Lend a hand, bring a mask, wear slacks
by Than Acuff
It’s that time of year again—time to give back and help the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) with building some more single track.
On Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16, CBMBA will continue its quest to get riders off of roads and onto trails, as they are looking to put in 1.3 miles of the Middle Cement trail, known as Phase 2, in their ultimate quest to link up the Lower Cement Creek trail with the Upper Cement Creek trail.
“Phase 2 of Mid Cement will bring us closer to Fenceline,” explains CBMBA director Dave Ochs. “Then with Phase 3 next year, we’ll connect to Fenceline, which ultimately will connect Lower Cement to Upper Cement from nearly the Caves all the way to Hunter Creek.”
It’s all part of the bigger plan of CBMBA to get bikers off roads and onto trails.
“This ‘Riders Off the Road’ thing is a better experience for all non-motorized users, but also realizes goals of better network connectivity, better user experiences and better separation of different uses,” says Ochs.
The weekend trail work weekend is sponsored by Pinnacle Orthopedics, Chopwood Mercantile, HVM Security, Bonez, Pioneer Guest Cabins and SKA Brewing and is made possible through a partnership with the Gunnison Ranger District.
It will be a bit different from weekends in past years. Typically the work weekend is a lot of work and a lot of play but, due to current COVID protocols, CBMBA will taper the social part of the weekend to prevent adding fuel to the pandemic fire.
“Of course, with the COVID year, wear the mask, keep the social distance and more important than anything, this is not our regular overnight,” says Ochs. “We will not be providing food this time around. We don’t want to add to any potential uptick in COVID numbers, so we are asking all our peeps to take care of all their food and water needs.”
That said, CLIF Bar products will be available as well as plenty of SKA Brewing beverages to help refuel during the day and cool off and ease the pain after a big day of trail work.
CBMBA will have their typical setup in the Cement Creek campground where you can sign waivers, pick up tools and get directions—but camping is up to you. They will cover all camping fees in the campground but they ask you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you will be camping in the campground so they can accommodate.
Then there’s the work itself. Both days start at 10 a.m. and both days are going to be tough, as CBMBA hopes to scratch in over a mile of trail in two days.
“It’s the meanest terrain to work in—bring the long pants, or slacks, as my granpappy would say,” warns Ochs. “I’ve gone through two pairs of pants out there. It’s a mean, steep hillside with lots of undergrowth, then an aspen forest on a mean hillside with mad logs down in the undergrowth. So just walking this thing is falling down every three or four steps. One of the greatest rewards is seeing how this community can take something like that nasty hillside and, in one weekend, make it a sustainable and friendly trail across a beautiful hillside.”
For more information, go to cbmba.org or just show up one or both days, check in at the CBMBA tent in the Cement Creek Campground and get down to it.
“Come prepared, bring the whole fam, join in the community fun that is what CBMBA is all about,” says Ochs. “It’s all about bringing the community together around trails and recreation, and a chance to give back to what has been an amazing silver lining in all of these COVID times, amazing recreation and easy social distancing right out the back door.”