Written by Mike Charron
Monday, 10 January 2011 20:25
The HPT Leadership, Board and committed Volunteers have been logging many long hours of service to HPT and the La Crosse community and area. Sometimes, we just don’t take a step back and re-count what has been accomplished. This will be an attempt to do just that! Let’s pause and see what we have done before charging into 2011!
Government Action and Community Building
- Continued to open dialog with representatives of the City, MVC and DNR in an attempt to resolve the Mathy Tract land and Bluffland Protection project issues. We hope to have this resolved before the end of 2010. MANY, MANY volunteer hours have been devoted to this issue and HPT needs to thank Gene Roberts for spearheading this effort with Marvin Wanders his able side kick. Lots of phone conferences and trips to Madison and other parts of the state has kept HPT and our concerns front and center with various state politicians and DNR officials. We are all working towards a positive conclusion.
- In March, we held the very first Western Wisconsin Bike Summit along with the the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition. Wisconsin Bike Federation folks came up to La Crosse for the day. The keynote speaker was John Burke, CEO of Trek Bicycle. Hansi Johnson, IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director was also on the podium and presented. Quite an event!
- The second week in April, HPT had 4 volunteers who were asked to lead
various programs at the Wisconsin Bike Fed Summit and Mountain Bike
Summit. When you think about it - that’s amazing. 4 folks from one
organization helping to lead various parts of the Summit!
- HPT taught a spring and fall trailbuilding field class day for a professor at UW-L.
- HPT joined the American Trails organization. Hikers and other types
trail users represent a large percentage of HPT trail users.
- HPT had a representative at the Vernon County IMBA Trail Care Crew weekend.
- Held another fun and rollicking Howie’s HPT Hoedown in April with lots of SWAG from local shops and Trek.
- For our first Trail Fest of the year, ominous weather and a lousy
forecast required us to pull the plug on the first Trail Fest of the
year. Will it ever stop raining?!!?
- A couple of members put on a series of Time Trials for fun. Thanks Roger and Ben!
- We held a successful and fun Trail Fest this fall. This is a highlight each year!
- HPT hosted the La Crosse Day Care Centers Family Day. What a great,
beautiful fall day with lots of future (little) HPT members running all
over the Pump Track and hiking in the woods. Lots of pennies were
found and hot dogs consumed!
- The Ladies Night rides continued each Thursday evening. NO testosterone allowed!
- Regular Friday night groups rides met each week with different
levels of difficulty and fitness riders grouping up for a fun HPT
session. Lots of smack is heard in the parking lot before and after
... maybe testosterone talking ?!!!?
- Another successful DNR trail school was hosted by HPT again this spring. Two HPT members attended along with 2 members from Vernon County Trails. Believe it or not ... we CAN learn!
- HPT sent 4 members to the IMBA World Summit in Athens, GA in May. Many connections were made and great learning segments were attended. This is the second World Summit HPT was in attendance.
- Trail work started out slow this year. Although we were able to get out on the trails earlier this year, organized trail work nights were rained out a number of times at the start of the season. We lost a little momentum.
- Even though the weather was a challenge, the VISTA trail building volunteers persevered. More progress was made on the difficult Phase Two. These folks worked HARD learning all about moving rock on a steep side slope. Great job volunteers!
- Finished the Gollnick Trail to connect from the top of bOB trail to the start of OB-1. Trail users no longer have to use the Prairie Loop to go from one side of this part of the trail system to the other.
- HPT held weekly Trail Building or Trail Maintenance nights (when we
weren’t rained out!) This is the bulk of our activity and we look for
as many volunteers as want to come out! THANKS!
- We started a quarterly newsletter that is both mailed and emailed to HPT members.
- CORE PATROL was represented at the Vernon Trails Sidiefest festival, Camp BlueDog, and the LaCrosse Day Care Picnic, Trail Fest, 12 Hour Race and Super D Race, as well as random trail patrolling on the HPT trails.
- CORE PATROL also started working with Shelby Fire and La Crosse Fire Departments for future medical/search emergency challenges.
- Notice the NEW PARKING LOT? Thanks to many volunteers for pushing this project forward. It took two years of dedicated effort and a big thanks to Ben for pushing the project the last 10 yards across the goal line! The City of La Crosse really stepped up to make it happen. City Parks and Recreation, Engineering, Planning, Inspection, Forestry, and Streets Departments came together to help us pull this extension off. The National Weather Service was great in that they purchased new wood for the fencing that HPT installed. It was a long time coming, but it is done. The parking lot was packed the first two weekends it was open. America’s Most Wanted was almost called in to assist but was averted at the last minute ...
- As always - and not to understate - HPT continues to work with City of La Crosse, MVC, Myrick-Hixon (Welcome Jeff!), DNR and neighbors to provide a quality trail experience to locals and visitors.
For 2011: We have a tentative schedule for next year. Some activities to look forward to include;
- another DNR Master Trail Builder Certification Class
- an Advanced Mechanized Trail Building Certification class - Can you say VISTA trail building?
- FISTA Chain Saw Training
- CORE Patrol CPR and First Aid Training
- Weekly Trail Rides and Ladies Group Rides
- A couple of HPT trips: Where do you want to go to ride?
As you can see, HPT is a busy organization. We always need more volunteer help. Please ask - we can find a place for you and your skill-set. It doesn’t always involve blisters, boots and a pulaski!
We are a volunteer organization and we are evolving ... trying things ... Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves, but most times we get it right. We have a great spirit here. It involves good trails and getting folks out into the outdoors. Want to come along ... We hope to see you in 2011!
Thanks for reading and contact me with any concerns/questions. I am:
Have a great 2011!