Where to Fat Bike in the Roaring Fork Valley

You can easily escape the lifts and skiers on a fat bike this winter.  Just check out these trails and get your gear on!

TRAILS THAT REMAIN OPEN THROUGHOUT WINTER (CONDITIONS PERMITTING)

Aspen Fat Bike Loop: Includes portions of the Aspen Golf Course, Marolt Open Space and Maroon Creek Trail linking the ARC to the Aspen Golf Course.

Snowmass: Brush Creek, Owl Creek(at Pines), Melton, Village Way, and Fox Run Trails are groomed for fat bikes.

Rio Grande Trail: Full trail from Aspen to Glenwood Springs (Except for the two mile section between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Store)

Red Hill: All “front side” trails south of Elk Traverse.

Prince Creek Below North Porcupine:  Prince Creek Climbing Trail, Monte Carlo, Christmas Tree, Lower FOG.

Grandstaff Trail: Access by riding up Red Mountain Road in Glenwood Springs.

Lower New Castle Trails: Prendergast Hill, Medaris, Pub View, Salty Dalty & Jolley Trails

Of course, if weather should hit the valley before these dates causing muddy/wet conditions, please stay off trails until they dry out or freeze over.

Forest Service seeks comments on Basalt Mountain Salvage and Rehabilitation Project

Basalt Mountain Salvage and Rehabilitation project will take place on National Forest Lands impacted by the Lake Christine Fire

BASALT, Colo. – The Lake Christine Fire started in early July of 2018 and impacted just over 8,500 acres of National Forest lands north of Basalt, Colorado, on the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Since the fire, the Forest Service has identified the opportunity for management actions in the area.

The Forest Service is seeking public comments on the Basalt Mountain Salvage and Rehabilitation project. The project would remove roadside hazard trees along Cattle Creek Road (NFSR 509) and Basalt Mountain Road (NFSR 524), create defensible space near homes in the Cattle Creek area, salvage burned and partially burned trees with marketable or usable value (logs and/or biomass) to local/regional industry, monitor and assess for natural reforestation, and allow for future tree planting as needed.

“We would like to address the impacts from the fire as soon as possible and take actions within the burned area to ensure long-term and reliable public access,” said Kevin Warner, acting District Ranger. “For safety reasons, we want to remove hazard trees along roadways and harvest merchantable trees in places already identified as suitable for these types of management actions.”

“Moving forward with this project quickly will help to ensure that the burned trees in the area are still useable,” said Kevin Warner, Acting District Ranger. “We look forward to hearing from the public at the upcoming open-house meeting, or through the public comment process.”

This project would be in addition to the short-term emergency actions that are ongoing by the Burned Area Emergency Response Team.

How to Comment:

The opportunity to comment is initiated by a legal notice published in the Aspen Times Weekly on Nov. 29, 2018. Specific written comments on the proposed project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of the legal notice in the Aspen Times Weekly. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.

Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Karen Schroyer, District Ranger, c/o Christopher McDonald, PO Box 309, Carbondale, Colorado 81623, FAX: (970) 963-1012. Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=55031

Project Page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55031

Persons commenting should include: 1) name, address, telephone number, organization represented, if any; 2) title of project for which the comment is being submitted; and 3) specific facts and supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider. It is the responsibility of persons providing comments to submit them by the close of the comment period. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments will have eligibility to file an objection under §218.8. Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements in §218.25(a)(3). Names and contact information submitted with comments will become part of the public record. The legal notice also serves to notify and invite public comment on the proposal as stipulated in 36 CFR 800.3 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from: Christopher McDonald, (970) 625-6856 or email at cmcdonald@fs.fed.us

Aspen Designated Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists

ASPEN, CO. – Today, the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) recognized the City of Aspen with a gold level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. Aspen has previously been recognized as a silver level community and is joining five other communities, including Carbondale, Crested Butte and Breckenridge, that are designated as a gold level BFC in the state of Colorado. Colorado is ranked as the sixth most bicycle friendly state in the U.S. The gold level BFC award recognizes Aspen’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

“Providing safe, accessible bike options and routes for our community has been made possible because of the strong partnerships between the city, local biking organizations, transportation partners and bicyclists,” said city engineer, Trish Aragon. “The initiatives and programs that make Aspen bike-friendly are powered by insights from this community and strategic planning. City engineering is currently evaluating opportunities for making continued improvements to connectivity and bicycle infrastructure in 2019. We look forward to hearing more from the community about their observations on ways to enhance bike conditions in the city.”

