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  1. #1
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    Apex Flood Damage Photos - Closure to continue well into 2014

    There was a guided tour conducted by JCOS staff this morning, to view the extent and nature of the flood damage at Apex Park.

    The damage has to be seen to be believed. It is expected that repairs and reconstruction will begin next year. The complete assessment and general plan for moving forward will likely be done in the next few months. But it is known that the significant nature of the work which needs to be done, not to mention the sheer volume, will require materials and equipment which is not going to be allowed to weather and degrade under the snow over the winter. Significant work is not expected to begin until spring.

    Patience will be required. This isn't going to get fixed any time soon.

    In addition to the numerous examples of damage one might expect after a significant rain event, there are at least 5 places on Apex trail proper which evoke that "Oh... wow..." reaction. See a couple examples below.

    20 photos can be seen here: Apex Flood Damage Tour - 2013.10.24 - a set on Flickr

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/78846706@N05/10465568984/" title="Apex Flood Damage by Mini crew, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3826/10465568984_8966f8df7c.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Apex Flood Damage"></a>
    Doesn't look like such a big hole ...


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/78846706@N05/10465567874/" title="Apex Flood Damage by Mini crew, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7324/10465567874_0c89b56b50.jpg" width="500" height="205" alt="Apex Flood Damage"></a>
    ... until you are down in it, looking back up at the trail.


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/78846706@N05/10465566436/" title="Apex Flood Damage by Mini crew, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5530/10465566436_dbe2f4d51c.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="Apex Flood Damage"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/78846706@N05/10465565096/" title="Apex Flood Damage by Mini crew, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7355/10465565096_dbedb5f12b.jpg" width="500" height="248" alt="Apex Flood Damage"></a>

  2. #2
    oot & aboot in Colorado
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    Thanks for sharing your photos; it helps to see the scope of the mess.

    Holes like that are part of what make the 401 trail in CB so much fun!


  3. #3
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    Hole'y hell thats nuts

  4. #4
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    Eh, just bunny hop it
    .




    Strava: turn off your dork logger when you're not on sanctioned trails.

  5. #5
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    Whoa! That's some serious damage. Didn't realize it was so bad. How bad is Enchanted Forest? Guess I won't be going there anytime soon. Thx for the update.

  6. #6
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    Mother nature is so environmentally unfriendly at times.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  7. #7
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    A few wood skinnies heading up and some gap jumps coming down - problem solved
    BBZ

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  8. #8
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    I get there is a lot of damage but I don't see why they need to completely close the park. Even if trails are unrideable, they are hikeable. Let people deal with it however they want. It's nature.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I get there is a lot of damage but I don't see why they need to completely close the park. Even if trails are unrideable, they are hikeable. Let people deal with it however they want. It's nature.
    Unfortunately people will start making their own paths to get around the damage rather than hike through it and "crowd sourced" trails aren't necessarily the most sustainable.

  10. #10
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    That's it? seriously. Mini-x a few days of hard work and it's good as new.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    Mother nature is so environmentally unfriendly at times.
    ...or is it the beauty of Mother Nature at work?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by liqwid View Post
    Unfortunately people will start making their own paths to get around the damage rather than hike through it and "crowd sourced" trails aren't necessarily the most sustainable.

    I suppose that's sort of a good excuse, kind of.

    I think it's a bit ridiculous to take a year on this though. And to not do any work until spring? Sheesh. There are plenty of workable days during the winter that they could be making progress on it, while there is less demand for the park.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I suppose that's sort of a good excuse, kind of.

    I think it's a bit ridiculous to take a year on this though. And to not do any work until spring? Sheesh. There are plenty of workable days during the winter that they could be making progress on it, while there is less demand for the park.
    Yeah part of me thinks they're happy to have it shut down for a bit thinking they'll deal with less complaints. But thats what my tinfoil hat tells me.

  14. #14
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    i agree, the time those 20 people spent gawking at the hole coulda been spent shoveling and filling in the holes.

    i do respect that you "gotta see it to believe" kind of things. I just can't fathom how that much water formed rushing rivers like that. . . the top of the mountain above is only a few hundred vertical feet above.

    thanks for sharing. i volunteered yesterday to help at lair o' the bear and was not stoked to be told we were redoing the picnic area at the base of the park. "oh, the trail is fine" said the ranger. so i said. . . "what about apex??" they really have limited staff to help manage the projects and are tying to knock out the easy ones first.

  15. #15
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    Impressive amount of Monday morning quarterbacking around here. Think about it this way - JCOS has an impressive amount of damage to deal with in *ADDITION* to the work that they already had.

