As you exit I-70 for the town of New Castle, Colorado and turn left onto Main Street, one of the first things that greets your eyes is a small wooden sign. “Visit Old Town- ¾ Mile,” it exclaims with a western theme. But if you happen to have bikes strapped to your car, what’s behind the sign will really grab your attention. A stretch of long, bench-cut singletrack traverses up the hillside and parallels the main road into downtown.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Ruby Mountains. I was driving from Ketchum, Idaho to Mammoth, California and the breathtaking, snowcapped peaks right off of 1-80 had me daydreaming of all the lines I wanted to ski. Unable to pull off and explore the mountains, I had been looking forward to returning for OUR Tail Care Crew visit in Elko, Nevada.
Creating access for mountain bikers to get out and enjoy a quick ride or practice their skills are a few opportunities community bike parks allow. But beyond just traditional riders, bike parks are a means to provide a variety of diverse interests and needs. This past weekend, we were privileged to visit the town of Eagle, ID north of Boise, where the Eagle Bike Park is a significant community hub. Spending the better part of three days at the bike park it was an inspiring place to ride.
Communities are the driving force behind trail development. It takes a diverse group of invested volunteers to move trail advocacy forward in any place, but more so in small towns. Gold Beach, OR is a great example of how a diverse group of trail advocates can come together to create positive forward momentum. With only a few months time under their belt, the Wild River Coast Mountain Bike Assoc. has created some great partnerships and is creating quite a buzz in the quaint coastal town in southern Oregon.
Each time we’ve visited Santa Rosa, California, we've been pleasantly surprised by the number of riders we would encounter on rides at Annadel State Park. Riders of all interests and ability levels in Sonoma County have been enjoying the park for many years. As user numbers grow and the mountain bikers in particular become segmented into their own social groups, problems inevitably arise.
Densely populated with limited public open space access, the Bay Area may not be known for its extensive mountain bike opportunities. But recently reinvigorated, local mountain bike group, San Francisco Urban Riders have been hard at work identifying opportunities to create and connect trails around the city. With an extensive of public and private land agencies holding a majority of the open space around the city, identifying quality contacts can be a massive undertaking. But continued efforts and networking has proven hopeful for local riders.
Mountain Bike organizations in larger metropolitan areas are bound with many opportunities, more so in the realm of relationships and community buy in. Our recent visit to San Diego proved just that as the San Diego Mountain Bike Association is currently working diligently to create positive relationships throughout the greater San Diego area. In lieu of some recent negative interactions between some local riders and an area military base, SDMBA has been at the forefront of educating local riders and creating a positive buzz around legal mountain bike opportunities in the area.
Despite the growing popularity and acceptance of mountain biking and mountain bike tailored trails there are still many land agencies still trying to find a way for it to fit into their management objectives. Vital engagement from the mountain bike community on all levels is the key to helping these agencies see the need and the value in creating mountain bike opportunities to not only dissuade unauthorized trailbuilding but to also create the infrastructure for new riders to develop the skills needed to progress comfortable on the trail.
Establishing a definitive trail plan that identifies your community’s opportunity for trail networks and interconnectivity through town is a vital step in the planning process. As population continues to boom in certain parts of the country, development is taking place at an alarming rate. Approaching community leaders with an idea of how trails can benefit the area is not only an excellent way to show the value of trails, but also to get community buy in.
A steady buzz of excitement was in the air as a diverse group of interested volunteers funneled into the Kanab Library. Currently in their infancy stage, the mountain bike community in Kanab, UT has already made some exciting strides toward creating a scenic, well-organized trail system. With the help of IMBA Trail Solutions' Joey Klein, 17 miles of sustainable yet exciting trails have been designed just above the quaint southwestern town. This massive initial step in the planning process has helped create a significant interest from community trail users of all types.
The guidance on this website, and in other IMBA documents, is for reference only and should not be interpreted as a standard, specification or regulation. Mountain biking is inherently risky and could result in injury or death.