Letter: Say ‘yes’ to fat-tire bikes in the winter
Do you remember all the doomsday scenarios proclaiming that snowboarding would destroy our beloved ski mountains?
I see the same attitude toward fat-tire bikes being used in the winter on Maroon Creek Road and Highway 82 above the closure gate (see Scott Condon’s article in The Aspen Times from Feb. 20, “Fat-bike riders, Forest Service reviewing winter route restrictions around Aspen”).
I do support the Forest Service restricting the use “in critical winter range for deer and elk.” I do not understand, though, how it in any way translates to Maroon Creek Road, which is groomed for cross-country skiing and skating and used for commercial snowmobile tours, snowshoeing or plain hiking. A very similar situation exists on Highway 82 above the closure.
How can the Forest Service see “user conflicts” where almost none exist? Where is the issue of “speed and safety” for a bike going 5 to 10 mph uphill and up to about 20 mph downhill (not very different from skate skiing) on mostly and preferably packed snow on a wide and almost straight road and coexisting with guided snowmobile tours, which I assume have speed restrictions. Where is there any “compact of snow and resource damage” by a bike on a paved public road with groomed snow on it?
Mike Pritchard and the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association — I fully support your ultimate goal “to open routes that are currently open for snowmobiles and winter trails that are regularly compacted by users.”
And finally, I have used a fat-tire bike only once so far, all the way to the Maroon Bells and back. I was not giggling as Eric Skarvan always does, but I did feel my inner child release.
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