We learn in “Open space a bike place?” (Camera 9/5/10) that the City has appointed a group of citizens, “The Community Collaboration Group” to do away with the long standing ban on mountain bike riding on the pristine area west of the city. The “Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance” has convinced the group a new mountain bike trail should be built from Baseline Rd. to Eldorado Springs. The argument goes: “it would avoid causing more traffic or parking, because bikers can ride from their homes” and it would “only open up 7% of the area’s trails to mountain bikes.” Opponents, “Save Our Open Space Boulder,” argue the trail “will pose a safety hazard to hikers” , “damage the already heavily used trails in the area” and “if the trails west of Boulder are opened up to bikes, the experience of enjoying nature will be degraded.” A Sept. 13 public meeting at 4:30p.m. is scheduled at the East Boulder Rec Center.
I find the arguments in favor of this new bike trail weak. The City has 20+ miles of paved bike paths which can be used and do not cause damage to the environment. These paved roads, however do not provide the true “dirt” experience. Do you really think that only people living in the City will use the trail once it is built and the word spreads? It is irrelevant that the City will only open an additional 7% of Open Space to mountain bikes; the City does not allow motor cross bikes on mountain park trails. Bikes are very damaging to Open Space Areas. National Parks are very restrictive in their allowance of mountain bike use in pristine areas: Boulder should also severly restrict its use. This new mountain bike trail is a bad idea.