Pedal Power: Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge is Ready to Roll on Wednesday

Redding Mayor Brent Weaver wants to promote the area's trails.

Redding Mayor Brent Weaver wants to promote the area’s trails.

Redding’s mayor is big on mountain biking and he wants others, including riders from other parts of the state, to get in on the single-track fun.

“We’re in a unique position,” Mayor Brent Weaver said of the network of trails in Redding and the surrounding countryside. “It’s a story we have to do a better job of telling.”

Enter the inaugural Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge, which will be introduced at Tuesday’s Redding City Council meeting and launched on Wednesday. A Mountain Bike Night social event at Maxwell’s Eatery in downtown Redding also will help get the Challenge in gear.

The Challenge offers riders of all abilities a chance to complete a series of rides (five each at the beginning and intermediate levels and four in the advanced) that are listed on downloadable passports.

Riders who complete all the rides in their respective category and return their passports by noon on May 19 will be entered into the Challenge Raffle and will have a chance to win gift certificates redeemable at any local bike shop. The prizes are worth $500 for the beginners, $750 for the intermediate and $1,000 for the advanced.

All riders who complete the rides in their category receive a commemorative water bottle and stickers and will be recognized on the Healthy Shasta Web site. Ambitious riders who “black out” their passports (complete all challenge rides in all three categories) will be eligible for a special prize.

Why a mountain bike challenge? “The first goal is to encourage locals to take advantage of these incredible trails we have access to year-round, and secondly the goal is to promote our trail system to the south (Sacramento and the Bay Area) and into Southern Oregon) and let them know we’re open for business year-round,” Weaver said.

Weaver said his hope is the Challenge spurs additional interest in bicycling in and around Redding. After all, he noted, thanks to the Bureau of Land Management, the city and dedicated volunteers with mountain bike clubs, “we don’t have to wait. The trails are already built.”

Weaver said he fell in love with mountain biking when he returned to Redding 10 years ago. Rides on his current list of favorites include the new French Fry trail (he enjoys the scenery and the tie-ins to the area’s gold mining history) and the Princess Ditch trail out by Igo.

Also at Tuesday’s council meeting, Weaver said he will discuss details of a proposed bike park in Caldwell Park that would be situated between the Aquatic Center and North Market Street. Weaver said the bike park would be financed largely by grants and donations. It would not interfere with the Sacramento River Trail, nor would it require the removal of any trees.

The proposed bike park is another step in a program Weaver said he’s initiating to help revitalize existing parks that, “for one reason or another have been sort of abandoned by greater Redding.” He noted the addition of bocce ball courts at South City Park and a plan for food trucks to make regular visits to Library Park as two examples.

For passports, trail maps and other details on the Challenge, visit http://www.visitredding.com/mayors-mountain-bike-challenge

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
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6 Responses

  1. Frank Treadway says:

    All too healthy for me…I’ll continue  pogo-sticking down Placer St.

  2. Grammy says:

    Good start.  A really good start.

    In west Shasta County we get a LOT of bikers (bikes and motor-cycles) out to enjoy the scenery (we do have the best).  But the roads are scary.  Easements are in place and all that Shasta County Department of Works needs is to put the black top down (how is that for symbolizing a complex project?) and mark it as bike lanes.

    So much of the sunny part of the year is under utilized to take care of the roads.  It takes ten guys to do the work of four or five and doesn’t help that they come out three years running to look at the road that is going to be worked on, mark the street each and every time where the services are buried and then nothing gets done until five years after that.  And if we are lucky enough to have the work done, services digs it up right afterwards and does a lousy patch job that rattles your teeth each time you run over it.

    The trails are attractive and will be used but people want to cycle there often times.  Nothing is as wonderful as getting on the open road leaving all your troubles behind (like trying to find a good paying job to pay off that student education loan you have looming over your shoulders but now can’t find a job here in the county.)

    Way to step up the goal to make Shasta Country the get fit county.

    Just do not look around at the average SC citizen and judge us (over weight and living below poverty levels).  Plus it takes two full time minimum wage jobs to move out of your parent’s home.  If you are eating the food from the places you work (because it is free) you are going to look as you do (and we smoke!)

  3. Richard Christoph says:

    Kudos to Mayor Weaver for setting an example of the Greek ideal—a sound mind in a sound body. And if promoting our area’s magnificent mountain biking trails can lead to  favorable economic opportunities, better yet.

    I purchased my first Specialized Stumpjumper in 1983 and had the “pleasure” of participating in the grueling, 100 degree Whiskeytown Downhill in 1986, realizing the three goals of finishing, not being last, and not being injured. Like climbing Mt. Shasta, a good thing to have once done.

    Even now at the age of 67, riding our many and varied single-track trails and old logging roads still gives a great deal of pleasure, and is superb cardio-pulmonary exercise as well as excellent balance/coordination training for those of us approaching Geezerhood. Highly recommended.

     

  4. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    Thank you Jon for a great article.  I bought my first mountain bike in the 80s and when I wasn’t working I was out bike riding with my husband.

    I applaud Major Weaver for promoting this great sport.  And these trails are ideal hiking trails as well as biking trails.

    I too am entering Geezerhood and have  lost some of my nerve on the hills, so I hike those same trails.

     

  5. Brent Weaver says:

    Thanks Jon, great story.  Look forward to seeing people show up Tuesday night at City Council chambers to learn more about our great trail system.  We have a fun 4 minute video created by the Redding Trail Alliance that shows some of these local trails.

  6. Boojum19 says:

    Great idea to showcase/publicize Redding’s trails, which are getting better and better.

    To really put Redding on the map as a mountain biking destination, my view is that we need one showcase downhill trail (or network of trails) with a large vertical drop.  Think Downieville or even Ashland.  And we have just the place – Shasta Bally.  If we could build new single track trails from the top (some could tie in with existing trails below), riders could enjoy a nearly 5,000 vertical-foot descent, and finish it up with a swim in the lake.  It would be a big project, but it seems doable:

    – Whiskeytown NRA is generally supprortive of trails and mountain biking

    – We have excellent local trail designers/builders, with a history of successfully developing fun, well-constructed  trails on federal land.

    – There is a road, albeit a rough one, leading to the top of Shasta Bally

    – Enterprising folks with a rugged setup, under a Special Use Permit from Whiskeytown, could offer shuttle rides to the summit (again, like Downieville or Ashland).

    A big downhill would be a draw for a much bigger pool of riders (just like skiing and snowboarding, a lot of folks enjoy a mechanical lift to the top of trails), and help keep others in the area for a few days by offering one more great ride/trail.