Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The End Is The Beginning: Playing In The Dirt

Yesterday marked the end of my webmaster duties for the Falls Area Bicyclists (FAB). It also marks then end of (I think) four years of active involvement (board/web) with that club. Coffee/Donut Ride leadership notwithstanding. I will be happy to free up that mindspace for...

Yesterday the Parks Board approved the agreement between Falls Area Singletrack and Sioux Falls Parks. The agreement has to be routed around town and approved by various key people (Mayor) and then Leaders Park will be ours to play with.

What a fun project. Two years ago the conversation about singletrack in Sioux Falls renewed itself. It's been a long walk. Initial winter meetings with 11-ish people at Caribou where we all agreed on the vision. From there a core team of four carried the ball forward. The addition of a landscape architect volunteer with skills to make presentation quality maps was key. Encouragement from parks staff along the lines of "this is the best presentation of this sort we've ever seen" kept things hopeful.

Then we had to tell the neighbors. Briman's got that story:

That last frame is on the back of the FAST t-shirts.

A piece of sharing the vision with the neighbors involved the opportunity for public comment on the parks website. Public commentary also attached itself to articles in The Local Daily. The comments were very telling and very teachable. My favorite commentary theme was "the city is giving in to special interests."

Importantly, when it came time to meet the neighbors the call went out to the biking community to attend the public meeting. And the call was answered. Impressively. Answered in such a way that it was clear to all involved that the person-power necessary to actually build the proposed trail EXISTS.

Along the way FAST purchased $1,300 worth of trailbuilding tools. The money came from within. Snakebite's winter bike swaps, other large gifts from individuals and small gifts $5 at a time. 3 dudes in the core group of 5 I'd never met before.

Yes, indeed we are special interest. Indeed we've cobbled together tens of hundreds of dollars. We're looking to buy land.

Welcome to community. I'm looking forward to playing in the dirt with you.


Ben said...

That's good news....and nice to see the biking community support you in numbers. There are few bikers where I'm at. I recently blogged a vision for an improved road with bike lanes, etc., but I fear around here that such a vision is utopian!

Briman said...

You just want to whip out your Pulaski in public!