Trail Building 101

Saturday October 24th, 2015 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

rvaMORE will be holding a Trail Building 101 class on Saturday, October 24th in Forest Hill Park.  Please join us to learn the basics of trail building and why we do things things in the James River Park the way we do.  The morning classroom session include discussion about terrain, soil, trail design, construction techniques, user groups, the relationship between rvaMORE and the land manager that we work with and more.  Then in the afternoon we’ll have a hands on section where we’ll be rerouting a  section of trail in Forest Hill Park.

There is no cost for this class and lunch will be provided, but the class size is limited to 24, so please sign-up early to reserve your spot.

When: 8:30am – 4:00pm Saturday, October 24th 2015

Where: Stone House in Forest Hill Park (note: please allow extra time for parking due to Forest Hill Farmer’s Market)

Bring: Notebook & Pen for classroom notes.  Gloves, study shoes and work clothes for hands-on session.

10 signed up so far. Limit: 24.


Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day


2015 Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Rain Date – Saturday, October 24th.  Sign up here:

rvaMORE will be hosting its annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day on Saturday, October 3rd.  This year we’re excited to announce that we have two event locations.  At 9am, we’ll have an event at the Belle Isle Skills Area supported by Ride Kore and River City Women’s Mountain Biking.  Then at 2pm, we’ll be at Pocahontas State Park with RVA Racing.  Event space at both events is limited, so sign up early!

For more information and to register, please visit:

Volunteers Wanted

In order to make Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day a success, we need a few more volunteers.  You don’t need to be an expert mountain biking to help out – and you may even learn some new mountain biking tip & tricks while you’re out there.  If you can lend a hand at either event, please email

A World Championships Legacy Project: Richmond Attains Bronze IMBA Ride Center Status

In 2004 several Richmond mountain bikers wanted to ride more than the 2 or 3 miles of adopted/pirate trails on the south side of the James River in Richmond Virginia. Working with the park manager and MORE (Mid Atlantic Off-road Enthusiast) the IMBA club in the Washington DC area, they formed rvaMORE – Richmond’s trails advocacy group. Relying on volunteer efforts and donations, the trails grew from a few miles to over 38 miles of trail within the City of Richmond. These trails, built mainly in under-used wooded green spaces in the park and brownfields between the adjacent neighborhoods and the river, have received national praise and press from the outdoors community. In addition to the well known James River Loop, the trails extends into neighborhood parks on both the north and south sides of the river and include small dirt jump park and a bicycle skills area.

In 2012 the community again came together to build a legacy cycling project for Richmond 2015 – the UCI World Road Cycling Championships to be held in Richmond September 19th to the 27th. The proposal was to build a new system of trails at Pocahontas State Park. rvaMORE partnered with IMBA, Virginia DCR, City of Richmond and Friends of Pocahontas Park, developed a plan and raised the funds and make this vision happen. More than simply building more trails, the vision was to build types trails that did not exist in Richmond and to give access to handcycles. Over $325,000 was raised over the course of 2 years and this past year, 7 miles of new handcycle, family-friendly and beginner level flow trail were built at Pocahontas. These trail officially opened this past June.

The designation of IMBA Ride Center Bronze Level status makes Richmond the only true urban Ride Center where mountain bikers can access great single track trail from their home or office by bike. Richmond’s urban trails bring access to the community in a way that remote trail systems cannot – no need to get in a car to access trails in remote locations, just ride your bike from home. The Richmond Ride Center is about access to all levels of great mountain biking trails, pump tracks, dirt jumps and true access for offroad hand cycles.

For more information, visit

Contact Greg Rollins

IMBA Ride Center


For more than a decade, IMBA has recognized trails and trail systems around the world that stand out as models for the best that mountain biking has to offer. From rugged, long-distance treks to front-country networks that challenge and excite riders of all ability levels, the Model Trails program is designed to inspire the kinds of experiences that keep mountain bikers coming back for more.

“More” is definitely the right word to describe the 2015 class of inductees. In the Epics category, the six selected rides average over 60 miles in length, and offer stout challenges—along with jaw-dropping scenery—for even the most experienced trail enthusiasts. In the Ride Centers category, the interest and growth in this designation has absolutely exploded, with an unprecedented number of applications and fully 13 of these outstanding trail systems recognized this year.

