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  1. #1
    DWF
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    If your ride a MTB on Jeffco trails, you should read this.

    An excellent summation of recent MTB oriented issues as written by TVC15 to COMBA concerning mountain biker harassment by JCOS rangers.

    ****************
    July 23, 2008
    SUBJECT: COMBA Representation in Jeffco Issues

    Dear COMBA Board of Directors:

    I am an IMBA member since 1999, and immediately became a charter member of COMBA because I believed that your organization would be dedicated to staying abreast of local issues affecting our mountain bike community, as well advocating for our access, rights, and representation in park matters. Jeffco Open Space provides the majority of parks that your members cherish locally on the Front Range, and have recently been implementing decisions that significantly and negatively impact our user group with what seems to be very limited, insufficient, or completely absent representation from the mountain bike community.

    Many of your members like myself are becoming extremely concerned and disheartened by some of Jeffco's most recent decisions; many more potential COMBA members are equally so. Therefore I bring these two specific matters respectfully to COMBA's Board of Directors' attention and ask for your response.

    Poorly Supervised Trail Maintenance
    Over the course of two months ill-advised and poorly managed trail maintenance has been done in Jeffco parks employing the unsupervised help of Boy Scout troops who widened park trails and removed any rocks taller than 3” in expansive sections of trail, thereby spoiling the park’s natural beauty, greatly diminishing trail character, and creating potential and serious erosion concerns where none or less existed on the wonderfully matured trails as they were before. These actions were not well received by anyone I know personally in the mountain bike community, but these actions were a topic of significant interest within it.

    Expanded Yielding Definitions
    Historically, Jeffco trail users have become accustomed to their traditional Right of Way (ROW) yielding signage that appears in a yellow triangle depicting that mountain bikers yield to all other trail users. Colleen Gadd with Jeffco’s Visitor & Resource Protection Supervisor informed our community recently that Jeffco’s “4 Point Rule” is considered thusly:

    “… expectation for yielding is included in IMBA and JCOS publications. As defined therein, the expectation is to slow to a walking speed, communicate courteously and once communication is achieved, pass safely. If the other user does not communicate that it is safe to pass, the biker is required to stop and wait until such passage is safe. The JCOS yielding regulation includes these 4 elements and if any one of these elements fails to happen, yielding appropriately has not been achieved and this could result in a ticket.”

    However, recently it appears that Jeffco rangers have expanded these expectations enforcing new definitions (attached: Flyer.doc). Although I support the apparent intent of these definitions to increase park safety and improve relations between user groups, the newly adopted definitions and expectations pose several serious concerns to our biking community, among them:

    - These expanded definitions seem more intended to manage mountain bikers as an inferior user group in their parks, than intended to better and more safely control traffic and increase rapport between visitors.
    - The new definitions state that yielding behaviors cannot be made considering either trail width or condition, yet both factors are essential to determine when and how passage is safe.
    - Currently, the new rules are being enforced with the strictest of interpretations by rangers using yield traps with unfair entrapment tactics designed to lure mountain bikers into confusing yielding situations and issuing tickets to them.
    - These tickets are being issued with dishonest techniques, and convictions statistics of undeserved tickets could be used against our community in the future, and that could impair our access or rights in Jeffco parks.



    Jeffco trails are heavily used by many people. Following Jeffco’s newly expanded yielding definitions to the strictest of interpretation in each and every contact a mountain biker makes with another trail user is not only unnecessary for park safety but unreasonable, and in fact impossible in some situations. As currently written, even mountain bikers who attempt to honor these exhaustive, short-sighted, and nonsensical definitions would still be technically guilty of improper yielding, even if and when they were the more courteous and safe park user -- and found guilty of a yielding offense by a ranger solely because they ride a bike! For instance,

    … if a biker sought to make but was unable to establish communication with a trail runner using headphones, but eventually safely and carefully passed the runner, the biker still would be guilty of Failure to Yield because he failed to establish communication, even though the other user by his own actions made that impossible; even though the mountain biker was the park user acting most responsibly.

    …. if a biker was riding in the same direction of another trail user who was walking on the trail and was for some reason intent on unreasonably withholding the biker’s ROW, the biker would have no recourse but to stay behind the superior trail user indefinitely. You see, in the strictest of interpretation, which Jeffco is now using to enforce these rules in their parks, the biker who was traveling in the same direction would have to dismount, attempt to pass the unreasonable park user, but at no more than walking speed … when the unreasonable park user is in fact walking.


    I know these examples may sound absurd as they would have to me had I not personally experienced them, so please accept the possibility that my concerns are valid.

    These citations have been issued in patently unfair yielding traps that employ entrapment techniques, where plain-clothes rangers are not acting as a normal hiker would walking some portion of the trail -- they stand off the trail, at a very wide section of the trail, providing exceedingly sufficient room to safely pass, and then ticket riders who have reasonably assumed that the plain-clothes trail user has voluntarily granted the bicyclist ROW. Even though the biker passed the ranger safely, even though they passed him courteously, bikers are still being issued a ticket for Failure to Yield Right of Way using a variety of petty infractions of the yield definition details now established in their new flyers, such as: passed at greater than (an undefined) walking speed; failed to establish communication; made proper communication but failed to wait for verbal response back from superior park user who had right of way; made communication but made the wrong communication. You see, “On Your Left” is now specifically a violation of Jeffo yielding protocols, as it assumes, i.e, takes ROW and therefore does not allow another superior park visitor to grant it to the mountain biker.

