In the Beginning…
In the summer of 1992, Brent Biddle, Steve Kopf, and Ken Robinson formed the Delaware Valley Mountain Bike Association [DVMBA]. The goal was to improve the public perception of off-road cycling by helping maintain and improve the trails in the local parks. First efforts focused on Iron Hill County Park, site of First State Velo Sport (FSVS) annual fall weekend race series The Iron Hill Challenge. County officials were pleased with the club's efforts and agreed to grant continuing racing permits in exchange for trail maintenance.
In June 1993 DVMBA had twenty volunteers who started performing trail maintenance in Walter Carpenter State Park that included building a log bridge across a small stream and repairing a badly eroded trail. This work enabled Wooden Wheels Bicycle Shop to obtain a permit to run the first mountain bike race in the park. With permission from the county, DVMBA also laid out and built a two-mile loop [Double Horseshoe] with three bridges from the paved parking circle in Middle Run, a perimeter loop [Lenape Trail] in Middle Run, and some connector trails to the State Park sections. All of these trail maintenance days greatly improved the quality of the trails, and gave DVMBA credibility with the State and County officials.
DVMBA also became active members of the Recreation Committee of the White Clay Creek Scenic River Task Force, which was a National study of the White Clay Creek watershed. The goal was to ensure that mountain bikers' input was included in the decision-making process.
At the same time, another couple of guys, Bill Bowen and Jim McGroerty, formed the Delaware Trail Spinners in the summer of 1993. Their main goals were to have fun group rides and to put on a race at the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. They had created a couple of loops of trails using some old Enduro trails with some new connectors. DTS held their first race, “The C & D Classic”, on Aug. 15th, 1993 with about 250 participants. This event proved to be the catalyst that brought DVMBA and DTS together.
Over the winter of 1993 the combined groups set up regular meetings. That first year there were only eight members - Jim McGroerty [Pres.], Ed Tomic [Vice Pres.], Bill Bowen [Sec./Treas. and Race Director], Mark Vestal, Jim Dolan, Billy Miller, Ron Whitney and Ken Robinson.
The 3rd Annual C & D Classic was held in 1995, and was the last race at the canal because the Delaware Enduro motorcycle race in October of that year was run in a driving rainstorm and destroyed the trail system. Fortunately, Bill Bowen initiated a wonderful rapport with the new land manager at Fair Hill Natural Resource Area and was able to convince them that we were a responsible trail user group.
In 1996 the first Fair Hill Classic mountain bike race was held at the park, and has continued every year since. It has grown into the most well attended and widely anticipated race of the local MTB race series, the Mid-Atlantic Superseries.
Fast forward to 2012, the club changed its name to Trail Spinners - Delaware • Maryland • Pennsylvania, due to its heavy involvement in trail advocacy in all three states. Over the years the club has continued to provide thousands of hours of volunteer time annually, maintaining and improving the trails at Fair Hill, Middle Run and White Clay. Recently, the club has extended its public service by contributing labor and funding for trail projects and maintenance at Lums Pond (DE), Brandywine Creek State Park / Woodlawn (DE), Susquehanna State Park (MD), Elk Neck State Park (MD) and Redd Park (DE).