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Welcome JORBA Members and friends to The Dirt 2015!
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T h e   D i r t   2 0 1 5 

After a long hiatus, we are proud to report that JORBA's  newsletter is back.

Welcome to The Dirt 2015! Last year presented many challenges for JORBA. Thanks to the hard work of our staff and the incredible support of our members and sponsors, we were able to not only survive 2014, but accomplish many great things for New Jersey’s mountain bike trails! We hosted an amazing event at Jungle Habitat, JORBA in the Jungle - Jungle Jam 2014! We secured new insurance, and completed over 3000 volunteer hours. Did you know that JORBA has conducted over 34,000 hours of volunteer service since 2009, at a value of over $880,000 to our trail community? We also started shipping "JORBAnds" with new memberships mid-year, and provided them to all 2014 paid members. We have already heard stories of JORBAnds saving the day, so don't leave home without yours!

Communicating and giving back to our members is incredibly important to us. Re-vitalizing The Dirt in an easy to read and produce format is an integral part of that communication.  Our vision for The Dirt moving forward is to share news, information and happenings from the JORBA staff, and feature words, images and news from our members, sponsors, friends and partners in trails. Have something you want to share? News, photos, stories, tips, an awesome guacamole recipe? Send an email to dirt@jorba.org to contribute to New Jersey’s unified voice of mountain biking, THE DIRT!!!

Thank you again for your continued support!

Ken Seebeck
Executive Director & 
Monkey of The Dirt 
seebeck@jorba.org

JORBA is is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which is dedicated to serving off road cyclists as a member of equal standing within the trail user community. Founded in 1999, our focus is to build and maintain sustainable multi-use trails, organize and encourage volunteerism and responsibility, and advocate and foster mountain biking as a healthy, environmentally sound, and sustainable activity.
Bungling in the Jungle
Words by
Jon Sherwood 
    Reporters for our college newspaper, a young woman and I were assigned to a ZZ Top concert in an unfamiliar city. It was wonderful, driving cross-state, through picturesque hill and dale, until night fell. Then, it became a more frantic affair, searching for signposts, squinting into the darkness to read. We each had one problem: she was a poor navigator; I would not stop for directions. We became lost, very lost. Hours later, we abandoned our quest and turned for home. This digression serves as introduction to my recent experience in Jungle Habitat.

    A couple of friends and I ventured past the front gate, hauntingly reminiscent of a Jurassic Park movie, to ride its technical mountain-bike trails. Smallish at 800 acres, Jungle Habitat looms large in West Milford history. There were no iron furnaces, and George Washington failed to sleep there but, in the 1970s, it was an eminent drive-through zoo, reportedly home to lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, baboons, you know, all the Highlands animals.

    The park abruptly closed in 1976, amid rumors that wild animals were left behind. Perhaps. What was left was a big mess. It was only a couple of years ago that Jersey Off-Road Bicycle Association received permission from the state, the current owner, to clean it up and create a sustainable network of trails open to standard users: hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers.

    Seemingly suddenly, the park has taken on new life, attracting from miles around people seeking a new challenge, our goal. Passing through that eerie gate, I saw no dinosaurs. Animal Chute, the entry trail, is a technical switchback climb to the main parking lot, the largest parcel of unused macadam in the region. Incidentally, when you read “technical”, please conjure an image of every rock you have ever seen in your yard, and all the yards you have ever seen. Then, mentally move those rocks as required. In this case, move your rocks onto a torturously twisted, mile-long trail, up a hill.

    Mopping perspiration from our collective brow, we moved to Wart Hog, a technical (see definition above), flattish trail surrounding the parking lot. Here, one finds countless 50-yard sprints through rock gardens, bracketed by hairpin turns through rock gardens. Yeah, technical. We rode through walking tunnels into the village section of the park. Imagine Disney World’s Magic Kingdom lying fallow for 40 years. You get the idea.

    We rode a half-mile-long technical climb to the park’s summit, where visitors drove on paved roads through segmented habitats, home to the “wild” animals. Halfway up, as anaerobic stars pirouetted across perspiration-clouded eyes, I believe I saw a steel lifeguard stand on its side. Looking west from that peak, noting the sun sat a half-hour above Bearfort Mountain, a sudden desire to leave flashed across our oxygen-depleted minds.

    We started hopefully onto a new trail called, I am told, “So long and thanks for all the fish.” Would it lead to that scary gate? Our hopes were dashed as it spun over or around every obstacle in the vicinity. After a rest to regain breath and bearings, we located Animal Chute. At the onset of dusk, it was nearly as difficult to ride down as up. 

    We came, we saw, we were conquered. Technically, a very nice ride.
 
- Jon Sherwood is a JORBA member who resides in New Jersey's Highland Region. Look for more of his work in future issues of The Dirt. Interested in volunteering at Jungle Habitat? Contact JORBA's "Trail Monkeys" by emailing jungle@jorba.org

Marty’s Fatbike Fest  & Demo

When: Saturday, January 24th 2015, 10:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Marty’s Reliable Cycle of Randolph

Bikes, beverages, firepit sound enticing? Marty's is putting on a FREE Fatbike Festival showcasing the Dickerson Mine Trails which are stewarded by JORBA. Check out the event's webpage for more details.

Marty's Reliable Cycle is a longtime supporter of JORBA. This event promises to be a great time. Pray for snow!

Congrats to JORBA members Rick S. and Stanley Z. for winning 2014's "JORBAnd in action" contest. They scored some sweet Sock Guy JORBA socks. They were also surprised by autographed 8x10 glossy photos of JORBA President Frank Harms meditating on a ride titled "The Wookie Digs".

- Ever wondered what all of this Wookie-talk is about? Look for an interview with Frank by Dirt Reporter and JORBA member Tom Gada in an upcoming issue!
Want to know more about JORBA and our membership benefits? Click to dig. 

Joining or renewing your membership is as easy as riding a bike! Visit JORBA’s Membership Page to get started. Our software is easy to use on your computer or mobile device. Create an account, choose your annual membership level, and submit payment securely using a credit card or paypal, and sit back knowing that "you dig" New Jersey mountain biking.

Please allow 3-4 weeks for Membership packages to arrive. If you have any questions regarding membership, fulfillment, or problems with the software, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact our membership staff: membership@jorba.org.

Please remember to "like" us on facebook and share shamelessly with your friends. 

Are you a Strava user? Join our Strava Group.

Check out our friends over at mtbnj.com, we dig the Advocacy & Access section.

Looking to meet new people or ride new places? Some of our chapters use Meetup Groups to connect:

The NJ Mountain Biking Meetup is home based in Bloomfield and has over 850 members! Managed by long time JORBA member and web guru Jason Gonsalves and a great bunch of his ride crew, they plan rides for all kinds of experience levels all over the state. They also have a Facebook group.

The Jersey Action Riders are home based in Cherry Hill. JAR is a long time JORBA Chapter. Led by past Director Jay Jones and friends, the group rides all around the Cherry Hill area and beyond, and host skills clinics in the warmer months.

 

Thanks for reading, and we look forward to hearing from you! We dig.
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