Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Winter 2017 | 7 Welcome to the New Year! The season started off with some decent snow and some early riding in the higher elevations, but here we are in the midst of a dreaded January thaw. We have rain and 55 degrees as this is being written. It seems like we can’t get much cooperation out of Mother Nature lately. It is great to see more and more clubs using social media and technology to keep their members updated on trail conditions, club meetings, work days and special events. Likewise, members are sharing photos of family outings on the trails and providing words of appreciation to the club volunteers. Being able to check on conditions before venturing out is wonderful. The VAST website and trail app for mobile devices has a new trail conditions feature for this season. It is updated by the clubs as they have information to share and provides basic open (green), use caution (yellow) or closed (red) status. Trails showing as gray have not had information updated. It is a good idea to check the area you plan on riding, as many logging operations are active this season across the state. Early season conditions can mean exposed rocks, open water bars and other hazards. Ride with caution and expect the unexpected. Sadly, there have been a lot of postings about riders not staying on the marked trails, riding on closed trails and leaving trash trailside. The season has barely started and these issues are cropping up way too often. As most of you know, private property makes up about 80 percent of the VAST trail system and without these landowners, there is no trail system. Clubs spend countless volunteer hours marking trails, posting signs and working with property owners to assure rider safety and protection of the property that we use. A few bad decisions made by a few inconsiderate people can undo days, weeks or even years of volunteer effort. Ride responsibly, respect the landowners and volunteer with your club. Remember, that person using the trail you’re on just may be the landowner. You are a guest, so think about what your action may cost. The weather is bound to improve in the weeks ahead and hopefully some behaviors will improve as well. My lecture is over. Thanks for reading, thanks for riding and remember... We are all in this together – Respect, Reach Out, Enjoy! —Jeff Fay, VAST Vice President A message from VAST Vice President Jeff Fay VAST News ALL ABOARD THE LVRT CAPITAL CAMPAIGN! VAST has begun fundraising with a capital campaign for the private funds necessary to complete conversion of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail to a 93-mile, four-season recreational trail extending from Swanton to Saint Johnsbury. Thirty three miles are now open. Construction this year and next will bring another 12 miles into use by the end of 2018. In order to raise our ambitious fundraising goal, we will need hundreds of gifts from individuals and area businesses. Please go to to read more about the campaign and see about sponsorship benefits for donations of $25 and up. Please consider getting on board with the campaign. FIND THE HELMET Lunenburg Polar Bears member Ed Hoyt of Campton, N.H. found the helmet in the last issue on page 22 and was the randomly selected winner from all the correct entries. We have been receiving some pretty “punny” comments from folks when they find the helmet. Woodford Snobuster John Krein of Glenville, N.Y. cracked us up with this one: “It is on the coat sleeve of the person on the right hand side of the picture where it should say FXR. The helmet is covering the X. I guess X does mark the spot in this case!” Find the helmet in this issue and you could win a beanie or baseball cap! Send your answer to