This year’s class includes our first round of renewing Ride Centers: Each location is now required to resubmit an application every four years. To maintain a high level of consistency a reviewer from IMBA’s Trail Solutions team conducts an on-site visit to evaluate the center’s trail system, bike amenities and other criteria. “Earning a top-tier score keeps getting more difficult,” says IMBA Field Programs Director Chris Bernhardt. “We want to continually set the bar higher—just as riders’ abilities are always expanding and improving, so should the facilities that we recognize as the best places for mountain biking.”

2015 Bronze-level Ride Center

Richmond, Virginia

Big things are happening in Richmond, including the upcoming (Sept. 19-27) World Road Cycling Championships. For dirt lovers, rvaMORE and a host of partners have raised over $325,000 in just two years, opening miles of new trails, including a purpose-built hand-cycle line, plus a flow trail and beginner-level singletrack. Best of all, this is a truly urban-based center, with great connectivity allowing riders to access standout trails without getting into a car.

Summer Trail Work

Dorey park needs volunteers for July 25th and August 1st

rvaMORE has an new agreement with Henrico.  Our agreement with Henrico is covering two parks Deep Run and Dorey.  What this means is we can get both parks trails optimized for bikes.  We can fix all the muddy spots and make the trails better for both pedestrians and bikers.   Dorey has about two days of work to get it back in shape.  We agreed to get the trails repaired at Dorey before Mid September for the Capital Trail opening.  Then this October we can work on the trails in Deep Run.

We will be meeting at 9:00 AM Saturday the 25th and August 1st we will work for 4 hours.  Pizza and beverages after.  Bring water, bug spray long pants and boots.  We need a count of who will be working please email: if you plan to work.  Even if you can only work for 1 hour we need your help

rvaMORE Jerseys

rvaMORE Jerseys are now for sale.  We’re doing a limited run at a very special price of only $50.  This is an active club fit jersey with the rvaMORE logo on front and back, ull hidden zipper, 3 rear pockets, men’s & women’s sizing.

Hurry, this sale ends July 30th with jerseys shipping in late August.  We are planning on doing future runs, but not at this low first-run price.



June Club Meeting & Social

June’s Club Meeting will take place at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery on Tuesday, June 16th at 6pm.  We’ll start off with a social, then around 7, we’ll be talking about the work we’ve done this past year, some of our plans for the next year and the results of this past Winter’s survey.

Please come out at join us at our last meeting until the Fall.  We hope to see you there!

Q&A: Trail Building/Maintenance

Q & A (#2)
with rvaMORE

Q: Trail Building/Maintenance: What’s the process?

How is it determined where and how the trails get built, their design, their
construction and their rebuilding (when necessary)?

A. rvaMORE has been working closely with land managers for over ten years not only to increase our off-road trail network, but to identify and brainstorm solutions for problem areas that creep up on the various trails. Since the ecology in the parks is in a constant state of change, it is necessary to identify, maintain and work proactively with these changes to keep issues at bay. When we build new trail, how is it determined where trail is put down? Who decides its design and the construction method? When we maintain trail, who decides what sections need reworking and why? We’re going to break it all down for you in this Q&A.

1. WHO is involved?
a. An important piece of information about trail building is that the advocacy groups (e.g. rvaMORE, Friends of Pocahontas State Park, etc.) do not have free reign to build trail wherever and whenever they want. The building process is a collaboration between the land managers, the advocacy groups, affected neighborhood associations and possibly other consultants such as IMBA and even hired contractors. It all depends on the project in question.
b. The land managers (e.g. James River Park Staff) have the ultimate authority on the trail design and construction method and approval of any and all trail work projects.
c. Who else is involved? Volunteers! (And we appreciate you!)

