US Cup Pro at Pulpit Rock

June 27th, 2014

Pulpit Rock

One of the biggest pro mountain bike races is coming to Colorado Springs this weekend (June 28-29). Saturday’s race is the final race in a 4 races series with $50,000 in prize money. In addition it’s has UCI ranking points which important for Olympic spots.

The course is partially on UCCS land and partially in Pulpit Rock Open Space. The start is across from the University Village Shopping Mall in UCCS’s Parking Lot 15. It is just north of the Four Diamond Sports Complex.

I’ve ridden the cross country course a couple times in the last few weeks. It is 3.2 miles with 385 feet of climbing per lap with 1 steep section. The course isn’t very technical but has some tight corners and a few rocky sections.

This course will be great for spectating as the laps will be quick. There’s also a couple points with 2 way traffic so it’ll be possible to see the racers many times. The views are also good from the course. If you can’t spectate out on the course, USA Cycling will be live streaming the race.

The Pro Women race at noon on Saturday and the Pro Men at 2:30 PM Saturday. Sunday the short track Women’s race is at 4:00 and the Men’s at 4:45. In addition to the Pro races, amateurs will be competing in the Colorado State Championships over Saturday and Sunday. See the Colorado State Mountain Bike Championship race schedule here.

Current US Cup Pro Series Standings

Below is the top 5 men and women overall in the series. Complete series standings are here.

Men

  • 1. Geoff Kabush – Scott-3Rox Racing – 94 points
  • 2. Todd Wells – Specialized Racing – 79 points
  • 3. Max Plaxton – Cannondale Factory Team – 69 points
  • 4. Sergio Mantecón Gutiérrez – Trek Factory Racing – 57 points
  • 5. Marco Aurelio Fontana – Cannondale Factory Team – 53 points
  • 5. Manuel Fumic – Cannondale Factory Team – 53 points

Women

  • 1. Katerina Nash – Luna Pro Team – 107 points
  • 2. Catherine Pendrel – Luna Pro Team – 94 points
  • 3. Emily Batty – Trek Factory Racing – 82 points
  • 4. Georgia Gould – Luna Pro Team – 70 points
  • 5. Evelyn Dong – Backcountry.com – 61 points

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Colorado Springs Parks Master Plan Public Meeting

April 29th, 2014

Ute Valley Dirty Du 2013

Every 10 years the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department updates the city-wide Parks, Recreation, Trails, and Open Space Master Plan which provides long-term vision, goals, and policies to guide their actions throughout the park system.

The last master plan was adopting in 2000 so it’s time to update the plan. Help make this the best plan for the future of our city and our parks by participating in a 90-minute meeting this Wednesday evening.

At this meeting you can learn about the assessment of our current system and trends. You’ll also be able to provide feedback about the draft plan, goals, and strategies. If you’re a mountain biker, this is an important meeting to let the parks department know that you want access to trails in local parks.

When: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 6:30-8:00 pm
Where: City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St.

Child care provided for ages 3+. Free on-street parking. Parks and Recreation prizes/snacks

Visit www.springsgov.com/parksmasterplan to learn more about the Master Plan update!

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Rising From Ashes Movie

April 24th, 2014

“Rising from Ashes” is a feature length documentary about two worlds colliding when cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda, Africa to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team. As they set out against impossible odds both Jock and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their past.

Rising From Ashes will be shown tonight, Thursday, April 24 in Colorado Springs at 7 p.m. at the Stargazers Theatre & Event Center at 10 S. Parkside Dr. in Colorado Springs. The event is sponsored by the newly formed CSprings Bike Initiative. Advance tickets are $11 and can be purchased online at imAthlete. Not sure when the deadline is to purchase online. Tickets at the door will be $15.

I’ve heard really good things about the movie and a couple local coaches have gone and worked with Team Rwanda. If you can’t make it to tonight’s viewing, Rising from Ashes is on Netflix and it’s currently listed on eBay.

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Bear Creek Trail Closure Proposals

March 25th, 2014

Jones Park

A few weeks ago the Forest Service had an open house about proposed trail closures due to the greenback cutthroat trout in Bear Creek. I’m not convinced they’ve studied the impacts of the trail well enough to say they’re a problem but because of settling a lawsuit with environmental groups it probably doesn’t matter what the impact is. The US Fish and Wildlife Service must approve any trail work in the Bear Creek drainage including current trail maintenance.

