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Announcements 2008

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Gemini Trail Build and Ride Sunday Nov 2
posted 10.26.08

Dear Trailaholics Anonymous Member,

Last chance to get your licks in this season!

When? Sunday, Nov 2, 9 AM, PST,  (****note that Daylight Savings Time ends Saturday eve Nov 1st. So before you go to bed that night, shift your clocks BACK one hour****). Meet at 9 AM according to the NEW time.

Where? Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow

What to bring?  lunch, water, your kid's Halloween candy, work gloves, more  of your kid's candy, bike, and helmet for optional post-construction ride

Contact Nick Fuller for more info: (208) 310-9462

Speaking of unbelieveable-but-true, MAMBA's ace volunteers Sherrie and Scott Metlen have won the big kahuna Volunteer Incentive Prize, a full-day raft trip for two on the mighty Salmon River, donated by Salmon River Experience, a Moscow-owned business. In related news, the original winner whose name was drawn from the hat, Sarah Meyers, was, according to reliable witnesses, kidnapped by Oscar the Grouch.

In a few weeks, I'll be sending an email to you containing the names and street addresses of a few of our key landowners. It would terrific if a few thankful community members who use the trails (i.e.; YOU), would write a short personal note expressing appreciation for the privilege of using these private lands for our re-creation.

Happy Trails, and thank-YOU to all MAMBA's fab volunteers, who pushed Gemini 2.4 miles this season...unbelieveabibble!


Jim LaFortune



Gemini Trail Party Wrap Up
posted 10.13.08

UI and WSU ski teams came through in spades (and pulaskis and McCleods) to rock the new Gemini trail toward Four Corners. The group, totalling about 27 people, was rounded out by several MAMBA members. I was busy soaking my bones at Burgdorf Hot Springs and was thus unable to indulge in the endorphin glow of trail building sore muscles. Sorry!

Sarah Meyers won the raft trip, but I don't seem to have contact information for her. If you know a MAMBA volunteer or ski team member named Sarah Meyers, please have her contact me asap. If we cannot locate her, we'll just have to re-draw for the grand prize Salmon River Experience (SRE) full day raft trip for two. Thanks again to SRE and all our sponsors for helping out with donations this year. And in other news...

The WSU Outdoor Rec Center will coordinate with MAMBA to have one last trail party this Autumn. The date is Sunday, Nov 2, meeting at 9 AM (not 8:45) at Rosauers, with a bike ride on the mountain afterward, weather permitting. Details at 11. Now back to you, Jim...

The University of Idaho Sustainability Center will host free bicycle clinics this month to teach students and community members how to efficiently repair, clean and maintain their bicycles.

Gotta fly. Skidding sucks. Don't. 

See you on the mountain,

Jim LaFortune



MAMBA reminder: this Sunday Gemini trail partay
posted 10.09.08

Meet at 12 o'clock noon, Oct 12 at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow. The weather forecast is good! Two free passes to Silver Mt will be given away to lucky volunteers, as well as a raft trip for two people. WSU and UI ski teams will participate, and will set up a post-trail work propane BBQ in the meadow at the bottom of Cabin Trail. BYO grillables and drinkables.

More info: contact Tony Smith, (208) 310-1794.

Let's go play in the dirt!

Jim LaFortune



Sunday Oct 12 noon MAMBA trail party and BBQ
posted 09.28.08

Short Version of Reality:

Meet at 12 o'clock noon, Oct 12 at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow. WSU and UI ski teams will participate, and will set up a post-trail work propane BBQ in the meadow at the bottom of Cabin Trail. BYO grillables and drinkables. Heavy rain date will be the following Sunday.


L.V.O.R. (Long Version of Reality):

My wife has finally figured out our relationship; she married trailOR trash, which is only marginally different from trailER trash. Meanwhile, in the wilds of North Idaho...

Let's get down and dirty one more time this Fall! The WSU and UI ski teams requested a noon Sunday start, no doubt due to their heavy Saturday night ski training schedule  ;-0 Meet at noon on Sunday, Oct 12. One lucky trailbuilder will win a $25 gift certificate to Paradise Creek Bicycles. Light rain or sprinkles will not deter the mighty MAMBA singletrack machine. Heavy rain (or snow!) will. We'll carpool to the bottom of Cabin Trail, then continue building Gemini toward Four Corners. Bring water, lunch and a bunch of snacks (chocolate is ideal) to get you through the afternoon. No experience necessary. MAMBA has lots of quality tools. Bring work gloves if you have some. Afterward enjoy good food and barley pop (B.Y.O.) in the meadow at the bottom of Cabin Trail. It can be a bit chilly in the meadow in the Autumn, so bring an extra sweater.

At the BBQ, your name will go in a hat once for every MAMBA trail party you participated in this season. One lucky Joe or Jolene will win a full-day raft trip for 2 on the Salmon River, courtesy of Salmon River Experience, a locally-owned Moscow business.

See you in two weeks!

Jim LaFortune



Stepping down from MAMBA for a while
posted 09.17.08

To my MAMBArothers and Sisters,

It is with heavy heart that I write you today. Due to some recent and difficult changes in my personal life, I believe I need to take a break from some of my responsibilities within the organization—primarily the leading of trail parties and the writing of the newsletter. I will still be involved, but in a much lesser behind-the-scenes way by helping with the website content and such.

I want to thank every one of you. Over the last few years, working with you has really changed me for the better. I have countless happy memories of the various rides, trail parties, and correspondence with you. You have been a wonderfully supportive sounding board for my often incoherent ramblings that I pretend to call a newsletter.

I hope to someday resume a larger role within the group. Until then, I will miss you greatly and hope to see you on the road/trail.

My friends - thank you so much -

Dan Cordon


Gemini Trail Update
posted 09.14.08


Twenty-one enthusiastic MAMBA volunteers connected Gemini to the bottom of Cabin Trail yesterday...almost. There is one 75 yard section that still needs tread, but it is chain sawed out, so you can push your bike through. Woo-hoo! The best thing for the trail now is to have folks pedal it, so ride on! I promise Gemini will get smoother and easier to negotiate over the course of the next couple seasons. (See the postscript below for a directions to the trailhead.)

Four of the twenty-one intrepid volunteers were teenagers, which just goes to show that there is hope for the world. And several folks were first-time MAMBA volunteers, including many who had never tried building trails. Cindy, a sophomore at Moscow HS, said it best; "I just feel so good when I'm out here doing this!". Yup. And you get instant results for your effort, unlike some parts of life. Tim Moore won the drawing for the $25 Paradise Creek Bicycles gift certificate. Teenage pulaski ninja Kevin won a laminated MAMBA Moscow Mtn trails map.

BTW, the newest sections of Gemini are somewhat loose and dusty, so please try to keep your front wheel more toward the uphill edge of the trail than the downhill edge. This tactic keeps the downhill side of the singletrack from collapsing. It may also protect you from an out-of-bike experience, also known as OTB (Over The Bars). Please someone order up a couple of inches of gentle rain in the next week or two, which will help compact the loose dirt. Meanwhile, back at MAMBA Planetary Headquarters...

The next trail date is a bit of a change for MAMBA: SUNDAY, Oct 12. Meet at NOON at Rosauers. UI and WSU ski teams will be participating and we'll need lots of MAMBA folks too. We will finish the 75 yard segment, then rocket (ok, it's a SLOW rocket) toward Four Corners.

Thanks to everyone who has made Gemini a reality so far. If you haven't joined us yet, on Oct 12 you can own a piece of local history by helping us build what is sure to become a major Moscow Mtn singletrack destination. Pedal on!

Directions to Gemini (note that Gemini is not on the web site map yet): Login to your account at www.bikemoscow.org. If you haven't yet subscribed, it's a priceless $15 per year for a family to have full access to all the GPS'ed maps. Some of trail descriptions even include mileage guides and turn-by-turn directions. Eventually all the route descriptions will include those details. After logging in, go to the Trails page. Click on Four Corners parking in the lower right corner of the page. Follow the directions to the Moscow Mtn Parking Area (NOT Four Corners). From this straight, wide gravel parking spot on Moscow Mtn Rd, pedal 1/4 mile uphill on the gravel. Look for a green metal fence post on your left. It has barbed wire strung across it. There is a subtle walk-up trail that takes you to the right of the barbed wire. The singletrack begins on the uphill side of the barbed wire. After about 1 mile, Gemini crosses a gravel road (Moscow Mtn Rd). The trail continues almost straight across the gravel, descending through a cedar forest. Gemini currently ends directly across from the bridge at the bottom of Cabin Trail. Next summer we'll continue building sweet Gemini singletrack all the way to Four Corners, thanks to our AMAZING volunteers.