2. WHAT is involved?
a. Identify the need: Need can originate from several sources, including land managers, advocacy groups, and/or individual park users. Also identified are the general location of the need (e.g., Buttermilk East, North Bank) and the targeted users of that location (e.g., bikers, hikers, dog walkers, birders, etc.) The need could be as simple as the desire for new trail or more technical trail features or the need could be the result of a hazardous condition (fallen tree, storm damage, land slide) or unforeseen erosion and/or drainage problems.
b. Communicate the need: Once the need has been identified, the source alerts the land manager or advocacy group.
c. Assessment: The land managers assess the existing state of the trail bed of the area in need and try to forecast any foreseeable issues. Whether building new trail or reworking existing trail with erosion/drainage issues, the composition of the soil and rock are examined along with the surrounding, supporting environment. If on a hillside, is the slope going to present any challenges? What native plant species are present to help control erosion? Is there full access to the area or is the area restricted in some way, etc.
d. Collaboration: After the assessment phase, the land managers meet with the advocacy group(s), neighborhood associations, consultants, etc. to discuss a feasible design of the area, including the estimated cost of the project (man power as well as tool and equipment needs). The design phase also takes into account who the anticipated users of the trail will be.
e. Identify Funding Sources: Will the project be funded by the land manager, advocacy group, or possibly a combination of the two? Can materials (i.e., lumber, hardware, soil, stone) be sourced through private donations or from the land manager? Does the identified project require tools and/or equipment that the club doesn’t have? If so, the board members of rvaMORE discuss funding options to obtain the necessary materials, tools and/or equipment.
f. Green Light, Go?: Before the work can begin, the land manager has to give the final approval on the project.
g. Make it Happen: Once we’ve been given the go ahead, the club schedules and coordinates the trail work day(s). Depending on the scope of the project (and the participation of the weather), it could be knocked out in one day or may require several weekends of work. The club communicates through social media when and where the trail work will occur and the trail bosses secure the proper tools, equipment and trained volunteers to execute the design.
h. CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS!: After the work is complete, celebrate by RIDING YOUR BIKE!!
i. Two more things: First, the work, as mentioned in “h” above, is never really complete. The James River Park System, in particular, is a unique environment and is constantly evolving due to natural forces and heavy use alike. The park and trail managers don’t just work in the park. They ride bikes too and monitor changes in the trail system closely. Everyone involved in the process does their best to build and maintain trail that has the least amount of environmental impact and utilizes construction techniques that minimize future maintenance and rework. However, because the environment is always changing, challenges present themselves in different ways. This is why it is so important to give the trails a rest if they are muddy and to stay on the single track path and not ride around technical trail features unless there is a dedicated and purposely built ride around. (To that end, if you can’t ride something, walk it. There is no shame in doing so.)
Second, as mentioned above, our trail systems serve a huge swath of the community and a wide variety of users. The trails are constructed with the collective community in mind, not solely for mountain bikers. Keep in mind that while rvaMORE leads the advocacy for, and construction of, great RVA mountain bike trails, they are built with many other users in mind beyond the mountain bike community.

Trail Running Movie & Water Fountain Fundraiser

Here Comes A Hump-Day That’ll Beat ‘Em All!

Wednesday, May 13, @ 7:30PM!

A Very Special Evening! Visiting guest Ben Clark, “Nolan’s 14” screening, plus an awesome raffle to benefit installing a human/canine water fountain at the Pump House Drive/Boulevard Bridge Trailhead! Please Read On…

Meet & greet w/ pro-athlete/filmmaker Ben Clark, and the screening of his 47-minute feature film “Nolan’s 14”. Tackling Colorado’s 100 mile mountain chain containing 14 14’ers! This is tough! Go to the link below for details.

Also, a Local Raffle Fundraiser for the installation of the human/canine-friendly water fountain at the Pump House Drive Trailhead! Great prizes valued at $75+! See the list-in-progress below. Raffle tickets $5 each, or 5 for $20, or 15 for $50! Cash only please, must be present to take home the goods! All revenues go directly to the fountain project, and will help us reach our goal of $15K-$17K. This project is supported by Kelleher HVAC, RVA MORE and our RVA Monthly Trail Run!

Carytown’s Walkabout Outfitters, 3015 W. Cary Street (across from Mellow Mushroom). (804) 342-5890. RSVP please. If possible, bring a camp chair in the event of a larger than expected crowd! WooHoo!

“Nolan’s 14” Trailer

Here’s the current list of raffle items :

  • 12-Month Subscription to Outside Magazine
  • Chaco Footwear Gift Certificate ($110)
  • Brooks Running Shoes (2 pairs)
  • Osprey Hydration Pack
  • Maui Jim’s Sunglasses
  • Osprey Duffel Bag ($120)
  • lululemon All Access Pack ($148)
  • Walkabout Outfitters Gift Certificate ($75)
  • Carena’s Jamaican Grille Gift Certificate ($100)