    Unless, of course, you assume JCOS is sitting around twiddling their thumbs.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post

    Unless, of course, you assume JCOS is sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
    Yes I do imagine this.

    I also imagine that there is all kinds of money laying around to contract this work out.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    <snip>
    I also imagine that there is all kinds of money laying around to contract this work out.
    As a JeffCo county taxpayer... I'm pretty sure this is not the case.

  18. #18
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    What about all the flood relief money? Stimulus money? Let's stimulate the economy and fix that park!!!!

  19. #19
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    Build a kicker, lets go!

  20. #20
    Kaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    A few wood skinnies heading up and some gap jumps coming down - problem solved
    If only the world was so with us, it would be a beautiful place. Like your BF quote too.
    Kona Wo for Fat Biking, Ibis HD3 for Trail Shredding, Merckx Road bike for collecting dust in garage

  21. #21
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    Apex Flood Damage Photos - Closure to continue well into 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    What about all the flood relief money? Stimulus money? Let's stimulate the economy and fix that park!!!!
    Must be a fun time in ignorance land. How does the coffee taste there?

    Apex is near the bottom of the list dude. When Jeffco sends you the email for trail work make sure you respond quick because the tools will get picked up quick by the rest of us.
    99% of the problems and questions posted here would be answered if people actually walked into a bicycle shop and asked

  22. #22
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    ...or is it the beauty of Mother Nature at work?
    No, it's a grand conspiracy of anti bike, anti fun people at JeffCo - They manufactured this to keep bikes out.

  23. #23
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    This is a neighborhood park, after all. How can that be closed for a year? JCOS should provide legal releases and then allow us in. BTW most of the trails are in great shape. Sure the gulch is damaged but that is only a small fraction of the park. I guess being an old timer when back in the day folks accepted reasonable hazards and and didn't just roll over when the man said to.

    The idea about crowd sourcing the repair is a good idea too. I've participated and I am sure many more would too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    Mother nature is so environmentally unfriendly at times.
    That occurred to me too. JCOS needs to ban mother nature from these trails in order to preserve them from now on. Or at least have them direction for rain on certain days.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  25. #25
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    The east trailhead at White Ranch is open again. There were a few obvious spots they fixed, and there's a pretty narrow stretch of Shorthorn, but overall in good shape.
    Golden Bike Park

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  26. #26
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    Thanks for sharing the pics. I have a few questions:

    1) Who was invited on this guided tour? I'm just curious because I've asked folks at JCOS specifically if they would do a tour for neighborhood folks.

    2) Did you guys go anywhere but up the gut/ Apex proper? From the aspect of things, every picture you posted appears to be up the main trail/ drainage (Apex Trail). One of my biggest questions has been whether or not there is significant damage elsewhere. If there is only minor damage on Argos/ Pick n Sledge/ Grubstake, that's a significant portion of trail that could be opened much sooner than sometime in 2014. Folks at JCOS have sent me some pictures, but like yours, they all appear to be up the gut. I'm sure there is some damage on the frontside trails, but I would imagine it's not nearly as bad as the damage up the main trail. I'd love to see/ hear a more comprehensive answer to this question.

    Thanks!
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  27. #27
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    the major damage is up the gut in the drainage. there were some minor erosions on some of the switchbacks - but nothing that couldnt be fixed and shored up with a few hrs and a few people... so - everything BUT the gut could be used, but you know what happens - there's always someone and more than one thats gonna run the closed parts... id personally be happy with a 3/4 solution until the rest is fixed.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    the major damage is up the gut in the drainage. there were some minor erosions on some of the switchbacks - but nothing that couldnt be fixed and shored up with a few hrs and a few people... so - everything BUT the gut could be used, but you know what happens - there's always someone and more than one thats gonna run the closed parts... id personally be happy with a 3/4 solution until the rest is fixed.
    Kamper- did you get to go up? Or do some exploration before the gates went up?
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  29. #29
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    As I live across the street I went up just after the deluge but before the closure. I was hiking, not biking. The damage is mostly confined to Apex Gulch. Any damage (trail washout) on other trails is minor. Anyway why aren't these trails open to hikers and runners? That's my point. Closure can readily be made as needed where machinery is being used.

    This is a neighborhood park and should not closed without an absolute necessity and then only with broad-based community input.

  30. #30
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    like goldengeezer - was there the day after the mayhem - and hiked up the front side and came back thru the gut

    we were pretty blown away by the carnage up the gut - but the rest was easily repairable and IMO could be opened

  31. #31
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    That's what I've heard from everyone- and thanks for chipping in with the info.