Jim LaFortune



Quick Reminder: Gemini trail party this Saturday
posted 09.12.08

Hi everyone,

Super shorty message:

We have a little less than 1/3 mile left to build in order to reach the bottom of Cabin Trail. Woo hoo!

Hope to see you this Saturday, Sept 13th. Meet at Rosauers at 8:45am. Bring lunch, snacks, lots of water, work gloves, sturdy footwear. MAMBA has plenty of tools...we want your body! No experience necessary. We hope to play in the dirt till early-mid afternoon, so plan to stay if you can. If not, c'est la vie (that's life), eh? The Volunteer Prize will be a $25 gift cert from Paradise Creek Bikes, plus eligibility to win a full-day raft trip for two on the Salmon River, courtesy of Salmon River Experience.

Yours in the trails,

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Hyperspud 10% Tuesday for MAMBA
posted 09.09.08

Quick reminder that today, September 9, is the Tuesday when Hyperspud Sports (next to the fountain on Main St in Moscow, open 10am - 6pm) will donate 10% of all sales to MAMBA, so rack your brain for the outdoor gear you might purchase in the near future anyway:

Hyperspud carries top notch rock climbing, trail running, backpacking, backcountry skiing, camping and some whitewater and flatwater paddling gear.

Shop hard, shop long, shop on!

Thanks from the MAMBA checkbook,

(Dan, Jim and Jonathan)

PS Trail party this Saturday, September 13, meet at Rosauers parking lot 8:45am. Let's knock out Gemini!


Next Gemini Trail Par-Tay
posted 09.03.08

Short Version
  • The next Gemini trail party is Saturday, Sept 13. Meet at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow at 8:45am. Bring lunch and water.
  • Hyperspud Sports will donate 10% of their sales on Tuesday, Sept 9, to MAMBA. Shop on!
  • John Sweeney REALLY needs volunteers for this Sunday's Moscow Mtn Madness. Call John asap at (208) 669-0088. Lots of ways to help, even if you are racing.

Yackity Yack Version To all MAMBAteers
(I'm hearing the song M-I-C-K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E...)

I would create a Dan-Cordon-clever email using teenager textspeak or gangsta rap or the Mickey Mouse Club theme song, but after enlightening 135 junior high science students today, I'm lucky to have a pulse. So here are the basics:

1) Thanks to a dozen wonderful volunteers who punched Gemini forward another tenth of a mile or more last Saturday. Bill Dickerson, Idaho State XC Sport Champ in the geriatrics age group, won the bike tune-up from Follett's Mt Sports. Jasper LaFortune bribed his dad and won a laminated map of Moscow Mtn. Apparently Jasper doesn't trust dad's route finding. Meanwhile, in other news...

2) If you haven't put in a full day of trail building or maintenance yet this season, it's not too late to join the surge and (unlike much of modern life), instantly see the positive results of your efforts. Our Autumn dates are Saturday Sept 13, Sunday Oct 12 at noon with the UI Ski Team, and a Saturday in early November, weather permitting, with the WSU Outdoor Rec Center. We might still make it to the Cabin Trail junction this fall if we have good turnouts and people can stay till early afternoon. Speaking of shirkers, I heard a vicious rumor JIM LAFORTUNE (not naming names, y'know) skipped out early last Saturday because his sweet wife was taking him to a Dave Matthews concert at The Gorge that night. Slacker!  And in case you missed the memo...

3) HyperSpud Sports is a strong MAMBA supporter. Now you can score high quality outdoor gear (climbing, backcountry skiing, backpacking, trail running, etc) and support MAMBA at the same time. Simply shop at HyperSpud next Tuesday, Sept 9 and MAMBA will receive 10% of all sales. BTW, that's not 10% of profits, that's all cash register receipts. Wow. HyperSpud is open 10 AM - 6 PM and is located next to the fountain on Main St in Moscow. Splurge the rest of your student loan check and eat rice n' beans the next 3 months, eh gringo?

4) Moscow Mtn Madness needs you! Ease race director John Sweeney's GHF (Gray Hair Factor) by volunteering asap. Volunteer incentives include a chance to win cool swag at the random prize drawing after the race—all volunteers name's will go into the hat; and free race day registration—the race fee will be waived for volunteers that help set up and/or take down the race course.

Specific volunteer tasks needed for the Moscow Mtn Madness race are:

  • Course set up (Saturday Sept. 6, 2:00pm-5:00pm)  Mt. bike and trail knowledge required.     
  • Race day course confirmation (Sunday Sept. 7, 7:30am-9:00am)  Ride part of the race course to confirm set up is undisturbed.  
  • Water stop or course marshals (Sunday Sept. 7, 8:00am-11:00am)
  • Finish area refreshment volunteer (Sunday Sept. 7, 10:00am-noon)  Mix Gatorade and put out food and drink for the masses.
  • Course take down (Sunday Sept. 7, 1:00pm-3:00pm)  Mt. bike and trail knowledge required.

For more details and to volunteer, please call John at (208) 669-0088.

Gotta Fly,

Jim LaFortune and the Mouseketeers


Trail Party Reminder - Aug 30th
posted 08.28.08

Just a quick reminder that there is a Gemini trail party this Saturday (Aug 30th) meeting at Rosauers parking lot by 8:45 am. Raffle items this time will be a free bike tune-up from Follett's Mountain Sports (a $45 value!) and some of the ever-popular laminated MAMBA maps. Eric Justis will be leading the party this time, which will be blazing through some beautiful scenery on Gemini. It looks like this trail is going to be ~five miles when complete! But unlike Headwaters, when you finish Gemini, you'll be at the top of the mountain with a ton of other trail options in front of you. And you'll still get to ride Gemini five miles back to the car! Our goal for this season is to get Gemini as close to the Cabin Trail parking as possible. But to do this, we simply need people-hours.

If you're available, bring hiking shoes/boots, plenty of fluids to drink, and work gloves if you have them (we have some you can borrow). We will have the pulaskis, mcleods, grub hoes, and Wondertool/chainsaw. The trail party will probably run until ~12:30-1:00 pm, but if you need to leave early that is always fine with us.

We are also looking for some "special volunteers" who are willing to help out with some non-trail building activities. MAMBA is periodically asked to give short presentations at various venues. We would love to participate in these community activities, but are often too short-handed to do so. If you are interested in this, send us a short email and we'll keep you in mind for when opportunities come our way.

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


MAMBA Newsletter
posted 08.21.08

Short Version
  • August 2nd trail party was loads of fun....for the 8 people who attended  :o(
  • Next trail party is August 30th (did someone misunderstand "labor day weekend?")
  • Moscow Mtn Madness is on September 7th
  • Hyperspud 10% Tuesday happens on September 9th
  • Future trail party dates are: September 13th and October 12th (a Sunday)

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 5
Scene 2
Style - I'm an engineer...I have very little style!

Our previous trail party was not well attended, which probably means that there was something fun that we didn't know about :o(  We do owe a huge thanks to the Schmeckpeper/Bolles family, who compromised 50% of the trail crew (dad, mom, daughter, son)! The best part about a small turnout is the killer raffle odds. Ed Schmeckpeper won the $25 gift certificate to Paradise Creek Bicycles. Then John Wenz won the mesh bag from NRS. And Tony Smith, Melita Schmeckpeper, and Nate Lovallo each won a laminated MAMBA trail map. In fact, only Wendy, Karl, and Chris *didn't* win anything....or if they did, they graciously put it back in the prize pot for one of the others to win.

The crew may have been small in numbers, but definitely worked their tails off! While we may have only completed a few hundred feet of singletrack, what *is* impressive is what was constructed. There were four tall cutbanks created in that small section! So hats off to this crew.

