April 2014 Newsletter

Board Chairman’s Update
It’s been a busy winter for RFMBA.  We have a number of announcements that we’ve been excited to share with you.  As spring is just around the corner, it’s time to talk trails and mountain biking!

At the end of 2013, RFMBA became an official Chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).  We now utilize shared resources and best practices that allow us to emulate the efficiency of the best non-profit organizations in the world.   By offering joint Memberships, whereby each constituent becomes a member of RFMBA and IMBA, we are limiting the administrative burdens of running a mountain bike trails advocacy organization, allowing us to focus our energies on the direct actions that will allow us to achieve our mission of creating one of the best trails system on the planet.

In addition to becoming an IMBA Chapter, we’ve recently been growing our volunteer Board of Directors, and would now like to welcome the service of Nathan Garfield, our new Vice Chair, Jessie Young, our new Secretary, and Ian Philips, our new Treasurer.  You can find a full list of board members at our Contact Us page.

Last fall, our Board of Directors decided that it was time to significantly boost the efforts of our six year old all-volunteer organization by hiring an Executive Director who will have responsibility for RFMBA’s programs and execution of its mission.  Our fundraising efforts have recently allowed us to hire Mike Pritchard as our first Director on a part time basis.  As a former board member, Mike has hit the ground running, and welcomes you to reach out to him with your ideas and questions.  Within the first month of his employment, RFMBA’s engagement in the valley’s trail projects has skyrocketed.

Our website refresh is well underway and we encourage you to visit often to check out  Latest News, Upcoming Events, Planning efforts underway, and our links to MTB Project Trail maps and conditions.

In order to accomplish all of this great work, we need your support.  By hiring a Director to focus on mountain bike trail issues every day, we’ll have a much greater impact on shaping the best possible trail system over the coming years.  Please, help us help you and the community create and sustain the best possible mountain bike trail system in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Hope to see you on the trail soon…

Charlie Eckart,
Board Chairman

Upper Roaring Fork Trails Plan
This collaborative effort will create a plan for trails in the upper Roaring Fork Valley – an area stretching from Woody Creek upvalley to the high country above Aspen.   RFMBA prepared a detailed list of trail improvements, potential new trails, and mountain bike amenities for the first public comment meeting held Jan. 2014.   A second public meeting is scheduled for April 11th in Snomass (see below for more details). Stay tuned for additional opportunities to comment as the plan is developed throughout this year.

Glassier Open Space Management Plan
RFMBA is representing mountain biker and recreation interests on the steering committee working to determine how the newly acquired Glassier Ranch & Saltonstall / Red Ridge Ranch open space parcels will be managed.   Focuses include using the valley floor portion for continued agriculture and utilizing the property to connect the Rio Grande Trail to The Crown BLM lands above.    The management plan process will take 6-8 months, during which the properties are closed to the public.  Stay tuned for draft plans to be issued.

Portal Trail final approval work
The Lindsey Parcel is a recently acquired Open Space that holds the key to the holy grail for mountain bikers connecting Aspen to Hunter Creek.  The proposed Portal Trail would eliminate the traditional pavement descent down Red Mountain Road.  Stay tuned as final details are being sorted out so that construction on this route can begin as soon as possible.

Bureau of Land Management – Resource Management Plan
RFMBA is currently preparing comments on the proposed plan.  The RMP will transition BLM lands from an open travel policy to one that restricts travel to only specific routes.  This is the final opportunity to comment before the plan is put into action by the end of this year.

Memberships, Business Sponsorships & Individual Donations
As a 501c3 non-profit, we rely on memberships, business sponsorships, individual donations and grants to fund the work that we do on behalf of the mountain bike community in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Upcoming Events
Tues. April 1st:  Aspen Bike Park – Public Meeting, Rio Grande Meeting Rm., Aspen, 4:30pm – 6:30pm  The City of Aspen Parks Department will be hosting an Open House to discuss and learn about our community’s thoughts on a bike park for the City of Aspen.  This first open house will gauge public support for the idea, as well as insight into appropriate scope, scale and location.

Fri. April 11th:  Upper Roaring Fork Valley Trails Plan, TOSV Presentation, Snowmass Town Council Chambers, 12pm – 2:00pm.  This presentation will help inform the public and build support for current year projects, the Upper Valley Trails plan, and the economic and tourism benefits of trails and mountain biking.

Weds. May 14th:  Movie night during Carbondale Bike Week.  RFMBA will be hosting a free screening of Pedal Driven on May 14th at the Third Street Center, 7pm.  Join in on the monthly full moon cruiser ride after the movie!

Sat. May 17th:  Membership Drive Party with Silent Auction and live music at Carbondale Beer Works.  More details to come!

May/June date TBA:  We’ll be hosting a screening of Ride the Divide at a venue in Aspen.  Stay tuned for more details!