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  1. #1
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    Apex - an alternative viewpoint

    It seems that many individuals are basing the recent trail use decisions by the Jefferson County Open Space organization on the predicate that mountain bikers who shuttle Apex Open Space are the reason for the proposed changes. However, this is an easy and visible rationale. Realistically, how many conflicts have arisen from these individuals?
    It seems that many of the reports of conflicts are from the residents in/near Apex that are threatened and perturbed about the many users of the park. And, of course, mountain bikers are the largest percentage user of the park. Therefore, the best solution to reduce usage of Apex O.S. and appease the neighborhood users, is to reduce the number of mountain bikes.
    The proposed trail use plan does exactly that. By mandating the direction the mountain bike user group can travel on certain trails, many MTBers will choose to ride at other locations. Then, to maximize this impact, JCOS chose one of the hardest, least enjoyable trails to travel uphill on (Enchanted Forest). Of course, this also serves the purpose of minimizing users on the section of trail that is most used by residents of the nearby neighborhood (note the number of non-sanctioned access trails from the neighborhood that terminate on the Enchanted Forest trail).
    Thus, if one uses the assumption that the plan is not to minimize shuttling of Apex O.S. by mountain bikers, nor to minimize user conflicts, but to lessen the number of mountain bikers riding Apex O.S. , it is a very well thought out plan.

  2. #2
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    This is being discussed already in the other Apex thread. That point has been brought up.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    Thus, if one uses the assumption that the plan is not to minimize shuttling of Apex O.S. by mountain bikers, nor to minimize user conflicts, but to lessen the number of mountain bikers riding Apex O.S. , it is a very well thought out plan.
    what's the friggen difference?

  4. #4
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    I wonder what percentage of riders actually shuttle apex?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wankel7
    I wonder what percentage of riders actually shuttle apex?
    Impossible to say. As a very frequent rider there I can tell you most of them are young (<25), and appear to belong to a small handful of cliques. If 100,000 people a year use Apex, you could safely put shuttlers' percentage in the low single digits. The same ones just appear to ride it often, particularly during early season months, before resorts open.

    As the Yeti dude mentioned at the Aug 6 meetings, teenagers tend to ride like they drive. The group that actually needs this type of focused education is small, and easily identifiable. To educate them specifically would be easy -- just put the Rangers at the TOP of the trail for crying out loud (not the bottom, sheesh, don't even get me started...) to greet and educate them. Frequently, not 4 times a year. Did I mention that Apex gets 100,000 visitors -- every single year?!

    Should enforcement be necessary (and with adequate, effective educational efforts on JCOS' part, enforcement should be the rare exception) a second Ranger, top/midway on Apex Trail proper could be placed as well to cite unsafe riders.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    It seems that many individuals are basing the recent trail use decisions by the Jefferson County Open Space organization on the predicate that mountain bikers who shuttle Apex Open Space are the reason for the proposed changes. However, this is an easy and visible rationale. Realistically, how many conflicts have arisen from these individuals?
    It seems that many of the reports of conflicts are from the residents in/near Apex that are threatened and perturbed about the many users of the park. And, of course, mountain bikers are the largest percentage user of the park. Therefore, the best solution to reduce usage of Apex O.S. and appease the neighborhood users, is to reduce the number of mountain bikes.
    The proposed trail use plan does exactly that. By mandating the direction the mountain bike user group can travel on certain trails, many MTBers will choose to ride at other locations. Then, to maximize this impact, JCOS chose one of the hardest, least enjoyable trails to travel uphill on (Enchanted Forest). Of course, this also serves the purpose of minimizing users on the section of trail that is most used by residents of the nearby neighborhood (note the number of non-sanctioned access trails from the neighborhood that terminate on the Enchanted Forest trail).
    Thus, if one uses the assumption that the plan is not to minimize shuttling of Apex O.S. by mountain bikers, nor to minimize user conflicts, but to lessen the number of mountain bikers riding Apex O.S. , it is a very well thought out plan.

