Torsten Heycke (President)
I try to corral other people into building and maintaining trails so I can run, hike, ride and ski them. Seriously, I get a lot of gratification from working on trails myself and when others do also it’s that much better. I think there is something empowering about trail work: it’s tangible, immediate and you get the satisfaction of “agency”: that you can effect change for the better. I particularly revel in the notion that all kinds of people are out enjoying the Ashland’s trails and AWTA might have something to do with that.
Rob Cain (Vice President)
I’ve lived in Ashland for close to 20 years and have been involved with AWTA almost from the day we moved here. I enjoy the hard work, the sense of accomplishment, and sense of community my involvement with the organization has provided. There is a real pride one takes in a beautiful, well maintained trail. When many of us are looking for meaningful engagement and a sense of place, you can’t go wrong with AWTA.
Susan Cain (Treasurer)
Puller of the strings (purse).
I’m happiest when I have my feet and hands in the dirt. I’ve even been known to revel in the use of a crosscut saw for removing fallen trees from trails. When I started trailrunning in Ashland back in the 80’s, we had only one quasi official trail in the watershed that was only about a mile long. Trail building and maintenance for me is a legacy project that I truly hope will be enjoyed by Ashlanders long after I’m gone. In the meantime I’ll be out joyfully running, hiking and biking our trails whenever I can.
Joseph enjoys working on trails and trying to convince other people roughly his age and younger to join him in his efforts. He’s an avid trail runner and is grateful for the amazing trail system that AWTA has put together over the years. He was talked into taking over the Mt. Ashland HillClimb in 2014 (pretty sure that’s right) and has managed to not yet completely mess it up. Since then we have added a second trail race as a means to help support AWTA, which he also has managed to facilitate with minimal mistakes. He takes particular joy in the thought of raising his 3 year old daughter to be active on the trails, and has been introducing her to them through hikes as she grows.
After spending too long running on the roads, I turned to trails and won’t ever go back. I feel very lucky to live in a town with so many trail choices, so it seemed logical to help build new ones. I like running along and finding a stretch of trail I helped build. I like meeting new people while building trails, and feeling a connection to the running and hiking community. I also love the fact that I’ll run into all kinds of people (and dogs!) enjoying those trails. AWTA has made Ashland a better place to live by getting people out in the watershed, and I’m excited to be part of continuing that work.
After several years of visiting Ashland my husband and I landed here permanently with our two young boys in the summer of 2019. 2020 was a tough year for most of us and between hiking, mountain biking, running and skiing the local trails saved all of our sanity. I am so excited to be a part of the AWTA in helping to create and maintain the trails that I know bring the same joy to others that my family has experienced as well as help educate the next generation of trail users on how we care for our amazing community and its wonderful resources.
After moving to Southern Oregon from Iowa almost 9 years ago, I instantly fell in love with the magic of our unique trail system. As a trail runner and cyclist, there is nowhere else I would rather be; they truly are my happy place. For all they have given to me, I wanted to return the favor. This began with attending trail building days, then race volunteering, and it was through these experiences that I began to connect with like minded and passionate outdoor friends. Together, fired up by our desire to meet and introduce more trail runners to our incredible playground, we established the first trail running club in Southern Oregon, Woodlands Running Co. I love sharing the Ashland trail system with fellow mountain (and aspiring mountain) folk. I am humbled to play a role in advocating and caring for this treasured place.
I’m in love with exploring the natural spaces around us, and for me that comes most often in the form of running, biking, and alpine touring. I cherish my daily trail time and love introducing our trails to my children and friends. I’m excited to be a part of our trail community and to support everyone I see out hiking, running, and riding our beautiful trails!
Updated Dec 31, 2020