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I am certain mountain biking has not become unpopular.
I don't have their data (not sure they even have it), but I do know that there are many new hotels in the process of being built in Moab (one just completed on main street, I heard two more have broke ground and at least two more are approved or fighting over details on the approval). I have been down there 99% of this late summer, fall and now into winter. There are still bikes riding the trails down here. I have been going to Moab for the past 14 years or so and I can assure you that even with their significant increase in the number of trails they have built, all of their trails are seeing significant use. Eventually I may find time to get that data, but I have to focus put more of my time into my personal stuff right now. There is no doubt in my mind that Steamboat (if it gets out of its own way), will benefit significantly from the trails project. There are many things that those involved could do to improve on what is being done, but what Gary and Tony suggested is not one of them. If anything, the chamber survey (if correct), points to other cycling being down, not the cycling on trails. I am very confident in that. Off the top of my head, MG sees about 150 counts/day and about 85% of those are cyclist. NPR was about 200 counts/day. The stables re-route (not 2A funded) is somewhere in the 100-150 counts/day. Just looking at this summer that is a cost to the city for the construction of about $0.06/count. Some users might go up and down and we don't know the exact number yet. The couple counters that were spot checked had about a 17% under count based on people being too close together or side by side when they pasted the counter. The bigger trail study that takes more than volunteer time to produce should answer all your questions and more once it happens.
From the trail use data I have seen, it is not down. This years trail use data is not all in yet. The use data we have volunteered our time collecting does not answer the question on local vs visitor. Mountain bikes and their economic impact are well studied so that was discussed often in the pitch to spend money on this project. It is going to take more than the current volunteers to answer the questions that need to be answered. This project does need oversight and to be questioned. Based on the comments from some Council members and the new City manager, all involved with this project need to better educate them because their comments are "silly" when you look at the numbers.
The real flaw in this question, and quotes from the associated article, is the continued focus on bikes. The proposal was and still is about trails. Sustainable and Diverse Trails.
The more divided trail users are the less successful this trail project will be. Instead of suggesting the 2A trails committee change focus, ask why the projects like the core trail extension did not happen and why the other proposed more beginner friendly trails are designed and not being funded. Attend a 2A trails committee meeting and you will see that the numbers just don't work.
The cost of the lower spring creek connection (gravel surface) was almost $600/foot and sees a fraction of the use that many other trails are seeing. http://www.steamboatspringstrails.com/the-proposal/2a-project-progress/lowerspringcreektrailenhancedcrossings
Trail users need to work together to improve all aspects of the trail system. The 2A vote only funded a fraction of what was proposed.
"Anti mountain bike advocate Mike Vandeman is on trial for assault, battery and vandalism. There are six counts stemming from altercations with four victims over nearly a year. In the most recent incident, which lead to his arrest, he's accused of hitting a rider in the chest with a pruning saw as the biker went by." https://www.outsideonline.com/1808171/trial-mike-vandeman
Different classes of ebikes in the US.
Class 1 : under 750W, limited 20 mph, Pedal assist (PAS). Does not go without pedaling.
Class 2 : under 750W, limited 20 mph, PAS + throttle
Class 3 : under 750W, limited 20 mph by throttle, 28 mph by PAS
Class 4 : over 750W, over 28 mph, throttle or PAS
Steamboat Springs has quite a few secondary trails connecting neighborhoods. I don't think trails are the right place for all types of ebikes, but it seems to me that allowing Class 1 (does not go without the user pedaling) & maybe Class 2 ebikes on the primary and secondary trails will be the norm eventually.
Per the City of Steamboat Springs Open Space and Trails Master Plan... Steamboat Springs has three types of trails: Primary/Core trail (10-foot wide paved surface), Secondary trails (hard and soft surface trails 8 feet in width) and Backcountry trails (natural or soft surface trails with a typical corridor width of 3-4 feet).
(Although I am board member of Routt County Riders my opinions are my own and may not be those shared by my fellow board members.)
I get the motorized vs non-motorized argument, but there are details in that argument that need to be reviewed.
There are now class 1 electric bikes that have been used in competitive racing (nearly impossible to tell they have electric assist). If the racers are using the technology, it will soon trickle down to the masses. Having the rules based on something that is probably going to be nearly impossible to enforce by land managers is going to be an issue.
There are also battery powered electric motors on the shifters of some high end solely human powered bikes ( http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/components/8-things-you-need-know-about-electronic-shifting “There’s no cable stretch, and the motor shifts the chain at the same speed, the same distance, every time,” ). There are a growing number of these high end bikes on our non motorized trails.
Should they all electric motors be banned including electric shifters? Does that apply to road bikes with electric shifting not being allowed to ride on the core trail? Where do we draw the line? What is the reasoning behind the rule or regulation? Is the rule or regulation enforceable without a significant amount of resources being dedicated to the enforcement of the regulation?
I don't view the motorized vs non motorized as cut and dry as many people do. I think there are consequences for taking such a hard line approach that are as risky or riskier to bike access than having the discussion with the information that these new technologies are not only coming buy actually already here. I hope the city of steamboat springs takes the time to have the discussion and clarifies the rules so the cycling public knows the rules.
Routt County Riders is an organization that advocates for all types of cycling. In my opinion, that includes ebikes. To me it is not a question of if they should be allowed it is more about where they should be allowed.
They are here now and likely coming in much larger numbers in the relatively near future. Currently the Federal, State and City laws and definitions do a poor job of consistently defining them. It is important for the land managers to put out a consistent message on where they are currently allowed and then it is important for the public (not just RCR or RCR board members) to help shape where they will be in the future.
RCR has helped provide the City with information on how it is defined at federal and state levels including some information on what is being done in other states and even other city's in Colorado.
I personally hope the city better defines where they are currently allowed (likely coming soon), then sets up a public meeting to take input from all trail users and groups like RCR. The local USFS office has a clear policy of only allowing any ebike on routes (including trails and roads) where motorized vehicles are allowed. Their reasoning and definitions behind that also need a little refinement if they intend on that applying to all forms of ebikes that are currently on the market.
RCR board members do not have access to all the agreements that the city has made such as conservation and trails easements or even the strings attached that come with grant moneys that the city has used to build some of the trails in the area. Until those documents are reviewed, it is a waste of volunteer time to take a stance on the where they should be allowed.
So far, it appears that the state level is giving local governments the ability to opt in on trails and opt out on sidewalks. That does not only pertain to ebikes but also more traditional bicycles.
I would welcome the reasoning behind your cut-and-dry view of the issue whether it is posted here, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or discussed in person at any upcoming RCR or RCR Trails Committee meeting. RCR's monthly meetings are the first Monday of each month (sign up for a newsletter here to confirm time and location: http://routtcountyriders.org/) and the RCR Trails Committee meetings are typically the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. This month we are pushing the meeting off a week to 7/27/2016. Email email@example.com to keep informed on the time and location of those meetings.
Thanks for your interest in cycling in Routt County.
Last login: Wednesday, December 21, 2016
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