As the winter’s snow cover recedes and the dirt below begins to reappear, the Missoula mountain bike community begins to think about getting back out on the trails. The pent-up stoke is channeled annually here with MTB Missoula’s Spring Meetup event, held recently at Burns Street Bistro and the North Missoula Community Development Center.
Over 200 local mountain bikers turned out with the appeal of complimentary Bridge Pizza and beverages from Big Sky Brewing. New and renewal MTB Missoula memberships and pledges were processed at the door, raising funds for the 2020 trails advocacy budget.
MTB Missoula is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to promoting the development and sustainability of mountain biking in the Missoula area.
The comradery of friends that maybe hadn’t seen each other since warmer weather prevailed. Puffy jackets mixed with shorts and bike socks let everyone know they were among our familiar 2-wheeled tribe of Missoula cyclists.
On top of the list of MTB Missoula topics for 2020 is the Barmeyer Trail on Mount Dean Stone North which opened about two years ago to the proposed trail route connecting the South Hills spur to the top of Mount Dean Stone. Project partners have applied for a pending $93,000 grant to build even more single track trail which will be open to the public for hiking and mountain biking. Five Valleys Land Trust is ‘steering the bike’ on this project, and their Lands Director Pelah Hoyt was on hand to answer questions & display their maps depicting existing and new trails to come.
FVLT has also acquired land and access to Marshall Mountain, and have been working with MTB Missoula to build and maintain the expanding trail network at the former ski area.
The developing issue of access for eBikes has new recent developments, with Federal Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service recently opening up riding in many non-wilderness areas to the new and growing category of outdoor activities. BLM and Forest Service representatives were at Burns St. with maps and information about where eBikes are now legal and how they are facilitating their use and incorporating them into the mix of public lands use.
Key stakeholders in the Missoula mountain bike community were on hand with representatives to discuss their specific programs for the coming year.
Missoula’s youth bicycling program, the Zootown Derailleurs is ramping up and enrolling kids to learn how to safely enjoy riding the local trails.
The National Intercollegiate Cycling Foundation (NICA) has launched tremendously successful participation in junior mountain bike racing with this state’s new chapter – the Montana Interscholastic Cycling League. Nine Montana high school based and composite teams exist already including the Missoula Mammoths, the Bitterroot Buccaneers, and the Flathead Cutties. 2020 will likely see more participation and teams added to the roster.
Missoula’s mountain biking group for beginning and recreational level riders, GRiT (Girls Riding Together) had a strong start in 2019, and expects to see even more participation getting women of all ages out on the local trails this year in a supportive non-competitive environment.
The robust local racing scene is shaping up for another fun season in 2020. The USA Cycling sanctioned Missoula XC is set for the weekend of June 5-7th and will be bracketed with a handful of fun local races on those dates including the annual Locals Only Omnium XC, Mullet Classic, and the first round of the weekly summer Wednesday night XC Series.
To join, volunteer, ride, race, and/or get more info visit MTB Missoula’s website at https://www.mtbmissoula.org/. You’ll find a ton of helpful info and ways to get involved, along with Missoula area mountain bike trail maps, events calendar & details, and guides to trail safety and etiquette.