Southern CT

NEMBA COVID-19 Guidance for Rides & Trail Care Events

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

COVID-19 Guidance for NEMBA Rides & Trail Care Sessions


With warm weather and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions we know that there will be an iincrease in group rides and trail work days. Please consider the guidance below, as well as the state by state guidelines, when organizing and hosting a group ride, trail care event, or other event. We all want to ride bikes, let’s just do it safely!


Key Takeaways:

  • All participants must sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver.

  • Email with information of any upcoming events.

  • Follow state & local guidelines (see links below as these can change frequently)

  • We strongly encourage you to maintain a list of attendees with contact info so we have a record of participation and can do outreach to non-members.  This will also help in the event contact tracing is ever necessary. 

  • Most riders prefer a smaller, more personal group ride experience. Try to keep trail groups small, 10 or less is ideal. Split larger groups if possible. 

  • Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals and others who are recreating outdoors but are still an excellent preventative measure when in close contact or when near unvaccinated or at-risk people. 

  • Respect the wishes of any volunteer or participant who requests more enhanced protocols. Every individual has their own risk tolerance.

  • Very importantly, all state and local guidelines still apply.


Current State Requirements: (Subject to change.) - updated June 15, 2021

Click on the State name for links to individual state COVID-19 websites

Connecticut: No outdoor mask requirements. No outdoor limit on group size.

Massachusetts: No mask requirements for fully vaccinated. No limit on outdoor group size. All State covid restrictions end on 6/15.

Maine: No outdoor mask requirements. No limits on group size.

New Hampshire: No outdoor mask requirements. No limits on group size. Covid restrictins end 6/12.

Rhode Island: No outdoor mask requirement. No limits on group size

Vermont: No outdoor mask requirements. No limits on group size. All Covid restrictions ended 6/15.

CDC Covid-19 Guidelines

CT DEEP, Maine Bureau of Parks, Mass DCR Guidance, NH State Parks, RI DEM Guidance, VT State Parks 

   Note: Some cities and towns may have different rules.


NEMBA Recommendations for smaller events, rides, and trail care sessions

  • To schedule a group ride or trail care event send an email to

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

  • Volunteers and participants should remain home if not feeling well, if they have received a positive COVID test, or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.

  • We strongly encourage chapters to maintain a list of attendees with contact info so we have a record of participation and can do outreach to non-members. This will also help in the event contact tracing is ever necessary. This can be as simple as a sign-in list, if capacity is not a concern, or a pre-registration site such as EventBrite. 

Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the event. This is a best-practice, regardless of COVID.

NEMBA offers EventBrite registration, with a covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. This can help with capacity requirements due to limited ride guides. Eventbrite is just one option, other options are welcomed.

When riding with the same people every week, this can be waived.

  • Respect parking regulations. Parking has become a problem at some riding areas due to the influx of new trail users. If a parking area is full, find another legal place to park.

  • Try to keep groups small, 10 or less is ideal. Participants have more enjoyable times in smaller groups. Split larger groups if possible. Large groups can also cause trail conflicts and should be avoided. Have sufficient ride leaders to meet demand or create ride limits that reflect your ride leader capacity.

  • Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals and others who are recreating outdoors but are still an excellent preventative measure when in close contact or when near unvaccinated or at-risk people. 

  • Exaggerate your courtesy to other trail users. When encountering other trail users, slow down or stop and move off the trail to provide room for people to pass unless they waive you by. Always say hello and be friendly.

  • On trail care days bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Some places require providing sanitizing materials at events 

  • You are strongly encouraged to review the state and local guidelines for your area if post ride food is being offered. Bring hand sanitizer, minimize the sharing of food, and ensure social distancing is maintained.

  • Respect the wishes of any volunteer or participant who requests more enhanced protocols. Every individual has their own risk tolerance. 

  • It is up to local chapters to decide what is best for their area and the comfort level of their ride leaders.

  • Follow local, state and federal guidelines. Use the links above for up-to-date information as these change frequently. 

NEMBA Trail School @ Goodwin State Forest

Monday, May 19, 2014

Riders and trail enthusiasts from an array of organizations gathered at Goodwin Conservation Center in Hampton, Connecticut for NEMBA's annual two-day course in trail design, construction and maintenance.

In addition to riders from numerous NEMBA chapters from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, participants came from the Connecticut Parks & Forests Association, the Central CT Regional Planning Agency, the Friends of Goodwin State Park, Greenfield Trails Association (NH), Londonderry Trails (NH) and even as far away as the Gennesee Region Offroad Cyclists (Rochester, NY).

In the NEMBA tradition of "work hard, play harder", the course featured not only classroom instruction but outdoors hands-on build clinics as well as an epic ride on the extensive trail system that encompasses Goodwin State Forest and Natchaug State Forest.

