Guest opinion: The enjoyment of off-road club rides
We would like to thank the Town of Marble Trustees. A few years ago, we attended a town meeting with them, along with members of the sheriff’s office, other county employees and Marble and Crystal citizens. Most everyone in the room was warm and welcoming.
We were there to offer our volunteer services, whether it be pick up trash where necessary or help with potential additional parking for vehicles and ATV/UTV trailers. It was nice to meet everyone and to hand out club business cards.
Established in 2009, several folks have joined our club because they like to ride, but have no one to ride with. Being in a group led by someone familiar with maps and various areas of our beautiful country is much safer than going alone.
Each year our club goes on a color ride. Last September we chose the Lead King/Crystal route. Twelve of us arrived in Marble early in the day and found plenty of parking in the lot across from the public restroom. We were pleased to find the latter in a pristine setting, and very clean inside.
We left the lot, meandering through town, and as always, using arm signals and following street safety rules. Once we began ascending the initial hill, we shared the road with a group of hikers. Since I am usually the “caboose” on our rides, I lowered my dust mask, smiled and let the folks know I was the last of our group.
What a beautiful ride. During the trip, we met up with several other user groups, including a couple hiking with a dog. It turned out the gal worked for a police department from a neighboring county. We exchanged pleasantries and I gave her one of our club business cards. We also came upon a mountain biker who said he did not need help with what looked like a flattened tire.
We lunched at the punch bowl. Part of the lunch break entertainment was a group of young people jumping off the cliffs into the water below. This middle-aged, insurance gal could not bear to watch — LOL. Because we are a group of folks with varying riding skills, we did not do the loop.
After lunch, we rode down to the Crystal Mill and took pictures. The group picture we took was our Facebook cover page for months, as this was the last ride of the season for us.
We then rode into town, and found plenty of parking in the lot across from Slow Groovin’ and across the street on the side of a public road. Most of us had never been to the restaurant. Personally, I indulged in the “fruit and nut” salad, and had my first Marble Mule. Refreshing after a long day of riding.
And finally, thank you club members. Each year our club volunteers more than 250 hours cleaning up trails and doing other service work when necessary. Most recently, we met with the Forest Service, Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson and a few other county employees about the work we do in the White River National Forest.
In May, we had another successful annual Hubbard Mesa clean-up. Folks of various user groups came out for the day to help pick up a 40-yard dumpster full of trash.
Susan Nichols-Alvis is president/secretary of the White River Trail Runners ATV/UTV Club.
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