The culture of trail stewardship starts within our community. TAMBA works hard to increase stewardship for the trails, forest and lake. The Lake Tahoe Basin is one of the most highly protected areas in the country and we take pride in working to preserve the precious natural resources in balance with recreational needs for future generations.
The two main components of our stewardship efforts are trail work and showcase events.
TAMBA hosts up to 50 days per year of volunteer work in various locations. Over the last 5 years hundreds of riders have helped on volunteer days. Entire families show up to volunteer, what better way to teach forest stewardship than start as a preschooler. At trail days riders learn to respect the trail and truly have buy in on the trails because they have labored to make the trails better. We talk about proper trail building techniques, controlling runoff and erosion, discuss different users of the trails and their needs, and usually have the Forest Service or a land manager there alongside of us. Currently TAMBA has about 40 trained crew leaders leading active trail projects all around the lake and in the Reno area. There’s no better way to grow trail stewardship and respect than to have someone help work on the trail (or bike park).
Our “showcase” rides are another way we reach a big group of people. Again we usually we have a representative from the Forest Service along on the ride and provide education to all riders telling them to act responsibly because they are an ambassador of TAMBA and the mountain bike community. On some rides such as the Meyers Triple Crown we have trail marshals in potential conflict points educating riders and other trail users. We also hold showcase rides with with the Forest Service on new trails, talking about the permitting process, build process and biology and natural history. This promotes responsible trail use, respect for others, and stewardship of the forest. Our web presence and social media then helps to sell the stewardship, showing people that trails did not just magically appear for their personal enjoyment. We make full use of Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and forums.
Current board members with TAMBA have frequent conversations with our land managers and regulatory agencies including the US Forest Service, City and local governments, State Parks, County staff, CTC, TRPA, and Lahontan. We also have regular conversations and strong partnerships with other area organizations such as the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Carson Valley Trails, Muscle Powered, Podunk’s, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewards, local Chambers and Visitor Authorities.
No one is paid a cent with TAMBA and we all volunteer our time, the jobs our board members work is diverse and surprisingly not related to the bike industry. Two of our board members work for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), one is a firefighter, one is a doctor, another is a physical therapist, and one is a landscape architect. We have families and want to see Tahoe be a community grounded in the natural assets of the forests, mountains, and lake, places that we all cherish so dearly and have have drawn people here for centuries. We try to share this love for the land in an inclusive and non-discriminatory fashion.
Now we have a new venue with the completion of the Bijou Bike Park. At the bike park we have created a venue that is the hub of the cycling community in South Lake Tahoe. From families to pros, everyone is there mingling together, learning bike handling skills, respect for one another and the land along with simple things like wearing a helmet and having brakes on your bike.
Ask Not what TAMBA can do for you, but what you can do for TAMBA:
1. Volunteer. Get involved in our trail building and volunteer days. Time is the most precious thing you can offer.
2. Ride responsibly, show how respectful mountain bikers are to the trails, nature and other users.
3. Be a TAMBA member, for only $20 you can help support the trails and be part of a collective voice.
4. Participate. Show up to public meetings, events, and showcase rides. TAMBA has something going on almost every week. This will also help you stay informed.
5. Keep it positive.
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” John F Kennedy