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Master Gardener
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks-

The following is from Rob Hehlen, Prescott Natty Forest Trails Coordinator. Comments in [parentheses] are mine.

Chris Hosking [City of Prescott trails honch -Greg], Greg and Christophe from Raven Singletrack and I have been talking with IMBA over the past month or so about what it would take to have Prescott become an IMBA Ride Center [IMBA puts their weight behind promoting mtn biking in the town]. We seem to have most of what it takes - Great variety of trails for all abilities, fantastic Bike Shops, awesome after ride hangouts, and
people with a passion for riding.

IMBA is coming to Prescott to give a short presentation followed by a group discussion on how to bring our mtn biking community together as one collective group. We think Prescott has a lot to offer and we would like to wow them with a great showing.

The Meeting is scheduled for next Saturday January 23rd from 1-4 pm at the
Marriott Residence Inn on Highway 69
(the new hotel across the street and
towards Prescott from Costco). We'll work on getting a keg of beer for the event as
well.
I can already hear Jayem groaning about "groomed" and "featureless" trails that value flow over challenge. :D Let it be known that there is already talk about mouth-watering projects that go beyond just flowy singletrack. In fact, I've heard the words "flow park" and "pump track" being uttered. And I happen to think that DH/FR-specific trails system on Glassford Hill is a distinct possibility over the next several years.

Please come out and have a listen. Have a beer (hopefully, if we can work it out). Speak your mind. (Except you, Jayem... I'm afraid I'm going to have to muzzle you at the door. ;) Just kidding... Prescott mtn biking wouldn't be the same without you.)

Greg
 

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Shred...it's the new drug
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oh man...I'm so gonna try and make that!!! Preskitt...get out there and represent!!! Now is the time. If you have any questions as to what a Ride Center is, check out the latest Bike Magazine. They do a whole write up on what the IMBA is offering to communities. It looks sick!!!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Velokid1 said:
Hey folks-

The following is from Rob Hehlen, Prescott Natty Forest Trails Coordinator. Comments in [parentheses] are mine.

I can already hear Jayem groaning about "groomed" and "featureless" trails that value flow over challenge. :D Let it be known that there is already talk about mouth-watering projects that go beyond just flowy singletrack. In fact, I've heard the words "flow park" and "pump track" being uttered. And I happen to think that DH/FR-specific trails system on Glassford Hill is a distinct possibility over the next several years.

Please come out and have a listen. Have a beer (hopefully, if we can work it out). Speak your mind. (Except you, Jayem... I'm afraid I'm going to have to muzzle you at the door. ;) Just kidding... Prescott mtn biking wouldn't be the same without you.)

Greg
I don't really think we need a pump track, we've got jump-parks in a few places. Any of those can easily be modified to be more "pump track" ish. How about some major technical trails/runs? Ones that are at least a few miles long with some good vertical. I like riding out at the dells, but it's short and slow. The Glasford Hill is somewhat interesting, but also very isolated from any other riding, we need some trails in the Bradshaws, etc.

As long as these "projects" have as much thought put into them as other recent good projects, we'll be ok. We've got some cool places way up in the Bradshaws, trail 281, stuff off of Mt Union, etc. Then of course there's Spruce Mountain, Mt Tritle, Maverick Mountain, and so on. Thumb Butte is a little over-done in terms of trails and bisecting roads, but there is still potential, such as off of Williams Peak (could connect down to trail 51 area), and so on.

Absolutely fabulous would be a trail off of Quartz Mtn/White Spar with fun features and everything, that connects down near White Spar Campground. You could ride/shuttle up the acess road, then ride down the trail, or ride over from Thumb Butte, making a huge epic-ride from riding-area to riding-area.

