the club but it is also a time to plan all that we are doing in the coming year.
And 2017 Came Out Swinging
If you haven’t been to the trail in a while let me be the first to tell you there is more than a little construction going on very close to the trail. No - we're not going down in flames!!! Many of you may remember us fighting hard and winning the good battle to save the GFT once more in 2015 (Grapefruit Trails will be spared from demolition) and the time has come for our side of the canal to pay the long-awaited price.
The good news is we have a lot of support from the construction crews so make sure to be nice when you see them as you ride by. The great news is this has also started some of our long-awaited expansion project (Grapefruit Trails park expansion proposed in Palm Bay)!
For now about 90% of the trail is open for riding and should remain so for the majority (if not all) of the construction project. Please be mindful and respectful of new signs/routes/closures. For the latest trail conditions please be sure to check our Latest Grapefruit Trail Report.
The Road Ahead
While we are still planning out the year ahead I thought I’d share some of what we expect:Our 1st Annual Trail Bash and Swap Meet (an all BMBA Members Party), will happen January 28th. If you are a member we’d love to see you for a fun ride, and some social time (with food, beer, and soft drinks provided by the club) at the Palm Bay Community Center. For more information see our Members page. If you are not a member or have an expired membership this is a great opportunity to join or renew! The completion of the canal restoration project which will include a new entrance trail, and some other redesigned (and new) features out in the West Indies. The opening of a trail to connect the GFT and Turkey Creek. This maybe aggressive but we have high hopes! The opening of a primitive parking lot (in progress) and some skills development features to go along with it. The BMBA completed a design of the expanded GFT this year, and presented that design to the Palm Bay Recreational Advisory Committee, and received unanimous approval. In addition, this design was presented to the Malabar Greenways and Trails committee (unanimous approval), and the Brevard County Bicycle Pedestrian and Trails Advisory Committee (unanimous approval). We are in excellent position to start to seek grants, with the City of Palm Bay, to develop this exciting annex to the existing GFT. Maintaining all of the trail to keep it ridable all year long – again!
So where do you fit into this? Well, if you have an active membership than you already are helping and we appreciate your contributions. If you didn’t renew (or purchase) a membership in November/December 2016 (if you did you are covered for 2017) than why not purchase your renewal (or new) membership today at www.RideBMBA.org/florida-bike-club. You can also purchase or renew your membership at the trail by submitting written membership form and your dues at the trail head kiosk, or in person to any of our officers or board of directors members (listed here: www.RideBMBA.org/florida-mountain-bike-club). Starting the year fresh contributing to the sport and club we all love is a great way to get your 2017 going!
As a grassroots non-profit organization you should know that we wouldn’t function at all without our members – as we have no other means of funds generation and it takes money to maintain and run our club and trails! Your membership is also tax deductible.