EAGLE COUNTY — Like the bikes that ride them, trails require important maintenance.
Momentum Trail Concepts of Denver has constructed trails in both Eagle and Avon recently; builders there say buying a trail is like buying a car — it will last the user longer if he or she cares for it properly.
“When we start talking with prospective clients, the thing we always emphasize is every trail needs maintenance,” said Matt Thompson, a managing partner at Momentum. “We can come in and install the thing ... but trails are going to need work. They’re made mostly from rock and mineral soil, and sometimes that gets damaged, whether it’s from improper riding, improper building technique or the big weather events you get out here. Anything can happen, and maintenance is key.”
But Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick says the town needs to pitch in, as well, and in Avon, Mayor Rich Carroll feels the same way. Both mayors are avid riders, both were instrumental in bringing new trails to the area and both felt Momentum Trail Concepts was the outfit to build those trails. Momentum completed work on Eagle’s Pool and Ice Rink trail this spring and Avon’s Playground Way trail in June.
“A lot of communities are doing different things around trail stewardship,” Kostick said. “Some have full-time positions dedicated to trail maintenance, some have part time, we’re in the process right now of figuring out what we can afford.”
Last year, Eagle spent $75,000 on trail construction.
“For those trails, we’ll budget 10 percent, or $7,500, annually for maintenance,” he said.
In Avon, the council intends to appoint a recreational trails advisory group to oversee maintenance, design and planning of trails. Mayor Rich Carroll says he expects it will be a seven- to nine-member board, although the exact size and function of the board will be determined in the coming months.
“We will solicit applications this fall, appoint members and we expect they’ll be having meetings by the end of the year,” he said.
Carroll said Avon also plans on appropriating a specific amount of money into the town’s annual budget for trail maintenance.
“We’re looking at 50 cents to a dollar per foot of trail for maintenance,” he said.
‘WORK THE TRAILS THEY RIDE’
But just as a strong volunteer effort helped to get several trails in Eagle and Avon built during the last few years, a strong volunteer effort is also expected to help maintain those trails.
“People really like to get out and work on the trails they ride,” said Kostick.
For Momentum Trail Concepts, a strong commitment to local trail systems from the community was immediately noticeable upon its introduction to the area.
“Groups like the VVMBA and the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition were incredibly active and incredibly strong, and that’s such an asset for any trail,” Thompson said. “That’s been most impressive to us; it’s really nice to feel so welcome. This valley a great area for mountain bikers.”