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Announcements 2009

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MAMBA news
posted 11.09.09

Snow on Moscow Mountain 11-08-09Greetings, trail-loving friends,

Before I forget, I'm told that there has been a cougar spotted near Cabin Trail a few days ago, so make some noise when hiking or biking in that area. I suggest shouting "Hello!", as it's easier than "Look out kitty cougar, here I come!" Be especially cautious near sunrise and sunset.

In other news, four MAMBA members and a dozen WSU Sigma Chi fraternity gentlemen finished linking up the bottom segment of LaFortunes Flight last Saturday, so if the weather permits, check it out this autumn. We hope to gain permission from Bennett Lumber Products to extend the singletrack next summer all the way to the top of Nemesis. Please remember that the gate at the bottom of Moscow Mtn Rd will be closed and locked sometime in the next few weeks.

Before I forget, I want to give a HUGE shout out to MAMBA superstars Scott and Sherrie Metlen. Without their ongoing efforts on Gemini and the new LaFortunes Flight, we would still be barely up to Four Corners on Gemini. Seriously, gang. If I spray painted a line around everything those two built, I'd get arrested for mountain graffiti. So if you see Scott and Sherrie out biking or perhaps skiing later this winter, give them some of your chocolate, because they earned it.

On a completely different subject, if you are interested in sweet, groomed cross-country ski trails up at North-South Divide (approx 30 minute drive NE of Potlatch, Idaho), plan to attend the Palouse Divide ski club meeting this Wednesday, Nov 11 at 7:30pm at the Moscow 1912 Building—Fiske room. The ski club is growing and planning very cool snowy stuff for us. Please help them out. And when you buy your Idaho Snow Park Permit (available at Hyperspud Sports on Main St in Moscow), designate Palouse Divide (or it might be called North-South Divide) as the area that should receive monetary support from your purchase.

Hope to see you on the skis soon,

Jim LaFortune

PS Footnote to the big benefit dance/auction for the LaFortunes last Saturday night to help pay Jim's med expenses related to his brain tumor.....(drumroll please!) The Unofficial Total $$ gathered just Saturday evening???

(more drumroll please...)

Over $36,000.




Trail Party Finale Nov 7
posted 11.01.09

MAMBA members,

I know I promised that last Saturday, Oct 31'st would be the last trail construction fiesta of 2009.

Hey, I lied.

Trail designer, Scott Metlen, tells me that LaFortunes Flight is only about 300 yards from linking with the upper part of Warnicks cabin access rd. Ay, so close!

Since the weather appears to be drier this coming week, let's try to link it up next Saturday, Nov 7. The trails are in great shape right now and we can create a loopable ride for the next few weeks of autumn access.

Meet:  Rosauers at 8:45am to carpool.

Date: Saturday, Nov 7

Bring:  lunch, water, snacks, work gloves if you own some, sturdy footwear.

All volunteers are welcome, whether you've ever helped build trail previously or not.

Hope to see you there!

Jim LaFortune



Last MAMBA trail work day of the season
posted 10.26.09

MAMBA friends,

This Saturday, Oct 31, is the final trail construction party of MAMBA's 2009 season. Woo hoo on, baby!

Meet no later than 8am at the U of Idaho Student Rec Center big Outdoor Program garage doors.

Bring water, lunch, gloves if you own 'em. Wear sturdy footwear.

If it's pouring rain at 7am, go back to sleep.

We'll be working on a new trail near Cabin Trail, tentatively named LaFortunes Flight. If we get a large enough group, we might even be able to link up a section and ride it yet this autumn. Sweet!

For more info, contact Trevor Fulton, tgfulton@uidaho.edu.

Hope to see you Saturday,

Jim LaFortune



Sunday, Oct 18 Trail Party
posted 10.15.09

Hello Trailheads,

The UI and WSU Ski/Snowboard teams are heading to Moscow Mtn this Sunday to work on a new trail that is being built to the north of Cabin Trail. The new route will eventually connect the top of Nemesis to Warnick Rd. Join the mega-team for an afternoon in the woods! Four weeks ago over forty volunteers showed up to finish Gemini. Righteous!

The new trail name is still evolving, but the trail design folks are leaning toward LaFortunes Flight. If you have an inspired idea, send it to Dan Cordon.

Time: meet at noon Sunday, Oct 18

Where: meet at Mountain View park, which is in the NE corner of Moscow

Bring: lunch, water, work gloves if you have some, sturdy footwear

Weather: if it's pissing rain at 11 AM, go back to sleep, eh?

Party on,

Jim LaFortune



Donations Needed for Jimmy La Benefit -- ASAP
posted 10.12.09

Update 10/25/09:

The gathering of auction items is now closed. View a list of the auction items available at the Jim LaFortune Bebefit Dance and Auction Web site.

Jim LaFortune Benefit Dance


MAMBA-bro Dan here. Unless you've been living under a rock you probably know by now what the LaFortune family has been up to lately. (And if not, then get yourself over to http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimlafortune - and sign the Guestbook while you're there!) Jim and Kathie are the father (and mother) of MAMBA. Without Jim's vision and persistent efforts to enhance local singletrack opportunities, we would not have access to the inner beauty (and convenience) of Moscow Mtn via a fantastic trail network. Jim and Kathie have given an indescribable amount of themselves to our community and now we have an opportunity to give a little back in return. No, I'm not talking about sweat equity this time. Betsy Goodman has been helping to organize a benefit dance (see the flyer at:
http://www.bikemoscow.org/benefit.pdf ) for the LaFortune family. As part of this benefit, they are going to have a silent auction where they auction off *goods* and *services*. This is where we come in!

Any type of service is welcome. A bike tour of Moscow Mtn, a hike through Cedar Grove, cooking a dinner for someone, bike tune-ups, mowing a lawn or raking leaves....use your imagination! Okay, maybe not every kind of service....but any service you can legally perform will probably be a welcome addition to the auction :o) Also, I'm sure most of us have a fairly large accumulation of bicycles and/or parts. If they're good enough for you to have hung onto for the past 5 years, they're probably worth something at the auction. You'll free up space, someone will get use out of your dusty, vintage equipment—and the proceeds go to a pretty darn good cause.

The important thing is to send your offer to: helpers.lafortunes@gmail.com Give your name and contact information, along with what you have to offer. But time is critical! I'm sure they would appreciate it if you could send your offer to them ASAP (this week please).

Oh, and mark your calendars. . .

Jim LaFortune Benefit Dance (& Silent Auction)
Saturday, Nov 7th, 7:00pm
Eastside Market Place—old Kramer Furniture room

Thanks as always. Let's do this!

Dan Cordon


Sept 20 Gemini Trail Party Report
posted 10.02.09

LaFortune FamilyWhat a Trail Party!

Forty volunteers showed up Sept 20 to complete the construction of our newest trail, Gemini, thereby setting the all-time turn-out record for MAMBA! In addition to finishing up Gemini, the ambitious work crew made a great start on a new trail called LaFortunes Flight—offering an alternate route for Cabin Trail.


Jim LaFortune



Wednesday Cyclocross Races
posted 10.01.09

Hello MAMBA folks,

There are weekly fun bike races on dirt near Moscow every Wednesday at 6 PM.

The location is the Fountain Airpark just south of town. To get there, drive south from Moscow on Hwy 95 about a mile. About 0.1 mile past Palouse River Drive, turn left into the Fountain Industrial park complex. Thread your way around the buildings. The race course is SE of the buildings.

Facebook Site: Moscow Cyclocross Races


Jim LaFortune



Sunday, Sept 20 Gemini Trail Party
posted 09.15.09

Hi Everyone,

UI ski team is hosting a MAMBA trail construction party on Gemini this SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 (not the usual Saturday outing, so watch your day).

Meet at 11 AM at Mountain View Park.

Bring lunch, water, work gloves, chocolate.

Then bring more chocolate.