    I ask you, what’s the point of all this absurdity? Is the point of all this to actually increase park safety, or actually to punish and harass mountain bikers?! These entrapment techniques have been seen by and employed upon at least five of your own COMBA members. If you would like greater details on them (and I hope that you would), any one of us would be happy to provide additional testimony personally to your Board. In the meantime, you must recognize that these traps are being set up, and that statistics surrounding any unjust tickets will likely negatively affect our mountain bike community in the future.

    It is of note that the expansion of Jeffco’s definitions surrounding yielding behaviors appear to have been sprung upon the mountain bike community, with no public notice or comment. As a COMBA member and Jeffco resident, this concerns me greatly. I believe the adoption of the newly augmented definitions should be investigated further.

    I thank you for considering the two serious issues concerning Jeffco that I raised in this letter, and can assure you that these topics are not just matters of importance to me, but to the constituency that you, COMBA, serve.

    To that end, as a COMBA member, I would like to hear more about how COMBA has been involved with Jeffco previously. Do you have a point of contact there? Do you communicate regularly with our mountain bike Task Use Force Representative? I am also curious as to how will you stay even more closely involved with Jeffco matters in the future.

    Mountain bikers continually hear that trail-user representation at Jeffco meetings is critically important. Therefore, how will COMBA ensure that more of your members become aware of upcoming meetings, and recruit them to attend?

    How is COMBA looking to establish two-way communication with your members? As a member, I receive infrequent bulk emails, but would like more information, and better reciprocal communication. I think it would be helpful and advisable for COMBA to reach out to its members more regularly, requesting feedback and generally communicating better with them about their issues, thoughts, and needs. A variety of methods could be employed to do this, such as member surveys, and "town hall” style meetings that invite member participation to communicate with the Board. There are popular internet bulletin boards already established (MTBR, TrailCentral), are you taking advantage of these free communication channels that hundreds of mountain bikers and your own COMBA members already currently use? If not, and if you find them unhelpful in all ways, can we expect that the COMBA website might be updated to allow for more necessary and public comment from your members?

    In closing, I would like to thank you all sincerely for your work and your dedicated service. I too am a dedicated cyclist and have attended many mountain bike advocacy events and OSAC meetings as well. With that said, I urge COMBA to continue its efforts with the spirit of vigorous advocacy to serve and protect mountain bikers’ interests, and not simply help powers-that-be implement misguided and unsound policies that negatively and unfairly impact our user group. Thank you.

    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  2. #2
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    That is the most sane, rational piece of writing I have seen on the board in over a month. This may keep me from bailing from this board.

  3. #3
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    Real nice summary! My .02 as follows


    "If the other user does not communicate that it is safe to pass, the biker is required to stop and wait until such passage is safe."


    If you've got a ticket, THIS is the point to argue against. It is an ambiguous point capable of multiple interpretations which amounts to a poorly drafted regulation and therefore is unreasonable for trail users to fully understand.

    I would specifically look at the clause "until such passage is safe". UNTIL is a word that, without proper direction, can be used in multiple ways. Until? Until what? Until "Such Passage IS Safe", REGARDLESS of communication, according to Ms. Gadd's own words! If the ranger was standing on the side and he/she didn't communicate "Safe" and as TVC15 said, the trail tread establishes safety, (this is another ambiguous point, what trail tread is SAFE?) then by her own statement, the user being passed doesn't have to say SAFE. If Ms. Gadd, said, "until communication is established", then it would be slightly different, but she didn't, she said, "until such passage is safe". The user doesn't even have to "stop and wait" if safety is already present. Stop and Wait assumes safety IS NOT present. I would argue according to Ms. Gadd's own words all that has to be established is, it was safe, regardless of communication. BUT, the notion of SAFE is also ambiguous. All points that can be argued in the defendent's case. The words "until" and "safe" along with what establishes "safe" in trail tread and sight lines, are not stated and IMO this is where to stake the fight, and I would fight.

    EDIT: BTW, we are also assuming "communication" is verbal. It doesn't have to be. Communication can be a look also, without even eye contact. Just a reasonable understanding of presence, which can also be argued and safety ensued.

    (please forgive if any typos, I typed up fast)

    tom

    EDIT: If something like this was already suggested I apologize for my post. I haven't had time to read all the way through the JCOS threads already present.
    Last edited by mouse jockey; 07-24-2008 at 09:21 AM.

  4. #4
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    Idea! thank you TVC15

    as passionate as we all are about our trails and these recent issues, i can assure you there has been much, um, heated debate(), among the COMBA board of directors (which is not a bad thing, IMHO) about how best to proceed. we are meeting tonight, and although i know it appears we have been absent on this matter, we have not. silent, yes; absent, no.

    i will see to it that a summary is posted here... not that we're going to solve the issue tonight by any means, but as the local (jeffco) advocacy group, our "constituents" (members & non-members alike) have the right to know where we stand.

  5. #5
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    I would make this point again:

    One of my frustrations with the current situation involving trail work, ticketing, etc. is that lack of a good place for MTBers to go to work together to get our message out. I think many of us -- including a lot of my friends who don't post here -- feel that recent events are a wake-up call to the MTB community. It seems to have created real momentum among the rank-and-file that needs to be perpetuated. Letting this momentum peter out would be a missed opportunity.

    I'm personally a bit disillusioned with COMBA, IMBA, Bicycle Colorado and other advocacy groups. I've paid dues for all of them and even attended a few meetings. Overall, though, I've been disappointed in what seems like a disconnect between their ambition and execution. I guess that comment is more for COMBA than anything, since IMBA is nationally focused and Bicycle Colorado is more geared (no pun intended) toward roadies. IMO, COMBA needs to act quickly if they want to capitalize on the current state of MTBer engagement. Some things that would help:

    1) Step up the profile. Get in the Post, Rocky or on TV and talk about current issues, user conflicts and put out the public image that MTBers are engaged and conscientious trail users. They need to be a very, very public face. They need a robust marketing and engagement campaign aimed at end-users. They need better communication with members and potential members. Overall, COMBA has done a good job engaging JeffCo elected officials (current issues not withstanding), but really failed to mobilize rank-and-file riders. They need improved advertising, marketing and PR in appropriate places to convince riders of their relevance and importance. Bit of a sell job, but it is extremely necessary.

