Could Bailey Become the Fruita of the Front Range with up to 140 Miles of Connected Trails?

We have been reading in several publications about the idea of making Bailey a hub for mountain biking in the Front Range, which would be awesome for mountain bikers and for Bailey's economy. Could Bailey become the next IMBA "ride center"?

From Out There Colorado

BAILEY • For most mountain bikers, it’s a fly speck on the map along U.S. Highway 285 they blast through en route to epic rides.

But some in this sleepy Park County hamlet have big biking dreams. They have launched an effort to build 140 miles of trails, which they say could transform the town into a biking destination on par with Fruita.

The Colorado Mountain Bike Association says Bailey’s location is ideal, close to Front Range cities and surrounded by world-class trails. It’s just Bailey that is the missing link.

“It’s not like it’s building a trail system that would be isolated and asking people to come. Bailey is the right place to interconnect all these trail systems that exist,” said Bailey rider Shane Kinkennon, who is leading the trail-building effort.

The mountain bike association funded a study that has identified numerous possible connectors, such as trails linking Bailey with Staunton State Park, Pine Junction, Buffalo Creek, Pine, and Kenosha Pass. All would be multi-use trails and some would cross private property.

Said Kinkennon, “This will make little downtown Bailey the hub of a vastly more interconnected Front Range mountain bike experience.

From The Denver Post

Hatched by three biking senators in the back row of a day-long budget hearing, the 100-mile Bailey Hundo race has blossomed in its first three years, giving rise to a new effort to develop a system of mountain-biking trails that could transform the Platte Canyon economy.

"We want to make Bailey the Front Range Moab," said Chris Romer, who as a Colorado senator joined Sens. Greg Brophy and Dan Gibbs in creating the bike race, which this year raised $100,000 for several charities.
The success of the race has sparked an effort to develop mountain-biking and hiking trails connecting Bailey to the Colorado Trail and Buffalo Creek trail network that surrounds — yet does not touch — the town.

The idea is that connectivity — imagine pedaling single-track from Boulder to Bailey and beyond — will establish the town as a destination, not unlike western Colorado's Fruita, which redefined itself with knobby-tired trail development.

"Bailey is a missed opportunity right now. It's on the highway, just down from Denver, but there's no way to pedal from town to all the trails that surround it," said Jason Bertolacci, president of the Colorado Mountain Bike Association, or COMBA, which has joined Romer in peddling the Bailey Trails proposal.

From The Fume

Area residents would not only use the trails for mountain biking and non-mountain biking purposes, but they would also benefit from increased economic opportunities as Bailey developed into a mountain biking hub, according to Kinkennon, who has a public relations consulting business and splits his time between houses in Bailey and Denver.

It would mean the creation of new jobs, addition of new businesses, increased opportunity for existing businesses, increased wages and increased tax revenue, he said.

Bailey’s in a good spot to be a hub because it is close to Denver, it is close to other mountain biking trails, and it is in a beautiful setting, he said.

Chamber member Bea Everest expressed her support for the idea. She said it could be “almost an invisible type of network,” and it “could be really big” without changing the complexion of the community.
“I think it’s extremely exciting,” she said.

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