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  1. #1
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    COMBA Organizes Public Forum with JCOS

    The following notice regarding the upcoming public forum with Jefferson County Open Space, also sent to the COMBA mailing list and viewable at http://comba.org/public-forum-with-JCOS/ , is reproduced here for your convenience.

    COMBA Organizes Open Space Trails Public Forum


    Any mountain biker who’s ridden Apex’s Pick –N- Sledge trail lately has been in for a surprise. This trail, along with others on the Front Range, has received a serious facelift from the Jefferson County Open Space Parks Department. Open Space sometimes has to get pretty serious with shovels, drastically changing the look of trails that have suffered serious erosion at the hands of wind, water and people. Open Space has had other priorities in the past few years, so this kind of work hasn’t been seen until recently. Well, that has changed. And some are not impressed. In fact, many in the mountain bike community are down-right angry that the trails they love have changed so dramatically. To top it off, some mountain bikers have recently been ticketed for failing to yield to hikers.

    These circumstances have led many to seek answers and register their complaints. Some have made plans to attend OSAC meetings. Others have unfortunately engaged in criminal acts—threats of violence against Open Space Staff and vandalism. Criminal conduct does not aid our community. Indeed, the only strategies such behavior serves are those of the user groups who would love to see mountain bikers without access to Open Space parks.

    Open Space is aware that the recent trail work and enforcement activities have raised many questions. After receiving a number of complaints from mountain bikers, Open Space wrote an open letter to the trail community explaining why this work was done. Please see the Open Space Parks website newslink if you want to read the letter. ( http://co.jefferson.co.us/openspace , click on "News" between "A-Z" and "Trails". )

    The Colorado Mountain Bike Association understands the anger and frustration that many mountain bikers feel. COMBA thinks, however, the best way to deal with these issues is through serious discussion with Open Space. Toward that end, COMBA has asked Open Space to meet with the mountain biking community to do just that. Open Space has agreed. COMBA will facilitate a forum, with Open Space staff as its guests, during the third week of August at the Jefferson County Courts and Administration Building (the Taj Mahal) in Golden. The exact date, time, and room location will be announced as soon as possible.

    If you’re girding for a fight, stay home. This is not your chance to rant. Rude or disrespectful people will be asked to leave. This is your chance to listen and to ask questions and offer constructive, respectful comment. When you arrive, you’ll sign in. If you want to speak, be prepared to get to the point. COMBA wants to make sure everybody who wants to comment has the opportunity to do so.

    COMBA looks forward to seeing you at the Taj!
    Please stay tuned for further information, as the details regarding the venue and other logistical considerations are worked out.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    eci
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    sweet! maybe they'll give us a dh trail now too!

  3. #3
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    Even if you don't wish to speak at the meeting, it would still be beneficial to show up and let JCOS know that there are a lot of us interested in how this plays out.

  4. #4
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    To any riders thinking about attending:

    As a member of a parks board which oversees a substantial park system, as well as a board member of a bike trails advocacy group, I can't stress enough how important it is to be respectful of not just the parks staff and board that you will be dealing with at the meeting, but also to be respectful of the process.

    The public process which usually helps set policy can be agonizingly slow and, by definition, requires that ALL viewpoints are heard, including those that you may strongly disagree with. But with patience and thoughtful dialogue, positive change CAN happen. It just often takes time. Even with all that, you may not get everything you want.

    Some ideas that might help:

    1. Wear a tie, or at least a jacket, or at least look like a respectable member of society.
    2. Don't show up in cycling attire. This is a meeting where business is going to be conducted, not a ride.
    3. If you do speak, don't ramble. Make your point(s), support it with facts (not conjecture or accusations), and move on. If you are repeating a point that three guys before you just made, just shorten it to "I agree with those three guys" and then, if you have something new to add, do so.
    4. Don't boo or express anger about someone else's point when they are speaking.
    5. It is likely that this whole thing has come up because JCOS is trying to solve a "problem". Find out what they think the problem is, then try to offer a solution. You need to convince JCOS that cyclists can be the "solution" instead of the "problem".

    Like it or not, this is going to be a political process, and you need to make the decision-makers comfortable in order to win them over to your point of view. While numbers of people certainly count, just as important is the impression that you make. They need to see the mountain biking community as the lawyers, accountants, baristas and the folks that live next door, not as some wild eyed kids going around breaking the rules and threatening people.

    Along those lines, remember that connections count! If you personally know any of the parks staff or board that you may be dealing with, or if you know someone who can introduce you, then use that opportunity! Again, in a respectful way.

