The Boulder Mountain Bike Patrol has a long, rich history, and the Patrol we know today has gone through many rebirths. With changes in Patrol Directors have come changes in style and mission. But all directors and iterations of the Patrol had one thing in common - a desire to serve the trail community by riding our bikes!
The patrol can be traced back to the mid-90s, when the Boulder Offroad Alliance (now Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, BMA) had a small patrol arm. BOA's patrol members were trained as Boulder County park hosts. This important training taught the patrollers a lot about how to interact with other trail users and provide helpful information. Sadly, the weekend-long training, plus necessary first aid and CPR certification, plus extensive service requirements kept the Patrol small, with only a tiny group of mountain bikers representing. Furthermore, we weren't really able to develop a self-sustaining community under the Boulder County park host umbrella.
Patrol Director Lee Duncan handed this situation off to incoming Patrol Director Jason Vogel in 2006, who decided to expand the patrol to around 20 members and concentrate the Patrol's efforts on the West Magnolia area near Nederland. This spaghetti network of trails would often result in people getting lost or turned around, and the USFS has been hurting for money in ways the city and county open space programs never have. Enter the Patrol to save the day! And so began the upswing in patrol service, membership, and a close knit relationships with Boulder County's land management agencies.
This patrol innovation was modeled off of the highly successful Front Range Mountain Bike Patrol led by Keith Clarke and Stu Miller in the Buffalo Creek area of the Pike National Forest. Patrollers rode West Mag on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when the most people were on the trails. Patrollers would stay out all day and provide directions, hand out maps, and help people in need - the kinds of things we all do on a ride anyway.
Jason Vogel handed the patrol off to Matt Alford and became the assistant director to help Matt as necessary. Matt did a stellar job enhancing the patrol until he got a job offer in Steamboat - and we can certainly understand his decision to move to that little slice of heaven.
The patrol then expanded signficantly over three years under John Perry's leadership to include over 60 active patrollers and three land management agencies. Since 2008, the Patrol has partnered with three agencies, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, and the US Forest Service Boulder Ranger District, to provide trail-side assistance to all trail users. As a result the Boulder Mountain Bike Patrol now covers a huge network of trails all over Boulder County. During his tenure as Director John also worked hard to obtain a number of pro-deals for patrollers.
Under BMBP Director Tom Woods in 2011, revenue sources for the Patrol were increased, and more pro deals were offered to patrollers. Leadership and volunteer opportunities in the Patrol were expanded by sharing responsibilities and opportunities among more patrollers. Administrative procedures and burdens for getting in patrol hours were streamlined and reduced. The patrol’s administrative procedures were formalized and improved. And patrollers got their first official BMBP jerseys for use while patrolling.
In 2012 the Patrol improved their recruitment, retention, and training which lead to a 16% increase in year-to-year hours. We also saw only a single dropped patroller at the end of the year due to insufficient individual hours, down from almost a dozen the previous year. The Patrol also established a new partnership with the City of Boulder Parks and Rec department and launched a pilot patrol program at the Valmont Bike Park. Everyone involved quickly realized the patrol's potential at the bike park and by the end of 2012 plans were underway to fully integrate Parks and Rec as a 4th agency partner. This will greatly expand the diversity of riding patrollers can experience; whether it be long, rugged rides in the high county or pump tracks on a dirt jump bike, patrollers have opportunities to engage in all kinds of riding while volunteering.
Luckily for us all, a great slate of leaders continues to crop up to help lead the patrol, and this year we can thank Mitch Smith and Kyle Cragin for their service!
Patrol Directors and Major Milestones
|Mitch Smith, Kyle Cragin||2013||Current leadership.|
David Stokes, Bruce Felper, Mitch Smith
|2012||Achieved yet another big year-to-year increase in patrol hours; virtually eliminated end-of-year member drops due to insufficient individual hours; launched a pilot Valmont Bike Park patrol program leading to full integration in 2013; overhauled patroller training strategy to positive effect.|
|Tom Woods, David Stokes, Mitch Smith, and Nick Lasure||2011||Oversaw a significant increase in patrol hours; organized the design and funding of BMBP jerseys; provided a wide array of generous pro-deals for patrollers; increased participation in organizational tasks; established a senior patroller designation for solo-USFS patrolling.|
|John Perry||2009-2010||Increased social activities for Patrollers; implemented new reporting system, so data-driven feedback could be easily provided to the agencies; grew the Patrol to over 60 active members.|
|John Perry, Andria Bilich, and Scott Winget||2008||Implemented a single Patrol training to cover all three agencies with public lands in Boulder County - City Open Space and Mountain Parks, County Open Space, and U.S. Forest Service.|
|Matt Alford||2007||Continued to improve collaboration with the USFS and with locals in Nederland.|
|Jason Vogel||2006||Expanded patrol beyond being Boulder County park Hosts; focused patrol efforts exclusively on the West Magnolia area (USFS) on summer weekends using the Front Range Mountain Bike Patrol in Buffalo Creek as a model; expanded patrol from around 8 to around 20 patrollers.|
|Lee Duncan||? - 2005|
|Year||Total patrol hours
||Total patrol mileage|