The mountain biking in Pittsburgh, PA has changed quite a bit over the past 20 years. With much of the trail mileage hidden among the towns parks, local riders have experienced the gamut from rogue trails that would often get torn out, to being chased by armed police officers for simply riding their bikes. However, the local riders organized together, formed Trail Pittsburgh, and paralleled the hard working, blue collar roots of the steel city and built their own legal, official trails. Today, riders are able to enjoy over 200 miles of singletrack and doubletrack thanks to the work of Trail Pittsburgh and its volunteer army.
Local Loam is a series I’ve organized to help promote mountain bike advocacy. When my family and I moved to Bellingham, WA, I was awestruck by the success of the local mountain bike advocacy group, the WMBC. Realizing that my kid, my wife, and I all had far more legitimate riding opportunities thanks to the work of this group, and that the local community was overwhelmingly more mountain bike friendly than where we’d lived previously, I realized that my online platforms would be a great way to help shed light on advocacy. Local Loam attempts to tell the stories of successful advocacy groups and the communities that they create. I fund this series by small contributions from my sponsors. No advocacy groups pay me to feature them.– Jeff Kendall-Weed