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  1. #1
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    Bike Ban Coming - Cheyenne Mtn State Park

    As many of you know, Cheyenne Mtn State Park has historically been a fantastic place to mountain bike. This is partly because Medicine Wheel and IMBA partnered with the park management about a decade ago in a very successful program to develop the park with multiple uses in mind.

    More recently, the City of Colorado Springs and the State of Colorado were able to acquire the top of Cheyenne Mountain and add it to the park. It's a spectacular piece of property.

    It's been several years coming, but a draft plan for the additions to the park has been produced, with trails to the top of Cheyenne Mountain.

    Under the draft plan, bikes will not be allowed anywhere on the new property.

    Needless to say, Medicine Wheel is appalled at this outcome. We have tried to answer the concerns of the current park management about the use of bikes in the new property. We have asked for a compromise in which bikes would be allowed as far up as the "saddle" on the south side of the mountain, with an eye towards future connections in Cheyenne Canyon. But our requests and discussions have apparently fallen on deaf ears.

    We're asking for your help.

    There will be a public open house on Wednesday, July 25 between 5:30PM to 8:30PM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, during which the public is invited to comment on the new plan.

    Please save the date, show up, and let the park management know (as strongly but politely as you can) how important it is to be able to ride the new addition to Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

    Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates has always valued its role as a partner in the development and management of the Cheyenne Mtn State Park and we very sincerely want to continue to be a positive, productive partner going forward. We are extremely disappointed in the current direction that the proposed plan has taken and very strongly request that the State Parks and Wildlife Division reconsider allowing mountain biking in the new section of the park.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    zrm
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    Was Mtn biking already allowed and taking place on this new parcel? Are any of the trails that are currently allowed to MTBs going to be affected under the draft plan?

  3. #3
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    This is the same trail that is described in Volunteer Spam: Cheyenne Mountain - Dixon Trail build, Oct 7, 8, 9. (And thanks to everyone that signed up to help build the trail -- too bad that weekend got snowed out.) There is an existing trail there (more or less) that is barely hikeable, much less rideable. This is essentially all new trail, about 3.5 miles long, that incorporates a couple short sections of the old trail. The new trail was designed for bikes, but it seems that management has had a change of heart.

    I'm not aware of any new bike restrictions on any existing trails in CMSP.

  4. #4
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    Bonked is correct, the existing trails in the park will be minimally affected. The added terrain was previously private land. It wraps around the south shoulder of Cheyenne Mountain and up to the top. There should eventually be a connection to Cheyenne Canyon to the west over the shoulder of the mountain, which would provide for some epic rides. We don't want to see that possibility closed out from the start.

    That said, while I don't anticipate a huge volume of traffic to the top, it's a spectacular place. It will be one of those rides, with lots of hike a bike, that goes on the "yeah, I did that one" list.

  5. #5
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    What frustrates me about this is there doesn't seem to be any real justification for excluding bikers. There are a couple short sections of hike-a-bike, probably less than 1/4 mile total, and the rest is totally rideable. In addition, this trail doesn't even start till you are well over three miles from the parking lot, which means few hikers are going to bother going out there. Heck, the top of Talon usually only sees runners and bikers with few hikers. It just doesn't make sense to me to exclude a significant portion of the typical CMSP visitors from that part of the park.

  6. #6
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    Is the draft plan posted somewhere so we can check it out? Is there a schedule for the planning process - in other words, when is the next public meeting or is there a deadline we are working against in getting this changed?

    Bonked - Sounds like you guys (you and Chris) were kind of taken by surprise by this. Any ideas why this might have happened. Was public against it, certain user groups voicing concern, etc.?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    Bonked - Sounds like you guys (you and Chris) were kind of taken by surprise by this. Any ideas why this might have happened. Was public against it, certain user groups voicing concern, etc.?
    Yeah, Jim, we really were caught off guard on this. I've done a good bit of asking around and nobody knows for sure what spurred the decision. The most common story I've heard is the park manager had a bad experience with a biker on a trail and decided to rein in the bikers, but that is just speculation. I've been trying to get together with the park manager on some other tasks in hopes that I could fish for some reasoning on this decision but we haven't managed to get our schedules to line up yet.

