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.


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Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Running Shoes (For Men)
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Trails Around Jones Park Could be Closed

April 4th, 2013

Jones Park Above Colorado Springs

Last year it was determined that the 750 greenback cutthroat trout living in Bear Creek near Jones park are the only genetically pure greenback cutthroat left. The US Forest Service was sued by environmental groups for not sufficiently protected these fish. Last fall Bear Creek Trail (666) and Captain Jacks Trail (667) were closed to dirt bikes and camping was prohibited in the area.

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.

Now the Forest Service is proposing closing 3.5 miles of trail along Bear Creek to all users. While I’m for protecting the fish and agree there’s still erosion problems in spite of all the work the dirt bike groups have done, I have trouble believing closing the trails is necessary.

It seems strange that such a heavily used area is the only place that the fish have survived. Since they have survived, why is it necessary to close the trails? It seems that rerouting the trail in places and adding more erosion control should be sufficient.

The USFS has a webpage with a several detailed documents on the assessment process. The detailed trail assessment includes a map of the affected trails.

The proposal has some possible trail reroutes and at least one would allow connection to the proposed Missing Link Trail which would be really cool to have completed. The information on these possible reroutes start on page 74 of the trail assessment document. Medicine Wheel has some good comments on the proposals.

Tonight, Thursday March 4th, there will be an Open House from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Leon Young Service Center (1521 Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903).

If you can’t make the open house, you can provide comments through April 30th, 2013 by mail, fax, or email to:

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

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Burro Racing Movie

April 3rd, 2013

A couple years ago we were in Leadville for the Leadville Boom Days and the burro race. I believe the burro race is about 21 miles. Not only do you run most of a marathon through the mountains but you have to convince your burro to keep running.

For Boom Days they had a few burros that spectators could race a couple blocks on main street while waiting for the racers to finish. My daughter and I gave it a try. They told us to start and everyone else took off. Our burro just stood there and didn’t want to go. Somehow I managed to convince it to go and then managed to run fast enough to catch up and take the lead just before the finish.

Now there’s a movie about pack-burro racing. “Haulin’ Ass,” by New York filmmaker Trevor Velin, explores Colorado’s indigenous sport. It won the Mountain Film Award and the prestigious Golden Badger Award for Wisconsin Filmmaking. The film is a documentary about one of the most challenging, yet least recognized, sports in modern culture. It follows three men in their quests to take the triple crown while overcoming their own mental and physical obstacles.

The film captures the images and spirit of this remarkable and offbeat adventure sport, while also exploring the personal lives of three devoted competitors — Hal Walter of Westcliffe, Curtis Imrie of Buena Vista, and Roger Pedretti of La Crosse, Wisc.

“Haulin’ Ass” is showing here in Colorado Springs tomorrow evening, April 4th at Stargazers, 10 South Parkside Drive. Doors open at 6 PM and the show starts at 7 PM. There will be a special appearance of Hal Walter, 6 time World Champion burro racer.

Admission is $10 in advance amd $15 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.imathlete.com/events/haulinass.


You can order the “Haulin’ Ass” DVD from the website.

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Current Outdoor and Cycling Deals

March 28th, 2013

Outdoor Gear

Spring is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Here are several current outdoor deals if you’re in need of some new gear.

Updated April 6th

Backcountry.com

Backcountry.com has a huge selection of outdoor gear including bikes and gear. Now through April 7th, you can get 20% off one full price item with code SAVE20.

REI

REI Memebers save 20% on 1 Full-Price Item on REI.com plus 1 Item on REI-OUTLET with coupon code MEM2013. Not a member? It’s only $20 for lifetime membership and they target giving 10% of qualifying purchases back as a dividend each year.

Sierra Trading Post

Save an additional 15-25% during the Sierra Trading Post Spring Sale. They also have a couple coupon codes that are good through May 8th.

Tahoe Mountain Sports

Save 20% on up to 2 full priced items. Use promo code: New2 – Offer Expires 4/17, some restrictions apply.

CampSaver

CampSaver has an extra 20% off sale items in their Outlet with code OUTLET-20. In addition, Big Agnes, Granite Gear and Exped are on sale in their main store. Expires April 10th.

