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 five 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 they labor to make better.
We talk about proper trail-building techniques and how to control runoff and erosion, discuss different trail users and their needs, and usually have the U.S. Forest Service or a land manager with 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 U.S. Forest Service along on the ride. We educate the riders about how to act responsibly on the trails because they are ambassadors of TAMBA and the mountain bike community. On some rides like the Meyers Triple Crown we have trail marshals in potential conflict points to educate riders and other trail users.
We also hold showcase rides on new trails with with the U.S. Forest Service, during which we tal about the permitting and build process, biology, and natural history. This promotes responsible trail use, respect for others, and stewardship of the forest.
TAMBA’s website and social media presence helps sell this stewardship by showing people that trails did not just magically appear for their personal enjoyment.
TAMBA’s role in our community
Current TAMBA board members frequently meet with our land managers and regulatory agencies, including the US Forest Service, city and local governments, State Parks, county staff, CTC, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Lahontan. We also have strong partnerships with other area organizations like the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Carson Valley Trails, Muscle Powered, Podunk’s, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewards, and local Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Authorities.
The jobs our board members work are diverse and not related to the biking industry. One of our board members work for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, one is a firefighter, one is a doctor, one is a physical therapist, and one is a landscape architect. The board members have families and want to ensure that Tahoe is a community grounded in the natural assets of the forests, mountains, and lake – places we all cherish taht have drawn people here for centuries. We try to share this love for the land in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner.
Now we have a new venue with the completion of the Bijou Bike Park, which is a hub of the cycling community in South Lake Tahoe. From families to pros, everyone is there meeting one another and learning bike handling skills, respect for one another and the land, and 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:
- Volunteer. Get involved in our trail building and volunteer days. Time is the most precious thing you can offer.
- Ride responsibly. Show how respectful mountain bikers are to the trails, nature, and other users.
- Be a TAMBA member. Consider donating above basic membership levels if you are able.
- Participate. Show up to public meetings, events, and showcase rides – this will also help you stay informed. TAMBA has something going on almost every week.
- Keep it positive.
”Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bikeJohn F Kennedy