The next trail party will be August 30th (just over a week away). This one will be led by Eric Justis and we're all very excited about the prospect of training a few more MAMBA trail party leaders. There will be plenty of saw work to do and loads of ground work as well. And with all
this recent rain, the soil may actually be somewhat compactable. If your labor day weekend plans called for unexciting tasks like comparing the effectiveness of various weed killers on canadian thistle, then you may want to consider taking Saturday morning off and joining the trail crew. Meet at Rosauers by 8:45 am, and bring some hiking boots, plenty of water, and something to snack on. We'll provide the tools and location for fun.

This year's Moscow Mtn Madness will happen the morning of Sep 7th. New this year is a stellar "Advanced Course" that includes loads of singletrack from Pond 9 to Four Corners and back, with some great mid-race climbs *up* Lickity Split (followed by Up & Over)! The course should be around 17-18 miles. There is an "Intermediate Course" and an option which is a little less intense, and there is still the option to ride/run Foothill Rd out and back for those less comfortable on singletrack. For more information, visit the Palouse Road Runners site.

As mentioned previously, Hyperspud has offered us a spot in their 10% Tuesday program. So stop in on September 9th and say thanks to John for helping us keep our tool supply full. If you've been in the shop, you know there's tons of goodies to buy. And if you haven't....well guess what....there's tons of goodies to buy. The more we spend, the more MAMBA gets :o)

The season is winding down and there are only three scheduled trail parties remaining! Aug 30th, Sept 13th, and a Sunday part on Oct 12th. There's always plenty to do, so if you're able, we're willing (to put you to good use).

Happy Trails --

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Last Minute Trail Party Reminder
posted 08.01.08

Short Version
  • There's a trail party tomorrow (Saturday, August 2nd) starting from Rosauers at 8:45am. Be there, or be (equiangular, equilateral, quadrilateral).

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 5
Scene 1
Style - Gibberish

I heard about a study done (I'm sure there have been many) that discovered that the order of letters in a word can more or less be random, so long as the first and last letter are correct.

I'm sure it's worth a try:
I pormiesd to sned aonhter rmeidner, so hree it is! Tmomoorw (Surtdaay) is aonhter ftanatisc MAMBA tiarl ptary. We wlil be chnuknig aawy at Gimneii Tiarl. Tehre will be ltos of guornd wrok, but a few lkcuy poeple will get to use peowr tolos for a wihle, and even lcukeir poelpe will get to pcik up the mess from the peowr tloos and toss it dnowihll. The freoacst calls for less wnid than we've had tdoay, and it shluod be a prfeect mid 70's tratepmrure.

You get all that? Well, if not, at least make sure to get this next part:
Meet at Rosauers August 2, 2008 by 8:45am for some safety training and a chance to win one of our famous raffle prizes. Given away this time will be: More Laminated MAMBA Maps!! But even better is the mesh bag from NRS, and a $25 gift certificate from Paradise Creek Bicycles. Bring some hiking boots, work clothes (and gloves if you have them), water, and a snack. We've got plenty of hand tools.

Hope 2 see you there -

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Dust Control for Foothill Rd
posted 07.28.08


MAMBA is contributing $350 to the cost of Mag-chloride application to Foothills Rd, where we park to access Headwaters Trails and the Pond 9 end of Moscow Mtn. The county has been hit by increasing fuel costs and cannot afford to treat the road this year. MAMBA's contribution is enough to pay for dust treatment along the 150 yard stretch where hikers and mountain bikers park.

The bike club and some local Tolo Trail Rd residents would like to raise enough money to extend the dust control to the mailboxes near the gate. Please consider making a contribution, however small, to this effort. The total needed, in addition to MAMBA's donation, in order to reach the mailbox area is $750.

You can mail a check to Jim LaFortune, payable to MAMBA. Please write "Foothills Rd dust control" on the memo line of your check.

Thank you for considering this request. I understand that most of us are feeling a little $queezed this year, and even a check for a small amount will be helpful.

Jim LaFortune


MAMBA Newsletter --> Lots of stuff happening
posted 07.27.08

Short Version
  • HUGE turnout for the Unitarian work party/LaFortune snack party!!
  • Next trail party is August 2nd
  • Lots of moose sightings in Headwaters area
  • Big thanks to Nick Crookston, Scott Metlen, and Jim LaFo for clearing Over Easy and giving Headwaters a trimming!
  • West end of Lower Tusk (last 150') still closed, but Sidewinder is open/accessible
  • Gemini is going to be AWESOME! (someday)
  • Be prepared to spend a lot of money at Hyperspud on Sept. 9th!

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 4
Scene 3
Style - Candy Bars

Long before the "delicious and surprisingly nutritious" Kudos Bar, offering Kudos to someone was a form of praise. I said it before, and will say it again....the trail party done in conjunction with the Unitarian Service Project (which they *pay* to be a part of) is always the most fun of all the trail parties each year. We get great turnouts (27 volunteers this time!) and a TON of trail productivity. If you missed this one, then you'll just have to suffer with out *mediocre* trail parties for the rest of the year. With the big turnout, we also had lots of raffle prizes. Tiffanie McAllister and Margaret Dibble both won one of the laminated MAMBA maps. And Henry Gregson won the free bike tune-up from Folletts Mountain Sports. But much to my surprise - John Larkin showed up with two more NRS mesh bags to give away (he already had several at home)! So Dan Meyers won the small bag, while Darby Justis won the large bag.

Gemini Phase I is complete, and is already getting plenty of bike/hike traffic. We will want to do some more work at the two large switchbacks, but you should be able to get through now. The group was also able to make a good dent in the Phase II part as well before being treated to a delicious-I-can't-believe-you-missed-it lunch put on by Kathie LaFortune. I've had the pleasure of eating her fixings in the past, and even when I wasn't dead tired from hours of manual labor...thefood was delicious. So you can only imagine how much better it tasted after a hard days work (although it was hard to appreciate the smell since my own trail perfume was a little strong).

I am truly humbled by the volunteer effort though. We have people from all walks of life who participate in our little parties. Many of these people work with some of the great organizations in our area (PCEI, Latah Trail Foundation, etc.) and still make time to help out on our just-for-fun cause. You all have our endless thanks.

Your taste buds may be thinking of the dark chocolate covered coconut treat, but I'm thinking about the many mounds of soil we're planning to move on August 2nd (this weekend). The routine will be same as usual - meet at Rosauers parking lot by 8:45am for a brief intro to trail building safety (may want a few sawyers this time around) and the raffle, where we will be giving away one more NRS bag, and a $25 gift certificate to Paradise Creek Bicycles!

No, not the tiny milk chocolate candies that apparently don't melt (but do discolor) in your hands. I'm talking about Moose & Moose (meese?), like the many moose that have been spotted around the Headwaters area. In particular, there's a pretty intimidating bull moose that has taken a liking to the trail. Just be aware, and watch for signs - like a group of bikers/runners/dogs ripping down the trail past you like it was the Running of the Bulls in Spain.

Life Savers
Probably named because they're shaped like a life preserver ring, and the name "small crunchy doughnuts" didn't sell well. But I'm sure we can all appreciate the haircut Nick Crookston gave to Headwaters a week or so ago. And for the special few who know where Over Easy is located, Nick, Scott Metlen, and Jim LaFortune also gave that a trimming and cleared out all the downed trees and such.

Sour Patch
As mentioned in previous newsletters, Lower Tusk is closed due to logging. The area effected is right where the little bridge was located. You can still ride everything east of the bridge, which means you can get to/from Sidewinder just fine. Once the logging is complete,
we'll probably try to rebuild the last 150' or so (assuming we can get permission to do so).

Good & Plenty
Jim finished detailed flagging of Phase II and Phase III of Gemini, and I got a chance to hike/GPS it last week. I'm totally impressed! When complete, this is probably going to be *the* trail most loved on the mountain. Phase I is about 1.25 miles long. Phase II is about 2.5 miles
long, and hits some amazing terrain, cool sights, and  has a nice combination of up/down sections. About 40-50% of the distance is on *very* old roads (there's some 6" trees and some of the thickest brush I've encountered growing in the middle of them) that should need
little/no trail bed work. However, there are also some very steep side slopes and several switchbacks that are going to be pretty labor intensive. Our goal for this season is to get far enough on Phase II that we can drop down to the Warnick Rd near the entrance to Cabin
. This would allow us to park at the "normal" parking area on Moscow Mtn Rd (the flat area past the steep washboarded switchbacks) and ride mostly singletrack all the way to Four Corners. Next year we plan to complete Phase II and III, offering a completely
separate route up to Four Corners.

