Mt. Brown was a motorcycle hillclimb area. Later these trails were closed to motorized vehicles. Not sure if section of trail using old skid roads ever were legit for use at this time.


Sections of what would become known as “Bonzai Downhill” were being ridden by local mountain bike riders. This was “original trail to top of Mt. Brown”.

Locals dug section of trail up hill near cliff drop. Starting in 2005 it was completely re-routed to be more sustainable and to provide a better experience for mt. bikers.


Section of trail along ridge which would later be called “Deuces Only” was dug. (This trail was decommissioned in 2006 as Bonzai Downhill re-route to top of Mt. Brown was flagged to replace).


December Permission received from ODF to begin building first freeride trail with man-made technical features within boundary of George T. Gerlinger State Experimental Forest (on Mt. Brown) near Falls City, Oregon.
Jason Vogt and Michael Susee started digging “Sickter Gnar” in the “rain and muck”. Leo, Jason, and Michael completed Sickter Gnar over months with additional volunteers on several trail work days. It was built to showcase to John Barnes and other ODF reps what their vision was for technical trail features (log rides, raised wooden structures for drops, stump jumps). Some initial structures had to be torn down or lowered due to liability concerns by ODF. For example, the raised wooden platform above wall drop used to be 14 feet high, but they lowered

“We also spent dozens of hours fixing existing lines, building water-bars, repairing & re-routing eroded & illegally located trail sections, exploring the surrounding woods trying to figure out what the hell we were going to do with 1000 acres.” – Leo

May Black Rock trails designated “mountain bike only” by ODF! Leo Kowalski signs adopt-a-trail agreement for volunteer work with Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) under Blackrock Freeride Association club name.


February After flagging and permission received from ODF, Troy Munsell started digging Granny’s Kitchen at Black Rock – with initial help from Jameson Watts and Chris ? – with continued help throughout build from Dan “Browneye” Shell and Chris “eggman” Eggen.
1st Black Rock trail fundraiser sponsored by and hosted at Santiam Bicycle shop

May 1st

ODF meeting about Black Rock trails hosted at ODF offices on State in Salem, Oregon
September After flagging and receiving approval from ODF, Wade Waddell and Joe Rykowski started digging Black Rock Basic Training skills area


February Black Rock trail fundraiser sponsored by Santiam Bicycle and hosted at Northern Lights Theatre Pub – featuring independent video “2004 Local Progression Riders Video” by Joe Rykowski
May ODF meeting about Black Rock trails hosted at ODF offices on State in Salem, Oregon


February Black Rock trail fundraiser sponsored by Santiam Bicycle and hosted at Northern Lights Theatre Pub – featuring independent video “2005 Blackrock” by Ryan Powell and a trailer for ROAM by The Collective

March 1st

BRMBA trail meeting of Black Rock group with plan of turning Blackrock Freeride Association into a 501(c)(3). (See “What’s Going On?” for minutes of meeting which includes list of attendees). Much discussion over whether to rename group, finally put to vote of community via blackrockfreeride.org – about 60% in favor of “Black Rock Mountain Bike Association” which helps frame organization better not only within mountain bike community but also to public, state, and federal agencies.

April Santiam Bicycle hosts premiere of ROAM by The Collective at Northern Lights Theatre Pub in Salem, Oregon. The Collective film group(including Jamie Houssian, the co-producer/editor) rides at Black Rockfollowing day of ROAM Premiere. See “Local Videos ” for video clip of group sessioning Granny’s Kitchen “ET Triple Booter” jump.
Final section of GK trail connecting to lower Sickter Gnar is started. “I am beginning the final leg on GK. I cleared off the log ride and cleaned out the fall zone below it.” – Troy Munsell

May BRMBA files Articles of Incorporation with State of Oregon. Black Rock Mountain Bike Association (BRMBA) recognized as “non-profit organization with members” by Oregon.
ODF meeting about Black Rock mountain bike area – notes from meeting

John Barnes with Oregon Department of Forestry proposes formation of “planning team” to develop long-term plan for Black Rock trail area which involves representatives from ODF, BRMBA, IMBA, Camp Tapawingo, Capital Forest Partners, Oregon Parks & Recreation, City of Falls City, and Santiam Bicycle – Goal: aim to have ODF designate Black Rock mountain bike area as “recreation use area” and have established long-term plan by January


At request of ODF, further scouting/flagging of new trails is put on hold until long-term plan is in place. Enhancing existing trails is allowed under existing “adopt-a-trail” agreement guidelines.

A photo taken by “Hack” of Sunday Stroll at Black Rock is featured on page 98 of Issue #121 of Dirtrag magazine.


