Summit Fat Tire Society gears up for a busy season
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” As the snow slowly begins to melt on the woodland trails of Summit County many locals have shifted their focus from hitting the slopes to pedaling down the paths. Mountain biking season is finally within reach.
To celebrate this turning point the Summit Fat Tire Society held it’s annual membership breakfast last Saturday, despite the presence of four inches of snow on the ground.
“We’re not worried, it will melt,” said the organization’s president Mike Zobbe. “The organization has been in hibernation for a little while but we hope to get back in the swing of things this year with more trail construction and education.”
The Summit Fat Tire Society started in 1991 when it became apparent that new developments were placing considerable pressure on existing mountain biking trails in the county.
To address the needs and concerns of the local mountain biking community a small group formed to sponsor a local race, and slowly the group grew to include several hundred members.
“Users of the land need to be involved in how it’s manages and how it’s taken care of,” said past president Laura Rossetter. “I am thrilled to death that the organization is revitalizing. They have done great things for the mountain biking community and there are opportunities to do a lot more.”
This season the organization is looking to do more work with the Summit County Open Spaces and Trails Department to develop new trails and educate users on the importance of treating pathways with respect.
“Stewardship is the overriding value,” said Zobbe. “Access follows stewardship, so one of our main focuses is promoting education and how to respect the trails.”
Zobbe said he likes educate people of the “Three R’s of riding”: Restraint, respect and responsibility.
“Just because I can go everywhere doesn’t mean I will,” said Zobbe.
A big concern for mountain bikers this season is the amount of snow melt running off onto the trails, making them harder to navigate and preserve.
“It is going to be important to remind people that the trails are really suffering from erosion and riding on them too soon will increase the potential for more erosion,” said Rossetter.
As mountain biking continues to grow in Summit County, the Fat Tire Society is preparing for a busy season of trail maintenance as well as seeking out new terrain to ride.
“We are looking forward to working on the Golden Horseshoe trail,” said Zobbe, talking about an area between French Gulch and the Swan River drainage that recently received a make-over thanks to the efforts of volunteers.
“We have a lot of ambitious plans for trail construction, and I think it’s important for the mountain biking community to step up and be proactive in making these changes happen,” Zobbe added.
Mountain bikers interested in joining the Summit Fat Tire Society can visit their website at http://www.sfts.us.
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