COPMOBA hosts work day to finish Mesa Top trail
WHAT: Mesa Top trail-building day
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9-10, starting at 8:30 a.m.
WHERE: Mesa Top Trailhead on Grand Mesa Highway 65
To some, the acronym means nothing, but for others it means friends, family and fellowship for mountain-bike enthusiasts living in western Colorado.
On Saturday, Aug. 9, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) volunteers will venture to their newest project on Grand Mesa, called Mesa Top. There they hope to complete the last mile of trail. The eight-mile jaunt is located 31 miles from Grand Junction and started in 2011 as a connection between Flowing Park trail and Indian Point trail.
Trail-building experience is not necessary for participation. All tools and crew leaders will be provided by COPMOBA. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes, gloves, eye protection and long pants.
According to COPMOBA member and volunteer Sarah Mah Withers, volunteers will break into smaller groups to focus on specific areas, ranging from moving large rocks to trimming tree branches.
A barbecue, as a thank you to volunteers, will end the day. Those interested are invited to camp out on Saturday night and join Sunday morning to work a half-day followed by a trail ride.
Dan Antonelli, COPMOBA’s Mesa Top trail leader, said that if all goes well, Mesa Top trail be completed this season.
“It’s hard to make a lot of progress with the shortened time frame we’re able to work up there,” he added.
IT TAKES A TEAM
COPMOBA trails aren’t made by just one person, but in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and a variety of volunteers.
Grand Junction residents Dave Grossman and Withers have clocked many hours building new trails throughout Colorado’s Grand Valley.
“Part of me helps from a selfish view,” Withers said. “If I build new trails, I can ride new trails. But I also have a sense of giving back and wanting to give to the next generation of mountain bikers and trail users in general.”
Withers has helped with COPMOBA for more than 15 years, and has worked on Mesa Top for the past four seasons.
Grossman is also an avid trail user and advocate for trail building. He’s been a COPMOBA member since 2009 and has helped build trails since 2011.
“It’s an important investment in the future of our economy,” he said. “I like to spend time on the trails and I like the end results. I vest my time and effort in building them.
“Every time you ride or run on a piece of trail, you have ownership. It’s kind of cool in that sense.”
COPMOBA started in 1989 with the building, development, mapping and opening of the 138-mile Kokopelli Trail, (which was just named one of USA Today’s top 10 best bucket-list adventure trips).
“Building trails builds a sense of ownership,” Withers said. “If people put in some hours of the trail and understand the work that goes into it, they respect the trails a little more.”
Since then, the local nonprofit has built more than 400 miles of trail throughout the Grand Valley and beyond. The group also hosts trail maintenance work days to remove debris.
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