U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Immediate Release: Nov. 9, 2007
BLM gives freeriders a “Free Lunch” - But they’d better not eat it!
Grand Junction, Colo. — Thanks to the combined efforts of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Bicycle Colorado, and volunteers from the local mountain bike community, the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office is formally opening a new mountain bike trail called “Free Lunch.” Business sponsors REI and All Metals supported the trail project as well, providing funding and signs. Dedication ceremonies are scheduled for 12 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007, at the beginning of the trail located near Little Park Road. The Free Lunch trail is a unique, experts-only “freeride” bike trail that was recently constructed in the popular Lunch Loop area of the Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Management Area.
“This new trail is just one more example of how BLM is continually working with great partners, like COPMOBA, Bicycle Colorado, IMBA, REI, and All Metals, to provide quality recreational opportunities on public lands,” Field Manager Catherine Robertson said. “The Free Lunch Trail is the result of people coming together in the conceptual stage and then combining their resources to create smart, sustainable trails that will provide fun experiences for a long time to come.”
Free Lunch serves up some of the most technically challenging mountain bike terrain in the Grand Valley and is the first purpose-built, downhill-only freeride bike trail designed and built on public lands managed by the BLM.
"COPMOBA worked with BLM to develop this trail in response to the requests of several local riders who wanted more challenging trails. They were involved in the project from start to finish and we had many new faces show up at the work days to build the trail,” former COPMOBA President Chris Herrman said. “I'm pleased that COPMOBA could be responsive to a new, younger group of riders, and hope that this trail helps bring the riding community closer together to work on future projects."
This trail is specifically designed to meet the rapidly increasing demand for gravity-fed mountain biking that tests the skills and equipment of riders on long-travel dual-suspension bicycles. The trail is 1.1 miles in length and open only to one-way downhill travel by mountain bicycle. It is closed to all other users because of safety issues associated with mixed use on this type of trail (higher speeds, drop-offs, etc.)
Along the route there are several designated alternate lines where riders can choose between a “black diamond” (most difficult) and double-black diamond (experts only) route. Some of these alternate lines have wall rides, gap jumps and vertical drops of up to 7 feet. The trail also offers two designated “Play Areas” of approximately one-half acre each in size where riders will have the option to choose their own line within an area marked with boundary signs. These two areas contain numerous rocky ledges and large boulders where riders can test their skills. The majority of the features along the length of the trail utilize the area’s naturally rocky terrain. Extensive signage conveys trail risks, rules, and directions.
To learn about recreational opportunities on public lands managed by the GJFO, contact Park Ranger Chris Pipkin at (970) 244-3024, or go to www.blm.gov/co. To find out more about COPMOBA or IMBA, go to www.copmoba.org and www.imba.com.
Editor’s Note: Photo/interview opportunities! Meet on Little Park Road at 11:30 a.m. Wear hiking shoes & be prepared to pack your equipment uphill to the site. Contact Mel Lloyd or Chris Herrman for more information.