Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Found this goodie online:

Hi Everyone, here is a copy of something I've been working on over the last few days. Any ideas for support, or suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks


It is with much excitement and enthusiasm that we propose the inclusion of a dirt jump and freeride segment into Durango’s already very elite and well rounded cycling realm. As you know, since the beginning of our sport, Durango, Colorado has served as a critical hub in the progression of American cycling both on and off the race course. Local riders of all disciplines are extremely competitive in world class fields ranging from road bikes, bmx bikes, and of course, mountain bikes. However, the explosive advancement in current bicycle technologies has launched aggressive, technical, big mountain riding into a rapidly growing segment of our sport. It is a segment with strong support among riders in the local and surrounding communities.
Durango is no stranger to dirt jumps. Hidden Valley, near Needham Elementary, hosted several jump lines ranging from beginner practice lines of small table tops, all the way up to big and technical pro level gap jumps for many years. Unfortunately, land value increased, and the generous land owner letting us use his property couldn’t sit on it any longer. The land was sold, and the jumps were leveled. Soon after the Powerlines segment of Test Tracks spontaneously combusted into a high speed rhythm line of doubles and bank turns. Due to multi use trail issues the jumps didn’t last. Many excellent jump spots have come and gone in this area due to the lack of permission and support of the community. This is why we are seeking a legal and designated area to build an established facility where we can put positive efforts into building a successful dirt jump and freeride park to support the needs and desires of our riding community. Many cities around the country have embraced this new understanding of mountain biking and are showing their support with safe, fun and sanctioned dirt jump and freeride parks. Some of these areas include Park City , UT, Austin, TX, Calabazas, CA, Bellingham, WA, and many more.
Although dirt jumping has been around since the invention of the BMX bike, “freeriding,” is relatively a new concept in the scope of gravity related mountain biking. With the use of big travel bikes, low bottom brackets, and slack head angles, terrain once viewed as unridable a few years ago has now become standard riding for an increasing number of individuals. The best way to convey the concept of freeriding is too compare it to a terrain park at a ski resort and the obstacles of a skate park. It is kind of a dirt fusion of the two; jumps, cliff drops, bank turns, and obstacles are arranged in a similar fashion. Many ski resorts have switched to running freeride parks during their summer months to improve summertime revenue. Some of these resorts include Keystone, CO, Whistler Blackcomb, BC, Mountain Creek, NJ, Snowshoe, WV, and the list goes on. We are looking to create a fun, safe, public freeride area necessary to support the demand of our riding community and the progressive nature of our sport.


Turning right off of U.S. highway 160 onto Tech Center Drive just a few miles southwest of Durango and past the San Juan Public Lands building accesses a plot of land just waiting to be developed into fun mountain bike trails. Tech Center Drive ends at a metal gate, but the road continues to a local dumping site. Just past the metal gate to the left of the dirt access road, before reaching the dump, is a sloping area of land ranging from flat, moderate, and steep terrain that peaks on the ridge of Hogsback Mountain. This is the area proposed for the initial development of a freeride style trail network. Although a good amount of vegetation exists in the area, it is not very dense. Therefore, no trees or plants would need to be cut or uprooted to make room for trail, there is plenty of open space.

At a later date, it would be nice to include a dirt jump park on the right side of the road between the road and the cemetery.


The key opportunity here that need’s to be realized is that the sport of mountain biking has evolved at an astounding rate over the last few years. With mainstream media covering things like the X-Games, the Olympics introducing events like snowboarding halfpipe and BMX, people doing double back flips on motorcycles, etc., it was only a matter of time until this new form of kinesthetic self expression carried over into the mountain biking arena. Every year cycling magazines are littered with coverage and pictures of events like Whistler’s now historical Crankworx festival. Every month cliff drops seem to get bigger and bigger. This evolution is something that Durango’s deeply routed cycling culture is yet to fully realize and embrace. It is crucial to Durango’s reputation as a “mountain bike mecca” to evolve with the sport, we are already years behind in this area. Durango has no real historical ties to skate boarding, yet a half million dollar skate park is being built as we propose this trail system. Aztec’s motocross track is of the professional level. Why don’t we have a professional bike park? There are already hundreds, if not thousands of miles of local cross country trails, some world renowned. They would all compliment each other perfectly and provide more options for local athletes.

I cannot stress how important it is for Durango to maintain it’s “mecca” attributes. Especially, since well known, and heavily ridden trail systems, like parts of the Horse Gulch network, continue to be bought and destroyed for the purpose of land development. Famous trails like Hermosa Creek get wider and wider with each motorcycle, and so on and so on. It is the responsibility of local riders and organizations to make sure Durango residents have easily accessible trails, and many of them. It has been the trend of local trail networks to grow, not shrink. We cannot let this trend reverse itself, or loose our place in present day cycling allure, simply because of inaction.

A new freeride/dirt jump area, aside from providing a healthy outlet for local youth, can also serve as an area to host pro riding clinics, where seasoned athletes can pass their knowledge and experience to new generations of riders who will undoubtedly carry the torch even further and to unpredictable heights. Even local contests are a very real possibility, lending opportunity for exposure of not only Durango, but also local riders, businesses, and organizations.


We do not want to go into a virgin area of high desert, and up root the ecosystem. This is a fairly barren location when it comes to vegetation, as noted earlier, and both mountain bike trails and 4x4 jeep trails exist in the area. Although new trail will be built, it can be seamlessly incorporated with the Spirit Trail to the southeast, and the heavily used area of Test Tracks slightly to the north, all with similar geographical features. As any rider who frequents either of these two areas knows, the land changes and erodes with every storm. This should not create a trail hazard, since water run off can easily be diverted away from dangerous trail intersections with simple use of water bars and irrigation ditches or valleys, but serves to demonstrate that this land is constantly changing. Local riders have built renegade trails, jumps, and cliff drops in this area for several years, we just want to make it official, legitimate, and legal.

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