Fontana Sports

Take an additional 20% OFF all Snowboards, Snowboard Boots & Bindings (already reduced up to 40% off). Use Coupon Code: A20SNB

Jenson USA

Jenson USA is running their 3 Million Dollar Bike Sale. Get up to 58% off complete bikes. 74 models to chose from.

Moosejaw

Take 20% off almost everything at Moosejaw. Shop spring styles from top brands like Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Icebreaker, Lole and Prana (and tons more) all at 20% off. No code necessary. Free Shipping on All Orders $49+. Ends April 14th.

evo

Get extra 20% off all items in their outlet for their last chair outlet event. Use the code: last chair to receive the discount. Ends today, March 28th.

They are also selling all of their Ski and Snowboard goods at major discounts, up to 50% off on many 2013 items in the main store. No code necessary for the main shop.

Konasports

Get an additional 15% off already discounted items in their Outlet section with coupon code OUTLETDAYS. Ends April 1st.

TriVillage.com

TriVillage is offering 20% off over 600 items for triathlon, road cycling, and mountain biking with coupon code: DEALS20. If you want something that’s not included, you can use DEALS18 and save 18% on any other regularly priced items site wide! Also, TriVillage offers free shipping over $75 which just adds to the savings! Expires March 29th.

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Southern Colorado Velo Kickoff Meeting

March 1st, 2013

Southern Colorado Velo 2013 Annual Meeting Flyer

Southern Colorado Velo was founded in 2010 as an inclusive bicycling club and race team. Their members include riders of all ages, ability levels and cycling disciplines. They are a giving team where experienced riders share their passion and experience. They develop camaraderie through racing, riding and training. SoCO Velo supports a developmental cycling team, and casual cycling club, participates in local trail work, educates cyclists about skills and fitness, instructs bicycle maintenance clinics and hosts local youth bike safety rodeos.

On March 1st at 6pm, 2013 Bicycle Village is hosting the SoCO Velo Kick-Off Meeting and Membership Drive. Go meet the team and others interested in joining one of the largest cycling clubs in southern Colorado! There will be a Fit Kit to check-out and try on their new SoCO Velo Pactimo custom line of cycling gear. You will be able to sign up, discuss their 2013 member benefits package, get questions answered, talk about the 2013 cycling season and submit your application for the 2013 SoCO Velo sponsored race team!

Who Should Go?

  • Interested cyclists and current SoCO Velo club and race team members.
  • Cyclists of any size, shape, age or ability who enjoy riding a bike.
  • Competitive cyclists and those who wish to compete as a sponsored cyclist in local races
  • Cyclists who want to improve riding techniques and training.
  • Cyclists who are looking for a group of people to ride with.

Club Members Get:

  • Access and invitations to social group rides and information on local events and races.
  • Focused group training rides for cycling skills and fitness.
  • Southern Colorado custom cycling gear at wholesale pricing.
  • Bicycle Village Premium Partner discount card.
  • Incredible discounts from SoCO Velo’s Sponsors– Trek Bicycles, Bell, Giro, Easton, Smith Sunglasses, Pactimo Clothing, Continental Tires and more!
  • Learn about new trails and areas to ride.

Race Team Members Get:

  • All Club Member benefits plus a race fees reimbursement incentive package.

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Manitou Incline No Trespassing Sign Photo Opp

February 22nd, 2013

Manitou Incline No Trespassing Sign Removed

The No Trespassing sign was removed from the Manitou Incline the end of January since the Incline became legal to hike on February 1st. The Incline Friends are giving you an opportunity this weekend to get your photo with the Incline No Trespassing sign one last time.

This Saturday and Sunday, February 23rd and 24th, the Incline Friends will have the old Manitou Incline No Trespassing sign at the bottom of the Incline from 7 AM until 11 AM. Donate at least $5 to help with maintaining the Incline and they’ll take your picture alongside the sign.

They’ll e-mail the photo to you or they can use your camera if you like. No limit to the number of people in the shot so bring your friends. This will be your last opportunity to get a photo with the sign and the Incline before it’s retired to the Pioneers Museum.

If you plan on heading up the Incline after getting a photo, be very careful. After a dry winter, the snows the last couple weeks have finally made the Incline snowy and icy. Make sure you have traction devices such as Stabilicers Lite, Yaktrax or Kahtoola Microspikes .

