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  1. #1
    little mad riding hood
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    West Mag Survey - time to speak up guys.

    Hi all,

    Of all people, I got this survey link from the Boulder Nordic Club. Yep, that's right, the skinny-ski pinheads. Full disclosure: I am a skate junkie.

    Anyway that's beside the point. There has been a LOT of chin music in this forum over the years about the state of the trails and their destiny in West Mag. This survey <--- (clicky linky) has tons of customizable options so I would encourage anyone who's ever gotten involved in a West Mag trail thread kerfuffle in this forum to go fill it out. I don't even care what answers you give because I'm all for diversity of options - I have been riding these trails since 2001 and I remember when there was a bunch of sweet primitive singletrack and self-built trestle up there, too.

    I'm all for maximizing trail network / use / connectivity and optimizing use for everyone, whether it's the awesome remote primitive techy stuff up on School Bus / Tennesee Mtn / Rollinsville connections, or building good progressive trail closer in to e.g. assist Boulder High School MTB club juniors on the learning curve.

    I'm also a fan of building enough trails of enough types that you have the potential to designate user/use profiles, whether it's building a DH / jumps / rock garden for MTB expert-only, or giving the equestrians / hikers a managed loop where they won't have to worry about dogs or bikes or whatever. The more you build, and the more connectivity to other big networks & rides that you can provide, the more you disperse users and alleviate conflicts.

    idk if we can totally get there in the context of West Mag, but it would sure be fun to try.

    Thanks for your time - Beth Rowley aka lfr

  2. #2
    Agent of tang
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    already filled it out.

    My 2 cents: Personally, I'm wary of the notion that West Mag can be some giant economic engine for Ned. I'm wary of the idea and the people espousing it. I think all that will result from that is a ruined trail system with way more people than the current user groups want, but not nearly enough users to truly make an economic difference.

    And while I like the idea of trails to suit the needs/desires of different users, I think pursuing that strategy will also ruin the trail system by sanitizing it. WM already had different trails to suit different needs. It wasn't broken, it didn't need fixing. Sure, the logging work will necessitate some changes, but make those changes and leave it be. Don't love it to death by destroying its character, as has already happened to certain portions.

  3. #3
    little mad riding hood
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    I think these are valid points Bagwhan. I think Winter Park resort, and the surrounding FS network offer somewhat of a rebuttal to the notion that these seemingly conflicting priorities can't coexist.

    I want to be clear that I am adamantly opposed to changing the primitive nature of the existing trails to the west and south of the West Mag area, and I don't like the idea of building Valmont Park in the woods really anywhere up there, such as what's been happening to a degree with Picture Rock and Heil.

    However I think the whole "limiting use" and "keep the trails all for ourselves and never change them" horse left the barn on West Mag proper about six or seven years ago when the trails were signed and BMA got involved on the maintenance and building end, and they became something more than just a social stash that you had to take a local guide to navigate. We can argue back and forth all day pointing fingers about the specifics of those decisions, but the truth is we can't go back in a time machine and we can't brain-wipe every tourist that's ever been up there to take it back to a 2001 state of existence. Change happens, and it's sad, but it's a part of life.

    So, moving forward. Thank you for filling out the survey, and I really mean that. There is an opportunity here to promote real dialog and feedback of what EVERYONE from all user groups, specifically wants. Hopefully if they get a lot of diversity in feedback, they will implement a lot of diversity in trails and management.

    It would be really nice if someone could get the management at Eldora on board and explain to them that they have a real opportunity for decent summer revenues if they just build a decent DH system and MTB trails network similar to what Winter Park, Keystone, et. al. have done, with viable connection to the West Mag network, so that you CAN build a trestle park and DH stuff in an appropriate venue to do so (the resort), where users will be willing to pay for passes, etc., but you have other options at hand for different classes of riders to take advantage of. I know it's been discussed in the past but I'm never clear on what the holdup has been, other than the Eldora management folks simply hate bikes and are utterly resistant to change.