    RESTRICTIONS OF ANY KIND ARE UNACCEPTABLE! Educate and communicate proper use, etiquette, and current rules. I will say that until i am blue in the face.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wankel7
    I wonder what percentage of riders actually shuttle apex?
    In the maybe 6 times i have ever ridden that park (not my favorite to begin with), I have never shuttled it. However, I do enjoy going in the downhill direction on EF. I couldn't see the use of doing it in reverse and it would probably force me off the bike in way too many spots going uphill.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    It seems that many of the reports of conflicts are from the residents in/near Apex that are threatened and perturbed about the many users of the park.
    To those residents: Tough cookies. It is a public park. Not your personal property. Just because you live near it does not make it yours. And it does not make your word more valuable than other users of the park.

    That being said I used to live near a popular park that always had early morning soccer/baseball/football games. The cheering woke me up pretty consistently. I felt threatend and perturbed. Did I cry to the parks dept? Heck no, I just got up and rode my bike. And so should old-lady-crotchety-pants.
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  9. #9
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    I was out of town and unable to attend the meeting so maybe this was covered...

    Did Jeffco present specific and documented complaints or issues from the hiker group?

    Maybe one could follow the money to find out where this all started?

  10. #10
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    The point I am trying to make is that all of the arguments are based on the wrong premise - that shuttler’s and trail conflicts are the reason for the JCOS proposal. However, I think the JCOS decision was based on minimizing the number of MTB riders on Apex to appease the neighboring residents. I have personally been confronted on the Enchanted Forest trail by users entering Apex on the non-sanctioned trail. The two older women complain that the mountain bikers have ruined their "nature experience" at Apex. They have also stated that they have contacted JCOS to voice their complaints.
    The COMBA alternative that was previously presented was well thought out and would have remedied many of the real or imagined problems at Apex. If MTB shuttlers and trail conflicts were the problem that JCOS was most concerned with, the adoption of the COMBA proposal or something similar would have been adopted. Of course, these proposals were dismissed and a trail use plan was proposed that does nothing to solve the so-called problems at Apex. However, the JCOS plan will drive MTB riders from Apex. Mission accomplished.
    Maybe it is time to look at a different strategy to preserve the usage of Apex by MTB riders.

  11. #11
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    LOL, maybe those two women could ask nature how building their houses on that hill has ruined nature's experience :P

    I wish I had a nature experience out of my back door. About the best I have is some half dead weed infested yard :P

  12. #12
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    In the 17 years I've lived here, I have hiked Apex twice and rode it never. Considering the number of hikers and runners I saw, I couldn't imagine it being fun to bike. I would think that the number of hikers on those trails would ruin any "nature experience" that might once have been possible there. Unless you go there right at daybreak, maybe.

    I recognize there are people who enjoy riding there, though. I would think that alternating use days would be better than directional trails. But I'm sure with the amount of foot traffic on those trails that would never fly. Maybe they could make just Enchanted Forest an alternate use trail, since it seems to be the trail most in dispute? I'm not sure that the directional stuff would be enforcable long-term. They can't have a ranger there 24/7.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  13. #13
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    I agree with SylentK and Snauzers...tough s@#$t for them. If they want a people free nature experience, go to another park...there's only a billion of them here in CO. Why do hikers get a say over bikers?

    Personally, my experience as a mtber has been that about 1 in 20 fellow bikers are just rude, and I can totally see hikers being annoyed by them. Not just shuttlers. This weekend at Apex, my dad had a pretty violent crash, so me and my friend stopped to help him up, and here come a group of riders, and instead of asking if we're okay, they're all pissy because we're in the middle of the trail. lol....give me an effing break. Add to that all the bikers who just bomb things and expect you to get out of the way...it just gets on a non-bikers nerves. I get it.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN
    In the 17 years I've lived here, I have hiked Apex twice and rode it never. Considering the number of hikers and runners I saw, I couldn't imagine it being fun to bike. I would think that the number of hikers on those trails would ruin any "nature experience" that might once have been possible there. Unless you go there right at daybreak, maybe.
    You'd be wrong. Enchanted Forest is one of the JeffCo gems. Sure it's kind of short, but it's a SWEET trail. Most hikers and runners do NOT run up or down EF in my experience. And as long as you're smart about when you ride it you can pretty much avoid the crowds.