Contact Nick Fuller (208) 310-9462 for more scoop.


Jim LaFortune



Moscow Mtn Madness
posted 09.08.09

Attention all oxygen-addicted singletrack enthusiasts, trail runners, and hardcore MAMBA volunteers:

Moscow Mtn Moscow Mountain MadnessMadness

Mountain Bike Race and Run
Sunday September 13 at 9 am

18 mile advanced bikes
12 mile intermediate bikes
12 mile runners

Race day registration 7:30 am
Meet at Headwaters' Parking

Download an entry form online www.palouseroadrunners.org
Register online www.BlueCircleSports.com

Course Setup Volunteers needed:

Volunteers needed to assist with the course set up this Saturday afternoon, September 12th, from 2 pm to 5 pm. Volunteers will receive this year's race shirt with a newly designed killer logo and a free race entry if they would like to participate.

The plan is to organize four teams of two riders. At least one member of each team needs to have a good knowledge of the trails. I will provide the necessary course marking materials (wood stakes, paper plates, magnum sized sharpies, hammers, and staplers); we will not be using any spray paint. Tentatively, I have broken the course up into four manageable (hopefully) sections. Each team will be responsible for one section.

Race Day Volunteers needed:
  • sweepers (a sweeper simply follows the tail end of the pack to confirm that no one is left out there and reports via cell phone in the event of an emergency)
  • water stop volunteers
  • able bodies on bikes that can help pick up and remove all the course markings from the mountain after the event.

Obviously it takes quite a few people for a successful event. I'm counting on you guys. For more info and/or to volunteer/help, please contact:

John Sweeney
phone: 208.669.0088
email: john.sweeney.moscow@gmail.com 

Much obliged,

John Sweeney


Saturday, Aug 22 Gemini Trail Party
posted 08.14.09

Believe it or not,

Gemini is almost connected to Four Corners. Since the inmates are incapable of taking over the asylum, it's up to us, the MAMBA volunteers, to construct the final 300 yard segment. Next Saturday, August 22, MIGHT be the big golden spike day. Read on...

Meet Saturday, Aug 22 at Rosauers on North Main St in Moscow at 8:45 AM.

Carpool to the Four Corners' area.

Bring water, lunch, sturdy footwear, work gloves if you have 'em, sunscreen, lots of chocolate. MAMBA has plenty of tools.

Everyone is welcome to help, even if you've never built singletrack in your life. Bring a friend (and some chocolate!)

The Volunteer Incentive Prize is a pair of priceless (for the winner) fifteen foot NRS cam buckle straps. Seriously, I've pulled cars out of ditches with these bad boys. They rock.

If you need more information about the trail partay, please contact your trail party CEO (Chief Existential-Party Officer) Nick Fuller, (208) 310-9462, nick.fuller@gmail.com.

Put the power to the pedal,

Jim LaFortune



Moscow Mtn Madness (Run or Bike Race Sunday, Sept 13, 2009)
posted 08.04.09

It’s about that time again
—time for Moscow Mtn Madness,

Moscow Mtn Madness occurs the morning of September 13th this year. This is the toughest of the Palouse Road Runner events and offers two course options for Mountain Bikers. The course is mostly dirt logging road & singletrack trails passing through beautiful timbered country, with occasional spectacular views over the Palouse.

This race offers a stellar "Advanced Course" around 18 miles in length which emphases singletrack and is recommended for experienced riders that are fit enough for grueling climbs and skilled enough for technical descents. It includes many of your favorite MAMBA-maintained trails. It will start up the Bridges side of Headwaters and ride to its summit; turn right up South Side then left up Moose Marbles and climb Wagon Trail to the Moscow Mtn Rd; follow Foothill Rd to ride two crowns of Triple Crown; putting you back on Foothill Rd allowing you to drop down North Contour. Ride a short section eastward on Foothill Rd to Lower Tusk, turn left down Sidewinder; at the Meadow turn right and climb Lickity Split to get to Up & Over; follow Foothill Rd west to Upper Tusk; take the Foothill Rd and bomb back to Paradise Point to descend the Deep Vee, then Switchblade to South Side and finally Headwaters (Boy Scout side) to the finish at Pond Nine.

This race also offers an "Intermediate Course" option which is 11 miles in length and a little less intense, but you need to be in good shape to participate. It is recommended for novice to intermediate level riders who can manage low speed singletrack (as in climbing), but prefer less technical descents. The intermediate course will also start up the Bridges' side of Headwaters and climb to its summit. Go briefly up South Side; at the road angle left on Velo Rd up to Foothill Rd. Climb Foothill Rd past Paradise Point, then turn left for two crowns of Triple Crown. Turn right on Foothill Rd (west) and bikers will descend entirely on Foothill Rd back to the finish at Pond Nine.

For more information, visit the Palouse Road Runners Web site.

Lance Gallagher


Directions to Hey Noose
posted 08.02.09

Hi Everyone,

The online map of Moscow Mtn shows a trail west of Paradise Pt called Hey Noose—here are written directions for it.


Hey Noose Route Description

Length: 0.5 miles
Grunt uphill: 5 stars
Technical uphill: 3 stars (~200 yard hike-a-bike)
Grunt downhill: 1 star
Technical downhill: 5 stars (due to short, very steep section)

From the top of Headwaters, ride South Side to the bottom of Moose Marbles.

Sidebar note:  ~200 yards after you leave Headwaters, you will pop onto a wide road, which you follow for about 50 yards, then drop off to the right. Approximately 0.2 miles later, you pop back up onto the same dirt road. If you look across that road, you will see the Hey Noose singletrack climbing on the uphill side. Most people do not ride up it, due to the steep pitch, but it makes a "fun" alternate route, if you're bored with the usual routes (Moose Marbles or Switchblade).

Pedal up Moose Marbles 0.35 mile.

Approximately 60 yards before Moose Marbles temporarily flattens out on the ridge, turn left onto a gently descending singletrack. There are some small rocks placed strategically near the entrance that you can ride over.

Descend less than 0.1 mile, where Hey Noose will cross a grassy logging road.

There is a short log ride bridge onto the road, but you can bypass it on the right.

Drop off the wide road onto the very steep section of Hey Noose.

Please get your derriere (that's French for "butt") WAY BACK over the rear tire, in order to avoid skidding on the steep pitch.

Hey Noose ends at South Side, approximately 0.3 mile east of the top of Headwaters Trail.

MAMBA Trail Build Report:

In other news, Matt Cook scored the VIP prize at last Saturday's trail party, a pair of 15 foot NRS cam buckle straps, and Drew Bentley picked up a laminated MAMBA map of the bike trails. No more excuses for being late for dinner, Drew (uh, I got lost ;-) We had six volunteers chopping away at the uppermost section of Gemini (and two dogs, who helped by compressing the cool, fresh dirt, i.e.; laying down on the job).

The next MAMBA trail party is Saturday, Aug 22, and if we get a big enough crew, we MIGHT be able to finish off the last 300 yards of the route. It's all up to you, baby!

All of upper Gemini has been brushed out, so if you want to ride it from top to bottom, just keep in mind that there is no tread for about 300 yards.


Adopt-A-Trail is gaining steam and we already have half a dozen folks who have offered to be Adopt-A-Trail'rs. Joe Wagenbrenner is MAMBA CEO in charge of the Adopt-A-Trail program. If he does a good job, we're going to double his pay. A more formal sign up process will be set up eventually, but for now, simply email Jim (lakook@moscow.com) to reserve your favorite route.


Today I rode with family and friends the Goldcenter Trail #251, near Freezeout Ridge and Grandmother Mt, about 1 1/4 hour drive east of Moscow. The ride includes an unbelievable, swoopy 10 MILE DOWNHILL, appropriate for strong intermediate to advanced riders. Lots of huckleberries too (so many that you could lay in the berry patch on your back and eat them straight off the bushes (you think I'm joking, but I'm not ;-)) Call me if you'd like directions how to get there.

