Call the Fun Police
GALBRAITHMT.COM was another innovative Web effort -- the first electronic trail guide, as far as I know -- but it was really just a ton of fun in a good cause.
When I first rode my mountain bike on Galbraith Mt. in Bellingham, WA, I was stunned by the incredible recreational resource there. I mean, how many American cities have 1,000 acres of forest trails located 10 minutes from the city center?
As I got to know Galbraith, I was even more impressed with the community of riders -- college kids, carpenters, doctors, retirees, unemployed waitresses, really just about anyone you could think of -- and the volunteer spirit that built the Galbraith trails and maintained them.
There was no central authority coordinating all the volunteer work done on Galbraith, which was then in patchwork of private and public ownership. People just loved Galbraith, and because of that love they did the work that needed to be done. It was like true communism -- "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."
Determined to help, I set about creating an electronic guide book to publicize the area. I knew Galbraith was going to come under serious attack from developers soon, and I thought the best way to preserve the trail system there was to build broad political support through public awareness of Galbraith.
So beginning in 2000, GalbraithMt.com offered the best maps of the area available, trail guides, technical notes, reviews of bikes on local Galbraith trails and chat, all for free. No one had seen anything like it before, and none of the big mountain biking venues like Moab in Utah or the North Shore in B.C. had anything that could compare.
Meanwhile, the battle for Galbraith came as I had forseen, but with a result I never dreamed of. In 2002 most of the mountain was purchased by a local timber company, Trillium Corp., which has actually encouraged mountain biking on Galbraith!
The result? Both mountain biking in Bellingham and GalbraithMt.com are bigger and better than ever. Here's what GalbraithMt.com looks like today.