February 5, 2011

Bikes in the West TSA – BMA wants you to take action

I will begin by saying that I am not entirely sure that this fight is A) winnable or B) worth the effort (for those outside of Boulder, the trails in area in question are largely on a very steep/rocky hillside backed against the Flatirons, and IMO there’s not great bike trail potential).

But that said, I have already attended several meetings about this subject and even if the conclusion is a foregone one, there are numerous other areas where bike access is being considered in the near future. A good solid push on the West TSA will have benefits down the road.

That said, please click here to see the BMA “take action” page and learn how you can help. Mountain bikes have had great success in getting new riding opportunities in Boulder county in the last decade, in no small part due to the efforts of a few dedicated souls (as Mike B always says “the world is run by the people who show up”). Join in and help make things even better for the future.

For those who are new in town, a quick recap of where things stood when I arrived in 1999:
-Heil Valley ranch was not yet public land. Now: 14 miles of fun, technical singletrack with a connection north all the way to Lyons (ie, you can ride Hall ranch with only a short stretch of pavement).
-The Marshall Mesa area trails consisted of about half a mile of singletrack linked to a 3 mile dirt road next to a canal. Now: Almost 30 miles of trails, including lots of awesome singletrack like Doudy Draw, Marshall Valley, Coal Seam, Cowdry Draw and Springbrook. Heck, you can ride singletrack to Costco in Superior if you want to!
-West Magnolia and the Dot trails were in their infancy, and in great danger of being shut down by the USFS (since nobody had bothered to get permission to build them). Now: BMA maintains and patrols these legal, official trails.
-Hall Ranch’s Antelope trail didn’t exist.
-The Benjamin property was not yet public land. Now: A new 4 mile loop and connector to 4mile canyon for Betasso.
-Mud Lake trails did not exist. Now: A really nice network of singletrack in a beautiful setting for beginners, and a nice end to a longer ride for those who want to hit stuff at higher elevation.
-Connector trail from the high parking lot at Walker did not exist.
-Little Raven and South St. Vrain trails were closed to bikes and in disrepair. Now: Repaired and made sustainable by BMA work, these awesome alpine trails are open to bikes.
-Valmont park was a giant empty lot fenced with rusty barbed wire and filled with weeds and garbage. Now: It’s becoming (soon) a bike park.

The bottom line is that if you ride a mountain bike in Boulder, you have the BMA to thank for the majority of the trails you ride.

And while you’re at it, even if you can’t make the meetings, take a minute to check out some of their greatest hits, and maybe join BMA.