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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Holiday Adventure Party for Indy Give

December 30th, 2012

Levitator at Holiday Adventure Party

Tomorrow, New Years Eve, is the last day to donate to Indy Give! Most of the charities get matching donations so your money will go even further. Not only that you get gifts for donations over of $50 or more. Go to the Indy Give! website for all the details. Here are direct links to the Indy Give! page for some of my favorites – Kids on Bikes, Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, Trails and Open Space Coalition and Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

On December 6th, 5 of the charities that are part of Indy Give! threw a great free party at City Rock to help raise money. The 5 charities were Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, Trails and Open Space Coalition, Millibo Art Theatre, Rocky Mountain Field Institute and Kids on Bikes. They are some of the great local organizations that help give us outdoor places to play.

There were fresh adventure films, live performances, free beverages, great food and prizes. The performances included one of my friends that I rode many miles with as a teenager doing jumps and back flips on stilts. The party was brought by City Rock, New Belgium Brewing, and the Women’s Mountain Bike Association.

Here are some of the photos I took at the party. The complate Holiday Adventure Party for Indy Give photo set is here.

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Regular Price: $280.00
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Price: $38.73
 
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Price: $219.95
 

How Not To Give Mountain Bikers a Good Reputation

May 5th, 2011

Illegal Trail Building in Garden of the Gods

Photo courtesy of Allen Beauchamp

Other trail users don’t always welcome mountain bikers on the trails. We are fortunate that very few trails in the Colorado Springs area are closed to mountain bikes unlike some other areas. Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates has had a huge part in keeping it that way. If I remember my history correctly, Medicine Wheel was started nearly 20 years ago when most of the trails in Garden of the Gods were closed to mountain biking.

A few weeks ago I got the following message from Medicine Wheel

Recently, an off-duty city park ranger was hiking in Garden of the Gods Park in a relatively undeveloped area near Rampart Range Road and came across several individuals hacking away at trying to build a “radical downhill” trail. You know, the kind you might see at a ski area, with gap jumps, straight down the fall line, big rocks, etc. These people had no authorization, had chopped down trees, moved boulders, and had generally made a real mess of things. As most of you know, mountain biking in most of Garden of the Gods is specifically banned, so you probably couldn’t pick a worse place to build a renegade trail.

To make matters worse, when this ranger inquired as to what the “trail builders” were doing, they threatened to physically harm her. So, the police were called, the “trail builders” disappeared, and now the entire mountain biking community is left to clean up the mess.

Obviously this is not good for mountain biking. Medicine Wheel is having a work day this Saturday, May 7th to fix up the damage done by these mountain bikers. They are meeting at 8 AM in the upper parking lot at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post. The park is closed all day because of a running race and you can only enter via the Becker’s Lane entrance.

No experience is needed. Tools will be provided but bring sunscreen, snacks, water, long pants, gloves and sturdy shoes. Most of the work is on steep slopes with lots of cactus, yucca, scrub, loose rocks, etc. There is very little shade and it is expected to be warm, so please be prepared for the conditions. RSVP to jim@medwheel.org

Related Links:

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Salomon X Alp Pro GTX Hiking Boots
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Regular Price: $280.00
$209.95 on sale
 
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Price: $219.95
 

Ride the Divide Movie Continues to be Shown

February 9th, 2011

The Ride the Divide movie of the 2008 Tour Divide continues to be shown across the country. It was shown here in Colorado Springs in September. I wrote a review of Ride the Divide after I saw it in September.

It’s coming back to the big screen here again this Thursday evening. Once again it’ll be at Stargazers Theatre at 7 PM. All the details here. A list of screenings for other parts of the country is on the Ride the Divide website.

This Colorado Springs showing is a fundraiser for Medicine Wheel. Medicine Wheel is a huge part of why we have access to so many mountain bike trails and very few trails have been closed to bikes.

At the Ride the Divide movie showing Thursday night Medicine Wheel will discussing their plans for building what they’re calling Lake Moraine – Missing Link trail until it’s formally named by the city. The trail is one of the trails being built as part of the opening of the Pikes Peak South Slope. This new trail will will connect Barr Trail to Jones Park and Cheyenne Canon to make one awesome loop. More on the trail can be found here on the Medicine Wheel site.

The Ride the Divide movie can be purchased from the official website or from Amazon.

Related Links:

Hi Tec Penrith Mid Jr. WP Hiking Boots
Hi Tec Penrith Mid Jr. WP Hiking Boots
Price: $38.73
 
Salomon X Alp Pro GTX Hiking Boots
Salomon X Alp Pro GTX Hiking Boots
Regular Price: $280.00
$209.95 on sale
 
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Price: $219.95
 


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