With a small posse of friends, Pole Canyon was the destination ride for the evening. Not one of us had ever ridden up Pole Canyon. I had hiked to the top years before, but always considered it to be too steep and rough to ride. Encouraged by reports of the “easy” new reroute sections, our little group headed out one evening after work. Right out of the gate, I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely buff single track. The trail climbed up the valley occasionally merging with the old track with its roots and rock. The grade was fairly sustained with very few sections to take a breather (or get out of granny gear!). The re-routed sections were mostly smooth with the newest reroute adding some big, fat sweeping turns. The upper part of the climb was all on the old trail with its full complement of loose rock, big roots and smooth dirt. This is also where the trail broke out of the trees and through some really pretty meadows. There were some small patches of snow and mud near the top. A nice, thick cornice marked the end of biking at the summit of the climb. We parked the bikes and hiked up the snow to take in the cool views and plan further rides into this awesome corner of the neighborhood. Layers were donned as we hiked back down to our bikes and joyfully descended back down to the trailhead. The big sweeping turns of the newest reroute were so fun, I just had holler with glee at the top of my lungs. Our ride was less than two hours including plenty of chatting and photo taking. It’s a fun new addition to my ‘after work specials’! The next TVTAP trail day is at Pole Canyon July 12th. I look forward to joining in and continuing to make this trail even more rider-friendly.
This is an annual ‘RIDE’ of passage leaving from Fitzgerald’s Bicycles each year on the Solstice Weekend. We’ll head clockwise around The Rock (The Grand Teton) on a 50/50 mix of gravel and pavement. 154 miles, 6000 feet of climbing and TOTALLY doable for the average fit rider. Whether you Ride for speed or ride for the accomplishment it doesn’t matter. The beers taste just as good after!
This year’s ride starts at 6am on Saturday June 21st from Fitzgerald’s Bicycles!
AtR Que Sheet:
> START – Head North next to Highway 33 from Fitzgerald’s Bicycles
> Turn Right on 6000 S heading East to the first left turn – Turn Left
> Head North to 5000 S – Turn Right
> 5000 N heading East to 2000 E – Turn Left
> 2000 E heading North to 3000 S – Turn Right
> 3000 S heading East to Stateline Rd – Turn Left
> Stateline Rd heading North to E 5000 N* – Turn Left
* See map below to make sure to turn before Leigh Creek which has no bridge and is running high:
> E 5000 N heading West to Hgwy 33 – Turn Right
> Hgwy 33 heading North to N 500 W – Head Straight North
> N 500 W heading North to W 10000 N – Turn Left
> W 10000 N heading West to Reece Rd – Turn Right
> Reece Rd heading North to the Rail Trail – parallel to Reece Rd
> Ashton/Tetonia Rail Trail heading North to 550 N* – Turn Right
* 550 N is the first road that crosses the Rail Trail after the big Trestle Bridge
> 550 N heading East to 5000 E* – Turn Left
* 5000 E is the first major left hand turn off of 550 N
> 5000 E heading North to the end – Turn Right onto Forest Rd 263 (Conant Fall River Rd)*
* You will be on Forest Rd 265 momentarily before it turns into 263, see map below:
> 263 heading North to Ashton Flagg Ranch Rd (Grassy Lake Rd) – Turn Right
> Ashton Flagg Ranch Rd heading East to Flagg Ranch / Hgwy 191 – Turn Right
> Hgwy 191 heading south to Teton Park Inner Road – Turn Right
> Teton Park Rd heading South to Moose – Turn Right
> Moose Wilson Rd heading South to Wilson / Hgwy 22 – Turn Right
> Hgwy 22 heading West to Victor – FINISH!
I’ve decided to not put out a GPS file. This ride is a great chance to practice your map skills!
This blog post is a catch up post from this past January. During the past two Winters, we’ve been spending some time living with family in Sarasota, FL. Although we still love Winter in the Tetons, we don’t need the full allotment of it anymore. On top of that, I’ve developed a passion for sailing that has me craving for a little more time on the Ocean in the hopes of one day setting sail for the “big one” – a long term family live-aboard cruising experience. With all that in mind, we decided to buy a fixer-upper sailboat that would serve as a winter basecamp and a platform to build up our sailing chops and biking legs.
One of the most important elements of a Healthy Lifestyle Based Economy is a low angle, multi-use trail network close to the downtown core of a community. In Victor, there is an incredible opportunity to develop a trail network like this in the Mike Harris area just to the East of downtown. Imagine a year round, recreational parking area that supports non-motorized and motorized trail access for residents and visitors alike. Combine this with a campground, close proximity to Jackson Hole, and a connection to Victor along the Old Jackson Highway and you have the makings of a true economic driver for the entire Teton Valley.
Currently, the City of Victor is putting the finishing touches on a request to the Teton Basin Ranger District of the USFS for the development of up to 15 miles of non-motorized trails, a year round parking facility, winter grooming for skiing, fat biking, and snowmobiling, and the completion of a multi-use connection from Mike Harris to the Big Hole mountains. This is an ambitious and incredibly forward thinking project that supports the goals of the City of Victor Comp Plan, the Teton County Comp Plan, the Southern Valley Trails Project, and Envision Victor. As a resident and business owner in Teton Valley I think it will have long lasting, positive economic impacts for everyone who has invested in Teton Valley.