Over recent years, the city has completed or initiated several key bike-friendly programs and projects including the Hopkins Bike Ped Way, Castle Creek Bridge / Hallam Street Improvement Project, the expanded WE-cycle program and phase II of the Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan.

 2019 Bike-Friendly Projects

The city’s bike-friendly programs and projects are collaborative efforts among city’s engineering, parks and open space, police and transportation departments and rely on input from the community and local organizations.

 “The connectivity and conditions of our bike infrastructure are important for how people across our community travel our city safely,” said parks and open space trails field supervisor, Brian Long. “I’m thrilled to see Aspen honored as bike-friendly community and excited to continue making progress.”

Current projects for City of Aspen Parks and Open Space include Castle Creek Trail to the Music School, a neighborhood trail at Burlingame, drainage and armor improvements on the Meadows Trail, and increased bike racks downtown.

In January, City of Aspen Engineering plans to present revised Engineering Standards to city council for adoption which refers to the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) guidelines.  Engineering will also be leading new capital projects next year including the Hallam Street Bike Ped Way and Garmish Street improvements. In addition to bike condition improvements, both projects will address safety and connectivity concerns. Details for each project are being finalized and are expected to be announced next year.

 LAB Bicycle Friendly Community Program

With the announcement of 61 new and renewing BFCs today, Aspen is part of a leading group of communities in every state that are transforming the American landscape.

“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected ommunities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”

Since the Bicycle Friendly Community program’s inception over 20 years ago, more than 800 distinct communities have applied for recognition.  The program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community for communities of all shapes and sizes. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.

The five levels of the BFC award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category and a no designation level – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.  The League of American Bicyclists provides feedback and guidance to every applicant community, regardless of award designation, with the goal of helping every community to improve.  Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.

The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability, and accessibility, while allowing them to benchmark progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this latest round of new and renewing awardees, there are currently 464 BFCs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.

About the Bicycle Friendly AmericaSM Program

The Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM, Bicycle Friendly StateSM, Bicycle Friendly BusinessSM and Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM programs are generously supported by program partner Eco-Counter and by League Members. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA

The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.

South Canyon Updates: What’s New and What’s Closed for the Season

If you have not witnessed first-hand the new trails in South Canyon, it’s probably time you did. The Tramway and Lightning Bug trails are open throughout the winter as long as conditions permit –  frozen dirt/snow (no mud).

The newly completed Coal Camp trail and parking area, open for riding only briefly in November, is now CLOSED for the season.

To access Tramway and Lightning Bug trails riders are asked to ride the Tramway trail, and avoid riding the road and/or entering at the Coal Camp trailhead.

Also, please enjoy the bridge crossing the creek at the bottom of the Tramway trail. This bridge’s former home was at the bottom of the Jeanne Golay and Grandstaff trails and was not often used.  Now, at it’s new home at the bottom of South Canyon, the bridge will surely be used more frequently.

RFMBA is helping create new signs and maps of the new South Canyon trail system that will be posted next spring.

Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail Plan Moves to Final Review by Pitkin County BOCC

Pitkin County Commissioners will take up final approval of the Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail Plan on December 19th in the Board of County Commissioners meeting room in Aspen. The county administration building is located at 530 E. Main St. The meeting will begin at noon.

On Nov. 7th in Carbondale, the Open Space and Trails Board conducted a public hearing on the plan and then voted 4-1 to approve the plan and recommend its approval by county commissioners. The commissioners’ action to adopt the resolution on first reading followed.

Second and final reading of the resolution is scheduled Dec. 19th, as is a public hearing before commissioners on the plan. Members of the public will each be given 5 minutes to present their input to commissioners.

Anyone interested in giving their input about the creation of this great trail but cannot make the meeting can contact all the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners via this EMAIL address.

In addition to your comments on support for the trail, we suggest adding a note to the commissioners thanking them for supporting this plan in the past.

Please take the time to let the BOCC know you would benefit from this trail and encourage them to approve the trail on December 19th.