    I've been exchanging some polite e-mails with Tim at JCOS and he said they were still considering the possibility of being able to open the frontside- or a better way to put it is that they haven't given a hard "no"- but that last e-mail was from two weeks ago, before they've had two teams of folks up there to check it out. I sent a follow-up e-mail today and hope to hear back from him sometime- he's been cordial and responsive so far to my inquiries.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  32. #32
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    Apex Flood Damage Photos - Closure to continue well into 2014

    Tuesday, November 19th- JCOS is going to be having a meeting to address Apex and other park plans, etc. There should be more details coming soonish, but put it on your calendar now if you can make it.



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  33. #33
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    Latest from my inbox:

    Thank you for your interest in updates regarding Apex Park. As we work through the repair process to address the flood damage in the park, we will keep you updated on the progress.

    If you were unable to attend our public information meeting on the 19th, we have made the content from the meeting available on our website:

    · Flood Recovery Presentation – The presentation from the public meeting which covers all of our flood-damaged parks, the work completed, the work yet to be done, and FEMA involvement

    · Apex Park Flood Damage Assessment Map – shows damage on trails rated as minor, moderate, and heavy

    · Apex Park FAQ’s

    The content above can be found on the Apex Park page.

    In addition, two new videos were shown at the meeting and can be viewed here:
    Video: Jeffco Open Space Flood Recovery

    Video: Apex Park Flood Damage: A Walking Tour (no sound)

    We have started volunteer days at Apex Park. The first two days will take place the week of Nov. 25th, and were filled by volunteers at the public information meeting. Additional volunteer efforts will become available as weather, staff resources and trail logistics for hauling materials allow.

    Thank you for your patience as we work to address the Apex Park closure. We appreciate your cooperation and respect of the closure for your safety.

  34. #34
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  35. #35
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    The map with colors showing trail damage is complete garbage. The orange sections indicating moderate damage have absolutely no damage. Who walked these anyway?
    What criteria did they apply to judge damage? The map is useless as it is entirely inaccurate.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGeezer View Post
    The map with colors showing trail damage is complete garbage. The orange sections indicating moderate damage have absolutely no damage. Who walked these anyway?
    What criteria did they apply to judge damage? The map is useless as it is entirely inaccurate.
    Those are questions you should send to the people at JCOS. Though, tone down the accusations if you do contact them.

    edit: Read the Apex Park FAQs

  37. #37
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    Whoa! Wait a minute! This is a public park. JCOS isn't Google, WalMart or some other private entity. These people are public employees and work for us, the taxpaying citizens of Jefferson County. I am and will be respectful but demand transparency foremost. Regardless of what JCOS decides to do they should retract the inaccurate map. Apex is a heavily used asset owned by we citizens and now we don't have use of our park for an extended time. Are you satisfied with that?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGeezer View Post
    Whoa! Wait a minute! This is a public park. JCOS isn't Google, WalMart or some other private entity. These people are public employees and work for us, the taxpaying citizens of Jefferson County. I am and will be respectful but demand transparency foremost. Regardless of what JCOS decides to do they should retract the inaccurate map. Apex is a heavily used asset owned by we citizens and now we don't have use of our park for an extended time. Are you satisfied with that?

    You have to be joking or just trolling.....your posts can't be for real.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGeezer View Post
    Whoa! Wait a minute! This is a public park. JCOS isn't Google, WalMart or some other private entity. These people are public employees and work for us, the taxpaying citizens of Jefferson County. I am and will be respectful but demand transparency foremost. Regardless of what JCOS decides to do they should retract the inaccurate map. Apex is a heavily used asset owned by we citizens and now we don't have use of our park for an extended time. Are you satisfied with that?
    Your viewpoint is myopic and your sense of entitlement is obvious. Stop reading so much between the lines that you miss the point. Yes, the press release is a little lacking in details. However, that does not mean JCOS is obfuscating anything.

    The amount of damage is substantial and requires time to repair, and forethought to prevent such damage in the future.

    Have a little patience. It pays off, I promise.

    In the mean time, go ride somewhere else and use that as a mechanism to get over this closure.

    "There's nothing like a ride to help you reflect and work through your problems, but the fact is that as you do this you don't always like what you find... Some days you're dancing up that climb because things are going your way, and other days you're trudging up it because you're dragging a metaphorical trailer full of hardship, and I'm of the belief that you should embrace all of it." -BSNYC

  40. #40
    GL1
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    Apex Flood Damage Photos - Closure to continue well into 2014

    If JCOS would accept IMBA help things could probably move faster. But that horse was beaten long ago.