  15. #15
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    Apex in general is a great trail, not just EF.

    If anyone's been riding here for years and years, and never gone there, they're missing out.

    I'd say EF is *not* the area of dispute, there's not very many hikers on there, in my experience. The real so-called issues are with people not liking bikers going past them down the main Apex trail.

    I personally think the biggest issue here is the group of self-important 'I live near Apex and hike it all the time' people who btch to high heaven about bikers in general just being there. I choose to believe the bikers are less of the problem than the mindset of the people who feel threatened... Sorry, but if you dont' like being around bikes, dont' hike on multi-use trails.

    What's a more feasible statement; that there's a large group of hikers that have an overblown, irrational fear of MTB'ers, or that there's a large contingent of completely irresponsible MTB'ers who go out of their way to smash into people on a regular????

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtmartin46


    What's a more feasible statement; that there's a large group of hikers that have an overblown, irrational fear of MTB'ers, or that there's a large contingent of completely irresponsible MTB'ers who go out of their way to smash into people on a regular????
    My guess is that both of those groups a actually very small. Problem is... it appears that the small group of paranoid hikers b1tch to high heaven about the small group of a$$hole bikers.

    And guess who takes it in the shorts? The VAST majority of responsible mt bikers.

    This whole thing sucks.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=SkaredShtles]it appears that the small group of paranoid hikers b1tch to high heaven about the small group of a$$hole bikers.
    QUOTE]

    That's probably a better stated version of what i was actually trying to say, heh.

    Obviously there are some r-tards out there on bikes that do stupid things, I think my previous post neglected to mention that fact. But I agree with you, either it is a tiny minority of dumb people doing silly things, or else i've just NEVER seen them in all my runs up-down apex, or Chimney->Apex over the apst few years. Cuz i've never had problems with 'conflicts' on Apex at all, other than bashing myself, or losing my breath...

    The whole proposed 'solution' is utterly insane, IMO. I'm drafting my email to the link in the other email now...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    You'd be wrong. Enchanted Forest is one of the JeffCo gems. Sure it's kind of short, but it's a SWEET trail. Most hikers and runners do NOT run up or down EF in my experience. And as long as you're smart about when you ride it you can pretty much avoid the crowds.
    EF is a great little trail. I rode it uphill once just for the helluva, and it was brutal. I'm never doing that again, lol.

  19. #19
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    Just enforce existing rules...

    This is typical, really. There's conflict. Some a$$hats (it only takes a few) ride too fast, don't yield, curse at old ladies, whatever.

    So you can punish everyone and close the trail, or you can actually enforce the existing rules - hand out big nasty tickets to people riding irresponsibly, warn/educate people on the verge of a$$hattery, etc. But rangers cost money, closing trails doesn't. So it's pretty easy to predict what solution will win out.

    Of course, with no enforcement, I'm guessing people will pretty much just do what they want anyway and continue to ride down EF. Lots of people disobey trail rules now with no consequences, so I see no reason to believe that this closure will actually have a positive effect - the jerks will keep riding EF and scaring old ladies, and the reasonable people who never caused any problems will be out one trail. Nice.

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  20. #20
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    Well thought out plan? Don't be a fool. How much does mountain biking mean to you? This could very well quickly become the new management model for other JCOS parks.....give an inch they take a mile. We're dealing with a government entity who has demonstrated they are anti-bike. To see it otherwise is totally naive. Don't be naive.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, we many need to go to court on this one. Hell, us older mountain bikers own homes and pay taxes in Jeffco just like hikers. Its amazing we are so easily denied access. JCOS=Gestapo.

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