Ride early, when it's cool. Ride often. Please put Aug 22 on your calendar.

Jim LaFortune



New Trail Descriptions and Other News
posted 07.28.09

The latest MAMBA news:

  • If you'd like to camp out this Saturday night (Aug 1st) with some MAMBA folks and go for a hike to Lookout Mountain or easier ride on Sunday, we are looking for someone (or two) to join us in the Marble Creek area who is willing to drive the shuttle vehicle down the hill. Please call Jim (208 301-0625) if you might be interested.
  • Rhonda Pinto won the VIP (Volunteer Incentive Prize) at our July 18 trail party. She took home a beautiful new Gyro mtb helmet. We had 15 crazy enthusiastic volunteers, so we were able to construct a bunch of new Gemini footage. Thanks to Jeff Gillam who sacrificed his upper lip to the hellojacket, errr, YELLOWjacket gods. Jeff also took 2 stings for the team on the June 24 mamba outing, so I'm going to work near Jeff whenever I do trail construction.
  • Our annual VIP Grand Prize is a full day raft trip for two people, courtesy of Salmon River Experience (SRE), a Moscow-based outfitter. At the end of the trail building season, your name goes into the hat once for each day you volunteered this year. If you can't wait to get on the river, call SRE and book a trip, 882-2385. My daughter is an intern guide there this summer, so be sure to ask if Emerald is available. I taught her everything I know about whitewater, so you might want to make sure your swim lessons are completed before you go ;-).
  • Several MAMBA members have already offered to adopt a trail, so it looks like our Adopt-A-Trail program is going to take off. Woo hoo! I'll send an email later this summer with more info, but for now, please contact me if you want to get your name in early to adopt a particular singletrack.
  • MAMBA's September and October outings will be lead by UI Ski Team coach Jerry McMurtry and his gang of skiers and boarders. Non-skier teamers are also welcome to help out. Last year they banged out a bunch of Gemini mileage, then had a big BBQ party. This year's dates are both Sundays. They are Sept 20 and Oct 18.
  • Our next trail partay is this Saturday, Aug 1. Meet at Rosauers at 8:45 AM.
  • I sometimes receive comments when we build a new trail that it is too difficult. As with most things in life, the reality of trail design and layout is more complex than it appears. Here is my reply to a recent email I received about Gemini:



    Dear ****** (name withheld to protect the guilty ;-)

    I received similar comments when Headwaters was new. My advice is to give the trail a couple years to settle (firm up). The climb on the new portions of Gemini is particularly tough right now, even for those of us who enjoy climbing, because it's narrow and unconsolidated. If we had 15-20 people at every trail work day, we might be able to do IMBA textbook, full bench cut singletrack on firm mineral soil. Unfortunately, that's not our reality, and even then it would be somewhat soft and loose for the first season.

    As far as route selection and engineering, it's easier to see where the route coulda/shoulda gone after it's built. The hard part is envisioning the route when you're fighting your way through neck-deep brush with lousy sight lines in all directions.

    BTW, the route is overly ambitious on the steep slopes near the dead cabin because the gravel road (Warnick Rd) pinches the downhill side and we don't have permission to build trail on the uphill side. I had to thread the needle, staying on the steep property where we did have permission, as well as climbing steeply enough to stay above the road (or drop onto the gravel, which I considered).

    So yes, it's a tough segment. Not what I'd call classic singeltrack fun yet, though certainly easier in the downhill direction than up.

    Hope to see you at the trail parties, where you can give the dirt lots of input!



  • Scott and Jim are looking at projects for MAMBA for 2010 and beyond. At the top of the list: we will be seeking landowner permission to build Nemesis into a loop. We envision constructing a new route from the top of Nemesis, to the southeast and all the way back to the Gemini trailhead. Stay tuned.
  • Here are the trail descriptions for Gemini, Blonde Jeans, Fruitcake and the newly named Jericho's Wall. These written descriptions will be posted soon at www.bikemoscow.org. The maps will take a little longer to create online, but if you're looking for a cool new loop or two, print out the stuff below.


Gemini Route Description

Length: 4 miles to Four Corners
Grunt factor uphill: 5 stars
Technical factor uphill: 5 stars
Grunt factor downhill: 2. 5 stars
Technical factor downhill: 5 stars

Go to www.bikemoscow.org. On the lower right corner of the home page, click on Four Corners Parking, which will open a new window. Follow the directions to "Moscow Mtn Parking" (NOT Four Corners Parking). FYI, the correct parking area for Gemini is 0.3 mile past the big "Moscow Mtn Area Info" signboard.

From the parking area, ride up Moscow Mtn Rd (gravel) 0.25 mile, looking on left side of the road for a single green fence post with lots of barbed wire strung across it. The wire is between two pine trees that have No Trespassing signs up high on them to deter motorized users.

This barbed wire fence is the Gemini trailhead.

Go around the fence to the right. The trail is obvious.

Pedal 1.3 miles (all distances are from the parking area) on Gemini singletrack, then go around the blue gate. Ride another hundred yards or so, to where the trail descends onto the gravel. This is Moscow Mtn Rd. Gemini continues on the downhill side of the road, just to the left of a small metal culvert.

The singletrack descends for 0.2 mile, then climbs and rolls to mile 2.5. To go to Cabin Trail, bear hard right while descending the off-camber turn that drops you onto Warnick Rd. To continue on Gemini, go straight at mile 2.5 and do not drop onto Warnick Rd.

There is a decrepit A-frame outhouse on your right at mile 2.7. Don't look down the hole, because rule #1 in mt biking is that your front tire goes where your eyes go! Steeper climbs await you.

At mile 2.8 there is a collapsed log cabin at the apex of a hard left switchback. Climb on!

The next half mile offers three nice rests on the flatter skid road sections, connected with steeper, new singletrack.

At 3.7 miles from the parking area, Gemini emerges onto Moscow Mtn Rd. Ride DOWNHILL on the gravel for 35 yards, then hike-a-bike up the steep road cut trail on the right. Arrive at Four Corners approximately 4.1 miles from the parking area. An alternative to riding the last 0.4 mile of Gemini singletrack is, when you reach Moscow Mtn Rd, simply turn right and pedal up the gravel to Four Corners.

To ride DOWN Gemini from Four Corners, stand at the blue gate facing uphill. Go toward Four Corners. As you enter the flat area at Four Corners, bear HARD LEFT onto a sweet doubletrack dirt road. This is the upper trailhead for Gemini. Please note that this upper 0.4 mile segment of Gemini will not be completed until at least Aug 1st, 2009.


Blonde Jeans Route Description

Length: 2.2 miles from top of Nemesis to the ancient Cedar Grove
Grunt factor: 3 stars
Technical factor: 3 stars

From the upper trailhead of Nemesis, ride over the two big dirt humps (aka Turkey Filters, to keep motoheads out). Turn right (east) on Moscow Mtn Rd, which is gravel for a few dozen yards.

Go 0.15 mile on Moscow Mtn Rd, then bear left (descending) on a very wide dirt road that is almost a big as Moscow Mtn Rd.

Coast this gradual downhill for 0.2 mile, then climb gently past a fallen log cabin on your left at mile 0.4 from the top of Nemesis.

Stay on the main dirt road, with big vistas to the north between mile 0.6 and 0.8, due to recent logging.

There is a Y junction at mile 0.8. Go straight (do not climb to the right).

Descend from 0.8 to mile 1.0, where you will see a dirt road cutting back hard to your left. Do not turn left. Instead, continue straight (eastward, more or less) and continue descending until you cross a small perennial stream at about 1.1 miles. The "trail" becomes more like a singletrack at this point.

Near mile 1.3, turn HARD right.

At the Y junction at mile 1.5, bear left and descend (alternatively, if you want to get back to Moscow Mtn Rd asap, turn right and climb steeply 0.2 mile to a blue gate at Moscow Mtn Rd).

