It sits on a landing under the watchful eyes of stone inukshuks and cairns.

Like a cathedral in the pines, it's a peaceful memorial in a hemlock grove to a man known for his easy-going nature, sense of community and skills as a valley bicycle mechanic and ski technician.

At the intersection of Shumway, Lager's Lane and the yet unsigned and aptly named Muzzy's Trail in Conway's town-owned Marshall Conservation Area off West Side Road, a bench was installed with Conway Conservation Commission approval earlier this month in remembrance of Greg "Muzzy" Muzerall.

The memorial bench, composed of plastic wood slats and powder-coated steel supports, bears the inscription: "Greg "Muzzy" Muzerall 1963-2015 For his devotion to bicycling in the Mount Washington Valley."

It was a joint venture between the Mount Washington Vally Bicycling Club and New England Mountain Bike Association's White Mountains chapter.

Muzzy died in May of 2015 while riding his bicycle. He was an early pioneer of valley mountain biking and well known for his skills at the Red Jersey, Stan and Dan's and 24 Hours of Great Glen bike race.

Mount Washington Valley Bicycling Club president Tod Powers says the board wanted to recognize Muzzy's significant contributions to valley cycling. Initially, a possible Muzzy scholarship fund was floated but the board thought a more permanent memorial would be a great tribute to him.

The board cited Muzzy as a mentor and inspiration to his many friends and family.

Powers contacted New England Mountain Bike Association White Mountains chapter member and now former president Rob Adair to see if the two organizations could collaborate.

"Rob thought it was a terrific idea and Rob recommended naming a trail at the new Marshall trails in Muzzy's honor," emailed Powers. "Rob also recommended the location of the bench. Our club ordered a memorial bench and NEMBA paid half the cost and had it installed."

On June 3, a legion of volunteers—Dave Halpin, Michael Hartrich, Earl and Theresa Sires, Dave Michaud, Scot Wright, Scott and Jean Lee, Adair, John Barley, and Kevin Ashe used 4-wheel drive trucks and wheel barrows (for the final stretch) to lug tools and materials to the site. They dug holes, mixed concrete. Nat Lucy provided his generator to power the concrete mixer.

"We thought the hemlock grove was a scenic place for it," emailed Adair.

The bench is stationed within the nearly 400 acres of conservation land with its multi-use trails. White Mountains New England Mountain Bike Association chapter builds and maintains trails within the property that abuts the White Mountain National Forest and was purchased by the town in 2015.

Now plans are in the works to install a bicycle work station close to West Side Road. in Muzzy's honor.

"We chose Marshall as the work stand location as it would be available to road and mountain bike cyclists," Powers said.

The repair stand will contain tools like tire levers, Phillips and standard screwdrivers, cone wrenches, pedal wrench and air pump. Signs will direct cyclists to its location.

Other valley bicycle work stations are possible, according to Powers.

The growing Marshall network highlights how trail building and an active cycling community of mountain and road bikers have come to grow and partner over the years. Lager's Lane is old-school mountain biking, with small rocks and roots to navigate along its length from Shumway to High Street. Whimsical Christmas Tree Corner and its Charlie Brown-like tree provides access to Red's Trail and T-Bone.

Shumway is smooth and fun, steadily climbing with a series of switchbacks from the area's gated entrance before crossing the gravel forest road adding technical challenges and stone elements for those who like to defy gravity for a second or two.

Lemon Squeezer and Ingall's Hill Trail are other thrilling options. Adair reports Lucille's Loop will be extended to the top of the landing soon and the parking lot will be expanded slightly later this summer.

Then there's Muzzy's Trail.

"It is a redesign of an earlier trail that was wiped out by the logging," Adair wrote.

So ride it and then chill a bit on Muzzy's bench to remember a man who made the valley's wheels go 'round and 'round.

•••

Amanda Tulip is the new New England Mountain Bike Association White Mountains chapter president, taking over after the many years of the dedicated Rob Adair. The Conway Conservation Commission recently approved a downhill trail to go in between the Red Tail Trail and Hurricane Mountain Road.

Get more information on New England Mountain Bike Association at nemba.org and on MWVBC at mwvbicyclingcliub.org.

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