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  1. #1
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    Too much red tape

    I must say that things are looking up for FR trails here with a lot of support from the Town, County and USFS. However, there was a large purchase of land last year in our area; old mining claims and gost town, aoubt 1800 acres added to many thousand acre open space; bought between the afore mentioned groups, soley for the purpose of open space for MTB, hiking, moto, horses, and nordic. At the time of the first meetings, 'we', the DH and FR folks were told that we would get a hill side for shuttlin, in fact it was originally presented that 'everybody would get there fair use of trails'. This was 2 years ago. Now as I watch these open house meetings on what should go where, all we see is a Be ITCH fest between user groups and prima donnas that seem to think that because they have been on town council for umpteen years, this should be their private play ground that only fits into what they see as appropriate use and deligation of trails. So far, yes there have been some new trails cut, but it seems as though the powers that be have forgotten about the FR peeps gettin their share.

    Here is my query> We have identified a location within the open space, where we have an old mining road that is very lightly traveled and perfect for shuttlin; we have re-conned alighnments that are sustainable and DO NOT disturb historical trash if you will; located in a pine beetle infested forest that will either burn or be nuked by loggers in the next 5 years pretty much obliterating anything we build any how. So considering that if we try to go through the proper channels, it could take years if we could get momentum at all.

    Do we build now and ask later or...

    (please forgive / didnt spell check!)
    The best trails are STILL...

    www.breckepic.com
    http://mavsports.com/

  2. #2
    I need skills
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    records

    if you kept notes/emails of names, dates, meetings and discussions you should be able to right the ship. "you've been proceeding by relying on whats been told to/ promised you...." I would not build without permission. It appears you have a long term area to play in.

    I am building in an area with Gov't approval. yet it seems every few years I need to retrieve old emails which read that yes we can do such and such... Save everything.` Always write down the names of who you talk to, topics, dates, discussion. You will not regret it.

  3. #3
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    I would liken this to posing a question to your significant other. Do you ask to buy the bike? or do you ask for forgiveness later?. If you apply for trail permits and are declined, and then you go ahead and build your looking for trouble. Where as if you build and are later found out, they would just try and close the trail.
    Quote Originally Posted by pipes10
    ^^hey, bikers helping bikers out...that's the way it should be....

  4. #4
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    I too have been to public meeting and seen the "it's mine"attitude of the users groups that are at the table. To my dismay, i am part of one of those user groups. I think the best way to achieve your goal is to try to goto the higher ground, and put forth an idea that benifits all while stilll getting (some) of what you want. You have to present your arguement as something that the town needs, not something your group wants. Let the others at the table know that your group is standing by to create a park for FR that will draw FR bikers away from other trails, reducing conflict on those trails, and making all trails better for all users by spreading out users into a bigger playground, and isloating those "extreme" FRer element to a confined area. If you can get approval for your plan, take action, and move fast. Like cjohnson says keep records. Be ready to back up your meeting retoric with sweat. If your group is like ours in steamboat, action is the easiest part.

    But in the event that the public process is weighing too heavily on your membership, nothing says that government action is needed like civil disobedance. If an unknown element in your community established and built a freeride trail in public space but without public approval, it would be evidence for the need to establish a approved public freeride area, by showing that some members of the community are willing to put in the work that needs to be done and that for some, freeriding is part of the mtb experence and will happen with or without an approved place. At the meeetings your FR group would denounce the rogue trail, and promise to "look into" whatever was needed to curb rogue trail development.

    Your first proposal to curb rogue FR development: approve FR trail development in a controlled area.

  5. #5
    Ride Responsibly
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    Keep hammering away at the meetings and expect to plan for the long term, if you get your share in 5 to 10 years you have done fantastic!
    There is nothing wrong with calling the selfish for being selfish, just try not to make it personal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker
    I too have been to public meeting and seen the "it's mine"attitude of the users groups that are at the table. To my dismay, i am part of one of those user groups. I think the best way to achieve your goal is to try to goto the higher ground, and put forth an idea that benifits all while stilll getting (some) of what you want. You have to present your arguement as something that the town needs, not something your group wants. Let the others at the table know that your group is standing by to create a park for FR that will draw FR bikers away from other trails, reducing conflict on those trails, and making all trails better for all users by spreading out users into a bigger playground, and isloating those "extreme" FRer element to a confined area. If you can get approval for your plan, take action, and move fast. Like cjohnson says keep records. Be ready to back up your meeting retoric with sweat. If your group is like ours in steamboat, action is the easiest part.

    But in the event that the public process is weighing too heavily on your membership, nothing says that government action is needed like civil disobedance. If an unknown element in your community established and built a freeride trail in public space but without public approval, it would be evidence for the need to establish a approved public freeride area, by showing that some members of the community are willing to put in the work that needs to be done and that for some, freeriding is part of the mtb experence and will happen with or without an approved place. At the meeetings your FR group would denounce the rogue trail, and promise to "look into" whatever was needed to curb rogue trail development.

    Your first proposal to curb rogue FR development: approve FR trail development in a controlled area.
    This is really moving into a realm that could really backfire too.