    2) A better focus. COMBA needs to back off any notions they are a statewide organization. They need to master issues on the Front Range and become potent advocacy force here before they focus attention to other parts of the state.

    3) A full-time paid staff would help. They've got a bunch of great volunteers, but mostly those folks do it in their part-time -- balancing riding, families, full-time jobs and other life priorities with their work at COMBA. Quite frankly, I believe this is a big reason why COMBA hasn't taken off and become more effective. This is probably a chicken-and-egg issue (you need a dues-paying membership base to make it happen), but it would help if they had a figurehead, a person that was adept at administration, fundraising, volunteer organizing, lobbying, delegating, marketing, PR and more. Perhaps a conglomeration of local bike companies/shops etc would be willing to provide seed money to make this happen until membership can support the organization. Just thinking out loud, but it would make a big difference. It needs to be somebody who is not afraid of being high-profile and can be a consensus builder.

  6. #6
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    I would make this point again:

    One of my frustrations with the current situation involving trail work, ticketing, etc. is that lack of a good place for MTBers to go to work together to get our message out. I think many of us -- including a lot of my friends who don't post here -- feel that recent events are a wake-up call to the MTB community.
    Wait... There are people who don't post here? What? I thought everyone was on this board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    I'm personally a bit disillusioned with COMBA, IMBA, Bicycle Colorado and other advocacy groups. I've paid dues for all of them and even attended a few meetings. Overall, though, I've been disappointed in what seems like a disconnect between their ambition and execution. I guess that comment is more for COMBA than anything, since IMBA is nationally focused and Bicycle Colorado is more geared (no pun intended) toward roadies. IMO, COMBA needs to act quickly if they want to capitalize on the current state of MTBer engagement. Some things that would help:

    I SNIPPED YOUR STUFF
    And as I have pointed out to you:

    I like you have frustrations with CoMBA, IMBA, and even the groups I am a board member of. However, I will say that all of those groups are not sitting around doing nothing. There are certainly issues out there and each organization tries their best to provide a solution. If CoMBA was to just focus on advocacy and leave the trail work to other groups, then the complaint would be "why doesn't CoMBA build trails?"

    Frankly, the lack of support by the MTB community for things these organizations do is the reason why nothing gets done. You can see it here in the MTBR forum. Everyone has something to say, but no one wants to "do". Why do you think the same people sit on every bicycle organization board in this state? Everyone wants but only a handful ever volunteer.

    CoMBA does not have the dedication within their ranks to perform the actions you wish to have happen. Heck, none of the organizations do. The Team Evergreen Trailblazers board consists of five people. Do you know how hard it was to even get those seats filled? Most of our efforts are focused on Buffalo Creek. That alone is a tremendous responsibility, so you can see how it is hard for a group to make a difference in an even larger area.

    Team Evergreen (not the Trailblazers) will be ramping up it's advocacy group. I suggest you attend a TE meeting and make it a point to discuss your feelings about Open Space issues. We meet the first Tuesday night of each month at the Taj (7:00 PM). I think you will find a lot of people who will listen to what you have to say and ask you to be a part of the solution.

    Asking local bike shops and other companies for cash is pretty much equal to asking the government not to pay taxes. Their profit nargins are slim enough and it's very hard to even get in-kind donations (swag). They just don't have the money.

    Also, don't expect much in the way of accolades for your work. The more you do without hesitation, the more they will ask you to do. It's a never ending spiral and despite the negativity I get in the FR forum, I am happy to be doing the volunteer work I do. To ride freely on the trails I have helped create, maintain, or advocate for is reward enough.

  7. #7
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    Schnauzers --

    My point is that there is momentum -- folks are angry, frustrated, concerned and willing to take action right now. The momentum exists far beyond the MTBR message boards. Just stop and ask any random rider next time you are on Pick 'n' Sledge. But there is no CLEAR place for them to go to put that momentum use and make an impact. No organization -- COMBA, Team Evergreen, Bicycle Colorado, whatever -- has stepped up to take a high-profile leadership role on any of these issues. None of these groups seem to have the organizational infrastructure to do it either. I don't think it is about accolades for anyone, rather it is about the need for strong advocacy group that can both communicate with policy makers and unite riders. Right now, frankly, it doesn't exist and I'm afraid the momentum and interest that is out there will eventually diminish and nothing will happen. If that happens, it will only reinforce frustration among riders and, IMO, lead to greater apathy among the rank-and-file.

  8. #8
    MFin' Princess
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    Wait... There are people who don't post here? What? I thought everyone was on this board.



    And as I have pointed out to you:

    I like you have frustrations with CoMBA, IMBA, and even the groups I am a board member of. However, I will say that all of those groups are not sitting around doing nothing. There are certainly issues out there and each organization tries their best to provide a solution. If CoMBA was to just focus on advocacy and leave the trail work to other groups, then the complaint would be "why doesn't CoMBA build trails?"

    Frankly, the lack of support by the MTB community for things these organizations do is the reason why nothing gets done. You can see it here in the MTBR forum. Everyone has something to say, but no one wants to "do". Why do you think the same people sit on every bicycle organization board in this state? Everyone wants but only a handful ever volunteer.