  4. #4
    Agent of tang
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    I don't seem to disagree with you on much. To be honest, if ALL we are talking about is the "signed" portion of west mag that BMA put on a map, I'm not that concerned. The one trail in that portion of the system that I would have fought hard for has already been permanently changed for the worse, unfortunately. It's the west and south portions "outside" that map that are primarily the ones I am worried about, so I'm certainly glad we're in agreement there. That still leaves me worried about the mapped portion to some extent, because a) it's what I ride when the higher stuff is under snow, and b) you (generally) have to ride the mapped stuff to get to the other stuff. Changing some of that may be fine, but like you say, I don't want another Picture Rock (not that there's anything wrong with picture rock per se, I just don't want another one).

    And I don't mean to try and keep people out of any of it. "Limiting use" and "keep the trails all for ourselves" are your words, and while I appreciate the tenor of your post overall, I do not think it was appropriate to imply that was the substance of my post. Leaving things mostly "as is" is not a nod towards exclusivity, it's simply a nod to "it isn't broken, so don't try and fix it". And again, your implication that I am espousing taking us back to 2001 are your words, not mine. I'm not talking about taking us back to 2001; I don't think it was broken in 2011. I am not trying to hide the place, I just don't think sanitizing it and marketing it for the sake of a few Ned businesses will lead to much good. Change may be inexorable, but that doesn't mean that you have to go out of your way to hasten change for change's sake.

    In any case, I am trying to keep an open mind, because I do think that there are some things that can be done up there. But I'm wary, because of the visions of the place that have been expressed by some (through some of the question in this survey, the complete change to sugar mag, other behind the scenes things I have heard, etc).

    And I am in 100% agreement about Eldora, but they're doing a great ostrich impression.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the heads up on this, I just filled it out.

    And Eldora listen up, I buy a WP pass every summer I live closer to Eldora my family could come up and we could make a day of riding (me in the morning, wife in the afternoon) just like I do at WP, why don't you like the color of my money?????

    quick edit: and for the record I don't want to see West Mag turned into downhill trails I am perfectly happy paying for my thrills at a resort.
    Feels like an Arby's night.

  6. #6
    little mad riding hood
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    I apologize if it seemed like I was putting words into your mouth Bagwhan, that wasn't my intent. I was actually engaging in a little snarky hyperbole focused at the user base at large, because it certainly seems like I've seen a small vocal group here in these big contentious threads who seem to want to argue for exactly what I described (keeping it all to themselves, kicking everyone else out, going back in time, etc.).

  7. #7
    little mad riding hood
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    for the record I don't want to see West Mag turned into downhill trails I am perfectly happy paying for my thrills at a resort.

    100% agree, but unless you get Eldora on board with some kind of resort plan for MTB use (and they certainly haven't demonstrated any willingness to cooperate so far) then you're essentially ignoring a pretty large and active user group who have demonstrated in the past that they are willing and capable of doing quite a lot of bootleg trailbuilding or flat-out poaching to service their needs when they aren't being met... so what then?

    full disclosure: I don't have any bikes with more than 4" of travel but I think it comprehensively sucks that Front Range infrastructure effectively forces DH aficionados to bootleg/poach or drive 2 hours for their fix.

    on my own selfish agenda I think it'd be baller to have groomed Nordic available in West Mag (so long as they are sensible about using existing fire roads and don't widen singletracks to do so), plus I'm told (I have no clue) that groomed Nordic trails are fantastic for fatbike racing (or at least that's how they do it up at Breck/Vail/Aspen, etc.).

    And my logic is thus: North Boulder Park is nice when you can get it, but it's pretty small, and the past 2 winters haven't seen many groomable days. The Nordic trails at Eldo suck ass, frankly, and they're treated like the redheaded stepchildren of the resort (you only have to step into the pitiful 1970's joke that is the Nordic lodge there to figure out they don't give a crap about the Nordic crowd). I hate driving to Snow Mtn Ranch / Devil's Thumb because it makes a 2 hour skate session into an all day or all weekend affair. I think it's ludicrous that a luxury destination resort (Devil's Thumb) can offer ten times the access, trails, services and amenities to a casual day user for practically half the cost (pass cost / rentals, etc.), but there ya go. Eldo's management... makes no sense to me, basically.