At the open house, 3 alternatives were shown. Alternative A is the current trail system and we know that there’s very little chance the trails will remain the same in the future. Alternatives B and C have various trail closures and re-routes.

Both new alternatives would still allow the “Missing Link” trail to be created to link Barr Trail to the Jones Park area but would make it longer because of going around Jones Park and I believe add an uphill section. Also with both proposals, High Drive would be closed to vehicle traffic but would be open to non-motorized use.

Alternative B has all of Jones Park off limits and the upper part of Bear Creek Trail (666) closed. A trail re-route from Pipeline would keep Captain Jacks away from Bear Creek and connect where Captain Jacks currently drops down from the ridge to the creek and intersects with 666. A connector would be created from Buckhorn over to 666 near Josephine Falls.

I believe Alternative C is the same as Alternative B except that all of Bear Creek Trail (666) would be closed. I don’t think you’ll find it surprising that I don’t like this plan.

One part of “Alternative B” that I’m not sure is necessary is the complete closure of Jones Park at least to non-motorized use as that area is flatter and doesn’t have nearly the erosion issues of lower on Cap’n Jacks. Most of Jones Park is Colorado Springs Utilities land and I don’t think they want to make sure they have no risk with the greenback cutthroat trout.

One effect of closing Jones Park is access to Mt. Arthur and Mt. Garfield will be more difficult. It would be nice if a trail could be built from the Section 16 area to allow more access into that area. Also there are ruins of historic buildings in the Jones Park area that would be off limits.

It’s not clear how long it will be before the whatever plan is approved will be implemented. The US Fish and Wildlife Service have until late summer to approve the plan the Forest Service submits to them.

I talked to Forest Ranger Allan Hahn at the meeting last month about how soon trail re-routes could be done after a plan was approved. Although the Forest Service doesn’t have money for the changes, he believes the plan could be implemented in a matter of weeks since so many people are willing to volunteer to get access to the area. I’m not optimistic that with all the government red tape that volunteers would be turned loose to get the re-routes done that quickly.

Now it’s time to move forward and get the best possible trails under the circumstances. Input on the proposals can be sent to the Forest Service by emailing bcc@fs.fed.us, faxing (719) 477-4233 or mailing. Comments must be received by March 27th, 2014. One thing a found from talking to the Forest Service is they don’t understand very well how people use the trails and that it would be helpful to them to know more.

The Gazette did an article that includes some of history of the Bear Creek area. Someone who is fighting against any closures also has history on the area with historic photos. At this point, I don’t believe fighting the changes is productive but the page has some interesting information.

Below is the letter the the Peak Mtb Collective has been asking people to sign at the informational meetings they’ve held. Use it as is or as a starting point for your feedback to the Forest Service. Also go to the Peak Mtb Collective page and sign up for email updates on the Bear Creek drainage trails and other Colorado Springs area trail issues.

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Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project
Pikes Peak Ranger District
601 S. Weber Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
719-477-4233
bcc@fs.fed.us

In reviewing the proposed changes to travel management and recreational activities and the improvement actions for the stream habitat in the Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project (BCWRP) area, I understand that the project’s purpose is to protect the greenback cutthroat trout as well as to maintain a balance among the many trail user groups. The area in question has a well-established, recognized trail system that is important to the outdoor lifestyle for which the Pikes Peak region is known.

As an avid user of the Bear Creek area and Pikes Peak region trail systems, I am aware of the important balance we share with our eco-system. I have read full through the proposed BCWRP proposals and I support “Alternative B” as the action plan for implementation by the Pikes Peak Ranger District. I believe “Alternative B” supports the objective of protecting the greenback cutthroat trout as well as offering a balance between access and use of this vast trail system.

Acknowledging that change is needed in the area, “Alternative A” offers little compromise regarding the ecological concerns of the project. “Alternative C” offers limited compromise by significantly limiting trail access including the complete closure of trail 666. I believe either of these plans hinders involved groups’ respective goals and could have negative long term effects.

I want to thank everyone involved in the project and look forward to seeing “Alternative B” move forward. I also extend myself as a resource in the implementation of “Alternative B” in the Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project.

Bear Creek Watershed Meeting and Feedback

February 25th, 2014

Pipeline Trail

The trails in the Bear Creek drainage are some of the most popular trails in the Pikes Peak region. Recent testing has revealed that the fish in Bear Creek (approximately 750 adults) are the sole remaining genetically pure population of greenback cutthroat trout. The population is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It seems strange that such a heavily used area is the only place that the fish have survived.

