Charlie Eckart, Board Chairman of RFMBA & Mike Pritchard, Director of RFMBA stopped by Grassroots’ studio today to chat about local mountain bike trails with the show’s host and long time local rider, racer & trail work volunteer, Erik Skarvan.
You can catch the interview at 10pm tonight (6/24/14), 8am tomorrow (6/25/14) or stream the 30 minute show online here!
We bombarded Erik with a bunch of talking points, but only got to hit on a few of the topics in the short time we had today. Hopefully we’ll get to drop in on TLS for more mountain bike trail talk later this season. In the mean time, here’s a recap of some of what we did discuss, as well as some of the topics we didn’t have time for today.
1. Airline Trail. New style of trail for Aspen, Snowmass, & the RF Valley. Bike optimized features – berms & rollers – make it super fun. Two way traffic requires traditional yielding: to pedestrians and uphill traffic. Cozyline will be open to horses later this summer. Deadline trail will be open to the public in July. Partnerships with land managers make all the trails possible.
2. Upper Roaring Fork Trails Plan. First round of public comment has been received. Planning team will be ground truthing concept trails & trail focus areas during early July. First draft of the plan and maps will be released towards the end of the summer for further public comment and input. RFMBA has been working with the planning team on many of the concept trail alignments. Final plan expected by the end of the year.
3. IMBA Ride Center designation for Aspen Snowmass. RFMBA has submitted the Aspen Snowmass area for evaluation and consideration, and expects to see a designation announcement later this summer. The designation (likely at the bronze level) will help us to understand what trail types and qualities we need to focus on developing in future years if we want to arrive at the best possible local mountain bike trail system. Ride Center designation signifies to locals and visitors that this is a premiere mountain bike destination. As Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs trail systems continue to evolve, we could in the future seek a Valley-wide Regional Ride Center designation.
4. We’re involved in planning and implementation efforts throughout the RF valley to achieve our mission of the best possible trail system. In GWS, we’re helping Two Rivers Trails with planning on Red Mt. Trail & Paradise Creek Basin. We’ve discussed trail planning and potential for a future CO high school league mountain bike race to be held on an improved Sunlight Mountain trail system. We’re working with BLM on the implementation of major reroutes and improvements to the Crown area. We’re excited to see that construction on Carbondale Bike Park starts this week, and hope that a location will be determined for an Aspen Bike Park one day soon. We remain in productive discussion with Wilderness advocates about the Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Act & the Gunnison Land Protection Bill. We’re in discussions with WRNF & other land managers about the growing trend of fat tire winter biking, and hope to get approval for bike specific winter routes in the future.
5. Trail Work Opportunities: We were partnered in the Wulfsohn Mt. Park Thursday evenings in May trail creation project; that project continues every other Thursday through the summer through Two Rivers Trails group. Tuesday evenings in July will be focused on trail improvement and re-route projects in the Hunter Creek; this is the first season of implementation for the recently approved HC/SmMt. Cooperative Plan. RFMBA is developing a new program for Trail Agents to adopt trails (or segments) that they will maintain through vegetation lopping and drainage clearing; this program will look to increase volunteer opportunities beyond the types we currently offer through partnership with RFOV.
6. Group Rides: We had our first one at Sky Mountain Park last month, and we’re planning on two more this season in Hunter Creek (Sat. 7/12), and Lorax Trail in mid September. We hope to expand this program as it’s a great way to talk with riders about the history & coming future of the various riding areas throughout the valley.
7. Our refreshed website is a good place to read about our advocacy efforts in detail & to find online trail maps and suggested rides through MTBproject.com. We are spreading news and photos through Instagram ( @rfmba.mtb.trails ), Twitter ( @rfmba ). You can also find RFMBA on Facebook ( facebook.com/RFMBA ).
8. Funding for the trail advocacy, education, and outreach that RFMBA provides. As a Chapter of IMBA (new as of late 2013), we are now able to offer annual Memberships that start at $30. We’re hoping to double our membership by the end of this year. Our Business Sponsorship program was started in earnest this year, and is becoming an important part of our funding strategy. Generous direct donations are also a very important part of our current and future success. We’re also developing a wish list of in-kind donations that riders will be able to help with in the near future.
Thanks for reading!