Continuing on Blonde Jeans to mile 1.8, you reach a T junction. Turn left onto Cedar Connector if you want to climb to Cedar Grove (alternatively, if you want to ride Fruitcake, turn left and descend).

Continuing toward Cedar Grove, ride 0.2 mile uphill on Cedar Connector, then notice a minor side road on the right. Do not follow it. Instead, pedal slightly left onto the wider dirt road for about 40 yards, then climb to the right up the low cut bank, departing the main road.

Go about 30 yards and hop over the split rail cedar fence, which should have Nature Conservancy/East Moscow Mtn/No ATVs signs on it.

Arrive at the amazing ancient Cedar Grove approximately 2.2 miles from the top of Nemesis.

Cedar Grove, which climbs 0.25 mile up to Moscow Mtn Rd, is uphill from the picnic table on the same side of the stream.


Fruitcake-Jericho's Wall Route Description (loop ride north of Cedars)

Length: 2.5 mile loop, starting from junction of Blonde Jeans and Cedar Connector
Grunt factor: 4 stars
Technical factor: 3 stars

Starting from junction of Blonde Jeans and Cedar Connector, ride downhill (north, descending along Hatter Creek) on the dirt doubletrack for 0.15 mile.

At mile 0.15, bear left onto a nicer, shady dirt doubletrack. Climb gradually for about 0.1 mile, then descend to mile 0.4, where you will come to a grassy, low spot.

The trail appears to go straight, but that's a dead end to fake out the moto crowd. Instead, turn HARD right into an area that might appear to be overgrown. Be persistent though, because Fruitcake is right there.

Descend from mile 0.4 to 0.6 in a fun tunnel of greenery, then bear left at 0.6 (if you want a shortcut back to Cedar Grove, turn right at 0.6)

At mile 0.65, see another minor side road on the right. Stay left and descend a few hundred yards into a grassy old homestead meadow.

Hug the left edge of the meadow, where you will find that Fruitcake continues descending, ever more steeply.

At mile 1.1, arrive at a wide dirt road. There is a sweet water hole on the left in the shade. The road is called Rolls Royce Rd. Our loop goes right on Rolls Royce Rd (if you go left instead, you end up at Rock Creek Rd in a mile or so).

Having turned right on Rolls Royce Rd to continue the Fruitcake-Jericho's Wall loop, ride east to mile 1.8, ignoring the side road on the right at mile 1.3 and another on the left at mile 1.5.

At mile 1.8, see Hatter Creek on the left. On the right will be a line of very large rocks blocking a side road that climbs uphill along Hatter Creek.

Go around the rocks. You are now climbing the newly named Jericho's Wall. Ride about 0.5 mile of steady uphill.

Cross the creek at mile 2.3, then climb steeply for 0.1 mile to the junction where Jericho's Wall rejoins Fruitcake at mile 2.4.

At mile 2.5, turn right onto Blonde Jeans, or, if you want to go to Cedar Grove, go straight on Cedar Connector.

Continuing toward Cedars, ride 0.2 mile uphill on Cedar Connector, then notice a minor side road on the right. Ignore it. Instead, pedal slightly left onto the wider dirt road for about 40 yards, then climb to the right up the low cut bank, departing the main road.

Go about 30 yards and hop over the split rail cedar fence, which should have Nature Conservancy/East Moscow Mtn/No ATVs signs on it.

Arrive at the amazing ancient Cedar Grove approximately 2.2 miles from the top of Nemesis.

Cedar Grove, which climbs 0.25 mile up to Moscow Mtn Rd, is uphill from the picnic table on the same side of the stream.

Hope to see you on August 1st,

Jim LaFortune



August 1 MAMBA Trail Party
posted 07.25.09

Love Trails?

Remember, the feeling is mutual.

Join us next Saturday, Aug 1st, as we push Gemini passionately (well, it's about loving the trail, right?) toward Four Corners.

Meet at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow at 8:45 AM to carpool to the upper part of Gemini. We'll be working near Four Corners this time.

Bring water, lunch, snacks, more water, sunscreen, work gloves, and sturdy footwear.

At the last trail party we had FIFTEEN enthusiastic volunteers and we managed to construct sweet, handcrafted singletrack all the way to Moscow Mtn Rd, cross the gravel and even go a bit beyond. Amazing what a larger group can accomplish, especially when inspired by a 10 year old like Tino "The Lopper King" Olmstead, his dad Jeff, and at least two others who had never built trail before!

Hope to see you on August 1st,

Jim LaFortune



Trail Updates
posted 07.17.09


  • Our dedicated website volunteers have fixed the PayPal option at our website, so you can once again go to www.bikemoscow.org and pay with a credit card.
  • In the directions for Blonde Jeans (calm down, guys, it's a TRAIL), I neglected to mention the new split-rail cedar fence located ~ 1/4 mile downhill from the ancient Cedar Grove. The fence is designed to deter ATVs and other motorheads from entering the cedar grove area. Hikers and mtn bikers can easily hop over. Try not to get splinters in yer bum though ;-)
  • Please let me know if you have time to take a chainsaw up Headwaters and cut out the tree that fell during last week's storm. It's somewhere on the bridges side of the loop.
  • If we get a big enough turn out on July 18, you will be able to ride Gemini on July 19 all the way to Moscow Mtn Rd, turn right and pedal 1/4 mile to Four Corners. Yes! A connected rideable route (though there will still be a 1/2 segment above Moscow Mtn Rd to build in August). Better yet, ride Gemini in the downhill direction, as parts of it are still somewhat soft, thus challenging to crank uphill. A full set of written directions should be available on the website by early August, at which time Gemini will officially be added to our website maps.


Jim LaFortune



Saturday July 18 Trail-fest reminder
posted 07.17.09

Trail Builders,

What? MAMBA Trail party

When? 8:45AM Saturday, July 18

Where? Meet at Rosauers on N Main St to carpool to upper Warnick Rd to play in the dirt on Gemini.

Why? Why not? You also might win The Volunteer Incentive Prize (VIP), a NEW Giro Athlon mtb helmet (retail value $130).

Huh? Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, work gloves, more WATER and sturdy footwear.

Forecast? Quite warm, but the work site is quite shady. Still, we'll probably knock off work by early-mid afternoon.

See you there!

Jim LaFortune



Newly Opened Trails East of Four Corners
posted 07.12.09

Trail Lovers,

Getting tired of riding the same loops every week? Try some new routes at the east end of Moscow Mtn! I personally guarantee no Headwaters-sized crowds of hikers and mt bikers anywhere east of Four Corners.

Trail updates:

Blonde Jeans and Fruitcake, two sweet singletracks between the top of Nemesis and Cedar Grove, were cleared by our volunteers this weekend.

The best way to find them is to go to Trails and print out the map and directions to Cedar Grove and Blonde Jeans. The online pictures are excellent, though I'm not sure how you'd access them when you're out riding, except to print them out at home and carry them.

The west part of Blonde Jeans was logged last Autumn, but I put orange flagging before and after every intersection, so you should be able to find your way through if you ride east-to-west. Despite having to pedal a mile or so of wide dirt logging roads, it's still a fun route, so check it out.

While you're there, if you want to add a couple miles to your route, ride Fruitcake. Complete directions will be on the MAMBA web site later this summer, but for now...

1) When descending Cedar Connector, instead of turning hard left and climbing on Blonde Jeans, continue descending parallel to the creek for about 1/4 mile. Bear left (west) following the orange flagging. I placed orange flagging before and after every intersection to guide riders east on Rolls Royce Blvd, then back up the unnamed route along the creek. It's kind of steep in spots (the tentative name for the climb is Jericho's Wall, named after Rachel Molsee's dog), but the creek is sweet, so you can always cool off in the water.