    Hopefully, enough bikers will speak up to get the park's attention. I mean, if it weren't for bikers CMSP would be even quieter than it already is.

  8. #8
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    Unfortunately, I have to be out of town for work on the 25th. Is there a good way for me to leave written comment in my absence?
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  9. #9
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    We the people ... Official invite

    From: "Plan Management" <Plan.Management@state.co.us>
    Sent: Monday, July 9, 2012 3:51:07 PM
    Subject: Public Open House Meeting #2 - Draft Cheyenne Mountain SP Mgt Plan


    Colorado Parks & Wildlife is hosting a public open house meeting to share recommendations included in its Draft 2012 Cheyenne Mountain State Park Management Plan. Scheduled for completion later this year, the plan will outline a 10-year planning framework for the park. The document will also help guide future park planning and budgeting, development, and administration as well as potential uses for the 1000-acre Top of the Mountain area.



    The goal of the open house meeting is to inform the public of recommendations outlined in the draft plan and solicit additional input prior to developing a final plan. The meeting is scheduled for:



    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    5:30pm-8:30pm

    Foothills Room

    2886 South Circle Drive

    Colorado Springs, CO 80906

    *The meeting is open house format. Please stop in anytime.



    Following the meeting, digital copies of printed materials and the draft management plan will be posted on the park webpage at: Cheyenne Mountain Management Plan | Colorado State Parks. If you have any thoughts, recommendations, or questions regarding the planning process or this meeting please email plan.management@state.co.us or contact Mitch Martin, Park Manager, at (719) 576-2381.

  10. #10
    banned
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    nice drama thread

    misleading title

    is the op a lamestream media wannabe?

  11. #11
    old skool newbie
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    I don't ride much down your way and probably won't do anything to help, but I am glad that most people here are trying to help (despite the snarky remarky). It has been said that it is hard to fly like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.

  12. #12
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    My first post, but this topic has me concerned enough to join in. We picked up a year park pass, just for cmsp because it is an easy close ride when we dont feel like climbing much. Or dealing with dogs. Or dealing with horses. Or dealing with dog and horse poo on the trail.

    I know there is strong desire for horse access to cmsp. Curious to see if that comes up at the meeting. Ditto for opening to dogs.

    We hope to be able to attend the meeting.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlining View Post
    I know there is strong desire for horse access to cmsp.
    I can assure you that the park is under a lot of pressure to allow equestrian access. The specification for the Dixon Trail (the one that is the topic of this thread) was widened to 36" to accommodate equestrians "just in case" they are allowed.

  14. #14
    Almost Human
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martlet View Post
    It's been several years coming, but a draft plan for the additions to the park has been produced, with trails to the top of Cheyenne Mountain.

    Under the draft plan, bikes will not be allowed anywhere on the new property.
    I thought it would be a good day to bump this. Remember when..... we gave our support to get a new trail approved and then had the door slammed in our faces once they got the ok to build it?

  15. #15
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    Funny you brought this up. I just discussed this with the park manager on Monday. He stated that he would support bikes going further up the ridge, but he still isn't sold on bikers going all the way up thru the more challenging terrain. It seems that DPW thinks we bikers may hurt ourselves so we need to be protected, and the way to do that is to prevent us from putting ourselves at risk.

    I think that this is being driven by the people in Denver. For there to be any significant change we will need to lobby the people in the ivory tower who tell the locals what to do.

  16. #16
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    I find that rationale curious. Medicine Wheel and Cougars Shadow are two of the most challenging trails in the region. The rocks on Med Wheel can be positively menacing. If potential for personal harm is the driving factor, bikes shouldn't be allowed on those very rugged trails in the first place. Methinks that rationale may be a smokescreen of sorts.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  17. #17
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    When I hiked the trail with the DPW folks, years ago, they expressed that a rescue would be much more difficult because the upper sections of the Dixon Trail are miles away from any road or ATV accessible location. Cougar Shadows and MedWheel trail are relatively close in and you can get an ATV pretty close to any section of those trails.