One Hundred Grand
Once again our great friend John Crock at Hyperspud has offered MAMBA a chance for another 10% Tuesday. For this program, 10% of the funds from sales on the given day are donated to MAMBA! This is pretty simple math.....if John gets $1 million in sales that Tuesday, MAMBA gets
$100,000.00! Put September 9th on your radar for the day to do some *serious* shopping at Hyperspud. There's plenty of interesting stuff in the store for anyone, so whether you're after the latest climbing/camping gear, or just looking for some glasses/bottles/kick-@$$ cornbread/etc., you'll find it in there. I'll probably remind you a dozen times between now and then, but it's a great excuse to shop at a fun, local store.

Cry Babies

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


The RED HOT MAMBA Newsletter
posted 07.11.08

Short Version
  • If more than 15 people show up for the trail party tomorrow, we'll raffle off a cool prize from NRS along with the Follett's prize and some MAMBA maps.
  • Still may be several people who have tools checked out that haven't been brought back yet.

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 4
Scene 2
Style - Talkative Teenage Girl

OMG! I was just at Jonathan's house sharpening and picking up the tools for the MAMBA party tomorrow morning when, like in the back of the shed thingy where the cardboard boxes, spiders, and other creepy crawly things hang out and I was getting the box of gloves so that people like Josh and Tina who didn't bring their own would still have something to wear and they wouldn't get all like blistery and gross stuff on their hands. But under this one box there was a thing with a plastic wrapper on it and OMG!!!! You would never believe. You know how like in the last email newsletter thing I was saying that there wouldn't be many prizes because Jonathan got married and left for a honeymoon, but has a whole lot of the MAMBA raffle prizes at his place somewhere. Well in that plastic bag inside the box in the back of the shed was one of those prizes! It's a super cute, yet highly practical mesh duffel bag that NRS donated for the raffle, and even though John Larkin already won the large mesh bag the NRS donated this year and I was like totally heart broken, although not nearly as heart broken as I was when Bill won the NRS Go-Bag last year. But anyway, we *have* the small mesh bag and I was thinking that if enough people show up - like maybe 15 or more - that along with the free bike tune-up from Follett's and the laminated maps of the MAMBA trails that maybe it would be like mega.....super....crazy....awesome if we raffled off the small NRS bag as well. And even though I usually don't put my name in the runnings for the raffle I would SO TOTALLY put my name in there if I could win the bag. And I totally found a box with the cutest little Cliff Bars in it, so I will bring those along for people to try. But you're still going to want to bring a snack because these are almost like bite-sized Cliff Bars and you'd have to eat like 20 of them to get a real meal.

But the whole visit wasn't all just a rush of excitement and a flurry of fun because when I was sharpening the tools I was kind of like......counting them in my head sort of, not like out loud or with my fingers, or like a total nerd with a clip board or anything, but I kind of noticed that like there are like lots of tools still missing. But don't get all worried like we aren't going to have any tools and that we'll have like 30 people show up for the trail party and we'll all be like digging with our bare hands while one person has a Pulaski and Dan just has a whip to keep everyone all digging 'cause we totally have plenty of tools still but I did kind of mentally note that there's probably like 1 or maybe 5 Pulaskis that are not accounted for. And I know there's at least one on the mountain cause we like to leave one of each tool there so Jim can stop by and work on the trail while he's in the middle of a bike ride, which is like totally crazy because if I were to do a ton of trail work then try to ride back up the mountain....well that just wouldn't happen, but that's just me and Jim is kind of like a Steve Austin (Six Million Dollar Man) where I'm more of a princess who would prefer to have servants to carry me up the mountain.

Oh Crap! I totally have to go. Jeremy is calling in and I *have* to take it! Give all my love to Pookie and Kiddlebunchkins. Hug, Hug, Kiss, Kiss. TTFN-

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


MAMBA Newsletter - Trail Party (with benefits) July 12th
posted 07.10.08

Short Version
  • Trail party this weekend (July 12th); Kathie LaFortune will be providing an on-mountain lunch afterwards!
  • Will be giving away a Free Bike Tune-up from Follett's Mountain Sports and two more laminated MAMBA maps
  • Relatively certain there is no more snow on the mountain
  • Ladies' weekly rides have been moved to Monday evenings
  • NRS is a huge friend of MAMBA

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 4
Scene 1
Style - Very tired person, completely lacking in creative energy

Zzzzzzzzz.....Zzzzzzzzz.....Huh? Oh fudgepops! I was supposed to send out a MAMBA Newsletter on Monday...!

This Saturday, July 12th is another MAMBA trail party...only with a twist. It's the *one* party you'll want to get to if you only make one this year, because the LaFortune family decided to feed the crew at the end. While we're banging away at the soil, Kathie LaFortune will be chopping away in the kitchen. This trail party will be a little longer than normal, as the food is scheduled to arrive around 2:00pm. The good news is that with a healthy, motivated (and large in numbers?) crew, we actually have a chance of finishing Phase I of Gemini this weekend. We need all types of people, so if you're alive, we can use your help. Although if you're on life support, feel free to sit this one out.

Same routine as usual. We'll meet at Rosauers parking lot at 8:45am Saturday, get people signed in for the raffle,  and give a short presentation on the tools used and the process of building trail (along with some general safety guidelines). For raffle items, we'll be giving away a free bike tune-up from Follett's Mountain Sports.And we also have two MAMBA maps to give away as well. We actually have some more prizes, but since Jonathan is away on his honeymoon....I don't know where the prizes are :o(  Needless to say, the two August trail parties, September, (and October?) parties should have plenty of prizes to win.

Bring work gloves if you have them, and boots/socks that can get dirty. You'll want to bring plenty fluids to drink, and a snack to keep you going until the *real* food arrives later in the afternoon. We will probably have 1-2 Wondertools going as well, and those operators may want long pants.

I've got word that almost all the MAMBA trails are open and clear of snow and trees. The only two trails that are still unknown are Over Easy and Wonderpup (the smaller, cutier, and clumsier version of Wonderdog). If you've been on those trails this year, let us know if there's any trees down or repairs necessary.

Aly Lamar informed us that the Ladies' weekly rides have been moved to Monday nights. Meet under the display board at Rosauers by 5:30pm. See the announcement on the Web site for more details. I would have liked to have started some MAMBA rides by now, but I haven't even really ridden my bike yet this year....I'm a little bitter about that at the moment (and generally a lot fatter). But if someone wants to commit to a weekly ride, I'm sure others would like to join in on that too. Just pick a meeting time/place and I'll forward it on to the group.

We at MAMBA are all super excited about Jonathan's recent marriage, even though there was a slightly sad MAMBA side effect. Jonathan has maintained the MAMBA tool storage at his place for many years now, and with a change in house locations that will no longer be the case.

However, our best-friends-in-the-whole-wide-world (cough, cough, Todd Benson, cough) at NRS graciously opened up some space for us to store tools at their place. This means that picking up tools for your own tiny trail parties is going to be more formal than in the past, but that's probably a good thing anyway. You'll have to contact Jim, Jonathan, or myself to get the tools for you after this week.

Lastly, I got a message from New Belgium Brewing with a link to a short film they made. The message is great. Certainly a message I could use a lot more of! Check out the film here.

See you on the trails!

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune
The Dee Double Jay


Weekly Ladies' Rides, Mondays, 5:30pm
posted 07.02.08

Women's Mountain Bike Rides!

Who: All women welcome, all ability levels welcome.

What: A fun group ride on Moscow Mtn, the first several rides will be guided to give you an idea of the mountain and the many trails MAMBA (www.bikemoscow.org) has worked so diligently to create.