The "something for everybody" and "alternate-line" trail ideas are amongst my favorite ideas. Some trails like National, the top of 6-Shooter, Porcupine Rim, Confluence, Toads, and others; take this idea to the max. You can usually take strong intermediates down these and they'll have fun (well, national can be pretty tretcherous, but it's the alternate-line idea that also abounds on National). That's the kind of stuff I think we could really benefit from. Then also there are the trails or routes that don't necessarily have tons of alternate lines, but they have sections that almost everyone can enjoy. An intermediate rider may be a little cautious down Organ Doner, and may walk most of the Hobbit Forest, but they'll love some of the swoopy stuff on lower Sunset, Little Bear, or Lower Brookbank. For the more advanced riders, these routes are fun due to their varied riding. High speed (because you can see in front of you pretty far) down Organ Doner, jump off a few rocks in the Hobbit Forest, enjoy the faster swoopy stuff, and so on. Not excluding one type of riding, but trying to incorperate as much as possible. I think this what truely makes for great rides. For those that aren't as advanced, they give them something to improve on and a goal to work towards. Given the riding that I've seen in the last 15 years, this is definitely possible, and I think these types of rides are what make the great riding destinations so popular. It's not the craziest vertical downhill run, or the endless miles of smooth singletrack, it's being able to have interesting and fun rides that many people can enjoy and challenge themselves on.

Don't think that I'm trying to say that all riding should be like the pictures below. It's only that the place in AZ where those pictures come from has much more "balance" than Prescott as far as types of riding. The paragraph above should have explained that, but it's also fun to know what is possible:
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Saturday is good.

Plus, the trails will probably be sh*tty!
 

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Jayem, I bet you'd be surprised to hear how many people want exactly what you want with regard to trail diversity. It'll be good for all of us to get a better look at what challenges we face getting that diverse trail system implemented and then begin to align the resources necessary to make it happen - if it can happen at all.

Now is as good a shot as we'll probably ever get.

See you Saturday!
 

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I have spoken to the guy in charge of recreation activities in Prescott Valley and he says the town wants some type of rec oppurtunities off Glassford Hill as they own land up there. I would love to see some DH/extreme/FR trails off that baby!!!! We need "features" here-thanks for the post up Chris, Eric and James......going to try and make that meeting. Will let heli know
 

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Rain has arrived!!!! Snowing in parts of Prescott. James, very well put, I could not agree more-we need more variety which will undoubtedly balance out our trail system here. Places like SoMo in the Valley and Elden in Flag both have more variety and therefore a better balanced trail system. With all the Mtns around us we could have an awesome set of vertically oriented stuff. I know Glassford Hill is not in close proximity to most of our other trails but, we really don't have trails in PV, I just can't refer to Peavine/Iron King as a "trail", we all know its just a dirt road. Love the Dells/Lakeshore, just short but great for working skills.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Sometimes I feel like a rarity, in that I like to do all the "disciplines" of mountain biking. In one day or on one ride, I like to have some good variety. I hate going down crazy fall-line trails all day long, but I also don't like rides where I can never pick up any speed or ones that have no "payoff". That's why I look to places like Phoenix and Flagstaff that have amazing variety. Lots of other places to study as well.

I think we can do a lot better with our trail system, and we are getting there. Things like the 332 connection, the 393 connection, 305 to 297, and so on, make for great rides and the ability to do loops with different start and end points. In that sense, I think a connector off of White Spar (the mountain, not the road) would be awesome, as we already have a single track that comes off of 48 down to White Spar. At the end of 396 we need a good option for getting up on the ridge, like the proposed 299 re-route. Thumb butte trails are kind of hard to fix, as they are short and fragmented. The 51 re-route should help, some good options for crossing the entire area over to 48 would be nice, but it's getting better.

That is just the "connecting" part of it, and then of course there's the different types of trails or skill levels. The sources I've heard say that the Williams Ski Area is a "go" for summer DH trails, yet if we were able to get some stuff that would work it would be awesome, and we're FAR closer for anyone that is comming from Phoenix. I think one of the potential problems is convincing EVERYONE that projects like this need just as much thought, dedication, planning, and effort as the other recent projects. It's just like when I've done trail work on trails that are in no way FR or DH trails. How many of the XC guys would go out and build or work on FR or DH trails? If everyone is on-board, then you can possibly turn this place into a real riding destination that is on a comparable level to Sedona and Flagstaff.
 

