Jo Mary Riders Monthly MSA Report – February 2013

by Pat Catell, Club Treasurer/Secretary

It is January 14th and the temperature reached 52 degrees today, but by the time you read this article in the February newsletter the January thaw will have passed and we should be back into colder temperatures. And, hopefully, a few more snow storms will have come through the area to add to the great base on the trails. As I have said many times – check our trail report web page for current trail conditions and any changes in routes due to logging.

Scenic Loop

Last month I said I would describe a fun and scenic route to take if you come to this area. There are many interesting loops and the other day my husband Jim, his brother Scott and I went for an afternoon ride and did one of my favorite loops. It was about an 80 mile ride and had a lot of great scenery as you traveled on the Jo Mary, Ragged Lake, and Kokadjo trails.

We left from South Twin Lake and picked up the Katahdin Loop Trail heading north towards 85/86 which took us over Cooper Brook and up on Potaywadjo Ridge. There were spectacular views of Katahdin. A stop at the Farrar Mt. Lookout is worth the time and a picture. After the lookout we made our way to the B Pond trail. There were some nice long stretches as we worked our way back to South Twin Lake. We did this loop counter clockwise to get the best view of Katahdin. This route was all trail riding and you do not have to cross any lake if you start at the parking lot by 5 Lakes Lodge. Make sure you tank is full as there is no place to get gas on this loop.

President's Comments

Rick LeVasseur, Club President, was planning to add to this piece but he called pretty late saying he just got home from grooming. He also spent a good part of the evening towing Dave's machine back to the groomer garage because it broke on the trail. He didn't think he could get something written in time for the February issue. This was one of those long nights and unforeseen costs that all clubs have to deal with. Hopefully, the breakdown is not a costly one. Pat Catell, Club Secretary/Treasurer

P.S. – About 11PM I was getting ready to email this article to MSA and Rick sent me the following to include:

I attended an MSA meeting in Sherman on January 12 and was very pleased with the turnout. About ten different clubs were represented at the meeting. The general consensus was against the proposal put forth by the MSA leadership for a late fee that will be charged when you register if you don't register by December 15.

All in attendance talked about the need for more funding in order to maintain the trails at today's standards. With few exceptions, most clubs in Maine are having a very difficult time of grooming and maintaining our trail system with the dollars that we are receiving from the State. WE NEED MORE MONEY, plain and simple.

And asking the legislature to impose a late fee is not the answer. This will only generate an estimated three or four hundred thousand dollars. Chump change when you consider that the clubs are spending about $1.5 million more than what we are getting paid. We need a registration fee increase across the board, both resident and non-resident alike. Then offer a discount if you register early as opposed to a late fee if you don't.

Like it or not, the fees in Maine are lower than any of our neighbors and we have a great trail system. If you don't want to see it come to a screeching halt with an ungroomed and fragmented trail system, then you better be prepared to pay a little more for the privilege of riding a trail system that has been built and maintained by an ever decreasing number of volunteers statewide.

And if you're reading this column and have never contacted one of your legislative representatives, maybe now is the time to do so. We need support from the riders, not just club members who do all of the work. – Rick Levassuer, Club President.

Remember, ride safe and ride right.

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