Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tuesday Ride 3/1

This will be our Happy March Day ride. After this Tues, we'll only have 2 more Tuesday rides at 6pm. DST starts on 3/13, so after that, we'll be meeting up at 5:30 to make use of more daylight.

How about this week we head down south of Boulder-town to check out the Dirty Bismark loop? Sounds like it's a mix of singletrack and wide bike path but we haven't been down that direction in a while. Who's in?

Or would you rather go to Left Hand?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tuesday ride 2/22

Get your snow gear on, we're riding high on Tues 2/22. Meetup at the shop at 6 and we'll caravan up to the frozen reaches of Peaceful Valley.  You don't know winter riding until you've ridden frozen Nordic trails at night!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snow Ride, Take it Easy

Another Tuesday snow ride on Nordic trails is in the books! Last year, we got the wild hair last year to check out Buchanan Pass in the snow. We assumed that a majority of it would be packed enough for riding we were right! We even had so much fun we went the following week as well.

With the warm temps we've been experiencing, we figured yesterday's Tuesday ride would be a prime opportunity to get in a little nordic style action. Peaceful Valley and Buchanan Pass were the ticket.

The trails had been packed in, warmed, then re frozen to form a perfect layer of bike on snow traction. Early on, the singletrack was in PRIME condition. No snow bike needed. The trail was smooth and flowy and faster than it ever is in the summer.
Once we got higher up onto Buchanan Pass, a snow bike would've been a little more useful. There was a very tight, packed line to follow. Once your front wheel wandered offline, it would sink. Fork tip deep snow in this pic. Experiencing an "off line" moment would stick your front wheel immediately and send you flying over the bars.
We rode up past the waterfall on BP. On second thought now, it may have been prudent to turn around at the falls since the snow above it proved to unruly for riding up or down. There was hiking involved.
The rest of the way down was spent flying over the bars higher up where the snow was deep. As we got closer to the bottom, though, we were ripping stellar conditions on packed snow. It got fast enough you could drift thru corners and hammer up the climbs. Friggin perfect I tell you.

Next week? We'll see...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Join th Army! The BMA Guerilla Army!

BMA needs you to make our access campaign in OSMP's West TSA successful.

The mission of the BMA Guerrilla Army is to get mountain bikers off their asses and to public meetings. We'll have some guerrilla actions at strategic moments to bring out the crowds.

We have a lot of work to do to get 500 people to the OSBT meeting this Wednesday 2/9 at 6pm City Council Chambers 1777 Broadway (intersection w/ Canyon). We have a volunteer general for the Army who has some cool ideas for how to get people to the meeting, such as flyering cars with bike racks on them over the next few days. But our general needs help to make this happen. If you'd like to lend some elbow grease to the cause, please click on the "Join the BMA Guerrilla Army" button at the link below. Forward this message on to trusted friends that you think might be interested. More info to come on all the other ways you can help if this ain't your shtick.

What are you talking about?

On Tuesday, February 1st at 9:26 pm, Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department recommended the continuation of a total ban on mountain bikes in the West Trail Study Area (the open space between Mount Sanitas and Eldorado Springs Dr). To justify this decision they cited "irreconcilable visitor conflict" and said new shared-use trails were "not a reasonable option from either an environmental or a cost perspective." BMA stands ready to engage with staff to resolve the problems that BMA's modest proposal could cause. Learn more about BMA's position at the link above.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Boulder County Access Politics at their Finest (I)

Let me set the background in this first post. I'll get to my real point in post II, which I'll put up when I feel like typing more. City of Boulder is in the middle of a very long term project that involves revisiting the management plans of all of their Parks and Open Space land. They are breaking these areas into chunks called TSAs or Trail Study Areas. Each TSA is visited seperately to make it easier for city management to make it thru all of their properties.

City of Boulder has already made it thru 2 TSAs already. Those TSAs were manged in the typical way that local land managers use for public input. The process is basically simple:
-initial public info meeting and comment period
-some sort of interim status and comment period
-suggestions A, B, C, D are presented and there's a comment period
-Staff final recommendation based on previous comments and feedback and comment period
-City of Boulder puts the plan into effect

The first involved the Marshal Mesa area South of Boulder and East of 93 and it stayed pretty low key. Key bike related takeaways from that TSA were a new trailhead for Marshal Mesa right on Broadway and new trails like Cowdrey Draw, High Plains, Coal Seam and Marshall Valley. The plan also laid out the initial framework for the "Dirty Bismark," a ride that has been dreamed of by Boulder Residents for years. Things turned out well and the whole project, although it was still very much "on the radar," didn't bring out a ton of press or comments from the public at large. Thanks largely to Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (BMA) for being on the scene and having the job well handled.

Next TSA was the Doudy Draw area, which included all of the park land south of Eldorado Canyon Drive and West of 93. Now we were getting into some touchy territory, as bikes had been banned in about 95% of this area. Until this TSA, bike access was limited to the Community Ditch, and the very bottom part of Doudy Draw so you could ride off of the ditch and down the draw to the parking lot. Basically pretty lame already and we didn't have much to lose. This was a much bigger deal for Boulder area peeps, both mountain bikers and non mountain bikers. Boulder hikers and haters wanted to keep the bikes out. They got banned for a reason after all, right? But bike supporters came out in throngs to the public meetings and made a lot of good, logical, fact based suggestions. Remember how the process works? City management tries to reach a decision, based largely on public input. Because bike support had been vocal, well thought out, logical and based on facts, OSMP staff recommended opening up Doudy Draw in it's entirety (complete with a reroute to make the trail more sustainable). OSMP staff also called for the creation of what is now Springbrook Loops and Flatirons Vista Loop, both of which would be bike accessible. Again bike peeps were happy and non bike peeps were not.

Now, enter the introduction of the West TSA. The "crown jewel" of Boulder OSMP as it's referred to by staff and some Boulder area residents. This is also a TSA where there are ABSOLUTELY ZERO bike allowed trails in the region.

There's the background. Now do some reading, catch up, and form your own opinion of how it all came down. I'll tell you mine shortly.

For a refresher, go here for the official word from the city and here to learn a little about the politics as they have already played out.