    CoMBA does not have the dedication within their ranks to perform the actions you wish to have happen. Heck, none of the organizations do. The Team Evergreen Trailblazers board consists of five people. Do you know how hard it was to even get those seats filled? Most of our efforts are focused on Buffalo Creek. That alone is a tremendous responsibility, so you can see how it is hard for a group to make a difference in an even larger area.

    Team Evergreen (not the Trailblazers) will be ramping up it's advocacy group. I suggest you attend a TE meeting and make it a point to discuss your feelings about Open Space issues. We meet the first Tuesday night of each month at the Taj (7:00 PM). I think you will find a lot of people who will listen to what you have to say and ask you to be a part of the solution.

    Asking local bike shops and other companies for cash is pretty much equal to asking the government not to pay taxes. Their profit nargins are slim enough and it's very hard to even get in-kind donations (swag). They just don't have the money.

    Also, don't expect much in the way of accolades for your work. The more you do without hesitation, the more they will ask you to do. It's a never ending spiral and despite the negativity I get in the FR forum, I am happy to be doing the volunteer work I do. To ride freely on the trails I have helped create, maintain, or advocate for is reward enough.
    Dude, you keep derailing productive discussion with your nay saying, continual personal dramas, and petty power-grabbing attention-seeking games. I for one am going into my user profile and putting you on Ignore, at least until these immediate Jeffco items have been hashed out.

    Back on topic anyone?

  9. #9
    DWF
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    Also, don't expect much in the way of accolades for your work. The more you do without hesitation, the more they will ask you to do. It's a never ending spiral and despite the negativity I get in the FR forum, I am happy to be doing the volunteer work I do.
    Clue: Your actions and the behavior you display on this board is the source of the negativity that follows you around
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  10. #10
    MFin' Princess
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    I don't think it is about accolades for anyone, rather it is about the need for strong advocacy group that can both communicate with policy makers and unite riders. Right now, frankly, it doesn't exist and I'm afraid the momentum and interest that is out there will eventually diminish and nothing will happen. If that happens, it will only reinforce frustration among riders and, IMO, lead to greater apathy among the rank-and-file.
    I couldn't agree more Kyle, you've got my complete support.

    Just thinking out loud here ... perhaps we c/should wait for the COMBA response that gotdirt mentioned was coming after tonight's BOD meeting, then plan a get together for all interested parties to get together very soon, discuss it, and consider what next steps would best capitalize on our momentum together? We could draft items for discussion here on a thread in mtbr, perhaps using a Googledoc, so that our informal get-together covers all the bases and stays productive?

    All we really need to do is put a date and a time down and we could start preparing for this thing. Easier said then done perhpas, but I think we might be able to start making this thing happen.

  11. #11
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    My point is that there is momentum -- folks are angry, frustrated, concerned and willing to take action right now.
    ...
    But there is no CLEAR place for them to go to put that momentum use and make an impact. No organization -- COMBA, Team Evergreen, Bicycle Colorado, whatever -- has stepped up to take a high-profile leadership role on any of these issues. None of these groups seem to have the organizational infrastructure to do it either.
    a couple of things...

    i am hopeful that COMBA will emerge to take on that role, but i sit on a board of directors where everyone's single vote counts for the same. i'll be blunt– there are—depending on your outlook i suppose—either jaded or maybe just more experienced folks out there who frankly could care less about all of this hubbub coming from people who enjoy the trails, but don't work for them. i hear it all the time: "they need to put up, or shut up".

    coincidentally, the re-emergence of COMBA (then TCS) a few years back was the result of something known as the "180 group"– there was a (real or perceived) threat that trails were going to be closed entirely to MTBs, and 180 outraged people showed up at a meeting... at that point it was realized that TCS (founded in '91) had the structure already in place. great! however, fast forward just a couple of years, and it is the same dozen or so people, all volunteers, all w/ full-time jobs, doing all of the work. once the adrenaline faded, so did the support.

    i'd love to see COMBA again emerge stronger as the result of some grassroots fury... but guess what, we've rec'd only one email about any of these issues (from TVC), and frankly the rest of the BoD doesn't much care what someone sitting behind a keyboard typing on MTBR has to say about it.

    now, to her extreme credit (), not only did TVC15 take the time to draft that letter, she is now looking to be part of the solution by volunteering to be on the Policy committee– the very folks who engage these issues w/ JCOS.

    that is the kind of support that gets things done.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    ...Team Evergreen (not the Trailblazers) will be ramping up it's advocacy group. I suggest you attend a TE meeting and make it a point to discuss your feelings about Open Space issues. We meet the first Tuesday night of each month at the Taj (7:00 PM). I think you will find a lot of people who will listen to what you have to say and ask you to be a part of the solution.
    Sorry man, but TE needs to start with their own members. I have been a victim of your XC racing team as they don't yield to anyone, including uphill mountain bikers. Hell, one them got mad at a friend of mine (he was going up hill) for not pulling over (WTF?). I know for a fact that some of them don't communicate and ride right by hikers (again, being the victim here) without any concern for safety.

    I know that not everyone is like that, but when you put on a jersey and start to stomp on people because you're training for a race does give me the ability to stereotype the group.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    ...not only did TVC15 take the time to draft that letter, she is now looking to be part of the solution by volunteering to be on the Policy committee– the very folks who engage these issues w/ JCOS.

    that is the kind of support that gets things done.
    Exactly! I have seen TVC many times at OSAC. But what pisses me off to no end are people on this forum that whine and complain but don't do anything about it! Writing a letter is a start, phone calling is helpful too. Everything helps! DON'T be a hypocrit! Get out there and show up in numbers! They won't do ANYTHING unless they see the public really getting involved (otherwise, everything is good according to them).

    Thanks to both TVC and DWF for being forward on this matter. I do like the fact that Comba is now stiring up a bit.