2) If you don't want to ride up Jericho's Wall, turn left (west) on Rolls Royce Rd and pedal to Rock Creed Rd.

3) If you want more miles, before you drop down Cedar Grove, pedal the main roads out to East Moscow Mtn for an amazing view, then ride down Wonderpup and back to Moscow Mtn Rd. Wonderpup is a fine singletrack that deserves more riding than it gets. The whole loop from Cedar Grove trailhead will add about 2.5 miles to your ride.

Pedal on.

See you next Saturday (July 18) for our big mid-summer trail party,

Jim LaFortune



July 18th MAMBA Trail Party
posted 07.11.09

MAMBA Folks,

For being our 1000'th volunteer, you've won a free pass to the next MAMBA trail party, which takes place next Saturday, July 18.

Meet at 8:45 AM at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow so we can carpool to Gemini. Please bring lunch, water, sunscreen, work gloves and sturdy footwear. The Volunteer Incentive Prize (VIP) for this outing is a NEW Giro Athlon mtb helmet (retail value $130).

Time is a thing of the past (smile, that's a joke!), so no more excuses for why you haven't enough of it. Seriously, if you use the trails on Moscow Mtn, please contribute a minimum of one full trail service day per year. Our first four trail parties this season have averaged only 7 people per outing. Time to rally! If you have enough time to use the trails, you have enough time to help at least once this season.

In other news, there are two SWEET new bridges on Gemini that span the two wheel-sucking mud holes. Kudos to Scott Metlen SBDCSU (Supreme Bridge Design Chief of the Singletrack Universe), for leading the construction crew. The bridges are made out of recycled lumber, thanks to the recent removal of the LaFortunes backyard deck. You'll recognize the color if you've ever been to our backyard for a BBQ.

Remember, if you're wondering what all the excitement is regarding the newest way to access Moscow Mtn called Gemini, come find out next Saturday, July 18. It's not even on the map yet, so you'll have to show up if you want the goods! Besides, you might win a cool new helmet.

Rubber Side Down,

Jim LaFortune



Other Trail News
posted 07.11.09

Hello All,

Yes, there is a trail construction par-tay on Gemini next Saturday, July 18. However...

If MAMBA's group trail parties seldom mesh with your calendar, contact Jim (882-9366, email lakook@moscow.com) and he can help you figure out a way to contribute that will fit your schedule. For example, we need someone to hike Gemini (mile 2 through 4) and pick up all the orange flagging. Everyone wins: you get to go for a hike, you make the trail more visually appealing, and if you take along your Canadian cousins, you might just find some huckleberries, eh? Or recruit your kids by offering them a gummy worm for every 10 flags??? Be creative. Trail work can be fun and challenging when you approach it from the right angle.

Another example of fitting trail maintenance into your life is helping trim the overgrown brush along the sides of trails like Headwaters, South Side, and Nemesis. MAMBA has two power brush whackers that are simple to operate. All we need is volunteers to walk the trails and whack away the overly-enthusiastic greenery. Jonathan Huyck, an employee at Hyperspud Sports, has offered to do some of this whacker work. Call Jonathan's cell (208) 290-5779 or Jim La (208 301-0625) if you can help with the brush slayer efforts.

Not to be outdone in the Oscar the Grouch You'd-Better-Do-Trail-Work-Or-Else Department, all of you are welcome to attend a meeting on Wednesday July 15 at 1:30 PM. At the meeting, MAMBA representatives and Foothills Rd residents will meet with Latah County Roads officials to request that the northern 0.6 mile section of Foothills Rd, which leads to Headwaters Trail parking area, be paved (chip sealed). The meeting is at the North Latah County Roads Department HQ, which is located on the south edge of the county fairgrounds, across White Ave from the Safeway parking lot. For more information, please read (and sign) the petition near the cash register at Paradise Creek Bikes.

On a related note, I've been asked by a local Foothill Rd resident to remind Headwaters area bikers and hikers that Foothills Rd is not, in fact, a trail. Please don't walk or bike down the middle of Foothills Rd when traveling to and from the blue gate.

Last item:

In order to spread the Moscow Mtn trail love around, my wife has suggested a type of Adopt-A-Trail program for MAMBA. Please email me your thoughts and suggestions:

The basic problem is that those who spend lots of hours building new trail are also devoting a bunch of time every Spring/early Summer to clearing fallen trees from the pre-existing trails. Kathie's husband and friends, for example, have cleared ~20 miles of singletrack already this year and it's not done yet (meet Jim L and Rachel M Sunday, July 12 at 8:30 at Safeway, for example, if you want to help clear Fruitcake, which is near Cedar Grove). This is too much work for a small core of MAMBAphiles, so perhaps we should spread the joy around by having people adopt a singletrack.

Kathie (my astute wifely unit) suggests that a MAMBA member would adopt a trail for the long term, not just one year. Then, every Spring it would be their responsibility to clear it within a couple weeks of snow melt out. Yes, it would take extra effort to organize the first year or two, but Adopt-A-Moscow-Mountain-Trail would hopefully become self-sustaining, thus freeing MAMBA leaders to focus on new trail construction, landowner relations, etc.

This would work particularly well for folks who want to volunteer, but whose schedule never seems to mesh with MAMBA's regular group outings. MAMBA leaders could teach you how to operate a chainsaw or show you how to hook up a BOB trailer to pull the saw, if your adopted trail is not near a driveable road.

Your thoughts?

Resistance is futile ;-)

Jim LaFortune



Thoughts from a MAMBA Member
posted 07.07.09

I am a Fortunate Guy.

I have lived in Moscow-Pullman for over 8 years now and I have recreated up on Moscow Mtn (MM) dozens of times. More recently I have started to explore the ever growing trail network that is the result of the remarkable work of MAMBA volunteers and generous property owners.

This past weekend, I felt especially appreciative. While I have had some great rides and runs on the MM trails with friends, this past Saturday evening, as the air was beginning to cool and most people were preparing for an evening of fireworks, I threw my mtn. bike into my truck and, within 10 minutes, I was pedaling past Pond 9 on my solo journey up the mountain. Other than one solo rider coming down at the gate, I wouldn’t see another person during my 2 hour ride!! I took the road all the way over toward the old Tamarak ski hill before looping back and getting onto a series of singletracks which took me through such a fantastic variety of technical challenges and settings that I found myself whooping it up. As I dropped down onto the familiar Headwaters, I started to reflect on all the mtn biking locations I had been on—Mt. Tam and Redwood canyons around the Bay Area, the Cascades, outside Denali Nat’l Park in AK, the Green Mountains of VT, the Adirondacks in N.Y., and the high peaks in CO. And as I thought about all these experiences, I came to the somewhat shocking realization that the trails I was on were in many ways comparable to the “world class” locations. I felt like I had taken MM for granted and then I felt so fortunate to have it right in my ‘backyard,’ and that it is ‘free.’ I am not so naïve to think that these trails were not the result of much hard work, communication, and planning. They are a gift to everyone who comes to our region looking for a recreational opportunity—either for a day or for a lifetime. To be able to have the freedom to have such an experience is a true expression of independence. What better way to spend the 4th!!

Andrew Ackerman


Wednesday Bike Rides Cancelled
posted 06.30.09

Hey Folks,

I am going to have to cancel the woman's beginner rides because I'm getting ready to go out of town (again). I think because of the sporadic turn-out, I am just going to schedule the rides as folks contact me rather than having the Wednesday rides. So, PLEASE contact me if you would like to go on a beginner ride and we'll get a group together. I will email out the times that we are going to go.

If you have questions, please contact Lauren at Bissey@mail.wsu.edu.

Lauren Bissey


Trail Update and Reminder
posted 06.25.09

Trail Lovers,

Over Easy is passable, though there are half a dozen large trees across it and many smaller ones. We'll get a chainsaw on it one of these days and let you know when it's completely clear.

