Biking is to Boulder what skiing is to Vail — an activity so intrinsic to the community that it is part of the overall town psyche.
So as Eagle sets out to market itself as a prime mountain biking destination, a group of locals thought it would make sense to reach out to Colorado neighbors who are already in love with the sport.
Mitch Hayne of the Eagle Chamber was one of the organizers of a special visit from an advance team of the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance last week.
“It was really a pretty small group, only 10 cyclists. But they are the vanguard group for what is a 700-member club of riders out of Boulder,” said Hayne. “Their club has been focused on advocacy, trail building and riding in the Boulder area. This year, they are exploring rides outside of the Boulder area.”
With the group already expressing an interest in venturing out, the local organizers planned a Knobby Weekend complete with expert trails advice, dining and drinking specials and more.
“The goal is to have this small group return and rave about their weekend in Eagle,” said Hayne. Turns out, it didn’t take that long to hear the kind of reaction he was hoping for.
“The consensus was the trails are awesome and they loved the welcome,” said Hayne.
He noted Eagle’s community welcome involved a lot of local effort. Charlie Brown of the Mountain Pedaler provided three local guides to lead the group in east Eagle on Saturday and four locals to lead in west Eagle on Sunday. The town of Eagle allowed the group to camp in Town Park on Friday and Saturday nights. The Dusty Boot, 7 Hermits, Yeti’s, the Eagle Diner and Red Canyon Café provided dining discounts and Laura and Bob Turitz provided free copies of their Mountain Bike Eagle trail map to all riders and copies of their “Mountain Bike Eagle 2” guide book to two of the Boulder leaders.
As a special Eagle souvenir, each of the riders was given a photograph featuring themselves descending the Haymaker Trail and traversing the plow bridge on a trail in west Eagle. Hayne said those gifts will hopefully keep giving back to the community that awarded them.
“Riders were emailed electronic copies of the photos, with the EagleOutside.com logos embedded, so they can post on Facebook or social media,” said Hayne.
As the prepared to depart after their Eagle sojourn, Hayne said the Boulder riders offered great feedback.
“They liked the local guides showing them the good trails. They said they would have had trouble finding the trails on their own,” said Hayne. “One rider said that prior to this, Eagle was just another exit on I-70 that he drove past on his way further west.”
Hayne said one of the visitors actually called a friend who was riding in Frisco to come join the group on Sunday.
“Others said on Monday that they were already passing the word about Eagle trails to riders on the Front Range,” Hayne said.