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Pedalers Get Trail Machine

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Creating new bike trails just got easier

When the Pend Oreille Pedalers (POP) were asked, “If you could have three wishes, what would they be?” the overwhelming response was, “a trail building machine, a trailer to haul it on and a crew to run it.” Amazingly enough, their wishes were granted! Well… it wasn’t quite that easy. 

After months of hard work and dedicated research by Larry Davidson, Vice President of POP, with the assistance of grant writer, Ruth Watkins, the bicycling club has persevered.

Through a generous grant by the Equinox Foundation with the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, the POP were able to procure a fantastic mini excavator, a trailer and all the needed equipment for operating and maintaining the machine. The Takeuchi TB108 Compact Mini Excavator will ease the work load of many tireless bikers who have, until now, built all our mountain biking trails by hand. Trails that used to take months to create will now take days. Those who have felt like ancient Egyptians moving enormous rocks with logs to create bridges will simply point at the boulders and grin, while they watch the articulating arm and thumb of the excavator go to work.

“We are honored that the Equinox Foundation awarded us the grant and we will use the excavator to continue to improve and build new trails in our area,” said Brian Anderson, President of the Pend Oreille Pedalers. “The excavator dramatically shortens the man-hours it takes for us to build trails, allowing us to create many more miles of trails for bicyclists and hikers in our area. We have plans to use it on future trail projects in our area, beginning this Spring.”

Earlier this year, the Pend Oreille Pedalers, in conjunction with the Bonners Ferry Forest Service, completed work on the new Brush Lake Trail. The 6.5 mile trail was specially built for mountain biking with stunts such as a teeter-totter, skinnies and technical rock drops and climbs. In addition, the POP Trail Building Team, led by Sandy Thomas and John Monks, maintains the Gold Hill and Mineral Point trails in collaboration with the Sandpoint Ranger District, as well as trails on private land through the generous permission of land owners.

The Pend Oreille Pedalers, a non-profit organization which promotes and improves bicycling opportunities around Sandpoint and the Idaho Pandhandle, is an advocate of safe cycling in our community. The club provides information on group rides, for road riders and mountain bikers, beginners and advanced. The average member is not average; they range in age and ability to include those who occasionally dust off their bikes for a little fun, to the other end of the spectrum for whom bicycling is their only transportation and a way of life. The club sponsors Sandpoint’s annual Bike Week, which includes a Ride to School/Work Day, the Bike Swap and Bike Film Festival, as well as campouts and many other fun community events year-round.  For those interested in membership, please go to their website at pendoreillepedalers.com.

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Pend Oreille Pedalers, biking, bike trails

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