Colorado Springs Mountain Biking Club

Colorado Springs Mountain Biking Club – Seth Saxon during the second race of the Uphill Bike Series at Bear Creek Regional Park, Wednesday, June 8, in Colorado Springs.

A racer runs the Falcon Trail in the first 24 Hours of Colorado Springs mountain biking. Saturday, September 18, 2010.

Colorado Springs Mountain Biking Club

Leslie McWilliams of Colorado Springs walks through a field of sunflowers in Red Rock Canyon in July 2015.

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In the early 1990s, at the height of her Olympic career, Alison Dunlap remembers a very different scene on a Colorado Springs mountain bike trail.

“There’s no research building, no development,” he says. nothing official. In just one nightly sample, the “outlaws” are driving millions of dollars into today’s public paradise, waiting to build the city’s sales tax-financed “research,” “open space” and “park” programs.

TOPS came in 1997. However, in the face of the mainstream of a conservative city entering the new century, the riders were in good spirits at best or dejected at worst.

Something like the Ute Valley Park Bike Course, for example, “never existed 20 years ago,” he says. What Happens Now: The 15-acre site is bisected by two steep, black-and-white lines and hemmed in by cliffs. Acclaimed solo maestro Tony Boone & Co. The course should be ready later this month, said David Detmeyer, the senior landscape architect overseeing the nearly $100,000 project for city parks.

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Corey Sutela, president of Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, said it’s a far cry from showing the majesty of the waterfalls below. Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park is far from the full-fledged playground he and others have long sought.

The Ute Valley course will be interesting, but what’s most promising is for Sutela: another sign of a new day for riding in Springs, a sign of the city’s “open vision and passion.”

It is set to become the area’s premier downhill cycling track as part of network modifications which will soon be awarded a contract. Near those hills, he sees that the city has adopted its favorite route, Captain Morgan’s, and is tearing it up like a bandit trail.

He focuses on mountain biking in plans for the Austin Bluffs Open Space and Waldo Canyon. El Paso County should be commended for trying to introduce a bike-friendly loop at the popular Jones Park.

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Sutela defined 2014 as a “turning point”. At that time, the city released a master plan for the park system, which included “non-traditional/emerging trends that reflect the unique characteristics of the Colorado Springs area.”

The Ute Valley Course is one aspect of this plan that has been implemented. Second was last year’s Fountain Blvd. Bike park advocates could be another big one. Deitmeyer expects “a boost in the next two years.”

David Vince, executive director of the Gunnison-based International Mountain Bike Association, said quality and quantity are the hallmarks of hiking. “Every year we both make progress,” says Sutela.

A huge step forward in quality was made last fall with the opening of the Moraine Lake Trail on the south side of Pikes Peak. Known for decades, the Missing Link will receive its first summer reception, and Sutela later expects an “epic” designation from IMBA, placing it among the worldwide elite.

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The trail connects city streets to a portfolio of year-round wild, rugged preserves: Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Palmer Park, and North Cheyenne Canyon.

The American Mountain is like no other. “Colorado Springs has an advantage here,” says Wayans. “Other places may not have such a spectacular, visible landscape.”

Many places have joined the Colorado revolution that started in the 70s in the crossroads and have invested heavily in the sport. A decorated runner in the valley, Waynes gathered players to form Gunnison’s single track.

“My goal was not to make Gunnison the next tourist destination, but to make it easier for people to live here,” he says. “But tourism goes with it.”

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He heard about the mission to complete 70 miles of the Ring the Peak Trail. “It’s amazing to me.”

The trip to Colorado Springs is the occasion for a “signature event” in cycling here, says the bureau’s Cheryl McCullough.

The park’s 2014 master plan outlined mountain bike facilities as part of the city’s mission to “encourage tourism and economic development”. But marketing begs the question: How willing are locals to share their wealth?

Seth is an outdoorsy, Colorado-based writer of Colorful People and Fruits That Brighten Up Places.

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© Copyright 2023 Colorado Springs, LLC, 30 East Pikes Peak Ave, 100 Colorado Springs, CO | Terms of Use Privacy Policy | Choosing Your Privacy Keith Thompson, who helped build the new mountain bike trail at Pulpit Rock, called the trail’s favorite and toughest obstacle “The Falls” last week. Riders must round a corner, clear oak roots, and then leap off a cliff without falling off a high mountain.

A new mountain bike trail called the Black Sheep Loop runs along the south side of Pulpit Rock with views of Pikes Peak.

New signs will mark the end of the Black Sheep Trail at Pulpit Rock on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. (Parker Sebold,)

Bike tracks are seen in abandoned snow on the Black Sheep Trail on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. The new mountain bike trail is located on the south side of Pulpit Rock, making it a quick drying trail. (Parker Sebold,)

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As part of the construction process, the portions of the Black Sheep Trail that are subject to erosion were constructed with erosion reducing rock, netting and piles. (Parker Sebold,)

Keith Thompson hikes part of the Black Sheep Trail through a rocky area below Pulpit Rock on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. This summer the trail will be widened and there will be routes through the rocks. (Parker Sebold,)

Ranger Mark Tatro and volunteers cycle through Austin Bluffs Open Space on Black Sheep Trail Dig Day. Photo by Keith Thompson

New mountain bike riders in Colorado Springs are excited about the experience of disappearing around city parks and what it means for future projects.

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Under the supervision of city staff, volunteers built a bicycle-only trail down the south face of Pulpit Rock several years ago as part of a larger, continuous network in the Austin Bluffs Open Space Master Plan.

Although relatively short – a 200-foot drop in a quarter mile – the trail is important to its definition. It joins a small list reserved for unidirectional bikes in the city’s park system; Chutlar was the first in 2019.

A new mountain bike trail called the Black Sheep Loop runs along the south side of Pulpit Rock with views of Pikes Peak. parker sebold

“It’s really blowing the pulp out,” said Gabe Alvarado, who helped build more than 50 of the 300 people, according to the city.

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The king was called the black sheep. This is a reference to its Double Black Diamond quality and the cattle breeding history of the area. It is also a nod to riders who have taken it upon themselves to make marks against city ordinances – “rogue” diggers.

Alvarado is among critics of the parks department’s approach to bike lanes in his hometown. The tension boiled down to roads, some built with cars, others widened or closed.

“The general consensus I’m hearing is that things are being neutralized and a lot of roads are torn up and bulldozed,” Alvarado said.

Land managers say they aim to reduce erosion while providing technical, efficient routes that attract challenge-seekers to the base. However, without providing these opportunities, advocates argue that riders will continue to create them.

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Keith Thompson hikes part of the Black Sheep Trail through a rocky area below Pulpit Rock on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. This summer the trail will be widened and there will be routes through the rocks. (Parker Siebold, Parker Siebold)

“We may not have (mountain bike, downhill trails), but we do have some of them,” said Corey Sutela with Medic Wheel Trail Advocates.

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Enter the Black Sheep Trail, which will be “cleaned up” and joined by other trails this spring. This is what David Detmeyer, landscape architect for city parks, has to say.

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Volunteering “helps build some trust between both parties,” Dittmeyer said, hoping to “have a really good conversation, communicate respectfully, and create positive momentum.”

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