Ear to the Ground: Issue 110

News and notes from the outdoor industry

ASJ Partners with Four Wheel Campers for Roadshow

After ten years of traveling to events and races in our trusty 2008 Toyota, we are excited to announce that Four Wheel Campers of Woodland has signed on to be the official vehicle sponsor for the ASJ Roadshow. Keep an eye out for the ASJ/FWC branded truck  at events and online as we share pictures via our social media channels.

“This truck and pop up camper will help take our roadshow to the next level,” says ASJ editor and roadshow manager Matt Niswonger. “We appreciate the opportunity to be brand ambassadors for a new model of pop up camper that carries more stuff.” 

Additional details on the model are forthcoming, but basic features include plenty of space for mountain bikes and other equipment in the collapsed position while still leaving room for a king sized bed in the popped up position.

If you see us at events stop by and ask for a tour.

Dierdre Wolownick Launches Sharp End of Life Book Tour

Alex Honnold’s adventurous mom Dierdre became the oldest woman to climb El Capitan at age 66. Her new book The Sharp End of Life is the story of her journey as a mom, a professional, and an athlete. See our calendar and check out sharpendoflife.com.

Tahoe National Forest Expands Pedal Assist eMTB Access

Tahoe National Forest will expand access for pedal assist (Class 1) electric  mountain bikes (eMTBs) to include “recommended non-motorized trails across the forest.” 

The list of previously “non-motorized” trails now accepting pedal assist bikes can be found on the Tahoe National Forest website, and includes classics like Hole in the Ground and Bullards. This policy shift falls in line with recent decisions at Mammoth Mountain, also within TNF boundaries.

A Class 1 eMTB or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. 

For more information about which trails will specifically allow Class 1 eMTBs but not other eMTBs (Class 2 and above), check the USFS website at fs.usda.gov.

Photo: Menka Belgal

Groveland Receives Grants for Mountain Bike Specific Trails

Groveland Trail Heads (GTH), a non-profit mountain biking organization based in Groveland, was recently awarded a grant from the Sonora Area Foundation, through one of its donors, in the amount of $30,000. Funds are earmarked for the first trail of the first phase of the Ferretti Non Motorized Trail System, a mountain bike-specific trail network. GTH founder Dwight Follien says, “The Sonora Area Foundation does so much good for so many and we are very honored to be part of this.” He adds, “This project is a solution to so many issues rural communities face. Getting our youth involved is a big priority and this trail system will help keep our local businesses in business.”

This grant was soon followed up by another $1,500 grant, also courtesy the Sonora Area Foundation, with the Tuolumne County Transportation Council, through the Trail Me About It Fund.

Groveland Trail Heads is seeking volunteers for its trail building project. Contact dwight@grovelandtrailheads.org for more information. Read our profile on Follien at adventuresportsjournal.com/dwight-follien.

Yosemite Wins Lawsuit; Gets Historic Names Back

The National Park Service recently settled a lawsuit over the ownership of popular Yosemite landmark names, allowing for a number of historic establishments throughout the park to reunite with the names they are best known for.

Former park concessionaire Delaware North filed the lawsuit in 2016 after losing its contract to Aramark, alleging it owned the trademarks to these landmarks.

According to Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman, the settlement covers the value of the names, logos and other branded content. 

$8.16 million of the settlement will be paid by Aramark while the government is slated to pay $3.84 million.

Pre-Order Your CA Bike Plate 

The California Department of Public Health, along with a select group of cycling supporters, is sponsoring a new special interest bicycle theme license plate for DMV registered vehicles.

Plate sales will generate funds for youth programs, cycling advocacy, rider and driver education, biking for transportation and other bike focused programs. 

For complete details and to purchase plates, visit calbikeplate.com.

GU Energy Labs Trash Brigade Makes a Difference

GU Energy Labs takes trash, and protecting the places we play, seriously.  In recognition that its products create a fair amount of trash, the athletic nutrition company partners with TerraCycle, an upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products.

GU’s Senior Brand Experience Manager Celia Santi says, “There is nothing more deflating than seeing spent gel packets on the road or trail during a run or ride. We encourage all athletes to stash their trash, and we are excited and proud to offer our community a way to reduce all of our impacts on the beautiful places we play.”

GU’s Community Development Manager — and pro rider — Yuri Hauswald does his part to clean up, too. He, along with a dedicated crew of volunteers, has picked up litter after the Death Ride course for the past five years. And it’s not just GU packaging they find. Hauswald says, “The crews on Monitor and Carson encountered more outdoor user litter than sports nutrition and came away with piles of trash that had been left/thrown intentionally.”

Learn more about GU’s partnership with TerraCycle and sign up for the GU Trash Brigade at guenergy.com/join-the-brigade

Photo: Kasey Carames

EWS Comes to California

The seventh round of the Enduro World Series (EWS) will take place at Northstar California Resort in Truckee on August 24. Northstar, affectionately known as “Gnarstar,” boasts some of California’s most challenging and technical trails.

EWS showcases the world’s best mountain biking venues, with stops made already this year in New Zealand, Tasmania, Portugal, Italy, and France. The series will hit North America August 11 at Whistler in Canada before its penultimate round in Truckee. EWS wraps up in Zermatt, Switzerland on September 21.

Northstar EWS is also the fourth round of the California Enduro Series (CES). After Northstar, CES heads to Big Bear Lake September 14 for the Fox US Open Enduro. CES will wrap its 2019 season with the Ashland Mountain Challenge in Ashland, OR on October 5.

Learn more at enduroworldseries.com and californiaenduroseries.com.

BVAC Welcomes Aaron Johnson

Bear Valley Adventure Company (BVAC) is excited to have Aaron Johnson join its ranks as its new Marketing and Events Manager.  Johnson is no stranger in Bear Valley as he was the founder of Mountain Adventure Seminars and most recently the Director of Snow Sports at Bear Valley Mountain. BVAC was recently purchased by the Bear Valley Mountain Cooperative, a community-oriented group of Bear Valley enthusiasts.  Johnson says, “Making the move to BVAC is a return to the Bear Valley community and an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up”.

The first item on Johnson’s list is the Ebbetts Pass Century (EPC), a demanding road cycling event based in Bear Valley.  The EPC offers four ride lengths (100, 65, 50 and 35 miles) which challenge a variety of riders and showcase some of the best road cycling terrain in the country.  “Funny how I started this event 14 years ago, sold the company, and now it’s back on my plate.”

For more information about BVAC, visit bearvalleyxc.com. And if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by the store and ask Johnson what the best adventure on tap is that day.

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