This project will not happen over night and it’s important for us to all be aware of the process. First, the City of Victor submitted a project proposal to the Forest Service this past Winter. The Teton Basin Ranger District responded to the request with a letter asking for additional information to be provided before they can accept the request as a formal “Proposed Action” (PA). The Forest Service has learned, through litigation unfortunately, the more comprehensive the PA the better. Taking the time to address potential concerns that may arise in the next phase, “Public Scoping”, will significantly increase the quality of the effort which ultimately should be focused on protection of our natural resources as well as support for the local economy.
If the USFS accepts the PA, the project will be put out for Public Scoping. The Scoping process allows anyone, or any organization, to voice concerns with the project Again, the more work done to address potential concerns about the project, from the start, will reduce the chance of unforeseen efforts to derail the project.
If the project is moved forward after Scoping, the Teton Basin ranger District will need to analyze the project before the Forest Service begins their decision making under the guidance of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the Forest Management Act (FMA). With any luck, the project could move through Scoping in a few months and then through the NEPA process to approval in 7-8 months. Not over night, but pretty quick all things considered.
Of course the USFS is extremely under funded and the amount of study and subsequent paper work needed is significant. Therefore, a third party consultant needs to be hired to provide the USFS with assistance. The City of Victor is currently speaking with consultants who specialize in this work to find the right fit. Likely, the project will be broken into 2 phases. The first phase will bring the project through Scoping and the second phase will include the NEPA work. The City is exploring options to help cost share the consultant and hopefully Teton County, supporting non-profits, and the community in general will help with the rest.
In the near future, look for ways to engage and make your voice heard about this project. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly and I’ll do my best to shed any light I can. Here’s to the development of a Healthy Lifestyle based Economy!
For the past few months, I’ve been planted at a desk across the street working on a new project for Fitzgerald’s Bicycles. To explain AXLPATH, it takes a little background info so bear with me.
It’s been a wild ride over the last 12 years of running Fitzgerald’s Bicycles. When it started in 2002, there was no larger intention behind it other than developing a Summer job to fuel my passion for powder that brought me to the Tetons in the first place. I have always loved bikes, and working in bike shops, but my reason for being was really centered in the Winter. How could I stay in Jackson Hole and log more Winter vertical and face shots? I needed a Summer job.
As the years ticked off, the shop evolved and so did I. One employee lead to another, 10 customers on the first day lead to thousands, and my love for cycling grew right along with the business. The bicycle was no longer a compliment to my Winter passions – it became the passion. Where skiing and snowboarding gave me a personal high and provided a short term fix, bicycles feed my soul and give me a reason for being. The love for riding my bike lead to a passion for what bicycles do.
Bicycles transform individuals, Bicycles transform communities, Bicycles can transform the World. And we want to help.
Over the years I have spent a lot of time thinking “what is it all about?”. Why do I run a bike shop? What are we trying to accomplish? And WHY does Fitzgerald’s Bicycles exist? Our Mission Statement came out of these thoughts years ago and has been a guiding light for us, “Fitzgerald’s Bicycles exists to Grow Support for Cycling, the Success of our Community, and Respect for the Planet”.
But there has been something missing in the ways in which we broadcast that message. Often, it feels awkward to speak about the reasons behind the life Jannine and I have chosen and the business that supports it. I’m not really sure why, but I find myself falling into old patterns of talking more about the cool products we sell than the reasons Why we sell them. Well, I’m looking to break that pattern so here is the first in a series of blog posts that attempt to speak openly and honestly about Why we exist, How we operate, and What we sell – “The Transparent Bike Shop”.
The Transparent Bike Shop concept is born from our ‘Why’:
Local Bike Shops build Community and just as importantly, Communities build Local Bike Shops. This two way street of support can be even stonger if you have a greater understanding of what makes the shop tick. My intention is to bring you into a conversation about HOW a bike shop operates and more importantly WHY it operates. I hope I can keep up with this intention as the season ramps up and our lives get crazy. That will be way easier if you engage – let me know what you think!
After all, what is the purpose of a blog? We think the purpose is to let you know what we think, and what we feel, and then bring you into a conversation about it.
Comment here, email us, post to our Facebook… join the conversation.
ACTION ALERT: We need you to act THIS WEEK to save $1.7M pathway funding!
Here at Fitzgerald’s Bicycles nothing is more important to us than Building our Community and Growing Cycling. Right now we have a wonderful opportunity to do both, or to have both disappear at a final hurdle.
How the funding is threatened: The City of Victor was awarded $1.7 million dollars through the Federal Lands Access Program to build a paved pathway from Moose Creek to the Idaho/Wyoming border on the north/east side of Hwy 33 east of Victor. The award came with the condition that the City of Victor matches just over $120,000 in cash. The City along with Teton County Idaho, private individuals and a grant from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley were able to raise all but $100,000. To make up the remainder, the City of Victor was encouraged to apply for a $100,000 matching grant from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Commission (LHTAC). They were encouraged to do so from LHTAC as they have a program that is geared specifically for matching federal grants.
That application is now in Jeopardy of not being funded.
The application is being presented to the LHTAC commissioners this week and a majority of the staff does not want to use the funds on a pathway project vs. a road project. Needless to say, we are very concerned about losing this grant and the $1.7 Million Dollars for our community.
In addition, Teton County Wyoming is applying for a grant to build the following pathway section from State Line to Coal Creek. However, they will not apply for the funding if the Idaho section is unfunded.
How you can ACT: There are several actions you can take to contact the commissioners before they meet this week, we have bulleted them below, please take a few minutes to act on whichever feels most comfortable to you.
Please feel free to copy and paste this form letter into any emails you send, and add your own personal touches.
Thank you for your support on this issue and we look forward to seeing you on our new pathway.