Springtime to bring work on new single-track trails

New mountain bike trails planned for the North Fruita Desert will increase the challenge and technical skills already needed to navigate the area. At least one new trail is expected to be open in time for this year’s Fruita Fat Tire Festival, April 26–29.

A plan to add about 21 miles of new single-rider track to the 250 or so miles already existing in the North Fruita Desert may see the first trails finished by late April.

At least one of the new trails is planned to be ready for the Fruita Fat Tire Festival, April 26–29.

“We’ve preliminarily approved constructing the trails,” said Michelle Bailey, assistant field manager for recreation and cultural resources with the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office.

She said the proposed trails still are going through environmental assessments but that process should be concluded by the end of this month.

“Once that is finished and the field office signs off on the project, construction will start in time for the Fat Tire Festival,” Bailey said.

The proposed trail, named Anne’s Pump Track for its up-and-down design, will be one of up to 10 new trails in the popular mountain biking area at the foot of the Book Cliffs.

“About 8 miles are specific non-motorized single track, the rest are shared trails,” Bailey said.

The expected $30,000 it will cost to build the trails is being raised by the recently organized Grand Valley Trails Alliance, said alliance director Dave Grossman.

About $20,000 has been raised, chiefly from the BLM and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association, Grossman said.

“We’re getting close to our immediate needs,” Grossman said. “But the overall project is somewhere around $100,000.”

That visionary project would include new facilities on 18 Road and “significantly expand” the current trail system, Grossman said.

“It would take Fruita to the next level as far as mountain biking goes,” he said.

A new website, http://www.fruitasingletrack.com, explains the project and how to donate to the cause.

Bailey emphasized the trails project is in partnership with the cities of Fruita and Grand Junction as well as the local trail-riding communities.

That means it’s not only for muscle-powered bikers.

“We’re seeing a lot motorcycle use out there now that we are providing better opportunities for the epic-style of rides,” Bailey said.

She said about 12 miles of motorcycle specific single-track is planned, much of that away from where the majority of the mountain biking occurs.

Grossman said the new mountain bike trials will offer “a new take on riding in the Fruita desert.”

Advanced trail designs will allow more-technical and challenging riding than what is currently available, he said.

“The next level (of trails will include) berms for tighter cornering and jumps to capitalize on the all-mountain riding style now popular across the U.S.,” Grossman said.


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