When: Every Monday evening in July starting on July 14th. 5:30pm-7:30ish (depending on our choice of trails)

Where: Meet at the Rosauer’s parking lot in Moscow under the display board at 5:30pm every Monday. Bring a vehicle if you have one, or just bring your bike to carpool.

Why: Meet other women riders, learn Moscow Mtn trails, gain experience and have fun on awesome singletrack!

Contact: Aly Lamar, aly@pcei.org

ride on . . . .

Aly Lamar


Party Summary, Tibits, Trail Updates.....but wait!!!! There's More!!!
posted 06.26.08

Summary (technically it's more like a preview since it's at the beginning)
  • Trail party last weekend (June 21st) was highly productive, but short-handed
  • Follett's (Bruce!) dropped by and gave us a bunch of raffle prizes
  • Next trail party is July 12th
  • *All* the MAMBA loppers are currently missing
  • Lower Tusk will be closed for the next month - other options exist
  • Scott and Sherrie Metlen deserve a huge pat on the back/hug for clearing a TON of the trails this year
  • Watch out for Mama and two baby bear cubs - South face of the mountain


MAMBA Newsletter
Act 3
Scene 3
Style - Auctioneer

Trail BuildingEarrrrrrrly last Saturday morning a small group of MAMBAites gathered at Rosauers ONE person was there, then TWO, here come Two more making FOUR. FOUR people were there and they started talking. FOUR people were there and they all knew each other beforehand but had not seen one another for at least several days and we killed lots of time just talking about stuff while we were waiting. ONE of the people was getting worried that with a sore back already and only FOUR people to work it was going to be a very long and unrewarding day, but then out of the blue ONE person showed up making the total FIVE. FIVE people were there and the more recent acquisition was new to the group so there were lots of introductions but in the middle of the introductions TWO more people showed up making the total SEVEN. SEVEN people were at the truck talking and we decided to raffle off some stuff. ONE person showed up (Bruce from Follett's) and dropped off THREE free bike tune-ups for us to raffle off this season and he said "thanks, but I have to go open up the shop so I can't go with you" so we were back to SEVEN. Lorena Brown won a free bike tune-up which is a good thing because her hubby is a mechanical engineer but is probably too busy to keep all the bikes tidy like they could be (Ha! Just joking Chris!). Then ONE of us began to notice a little tension/envy so we decided to have ONE more drawing and Nick Fuller won a laminated MAMBA map which he will cherish and hand down for TWO generations. But Maike Holthuijzen really wanted a map so on the way home we pretended that she won a raffle and gave her a laminated MAMBA map as well. ONE Saturday morning with THREE prized given away and only SEVEN people there to work going once, twice....SOLD!

The crew of SEVEN worked like a pack of oxen and just as we were tiring TWO more people showed up and grabbed some tools. With NINE people on the crew we could not be stopped. We banged out 0.15 miles of gorgeous trail before calling it quits, which is about as far as a crew of 15 usually get.

Trail BuildingWhile the crew of NINE was strong, the trail is long. We still have ONE 0.15 mile stretch left, followed by ONE 0.07 mile stretch. If we have a good turnout next trail party there is a slight chance we could finish Phase I of Gemini. The next MAMBA trail party will be on July 12th. No doubt you'll get ONE, TWO, or many more reminders before then.

ONE Friday morning we were sharpening all the MAMBA tools and loading up the truck and ONE of the people was looking for the loppers and found ZERO. The checkout sheet said there were TWO checked out, but since we normally have TEN or more we were trying to figure out there the other NINE were. TWO of us remembered where TWO more may be, but that still leaves SEVEN unaccounted for. This means that MAMBA really needs to buy some more loppers, but please consider bringing some back if you have them - at least for the trail parties.

Rob Dudley emailed me to let us know that they would be doing a little logging on the Lower Tusk. Lower Tusk is ONE trail that has another trail connect in to it (Sidewinder). For about ONE month they will be logging in the area near the little bridge and in order to avoid ONE or TWO people getting squashed by trees we should avoid that trail for the next several weeks. If you find you want to ride Sidewinder, too bad. You can now use Rock & a Hard Place, or Lickity Split to get from the Four Corners Parking area from the Dyer Meadow.

Lots of MAMBA members have been up on the mountain doing individual trail clearing projects. We haven't spend ONE MAMBA day doing trail clearing, and there was a lot of trees and brush over the trail this Spring. If you happen to run in to some of these folks, thank them for getting virtually all the MAMBA trails cleared this year.

I've gotten TWO reports that indicate that there is ONE mama black bear with at least ONE other little cub running around on the south side of the mountain. While the cubs may be cute, mama doesn't like it when bikers get too close. Keep your eyes out for them and give them some space.

Dan - ONE - Cordon
Jonathan - TWO - Lomber
Jim - THREE - LaFortune
Hey - FOUR - You-over-there


MAMBA Trail Party Reminder - June 21st
posted 06.19.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 3
Scene 2
Style - Psychologiest Office Visit

Trail BuildingHi, and welcome. Have a seat, whereever makes you most comfortable. I understand you are here because you want to improve some aspect of your life and I think that is just fantastic. I'm honored that you've asked me to be part of this process. Before we get started, I'd like to ask you some questions.

Do you know Misha Manucheri? She was present on the September 29th MAMBA trail party last year and because of her participation she has won the raffle for Salmon River Experience raft trip (donated by the always-gracious Chuck Boyd from SRE). Unfortunately, she has one small problem...I don't know how to contact her. If you have an idea of how to get in touch with her, please let me know asap.

I see from your chart that you're planning to go to the MAMBA trail party this Saturday, June 21st. Is that because of your love for outdoors? Or your desire to contribute to the construction of the new Gemini? I would recommend a few things before you leave on this trip. You'll want some gloves and some shoes you don't mind getting dirty. You will also want to bring fluids to drink and a snack to eat during the day. And, of course, you'll want to meet at the Rosauers parking lot by 8:45am that morning so you can carpool to the trailhead.
You'll want to plan some other afternoon activity though, as they are usually finished by 2:00pm.

Tell me how you feel about personal safety. Would you be unhappy if a large tree were to fall on you? I only ask because Rob Dudley mentioned that they will be doing some logging just north of the East Twin starting next week and working part-time over the next month. This will probably impact the Tusks (upper and lower) trails. If possible you'll want to avoid that area until we have word that it's safe to ride over there. I know nothing upsets me more than people getting squished by trees. How do you feel about that?

Trail BuildingAre you tired of riding Headwaters? Are you looking for something different? Well, thanks to many MAMBA individuals, all of the trails between Headwaters and Nemesis are cleared of trees. And the late summer weather has melted the snow on most of the trails. Even Cave Trail is open. Over Easy is an unknown, but Blonde Jeans still has some snow on the east end by Cedar Grove. Don't you think a ride up Cabin Trail and over to Paradise Point would really set your mind at ease? And think of the relaxation you would feel after riding Triple Crown, North Contour, and Cave Trail on your way back.

Well, it looks like out time is already up. It's not that I suddenly stopped caring about you, it is just that I'm scheduled to care about someone different in about 5 minutes, and I really need some Valium and some time to decompress after our visits. See you next week.

Abbreviated Newsletter
(also suitable for those with short attention spans)
- Misha Manucheri....how do I contact you?
- Trail party this Saturday starting at 8:45 am from Rosauers parking lot.
- Avoid the Tusks for the next few weeks.
- Enjoy the recently cleared trails.

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Weekly Ladies' Rides, Thursdays, 5:30pm
posted 06.11.08

Women's Mountain Bike Rides!

Who: All women welcome, all ability levels welcome.

What: A fun group ride on Moscow Mtn, the first several rides will be guided to give you an idea of the mountain and the many trails MAMBA (www.bikemoscow.org) has worked so diligently to create.

When: Every Thursday evening in June, July and August. 5:30pm-7:30ish (depending on our choice of trails)

Where: Meet at the Rosauer’s parking lot in Moscow under the display board at 5:30pm every Thursday. Bring a vehicle if you have one, or just bring your bike to carpool.

Why: Meet other women riders, learn Moscow Mtn trails, gain experience and have fun on awesome singletrack!

Contact: Aly Lamar, aly@pcei.org

ride on . . . .