    I agree with others that it's a public-owned entity and while partial closure is acceptable and understandable (such as mustang at WR right now), blanket closure of the entire park is poor management considering the percentage of trails that are unaffected.
    My most brilliant achievement was my ability to pursuade my wife to marry me. - Churchill

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GL1 View Post
    I agree with others that it's a public-owned entity and while partial closure is acceptable and understandable (such as mustang at WR right now), blanket closure of the entire park is poor management considering the percentage of trails that are unaffected.
    The reasoning behind closing the entire park is clearly stated by JCOS. Apex Gulch is the major connector and has the most damage. More importantly, there is major damage at both the east and west trailheads. Because of the damage at the trailheads and the connectivity of other trails to the damaged Apex Gulch trail JCOS decided the potential for users entering damaged areas is too high. Thus, the closure.

    On the list of priorities, trail user safety is higher than trail use. Sure, it sucks, but it does no good to blame people who are doing their jobs; nor to demand anything because of perceived entitlement.

    A rough estimate from the damage map lists ~6 miles of trail with minor and moderate damage and another ~1 mile of major damage. That's ~74% of the total milage with some sort of damage. (JCOS list the criteria for damage assessment in the FAQs.) That leaves ~26% of the trails undamaged.

    So, if ~3/4 of the park needs trail work, it makes sense to close the entire park until a comprehensive and longterm solution is determined.

  42. #42
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    ^^ I am just happy that we're going to start moving forward sooner than later. The real answer is that JCOS is a bureaucracy, and a government entity and both of those things mean that they have to come up with some rules and abide by those rules and lean towards safety even in times when it seems clearly ridiculous. The Major damage is the only reason to close any part of the trail. The "minor to moderate" damage, if you go by actual user reports and not the map that basically has every inch of trail classified as damaged, is mostly nonsense. They can close the gut, Sluicebox and I even understand Hardscrabble to upper Apex/ Enchanted since the top entrance is so messed up, but they most certainly could have had the east/ lower entrance repaired and Pick n Sledge/ Grubstake already opened if they had decided that it was just as much "low hanging fruit" as similar damage at other parks. It would be very easy to put significant barriers up on the sections you want closed (this is a single track trail system, after all), and keep people out of the areas you don't want open. As for managing the crowds, etc, I also think that's BS. If the trail gets too crowded, people won't ride/ run/ hike there, and people aren't quite as likely to drive from Denver or elsewhere to ride a stunted jaunt up PnS when they would have so many other open parks to choose from where they could get more miles/ better access/ less crowds for the same drive. Which means it would primarily benefit locals... you know, JCOS taxpayers (not sure why we shouldn't have some perceived entitlement). I've given up hope that anything is going to move any faster than they are, but I still definitely reserve some frustration at the process, especially when the "reasons" sound so much more like thinly veiled excuses.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  43. #43
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    The FAQ covers every issue you have with the closure.

    The phased plan is already in progress, with the first two volunteer days putting up closure signs along Apex Gulch. The next step is to work on the trails in the NE part of the park (the most with minor to moderate damage); then work on the west part of the park and EF; with the final, and most, work done on Apex Gulch.

    As for the alternating days for hikers/equestrians and bikers, it is a good way to ameliorate any potential user conflicts. It's not like the hikers/equines. are getting a better deal.

    The "reasons" for the closure only appear as "thinly veiled excuses" because you're seeing the problem from your perspective: the user.

    For locals, this closure ins't a big deal. As you said, there are other places for people to go: MW/DR is less than 2 miles (and linkable to GM); CG is just over 2 miles; WR and NTM are just a bit further at ~7 miles and ~5 miles.

  44. #44
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    Yes- The "phased plan" is already in progress (you know, since it was only announced one week ago, that's pretty impressive), but the trails could have been opened already (and the plan could have been released sooner- we didn't need them spending time making neat videos about how awesome JCOS is). I'm just saying that it didn't need to move so slowly and the whole park doesn't need to still be closed. They put off dealing with Apex (as they said at the meeting) because there were other, easier fixes to deal with first, and it was easier to just close the entire park and figure it out later.

    The FAQ covers every issue, but I'm just saying that I think some of the answers in the FAQ aren't that satisfactory to me (THE user- yes, it's true, the non-users likely don't give a sh*t). Possible late 2014/ 2015 to build some bridges over 5-6 gaps? Seriously? 3/4 of the park with trail damage? Please.

