There is so much going on with mountain biking and trails, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. I thought I would touch on what’s new as well as some of the ideas and dreams for the future of mountain biking here in Winter Park.
Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) is holding a social (fancy term for getting together and talk biking) starting at 5 p.m. this Friday at the Hideaway Brewery. There are a lot of ideas on tap for the future of the trail system. These include some big ideas such as a backcountry singletrack system that connects town to town much like a backcountry hut system.
Wouldn’t it be great to hop on your bike and ride to Granby, Kremmling, Grand Lake, Boulder or all of the above? How about a ride that can start and end in Winter Park that takes you to Rogers Pass and back without doing the same trail twice? Of course let’s not forget about the west side of town. Wouldn’t it be great to begin a ride in town and be able to go all the way to Kremmling while riding quality trails? This is all part of the Master Plan that is being developed for the trail system by Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA). No group has put more time into the HTA Master Plan than GMBA.
You’ve seen some of the ideas for a better trail system already put in place. One of those ideas is to take lesser quality trails — in both experience and sustainability — and convert them to singletrack. One great example is the reroute of the east side of WTB to high quality singletrack from an old eroded logging road. Other examples are the reroutes of Sunset Pink and the top of Crosstrails. All of these took old roads and created a great singletrack trail experience.
There are proposals for new trails as well and improvements in existing trails. Doesn’t it make sense for Broken Thumb to end directly across from Twisted Ankle? How about some new quality trails? Last year Twisted Ankle was brought onto the trail system. Twisted Ankle was a user-created or “social” trail that had eroded severely over the years, yet it identified that mountain bikers were looking for higher quality experiences. Twisted Ankle was rerouted to create a trail that not only would be sustainable but create a better user experience for many of the users. The alternative for Twisted Ankle was to close it due to erosion and other factors. The end result is a permanent trail that is now part of the trail system. Twisted Ankle is also a great example of the mountain bike community working with the U.S. Forest Service to create a better overall mountain bike experience.
There are many more ideas out there that just can’t fit in the space of this article. The GMBA Master Plan for mountain biking is nearly 70 pages long. Stop by Friday, meet some new riding friends, see what’s happening and just have some fun. Aren’t those some of the reasons we bike? See you at the social.
Beavers Sports Shop at the Best Western in Winter Park does a weekly group ride on Fridays at 6 p.m. Intermediate and above skill level. Come join in! 970-726-5988
Looking for more information? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Mountainbikecapitalusa.com. Great site by the Winter Park Chamber!
Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org