GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

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GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

NEW Trail Ontario County Park

Ontario County Park Black Trail

The past 2 years, Peter Landre, project manager for the trails at Ontario County Park (OCP) and a cadre of GROC volunteers were diligently planning and organizing the building of a 4.5 mile new trail. The trail was to be sited in a remote section of the park on the western edge of the property that was originally scoped out by Rick Williams for potential expansion and was included in the Park’s trail management plan. The challenges posed by this project included a large elevation change, steep slopes, rocky/dense soils and the amount of effort and time it would take to build a trail in a remote area of the park.

Peter started “desktop” scouting and planning for the BLACK Trail 2 years ago and broke the project into 3 phases based on using Ontario County’s excellent online GIS mapping resource, ONCOR (see map). Several scouting trips to mark and refine the trail corridor were performed in the fall of 2014 by Peter, Jon Brown, Matt Hanggi and Greg Radak. Peter also worked closely with the OCP Park Manager Anthony Robarge who was very supportive and helpful in all phases of the project including early “test rides”.

Phase 1, descending about a mile down from the top of the park, was worked on late last fall (’14) and was all done by hand, averaging about 10’-50’ per hour per person depending on the complexity of the benching and turns. Phase 2 is sited on a very interesting and mostly flat and open bench and measures about a mile. This section, opened this spring, was also worked on by hand and went more quickly due to less benching. Phase 3, measuring about 2.5 mile, was the largest and most difficult area to complete due to the length, remoteness and complexity of the benching. As a result, a mini-excavator was used to clear and bench the trail, followed by several people who raked, finished benched and “naturalized” the corridor. Using the machine and “hand-grooming”, the crew averaged 500’ per hour of completed trail and the entire Phase 3 area trail was completed in two weeks and about 200 volunteer hours.

GROC is very appreciative of Park Manager Anthony Robarge and Ontario County for agreeing to rent and run the equipment to build the Phase 3 trail. This is GROC’s first experience building a trail in the region with machine assistance and I cannot imagine having completed this project this season without using this approach. One of the volunteers, Greg Radak, even built a custom removable plate attachment for the excavator bucket to improve the speed and ease of clearing and benching.

I am sure that many decisions for how long and where the trails lines should go would have been dramatically different if we had to build the trail by hand. Using machine assistance allowed Peter and the volunteers to design an amazing new trail section that is nearly five miles long and a great trail addition to what is already a wonderful trail system. The Black Trail not only adds miles, it also incorporates about 700 feet of vertical climbing in elevation if you ride the trail as a full loop.

This has been a huge effort by Peter, Anthony, Greg, Matt, Jon and many others putting in a ton of hours. In the last 2 seasons Peter and volunteers have put in over 1000 hours at OCP. The Black Trail is officially open but needs to be burned in, so get out and ride. You are in for a treat and some serious leg burn!





Dryer Update

A lot has been happening at Dryer Road park on the trails. Even before the ground had thawed, we were in there designing and building awesome new trails. Volunteers have put in 334 hours, so far. The projects completed this spring include:


  • Big Easy— a totally new trail that was created to be a less technical way up and down, extending from Kaleidoscope to the top of A-train. This offers access to novices, but is being enjoyed by all levels of riders.
  • Eye of the Snake— a reroute of the lower section adds more length and interest, but also bypasses an eroded area.
  • Owl’s Maze— we had to reroute the trail around a section that was badly eroded. We made a fairly technical turn that adds interest and challenge.
  • More signs— Mary Lee’s famous hand-painted letters and symbols on hickory are strategically placed to keep riders oriented
  • Updated trail map— thanks to Scott Page for a beautiful and extremely helpful new rendition of the trail map of the entire trail system. It incorporates all the additions and changes we have made in the years since the previous map was made. Available as letter-size paper maps at the kiosk and electronically via link to GROC’s site((place link here)). Of note, his app allows him to easily update it with any more changes as we keep improving our trail system.
  • Current projects include a major reroute of Humpty Dumpty, which has eroded badly in the fall line sections. We have had two work parties already on it and more are being scheduled. By the time this article appears, we should have done further work on upper Juicy Bacon.
  • Future Plans—many more trail projects are planned, as our volunteer workforce participation allows. 


So, many thanks to all our hard-working volunteers, and special thanks to Brian Emelson, Victor Parks and Recreation Director, and Jeff Rader, who is head of operations and maintenance for the parks, for their continuing strong support. We urge all folks who use the trails to sign up for Trail Crew Meetup, so that they can keep informed as to the scheduling of all trail work parties. Please, join us. The trails need constant care.



Mark Rosenzweig and Mary Lee

GROC Project Managers for Dryer Road Park trails



GROC Partnership with Ithaca Beer Co.


Ithaca GreenTrails supports the preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of area biking and hiking trails. Proceeds from GreenTrails events, promotions and sponsorships are shared with not-for-profit organizations to help improve outdoor recreational trails for all of us to enjoy.

Ithaca Beer Co.'s Spring 2015 GreenTrails Promotion is a partnership with GROC & Cycle-CNY. A portion of the proceeds from this promotion will go to GROC & Cycle-CNY to help their bike trail building efforts in the Finger Lakes.


2015 Spring Kick-Off Event

Thanks Tyron Bike and for all those who joined in


The spring kick-off event was a good time thanks GROC members and volunteers for the support and work you have put in so far this season already.

Look for our next Pop-Up event 

GROC Fleet of Kazam bikes being put to good use

GROC owns a fleet of push bikes from Kazam that we bring to events and encourage kids to jump on and start to learn how to ride a bikes. These push bikes are the best way to teach your child to ride. The can start very young and these bikes teach balance from day 1. Training wheels on bikes actually work against the natural balance skills needed for riding a bike.

Every child I have seen use these bike go from the push bike to peddling a bike with no learning curve, they just jump on and start peddling.

GROC tries to promote biking in any way we can so we have leant the fleet of bikes and helmets to the Child Care Center at Genesee Community College Association in Batavia, New York. Staci L. Williams the director has been thrilled to have such a great activity for the kids and as you can see the gym makes an excellent place to rip it up.

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