When you join RFMBA or renew your membership in October, you’re entered to win a Yeti SB100 Beti or Yeti SB6, a Western Spirit trip for two, BikeFlights shipping, a shopping spree at JensonUSA and a Showers Pass clothing package.
Your membership supports great local trails like Hummingbird, Vasten, Grandstaff, South Canyon, Buckhorn, Glassier, Prince Creek and more!
More people joining = more resources = more trails close to home!
Red Table Trail, go get it! Perfect fall conditions right now.
Looking to ride or run a backcountry trail this weekend? Go find yourself on the Red Table Trail above Basalt Mtn.
This area was not hit by last summer’s fire, but it did have about 90 trees down, blocking the path over recent years.Find the lower end of the trail at the 3 way intersection with Cattle Creek Trail & Basalt Mt. Trail.
You could ride it as part of a big day with the ‘upper loop’, finishing down Cattle Creek Trail, or drive up Basalt Mt. Rd. for an out and back on Basalt Mt. Trail + Red Table Trail.
Many riders consider the best trail is the trail you can ride to from your house. And for Mid-Valley riders from Basalt to Carbondale, Vasten might just be the new best trail.
This fall marks the official opening of the Vasten Trail, a six-mile intermediate cross country trail located above and beyond Crown Mountain’s Glassier Open Space and Buckhorn Traverse.
The Vasten Trail, named after a family that homesteaded the area, is brought to you by RFMBA in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, Mid Valley Trails Committee of Eagle County, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Garfield County Commissioners, the Catena Foundation, and the awesome members, sponsors and donors of the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association. With funding from these partners, Rocky Mt. Youth Corp crews worked throughout the summer, often with RFMBA’s seasonal trail crew clearing corridor ahead. This trail is just another great example of what your support of RFMBA can do for you and the valley. Bravo to you all. This trail is built for you and you deserve it!
While Vasten is built as a two way trail, due to the narrow nature of the trail and the general flow, we highly recommend riding in an East -> West direction. Starting at the top of Glassier and climbing south onto Vasten traveling in a clockwise direction, then coming out on the Buckhorn Traverse.
Be aware, if choosing to ride this trail West to East, you will not be “going with the flow” and may encounter a significant amount of oncoming traffic.
Despite our recommendations, of course there will be riders who may choose to ride West to East. As always, please yield to the uphill rider.
The six mile trail is best accessed from the top of the Glassier Trail. Heading South from the Vasten/Buckhorn intersection, riders ascend over 600 ft up a steady two mile climb through sage fields and Gambel oak glades. While the grade of the climb is similar to the grade of the Glassier climb, the views are quite different and there is more shade. Near the top of the climb are two slightly menacing cattle guards that are fun to ride over with a little speed. Once over the cattle guards riders descend four miles through sage fields and twisting tunnels of Gambel Oak single track bliss.
It takes a lot to create a trail like Vasten, but trails give back to their community ten fold. For some, it’s their gym, their church, or even their therapist. Vasten will most likely be more than just a trail. For Roaring Fork Valley riders, Vasten is a true cross country blessing.
A big THANK YOU goes out to the members and supporters of RFMBA! Your memberships and donations allow us to continue to bring to the community spectacular amenities such as the Vasten Trail.
The Vasten Trail will be subject to the same winter closure as many other trails on BLM lands in the valley. The closure will be in effect Dec. 1 through April 15. Also worth remembering that the adjacent Glassier Open Space has a longer seasonal closure, through May 15.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the 2019 edition of the Aspen FIFTY! We’re grateful for everyone’s enthusiasm and want to send a special thanks to WEDU and to all of our volunteers who made this event possible! If you raced, check out this link for photographs taken by Liz Kreutz out on course. Congrats to 50 mile winners Dean Hill & Rachel Beck, and everyone else who enjoyed the long suffer while out on the course!
Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association issues statement on Electric Mountain Bikes in response to recent Dept. of Interior Secretarial Order 3376. RFMBA’s Board of Directors has watched the evolution of E-Bikes, and specifically eMTB’s, over recent years. We’ve held off on stating anything more detailed than support for IMBA’s policy on this topic as the technology itself, and attitudes towards the technology, has been evolving rapidly.
eMTB’s should be managed as distinct from traditional bikes.
eMTB’s are available in three distinct classes, and should be managed as such when deciding which class of eMTB can or can’t access particular trails.
Access to trails for traditional mountain bikes is critical to our sport; management of eMTB’s on these same trails must not lead to threats to traditional mountain bike access.
Each public land manager should undertake an open public process to decide where eMTB access should be allowed (on a trail by trail or area by area basis). Local mountain bike advocacy groups’ views should be taken into consideration in those public processes.
Trail access for Class 1 eMTB’s, which provide unique characteristics, can be supported on shared use trails as long as access is not lost or impeded for traditional mountain bikes. Class 1 technology is pedal assist only, up to 20mph, no push button throttle.
The local impact of DOI Secretarial Order 3376 is not yet known, but RFMBA awaits a response from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) about what public process may be required to legally implement the Secretary’s desired policy. We recognize that many non-motorized trail advocates and land conservation organizations may take a hardline stance and will seek to fight this policy in its entirety, possibly in the federal courts. While acknowledging the (1) ongoing and seemingly inevitable growth in eMTB sales worldwide, the (2) positive benefits for certain users and for the health and wellness of our communities, the (3) limited impacts of Class 1 technology by enthusiastic users who respect traditional trail etiquette rules, and the (4) difficulty in enforcing ongoing eMTB prohibitions, RFMBA seeks a middle ground solution between full prohibition and full access for all classes of eMTB’s on all trails currently open to mountain bikes in our region.
In the Roaring Fork Valley, our most popular BLM trails include the Red Hill Special Recreation Management Area, the Crown Special Recreation Management Area (aka Prince Creek), the New Castle Extensive Recreation Management Area, and the Lorax Trail, among others. In contrast to Order 3376, RFMBA does not support Class 2 (propelled by a throttle button) or Class 3 (maximum pedal assist speed of 28mph, a sliver below an electric motorcycle’s rating) on any BLM trails that are currently managed for traditional mountain bike use. We recognize that Class 2 and Class 3 E-Bikes have positive use cases for transportation and recreation on roads and trails open to motor vehicles and on specific paved bike paths.
RFMBA acknowledges that Class 1 eMTB’s (with pedal assist technology limited to 20 mph) can have positive benefits for certain users. When following traditional trail etiquette, Class 1 eMTB users can coexist on shared use trails with limited additional impact compared to traditional mountain bikes. RFMBA recommends judicious use of this technology; in particular, we encourage younger riders to enjoy the life long benefits and joys of traditional mountain bikes before seeking out Class 1 eMTB experiences. We understand the benefits that Class 1 eMTB’s can provide for those who are seeking improved health and exercise through pedal assist technology. At the same time, we believe that it is OK to have mountain bike trails where Class 1 eMTB access remains prohibited. For example, a directional trail that is primarily used by mountain bikers would be a better location for public land managers to allow Class 1 eMTB access, compared to a high-use two-way trail where a majority of users are hikers, runners, and dog walkers.
In the coming weeks, RFMBA will publish a list of BLM trails that we could support for shared use Class 1 eMTB access, on the assumption this support would not threaten or impede current traditional mountain bike access.
In the coming months RFMBA will study a similar question for other area trails. Which, if any, trails currently open to mountain bikes on White River National Forest, Town of Snowmass Village, City of Aspen, Pitkin County Open Space & Trails, and other land managers might be appropriate for future Class 1 eMTB access? Many trails in our region include easements across private property that will not allow for electric pedal assist motors in the future. Current prohibitions on eMTB’s are likely to remain place for a long time, if not permanently, as public processes have not been scheduled by most of these public land managers. Regardless, we welcome feedback from our current members and partners on this complex topic.