CBMBA prepares for very busy summer

CBCC hitting the trails

by Than Acuff

It’s looking to be an interesting summer for the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) with current county and statewide COVID-19 restrictions in place and an expected onslaught of bikers bound for Crested Butte.

CBMBA director Dave Ochs has received several reports of borderline chaos in the Fruita, Grand Junction and Vail areas already as people are looking for a two-wheeled reprieve following the past several weeks of quarantine.

“We’re expecting a huge season,” says Ochs. “We’re going to have a busy year in the backyard. The stewardship component of the CBCC [Crested Butte Conservation Corps] is going to be a major component, education and outreach.”

Making matters tougher for CBMBA is said COVID-19 protocols forcing them to adjust a kick-off party, usual slew of volunteer-powered trail work days as well as their annual overnighter. Nevertheless, they are working on alternative ideas to at least chip away at their planned trail work days for the summer, which included work on the GB Loop and further extending the Middle Cement Creek trail to connect the existing section to the Fenceline trail.

“Stay tuned for a COVID version of our kick-off party and we will be reaching out to volunteers to organize groups of fewer than 10 for socially distanced work days,” says Ochs. “We still have 2.1 ferocious miles to build on the Middle Cement Creek trail.”

Fortunately, the CBCC is in full effect for the summer. CBCC operational manager Nick Catmur and CBCC veteran staffers Alex Banas and Ryan Maddux have already been out and about in preparation for the summer of work.

“They’ve been out seeing what work needs to be done, clearing trees and getting water off trails, making it possible to ride the current list of trails that are open,” says Ochs.

The CBCC crew kicked off their summer season officially with tools in hand on Tuesday, May 19 with Grant Spear and Jesse Bryan joining in and starting with work on Lupine 2. They will continue with their efforts, both maintaining trails and continuing outreach, five days a week, making sure they can get as much cleared and ready for the onslaught of riders bound for the Crested Butte area as possible. The CBCC will bring in two additional workers starting in June to ramp up their efforts.

“They’re a pro trail crew,” says Ochs. “Super-psyched to have the veteran trail crew back in action and we will continue to stay in front of the snowmelt to get things ready.”

Additionally, while the current pandemic is expected to have financial impacts on non-profits such as CBMBA, much of the funding for the CBCC is in place thanks to the Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (STOR) committee and their Gunnison County Stewardship Fund.

“We’re incredibly grateful to them for providing more sustainable funding solutions,” says Ochs.

In the meantime, check out cbmba.org for up-to-date trail reports and let them know what you’re seeing out there.

“We’re just so excited and lucky to have what we have here, and while COVID is shutting some things down, we’re ready to rock,” says Ochs.

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