BikeLife caught up with Adam Haid, the Founder of Erie Singletrack Advocates to learn more about this great local mountain bike group. Since its inception, ESA has helped build more than 5 miles of fun singletrack trails in Erie for all levels of riders and continues to work on new projects.
How did you get the idea for this organization?
I live in Erie and one day I was walking around and noticed that in certain open spaces there were cool land undulations that could be taken advantage of. It was the kind of land that wasn’t going to be developed into a soccer field or something of the sort. I went out by myself and started building biking tracks and was contacted by the city. I then went into meetings and discussed what I wanted to do and picked better locations. With the former parks and rec director we wrote to get a grant and were able to obtain a large amount of volunteers.
Is ESA a mostly volunteer run operation, or do you ever hire crews?
ESA is an almost entirely volunteer-based program having logged 1,400 volunteer hours. We have volunteer build days. We get funding from the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (BMA) to spend on trail building and have hired machine operators twice in 2014. Behind these machines we have volunteers working to clear the tracks off by wiping the grass and foliage away.
How did you gain access to the land to build the trails? Were you met with much resistance?
For the current land once it was selected, no. When I was out there on my own before talking to anyone, I met with some resistance. The city said I couldn’t just do it anywhere, but not in a negative way. They said we should work together to get it done right. We started with two parcels of city-owned land. The community has been very supportive. From what I can tell, all the neighbors are happy to have trails in their backyard.
Why do you think that your cause is an important one for the community? Why should people take an interest?
I think that it’s obvious that any time we’re dealing with outdoor recreation, to encourage people to be active is a benefit to the community and to the people who live near. I enjoy riding my bike, which is how I was able to spot the opportunity in Erie. There are a lot of people in that area that are very active and want a place to cycle that’s near home, whether it’s for a quick workout or to get their kids out. In Erie there is a velodrome, sports complex, soccer field and skate park. The trails are just one more amenity for Erie that’s not quite in the mountains but not too far out on the plains. It’s a great location for exercising and riding your bike in the winter because the mountain trails are going to close, but our trails won’t.
Any new trails or events coming up?
Next couple of events are trail builds on the east property on October 11th and 25th.
On the 11th we will have a professional trail builder with machinery. We’re trying to get as many volunteers out for that to work behind the machine and clear the debris. Ultimately we want to get the trails into great shape for winter and to showcase town and property. We are very much partners with BMA. We want to promote their fall membership part on Thursday, October 16th.
What is the best way one can contribute to the cause?
Becoming an ESA and BMA member is hugely helpful. Another really cool thing is come out and volunteer. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page and sign up for the newsletter. We always need people to come dig and help keep the trails in good shape.
Learn more about ESA and download a trail map of local trails at ErieSingletrack.com.