    What's a little sad is that we have IMBA in our backyard and now all of this? I respect IMBA to the nth degree, but this should be a little embarrasing for them.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    a couple of things...

    i'll be blunt– there are—depending on your outlook i suppose—either jaded or maybe just more experienced folks out there who frankly could care less about all of this hubbub coming from people who enjoy the trails, but don't work for them. i hear it all the time: "they need to put up, or shut up".

    snip...

    i'd love to see COMBA again emerge stronger as the result of some grassroots fury... but guess what, we've rec'd only one email about any of these issues (from TVC), and frankly the rest of the BoD doesn't much care what someone sitting behind a keyboard typing on MTBR has to say about it.
    What is up with that? That's not giving me a warm fuzzy for COMBA or garner support from me. Like it or not, this board is where the single largest collective group of MTBers meet to discuss these issues. They should make use of it, not ignore it or turn their noses up at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    now, to her extreme credit (), not only did TVC15 take the time to draft that letter, she is now looking to be part of the solution by volunteering to be on the Policy committee– the very folks who engage these issues w/ JCOS.

    that is the kind of support that gets things done.
    Bravo TVC!
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVC15
    Dude, you keep derailing productive discussion with your nay saying, continual personal dramas, and petty power-grabbing attention-seeking games. I for one am going into my user profile and putting you on Ignore, at least until these immediate Jeffco items have been hashed out.

    Back on topic anyone?

    WTF? How was this off topic? It was a positive reply to ReporterKyle's post. How was it negative. Weird.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF
    Clue: Your actions and the behavior you display on this board is the source of the negativity that follows you around
    OK. Thank you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    a couple of things...

    i am hopeful that COMBA will emerge to take on that role, but i sit on a board of directors where everyone's single vote counts for the same. i'll be blunt– there are—depending on your outlook i suppose—either jaded or maybe just more experienced folks out there who frankly could care less about all of this hubbub coming from people who enjoy the trails, but don't work for them. i hear it all the time: "they need to put up, or shut up".
    ....

    Please explain your comment (that I high-lighted).
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek
    Please explain your comment (that I high-lighted).
    gladly... though your highlighter stopped 5 words too short.

    though i don't personally subscribe to the belief, some other board members feel very strongly that it is easy for people to sit behind a keyboard and complain, but then offer no solution– or more specifically, not offer their time to implement solutions; they'll gladly ride the trails, but not help build or maintain the trails... and when things go awry, they will publicly b*tch about the trails. oversimplified: unless you've picked up a shovel, donated money, or attended some meetings, your "opinions" don't have much merit.

    i don't agree, but i'm in the (apparent) minority. if i feel strongly that AK wilderness areas shouldn't be opened up to oil/gas drilling, i sure hope my representatives don't discount my opinion just because i don't serve on a PAC, for example.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers

    Asking local bike shops and other companies for cash is pretty much equal to asking the government not to pay taxes. Their profit nargins are slim enough and it's very hard to even get in-kind donations (swag). They just don't have the money.

    .

    I'd hate for people to think that businesses don't want to support cycling.

    A list of BMA's business members from the most recent BMA newsletter:



    BMA Loves Our Business Members!
    Redstone Cyclery
    Blue Sky Cycles
    High Gear Cyclery
    Cutting Edge Sports
    University Bicycles
    Sports Garage
    Rocky Mounts
    Full Cycle
    Maverick
    REI
    Bitterbrush Cycles
    Boulder Cycle Sport
    The Fix
    GEICO Local Office
    Two Dog Diner in Prospect
    Wonderland Hill Development Company
    Botsy Phillips/Colorado Landmark Realtors
    Copy Experts
    Brian Sundberg/REMAX of Boulder
    Bike-n-Hike
    Athletic Excellence Training Solutions
    Bicycle Village
    Bikes Belong
    Deuter USA
    Boulder Beer
    Cateye
    Boulder Business Products
    Bob Maynard/Wright Kingdom Real Estate
    Kustom Kar Audio
    Catalyst Communications
    Swift Cycling
    Alta Physical Therapy
    The Pro''''s Closet
    Cafe of Life & Bodywork Boutique
    Pearl Izumi
    Performance Bike Shop
    Oskar Blues Restaurant & Brewery
    Save Our Soles
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser
    I'd hate for people to think that businesses don't want to support cycling.

    A list of BMA's business members from the most recent BMA newsletter:

    BMA Loves Our Business Members!

    SNIP
    Yes, and I can give you a list of TE donaters as well, but truth is most of those are some form of SWAG. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's not cash. For example, any bike shop that gives our members a discount is now a sponsor.

    I am curious as to what Business Member means as well. Is that a membership type for BMA? That's not a bad idea.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    gladly... though your highlighter stopped 5 words too short.

    though i don't personally subscribe to the belief, some other board members feel very strongly that it is easy for people to sit behind a keyboard and complain, but then offer no solution– or more specifically, not offer their time to implement solutions; they'll gladly ride the trails, but not help build or maintain the trails... and when things go awry, they will publicly b*tch about the trails. oversimplified: unless you've picked up a shovel, donated money, or attended some meetings, your "opinions" don't have much merit.

    i don't agree, but i'm in the (apparent) minority. if i feel strongly that AK wilderness areas shouldn't be opened up to oil/gas drilling, i sure hope my representatives don't discount my opinion just because i don't serve on a PAC, for example.
    Your organization represents Colorado mountain bikers as a whole. Differentiating between those who volunteer and those who haven't yet only further alienates the latter, causing them to be apathetic. As reporterkyle outlines, we have a lot of users concerned with the current actions of JCOS, irrespective of their volunteer efforts and COMBA should capitalize on this. I would think the greater number of members the greater the weight COMBA carries to a JCOS meeting.

