Cyclists and walkers will enjoy the rolling green hills and rural roads of West Calaveras County during the Calaveras County Arts Council’s Sixth AnnualRide & Walk 4 Art on March 20, 2022. With three bicycle ride choices—30, 45, and 100 miles—or a 4.5 mile walk along the shores of New Hogan Lake—there’s something for everybody.
This year, organizer Rob Williams, chair of the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition, the organization that helps manage and coordinate the event, has freshened the popular fundraiser that supports the arts in Calaveras County schools. The biggest change is a new starting venue. The new site, the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Park in Valley Springs, offers many benefits. “It’s just a better site,” Williams said. “There is parking for over 200 cars. There are indoor bathrooms. And it starts and ends the ride at a safe neighborhood location. No one is crossing any highways to start the ride.”
I’d like to introduce you to the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition (MLBC) and invite you to BikeMotherlode.
The MLBC is an association sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition Education Fund, a project of CalBike. We represent Mariposa, Tuolumne, Calaveras, and Amador counties. We have 23 members, with a five member volunteer board and a volunteer executive director.
Our mission is to increase safe roads for cycling, host bike rides and cycling events, and promote the Motherlode as a premiere bike-riding destination. We offer monthly group rides of varying degrees of difficulty, as well as bike-safety courses and family-oriented events.
This website features the Caltrans and CalBike Bike Riding Tourism Report and Signature Bike Projects in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Calaveras and Alpine counties.
With miles of rural roads, beautiful scenery, and back-country trails, the Motherlode has always been a hidden gem for bicycle riding.
Pre-pandemic, there were seven bike events that occurred in Caltrans District 10. While many of those events have been put on hold, three of these events are scheduled in 2022. We hope to see you there!
CalBike developed the website BikeValleytoSierra.com to promote bike tourism in the northern San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Foothill counties to the east. The website has attracted 435 followers who have received news articles and updates about every other week, on average, for the last two years. This is an audience of community leaders and bicyclists who have expressed interest in and support for this effort.
To maintain this audience and keep the momentum of interest garnered so far, the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition (a project of the California Bicycle Coalition Education Fund) will sponsor the website indefinitely, and coordinate the maintenance of its content.
Contributors will be bicycle advocates from organizations throughout the five county area, business development and tourism bureau officials, and others as recruited by the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition.
Happy holidays! The new year is just around the corner and it’s time to celebrate what the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition and our partners have accomplished during 2021, and what we look forward to achieving in 2022.
Last January 2021 we created a monthly bike riding calendar with bike events for the year and an advocacy agenda. Due to Covid, our monthly bike rides and events were cancelled but the Board met bimonthly by Zoom.
As we ride into 2022, our top priorities are to advocate for improved biking conditions on our public roads; encourage all residents—kids and adults—to ride bicycles for transportation and recreation; and to promote our region for road and mountain biking.
What We Accomplished
Membership and Partners
Our current membership is 23 members who represent biking in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties. Our new bike business partners include all local bike and recreation businesses: Bear Valley Adventure Co., Bear Valley Bicycles in Arnold, Gateway Adventure Co. in Copperopolis, Mountain Pedaler Bicycles in Angels Camp, and Sonora Cyclery in East Sonora.
Ride & Walk 4 Art
In 2021, the annual bike and walk event we coordinate for the Calaveras County Arts Council as a fundraiser to support the arts in Calaveras public schools had over 150 cyclists, despite it being a “no frills” event due to Covid restrictions and with a last minute change of venue from New Hogan Reservoir to the Valley Springs Elementary School parking lot. It’s true that when one door closes, another opens; our 2022 Ride & Walk 4 Art found a new starting point at the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Park in Valley Springs, with more parking and a better venue for our returning Chicken-in-a-Barrel lunch.