“Our trail school is key to increasing our capacity to improve and build more trails,” commented NEMBA director, Philip Keyes. “I’m confident that everyone who attended this year’s class will go on to put on their own trail care events and help us build a better New England for trails and trail-based recreation in all its forms.”

Our thanks to the supportive staff at the Goodwin Conservation Center and the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection for opening their doors to us and allowing us to camp out -- the evening bonfire was great!  We also thank the Friends of Goodwin State Forest for helping with project locations. Lastly, a huge shout-out of thanks to our NEMBA instructors, Paula Burton, Adam Glick, Maciej Sobieszek and Mike Tabaczynski, and to our ride leaders, Stacey Jimenez and Glenn Newcombe.

If you missed out, mark your calendars now for the May 21-22, 2015.

HV NEMBA Trail Day @ Waldo


12/4/21 9:00am

Housatomic Valley TrailBuild @ Waldo State Park.

Work day at Waldo on Saturday, 12/4, 9 AM and home by lunch.

It's time we re-routed part of the Red trail just uphill from the parking lot.

The descent on the far side of the hill past the laurels is getting rooty and eroded.

Paula and I laid out a fun, twisty course just to the west of there.

It will need some benching and some raking, but it won't be a major undertaking.

If more people show than are needed for this task, the trails can definitely use a clipper patrol.

Sign the 2021 NEMBA Waiver if you haven't already done so.

  You don't have to be a member of HV NEMBA to help out.  

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Housatonic Valley NEMBA


Event Leader

Andy Engel

HV NEMBA Thanksgiving Ride @ Waldo

Event Date

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 27 2021 .
11/26/21 10:00am

Thanksgiving is almost here, which means one thing: TURKEY BURNER RIDES!

HV NEMBA is running the following rides over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend:

- Friday 11/26 Waldo State Park, wheels down 10 a.m. (led by Maria Dumoulin)

- Friday 11/26 Upper Paugussett State Park, wheels down 8 a.m. at the Pond Brook Boat Ramp (led by Mark Lurie)

- Saturday 11/27 Rockhouse Hill Sanctuary, wheels down 9 a.m., (led by Lori Johnstone). Please respond via comments here or e-mail to confirm attendance/meeting spot for this ride only.

   Please wear blaze orange or some other bright color to these rides.

In addition to getting in a ride, the club has branded socks and winter beanies available for sale - ask your ride leader for more information!

Be sure to sign NEMBA's 2021Annual Waiver if you haven't already done so.

  These ride are open to NEMBA members and prospective members.

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Ride Level

All Levels

Ride Style


Ride Leader Name

Chris Del Sole

FC NEMBA Turkey Burner & Toy Drive


11/27/21 9:00am to 1:00pm

Event by New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA)Fairfield County NEMBA and Michaela Lawlor

Location: Hemlock Hills located at 117 S Shore Dr, Ridgefield

Duration: 4 hr

For: NEMBA members and non-members

DUE TO WEATHER, The Turkey Burner and Holiday Toy Drive has been MOVED to Saturday, November 27th at Hemlock Hills in Ridgefield!

Park at the Lake Windwing Ballfields
17 South Shore Drive
Ridgefield, CT 06877

To participate, please bring a toy (or however many you wish to donate) with you. Please DO NOT wrap them. Toys will be donated to Toys for Tots. To read more about Toys for Tots and their mission, visit their site here:

We will have intermediate and social paced groups go out. Wheels down at 9AM.

Hope to see you there!

To participate: Please bring a toy (or however many you wish to donate) with you.

Please DO NOT wrap them. Toys will be donated to Toys for Tots.

To read more about Toys for Tots and their mission, visit their site here:

Hope to see you there!

Please sign the 2021 NEMBA waiver here if you haven't yet already done so:

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Fairfield County


Event Leader

Michaela Lawler

FC NEMBA Chapter Meeting


10/20/21 6:00pm

Fairfield County NEMBA - Chapter Board Meeting

Wednesday, October 20th at 6pm


Agenda Items:

  • Nomination of Michaela Lawlor to FCNEMBA Board.
  • Trail Projects: Plans for Huntington Rock Bridges. Plans for Pierrepont. Trumbull boardwalk. Other ideas.
  • Maps/Trailforks Update
  • Website Update
  • Social – Appreciation event ideas. Odeens?
  • Group Rides - Updates
  • Treasury Report

Hope to see you then!

Mike Malwitz

FCNEMBA Chapter President

   Contact me, for Zoom info.



Fairfield County

Event Leader

Mike Malwitz

HV NEMBA Chapter Meeting & Ride


10/27/21 5:00pm

October Chapter Meeting

Join us on Wednesday, October 27th for our monthly Chapter meeting.

We’ll get together at 5 p.m. for a quick spin on the Larkin Bridle Trail in Southbury, then head to The Lodge for the meeting at 7 p.m.