    I am a member of COMBA, Team Evergreen and BMA. Sadly, COMBA is the only organization that I do not receive emails regarding updates or meetings. How are people to get involved without such notifications? I know you all are doing a lot of work behind the scenes, heck, I volunteer mostly with COMBA.

    Anyway, I'm not bashing COMBA in anyway, just bringing concerns to light.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    i'll be blunt– there are—depending on your outlook i suppose—either jaded or maybe just more experienced folks out there who frankly could care less about all of this hubbub coming from people who enjoy the trails, but don't work for them. i hear it all the time: "they need to put up, or shut up".
    gotdirt,

    I know that this isn't your feeling, but that's a very shortsighted point of view and it could be a reason why COMBA hasn't realized some of the promise that I think it had when initially created. The most effective advocacy groups out there -- not just in the MTB arena -- leverage the support of "silent" members who express support with their dollars along with the volunteer muscle of a smaller plugged-in individuals.

    I have attended several COMBA meetings, I've signed up for committees and then even been in situations where there was no follow-up at all. Some of the committees, too, don't meet regularly and only send out a handful update emails, making it hard to be invovled. While I would agree that many rank-and-file riders could do a better job of being involved, I think COMBA needs to step up from an organizational standpoint.

    I think COMBA is naturally poised to lead the MTB community on the Front Range (and I would like to see that happen), but I think it needs some aggressive leadership and better structure. I do think a full-time executive director would help toward that end.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    gotdirt,

    I think COMBA is naturally poised to lead the MTB community on the Front Range (and I would like to see that happen), but I think it needs some aggressive leadership and better structure. I do think a full-time executive director would help toward that end.
    Paid?

    Even NEMBA and SORBA (two of the biggest, well organized, and accomplished MTB groups in the country) don't pay their ED and they have many more members to get $$$ from. What would you pay the CoMBA ED? Would you find someone to work for $30,000? That's probably tipping the coffers.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    Yes, and I can give you a list of TE donaters as well, but truth is most of those are some form of SWAG. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's not cash. For example, any bike shop that gives our members a discount is now a sponsor.

    I am curious as to what Business Member means as well. Is that a membership type for BMA? That's not a bad idea.
    BMA has different memberships available, and Business Membership is one of them.

    Most of these are cash memberships. Many of these members then donate again to the Banquet/Silent Action in the Spring.

    The one notable exception is Oskar Blues & Dale over there, who gives tons of good food and good beer.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  25. #25
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    Also, I don't want to be accused of complaining on message boards. I'd be willing to meet with folks, attend some meetings and be involved to the extent that I'm able.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser
    BMA has different memberships available, and Business Membership is one of them.

    Most of these are cash memberships. Many of these members then donate again to the Banquet/Silent Action in the Spring.

    The one notable exception is Oskar Blues & Dale over there, who gives tons of good food and good beer.
    Hmm... I like the idea of Business Membership. I wonder if there is any way to tell if it has an effect on individual membership (either positive or negative) within those businesses. Like someone might say, my company is a member so I don't need to be one. In a way that's sort of the IMBA methodology. Their are club memberships and individual memberships but the difference in cost is really not that great. A club I used to belong to in NJ used to say that the club had an IMBA membership so you really don't need an individual one. I never agreed with that, but there were lots of members who would not join IMBA for that reason. Still, I like the business membership idea, if it would not effect individual membership.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    Paid?

    Even NEMBA and SORBA (two of the biggest, well organized, and accomplished MTB groups in the country) don't pay their ED and they have many more members to get $$$ from. What would you pay the CoMBA ED? Would you find someone to work for $30,000? That's probably tipping the coffers.
    It's just a suggestion. Part of the problem with any all-volunteer organization is that volunteers are just that -- volunteers. They balance jobs, families, social lives, etc. and they'll never be as effective as a full-time staff. I don't know what the dollar figures are and I, too, would assume that finding cash to make it happen would be tough but I'm not in a position to know that or even make that judgement call. However, the Front Range is in many ways an epicenter for mountain biking in this nation. We've got to have more mtb riders per capita in Denver than anywhere else. That's pure speculation, but I'd be willing to bet a healthy sum that the numbers back it up. I would argue that if we can't have a strong, member-supported advocacy group here, then it can't happen anywhere.

  28. #28
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    Listen! preachin' to the choir

    Quote Originally Posted by athalliah
    Anyway, I'm not bashing COMBA in anyway, just bringing concerns to light.
    you, my dear, may bash away... after all, you are a member AND you volunteer time & talent to the organization.

  29. #29
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    Wink devil's advocate

    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    However, the Front Range is in many ways an epicenter for mountain biking in this nation. We've got to have more mtb riders per capita in Denver than anywhere else. That's pure speculation, but I'd be willing to bet a healthy sum that the numbers back it up. I would argue that if we can't have a strong, member-supported advocacy group here, then it can't happen anywhere.
    OR...

    it is because we do have it so good that our member-supported advocacy programs here struggle so much...

    it is easy (and human nature) to be complacent when things are hunky dory.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    it is because we do have it so good that our member-supported advocacy programs here struggle so much...
    nail/head

    IMO, one of the reasons BMA is so good now is because the mtb community up thata way "discriminated" against heavily in the past. Now that they have the ball rolling it's much easier to keep it rolling me thinks....

    Just need to get COMBA's ball rolling.

  31. #31
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    +1 on having it *pretty* good

    If I didn't read these boards, I wouldn't know enough to get riled about all the user conflicts and ranger issues that happen to other people. The aforementioned "group of 180" meeting was only that big because of the rumor that Apex was getting shut down (who started that anyway?).

