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Thread: Chapman Drive

  1. #1
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    Chapman Drive

    Just rode Chapman Drive Wed afternoon/evening. Great addition to the ride alternatives out of Boulder! Just fantastic! Two issues come to mind:
    1. Talk about mountain lion terrain! Man, I'm not sure I've ever felt so spooked and vulnerable. Here is an area which has basically been closed down, wilderness for years and now here come all these unsuspecting riders/hikers/runners. Not sure if its a real problem - but I'd go with another rider/partner if you can. I felt like I was treaspassing on a big cat's turf, that's all.
    2. I know BMA is pushing for this road to be opened up for downhill travel - and I am all about opening more terrain for mountainbiking - maybe to an extreme - but I do not think this road should be opened to downhill traffic. Sorry BMA, but it is not so gentle, and downhill riders are going to be hauling ass down this road. This will cause more trail/road damage and erosion. There is going to be a ton of bad encounters between riders and non-riders - it's inevitable. There will be virtually zero bad encounters if we are riding uphill. I think this area is going to be popular with a wide user group and we are setting ourselves up for a lot of bad PR. I don't want to encounter riders hauling ass when I'm riding up - it also endangers me as a rider. So you ride up a road, Flagstaff, just to ride down a dirt road? Those who go to this trouble will only be doing so for the thrill of the descent - which means going fast. There will be those who will say that riders will go sensibly down this road - but to do so will severely wear your brake pads into smokin hot little frying pans. I say let's be happy we gained this, live with what I feel is a sensible compromise, and put our energy and political capital into opening up other areas (Walker to Eldo for a start) for cycling.
    My $.02.
    bikeone

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjensen View Post
    Just rode Chapman Drive Wed afternoon/evening. Great addition to the ride alternatives out of Boulder! Just fantastic! Two issues come to mind:
    1. Talk about mountain lion terrain! Man, I'm not sure I've ever felt so spooked and vulnerable. Here is an area which has basically been closed down, wilderness for years and now here come all these unsuspecting riders/hikers/runners. Not sure if its a real problem - but I'd go with another rider/partner if you can. I felt like I was treaspassing on a big cat's turf, that's all.
    2. I know BMA is pushing for this road to be opened up for downhill travel - and I am all about opening more terrain for mountainbiking - maybe to an extreme - but I do not think this road should be opened to downhill traffic. Sorry BMA, but it is not so gentle, and downhill riders are going to be hauling ass down this road. This will cause more trail/road damage and erosion. There is going to be a ton of bad encounters between riders and non-riders - it's inevitable. There will be virtually zero bad encounters if we are riding uphill. I think this area is going to be popular with a wide user group and we are setting ourselves up for a lot of bad PR. I don't want to encounter riders hauling ass when I'm riding up - it also endangers me as a rider. So you ride up a road, Flagstaff, just to ride down a dirt road? Those who go to this trouble will only be doing so for the thrill of the descent - which means going fast. There will be those who will say that riders will go sensibly down this road - but to do so will severely wear your brake pads into smokin hot little frying pans. I say let's be happy we gained this, live with what I feel is a sensible compromise, and put our energy and political capital into opening up other areas (Walker to Eldo for a start) for cycling.
    My $.02.


    I didn't have any idea what you were talking about, so Googled it.
    Came up with this:
    Jan. 4, 2013 - OSMP to Open Lower Chapman Drive Trail

    My question is what is the point of opening it to bikes at all, if not downhill as well?
    It doesn't sound like a roadie would really wanna do it b/c it's steep dirt?
    MTB wouldn't wanna do it, b/c no downhill, and you would have to go all the way around on pavement to make a loop.
    I guess cross riders may do the loop for a training ride?
    What shape is the road in? Sounds like a dirt road - If it was open, you could drive a 2WD car up it?

    What did you do? Ride up it and walk down, or do the loop?
    Last edited by GIANTkiller; 02-07-2013 at 10:31 AM. Reason: word clarifications

  3. #3
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    What is the state of Chapman Drive? Is it truly a wide gravel road or has it degenerated into something more singletracky, enjoyable?