Bring lights for safety!

You don't have to be a member of NEMBA to join us.  

   But everyone must sign the Annual Waiver if they haven't already done so.



Housatonic Valley NEMBA

Event Leader

Paula Burton

SE CT NEMBA Chapter Meeting


10/25/21 6:30pm

SE CT NEMBA Zoom Chapter Meeting

Members and non-members are welcome to join!!

You don't have to be a NEMBA members to attend

Topics will include chapter news, details on upcoming events, and other topics.

Detailed agenda will be added in advance of meeting.



Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 816 7630 9618
Passcode: 289371
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Meeting ID: 816 7630 9618
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Southeastern CT NEMBA

Event Leader

Brett Severson

Southern CT

Northern CT

Rockwell Park, Bristol

200 Jacobs ST
Bristol  Connecticut  06010
United States








Rockwell Park is in the city of Bristol. At 104 acres it is the city's first public park.

In addition to 2.5 miles of mountain bike trails there is also a new Pump Track, a skateboard park and much more.

Taken together this makes the park a draw for area residents.

The Pump Track even has its own Facebook Page.

When you're in Bristol, check it out. Read more about [node:title]

Links to Relevant Resources

Engaging Children in Mountain Biking

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Engaging Children in Mountain Biking

By Paula Burton


To honor all the moms and dads who take their children mountain biking, I interviewed four families who mountain bike together. There are a range of ages of children from 4 to 16 years old. Each age has its own rewards and challenges.

Ryan, Kyaiera, and Reese Tucker (age 4)

Ryan and Kyaiera began taking Reese to Mianus River Park in Stamford, CT as soon as she could ride a push bike. Mianus has plenty of rocks and roots. Besides a strider or push bike, Ryan rode with Reese on a shotgun seat . Now the family is often spotted at Thunder Mountain Bike Park in Charlemont, MA.

Since Reese was old enough to talk, she would point to the lift and ask to go up the lift at Thunder. A few weeks ago, with a new bike that has brakes, she did her first run on Sugar Line, the beginner trail at Thunder. Ryan says that she is beginning to see “lines'' or ways to navigate down and up technical sections.

Ryan and Kyaiera are thrilled to finally be riding as a family, since up until now, the two of them had to take turns.

Ryan highly recommends scheduling mountain biking into family life. Ryan feels the sport has given Reese confidence in other physical activities and on the playground with her peers.

Reese is willing and enthusiastic about new challenges. Most of all, it is a great way for the family to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the sport.

Chris, Meghan, Matt (age 7), Luke (age 5), and Natalie (age 2) Del Sole

Chris started his oldest son on a Strider balance bike when he was two. He progressed to pedals eighteen months later and began riding trails on a 16" bike around the time he went to kindergarten. His younger kids started riding on a shotgun seat on my bike at age two then began the balance bike to pedaling progression in a similar fashion. As a family that skis every weekend in the winter, mountain biking is the perfect off-season sport for them.It allows them to get outside and be active together while also providing great cross-training. Like skiing, riding a bike gives kids a level of autonomy they rarely get in their day-to-day lives. Their self-esteem, confidence, and fitness are all nurtured thanks to mountain biking. They also sleep better after a ride, which is great for Mom and Dad's sanity! 

To maintain the children’s interest in mountain biking, the family watches mountain biking videos on YouTube, and they also film and edit their own videos. Chris built a small trail network in the woods behind their house for the kids to ride on, and he set up skinnies and ramps in their driveway. Chris has three kids, so every so often he’ll take each one out solo as a way of getting some one-on-one attention. 

The best advice Chris has for families is to think about each ride as an investment in the future. Buy your kids proper gear and keep your initial expectations low - a ride of even just one mile on dirt is better than an afternoon spent watching TV. Make sure you bring plenty of snacks and water and take time to explore your surroundings while you're in the woods. If you're patient and keep things fun, those one mile rides will quickly become longer.

Terrain choice is also very important. Keep both the technical challenge as well as the elevation changes as mellow as possible in the beginning. Prior to taking his kids on a trail, Chris makes sure to ride it himself with a "beginner’s eye."

When asked what would make mountain biking easier for families, he would recommend the following:

1. Better trails - regardless of age, beginner mountain bikers need mellow terrain without big elevation changes to learn bike handling skills and start to build confidence and fitness. Little legs only make those requirements more important! Machine built flow trails and skills parks are essential for safely introducing young children to this sport.

2. Equipment. The market for high quality children's equipment has grown immensely in the last 5-10 years, but I still see too many parents buying bikes for their kids at big box stores. Local shops have been slow to embrace this market, too, meaning most sales are happening online. Brands like Strider, Spawn Cycles, Prevelo, Norco, Little Rider Co., Woom Cycles and more are putting out miniature versions of adult bikes and clothing, and that makes all the difference in the world. As an adult, I wouldn't accept a bike that weighs 50% of what I do, so why should my child?