    As far as current issues (I believe this to be on topic to the original subject), I'll voice my support (as a member) in COMBA getting involved in the "new" yielding rules. I'll also say that IMO COMBA, BMA, etc, should be paying attention to opinions on this board (though not necessarily acting on them).

    OTOH, trail maintenance sorta is what it is, and doesn't bug me that much. Trails 'round here tend to start their lives resembling paved paths (e.g. Centennial Cone), then erode into rocky death fields, then get restored to the original state at some point. Don't worry, they'll erode again. I look at a trail as a transient thing (like a powder day). If you think it's constant, you'll just get disappointed. Personally, more than the so-called "santization" of the trails, people making their own cheater lines around obstacles and widening the trail that way usually bugs me a lot more. I can think of numerous examples on most trails on Golden.

  32. #32
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    We the people ... interim update

    just back from a "lively" 4 hour board meeting tonight...

    briefly:
    know that our president has met this week w/ the director of jeffco open space, and will do so again late tomorrow. look for a statement from COMBA shortly thereafter (w/in 48 hours).
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    just back from a "lively" 4 hour board meeting tonight...

    briefly:
    know that our president has met this week w/ the director of jeffco open space, and will do so again late tomorrow. look for a statement from COMBA shortly thereafter (w/in 48 hours).
    Let me know who used my name in vain.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    a couple of things...

    i am hopeful that COMBA will emerge to take on that role, but i sit on a board of directors where everyone's single vote counts for the same. i'll be blunt– there are—depending on your outlook i suppose—either jaded or maybe just more experienced folks out there who frankly could care less about all of this hubbub coming from people who enjoy the trails, but don't work for them. i hear it all the time: "they need to put up, or shut up".

    coincidentally, the re-emergence of COMBA (then TCS) a few years back was the result of something known as the "180 group"– there was a (real or perceived) threat that trails were going to be closed entirely to MTBs, and 180 outraged people showed up at a meeting... at that point it was realized that TCS (founded in '91) had the structure already in place. great! however, fast forward just a couple of years, and it is the same dozen or so people, all volunteers, all w/ full-time jobs, doing all of the work. once the adrenaline faded, so did the support.

    i'd love to see COMBA again emerge stronger as the result of some grassroots fury... but guess what, we've rec'd only one email about any of these issues (from TVC), and frankly the rest of the BoD doesn't much care what someone sitting behind a keyboard typing on MTBR has to say about it.

    now, to her extreme credit (), not only did TVC15 take the time to draft that letter, she is now looking to be part of the solution by volunteering to be on the Policy committee– the very folks who engage these issues w/ JCOS.

    that is the kind of support that gets things done.
    Since the website (COMBA.org) got redone, it's become a little hard to get information , like how to provide feedback to certain committee heads, report issues, or to figure out how to get involved, or figure out what they've been working on-specifically with the Policy committee (ie monthly email newsletter would be super awesome). I would LOVE to get re-involved. When COMBA changed their name, I was against having the name of the organization reflect anything larger than what it was geared to focus on. It's quite obvious COMBA does not have the bandwidth for anything outside of Jeffco, and that's also, in my opinion, a good thing. Takes fewer people, fewer resources, and the majority of the issues it's members are concerned about are right here o n the Front Range.

    One thing I have been trying to figure out is who are the BoD members?

    R

  35. #35
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    Sorry bout that. Will take care of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    Sorry man, but TE needs to start with their own members. I have been a victim of your XC racing team as they don't yield to anyone, including uphill mountain bikers. Hell, one them got mad at a friend of mine (he was going up hill) for not pulling over (WTF?). I know for a fact that some of them don't communicate and ride right by hikers (again, being the victim here) without any concern for safety.

    I know that not everyone is like that, but when you put on a jersey and start to stomp on people because you're training for a race does give me the ability to stereotype the group.

    Agreed. I'll take action on this.

    Thanks,
    Chris.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldybikes
    +1 on having it *pretty* good

    Personally, more than the so-called "santization" of the trails, people making their own cheater lines around obstacles and widening the trail that way usually bugs me a lot more. I can think of numerous examples on most trails on Golden.
    I'm sounding like a broken record, but have you ridden the trails in question? Pick and Sledge in particular...
    Golden Bike Park

    Golden Connector Trails need your support!

  37. #37
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    Rode Falcon last week. Just rode Pick'n'Sledge yesterday. Yes, it's much less technical, but there still are some small rock sections left. I bet it's still much more tech than it was when it was new. Have you noticed all the braiding on the tech sections of Apex (between P'n'S and Sluicebox, in particular)? Or even the braiding/widening on Enchanted Forest?

    The maintenance definitely makes the trail easier (temporarily -- it'll get rocky again). Sometimes is makes the trail wider for a period of time (for instance, when deberming), but this widening shrinks up fairly quickly as plants grow back. (Remember how much wider Zorro was when it was new?) If you leave a trail super rocky (and therefore usually tech), people just ride around it, making it permanently wide since all that's left of the original part is rock where nothing will grow. I'd rather have the temporary decrease in tech than the more or less permanent increase in width.

  38. #38
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    I rode Mt Falcon on Thursday and I agree that it is much different than it used to be. However, I did not see the "three inches of dust" that has been previously reported in the areas where the rocks were removed. It seems that a few evenings of thundershowers has resulted in a fairly firm tread and no new erosion (yet). But it has been a dry summer and we'll have to see how the new trail weathers.
    They did leave in a couple of my more favorite rock features, particularly the "step up" rock with the notch in it right below the big switchback. And it looks like plenty of new rocks are lurking just below the surface.
    However, I am glad I rode the trail about 2 weeks before the "maintenence" occured.
    And it is still a killer climb
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by preparation_h
    Agreed. I'll take action on this.

