Single track Paradise
|A rider navigates through a trail north of Price during a July 4 special ride.The local bike group, PASS, schedules regular rides weekly on Wednesday evenings as well as special rides like ones coming up during International Days and the Helper Arts Festival.|
Growing up, many of us had a single speed bike with balloon tires that went flat about every day. We stayed on the road, trying to avoid running over any obstacle that might force us to have to get out the tools and patch a tire.
Bikes have changed a lot over the years and so has the places we choose to ride. Twenty eight gears and knobby tires take bike riding to the next level. And those streets? They are now only a means to get you to where you really want to ride. Trails, trails and more trails are the way to go.
In the early nineties, Carbon County had an informal mountain bike trail system, carved out by a small group of riders. Danny Bittek led the way in following cow trails and jeep routes to form a series of rides that met almost every ones needs.
Then came the coal bed methane boom and a series of roads and well heads took out many on these routes. Bittek left the area and there was a vacuum left behind that no one was in a hurry to fill. Once the drilling slowed down and the road construction slowed, local riders began to yearn for a new trail system to test their mettle on.
Fuzzy Nance took the lead in forging some new single track experiences for the Carbon county riders and beyond. His first attempt is a trail called Luke's (after his dog). This trail begins right at the top of Woodhill off of 900 North. It has been in existence for about three years.
This trail was designed to follow existing game trails and is a moderate ride suitable for beginners to the single track riding experience.
Alan Peterson added a loop to that trail called Allen's Alley that reconnects to the main trail a few miles after it separates.
The Meads Rim trail starts further up the Woodhill road and follows the rim back down. That trail has some sections that only the best riders will attempt. Others can walk their bikes through and complete the trail.
A series of wicked downhill runs come off the middle of the trail and connect to the Meads Wash trail. There are also several single tracks that are off the road that is above the Castle Heights subdivision.
Ben Kilborn added a switchback trail on that side for an Eagle Scout project.
None of these trails are constructed or maintained by a governmental agency. It is mainly done by a renegade group of bikers who are looking for a close to home place to ride and avoid the traffic. It allows them to relax and exercise or push their limits to the max.
The Price Area Single Track Society (PASS) is a loosely affiliated group of mountain bikers dedicated to building and riding fine single track trails.
Nance has recently opened his own shop, but still plans to host a free ride every Wednesday evening to all who want to participate.