Welcome to Eagle: The Colorado Town Where MTB Trails Are Replacing Sidewalks…
Has this shred-friendly town come up with the best idea ever?
Imagine being able to pedal to work or school not along tarmac roads but down perfectly sculpted single-track mountain bike trails?
Well that dream is becoming a reality in one Colorado mountain town. Instead of standard cycle lanes the locals in Eagle, a mountain bike loving community which sits between Aspen and Vail, have started to connect residential neighbourhoods to the local schools and the town with stretches of single-track.
Instead of standard cycle lanes they're connecting residential neighbourhoods to the local schools with stretches of single-track.
The idea is that the trails will replace the standard sidewalks for kids and parents heading into town.
The new additions will eventually enable locals to ride between all the seven main residential neighbourhoods, the two public schools and the existing network of mountain bike trails without their tyres hitting the tarmac.
The project, known as "Single Track Sidewalks" is the brainchild of Mike McCormack, a mountain bike race promoter and father of two young kids who moved to Eagle a few years ago.
"One thing we noticed as soon as we arrived," he told Bike Radar recently, "[was the] little dirt trails punctuating the town’s 13 miles of paved path.
"[They were] just little offshoots, really; sometimes no more than 50 feet," he said. "But do you know what my minions did on every single trip to school or to the library? They ripped each 50-foot section."
Kids will be able to "flow to school"
Inspired by how his kids went out of their way to get their shred on whenever possible McCormack teamed up with local trail builders Momentum Trail Concepts to put together a proposal, which they claimed would encourage kids not just to ride to school, but to "flow to school".
The scheme quickly earned the support of other mountain bike-mad families and the Mayor of Eagle and the plan was approved by municipal authorities in November last year.
It's estimated that it will take five years overall to complete, but by the time it's finished, Eagle will have 10 miles of free-to-use mountain bike trails which kids and grown-ups alike will be able to rip down on their way to school, the shops or just for shits and giggles.
How rad is that?