3. Clubs can play a huge role in growing the sport and introducing families to mountain biking. Many mountain bike Moms and Dads don't know how to get their young children (say, 4-7 years old) started, because they didn't start that young, and haven't seen many kids that age on the trails. Local MTB clubs are made up of knowledgeable riders who love to give back to the sport and can play a pivotal role in helping families get started through gear recommendations, guided rides, and skills camps.

Chris says that there is a wealth of information available to bike parents today, if they know where to look. A favorite website of mine is The Bike Dads (, which has reviews, tips, and tricks on kid-specific equipment.

Matt, Mary, Paige (age 16) and Cora (age 13) Tullo

Matt and Mary started mountain biking in college together and continued through their adult life, so their kids didn't really have a choice. They were coming with them!

Outside of the obvious physical health benefits, Paige and Cora have gained confidence through mountain biking. They have overcome mental obstacles and fears every time the family is out riding. It is a time away from screens; a time to enjoy nature and experience fun family time together. Matt and Mary have passed on the experience to their extended family during weekend long camping trips centered around mountain biking .

To maintain and encourage interest in mountain biking both of the girls rode bikes at a young age in the driveway and around the neighborhood. Once out of the neighborhood, the natural progression of the sport leads to ever-changing goals. Learning how to ride new features, faster turns, longer rides,keeps them coming back for more. Paige joined a team and participated in cross country racing, which added a new element to her riding. Paige and Cora started off as reluctant, cautious riders on tech. Now, Paige is racing and riding bike parks, and Cora has become a"Mountain Goat" climber. Both feel like they are ambassadors for the sport and are always trying to get more girls to ride.

Matt’s advice for other parents is to start off slow, and never push beyond the "fun" factor. If riding on gravel trails is what everyone is enjoying, continue with that. Slowly introduce new elements and see how your child does. Find something your child did well or something they overcame during each outing and focus your comments on how proud you are of their effort rather than ability. Try not to show frustration or doubt..

One of the most important factors is choosing the proper trails.

Keeping the frustration level down by avoiding a trail that is too "techy" is the best way to keep them coming back. Then progress as skill increases. Riding with others around their age is another great way to keep them enjoying the ride and motivate them to keep going. If you ride at Rockhouse Hill in Oxford CT , you may see the Tullo family out for one their family rides, with a variety of relatives and others in tow. And in addition to riding together, the family is seen frequently at trail work days.

Monika and Ben Stokes (age 16)

Monika and Ben now spend much time mountain biking and going on great mountain biking adventures, including NEMBAfest at Kingdom, Moab, Santa Fe and Cyclocross Nationals in Kentucky . It wasn’t always that way. Monika needed an outlet for a very energetic young Ben. She bought him a used Red Rocket bike that had training wheels. Monika had to take the training wheels off, because Ben was doing skid stops and tipping over. He just loved riding that bike everywhere around the house and yard.

Monika was not a mountain biker herself, but was an excellent skier, and was on the pre-Olympic team as a teenager in the Czech Republic before she came to study in the United States. When she went trail running in the local Norwalk CT area, she would see many mountain bikers on the same trails. She met Dave Francefort of the Fairfield County Chapter who encouraged her to go mountain biking.

Monika soon discovered that mountain biking was a good substitute for skiing. When Ben was five or six, Ben needed a new bike. Monika found a used bike from a relative, and had Ben choose a new paint scheme for the bike: red and black. Ben was also involved in the care of the bike. It turned out that Ben really liked biking, Monika had fun taking groups of friends on rides, so she started a team, and has been riding and racing ever since. Ben continued racing, both locally, and nationally in cyclocross finals. Ben won the CCAP mountain bike for Category 1 juniors this year.

Stewardship is also important to Monika in addition to managing the CCAP team in Norwalk. She also made Ben do trail work from an early age and now he loves doing it on his own. Ben has become very serious about riding, puts in a lot of training time, and is committed to sport. It has taught him responsibility and self-reliance. He has learned teamwork and has matured as an athlete and a person.

Monika’s advice for other families or parents who want to mountain bike with children is to take them on rides with you.

Make the time. Gear them up properly. You need to do it with them. They learn from adults. Find an easy, appropriate trail to start on, bring pockets full of snacks, enjoy first experiences and keep exploring. Set your ego aside and bring your child’s friends. Connect with local mountain bike groups for advice and information on trails, skills parks, and pump tracks.

Monika says mountain biking is a great sport for the whole family, and she encourages everyone with small kids to start young and get the children on the trails.

I hope this article has been informative and helpful but has also shown how wonderful it is to ride with children and to see them grow in the sport and as people.

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