More importantly, join us this Saturday, June 27, 2009 for the big surge on Gemini:

When: Saturday June 27

Meeting time: 8:45 AM

Meeting place: Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow

What to bring: lunch, water, sturdy footwear, work gloves

This month's Volunteer Incentive Prize is a gift certificate donated by Hyperspud Sports.

We normally wrap up the party by no later than 3:00 PM.

Don't Happy, Be Worried,

Jim LaFortune



Moscow Mtn Group Ride
posted 06.22.09

Interested Riders,

This Tuesday, the 23rd, will be the last group ride I'm scheduling for a little while. My wife and I are expecting our baby girl in about 10 days! I plan to resume group rides again later in the summer, once we get a grasp on this parenting gig.

For this Tuesday, let's plan to meet at Rosauers at 5:30PM and be heading to the trails at 5:40PM. FYI...I work till 5:00PM and have been showing up around 5:25PM the previous weeks. We will put in about two hours of riding. We have the most daylight of all year right now, so let's take advantage of it. I plan to clip along at a good pace and cover a good portion of the trails, since I may not be back on Moscow Mtn for a number of weeks. If we start at Headwaters and all goes well, I'd like to try and make it up to and around Cave Trail.

See you in the Rosauers parking lot by the big sign along the street.

Eric Justis


June 27 MAMBA Trail Party
posted 06.21.09

Inquiring minds want to know...

...what's up with Gemini?

Glad I asked.

MAMBA is having a trail party, organized to honor YOU!

Gemini is currently ~2.8 miles total length. I'm guessing it will be 4 to 4.5 miles long by the time we connect it to Four Corners later this summer. Come help us solve the mystery of its actual total length on Saturday, June 27, when we push the handcrafted virgin singletrack ever farther up the mountain.

When: Saturday June 27

Meeting time: 8:45 AM

Meeting place: Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow

What to bring: lunch, water, chocolate, more chocolate, sturdy footwear, work gloves, more chocolate

This month's Volunteer Incentive Prize will be a gift certificate donated by Hyperspud Sports. Please thank our sponsors by shopping locally whenever possible. We normally wrap up the party by no later than 3 PM, so bring a bike along if you think you'll have the stamina to ride after building singletrack.

Remember: Don't put all your begs in one askit.

PS The trail that snakes through the Rock & a Hard Place clearcut has been reworked. Check it out soon!

PPS Remember to sign the Foothills Rd paving petition. It's available near the cash register at Paradise Creek Bikes, one of MAMBA's strongest local supporters.

See you Saturday,

Jim LaFortune



'nuther Moscow Mtn trail update
posted 06.12.09

MAMBA members and friends,

Triple Crown is open for business. I chainsawed it out on 6/10/09, but I ran out of gas (figuratively, not literally) at the west entrance, so there is a big pile of tree chunks there that need to be moved off the trail. The location is the first high-speed, sweeper left turn, closest to the west entrance.

Could someone who is riding in that area please stop there and clear the trail? It will probably take ~10 minutes. If you do this wee little chore, it would also help if you email me (lakook@moscow.com), so I can cross it off the MAMBA todo list. I limbed the tree and bucked the log into ~6' lengths, so hopefully the chunks can all be tossed well clear of the fast corner.

Someone who was trail-running Headwaters this week ran into a bear. The rider was taking the road down from the Landing back to Foothill Rd and a female bear was sitting in the middle of the road. A moose was seen the same day, which may actually be more dangerous.

Yours in trailhoodnessosity (whatever that is; I just made it up!)

P.S. Next Gemini work party is June 27.

Jim LaFortune



Early June Trail Updates
posted 06.08.09

To MAMBA members and friends,

Last Saturday, a small-but-dedicated crew led by John Wenz banged out some new Gemini. Let's crank out more volunteers and bigger mileage at our next party on June 27. Please put it on your calendar now, unless you plan to be off exploring other galaxies.

Here are a few trail updates:

  • Rock & a Hard Place is open and has been trimmed out, except one big-a$$ ponderosa across the trail in the clearcut that will require a chainsaw. It's easy to hop over the tree, though, so check out the route. BTW, Jim LaFortune is using ground tools to rework the tread surface through the clearcut on Rock & a Hard Place. If his stamina holds up (hey, he turns the big 5-0 in two weeks), the clearcut section should be much more fun to ride. Jim is still shocked that he is allowed to do trail work without an adult chaperone, so please call him if you have a couple hours this month when you might join him in the effort (208-301-0625).
  • Moscow Mtn Rd is nearly clear of snow along it's entire length. There is one short patch of the white crystals east of Four Corners, between the top of Nemesis and the top of Cedar Grove, but it is easily bypassed on a bike.
  • Cedar Grove is rideable, with a couple leaning trees that will need to be cut out eventually.
  • The singletrack and doubletrack downhill from Cedar Grove, called Cedar Connector, is passable if you are willing to hop over a few trees. It is somewhat mucky though, especially since an ATV got in there and tore it up. If you see ATVs or motorcyclists off the main roads, feel free to remind them (assuming they're sober and gun-free) that the mountain is essentially all private land and that they are only allowed on the main roads (Moscow Mtn Rd east of Four Corners, Moscow Mtn Rd and Rock Creek Rd). FYI, hunting (in season) is allowed, unless otherwise posted. Target shooting is not allowed anywhere on Moscow Mtn.
  • The trail called Blonde Jeans, which connects from Cedar Grove westward toward the top of Nemesis, is rideable, with a few trees to hop over, but you should ride it from east to west. The reason is that the western half of the route was logged late last Fall and the trails are now roads. Unless you know the route quite well, I would suggest NOT riding Blonde Jeans. It would be easy to get lost in the crisscrossing maze of bulldozer roads.
  • One of the sweetest segments of singletrack on Moscow Mtn is called Wonderpup. It starts at East Moscow Mtn Lookout and descends for about a mile to the west, rejoining Moscow Mtn Rd not far from Cedar Grove trailhead. Wonderpup is open for business for the 2009 season. Please indulge.

Margarita Enthusiast,

Jim LaFortune



Next Build Trail Party June 6th
posted 06.04.09


Quickie reminder about this Saturday's Gemini trail party:

Meet at Rosauers Parking Lot June 6 at 8:45am.

Bring dug bope (oops, that's supposed to be "BUG DOPE"), lunch and water.

Volunteer prize drawing for NRS flip flops or Follett's bike tune up.

Carpool to the work site near the upper end of Warnick Rd.

Have fun, build trail, woo hoo.

Need more info? Call John Wenz, (970) 631-5878.

Jim LaFortune



Petition to Pave Foothills Rd
posted 06.03.09

Headwaters Parking:

Tired of breathing dust and having unsafe, limited visibility when pedaling or hiking between the parking area on Foothills Rd and the blue gate?

MAMBA, in conjunction with some of the residents who live near the Foothills Rd/Headwaters parking area, is circulating a petition asking the North Latah County Highway District to pave (chip seal) Foothills Rd.

Please consider signing the petition at one of the bike shops in Moscow or Pullman. The petition should be near the cash register. Don't be shy, just ask a shop employee if you cannot find it.

We are also asking MAMBA members to sign up for a 1-2 hour shift to gather signatures at the Foothills Rd/Headwaters parking area. This petition drive will only last a 2-3 weeks, so please contact Lauren Fins soon (208-882-6834) to sign up for a shift. She can also email you a blank copy of the petition, if you'd like to gather signatures on your own. Simply take your petition(s) to one of the bike shops when you're done, and ask them to staple it to the other petitions. Or you can mail your petition to Jim LaFortune at 710 E 7th St, Moscow, ID  83843.

Other roads in the area that get much less recreational traffic (such as Idler's Rest Rd) are already paved. Please help convince the county folks that it's time to stop the band-aid approach of spreading mag-chloride every year. It's time for a more permanent solution to these ongoing safety and health issues.

