Jennifer M Burns
Red Rock Ranger District
Hi Everyone -
A few items to discuss/bring to your attention. Please forward to others who may be interested. Let me know of additions to my "trails" mailing list. Thanks!
We have a new person on our Red Rock Ranger District recreation staff, Paul Hart. Paul will be our FS district trails coordinator. He has a background in recreation and trails management and is recently from the Ocala NF in Florida. Paul is getting out to see the trails with various people from the Friends of the Forest, VV Cycling Coalition, and other locals. His immediate priorities are to get on top of trail maintenance and signing, as well location and status of non-system trails. If you want to meet him, show him the lay of the land or discuss trails please call him at our office. He needs to get oriented.
We have CREC (Coconino Rural Environment Corp) workers coming again in late March/early April. They have done some great work on the Templeton and Cathedral Trails in the past. I need your ideas of special trail projects for them. Please forward me any ideas you have.
The MTBR "spring fling event" happened in Sedona on Saturday March 13th. Two of our FS folks at the Bell Rock Pathway trailhead counted over 300 bicylists passing by on that trail alone. You can see from the attached that there were a variety of venues and trails used. I recieved several complaints about this event: one regarding fast, inconsiderate riders on the Pathway, another regarding the unpermitted aspect of the event and if they can do it, "why can't we"; and another concerning the impacts to the non-system trails/areas and resulting "proliferation" of social trails from lost riders in the area north VOC in the vicinity of the Yavapai Vista. I am wondering what you all think about the future of this event and its benefits/impacts to our local community, our trails and our trail users. Please respond "to all" so we can get dialogue going.
Quick note, this is an online organized group ride. This group starts in Tucson then to Phoenix then Sedona and Black Canyon City. This is not an event, there is no buy in, no race fees, no prizes... Where they start and finish is their choice. The only involvement we had was ordering the pizza, which they paid for, paying for beer and giving them a finishing destination (they are bikers afterall). Bike and Bean has "0" posings on any of the sites that organized this ride. Secondly, there were @ 100 people involved in the ride, which was split up not everyone rode together. This is busy season and we are renting between 50 and 100 bikes on any given day so any additional traffic was just season happening, thank God. I am a little surprised that this town always seem to have a problem with people coming to ride here and other cities don't. Most riders stayed, ate and spent money in town all day and night and some hung around for another day of riding on Sunday.
I am not sure what a permit would be needed for, there is no money involved. There are many organized hikes in this town every week and none of them stick to our system trails nor do they need permits. I personally have a customer that hikes with one of the larger groups in town and every week they are going to a new vista or overlook that has no system trail leading to it. I believe the growing popularity of Sedona for our user group is the reason we should be looking to expand our trail system not hope bikers go away!?
I know this is a hot button issue right now and I appreciate everyones efforts in trying to decide where we go from here but I think it is obvious that we are a mountain bike destination and needs to be treated as such. I don't agree with everything that get's posted but this happens once a year, let's embrace it. I am sure Famous pizza was happy to sell 35 pies in a few hours, Tony at Chevron was happy to sell us the beer, Cucina Rustica was happy to have the overflow that night. I am sure other business's we recommended benefitted from this ride as well.
Thanks for taking the time, be well!
One other question - How many hikers did your FS folks count that day? I was just wondering what the ratio of bikers to hikers was??
Red Rock Ranger District
Recreation Staff Officer
8375 SR 179 Sedona, Arizona 86351
P.O. 20429 Sedona, Arizona 86341
it was about 50/50, with over 600 people counted
Friends of the Forest Trail Patrol Hotshot observations of March 13. We were working on Tea Cup Trail and every biker (said they were lost from the ride) was very courteous and thanked us for keeping the trails up. Our only distress comes from bikers riding out of control and coming up on us without warning.