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.

Osprey Momentum 30 Bike Pack
Osprey Momentum 30 Bike Pack
Price: $139.95
 
Osprey Spin 22 Bike Commuter Pack
Osprey Spin 22 Bike Commuter Pack
Price: $139.95
 
Osprey Momentum 22 Bike Commuter Pack
Osprey Momentum 22 Bike Commuter Pack
Price: $129.95
 

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.

Spot Satellite GPS Messenger
Spot Satellite GPS Messenger
Regular Price: $119.99
$99.99 on sale
 
SPOT 2 Satellite GPS Messenger
SPOT 2 Satellite GPS Messenger
Price: $149.95
 
SPOT Gen. 3 Satellite Messenger
SPOT Gen. 3 Satellite Messenger
Price: $169.95
 

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.

Borealis Bikes Yampa XX1 Complete Bike
Borealis Bikes Yampa XX1 Complete Bike
Price: $5549.00
 
Borealis Bikes Yampa X0/X9 Complete Bike
Borealis Bikes Yampa X0/X9 Complete Bike
Price: $3599.00
 
Planet Bike Borealis Full Finger Winter Cycling Gloves 9004
Planet Bike Borealis Full Finger Winter Cycling Gloves 9004
Regular Price: $39.99
$36.99 on sale
 

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

Schwinn 411 IG5 Commuter Bike
Schwinn 411 IG5 Commuter Bike
Regular Price: $680.00
$399.99 on sale
 
GT Traffic 1.0 Commuter Bike 2014
GT Traffic 1.0 Commuter Bike 2014
Regular Price: $600.00
$599.99 on sale
 
Silverback Starke 1 Commuter Bike
Silverback Starke 1 Commuter Bike
Price: $1245.00
 

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.

Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2 Road Bike Frame
Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2 Road Bike Frame
Price: $5300.00
 
Pinarello Dogma 2 Road Bike Frame
Pinarello Dogma 2 Road Bike Frame
Regular Price: $5750.00
$4485.00 on sale
 
Pinarello KOBH Road Bike Frame
Pinarello KOBH Road Bike Frame
Regular Price: $4500.00
$4000.00 on sale
 

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

Borealis Bikes Yampa XX1 Complete Bike
Borealis Bikes Yampa XX1 Complete Bike
Price: $5549.00
 
Borealis Bikes Yampa X0/X9 Complete Bike
Borealis Bikes Yampa X0/X9 Complete Bike
Price: $3599.00
 
Planet Bike Borealis Full Finger Winter Cycling Gloves 9004
Planet Bike Borealis Full Finger Winter Cycling Gloves 9004
Regular Price: $39.99
$36.99 on sale
 

WMBA COS Halloween Fun

October 25th, 2013

WMBA COS Halloween Crit 2011

The Women’s Mountain Bike Association of Colorado Springs (WMBA COS) is having their 4th annual Halloween Costume Critter tomorrow Saturday, October 26th. Join WMBA riders in this super fun event that will have you testing your bike handling and whip cream tossing abilities, limbo flexibility, and will bring out your most outrageous inner monster.

Ride on the bike of your choice (although wider tires are strongly recommended). Or go to witness the buffoonery from the sidelines, cheer on your favorite monster and heckle others til your sides hurt! Show up in your scariest, funniest, most clever, or best duo costume for a chance to win their costume contest!

The Costume Critter will be held at the SRM Powermeters Service Center at 720 West Monument Street. Try to arrive human powered or carpool if possible as there is limited parking.

Please arrive in costume, with a helmet and on your choice of properly functioning craft. Kids race free and Kids on Bikes will be on hand helping out. Adults fun will cost $10 which goes to a very good cause- WMBA!

Prepare to enjoy a post-ride bottomless drink cup and laughter with a slew of other cyclists in your community. One of WMBA’s generous sponsors, Bristol, has donated some liquid libations which will be available for all government i.d. holding age 21 or older adults. Don’t forget to tip your bartender.

Schedule
Kids registration 1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Adult registration 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Strider ride- or whatever non-pedaled bike they ride: 2 p.m.
Kids ride- 2:15 p.m.
Older kids ride- 2:30 p.m.

Men’s start- 4 p.m.
Women’s start- 4:30 p.m.

Photos from the 2011 WMBA of COS Halloween Costume Critter

WMBA COS Halloween Crit Start 2011

Gore Bike Wear 2012/13 Power Helmet Light Bicycle Helmet Cover HPOWCL
Gore Bike Wear 2012/13 Power Helmet Light Bicycle Helmet Cover HPOWCL
Price: $39.99
 
Gore Bike Wear 2012/13 Power Helmet Neon Bicycle Helmet Cover HPOWNE
Gore Bike Wear 2012/13 Power Helmet Neon Bicycle Helmet Cover HPOWNE
Price: $49.99
 
Uvex Helmet 9 Downhill / Dirt Bike Helmet 2013
Uvex Helmet 9 Downhill / Dirt Bike Helmet 2013
Price: $149.00
 

What Colorado Springs Projects are Important?