Yours in the dirt,
Jim LaFortune (MAMBA)
Lauren Fins et al., (Tolo Rd residents)


Women's Beginner Biking
posted 06.01.09

Check out this great opportunity!

We are going to have our first women's beginner biking ride of the season this Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009. The primary goal of these beginner rides is to encourage women who are not comfortable mountain biking or perhaps have never even been mountain biking to try it. We'll go on a fun, beginner trail and spend some time working on a few mountain biking skills. Please arrive at Rosauers at 5:30 PM to carpool up to Moscow Mtn. We'll probably be back down to Rosauers by 8:00 PM.

Cost: Free
What to Bring: Mountain Bike (nothing special-shocks not required), helmet,
water bottle, comfortable clothes.
When: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 5:30 PM (hopefully, we'll start having these
Where: Meet in Rosauers parking lot and carpool up together.

If you have questions, please contact Lauren at Bissey@mail.wsu.edu.

Lauren Bissey


Moscow Mtn Group Rides
posted 05.30.09

Join MAMBA Mountain Bike Rides!

Come join the weekly rides on Moscow Mtn. Learn new trails, meet other riders, or just use this as an excuse to get on the bike each Tuesday evening. We will gather at Rosauers parking lot (North of downtown Moscow) at 5:30PM and head to the trails.

Let's carpool as much as is convenenient for everyone, since there is not a ton of parking at the trailhead. This is open to all skill levels, but it is definitely not a ride where you want to show up on a beach-cruiser w/ ribbons on the end of your handlebars. Plan on about 1 1/2 hrs of riding depending on route.

Many of the trails are in great shape and begging to be ridden. Some dedicated MAMBA folks have been out there clearing trees and scraping away the effects of a long winter. There are plenty of opportunities to take part in that throughout the season if you are interested, but Tuesday evenings are all about riding!

All the necessary stuff....bring water, snack, appropriate gear (i.e. helmet, shoes, glasses) have tires pumped and ready to roll!!!

See you there!

Eric Justis


Mountain Bike Mondays
posted 05.26.09

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to let everyone know the UI Outdoor Program will begin Mountain Bike Mondays in two weeks. These group rides will be a great way for anyone to get outside and enjoy the great riding on Moscow Mtn singletrack. MAMBA has done a great job this spring and the trails are in stellar shape. The rides will be every other Monday evening on June 8th, June 22nd, July 13th, July 27th, and August 10th. The UI Outdoor Program will provide transportation for $5 or you can meet us at the trailhead for free. Space is limited in the van so sign-up ahead of time if you want a ride. The meet time each week will be 4:00 PM at the UI Student Rec Center. Rides will vary and an email will go out on ride mornings with details. Please forward this info onto all those you think would be interested. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you on the mountain.


Trevor Fulton
University of Idaho
Outdoor Program 
Assistant Coordinator 


More Trail Updates
posted 05.26.09

MAMBA Folks,

UI is doing group mountain bike rides on Mondays this summer. See announcement above for details.

Trails in the Four Corners area are opening up, though you might have to duck under some branches (I suggest carrying a small folding saw this time of year). Open routes include Gemini, Cabin Trail, The Tusks, Up & Over, Nemesis, and Cave Trail.

Singletrack that is passable, but in need of trimming: Lickity Split and Rock & a Hard Place.

Don't forget the next MAMBA trail party on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6, 2009!

Jim LaFortune



Trail Updates
posted 05.22.09


The Moscow Mtn Rd gate has been open the last two times I've gone up. I'm guessing that means it's open for the season, but I'm not guaranteeing anything  ;-).

Gemini is rideable to Cabin Trail.

Nemesis is rideable for ~1 mile before you hit snow. There are 2 trees to hop over in that first mile, but the rest of the debris is small branches.

Also, this note from the field:

Hi Jim,

Could you put out the word that there was a bear sighting Wednesday evening “not very far in” on the bridges side of Headwaters?  



Jim LaFortune



Next Trail Party June 6th
posted 05.20.09

Most Honorable & Expeditious MAMBA Members,

How did last Saturday's trail party turn out? I am SO glad I asked that question. This note from Nick, the leader of the outing:

Last Saturday, while most of Moscow was occupied with such trivial manners as graduation ceremonies and spackling dorm room walls, a few hardy souls who know what is really important in life ventured up Moscow Mtn. Wielding McCleods and Pulaskis with precise intent, they pushed Gemini five hundred something feet further up the mountain - and up it was indeed, there will be some serious grunting required to ascend a few sections! Nick's snow report: Gemini is 99.5% clear of snow to the bottom of Cabin Trail, and most of Cabin and Jump Trail are likely clear, with only minor cross training jogs through the snow required. On the western end of things, Headwaters has been clear for weeks, South Side is 99% clear, Switchblade is clear, and there is still one patch of white stuff at the junction of Moose Marbles and Wagon Trail.

Jim here again:

I rode the new segment that Nick's team built. It's a blast, and it's just going to get better as it settles in.

Let's continue the effort on National Trails Day:

  • Saturday, June 6
  • Meet at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow at 8:45 AM (there is road construction in the area, so plan for a few minutes extra travel time)
  • Bring bug repellent, lunch, water and sturdy footwear.
  • One lucky volunteer will win a pair of NRS flip flops or a bike tune-up from Folletts Mt Sports, as part of our ongoing Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP).

Meanwhile, on the web surfer channel, remember that you can support MAMBA and acquire your own maps of the trails on Moscow Mtn at www.bikemoscow.org.

One final note: I'm working with homeowners who live near the Foothills Rd parking area (Pond 9, west end of Moscow Mtn). They've asked me to join them in addressing safety and dust issues, especially between the parking area and the gate. Many of the residents use the trails for hiking or biking, and they asked me to pass along how grateful they are to have responsible, quiet recreational users in the area, as opposed to the target shooting litterbugs who used to converge on Pond 9 only a decade ago. On behalf of all your extraordinary efforts (picking up trash, turning off your car stereo before you get out of the vehicle, slowing your bike and being polite to everyone you meet), thank-you!

Gotta fly; my chariot's on fire,

Jim LaFortune



May 16 MAMBA Trail Party
posted 05.12.09

H'Lo Mt bikers,

The snow has retreated enough for us to resume work on Gemini. Woo hoo!

When: Saturday, May 16, 2009

Time: 8:45 AM

Carpool? Meet at Rosauers on N. Main in Moscow, ID

Why build trail now? Because it's too late to do it sooner!

Bring: Sturdy footwear, lunch, water, chocolate, and a friend to help.

Let's build an a-BUN-dance of trails,

Jim LaFortune


PS If you're thinking of riding the 7 Summits Trail (near Rossland, BC) this summer and would like a condo, contact Greg Dertorossia, mainspud@yahoo.com. The rate is negotiable.


Weekly MAMBA Mountain Bike Rides, Tuesdays, 5:30pm
posted 05.07.09

MAMBA Mountain Bike Rides on Moscow Mtn!

Who: All ability levels welcome.

What: A fun group ride on Moscow Mtn. 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 Tuesday evening starting on May 12th, 2009. 5:30pm-7:30ish (depending on our choice of trails)

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

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

Contact: Eric Justis, ericjustis@yahoo.com

ride on . . . .

Eric Justis


Early May trail updates and bikely news
posted 05.06.09

Hello Everyone,

A comedian (not me) said, "Altruism is when our selfishness benefits someone else".

In that case, let's get altruistic and build some singletrack for OTHERS to enjoy, eh?

1) Due to snow in the upper Gemini area, the May 9 trail date is postponed to May 16.

2) If you need to scratch that trail work itch, contact Nick Fuller regarding clearing windfall trees from South Side, Switchblade, and Hey Noose trails. Nick hopes to go via bike and BOB trailer this weekend (May 9 or 10), if a few other folks rally.