    While i agree to a point, there is also a crucial element of trust that could be lost, and could hinder progress further back, in more ways that you can probably suspect.

    i don't have the answers, but would suggest that you diversify enough that you keep a representative clean to find opportunities with other land managers. The problem with devolving completely to rogue building is, it's all instant gratification, and there are lots of problems that come with that.

    My suggestion is to not give up entirely on the slow road, and to keep chipping away. It sucks, but i think it's worth it in the long run.

    Interesting related thread to peruse.
    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=206149
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  7. #7
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    breckseth,

    Keep your club out of the rogue trail building. As skookum points out, that can come back to bite your butt. As an example, you might have an OK from the Forest Service, but a complaint about erosion could bring in state or fed fish and game folks and you end up w/ MORE red tape

    You mentioned open houses turning into gripe-fests. See if you can turn that around. Ways to do that would include a moderator, or a mediator, establish some ground rules on comments, set some time lines and goals, establishing a work group where all the relevant parties come together to hash out some compromises.

    Good luck! I'd love to come ride there some day. I spent a week skiing in the area a few years ago, and you sure live in a beautiful spot.

  8. #8
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
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    Like harry, Lwright, and skookum said, keep it on the high ground. A few years ago, I was asked to join the local MTB group to run shotgun (aka handle PR) for the lead trail builder and mitigate conflicts, and develop a healthy relationship, with local land managers. It wasn't so fun in the beginning. I took the high road on everything so I could show that we could help the land managers accomplish their needs while at the same time working for the local MTB. We paid into relationship with labor hours clearing trails, building reroutes and even building new trails. The land managers saw our efforts and now we work with them. In the past year, we have seen land managers come up with more progressive trail design (i.e. sweet flow). There are even plans to develop a trail with table tops and berms on a trail close to town. And...we have been even asked to mitigate impact to the trail by other trail users. In the end...we have developed a great relationship with our land managers. And honestly, it was easy. We were willing to work at it. The thousands of hours of volunteers SHOWED we were willing to work at it. And in return, the land managers showed that they were willing to work with us.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  9. #9
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    Are the FR/DH riders working with the XC riders or are they two separate groups? What might work well is for all of the MTB folks to present a unified front. Get permission to build some new XC friendly multi-user trails. Prove you are willing to work as a group to create new trail opportunities. Once you have established mountain bikers as a strong positive group, you ask about creating a new "kind" of mountain bike trail. If you have a proven record of being about to turn out 40-50 mountain bikers for a trail project, you will have a lot of leverage with the land manager.

  10. #10
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    mostly

    Quote Originally Posted by bweide
    Are the FR/DH riders working with the XC riders or are they two separate groups? What might work well is for all of the MTB folks to present a unified front. Get permission to build some new XC friendly multi-user trails. Prove you are willing to work as a group to create new trail opportunities. Once you have established mountain bikers as a strong positive group, you ask about creating a new "kind" of mountain bike trail. If you have a proven record of being about to turn out 40-50 mountain bikers for a trail project, you will have a lot of leverage with the land manager.

    For the most part we all ride XC as well or like me, I race XC, Super D and DH. To calrify, the Town's manager for Open Space and Trails is totally on board with the FR vibe and the Town its self has started building a FR specific line with ewok, burms, double etc. They also put in a pump track, but the one part they missed was shuttle access. You have to peddle up into the area where that trail is. The problem also is, this piece of open space I'm talking about is split 3 ways between Town, County and USFS. If it were just the town, I dont think there would be much of an issue at all.

    As far as the meetings, the open house phase is over although I have some pull and dont think that it would be hard to get an audience with the council on this.
    My crew or club as it were actually helps all the time with volunteer days on existing and new XC trails. In fact, I make it a requirement of being on the Gravity team I manage at the shop, that you put in at least 6 hours of trail work with the town each summer.

    There are a few XC trails in the county that were once pirate. The Blair Witch for example. Beautiful flowing XC trail built illeagally years ago and now looks like it will be included by the USFS. There are quite a few folks that are on town council or the county open space board, that ride Blair Witch like once a week. My question to them is, how is riding that any different than shuttlin' FR trails that 'dont exist'? Anwer : NONE, so let us have ours too...
    The best trails are STILL...

    www.breckepic.com
    http://mavsports.com/

  11. #11
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    "They also put in a pump track, but the one part they missed was shuttle access. You have to peddle up into the area where that trail is."

    Aren't bikes meant to be peddled into areas for riding. Sounds like you are making progress, just put a granny gear on your bike.

    " My question to them is, how is riding that any different than shuttlin' FR trails that 'dont exist'? Anwer : NONE, so let us have ours too..."

    I beg to differ on that point. Shuttling is not how I experence MTbiking, i ride from my home, and leave the car at home. While i don't dislike free trips up the hill, i think that rides uphill are better left to ski lifts and not personal autos. For me one of the thing i enjoy most about living in the mountains, is not having to drive anywhere to ride great singletrack. I understand how some members of your council would "forget" about shuttlin' and you may face an even steeper uphill battle to explain to other MTBers why shuttlin; access is necessary.