  8. #8
    ..ouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    I apologize if it seemed like I was putting words into your mouth Bagwhan, that wasn't my intent. I was actually engaging in a little snarky hyperbole focused at the user base at large, because it certainly seems like I've seen a small vocal group here in these big contentious threads who seem to want to argue for exactly what I described (keeping it all to themselves, kicking everyone else out, going back in time, etc.).
    If you go back and re-read those threads I think you'll find that is how some of the proponents for redesign have tried to frame the argument, but not the reality. I don't know of anyone arguing for a timewarp or exclusivity. What many folks _are_ arguing for is that no more of the trails become, as you put it, "Valmont Park in the woods", like what already happened with a couple of the new trails, and was initially being proposed for the rest until we got involved. Most of us are simply proponents of preserving the existing nature of the trail system and not turning it into another PR or Heil.

  9. #9
    Agent of tang
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    full disclosure: I don't have any bikes with more than 4" of travel but I think it comprehensively sucks that Front Range infrastructure effectively forces DH aficionados to bootleg/poach or drive 2 hours for their fix.

    on my own selfish agenda I think it'd be baller to have groomed Nordic available in West Mag (so long as they are sensible about using existing fire roads and don't widen singletracks to do so)
    100% agree with this.

    And I also agree with Thump's post. Because I was one of that "small vocal group", but haven't ever argued for what you claim. And I don't actually think we're that small a group, judging by the feedback at the April meeting in Ned. The feedback was pretty unanimous at that meeting.

  10. #10
    little mad riding hood
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    If you go back and re-read those threads...
    I read all of them the first time.

    One of the primary reasons I posted this survey in the first place was that I'm perfectly willing to be the fall guy on the issue and rack up a bunch of abuse and neg rep or whatever, because transparency and lack of communication was one of the major issues raised and argued about - and there does appear to be some serious (perceived or actual) lack of transparency in these matters between user groups, trail advocacy groups, and landowners / administrators. I agreed with the poor communication / lack of transparency thing, and I am, and have been, a BMA member since the first summer I got out here, back when they were BOA.

    Frustratingly enough I tried to get Kris from 303cycling.com to do just that (RTFT, on one of the shorter and most recent MTBR West Mag threads where there wasn't as much bickering) last week because he posted a poll on his website that basically reduced the debate to 2 diametrically polarized options that were pretty poorly worded (IMO) and summed up could be taken as "NEVER TOUCH ANYTHING EVEN TO MAINTAIN IT!!!" and "ZOMG BULLDOZE EVERYTHING!!!" I exaggerate a bit, but only just. So his response to me was, in essence "tl;dr" and he further failed to see any nuance in the discussion, so... I give up, I guess.

    Here's the problem with that. If one of the bigger "media sources" for cycling news in the Front Range sees it as this kind of big polarized debate (all-or-nothing) then it kind of frames the issue as being a simple one of stubborn dirtbags who refuse to cooperate with land management agencies trying to do them a good service, so they deserve to get shouted down. I strongly disagree with this kind of manipulative media framing, so I wanted to at least get the survey out to the broadest group of invested users who actually understand the issues and can speak up on the survey and contribute educated input and tailor it specifically to whatever needs they prioritize (because there are ample opportunities to do that; it is a pretty comprehensive survey).

    And yes, I did go there somewhat sarcastically in this thread, because this perception, even tho it's not really what we're arguing for, is apparently the one that's being portrayed to the uninitiated elsewhere in the region.
    Last edited by lonefrontranger; 02-27-2013 at 10:12 PM. Reason: clarification

  11. #11
    Agent of tang
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    lonefrontranger, can you explain the reference (Kris from 303, RTFT, media sources, etc)? I don't get it. Is it an analogous issue to West Mag, or is this some source describing West Mag?