Speaking of the Incline and snow, Roger Austin shared some great photos from this morning’s sunrise on the Incline. I really wish I would have been up there to see it.

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Latest Outdoor and Cycling Deals

February 18th, 2013

With Presidents weekend many cycling and outdoor stores are running deals. Many of these sales have great deals on winter gear as they make room for spring gear. Spring may be coming but at least here in Colorado we will hopefully will be getting some more snow.

Here are links to some of the deals. You can also search nearly 80 stores here on UltraRob.com to find the best deal on the gear you need.

Cycling

Ski and Outdoors

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Burton B By Burton Roosevelt Bomber Snowboard Jacket Roasted Brown
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UpaDowna Incline Happy Hour

February 7th, 2013

UpaDowna Incline Happy Hour

This is the first Thursday since the Manitou Incline was legalized. This means it’ll be the first legal UpaDowna Incline Happy hour. However until time change next month, the dawn to dusk rule will be broken.

The Incline Happy Hour was started a few years ago by the great folks at UpaDowna. Their motto is “Up a Mountain, Downa a Beer”. Their goal is to get more people in the outdoors.

Now that the Manitou Incline is legal, UpaDowna is encouraging more people to join them. They start at the bottom tie of the Incline (directions) at 6 PM and hike to the top of the Incline.

The hike takes place year round but know your limitations as the Incline can get icy and treacherous in the winter. It’s a self paced hike and not a race. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level. Generally people hang out at the top for a bit and then most head down Barr Trail.

Until time change you’ll need a headlamp to be able to see in the dark. You can also get by with a flashlight but then your hands aren’t free for balance.

Afterwards head to Kinfolks Mountain Shop in Manitou Springs. Enjoy one of the micro brews they have on tap or us hang out with other outdoor lovers. It’s located just east of Ruxton at 950 Manitou Avenue.

Although it’s free to join the Incline Happy Hour, you need to register and sign the waiver on Eventbrite. Not only is it a fun time, but there may be prizes for signing up and staying motivated throughout the year.

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CompuTrainer Races at Criterium Bicycles

February 4th, 2013

Riding CompuTrainers

CompuTrainers at Carmichael Training Systems


This is last minute information for tonight but there’s 3 more Mondays in February so you can plan ahead for them. Unfortunately I just saw the info on this today.

Race with your own road bike indoors FREE! Big Mountain Adventure Racing is sponsoring the February BMAR-Criterium Computrainer Races at Criterium Bicycles every Monday evening in February.

Races begin at 6pm. The fastest racer each night gets a free BMAR SWAG bag! If you attend all four Monday events you’ll have a chance to win a 30% off BMAR race coupon!

If you’ve never ridden a CompuTrainer, who should go try them out. They have 2 different modes. In one mode it keeps your power output constant and in the other mode it changes the resistance to simulate changes in road grade. Racing uses the 2nd mode and you shift your gears to make it easier or harder just like on the road.

I haven’t seen the setup at Criterium but I have a CompuTrainer and I’ve also done the power classes at the CTS Endurance Sports Club. A couple nights during the classes I took at CTS we did some racing. It’s certainly a way to make indoor training less boring. Of course with the weather we’ve been having there hasn’t been much of a need to ride inside.

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CycleOps Fluid 2 Indoor Bike Trainer
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Exploring the Grand Canyon with Google Street View

February 1st, 2013

Grand Canyon Street View

Back in October Google had posted on their blog that they had a team hiking in the Grand Canyon to get imagery for Street View. I figured they were just doing a couple of the main trails. They now have 75 miles of trails and surrounding roads live in Google Maps.

The Google team their Android-operated Trekkers to take the imagery. They carried 40-pound backpacks with the 15-lens camera system. More than 9,500 panoramas are now available on Google Maps.

In 2006 and 2008 I did week long backpacking trips in the Grand Canyon. I went west farther than most people go for the first trip. The trail was hard to find and I didn’t see anyone for 3 days. The 2nd trip I hiked the eastern part of the Grand Canyon and even went a little east of where the National Park ends.

I can tell you there’s no way to comprehend the size of the canyon looking at a computer screen. Still I have to say what Google has done is pretty cool.

Some cool places to check out are the bridge across the Colorado River to Phantom Canyon, Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail and the Meteor Crater. Maybe those will motivate you to take an adventure of your own in the Grand Canyon.

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