3) The weather is supposed to be nice by Saturday and our pedal-head bretheren at the Latah Trail are planning a grand opening shindig:

Latah Trail Ride, Ribbon Cutting and BBQ

Date: Saturday, May 9

Schedule of the Day's Events:

10 am -- Group Bike Ride to Troy leaving from NRS East (Old Tidyman's) parking lot in Moscow, corner of Highway 8 and Blaine St.

12 pm -- BBQ at Troy City Park, Hamburgers $2, beverages and side dishes will be provided

1 pm -- Ribbon Cutting at Troy City Park

You are invited to come celebrate the completion of the Troy-Moscow trail!! Please join for all or part of the day's events. Feel free to bike or drive.   Return rides to Moscow will be available. If you plan to use this service or have any questions, please contact Margaret Dibble m-dibble@hotmail.com

We hope to see you there!

Nora Locken

4) Not to scare away the small, furry mammals, but Latah County Deputy Sherriff Ron Vietmeier left me a phone message last week, asking me to call him back. I racked my brain (didn't take long) to remember what I'd done this time, but came up empty-handed. Turns out he would like Mountain Bikers and Hikers to know that he is our county SAR (Search and Rescue) coordinator and that there may be SAR folks using motor vehicles on the roads on Moscow Mtn. Their purpose will be to become better acquainted with the locations of our trailheads in case there is an emergency on the mountain. Deputy Vietmeier asked me to assure you that they will not be taking their motor vehicles on the trails during the orientation sessions. The personnel might include county deputies, SAR volunteers, Fish and Game employees, etc and they might (or might not) be in uniform. So if you see someone behind closed gates on a four-wheeler, don't assume they don't belong there. Of course if the apparent intruder is target shooting, partying or trashing the place, it's unlikely to be anyone from SAR. We hope.

5) Need cash? Got a bike to sell?  I'm looking for a used hardtail in good shape for my 15 yr old son. He's 5'3'' today, probably growing to 5'6" in the next couple years. Contact me (Jim LaFortune).

Your Happy Medium,

Jim LaFortune



MAMBA Trail Build Dates for Spring/Summer 2009
posted 04.24.09

Resistance is futile, Earthling.

You must acquiesce to singletrack nirvana. We have credible information from Beta Earth that Headwaters Trail is not only rideable, it is in SWEET shape. May the centripedal force be with you. (PS---South Side and the area around Paradise Pt are only passable if you're willing to do some cold-footed postholing.)

Meanwhile on Earth, MAMBA leaders met this week (gyros and beer MIGHT have been involved) to gear up for another big season of singletrack activities. Here are the dates for Spring and Summer 2009 (Autumn dates will be announced later). Most of our efforts this year will focus on continuing construction of Gemini all the way to Four Corners.

Grab your calendar or favorite electronic gizmo and mark the following MAMBA trail party dates:

May 16 (too much snow caused us to move this date to May 16)
June 6
June 27
July 18
Aug 1
Aug 22

All trail parties meet at Rosauers on North Main St in Moscow at 8:45 AM. No experience required: bring a friend or three!

And from our Shameless Recruitment Department:

To be fair, if you have time to ride, you have time to save your singletrack soul by volunteering a minimum of one day per season. If your health doesn’t allow you to do physical labor, you can still support MAMBA’s efforts by subscribing annually to our downloadable map service, found at www.bikemoscow.org. Fifteen buckaroos a year is a crazy cheap way to insure the future of sweet trails on Moscow Mtn. Another non-physically-demanding way to volunteer would be to take over the PR responsibilities. This involves contacting local newspapers, campus newspapers, radio stations, etc. to promote MAMBA events.

More Shameless Recruitment:

I've discovered that to prevent MAMBA leadership burn out (e.g. I’ve been doing this for ~ 17 years, whew!), the best tactic is to train other people to help lead the trail work parties. In the spirit of my tenuous sanity, then, please let any MAMBA leader know if you are interested in helping out. Free annual MAMBA web map subscription (and my undying gratitude) for anyone who leads a trail work outing.

----END of Shameless Recruitment Dept Memo----

Win A Bike! Tomorrow (Saturday, April 25) from 10 AM-2 PM is the second annual Moscow Bike Prize Ride. It’ll be a hoot to pedal to different businesses and collect a poker hand, then find out what you’ve won. Meet at the old Tidyman’s on the Troy Hwy at 10 AM. The event ends at 2 PM. Bring your bike and a helmet and $10 bucks. For more information, contact KC McIvor, (208) 596-5620. All profits go straight to MAMBA’s coffers to support building and maintaining your favorite singletrack.

If there is enough interest, group mt bike rides will begin soon, probably the first and third Tuesday of each month. The primary form of communication for participants will be the yahoo discussion group, which is accessible via MAMBA’s fabulous Web site. Go to www.bikemoscow.org to get the latest scoop. Please help out by volunteering to lead these group rides.

Remember: go to your calendar and add the above trail party dates, before you forget. Even if you can’t attend, you might be able to entice other Earthlings to break dirt.

I'm being summoned by my alien masters.

Jim LaFortune



Spring newsletter
posted 04.15.09


Discriminating minds want to know...is Spring FINALLY here?

I hiked Headwaters Trail on Moscow Mtn this week and although the snow has melted enough for enjoyable walking, it is going to be the very end of April or first week of May before it's clear enough to bike.

Hang it there; you can get a taste of summery singletrack by hiking Headwaters this Saturday, April 18, 2009 with a crew from WSU and MAMBA. The group is going to carry a chainsaw to clear the half dozen fallen trees, as well as loppers to trim back some of the trailside brush. Look for the big WSU van at Rosauers on N Main St in Moscow at 9:45am, or meet at the Foothill Rd parking area (Pond 9 access) around 10:10am. Bring a lunch and water (and sunscreen  ;-)

Our big project this season will be to finish building Gemini toward Four Corners. It will probably be early-mid May before we can access that area, due to snowpack conditions. Last season, MAMBA constructed 2.4 miles of Gemini, thanks to the amazing number of volunteers like you who helped. Approximately 2.5 miles of this sweet new route remain to build this year. Assuming continued volunteer support, five total miles of Gemini singletrack should be a reality by next Fall. Woo hoo!

This year's big MAMBA fundraiser is the Moscow Bike Prize Ride, coming to Moscow on April 25, 2009. Flyers should in bike shops soon. Contact Paradise Creek Bikes (882-0703) for info. The event organizer, KC McIvor, also needs volunteers to help man (or woman) the check points. No experience necessary, so help MAMBA raise some dough by calling KC (208) 596-5620. All the money MAMBA receives goes directly back to the trails in the form of tool purchases, with the exception of the $$ I skim off to pay for a surfing lessons in Tahiti every January ;-).

BTW, you can also support MAMBA by subscribing to the downloadable map service at MAMBA's one-of-a-kind (for a bike club, anyway) web site, www.bikemoscow.org.

Twin Rivers Cyclists - Devils SlideNot to be outdone in the dirt(y) tricks department, the annual Devil's Slide Mountain Bike race happens this Sunday, April 19, at Hells Gate Park near Lewiston. TNT Bicycles has more info 208-798-8717. The race is not sponsored by MAMBA, just so's you know.

Don't be shy about thanking these local businesses for supporting MAMBA. Or tell them Jim LaFortune from MAMBA said you should shop there!

Hyperspud Sports (climbing, hiking, nordic skiing, backpacking etc)
Paradise Creek Bicycles
Tri-State (outdoor gear and clothing)
Follett's Mt Sports (bikes and snowsports)
NRS (paddlesports and other outdoor stuff)
Salmon River Experience (raft trips)

Reminder: if you bring a pooch to the mountain and it does a doo on the gravel road, please use a stick to flick the excrement into the bushes. This simple action will help keep the local landowners' (and mt bikers', joggers' and hikers') blood pressure down.

When all is said and done, riding bikes make most of us very happy, so...

Don't drive your kar-ma, pedal it!

Jim LaFortune