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    Chapman drive is a dirt road. Maybe rutted in places but not bad. 2 WD cars could manage although it might be touchy in spots. It's not wide, 2 cars couldn't pass each other. It hasn't been used a lot in the last several decades - mostly hikers from the top. I think that's why BMA wants to have two way bike travel on it - not many folks would feel displaced.
    I too am apprehensive about 2 way bike travel though. I'm happy to ride it up and bomb down Flagstaff. It's a nice climb. I think folks who like to climb (like myself) will enjoy it. And then you can race cars down Flagstaff.
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  5. #5
    Kaj
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    The goal is to get singletrack for the way down on a parallel trail that is downhill & biking only.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjensen View Post
    Just rode Chapman Drive Wed afternoon/evening.
    My $.02.
    So, just to clarify, you're advocating for more bike restrictions rather than less?
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

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    Chapman Drive

    +1 to what Kai said. That would be a great solution. Climb the road and descend single track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    The goal is to get singletrack for the way down on a parallel trail that is downhill & biking only.
    This would be awesome. I see no point in pedaling up a dirt road to cruise down pavement. I wonder what the chances of this happening are? This is something that could take years..

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    I never really knew this incredible terrain was even here until I rode Chapman. I bet the single track potential in this area is fantastic and if a new trail is being considered than I am all for it. Maybe another Betasso? Not likely I know, but this is a wild area and it has enormous potential worth serious consideration.
    bikeone

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    The argument against downhill bike traffic could be made of ANY of the fast descents on Boulder County trails. Think sections of Picture Rock where you are flying blindly into corners, simply LISTENING for other riders, or Walker headed down towards the creek. And these are examples of a lot tighter trail than Chapman drive, which is a road. Yes, downhill bike traffic would be going fast, but wouldn't be any more dangerous than any other 2-way trail systems we encounter now. This kind of talk simply delays and discourages good positive trail progress in Boulder County.

    The reason it should be opened both ways is so you have the OPTION of riding Betasso>Chapman>Walker>Flagstaff descent, OR Flagstaff>Walker>Chapman descent>Betasso. It's a dirt road. Just like any other dirt road in Boulder County. I'm honestly surprised this has even become an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickt3030 View Post
    It's a dirt road. Just like any other dirt road in Boulder County. I'm honestly surprised this has even become an issue.
    It's only an issue because mountain bikers are a second class citizen in the eyes of Boulder City leaders.

  12. #12
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    I think BMA is on the money with this one. Cross post from their latest newsletter:

    --------------
    Support Chapman Bike Access at OSMP Open House

    As you've read, Chapman Drive opened to the public in early January with bikes being allowed uphill access only. Now that it's open and riders can experience the road that connects Boulder Canyon to Flagstaff Road, it's time to have a community discussion about whether to allow bikes downhill access in this corridor.

    BMA trail geeks have already taken a hard look at this corridor. Below are our observations that you can use as talking points at the meeting:

    * Reports of a 10% grade and possible user conflict were exaggerated since it's a relatively twisty and meandering road with mellow grades.

    * Chapman Drive isn't a "destination," and makes sense in the context of regional trail connections (imagine a loop that starts in Boulder, climbs to Walker Ranch, and returns to Boulder through Eldorado Canyon State Park).

    * Given these realities, we believe bikes can go downhill on Chapman Drive without significant user conflict. Significant signage and user education will be necessary, but it's a trail that all can enjoy safely.

    If you haven't ridden it, we encourage you to do so and make your own assessment.

    Please consider attending the open house Wednesday Feb 13 to show your support for downhill bike access on Chapman.

    What: Community meeting to discuss bike and dog access options on Chapman Drive Trail
    When : Wednesday, Feb. 13, 4:30 - 6:00 pm
    Where: Boulder City Council Chambers Lobby, 1777 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302

    Check out trail information and conditions on BMA's Chapman Drive page.
    Chapman Drive | Boulder Mountainbike Alliance

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post

    * Reports of a 10% grade and possible user conflict were exaggerated since it's a relatively twisty and meandering road with mellow grades.
    Signage there says it's a 7% grade. And it is twisty and rutted in places. Somewhat similar to the Walker Ranch road that heads south from the lot, except not quite as rough. And bikes go up and down and get along with fishermen, etc. hiking that.
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  14. #14
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    I had been thinking of riding Chapman and posting pics. Today was the day. I deviated from my ride to work to ride up it and come down Flagstaff. I really think there should be up and down bike traffic on it. It's secluded and somewhat similar to Walker Ranch road and that has much more traffic on it and folks there seem to get along.
    The road was built in the '30s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and there is some nice rock work on it.

    Chapman Drive-cameraawesomephoto-6.jpg

    Some rock work.

    Chapman Drive-p1010969.jpg

    Some vegetation in the road.

    Chapman Drive-p1010972.jpg

    Views of the continental divide.