We want to thank our Coalition volunteers for their work to make Ride & Walk 4 Art a success. We could not present this premiere Calaveras biking event without them! An early bird registration discount of $5 at Ride & Walk 4 Art is open from now until January 1. Register at www.rideandwalk4art.com
Bike Riding Tourism Study Outreach Virtual Meetings
This was the final year of Caltrans’ Bike Riding Tourism Study that included numerous Zoom meetings with San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Calaveras and Alpine Counties to discuss bike riding safety, destinations, road conditions, and public and government support. The final report for Bike Valley to Sierra was completed, sent to Caltrans District 10, and has been shared with all local transportation agencies.
Thanks to funds from the CalBikes Education Project, we’ve continued to expand our website, www.bikevalleytosierra.com to include news about cycling in the Mother Lode, surveys to our members, and even videos!
The logo design process is always a long journey. We continue to solicit ideas; a few designs are included in this letter for your feedback.
Park Tool Grant
We submitted a $1,000 Park Tool Community Tool Grant to be awarded a bike stand and tools for bike service support at our events. Winners of the Park Tool Grant will be notified in January 2022
Bikeway Trail Projects Recommend in Bike Riding Tourism Report
Sierra Railway Trail
We assisted Cole Przybyla, Tuolumne County Innovation and Business Director, submit to Caltrans an Innovative Concepts Proposal to complete an engineering plan for a Bikeway from Jamestown to Sonora. This proposal was not selected for the first round of support. However, it did spur a meeting with Caltrans District 10, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Tuolumne County Transportation Council, Tuolumne County Public Works, and the president and vice president of the Sierra Railway, and resulted in a commitment by Caltrans to assist in submitting an Active Transportation Plan in their 2023 cycle.
EBMUD Pipeline Trail
We presented the Bike Valley to Sierra Signature EBMUD Pipeline project to the seven member board in late November. The president of the board discussed the project with the EBMUD General Manager and wrote to us, saying “What a great idea!” A meeting coordinated by the San Joaquin Council of Governments, the San Joaquin County Bike Coalition and the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition is scheduled for mid-December to discuss our next steps.
Death Ride Rest Stop Team
Nikki Grimes led a team of volunteers at the Lake Alpine Turn Around at the 40th Death Ride. And then, the Tamarack Fire cancelled the ride. What you might not know is Nikki and her team were at Lake Alpine bright and early, ready to stamp rider bibs and assist riders.
Alpine County Chamber of Commerce Recently Shared…Watch for Special Death Ride New Years Eve Announcement at the links below.
We participated in the California Dream Ride in October 2021. This virtual ride allowed us to feature local bike riding infrastructure, safety issues, and popular cycling destinations. We raised $140 that supports the CalBike Education Fund which allows us to operate as a bike advocacy organization. The fundraiser is still accepting donations. Use this link to contribute:
The first Caltrans District 10 BIke and Pedestrian Advisory Meeting is scheduled for January 12, 2022.
2022Plans andBike Riding
MLBC Membership Drive in May 2022
Tuolumne and Calaveras Bike Rodeos May 2022
Safe Route to School Day October 2022
2022 Monthly Rides Calendar Weekdays/Weekends Published in January 2022
Read my magazines on Flipboard @robwilliams3994
Ride along with us on Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, or the Motherlodebike website to stay updated on our latest news
Facebook, Motherlode Bicycle Coalition and Bike Valley to Sierra
I am the founder and chairperson of the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition and I am asking for your help to support CalBike, California’s statewide bicycle advocacy organization.
CalBike is the leading advocate for cycling and walking in California. This non-profit works to increase cycling and walking opportunities along the roads of California. They work with communities to create safe spaces for walking and biking. They work with legislators to create bike-friendly policy. They work with transportation departments to build safe streets. CalBike advocates for equitable, inclusive, and prosperous communities where bicycling helps to enable all Californians to lead healthy and joyful lives.
Close to home, CalBike recently completed a report that identified 4 signature projects in the Motherlode that can be used as blueprints to make cycling and walking part of our rural communities.
This October, as part of CalBike’s Dream Ride Challenge, I rode my bike along popular Gold Country roads to support CalBike, I created a Dream Ride Fundraising Campaign to raise $1,500.
If you’re reading this letter, it’s because you love biking in the Motherlode and are interested in improving access along the roads and future trails you love to ride. Your contribution will support CalBike as they work to improve biking for all.