  12. #12
    little mad riding hood
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    lonefrontranger, can you explain the reference (Kris from 303, RTFT, media sources, etc)? I don't get it. Is it an analogous issue to West Mag, or is this some source describing West Mag?
    303cycling.com is where pretty much anyone who races road, and a lot of people who race tri and/or MTB in the Front Range go to get their info.

    and goddammit it looks like he took the poll down in the last 24 hours because it was there yesterday on the sidebar of his home page. More vexingly, his site is incredibly poorly setup because I can't search or access any back stories / content that's scrolled off the front page either. Here is Google's cached page (sorry for the f'ed up layout) where if you look in the right margin you'll see at least the poll options. It'd be spectacular if you could see my comments and his reply too, but c'est la vie.

    "RTFT" is a riff on the old IT user snark of "Read the f'n manual"; I meant I asked Kris to read one of the more recent, more conciliatory threads because there was a lot of good nuanced discussion on there of what all the options are. He was... dismissive, basically.
    Last edited by lonefrontranger; 02-27-2013 at 04:36 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    And yes, I did go there somewhat sarcastically in this thread, because this perception, even tho it's not really what we're arguing for, is apparently the one that's being portrayed to the uninitiated elsewhere in the region.
    I think I get what you're laying down... and yes, there was some serious BS being tossed out to color the issue. I think (optimistically hope) that's been put to bed, and am very much hoping the USFS + ContourLogic (design contractor) are serious about listening to the overwhelming feedback from the regular users, which to-date, has simply been to preserve the existing nature of the trails to the extent possible.

    Do I trust that there's still not an agenda at work? Not entirely.. but I'm certainly willing to take the recent statements at face value and keep an open mind unless/until it's demonstrated otherwise.

  14. #14
    little mad riding hood
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    oh and to everyone, it's probably be a good idea to spam the crap out of this survey to everyone who's got a vested interest in West Mag to everyone on your social network who you think maybe in alignment with your goals. Already went there with my FB and Twitter accounts. BMA has already picked it up on Facebook and is spreading it around to their userbase as well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    full disclosure: I don't have any bikes with more than 4" of travel but I think it comprehensively sucks that Front Range infrastructure effectively forces DH aficionados to bootleg/poach or drive 2 hours for their fix.
    thinking of putting this in my signature, +1 to you

  16. #16
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    ...................
    Last edited by jugdish; 02-27-2013 at 09:07 PM.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  17. #17
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    Filled out the form.... +1 for maintaining original character and not recreating Picture Rock. That said, some big drops, and flowy rocky trails that require some skill are my preference

  18. #18
    little mad riding hood
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    Quote Originally Posted by p_DuBs View Post
    thinking of putting this in my signature, +1 to you
    cheers p_DuBs, you're welcome. Honestly the only thing I ask is folks take the time to speak up in the survey. I know I probably sound hopelessly optimistic to those in the trenches, but man, I hope we can get a bunch of diversity. MOAR TRAILS PLZ. That's all I care about.

    I learned to not be judgey about where MTB folks, or really any kind of trails use folks were coming from when a bunch of motocross guys helped us gain access to, and build a bunch of spectacular trails in my old neck of the woods in Southern Ohio / Northern KY ...and then funnily enough those bedamned throttle-twisters were also the ones that really busted their asses helping maintain stuff. Back before those days I happened to be one of those 4-hooved nuisances out there with my expensive pasture ornament leaving piles of crap all over and wasting my mom's cash on horseback riding lessons. So yea, just because your thing is strapping on body armor, hucking trestle, or even twisting throttles, doesn't mean your method of having fun isn't legit. And if you happen to see me out there in my funny spandex and roadie lid on my silly plastic uber-XC machine, I'll wave and say hi, because I tend to do that.

  19. #19
    contains quinine
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    *bump*

    Just heard tomorrow (tuesday, 12th) is the last day to complete the survey.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  20. #20
    little mad riding hood
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
    *bump*

    Just heard tomorrow (tuesday, 12th) is the last day to complete the survey.
    Thanks Debaser!

  21. #21
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    Filled it out

  22. #22
    contains quinine
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    Aint no thing. Let the people talk!
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

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