    Thanks,
    Chris.
    Wow, thanks. I appreciate that.

  40. #40
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    Listen! Update

    the "official", detailed notice will come later tomorrow, but i've got the okay to post a heads-up on MTBR:

    in response to recent events, COMBA will be hosting a special "open forum", in one of the large hearing rooms at the Jeffco Taj during the third week of august (TBD). in attendance will be the director of open space, along w/ several of his staff, as well as representation from OSAC (open space advisory committee). this is a very unique opportunity to engage these decision-makers and we thank them for agreeing to come to the table. there will be two main topics for the evening:
    1) the recent enforcement (ticketing) incidents
    2) the most recent JCOS maintenance activities

    it both pains me and embarrasses me to have to say this, but because there have in fact been actual threats of violence made against JCOS staff relating to these issues, there will be a uniformed, off-duty police officer in attendance. it should go w/o saying (but why take the chance apparently ) that we expect courteous participation. anyone who signs in will be allowed to speak (no anonymous comments), as long as it doesn't devolve into a shouting match. you can be as passionate or outraged as you need to be as long as we all behave respectfully (in other words, nobody is trying to censor what you can say, but rather dictate how you say it).

    so, you've got some time to organize your thoughts and spread the word... keep in mind, if, after all of this public outcry, only 7 people show up, you can bet that this kind of meeting will never happen again. let's make the best of it.


  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    the "official", ...........

    .....so, you've got some time to organize your thoughts and spread the word... keep in mind, if, after all of this public outcry, only 7 people show up, you can bet that this kind of meeting will never happen again. let's make the best of it.

    I plan on being there. Thanks for the information and coordination efforts on your part.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    so, you've got some time to organize your thoughts and spread the word...
    Spread the word indeed. Not only will I be there, but will be asking every cyclist I know to attend as well. Hopefully every concerned person here on mtbr can do the same.

    Many thanks, to you and COMBA, gotdirt.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Thanks for the information and coordination efforts on your part.
    occasions like this are where the legitimacy of an organization can really help... it is because we have an established, long-term, relationship w/ JCOS that our president can request a meeting (or two, in this case) w/ the director of OS, and, they accept our invitation for this public forum– realizing that we can do our part to help temper the message of our constituency (in light of the juvenile, knee-jerk criticism and "threats" that they've had to endure of late).

    obviously this will be a 2-way discussion, so it also serves them appropriately to hopefully clarify their positions on these matters as well as to take comment from our user-group.

  44. #44
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    Democracy...

    'Some assembly required'...
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    the "official", detailed notice will come later tomorrow, but i've got the okay to post a heads-up on MTBR:

    in response to recent events, COMBA will be hosting a special "open forum", in one of the large hearing rooms at the Jeffco Taj during the third week of august (TBD).

    I should roll into CO around the 23rd of August, hopefully I can make this meeting as a concernced citizen (of CA),member of IMBA and SDMBA, who rides the Jefco trails.

    tom

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    the "official", detailed notice will come later tomorrow, but i've got the okay to post a heads-up on MTBR:

    I submit that the official announcement should be stickied and have it's own thread...

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibmkidIII
    I submit that the official announcement should be stickied and have it's own thread...
    Great idea. Also, got dirt, I'm assuming there will be an email that we can forward onto fellow bikers who may not be COMBA members or hang out on MTBR so that they can get the word about this meeting too? While we're at it, is there any way COMBA could produce a .pdf flyer for this event so that bikers can print it out and use it to invite others to attend?

    Personally, I'd like to drop a supply of flyers at local bike shops and ask their help to recruit; also, I'd like to keep a few (uh, hundred) in my car to hand out to cyclists when I'm riding in Jeffco parks. I gots me a xerox copier, and dammit I aim to use it. Working together, I have no doubt we can ensure an extremely respectable turn out for COMBA's meeting.

    Thanks again for getting it done you guys!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVC15
    Also, got dirt, I'm assuming there will be an email that we can forward onto fellow bikers who may not be COMBA members or hang out on MTBR so that they can get the word about this meeting too?
    Ditto. I'll get it as long as it goes out to COMBA members, but I know quite a few other folks who will be interested in attending.

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    Parties interested in the JCOS trail maintenance actions of late might be interested in the following links:

    The COMBA announcement of the upcoming special meeting with JCOS regarding recent trail changes and biker tickets (failure to yield enforcement):
    http://ridewrc.com/page.cfm?PageID=651


    The COMBA page for signing up to speak at the aforementioned special meeting with JCOS:http://www.comba.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=17:c ategory-jeffco&layout=blog&Itemid=45


    The JCOS letter regarding the recent trail maintenance:
    http://www.co.jefferson.co.us/jeffco...rail_users.pdf


    Enjoy! Hope to see lots of you on the 19th.

    DSD

  50. #50
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    Guilty as charged here - one of the silent and inactive, but long-time trail users. We do indeed have it good, despite being healthy cynics.

    That said, I'm willing to change - due solely to (1) this MTBR forum, (2) personal experience with recent jeffco trail maintenance on falcon, top of chimney gulch, and apex system, and (3) death of the grand county lodgepole forest and subsequent loss of forested trails there and elsewhere in the Rockies due to beetlekill. All three have made me less ignorant and more appreciative of any/all trail access, both winter and summer.

    If it were not for this forum, I would have no clue about the Jeffco meeting on the 19th. Seems like we all need to stick together within the MTBR community and focus our energies and frustrations on the issues.

    Thanks to all on this post for your involvement, wake up call, and informative energy. Well done.

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