Aly Lamar


MAMBA Food Party and SRE Raffle, June 6, 6pm
posted 06.03.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 3
Scene 1
Style - Nursery Rhyme

Early one morning, last Saturday,
twelve MAMBA members came out to play.
Now Matt Morra is everyone's bud
with 35 bucks good at Hyperspud.

Lorena Brown can be the new trail guide,
a laminated MAMBA map shows her where the trails hide.
With tools in the truck and a sky full of sun,
we drove towards the mountain for hard work and fun.

We hiked up the trail, McLeods cleared the duff,
while Pulaskis and Grub Hoes moved dirt and stuff.
The sun was hot, but the crew wouldn't fail.
Thank them for 1/4 mile of nicely groomed trail.

We're nearly complete with "Gemini stage one."
But there's still point-four miles to be done.
With one large crew, we can finish next time
On June 21st, join our fire line.

Now for the good food and drinks for your liver,
and the awesome raffle to float Salmon River.
It's the MAMBA Food Party, here's your invitation
June 6th, 6 pm, make no hesitation

If the weather is crummy, we'll do it inside
If the weather is nice, drive over, or ride
Shoshone St. is just past the new roundabout
###'s the address - Google your route

We'll have some cold beverage, and a BBQ going
Here's a list of things you might want to bring
Plates and utensils, family and friends,
something to grill if our food supply ends

The raffle will happen promptly at seven
Some lucky chap will win rafting heaven
If you don't do trail builds, that's fine, we don't care
Come to the party 'cause we'll all be there.

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


MAMBA Trail Party Saturday May 31
posted 05.30.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 2
Scene 3
Style - Used Car Salesman

I noticed you've been checking out the MAMBA Trail Party. Let me tell you a little about this baby. If I had to sum it up in a word - Dependable. You can count on this one for sure. This Saturday, May 31st, the MAMBA Trail Party is definitely going to happen. But I wouldn't feel right about myself if I didn't tell you that others have been looking at the MAMBA Trail Party as well. If you wait too long, you may miss out on this one. Sure, there will be other trail parties, but this one....it's over this weekend. And if you don't jump on it, someone else will.

You want to take it for a test drive? Sure thing. Hop in and we'll take a trip around the block. You have your Pulaskis here - there the ax/hoe looking tool. The McLeod's are over there to your left - looking like a very much like an industrial rake. In the back is the Wondertool - like a hedge trimmer on steroids! And under the hood, that's the chain saw - one of the basic necessities that drive this beast. But to really experience it, you need to show up at Rosauers on Saturday the 31st by 8:45 am. Look for a black and red truck with a bunch of tools in the back.

Now, before you sign on the purchase of this MAMBA Trail party, I need you to be aware of two other things. First...the undercoating. If you don't buy it, the whole thing may very well fall apart on your way home. But second, and most important, is the June 6th MAMBA Party. Don't get this confused with the MAMBA *Trail* Party. The June 6th MAMBA Party does not involve all the fancy-schmancy tools. June 6th just involves getting together with like-minded friends on a Friday evening to relax, eat some fresh grilled food, and maybe win something like a raft trip from Salmon River Experience. Everything you need to know about the June 6th MAMBA Party is in the packet inside the glove box. Oh, snookers!

It's not there! I'll send you a brand new one just as soon as I get one in. Then you'll know everything there is to know about the MAMBA Party on June 6th.

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


MAMBA Trail Party Saturday May 31
posted 05.27.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 2
Scene 2
Style - Biblical Verses

Jim 4:56
Behold! An Angel did speak to me in a dream. And they spake to me saying "Hark! Cease building the large wooden boat from your previous vision. Instead, gather together your people on May the 31st (unless the Holy One doth give great rain or horrible storm that day). Pick up your tools, so that your spirits and hearts may be uplifted. Work the earth so that a gateway to the Heavens (I'm pretty sure they meant Four Corners) may be constructed."

Let us assemble at the Rosauers parking lot at 8:45am for a caravan to the Mountain. No tools/skill/experience required. Bring some rugged footwear, gloves, water, and something to snack upon. Manna may fall from the sky, but don't necessarily plan for it. John at Hyperspud hath generously donated a $35 gift certificate, which will be raffled off to the participants this Saturday. We always appreciate John's support of us, and hope that our appreciation is returned to them as well. A different lucky, but not *as* lucky, volunteer will also get one of the laminated 8.5 x 11 MAMBA trail maps - complete with the names and GPS traces of all the MAMBA maintained trails on the mountain.

Jonathan 1:14
Behold! Another angel (Aly Bean) did also speak to me via email. She said something like "Hark! While the men to toil with needless bickering and displays of masculinity, the women of MAMBA shall have great opportunity for Ladies Rides each week. The plan is to meet weekly at the Rosauers parking lot at 5:30 pm on Thursdays - starting June 5th. Let Aly know if you are interested, or if you are interested, but are not available Thursdays. There are many stories about these "Ladies Rides." Some rumors include pajama parties and pillow fights, but the more credible sources simply tell me that they are a blast, and I'm not invited w/o a gender change operation.

Daniel 6:97
Behold! A third, more masculine pair of angels did send a heavenly message to my inbox declaring the clearing of Asotin Creek Trail. Ike Andrews and Brian Johnson let it be known that the downed trees have been removed. They are also considering organizing a group ride at Asotin Creek some time. When the Spirit moves them to do so, I'm sure they will send us the word.

Johnny 5:3
Behold! The faux-phets (should sound a little like "prophets") Jim LaFortune, Jonathan Lomber, and I have planned more than one month in advance (it seemed like a good idea at the time). For this year, the proposed Trail Parties are:

  • May 31, 2008
  • June 21, 2008
  • July 12, 2008
  • August 2, 2008
  • August 30, 2008

These are all Saturdays, and if there is horrible weather, but promising weather for Sunday we will consider postponing a day. If that happens, and email will be sent, and a messenger will be waiting at Rosauers to let anyone know. So far, I don't think we've had to do this, but it
*could* happen.

Chuck 15:10
Behold! A MAMBA Party (not "Trail Party" just "Party") is planned for the evening of Friday, June 6th. This will be a potluck gathering of sorts. Think of it as the end-of-last-year party that never happened, because that's exactly what it is. We'll have the raffle for the Salmon River Experience, some good food, and friendship. Location and time TBD. Hopefully I'll have that ironed out soon.

Geminia 8:34
Behold! As sure as the sun doth rise in the morning, so hath the snow melted from most of the mountain. However, the wind hath blown in great fury over the winter, and the trees of iniquity have fallen across many trails. If there are any volunteers who are comfortable with a chain saw, we would love to organize 1-2 small groups to head to a few key areas and saw/wondertool some of the trails in the next few weeks. Let us know if you're interested in leading/participating in a tiny-trail party.


Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Gemini update
posted 05.13.08

Hello MAMBA-philiacs,

Last Saturday six bikers and two dogs cranked out another 1/4 mile or so of sweet, handcrafted singletrack. In fact, the first 1/ 1/2 mile segment of Gemini might be ready to ride by late June/early July, if we get big turnouts for the next couple of trail construction parties. If you'd like to ride the piece we've built so far, pedal about 2/3 mile up Moscow Mtn Rd from the gate. Look for evidence of new trail building on the left—about 1/2 mile before Warnick Rd splits off from Moscow Mtn Rd.

Call for MAMBA Volunteers

If there were such a thing as a MAMBA wish list, I'd include a couple items:

Wish #1) is for someone to brush out the second 1/3 of a mile of Gemini before the next big trail party. Please contact Jim LaFortune or Dan Cordon if you are thinking of doing this (or just go for it and put the orange flags on the tread before you toss the branches, so the ground crew can follow the line).

Wish #2) is for a couple of folks to step up and offer to learn how to lead MAMBA trail parties once or twice a year, so that we'd have a wider pool of trained leaders. This would help stave off burnout amongst Dan, Jonathan, and Jim, who currently lead all the outings. Please let us know if you're interested. In addition to undying gratitude and adulation of the masses, you'll get a free one-year subscription to MAMBA's amazing new Web site with its detailed, downloadable trail maps, found at www.bikemoscow.org. Woo-Hoo!