Completed “Brake Check” Sunday Stroll line (extension of Sunday Stroll trail) with over 8 new gap jumps. BRMBA paid for rental of mini-excavator for weekend so Todd Glasgow and Doug Such could fill and pack wood log framed jump/tranny boxes.

BRMBA contracted Royal Flush portables to place two portables (mens and womens) at Camp Tapawingo parking area. Weekly service throughout summer months.

Richard Bontrager, Chris Eggen, and Joe Rykowski attend 2006 IMBA Summit / World Mountain Bike Conference in Whistler, B.C. from June 20-23rd. “2005 Black Rock” DVD looped prior to Friday night Film Festival (during conference) – before international audience. See “Overview of IMBA Summit / World MTB Conference” for details.

July First “Black Rock Shuttle Day Fundraiser” hosted at trails on July 22nd. Shuttle vehicles took riders/bikes to top from Basic Training. TracE provided good ol’ fashioned BBQ.
BRMBA submitted application to IRS for “Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code” (Form 1023)

Two FRONT PAGE news articles appear in Sunday, July 30th, 2006 edition of Statesman Journal newspaper. Front page news!

“Take a ride on the wild side” by TIMOTHY ALEX AKIMOFF

“Black Rock changes the face of its surroundings” by TIMOTHY ALEX AKIMOFF


Another photo taken by “Hack” at Black Rock is featured in Issue #123 of Dirtrag magazine. This time of “East Coast” hitting Granny’s Kitchen road gap.


Black Rock trails, BRMBA, and Santiam Bicycle featured in IMBA’s 2006 Freeride Guide in article written by Jim Skakel. Guide was sent to over 37,000 members plus 600 member bike shops.

(quote from article) “When it comes right down to it, it’s the riders
who organized and built these trails. Individuals have got to step it up
and engage their passion for the sport. That’s the only way stuff like
this happens,” says Rich Bontrager, current BRMBA President.

See 2006 Freeride Guide at IMBA.com

October 7th

Black Rock Mountain Bike Association / Santiam Bicycle hosted only Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day registered event in Oregon . We received the CLIF ZBaR “Snacks on Us” pack and made stacks of these ZBars available to all who attended the event at Black Rock.

October 14th

1st scheduled trail build day of 2006/2007 build season at Black Rock trails. Pre-season work items – tool inventory, trail manager inspections, “to do” work list created, minor cleanup and repairs. Volunteers attending earned 25% off towards exclusive trail builder hoodie.

“Black Rock Shuttle Day Fundraiser” with Transition “Demo Day” hosted at Black Rock trails on October 21st. 170 participants – helped raise $3,400 for trails! Largest shuttle day to date. Ron Tonkin Nissan and Santiam Bicycle sponsored the event – Tonkin donated 2007 Nissan Titan truck and driver to help shuttle. For pictures, see Shuttle Day Photo Gallery for 2006-10-21 hosted by In the Zone Photography.



“Freeriding Done Right” article highlighting BRMBA and ODF’s collaboration and the Black Rock Mountain Bike Area trails is included inIMBA’s latest book “Managing Mountain Biking” as a success story. There’s a photo of Troy hitting up the Wall Ride on GK even! Details: Paperback, 256 pages, 8.5″ x 11″, 270 color photos, 25 illustrations, index, published March, 2007


From Troy Munsell (trail manager of GK), posted to Santiam Bicycle messageboard on April 15th:

GRANNY’S KITCHEN IS DONE!!! The trail is essentialy ride-able from top to bottom now! I just need to smooth out the exit the last 30 feet before it connects to lower Sictar Gnar. (Which i’ll smooth out tomorrow) It only took 3 years, and 3 months to punch the trail through from top to bottom. There will be several more features put in the middle bits and lots of the existing features are going to be improved. Thanks to all-u-all who poured your blood sweat and tears into Granny’s. You know who you are. I really want to shout out especially to Chris Eggan, and Dan Shell. You guys have been so key to the trail, putting in way more hours than even I did this last year on the trail. These guys have been coming up with new lines and ways to improve the old and keeping the tone of the trail making sure I don’t make it too easy. You guys really made Granny’s this year and I hope you know I really appreciate it. Thanks too to all the others who helped on the trail from start to finish. Drunk Pat, you’ve probably put in the most time. Thanks a ton man. Matt Lund built the ski jump, framed the hip just before it, the roller coaster line beside the ski jump and so many more sections of just pure grunt work. It’s like having three people out there shoveling when Matt is there. Anyway, thanks to all you who’ve ever lifted a shovel or split a rung for Granny’s!!!! It is the riding community of Blackrock that makes it such a great place so give all yourselves a pat on the back!”

Leave a Reply