October 25th, 2013

Mount View on Cog Railway

Nick Kittle wants to know what’s important to the people of Colorado Springs. Nick used to work for Colorado Springs doing sustainability stuff but now runs his own company, Sustainovation LLC.

To find out what’s important to Colorado Springs residents, Nick created a survey with 22 possible local projects. You can chose up to 5 and rank them in importance. There’s also a box to add something that’s not on the list. It’s not an official survey but Nick likes to get things done and has connections so it’s a good way to get your voice heard.

There are several outdoor related projects including Manitou Incline improvements. I’m not sure the Incline needs to be improved but it does need to be stabilized and maintained so it doesn’t deteriorate further. Other outdoor projects include Ring the Peak (Pikes Peak), Implement the Bike Master Plan, Bike share program and Pikes Peak Greenway improvements (including waterway fixes/trail, etc).

There are a couple projects I like that aren’t on the survey. One is the trails on the South Slope of Pikes Peak that’s dragged on for years now. The other is the Missing Link Trail (temporary name) from Barr Trail over to Jones Park. That’s a trail that was approved a couple years ago but has been mired in red tape.

Deadline to complete the survey is tonight, Friday October 25th at midnight. Go fill out the survey and get your voice heard!

The North Face Men's North Country Down Jacket
The North Face Men's North Country Down Jacket
Regular Price: $348.95
$189.99 on sale
 
The North Face Yavapai Daypack The North Face Black/The North Face
The North Face Yavapai Daypack The North Face Black/The North Face
Price: $69.99
 
The North Face W PR RDT JACKET
The North Face W PR RDT JACKET
Regular Price: $95.00
$71.25 on sale
 

Pikes Peak Cycing Hill Climb 2013

July 22nd, 2013

Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb 2013

Update: Complete set of Pikes Peak Hill Cycling Climb photos are here.

Yesterday was the Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb. It climbed the top 12.5 miles of Pikes Peak and had over 4,700 feet of climbing. The fun ride started at 6 AM and the race started at 7 AM. LeRoy Popowski defended his title of king of the mountain. Results are here.

Back when the Pikes Peak Highway was still gravel, we used to race the top 8 miles on mountain bikes. Even that was a tough race but I liked it because of the uniqueness of being above timberline. Now that I’m not in great shape and the highway is open to bikes, I’m happy just to ride my bike up there without racing.

Although I didn’t race this time, I went up and helped with handing out timing chips and then went up above timberline and shot photos. I shot over a thousand photos so it’ll take me some time to get through them all. A few of them are down below.

Once I go through them, I’ll post them on the photo page. As with most of the photos I take, they’ll be available for purchase both as prints and digital downloads.

Update: Complete set of Pikes Peak Hill Cycling Climb photos are here.

Related Links:

Friends of Ute Valley Park

April 19th, 2013

Ute Valley Park

I live close to Ute Valley Park. It’s a beautiful 338 acre open space surrounded by neighborhoods but it’s easy to feel like you’re outside the city. I’ve been mountain biking in it for years and now that I live close I hike in it with my family.

Ute Valley is a popular with hikers, runners and mountain bikers. It has become more heavily used since the Waldo Canyon Fire closed Mountain Shadows Open Space and Blodgett Peak Open Space.

Most people don’t know that about the eastern half of the area is not part of the park but is owned by HP. There are a few No Trespassing signs near trails at the HP property boundary but people have freely used trails on HP property. Last summer’s Pro XCT in Ute Valley Park course included trails on the HP property.

Concerns about the HP property being developed and the increase in social trails prompted the creation of the Friends of Ute Valley Park (FUVP) last fall. Ute Valley has been the last Colorado Springs open space without a friends group.

Friends of Ute Valley Park Earth Day FlyerI’ve been working on the Friends of Ute Valley Park website the last couple months. I still have plenty to do on it but we’re using it post new on the park. We also have a FUVP Facebook page.

Tomorrow, Saturday April 20th, there will be an Earth Day event at the Ute Valley Park parking lot on Vindicator 9-11 AM. The park ranger, Friends of Ute Valley Park and Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates will be there with information. There will also be a brief maintenance project and park clean up. Please come out and join us.


Salomon X Over Trail Shoes (For Women)
Salomon X Over Trail Shoes (For Women)
Regular Price: $130.00
$96.95 on sale
 
Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Running Shoes
Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Running Shoes
Price: $139.95
 
Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Running Shoes Men's
Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Running Shoes Men's
Price: $129.95
 


Email: web@ultrarob.com

Business Seal       Privacy Seal