In other Gemini news, John Larkin won the Volunteer Incentive prize last Saturday, a fine mesh duffel bag donated by NRS. Sweetness. Thank-you, NRS! Next time out we'll be giving away another mesh bag and perhaps a $25 gift certificate from Paradise Creek Bikes too.

And from the "Put-It-On-Your-Calendar" Dept, here's a reminder of MAMBA's giganto-fantastic Gemini Construction Fiesta on Saturday, May 31st! Details to follow, so don't touch that dial.

Current Trail Conditions

Headwaters, South Side, Switchblade, Moose Marbles, and Hey Noose are open and cleared of fallen tree debris. You'll have to dismount for a half dozen or so bigger logs if you head out South Side and Switchblade, but it's easy to get around them. These bigger logs will require a chainsaw to remove, if anyone would like to saw them out. Regarding persistent snow, as of May 12, 2008 there are two patches of snow on South Side (each less than 100 yards long), none on Headwaters, none on Switchblade, almost none on Hey Noose, and one deep spot for about 100 yards on the lower part of Deep Vee (near Paradise Point).

Yours in singletrack lust,

Jim LaFortune


MAMBA Trail Party this Saturday May 10
posted 05.06.08

Hello MAMBAnauts,

Gemini beckons the blades of our berm-building, bike-loving, bodacious, bombalicious trail builders. Or whatever...

What: trail party ON

When: Saturday, May 10, 2008

Where: meet at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow at 8:45 AM for the volunteer prize drawing—a SWEET mesh duffle bag donated by NRS!

Who: everyone is welcome, especially graduating UI students who'd rather be productive than listen to 'inspirational' graduation speeches (just kidding). Seriously, no experience is necessary, on-the-job training, great benefits (um, sorry; no health care). You could even build singletrack with us till noon and still make it to the ceremony on time. Woo-hoo ;-)

What to bring: lunch, water, sturdy footwear and a desire to meet great folks who might share their favorite North Idaho ride with you later this summer...Marble Creek, anyone?

More info: Email Jim LaFortune

Rain date: in case of heavy rain Saturday, meet at the same time/location on Sunday

Trust me, Gemini is the tail that's going to wag the dog, so be part of history and help build it!

I hope to see you Saturday,

Jim LaFortune


No Trail Party Saturday, May 3rd
posted 05.02.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 2
Scene 1
Style - Drill Sergeant




Dan - The Warden - Cordon
Jonathan - The Lopper - Lomber
Jim - Don't Think I Won't - LaFortune


MAMBA Newsletter - Call for Trail Party Leader
posted 04.30.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 1
Scene 3
Style - Enthusiastic Preacher
(I should probably install a lightning rod before sending this out)

CanIgetan AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-MEN!! Today I'm feeling the power of MAMBA. Are you feeling the power of MAMBA?!!!! Have you let MAMBA in to your life?!!!!

On the holy day of May 3rd, MAMBA wants your help. MAMBA needs a leader to stand up and say "I'm your humble servant, ready to lead your army for a day." The three current leaders are not in the good graces of MAMBA, being unable to lead a trail party that day. If you feel up to the task (ie: you can fog up a cold mirror), then let us know asap so we can spread the word....the great word of MAMBA trail parties. If no champion can be found for this weekend, we will have to wail and gnash our teeth in sorrow. But never fear....there is another trail party planned for May 31st, so plan ahead and skip your other church outings that day :o)

The great MAMBA spirit has made it known to me that several of our congregation did not receive the last newsletter (European Football Announcer). The past newsletters are all on the "Announcements" page on our Web site (www.bikemoscow.org). If you did not get the last one, let me know and I'll double check that you are on the list - to be counted among the CHOOOOOOOSEN people. CanIgetan AAAAAMEN!!

Speaking of the Web site.....the new MAMBA site went live last Thursday. All the things you hold dear from the previous site are still present. What is new (passing the collection plate around) is a "member login" area. Those who have paid their annual membership dues (possible via either Paypal or check-in-the-mail) will be blessed with even greater access to trail information. The old trail descriptions are still on the site and free for all those who open their hearts (and Web browsers) to www.bikemoscow.org. However, those who have sacrificed their $15 will be granted access to enhanced descriptions - including trail ratings, maps of the trail system, and GPS files of most trails (three common formats). (klang, kling, glang) The collection plate is already filling, blessed be all our new members! For a free demo, click the "Sample Trail" icon found near the "Join MAMBA" buttons around the site. The members area will continue to improve throughout the year with updated trail descriptions (turn-by-turn) for each route, and maybe even some video clips. Your membership dues help us keep the tools maintained and let us purchase materials for trail/bridge construction.

MAMBA wishes to thank Hugo Lecomte and the many sponsors of the Moscow Bike Prize Ride (Tri-State, Gritman Medical Center, Paradise Creek Bicycles, Moscow Bagel & Deli, Bucer's Coffeehouse Pub, North Idaho Athletic Club, and the Moscow Food CO-OP). Nearly 200 people showed up for the event—with all of the proceeds going to benefit the Latah Trail Foundation.

MAMBA also wished to recognize our Brother Todd Benson at NRS, who provided MAMBA a solution for our tool storage dilemma that could not be refused. Todd and the group at NRS are going to save MAMBA hundreds of dollars per year - so we owe them a huge thank you. They've asked for nothing in return, but we should make an attempt to return the favor.
Make sure visit at their store/warehouse on 2009 South Main in Moscow. They've got much more than rafting equipment, so check them out for summer apparel, Chaco sandals (my favorite), and plenty of other goodies.

And one last "thank you" goes out to our Brother Bruce Hoff at Follett's Mountain Sports. Bruce also offered a solution to our tool storage problem. Even though we didn't use it (yet), the offer was genuine. Whatever gear you can't find at NRS, be sure to stop in Follett's for the rest of your biking needs.

Choir...take us out with an uplifting hymn of "The Wheels on the Bike go Round and Round!"

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Last Minute Trail Party
posted 04.25.08

Hello MAMBA People of the World,

I'm going to spend a few hours constructing tread on Gemini (near Moscow Mtn Rd) on Saturday morning, April 26th. I know there is a lot of other stuff going on, but if you'd like to join me, please reply to this email or give me a call.

I'll probably depart from my house around 9am. We could even put a few tools in a BOB trailer and get a workout en route to/from the mountain. It is Earth Week, after all...

See you on the new singletrack,

Jim LaFortune

P.S. Thanks to Jason Aplanalp, who cut the fallen trees off Headwaters Trail last weekend. He reports that it will be a couple more weeks before enough snow melts off Headwaters to be rideable. Hang in there, singletrack-aholics!


Trail Party Report and Upcoming Events
posted 04.24.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 1
Scene 2
Style - European Football Announcer

April 19th, six sinister studs emerge from the locker room - John Larkin, Todd Benson, Martin Chilvers, David Blue, Jason Aplanalp, and Jim - The Lumberjack - LaFortune. With nothing but chainsaws and determination they make their way nearly 1 mile through the brush, dodging severe snow patches along the way. Certainly the question on every views mind.....did they complete the entire GOOOOOOOOOOAL?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. But this is a war, not a single battle. This fearsome team of six fought with the strength of ten. By the time the Gemini is done, we'll need at least 100 people (acting with the strength of 139). For the sensational six who made the first trail party happen - we owe you a thank YOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Upcoming news:
Hugo Lecomte has done a fantastic job organizing the first annual Moscow Bike Prize Ride - taking place this Saturday, April 26th. All profits will benefit the Latah Trail Foundation. The event starts at 9:00am at the 1912 Center. Registration costs $10 (or free with a bike rental receipt from Paradise Creek). Show up with a bike and ride to five local stores where you will draw a card (regular playing card). Return to the 1912 Center by 11:00am for the score sheets to be tallied (poker scoring).

The better the hand, the bigger the prize! There are EIGHT bikes to be given away, along with other great prizes like MP3 players. But wait! Sneaking through the center.......across the high desert......what if there's SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW? Not a problem, the Moscow Bike Prize Ride is still a GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Actually, the weather is supposed to be fantastic).