I’ve been hiking and riding these trails for over 25 years. Here’s a Jones Park ride report from a couple years ago. The Ring the Peak mountain bike race also uses these trails.

The US Forest Service was sued by environmental groups for not sufficiently protected these fish. In the fall of 2012, Bear Creek Trail (666) and Captain Jacks Trail (667) were closed to dirt bikes and camping was prohibited in the area.

Last fall the Forest Service got public input on trail closures to all users and alternative re-routes. Now they’re getting public input on proposed changes.

There’s an open house tonight (2/25/14) at the Colorado Springs Utilities’ Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. If you can’t make tonight’s meeting, you use the comment link on their web page through March 27th..

There’s information about the proposed trail and access changes on the Bear Creek Watershed Assessment & NEPA page on the Forest Service website. The good news is they’re proposing rerouting trails and not completely closing the area although it appears Jones Park itself would be off-limits. It appears to me from the maps that Alternative B keeps most of trail 666 except for the cool section right near the current Captain Jack intersection. Alternative C shows 666 as being closed which would be a real bummer.

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Free National Parks Days 2014

January 19th, 2014

Navajo Arch in Arches National Park

Navajo Arch in Arches National Park

133 of the 401 national parks charge an entrance fee but the National Park Service has a few free days a year. For 2014 the first free day is Monday, January 20th for Martin Luther King Day. You can find the parks that normally charge a fee but are free on these days on this list.

Free National Park Days 2014

  • January 20 -Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15-17 – Presidents Day weekend
  • April 19-20 – opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
  • September 27 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day

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2014 Leadville Mountain Bike Race Series

January 17th, 2014

Leadville Winter Fat Bike Series 2014

Fat bikes have become the rage in the last couple years. They’re perfect for riding in the snow and a snow race series begins in the Leadville area tomorrow. There will be 4 races in the Leadville winter MTB series this year.

The first is tomorrow, Saturday, January 18th, at Copper Mountain’s WinterBike race. Registration starts at 4pm and will be located across from the Ice Rink and Zip Line in Center Village. The race begins at 6 pm. Fireworks at 7pm. There will also be a kids race that begins at 5pm.

There will be demo bikes available before the race. You can check out your new bike from REEB, Borealis Bikes, Boo Bikes, and Twenty2.

The series is a great way to try out snow racing if you don’t live too far away to see if you want a bigger snow adventure like the Susitna 100, Arrowhead 135 or Iditarod Invitational.

Although snow racing is best on a fat bike like the Borealis Bikes Yampa that has clearance for giant tires, you can do it on a regular mountain bike. You just put as wide of tires as will fit on your frame and run low air pressure.

2014 Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series Schedule

  • January 18 – WinterBike at Copper
  • February 8 – Tennessee Pass Night Jam
  • March 1 – Mineral Belt Mayhem
  • April 12 – East Side Epic

Chris had a good writeup of the East Side Epic a few years ago.

Get the latest info on the Cloud City Wheelers Event Page or the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series Facebook page.

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Bike Hate in New York City

December 19th, 2013


It looks like this video was published on May 31, 2013 but I didn’t see it back then. Dorothy Rabinowitz totally goes off about the bike share program in New York City.

According to her the biggest hazard in the city is bikes not yellow cabs. Not only that but the city’s best neighborhoods are begrimed by the blazing blue Citibank bikes.

Hat tip to UpaDowna

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I Am a Cyclist

December 18th, 2013

Watch this video to learn the difference between a bike rider and a “cyclist”. It has something to do with suffering along with other things.

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Global Fat Bike Day 2013

December 6th, 2013

Fat Bike Day in Colorado Springs

Fat bikes have become all the rage in the last year or two. Borealis Fat Bikes makes great carbon fiber fat bike frames and are located right here in Colorado Springs. They are available locally at Pro Cycling and online at Competitive Cyclist.

Tomorrow, December 7th, is Global Fat Bike Day. There are several events around the US and at least also in the UK. Some of them a listed on the Global Fat Bike Day 2013 Facebook page.

It will be very cold and snowy in Colorado Springs unlike the weather for last year’s Fat Bike event here when it was warm and dry. There will be several demo bikes including ones from Borealis Fat Bikes. Check out the details of the Colorado Springs Fat Bike event here.

Related Links:
2012 Colorado Springs Fat Bike Day Photos

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