Jones is a hero to N.J. bicyclists - The Star Ledger (4/30/06)


JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
Jones is a hero to N.J. bicyclists
Sunday, April 30, 2006
For the Star-Ledger

Jay Jones, chairman of the Jersey Off-Road Bicycle Association (JORBA) is humble about being named a "hero" of the national mountain biking world. However, he'll keep the prize he won.

Jones said the new FOX Racing Shox mountain bike fork is coming at the perfect time. "I have a little project," he explained. "I'm building a single-speed, and one of the components I don't have laying around the garage is a fork suitable for it. So, I'll likely put the new fork on my regular trail bike and put my old one on this fetish fixation project. It was perfect timing, and it's saving me from going out and buying a new fork."

Jones, a 42-year-old Camden native who works as deputy executive director for South Jersey Port Corp. was the first of five people to be honored this year as FOX/IMBA Heroes by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). The award, "honors trail advocates who advance mountain bike access in their communities," according to IMBA.

Jones is nothing if not an advocate. He "has tirelessly worked to ensure New Jersey riders have great places to turn the cranks," said IMBA. The Colorado-based organization noted Jones helped with the recent JORBA reformation, led a South Jersey IMBA-affiliated club called the Jersey Action Riders and co-founded the Delaware Valley Mountain Bike Patrol.

"Jay has spent thousands of hours supporting mountain biking and protecting trail access in the Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia, just across the river from his Haddon Heights home," said IMBA. It also said Jones "helped the bike community conduct its first mass mountain bike event in southern New Jersey, raising $7,000 to support trail maintenance."

Jones said the award came as "a bit of a surprise." He said all the mountain bike aficionados who work with him also deserve praise.

"I'm taking it more as a recognition of the efforts of everyone who's been participating in mountain biking projects and advocacy work over the last couple of years and looking at our efforts to improve mountain biking throughout the state and region," said Jones. "It's certainly quite an honor, but one person can't do the work. It's been through great partnerships and working elbow-to-elbow with everyone from trail-building clinics to raising money for parks, poker runs and trail rides. It's really the camaraderie and working with other people that gets it all done."

Jones hopes the award will draw attention to the efforts of JORBA and its 12 affiliate clubs statewide. "We certainly have been very energized the last couple of months," he said. "We have great things planned for the rest of the year and the future."

In September, an IMBA/Subaru Trail Care Crew will come to Wharton State Park and Allaire State Park. The crews' experts visit trails nationwide and conduct trail-building schools at which they "teach the art and science of trailbuilding" and help with local trail improvement projects.

"That's one of the resources JORBA and its chapters are providing, through IMBA, open not only to mountain bikers but also to anybody willing to learn how to maintain soft-surface trails," said Jones.

Jones and his colleagues are always working toward opening more New Jersey trails for mountain biking. To do that, they must prove to wary hikers and park managers that most mountain bikers are responsible people willing to spend time, and exert effort, to maintain trails.

"You really have to partner with the folks that are embedded and have the responsibility for taking care of the trails," said Jones. "You must let them know you're not in there for just a quick joy-ride. You want to be a responsible user and contributor to the long-term health of the trail system."
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JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
News brief from Philadelphia Inquirer
Off-road cyclists honor Haddon Heights resident

Haddon Heights resident Jay Jones was among five off-road cyclists named a Fox/IMBA hero by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and its corporate supporter, Fox Racing Shox.

The project honors advocates nationwide who are making a difference in their local communities for mountain-bike trail access. Jones, an association representative in South Jersey since 2000, has worked to support mountain biking and preserve trail access in Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia.
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