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  1. #1
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    JeffCo Action and Response

    Not that I wanted to start a new thread on this, but the other related one has gotten sidetracked on a bit of a nasty tangent. 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.

    To be honest, I'm not sure what to do next. 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.

    I don't know. Maybe COMBA isn't the right organization to step in and be the voice for Front Range riders. Maybe we need a new, more nimble group. It's hard to say, but now is a good time to have that discussion because people are fired up and looking for some way to be heard and have a voice about something they care about.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    Maybe we need a new, more nimble group.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    pulaski and Mccloud wielding Ninjas!

  4. #4
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    Not that I wanted to start a new thread on this, but the other related one has gotten sidetracked
    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    pulaski and Mccloud wielding Ninjas!
    D'OH! ...derailed by your own namesake.

    . . .

    kyle (reporter, not noob),

    thanks for the thoughtful (and non-sarcastic) comments. i have forwarded them to the COMBA board of directors.

    just one point i'd like to make quickly, the name change a few years back to Colorado Mountain Bike Association was, in some respects, bold and controversial. despite the name, we make no attempts to be a statewide organization at this point in time. we've got plenty of work to do here locally (as is obvious by recent events). who knows, maybe 10 years from now there will be COMBA chapters all over the state. but to your point #2 above, we are focused on the Front Range– primarily Jeffco, but of course looking to be a positive force in Clear Creek too.

  5. #5
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    I thought long and hard about this today as i rode one of our groomed trails..

    #1.. first as said before, we (mtn bikers) need to stick together.. whether you ride a fully rigid single speed or a downhill bike we are all lumped into mtn bikers. With that we need to start coming out in big numbers to meetings.. we are a large user group and if we stick together i think we could accomplish more.

    #2 Trail maintenance.. sorry but they are not maintaining them, they are destroying them.. i rode through 3-4 inches of dust today on a trail.. wow, fun..

    #3. Trails future.. i truly believe if this continues the next problem is going to be more and more alternate lines and more and more illegal trails.. Last weekend Keystone said they had over 1000 riders on saturday.. what percentage do you think came from the metro area? thats a lot of riders who want a challenge.

    #4 Challenging trails.. i am disgusted by what they are doing to some of my favorite trails.. its maddening.. i equate it to this.. lets say you are a kayaking and as you continue to get better you want a more challenging river right? so you have that option.. jeffco isn't blowing up the rapids on clear creek trying to make it easier or adding artificial holds to climbing areas to make it easier.. even if you are a chess player, you want to play people that will challenge you.. but in jeffco, that soon isn't going to exist on a mtn bike..

    I truly believe that they are singling out our user group.. why? i don't know, but in my opinion we are the largest user group i see out there. horses are a rarity and i will gladly get out of the way and hikers are out there and most are nice and yield when its easy to and i yield and say hi and try to strike up conversation..

    its a mess right now, hope we can sort it out
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
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    Kyle, Billy, et al,
    I know that you'd like to see organizations be more proactive. However, these are run with people like you and I that have day jobs.

    I really encourage you to attend the next OSAC meeting and VOICE your opinion! Imba and Comba only go so far, and believe me, Greg Stevenson and crew do listen! IF they sanitize the trails and make them easier, then perhaps we need to ask for a bike specific trail that is challenging! The more we pester them about it, the more responsive they'll be!

    All of this stuff isn't making me happy either, therefore I'll head to the OSAC meeting and inquire. I'm getting to the point in which the Hiker Only trails are challenging enough that I might just ask for access.

    Mt. Galbraith would be fun on a bike! Especially since there's only 4 people at any given time in that place!

  7. #7
    icegeek is hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    really encourage you to attend the next OSAC meeting and VOICE your opinion! Imba and Comba only go so far, and believe me, Greg Stevenson and crew do listen! IF they sanitize the trails and make them easier, then perhaps we need to ask for a bike specific trail that is challenging! The more we pester them about it, the more responsive they'll be!

    All of this stuff isn't making me happy either, therefore I'll head to the OSAC meeting and inquire.
    IE -- you have been extraordinarily dedicated to doing this and I know it makes a difference. We as mountianbikers need some way to, on a regular basis, remind and invite mtbers to attend each and every OSAC meeting, with meeting details and agenda items. We need to continually drum up attendance, each and every month. We can easily do this as long as someone spearheads it.

    I realize that it is time out of our personal lives, so if we as a group can inspire a dedicated person to oversee some kind of recruitment effort (through a COMBA rep, through our TUTF mtb rep, through you as our de facto and most-accessible OSAC mtb leader , through me as a person clearly with too much time on her hands..., through anyone), we could rotate the attendance, share the burden, and ensure that our mtb attendance stays strong, and in numbers, each and every month speaking directly to OSAC.

    Again, just thinking out loud.

  8. #8
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    IE,

    Totally agree. I think a lot of us would like to be more proactive and I'd definitely put myself in the category of folks who want to be, need to be but come up with plenty of legit excuses for not making it happen. I regularly email JeffCo open space as my form of voicing opinion and it seems to work. That said, my point is that there is still a need for a more formal and organized voice that isn't being filled right now. I believe that the right organization could pick up a lot of momentum at this point and jump to the forefront as a real leader.

