Sep 162010
 
Authors: Allison Sylte

Thousands of hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers use the trails in Lory State Park every year. With this high level of use comes a high level of wear and tear on local trails.

But on Saturday, during the 15th annual “Friends of Lory Trail Day,” a local group of mountain bikers and volunteers will have the chance to give back to the trails that they so often use.

The event, sponsored by the Overland Mountain Bike Club, will draw an expected 50 volunteers as well as members of the state park service. It aims to better the extensive trail system in Lory State Park by adding better water drainage and making the existing trails more mountain bike friendly.

“The most fulfilling aspect of doing this service is that because we ride the trails and use them so much, it’s good to actually give back and see that you’ve made the trail better,” said Kory Swanson, 44, spokeswoman for the Overland Mountain Bike Club. “It’s like giving a room in your house a new paint job.”

“Friends of Lory Trail Day,” which was pushed back from late spring to Saturday, draws volunteers from throughout the local mountain bike community. The Overland Mountain Bike Club provides lunch and snacks to volunteers. No previous experience in trail work is necessary.

“There are people who come out every year and work with us,” Swanson said.

The Overland Mountain Bike Club also sponsors the Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol, which offers basic first aid and mechanical assistance to mountain bikers in the Fort Collins area and hosts a community outreach program.

“It’s good PR because people just assume that mountain bikers just come in and rip up the trails, without much thought about what they’re destroying,” Swanson said. “We try to show that mountain bikers are like any other trail user and that most of us are very courteous people.”

Swanson says that he can trace his love of mountain biking back to his childhood.

“It’s such a fulfilling adrenaline rush and an amazing challenge to be able to crank it up intense hills and then to be able to descend,” Swanson said. “It’s hard to describe how great it is. And that’s why I want to work on trails, so that I can keep doing this amazing thing.”

Outdoor Life beat reporter Allison Sylte can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Join in on Trail Day

  • What: The 15th Annual “Friends of Lory” Trail Day
  • Where: Lory State Park –– Meet at the Soldier Canyon Picnic Area
  • Who: The Overland Mountain Bike Club
  • When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

To register for the event and to find out more information, visit http://overlandmtb.org/fltd.

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