    Finally, while you may not always agree with COMBA or everything they do, it will probably pay in the long run to support them. If you REALLY disagree with what they do, then get off your butt, volunteer, join COMBA, get on the COMBA board, and then you can set your own policy.

    I hope it goes well!

  5. #5
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martlet
    To any riders thinking about attending:

    As a member of a parks board which oversees a substantial park system, as well as a board member of a bike trails advocacy group, I can't stress enough how important it is to be respectful of not just the parks staff and board that you will be dealing with at the meeting, but also to be respectful of the process.

    The public process which usually helps set policy can be agonizingly slow and, by definition, requires that ALL viewpoints are heard, including those that you may strongly disagree with. But with patience and thoughtful dialogue, positive change CAN happen. It just often takes time. Even with all that, you may not get everything you want.

    Some ideas that might help:

    1. Wear a tie, or at least a jacket, or at least look like a respectable member of society.
    2. Don't show up in cycling attire. This is a meeting where business is going to be conducted, not a ride.
    3. If you do speak, don't ramble. Make your point(s), support it with facts (not conjecture or accusations), and move on. If you are repeating a point that three guys before you just made, just shorten it to "I agree with those three guys" and then, if you have something new to add, do so.
    4. Don't boo or express anger about someone else's point when they are speaking.
    5. It is likely that this whole thing has come up because JCOS is trying to solve a "problem". Find out what they think the problem is, then try to offer a solution. You need to convince JCOS that cyclists can be the "solution" instead of the "problem".

    Like it or not, this is going to be a political process, and you need to make the decision-makers comfortable in order to win them over to your point of view. While numbers of people certainly count, just as important is the impression that you make. They need to see the mountain biking community as the lawyers, accountants, baristas and the folks that live next door, not as some wild eyed kids going around breaking the rules and threatening people.

    Along those lines, remember that connections count! If you personally know any of the parks staff or board that you may be dealing with, or if you know someone who can introduce you, then use that opportunity! Again, in a respectful way.

    Finally, while you may not always agree with COMBA or everything they do, it will probably pay in the long run to support them. If you REALLY disagree with what they do, then get off your butt, volunteer, join COMBA, get on the COMBA board, and then you can set your own policy.

    I hope it goes well!
    Having served on several open space committes and participated in more public forums and meetings than I can count, I will second the above statement, although I don't know if a suit and tie or jacket is all that necessary, maybe JCOS is different than Summit in that way.

    A group of thoughtful, constructive, adults who are willing to work with all parties involved and respect their point of view will accomplish a lot more than an angry rabble with a chip on it's shoulder.

  6. #6
    post-ride specialist
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    So, Toastmasters yes, clubs & torches no, eh?.
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  7. #7
    Stand back
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    Interesting - the letter from Kim gives percentage of grade they were shooting for. I'm curious as to the method of measurement they used.
    Golden Bike Park

    Golden Connector Trails need your support!

  8. #8
    Perpetually single track
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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek
    So, Toastmasters yes, clubs & torches no, eh?.
    I think clubs/torches are fine...those "carrying" though should stand quietly in the back row of the meeting.

  9. #9
    post-ride specialist
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    The non-white-male didn't gain a political voice by standing quietly in the back row.
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  10. #10
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek
    The non-white-male didn't gain a political voice by standing quietly in the back row.
    Ice, nobody has said anything about standing quietly in the back row. Just about putting forth your views in a firm, respectful and persuasive manner. Ironically, an argument could certainly be made that the non-white male Democratic frontrunner candidate for President has attained his current status by doing just that.

  11. #11
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    1. Wear a tie, or at least a jacket, or at least look like a respectable member of society.
    2. Don't show up in cycling attire. This is a meeting where business is going to be conducted, not a ride.

    So...act like "them", act like the sheeple and you'll be heard? That's a bit hypocritical.

    I am a Mountain Biker, if I ride my bike to the shindig...I wear my "cycling attire". If I don't...I show up as usual...jeans and a loose button down mechanic/utility shirt, untucked...probably with sandals. Not just to be "different" but to be who I am, not to pose as something I'm not just to get someone's attention or respect. I hope that we live in a world where we're well beyond judging color of skin or attire or any other "external" junk we can festoon ourselves with.

    I'm a knucklehead, but I try to be honest and represent myself (and my faith) with integrity - I sure hope my character carries 1,000 times more weight with people than my attire.

    3, 4 and 5 - Kudos. I was involved for two years in the 'Springs planning for Red Rock Canyon. Fantastic process, great outcome, a little respectful tension and a lot of discussion. Many hikers, equestrians, climbers, plain old citizens...and city "business" folk got to interact with a fairly small group of Mountain Bikers; but respectful Mountain Bikers that showed up as they live and breath. Sometimes in "cycling attire", sometimes in jeans and t-shirts - but came to realized that we're just like them in our passion for the outdoors, for advocacy, etiquette and respect - only we do it on two wheels.