Also at this event, MAMBA will have a table set up that *hopefully* has the new Web site on display. Paying dues ($15/year) will get you access to the member area of the site, featuring new maps and GPS files. Payment will be accepted via credit card through Paypal (or possibly bribing the webmasters?). With the new maps, you should never have a question about where you want to GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You'll be in the KNOOOOOOOOOOW!

For those with moral objection to activities involving a) playing cards, b) riding bicycles at 9am Saturday mornings, or c) supporting the Latah Trail Foundation in an event where you may win big.....you will probably want to skip the Prize Ride. Instead, get involved with PCEI's 18th Annual Paradise Creek Stream Clean Up - also starting at 9am Saturday, April 26th. Meet at PCEI's new location at 1040 Rodeo Drive. Visit http://www.pcei.org/calendar.htm for more details. And bring some warm clothes because there's a good chance the creek is a little COOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD! Snow melts in the mountains, making the water COOOOOOOOOLD!

Upcoming Mamba Trail Parties:
We are so excited about the new Gemini trail that we want to have two trail parties in May. The first will be the weekend of May 3rd, and the second will be the weekend of May 31st. I've been quite ill for a few weeks (not feeling well, for those who incorrectly translated this to mean that I'm "wicked sick, one bad Mo, and generally rockin' this Bee-oat"). Jim may/may not be available to lead the trail party on the 3rd, and I'm unsure if I'll be healthy enough by then. If someone is willing to serve as the champion for the 3rd, please let Jim, Jonathan, or I know. You'll probably want to go for a quick scouting run with Jim before then if you weren't at the last party. With good member support, by the end of the season we have a chance to meet our new trail GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL! We won't have to ride to Four Corners on the ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAD!

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Gemini trail party reminder
posted 04.18.08

Spring on, trail lovers!

Despite the weather forecast, this is your official reminder that we plan to begin clearing brush on Gemini this Saturday, April 19.

Meet at Rosauers at 8:45am.

We may still go out, even if it's a little wet, since we probably won't be working the dirt anyway. If the weather is questionable (eg; snow on the ground in town), call me (Jim) around 8 AM Saturday (home 882-9366, cell 208 301-0625) or just meet at Rosauers so we can decide together.

If the weather doesn't allow us to begin work on Gemini on Saturday, then Sunday will be the rain date. I'll send an email Saturday PM if we'll be playing with chainsaws on Sunday.

Hoppy Trails,

Jim LaFortune


April MAMBA Script - Trail Party Saturday the 19th
posted 04.16.08

MAMBA Newsletter
Act 1
Scene 1
Style - Soap Opera

You: MAMBA....I haven't heard from you in such a long time. Have you lost your love for me?

MAMBA: Heavens no! I love you as I have always loved you....like the sea loves the wind...like grass loves nitrites, carbon dioxide, and just the right amount of water. I love you because I need you...I am not whole without you.

You: Ohhhhh, MAMBA......(kiss, kiss, pause)....I desire to show my love for you. How may I do it?

MAMBA: Funny you should ask. Despite the large snow pack still remaining, MAMBA's #1 lover - Jim - is going to lead a trail party to work on the new Gemini (Jim and I?) trail this Saturday, April 19th (with a rain/snow day alternative on Sunday). This new route will allow us to pedal from near the bottom of Moscow Mtn Rd all the way to Four Corners. Because of the low elevation and southern exposure, you, me, and a bunch of my other MAMBA lovers can engage in the dirty activity of brush clearing this new trail.

You: MAMBA!!! I *love* it when you talk to me like that...tell me more!

MAMBA: All right then....Meet me, and the rest of my lovers at 8:45 AM on April 19th at the southeast corner of the Rosauers on North Main St. in Moscow. Bring a chainsaw if you own one, lunch, water, chocolate, more chocolate, sturdy footwear, work gloves, and that "special thing" you and I looked at last week, the name of which I dare not utter aloud.

You: Yes MAMBA! Yes MAMBA! I will do it! But just one more
question....*Why* must we doing this?

MAMBA: Because it must be done. Gemini will be as essential for access to the Four Corners area as Headwaters is to the west end of the mountain. I know how much you love the west end...but just you wait until you've had the middle. As they say: "Once you go middle, the west end seems little."

You: Before I agree to this, is there anything else I should know about?

MAMBA: Oh yes....there are three VERY important announcements you must hear:

  • The new MAMBA Web site is scheduled to be launched soon....perhaps even on April 26th. My two code junkies have been slaving away all winter for this update so expect some major changes. As part of these changes, paying membership dues will be required to access the new trail information, but there is now an option to pay with a credit card through Paypal. The content isn't complete yet, but it will continually be updated throughout the season. I think you're really going to love this.
  • There is also going to be a Moscow Bicycle Prize Ride to benefit the Latah Trail Foundation on April 26th. It begins at 9:00 am at the 1912 center, and runs until 11:00 am. There is a $10 registration fee, but there are also eight (8) bicycles being given away to registered participants!!! I will send out more details as the event gets closer.
  • The MAMBA tool storage shed is going away (ie: MAMBA's #1 lover, Jonathan, is moving to a new house and the shed isn't coming with him) and we're looking for other options for tool storage. If you know anyone who can get us a good deal on a small rental storage unit, or someone with an unused shed....we're looking for a new home.

You: Ohhhh MAMBA...(kiss, kiss, embrace, light jazz music in the background, fade to darkness)

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber
Jim LaFortune


Devil's Slide Bike Race, April 13, 2008
posted 02.19.08

MAMBA Cyclists,

Twin Rivers Cyclists - Devils SlideIf you haven't heard, the Twin Rivers Cyclists' Cross Country Mountain Bike Race, Devil's Slide, is on again this year! The race takes place in Hell's Gate State Park, Lewiston, Idaho. Each lap is about 6 miles, with 700 ft elevation change. The date is set for Sunday, April 13th, 2008 at 11:00 am. Mail entry forms must be received by Wednesday, April 10, 2008.

Follow the link provided here to the Twin Rivers Cyclists' Devil's Slide race for entry forms and more information.

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber


Backcountry Film Festival and Fundraiser - Moscow Mtn Cedars
posted 01.22.


While many of us are on a mountain bike hibernation, Mike Beiser has been putting together an outdoor film festival featuring seven great film by grassroots filmmakers. Mark Solomon will be opening the ceremony with comments about the Giant Ceder Grove. So walk/ride over to Hyperspud Sports or the UI Outdoor program and get your tickets! Below is a copy of the press release:


Moscow, Idaho - The U of I Outdoor Program is hosting the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival. The festival is Thursday, January 24th at 6:30 p.m. in the UI Borah Theatre. Tickets for the film festival will be $4 for UI students and $5 for everyone else. Tickets can be bought in advance at the U of I Outdoor Program office or Hyperspud Sports in downtown Moscow. The evening will be a fundraiser for protection and awareness of the Moscow Mtn Giant Cedar Grove.

The festival showcases inspirational and thought-provoking films from grassroots filmmakers that will inform you about backcountry and environmental issues as well as entertain you with exceptional skiing.
Local conservationist, Mark Solomon, will provide opening commentary to the evening on the Giant Cedar Grove.

WWA’s signature event promotes human-powered winter sports such as backcountry and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking and camping, as well as to raise awareness of WWA’s work on issues affecting quiet winter enthusiasts and winter ecosystems.

The film program is a combination of short films and longer films. Topics range from climate change and its effects on winter recreation, to a story about a rafting and skiing expedition on the wild Alsek River in the Yukon produced by a UI alumnus Scott Rulander. Hybrid.Pedal, a film about a thousand-mile bike ride from Portland to Salt Lake to draw attention to endangered wildlands in the Western US, is the only non-winter film. It features work by Conservation Alliance grantees and their efforts to protect wild ecosystems including Winter Wildlands’ campaign to protect an area in Utah’s Logan Canyon for human-powered winter recreation.

Funds from this event will support WWA’s public lands and youth education programs as well as their national policy work to advocate for the responsible stewardship of pristine winter wildlands. Funds will also benefit the continued preservation and awareness of the Moscow Mtn Giant Cedar Grove. This wonderful area for human-powered winter travel is one of the last remaining cedar / tamarack habitat types in the world.

For more information, please contact the ASUI Outdoor Program.

Dan Cordon
Jonathan Lomber