    We're talking about instituting alternating days to ameliorate potential conflict? Why do we assume there's going to be conflict? Seriously, how many equestrians are going to park at Apex to go up PnS? I would guess not many. Still, alternating days? fine.

    Oh- and I'm a local. And it's a BIG deal (I'm joking here, but please don't speak for me or many of the other locals who live nearby the trails and are frustrated by the snail's pace approach). In fact, I'm so local that I typically walk or ride or run to the park, so getting in a car to load up my dogs for a run to go to a more congested trail does kinda suck.

    Honestly, like I said, I am happy we're moving forward. I was actually quite thrilled with the news at the meeting and am excited about any progress that can be made. I've offered to help run mini-crews with trained volunteers so that we might get the park opened sooner, but those offers have been ignored. Either way, I'm psyched, just a bit disappointed by the slog of bureaucracy.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  45. #45
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    the trail is riding well
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

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    Enjoy the riding "W" but please don't get caught. Those JCOS folks are bulldogs! Meanwhile, most of the responses to my "call for involvement" were answered, it seems to me, by sheep and the park remains closed...

  47. #47
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    GoldenGeezer- not sure what you "call to involvement" was, but I missed it.

    I had a meeting with three folks from JCOS two weeks ago. There was some new news and most of it wasn't great. They are planning on some major trail re-routing of Pick N Sledge, which they didn't really talk about in the meeting they had for the public. I urged them to consider opening PnS/ Grubstake (what they're calling "phase 1") sooner (Tim Sandsmark had said at the meeting that he didn't see any reason why it couldn't be open by January-- and he's right, there's no real damage up that way). Then, they could put their efforts into Phase 2 (upper Apex/ Hardscrabble/ Enchanted) and Phase 3 (main Gut/ Sluicebox where the worst washouts are), and circle back and THEN do the re-routing on PnS. I urged, I pleaded. I was basically told "no" and that Phase 1 wouldn't likely be open until May. The excuse (not reason, excuse) was that it was too hard to manage the front side of the trail only. I pointed out (and so did one of the other JCOS people) that their whole plan for Phase 1 to manage just that section of trail, only later in the spring. That didn't go anywhere.

    The point of the meeting was to try to organize and train some folks from the community who could lead "mini-crews" independent of the organized volunteer days and chip away at the work that needs to be done in order to speed things up a little and better involve the community. They were receptive to this idea, and in the next couple of weeks, we should hear about some opportunities to get trained in some trail maintenance and rebuilding and there will be a call to identify folks who would be willing to be leaders of these "mini-crews." There was a lot of back and forth, but the thing that was most obvious was that this is a bureaucratic, government entity and it moves at a snail's pace, and with their own goals. I couldn't agree more about the transparency piece and I have subsequently communicated that the major frustrations in the community could largely be resolved if they could do a better job communicating- via Facebook, meetings, website, etc.

    Some good news is that they are definitely planning on putting in a skills area at the base of Apex. So... there's that.

    I'm looking forward to hearing what they put together in the next couple of weeks to communicate their plans with the public and to try to garner support from volunteers to get things moving. There ARE people in JCOS (Tim being one) who also think that the frontside could and should be opened sooner, but they're not ultimately in charge and the decisions are being made somewhat unilaterally, it seems.

    I've heard several reports like WKD's- including that the entire frontside, including Apex up to the wall, all of PnS, all of Argos, and all of Grubstake is totally rideable. Keeping it closed because it would be "difficult to manage" during the slowest usage season of the year is BS. We do know that they are working with FEMA and trying to get extra monies to do more trail work (like what they're considering for PnS), but if that's the case, then just tell us.

    I'll keep y'all posted as I hear more in the coming weeks (much of the senior staff at JCOS was on break the last week or so). My hope is that we will have a "call to involvement" that could actually move things forward. If not, I'm hoping there are more folks who will rally to try to let them know that it's BS.

    Oh- and as for the bulldogs- the most they can do is give you a $50 ticket.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  48. #48
    rubber side down
    Reputation: russman's Avatar
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    Thanks Al. I have been pretty critical of JCOS in the past, but on this one, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Keep me in the loop for the mini-crews! Everyone just needs some patience. Go ride a different park for now.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rmalling's Avatar
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    Great update, thanks for taking the time to meet with them and inform us!


    "We're only bike terrorists, 5:30, second Friday, Berkley BART" -Jeff Ott, fifteen

  50. #50
    MFin' Princess
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmalling View Post
    Great update, thanks for taking the time to meet with them and inform us!
    x3. Thanks Al! Much appreciated.

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