    I didn't really intend to bust on you so much for points 1 and 2...but statements like that only perpetuate judging by externals and not character and actions.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  12. #12
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    If you show up like this, then like it or not, you will be pre-judged:


  13. #13
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    This might also provoke a little judgement:



    But seriously, Tony, you're a smart guy who has done a lot for MTB advocacy. You know how the game is played. No, a tie isn't necessary, but like it or not, people DO judge based on appearances and all kinds of other "trivial" stuff. Sad but true.
    Last edited by Martlet; 07-29-2008 at 02:43 PM.

  14. #14
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    i agree about judging the book.......but, i believe marlet's point is more about showing respect for the process. i was waiting in court one day on a traffic issue, and fortunately the guy in front of me showed up in his Hans and Franz sweats......after a 5 minute tongue lashing by the judge, he had him sit down and called me forward....wish i could have bought him a beer with my fine savings ;-)

  15. #15
    zrm
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    Suit and tie probably not necessary. Showing up clean and dressed like you actually care about and respect the process will make a better impression than showing up dirty and dressed like you raided you dirty clothes hamper. Clean shorts, decent shirt and sandals are fine.

    clubs & torches no, eh?.
    I thought it was pitchforks and torches

  16. #16
    icegeek is hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    Suit and tie probably not necessary. Showing up clean and dressed like you actually care about and respect the process will make a better impression than showing up dirty and dressed like you raided you dirty clothes hamper.
    True, but just ... show ... up. And bring a friend.

    Brings lots of friends.

    Bring people you don't even like, as long as they like to ride bikes.

    Schnauzers, if you wanna carpool, I'll even pick you up and bring you cookies as a peace offering. Promise.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVC15
    True, but just ... show ... up. And bring a friend.

    Brings lots of friends.

    Bring people you don't even like, as long as they like to ride bikes.

    Schnauzers, if you wanna carpool, I'll even pick you up and bring you cookies as a peace offering. Promise.
    Oatmeal raisens for me plz...and I'm on your way to the Taj if you go by Johnson Rd

  18. #18
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    Any update on the time and place? I might have missed the post as I've suffered from temporary blindness from the picture of Martlet in a one-piece.

  19. #19
    icegeek is hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    Oatmeal raisens for me plz...and I'm on your way to the Taj if you go by Johnson Rd
    Glad to see someone here has his wits about him.

    Oatmeal's not my specialty, but I will give it my best shot.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVC15
    Glad to see someone here has his wits about him.

    Oatmeal's not my specialty, but I will give it my best shot.
    Oatmeal/raisens require butter...lots of butter. If you find directions online, double the butter amount and you'll get cookies like Soft Batch...mmmm.
    I don't really need a ride, I'm w/in walking dist of the Taj.

  21. #21
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    Give?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowskilz
    sweet! maybe they'll give us a dh trail now too!
    One meeting where you fill the room does not fix ANYTHING. We up here in the Boulder County have been filling the rooms for a decade, and we are now at a tipping point.

    We'll be opeing almost 10 miles of new trail in the next 100 days. Valmont Bikepark is going to happen. This didn't happen by just wishing that it was so. We made a conscious choice to become political.

    These successes come from an organized group that sets goals and strategy and sticks to them. If you want real change, start showing up at your COMBA meetings and being a constructive participant. Track down a Jeffco County Commissoner (preferably one who is trying to win an election) and get to know him/her. Write them a check to their campiagn and tell them what's important to you. And follow up after the election, let them know you aren't going away. If you are in it for the long haul, you'll be successful.

    I refer you to my tag line.

    mike barrow
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    The world is run by those that show up....

  22. #22
    Ride Buck Hill Ski Area
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    Aug 19th 7pm

  23. #23
    Moosehead
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    Attire

    At this point it would be a letdown if there isn't a fully suited Captain America in attendance Aug 19th

  24. #24
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    JeffCo isn't my stomping ground...else I'd dust off the old red, white and blue lycra - though it'd be hideous around my mid section right now.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  25. #25
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    dbabuser, if Kim gives the same presentation on the 19th that he did tonight, you'll see how they measure grade of the trail (and you might even learn some of the names the trail team's five the grade measuring board).

    Icegeek, you're too funny. What good is a grassroot effort if there isn't a subtle threat of a public lynching floating in the air? ;-)

    I'm leaving the tie and pitchfork at home, though.

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