    The lower trails are not in the same league when it comes to exposure. The upper Dixon trail has cliffs and other steep, rocky sections that present the potential for much more severe injury if somebody loses it and goes off the edge. Of course there are places like Moab, for example, that have similar hazards and don't seem to experience that many injuries that can be attributed to the big exposure. But the park managers look at that and fear it will cause trouble for them.

    I feel there is basically an anti-bike bias in the DPW management. I didn't hear anyone express anything explicitly against bikes, I just got that vibe from them...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonkedAgain View Post
    WThe lower trails are not in the same league when it comes to exposure. The upper Dixon trail has cliffs and other steep, rocky sections that present the potential for much more severe injury if somebody loses it and goes off the edge.
    All of us have been very supportive of CMSP since its' opening. And I could see that from a management standpoint, however an alternative route or a connector to PNF/Old Stage/Gold Camp should have been offered up. Some kind of trail....

    For the type of riding I (used to) do that's more important to me than getting to the top. CMSP could be an incredible loop out of town and back. Have to wonder how much the Broadmoor and their "backcountry" cabins on top of Cheyenne Mtn had to do with the decision. https://www.broadmoor.com/cloud-camp/
    IMHO, that's what's driving it.

    Same reason we can't have a trail on the South Slope of PP, rumor for years has been that the Broadmoor doesn't want their guests seeing the public when they ride up the cog (which they own).

    Beds and heads. (Tourism tax) That's what it's about.

  19. #19
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    There really aren't any alternative routes, at least on land that is part of CMSP. For that matter, the park has still not gotten an easement to the preferred route. We may end up having to route it down a steep, narrow, gulley to avoid the private property where the trail is currently routed.

    Cloud Camp was not even being talked about at the time, at least not publicly.

    The USFS is probably the biggest opponent of having any more trails going up Pikes Peak. They are very against any more human disturbance on the peak. The Broadmoor people have actually been pretty supportive. They like having more amenities that would be attractive to guests, even if they don't always make a buck off of them.

  20. #20
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    I suppose the rescue aspect does complicate things (if you're decision making is based on risk avoidance above all else).
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  21. #21
    Almost Human
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonkedAgain View Post
    There really aren't any alternative routes, at least on land that is part of CMSP.

    Cloud Camp was not even being talked about at the time, at least not publicly.
    I believe there is another route around if you go out of the SW corner of the park. The City owns land outside CMSP on that corner, and NF is on the other side of that. Rock Creek Trail. Pretty sure they put conservation easements on the City land when they expanded CMSP to the top. in 2011 iirc ???

    The first time I saw Cloud Camp was when I reviewed the subdivision plat in July of 2013 so I'm guessing it had been in regional building for at least a year before that, if not longer. I'm certain that the Broadmoor has long range plans for building these types of amenities.
    The timeline all fits. You don't build something like that without extensive planning.

    And these types of discussions are top-down. Way, way above my pay grade. Attorneys and politicians are probably the ones calling the shots. We're just plebes fighting for the leftover crumbs my friend.

    You can see the connector route here. Off Talon on the west side of the park, take rock creek trail over to emerald valley stables. (notice Future Park Expansion also). https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jM5...ew?usp=sharing

    Seems like a pretty easy connection to me.

  22. #22
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    Oh, I see what you are saying. Yeah, that could be a great route. However, it runs into the same private property issue that we are struggling with now. See El Paso County Parcel Viewer The park has been negotiating with the owner for years, and the owner seemed willing to work with the park, but they haven't been responsive lately so plans for crossing that parcel are now in limbo.

    It isn't clear to me how the USFS would respond. My impression is they would like to rewild that area, including Emerald Valley, but I suspect that there is no active planning for that region right now -- not enough people to work on it.

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