RIDGWAY – Ridgway’s expanding mountain biking scene is throwing itself a festival.
The International Mountain Bicycling Associationʼs (IMBA) Trail Care Crew will visit June 9-12 to advise and support Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA), two groups that have been working together to build new trails in the Ridgway area. The weekend will feature a trail building class and a fundraiser/party in Town Park.
For those who simply want to celebrate the future of the trail network, the event in the park will have bike demos from Peak to Peak, a bike repair clinic, a kids clinic, as well as an evening bash complete with live music, beer, live auction for a New Belgium cruiser, and great items for sale.
“Weʼre really excited about the potential of the RAT,” said COPMOBAʼs Uncompahgre Chairman, Bill Harris. “We’ve seen what a great trail system can do for communities, from Fruita to Cortez, both from a recreational and economic perspective.”
Those interested in participating in the IMBA Trail Building School are asked to contact Harris at COPMOBA, firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.ridgwaytrails.com for more information.
The class is open to the first 25 people to register. It runs 9 a.m. - 4p.m. on Saturday the 11th. The music, beer, auction and bike demo will happen from 5-9 p.m. in Hartwell Park.
World and National Mountain Biking Champion and Ridgway resident Sara Ballantyne commented, “We have the perfect topography for a world-class trail system, and now we have the critical mass and support to make it happen. This is super exciting for not only the local riders like myself and our children but for the countless mountain bike enthusiasts in the area and beyond looking for a great trail experience. Letʼs bring them to Ridgway and allow them to experience everything our town has to offer.”
Ballantyne will give a slideshow and lecture about how redheads ride harder, on the Friday evening of RAT Fest at the Ridgway Community Center, and will lead a childrenʼs clinic on Sunday morning.
Public relations maven and RAT stalwart Brian Scranton had this to say about the group’s name: “When we thought about naming the trail system we wanted something that would resonate with a diverse crowd – a playful name that also included the trail's location. After about 30 names being thrown around we came up with Ridgway Area Trails, or RAT. The marketing practically writes itself: Ride The Rat, The RatRace, RatTrap, RatMaze. See what I mean?”
For more information, check out the RAT Facebook page or visit ridgwaytrails.com.
Ridgway Area Trails was conceived in 2004, when local residents approached the Ridgway State Park and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with a proposal to develop a multi-use trail system on the adjoining parcels of land these agencies manage. RAT identified this land, which lies on the outskirts of the Town of Ridgway, as having ideal terrain, trail connectivity, and access. Then began the process of obtaining permission for the trails-building project. For more information, please visit www.ridgwaytrails.com.
COPMOBA is a group of mountain bikers dedicated to the development and maintenance of regional mountain bike trails on the Colorado Plateau. Their main trails include Kokopelli's, Tabequache and Paradox. The group also works on all mountain bike trails in the area, and is always working to get new trails built. For more information, please visit www.copmoba.org.