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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.