    Chapman Drive-p1010987.jpg

    More rock work.

    Chapman Drive-p1010989.jpg

    Tracks in the snow.

    Chapman Drive-cameraawesomephoto.jpg
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  15. #15
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    Just no shuttling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    The goal is to get singletrack for the way down on a parallel trail that is downhill & biking only.
    I've been asking for this from BMA for years.

    Directional trails and dedicated downhills for bikers only (hikers allowed on uphill bike trails).

    This would greatly reduce conflicts as not too many hikers get mad at uphill traffic (although I've certainly run into a few militant hikers that aren't willing to let bikers pass under any circumstances).

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    I've ridden this trail a few times and can see no reason that it shouldn't be open to bikes traveling downhill. First, it is double track and wide double track at that. Plenty of room for bikers and hikers to pass each other. Second, it isn't likely to be very popular with walkers(maybe runners) as it doesn't make a useful(for most) sized loop for foot travel. Granted it is pretty nice back there but I would be shocked if it saw 50 walkers on a busy day...

    Regarding a single track option for downhill: I think this would be very problematic as it would likely attract shuttlers due to the easy access to the top. I actually think a single track climbing only trail would more likely to be built and sustained (politically).
    Last edited by unc-76; 02-10-2013 at 12:22 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
    So, just to clarify, you're advocating for more bike restrictions rather than less?
    Seems like Andy is advocating a balanced approach to opening a new uphill trail. By conceding DH traffic for "safety", or simply PR, mountain bikers can show a willingness to work together to gain access that was previously closed. Small sacrifice, net gain.

  19. #19
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    How many small sacrifices do you wanna keep making? Keep bending over...

  20. #20
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    No doubt. I remember when BOA, now BMA played nice guy and did a lot of trailwork thinking that'd gain them some favors within City and County. Nope. Once they/we got involved politically, it was a game changer. Playing nice and conceding for safety, IMO, are total BS arguements. We need to advocate for safety by opening it up to 2 way traffic and riding safely on it. It's a ROAD. We can get along pretty well going 2 directions on steeper and narrower singletrack.
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  21. #21
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    That said, opening Chapman Dr was a tiny concession made by City of Boulder after bending us over in the West TSA (no bikes at all) and downtown Boulder (no bikes at all) trail access. They barely threw us a bone with this one. Some things are worth fighting for, and 2 way access on a freaking road is one that we *might* actually win. Bike peeps must continue to push and push and push in these parts. Conceding isn't going to get us a damn thing, short term or long term, with Boulder City decision makers.
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    Correct. Balance - I think this is a great place to show our willingness as a group to compromise. Remember how mad we all were with OSMP's decision to cut out the many feasible options we proposed for the Open Space Plan? Didn't feel like there were as many compromises made on our part as there could/should have been. So to directly answer Debaser, I am in this case calling for more restrictions to show we are a group that can work with other user groups constructively. Why get all red faced and frustrated over a situation - downhill traffic - which is only going to bring us bad publicity and rep. Even if it is only 50 walkers a day.
    bikeone

  23. #23
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    Balance? Getting Chapman both up and down would be one small pebble compared to the dump truck that OSMP has already parked on the other side. I think ignazjr nailed it.

    Btw, the ideal proposal being brought forward here is to have a separate directional downhill trail running adjacent. Best of all worlds. No user conflict.

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    I don't see why this has to bring us bad publicity or rep. It is a road. It can be shared. I actually don't expect that there will be much opposition to downhill travel from citizens/osmp/etc.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    No doubt. I remember when BOA, now BMA played nice guy and did a lot of trailwork thinking that'd gain them some favors within City and County. Nope. Once they/we got involved politically, it was a game changer. Playing nice and conceding for safety, IMO, are total BS arguements. We need to advocate for safety by opening it up to 2 way traffic and riding safely on it. It's a ROAD. We can get along pretty well going 2 directions on steeper and narrower singletrack.
    From my understanding there is effort from BMA to have two-way traffic allowed. BMA has learned to work the City open space better and they go with that at first.

    I rode it on opening day and I put my input in and said it was a safe DH road too. There are plenty of switchbacks and the grade is actually not that steep. I doubt people would make this a destination DH ride.

    But my real opinion is that Chapman drive, other than a nice scenic one-timer is just that. I have no reason to ride it more than once. It's not a good ride in itself and the only other use it if you want to combine super-Betasso with Super-Walker....or some other super-crazy ride---like from Nederland.!

    But if some single track gets allowed for bikes off the road, then the story changes.

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