Advocacy

Our mission is to create and sustain the best possible mountain bike trail system and experience in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

World class mountain biking trails and amenities benefit both locals and visitors.

Here’s how we plan to accomplish our mission!

1.  Collaborative Planning
RFMBA will work on multiple trails master plans throughout the valley in collaboration with our land  agency partners, taking the lead in locations where the process has not yet started.  Current plans include Smuggler Hunter Creek Cooperative Plan, Hay Park trails plan, Basalt POST master plan, the Upper Roaring Fork Trails Plan. Future plans will include Middle & Lower Roaring Fork Trails Plans.  These plans will serve as guiding documents for prioritizing of trail improvement projects, new trail construction projects, public land conservation and acquisitions, and desired easement accesses.  The plans will help us to communicate our intentions to our many land agency partners, allowing us to clearly advocate for policies and actions that lead to the achievement of our mission.  These planning efforts will be the main focus over coming years, with our efforts transitioning to execution of the plans as approvals and funding for specific projects come online.

2.  Planning with Recognized Standards
Developing a mountain bike trail system recognized by IMBA as a Gold level Regional Ride Center will positively impact our community’s recreation and economic opportunities.  Pending official invitation, we intend to submit an application Spring 2014, receive evaluation and feedback from IMBA during Summer 2014, and announce results in Fall 2014.  Re-evaluations will occur every 2-4 years thereafter in order to achieve or maintain Gold level status.  This rating system provides a relatively objective evaluation of many mountain bike related amenities, and will serve as a guide to meeting our mission statement.

3.  Focus on Beginner Trails
In order to open the sport of mountain biking up to a larger portion of the community, and most importantly to the next generation of riders, we intend to focus on the creation of easy, beginner level mountain bike specific singletrack trails.  These trails will allow entire families to enjoy public lands and open spaces in a way not currently possible.  During each summer trail building season, RFMBA will focus on the creation of at least one Beginner singletrack trail that will inspire new riders to learn the skills necessary to move up to the many intermediate level and difficult level trails already in the system.

4.  Increase Trail Stewardship
Working with one of our key partners, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV), we intend to increase the participation of volunteer mountain bikers on trail creation and improvement projects.  We will achieve this objective through increased marketing efforts, organizing RFMBA specific work days, and publicizing additional volunteer opportunities offered throughout the summer by RFOV.  We’ll educate riders that to get newer and better trails open, we also need to maintain and improve the quality of the trails we already have available to us.  During Summer 2014, we’re hoping to introduce a program of weekly or bi-weekly trail work opportunities, focused on involving volunteer mountain bikers.

5.  Empower Riders to take Ownership of their Trails
As mountain bikers take on a feeling of personal ownership of the trails, ongoing maintenance requirements during organized trail work days can be reduced if solo volunteers are empowered to cut fallen trees off the trail, trim overgrown vegetation on the side of trails, and improve drainage on unsustainably constructed sections of trail.  Working with local land agency partners, we’ll negotiate approval for this type of trail work, possibly to the extent that a sole Individual or a single Family might take official ownership of a specific trail’s maintenance program.

6.  Constant Progress
Using a combination of education initiatives as well as communicating to the public our progress on trail creation and improvement projects, we intend to change the current paradigm that has lead to the creation of illegal social trails.  These social trails have appeared due to the bureaucratic difficulty of gaining official approval for mountain bike trails over the past several decades.   By creating a clear path of progress for proposed trail projects while working with our land agency partners, we intend to greatly reduce the need and desire for individuals to work outside of the established processes.

7.  Land Conservation
Working with land conservation advocates, we’ll preserve existing mountain bike trails, and negotiate for the continued right to create new trails where they are most appropriate.  Retaining quiet natural places to ride our bikes is an important part of our mission to create and sustain the best possible mountain bike experience.

8.  Direct Funding and Labor for Trails
Using project specific fundraising campaigns, RFMBA will further the mission by directly contributing funds towards professional trail building services where appropriate, and in the future may fund seasonal RFMBA staff that will be dedicated to on the ground trail improvement projects throughout the summer season.

9.  IMBA Chapter
Being an official IMBA Chapter (integration complete December 2013) moves us from a grassroots club that made incremental steps towards achieving our mission over the past 6 years, to an organization that shares dues paying members with IMBA.  This funding source and the many administrative resources that have become available to us will help us to achieve our mission more effectively than ever before.