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Southwest Colorado Cycling Association to host event for 20-year celebration

Southwest Colorado Cycling Association volunteers help build a bike trail. (SWCCA website/Courtesy photo)
The event will include food, live music and raffle prizes

The Southwest Colorado Cycling Association will host its 20-year anniversary celebration at the Dolores Community Center, 400 Riverside Ave. in Dolores, on Friday, April 12 from 6-9 p.m.

The celebration will include music by One Stan Band, food from Kelly’s Kitchen and Dolores River Brewery and members-only door prizes from Kokopelli Bike and Board. The event is free.

SWCCA Vice President and Osprey Packs employee Erin Kuhlman, who has been on cycling association’s board since 2019, said the nonprofit helps build and maintain trails in the Montezuma County area.

Erin Kuhlman (Facebook)

This includes trails in Phil’s World, Boggy Draw and Sand Canyon, as well as collaborations with Rico Trail Alliance, Durango Trail Alliance and Mancos trail groups.

“It used to be called, when it first started, Kokopelli Bike Club,” Kuhlman said. “And now we’re celebrating 20 years, which is really exciting.”

As part of the event, attendees will hear about SWCCA projects and new trails.

“So for 2024, we have a lot of reroute projects up at Boggy Draw with the Forest Service Management plan of theirs, and they’re going to be doing a lot of logging work,” Kuhlman said. “We’re going to be working through some of that.”

Kuhlman added that SWCCA hopes to add options to future trails such as A-line and B-line trails, and create a pump-track setup at Phil’s World, pending state and insurance approval.

“It’s like a skills course for kiddos or just anyone in general who wants to improve their technical abilities on rocks or logs or different bumps or turns, so that is going to be underway,” Kuhlman said.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but Phil’s World is actually under a state lease,” Kuhlman said. “SWCCA pays for that, and we do it every three years. It’s about $9,700 to keep Phil’s World open to the public to use.”

SWCCA also is required to have insurance arrangements and pay for portable potties at the location.

According to a flyer from SWCCA, the Phil’s World state trust land lease costs $2,750 per year. Trail work, with tools and supplies, costs $8,000; potties at Phil’s World, $4,650; insurance, $2,500; winter grooming, $5,000; operating costs, $3,000.

Kuhlman shared that this is the reason that SWCCA promotes membership support from their members and the local community.

“It helps us pay for expenses for trail building and maintenance, but also helps pay for the state lease and insurance,” she said.

The annual membership fee for SWCCA is $25 for an individual and $50 for a family membership, no matter how large the family is.

There are also tiers of donations and single-day passes for people just visiting the area. Kuhlman said the pass is only a few dollars, and that a $5 to $10 donation is encouraged.

“We see membership as, ‘I’m an interested individual,’” Kuhlman said. “Invest in the trails here and the maintenance of the trails, and it shows that this is important to you, and you’re showing that through joining.”

Event attendees will also learn about SWCCA’S adopt-a-trail program, which allows individuals to maintain a trail on their own time, and then report back their volunteer hours to SWCCA.

“We’re also going to highlight our 20-year anniversary, so we’re going to go over the history of SWCCA since its inception, and a timeline of when all the trails have been built in the area, as well as an option for member sign up,” Kuhlman said. “We’re always open to having more board members if anyone wants to join.”

Kuhlman also shared two projects that she has been working on in conjunction with SWCCA, which includes launching a survey to gauge the community’s knowledge and interest in the local trail systems and working with a platform called Trailforks, which will help provide better and more up to date trail information.

“It’ll provide better updating on when trails are ready to ride or not good to ride,” Kuhlman said. “We want to be a leading voice or the one source of truth for trail info or trail updates as people get out and ride and make sure they know when it’s good to ride and when it’s not so it doesn’t cause damage to the trails.”

More information about SWCCA can be found on their website www.swcocycling.clubexpress.com.