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Jayem said:
I think one of the potential problems is convincing EVERYONE that projects like this need just as much thought, dedication, planning, and effort as the other recent projects.

It's just like when I've done trail work on trails that are in no way FR or DH trails. How many of the XC guys would go out and build or work on FR or DH trails? If everyone is on-board, then you can possibly turn this place into a real riding destination that is on a comparable level to Sedona and Flagstaff.
I get what you're saying, but I don't think that's the problem at all. Not really. It isn't that mountain bikers as a collective don't want more trails and more variety. Take a poll. Show me the guy that's content or wants fewer trails. And the divisions between XC riders, DHers, Freeriders and newbies fresh to wheels isn't as severe as many would like it to be. We've seen a big boon in the amount of flowing singletrack because that's what the local land agency (The PNF) will allow. Has nothing to do with what riders actually want.

The challenge ahead isn't about deciding what the riding community wants. That's a no brainer. This will be about aligning our resources to get those desires realized. This meeting on Saturday will be a real eye opener for many riders. The reason we don't have killer technical trails and famous downhill parks isn't because not enough people want them. It's because there's a serious wall of challenges in front of us with regard to the agencies that own the land. This meeting will in large part be the first gathering of resources needed to navigate the bureaucratic red tape that stands between us and those trails.

It's potentially the first meeting that puts riders, IMBA resources, the PNF, the city and other riding community partners a unified path....a bumpy, huck worthy path.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Word is that the new Mayor (who is sounding rather pro-bicycle and pro-outdoor recreation) will attend, as will two City Council members.

Let's see what we can do with this opportunity.
 

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Enel said:
Soooo, how did it go?

I heard 100 riders were there? Amazing.
I think the total number of attendees was around 65-75. Even better, they were from all walks of the riding community. The city officials in the room were very engaged in the discussions, with a couple really anxious to participate in the long term success of mountain biking in Prescott.

The meeting covered a lot of what IMBA has to offer local communities that aspire to bring more riders to their local trails. There were discussions about how IMBA helps local clubs improve their riding scene, then the talks turned towards WHICH club was going to do these works for Prescott.

There are a couple current clubs in Prescott starting with the Prescott Cycling Club, which has been in Prescott for a couple decades. The other "club" is Raven Singletrack. Raven Singlerack isn't really a club as such since it has no official members. Several in the audience suggested Raven Singletrack take up the charge to head this new club. If Raven Singletrack takes up the project, it will most likely be under a newly formed board of directors under a new organization. Nothing definite was decided, but a steering committee was formed to follow up on future discussions. That steering committee consists of representatives from Raven Singlerack, The Prescott Cycling Club, the Prescott National Forest, the City of Prescott, the Prescott Chamber of Commerce and a couple other riders in town. All in all, that steering committee is a collective of really great people who all share the same vision for Prescott's riding scene.

That initial committee will meet again sometime in the next 2 weeks to get the ball rolling.

It was a great afternoon full of really positive discussions. Everyone should extend a big thank you to Rob Hehlen of the Prescott National Forest and Chris Hoskings of the City of Prescott for putting this meeting together. Additional thanks should go to the Prescott Cycling Club for providing beers and valuable input.

If anyone would like to be kept up to date with further discussions, shoot Raven Singletrack an email with a request to be kept up to date. As things progress, we'll do our best to keep everyone up to speed. [email protected]

Lastly, if you haven't signed up with IMBA, you might do so if you get a chance. It was pretty cool to have half a dozen IMBA reps in our town to help us out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Enel- I was bummed that you missed it... you would have LOVED the part where they were handing out $100 bills! I thought of you when I stopped at Manzanita on my way home and bought two new pairs of Mountain Khakis.
 
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