    Why not start here and explain to me why auto access is needed? Why can't you just ride into the FR area? Is shuttled MTB access something that should be done in a forest, that's not a ski area? Dosn't Brek Ski co have lift access mtb trails that meet your needs? Keystone? Could it be that the concesion your FR group needs to make for any trails to happen is to forget about shuttle access (for now) and be happy that any FR trails are being built?

    Dont get me wrong, I'm not triing to judge your activity, or stop you from building your utopian FR trail area. I'm just playing devils advocate. I'm all for everyone having equal access to open space for their activities. I support your shuttle access FR area, I just wouldn't be shuttling into it.

  12. #12
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    sbsbiker

    I think you mis understand me there.
    • Pump track comment was to illustrate the progressivness of the town and to be clear it is located next to a parking lot. Perfect.
    The free ride trail is what I was ref'in on no shuttle access. And beg all you want, but you way mis the point on shuttlin'.. Most FR's that are rockin FR specific trails like we are talkin about here, are riding 40+ lbs FR and DH specific rigs that do not climb. + we are wearing armour, full face's and goggles. Dont get me wrong. I do a lot of 'riding from my house and no offense, but the purpose of my thread was not to learn how YOU experience MTB. We're talkin about people who want FR trails with shuttle access for that part of how we experience MTB. Most all of the guys I shuttle with also peddle and I think this is a big part of the problem, when comments are made like yours about how YOU experience MTB is the root of the problem. Everybody likes different things right? Just because we like to do laps with shuttles or ride the lifts at the resorts, doesnt mean we dont own road bikes or single speeds or weight weenie XC rigs we do. Thats great. Those trails exis. We are talking about something different here.

    So anyhow sbs, I appreciate you playin devils advocate and to answer your last point, yes, if you ant to ride a FR or DH specific bike, a shuttle sure is nice. And to say that because Keystone is 15 minutes away and that should suffice, is like saying because there is one XC trail, we should be happy riding it and never look into other trails? Come on, really? The point here is that this open space was for ALL trail users to enjoy, tha includes gravity fed machines.
    The best trails are STILL...

    www.breckepic.com
    http://mavsports.com/

  13. #13
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    i think it's always better to keep more advanced trails nearby roads anyways, for access purposes of emergency vehicles.

    i'm currently scouting new possible sites for more Skills Parks here, and it's a basic thing to consider. Besides XC riders prefer the more remote areas anyways...

    We still don't have anything local for a DH/FR run with real gravity yet, but yah road access and having people shuttle is not something that should be discouraged. Even with a backcountry XC trail, in that it promotes riding from weekend warriors to promote mountain biking in the first place.

    There are so many reasons that mountain bikers should be on the same page. Far more similarities and easy compromises for compatibility. It's frustrating to me when people look to judge how people recreate, especially considering that most people who DH/FR, love trail riding XC, and eventually after all the pains from injuries start catching up move more toward XC, and vice versa for people who initially break into mountain biking with XC....

    Anyways, staying on the up and up, and trying to keep everyone on the same page, helps establish basic things. Advocacy and doing the right thing is hard, but it's made a hell of lot easier when people are on the same page. Then when you do get opportunities, you are working with less resistance in alot of ways.

    To me doing things the right way is an investment that pays off, and makes things easier as time goes on. Versus a blow and go mentality where it's more of a gypsy mentality, move, build, get blown up, move, build, get blown up.

    i look at it this way though. The stories from people that were active 10-20 years ago weren't even allowed at the table before being run off, ignored, lied to, on every level. It get's better, but it's up to each wave of mt. biker to try to build on what's come before... It's difficult to get mountain bikers to think this way in that for the most part, there's not much teamwork invovled in riding. But any user-group that is well organized get's results...

    Anyways just blathering now...
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  14. #14
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    I think I am a little confused. You have FR trails but lack the ability to shuttle? Are you missing the road, the trailhead parking or permission to shuttle?

  15. #15
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    Seth, I made the point about how I experence mtbing to show you why others may not understand why you have a need for shuttn', or be aware of your plans. You need to drive the shuttle point home with the XC members of your town, be as blunt as needed, other MTBers should understand and be responsive. Let your mtb community understand that by creating a safe FR shuttle accessed area, all trail users will benifit. Then get all of the MTBers you can together to show support for shuttle access for FR trails. Put together a signed petition, but make the land managers aware that all breckenridge mtbers support this shuttle FR area, and that you have business support as well. WE had trouble showing the BLM that mtber's meant business up here untill at the public meetings 60+bikers showed up and kept asking the same questions. Now, even though we don't have 60+ bikers at these meetings those of us that do show are given more respect. After we showed community support, we made good on our work promises, and built some great trails.

  16. #16
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    I hear you

    I appreiciate your advice and I didn't mean to come off as a d i ck, it's just my place in the universe. Again, thanks for the thoughts
    The best trails are STILL...

    www.breckepic.com
    http://mavsports.com/

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