    I also like your Mt. Galbraith idea. Every time I hike it with the kids I think about how fun it would be to ride, but I'm secretly kind of happy there are places like Mt. Galbraith where I can let my 4-year-old walk two-feet ahead of me without worrying they're going to get killed by a biker coming around a corner too hot. I'm probably one of the few mtbers who is not opposed to the odd hiker-only trail.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    IE,
    .... but I'm secretly kind of happy there are places like Mt. Galbraith where I can let my 4-year-old walk two-feet ahead of me without worrying they're going to get killed by a biker coming around a corner too hot. I'm probably one of the few mtbers who is not opposed to the odd hiker-only trail.
    Wow, fascinating words from a different perspective. Your EXACT words are EXACTLY (hear me out) what the hikers are complaining about and one of the reasons we're all in this situation. Anymore I find myself going slower on Openspace properties than before. But your comments are exactly why we need to ask for more trails / space, IMHO. A one way trail for bikers will darn near eliminate all this crap we're going through now.

    And Jeffco needs to wake up, more people are biking than ever before. So the numbers will increase.

    IE

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVC15

    Again, just thinking out loud.
    Well, for the sake of this board I can post when the next OSAC meeting is. We can try, but even my own close buddies that ride Jeffco openspace won't even show up... its ef'n sad.

    That said, I'll post it for what its worth.

  11. #11
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    It's true though. Would you take your kid for a hike on Chimney/Apex or White Ranch? I ride both of those places a couple of times a week but I sure wouldn't take my family for a hike there. I definitely see it both ways. I'll confess that I've also become a fan of the alternating weekend days at Centennial Cone, too. I was opposed to it at first, but now I really like it. When I ride there, I don't worry about conflict and I can go for a hike there without having to be nervous about having to jump out of the way of a rider. That said, I don't want lose access to historic multi-use trails, but we have to be open to comprimise on new spaces that open up.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    Wow, fascinating words from a different perspective. Your EXACT words are EXACTLY (hear me out) what the hikers are complaining about and one of the reasons we're all in this situation. Anymore I find myself going slower on Openspace properties than before. But your comments are exactly why we need to ask for more trails / space, IMHO. A one way trail for bikers will darn near eliminate all this crap we're going through now.

    And Jeffco needs to wake up, more people are biking than ever before. So the numbers will increase.

    IE
    I totally agee... i would love to see more BIKER only trails and HIKER only trails.. i too have kids and wouldn't bring them to apex for a hike thats for sure.. but i also know the places that are safe for them..

    I also think we just need to know more about when meetings are and maybe all this sanitation is a good wake up call for more to get involved.. i haven't frequented the boards much in the last couple years but will be keeping a closer eye on it... we need more representation and if i have to get a sitter to attend, i will
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  13. #13
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    Thanks IE. I'll keep an eye out for your post about the next OSAC meeting and see if I can't talk a friend or two into attending it with me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia
    I also think we just need to know more about when meetings are and maybe all this sanitation is a good wake up call for more to get involved.. i haven't frequented the boards much in the last couple years but will be keeping a closer eye on it... we need more representation and if i have to get a sitter to attend, i will
    Done. Check the thread.

    And thanks, we all can use the support (I just hope it doesn't die off).

  15. #15
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    I'll see if I can work with someone over there to get a better heads up on the Agenda's. The July 23rd session is odd.

  16. #16
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    Yes, please post up when the next meeting is going to take place. I have to know in advance to make arrangements to not go home right after work and drive to the meeting instead.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    Done. Check the thread.

    And thanks, we all can use the support (I just hope it doesn't die off).
    can we get the meetings listed as one of the sticky ones that stays on the top of the page?
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  18. #18
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    It seems to me that COMBA is already in place and I have to believe that the group cares about front range mountain biking. Perhaps what they are lacking are us.

    I'm going to sign up. Who knows, if I don't like the way they do something or think they lack focus then perhaps I can gather some support to make a change.

    As individuals we have some power but as a group we have much more. I would encourage everyone to check out COMBA or some other group and to get to the next OSAC meeting and those that follow. If 100 organized hikers show up and only a few rowdy mtbers then we are responsible for anything that happens. Someone has pointed out that mountain bikers are getting out in record numbers to ride so we should be able to drum up some support for these meetings.

  19. #19
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    Alternate days

    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    I'll confess that I've also become a fan of the alternating weekend days at Centennial Cone, too. I was opposed to it at first, but now I really like it.
    I don't mind the intent, I mind the practice. The way it's enforced the policy should really be "no bikers on odd weekend days - hikers always OK". And of course, equestrians always get everything they want AND they're the rudest user group on the trail too.

    And there's the very small matter that there's one or two weekends every year with two odd days in a row with the 31st (or 29th) on Saturday and the 1st falling on a Sunday. It's so petty that it's not worth complaining about but it bugs me for some reason.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairylegs
    I don't mind the intent, I mind the practice. The way it's enforced the policy should really be "no bikers on odd weekend days - hikers always OK". And of course, equestrians always get everything they want AND they're the rudest user group on the trail too.
    Ding ding ding. Alt days sounds like a good idea, but are not IMO. Untill we have about 47 more parks that we could split up between user groups, I would hate to see alt days become the norm.

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