[Editors Note: This is the first of what will be a monthly blog contribution from Overland Mountain Bike Club, We thought it would be best to start with an introduction. OMBC does great work in the Community. – CJ]
So who is “Overland Mountain Bike Club”? You’ve probably heard or seen the name around town at some point. You may have passed someone out on a local trail wearing an Overland jersey. Or maybe you’ve seen the blue tent at some event around town…Get Outdoors Day, Tour de Fat, at a trail head. Maybe you’ve even seen a pack of them on a Wednesday evening social ride. But who ARE they, and what do they actually do? Quite a lot, actually…
Overland was originally founded as Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol in 1995. A group of Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol members decided they could use something to do during the summer months, so they formed a similar group based around mountain biking. They soon entered into an agreement with the US Forest Service to conduct patrol rides on USFS trails, and they were in business. 21 years later, the Patrol still has an operating agreement in place with the Forest Service. As well as Larimer County. And the City of Fort Collins. And Lory State Park. And Wyoming State Parks (specifically Curt Gowdy and Glendo).
The original patrol group soon made it a requirement for every member to complete a minimum amount of trail work as well. It was now becoming a patrol group, a trail maintenance group, and an advocacy group. In 1999, Diamond Peaks and New Belgium Brewing partnered on an idea for a new event. The idea was to create a new, fun event to celebrate the cycling culture of Fort Collins, highlight New Belgium Brewing, and raise a little bit of money for a local non-profit group. They decided to call it “Tour de Fat”. Over the next 10 years the club took on more events, more trail building efforts and more members. Since it had become more than “just a patrol group”, in 2009 the organization decided to take the name of Overland Mountain Bike Club, based on the historic Overland Trail which connects the areas of Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming.
Today, we still have Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol operating as a service of Overland. But we have become much more! A quick glance at our calendar and you’ll see a wide variety of events…trail building skills clinics, patrol training, trail work days, social rides, monthly meetings, Take-a-Kid Mountain Biking Day, Get Outdoors Day, various community outreach events. A new event for 2016 is the Tooth or Consequences Mountain Bike Festival, happening July 22-24. This will feature the ever-popular “40 in the Fort”, a new enduro MTB race, and a festival kick-off party at New Belgium Brewing. We also recommend riding options to out-of-town visitors to further highlight the trail systems of Northern Colorado & Southern Wyoming.
Overland is now made up of nearly 300 members and gives approximately 5000 volunteer hours per year back to this community. The patrol group is completing nearly 350 patrol rides annually to help ALL trail users with any medical or mechanical issues, keep trail users informed of trail etiquette and “Rules of the Trail”, and provide the land agencies with valuable trail user statistics. Our trail building efforts in 2016 will include assisting with the new Hidden Valley Trail at Devils Backbone, a new loop trail at Hermit Park Open Space, the re-construction of Young Gulch, as well as other general maintenance projects. Overland also gives financial grants to Ciclismo Youth Foundation, Cheyenne High School Mountain Bike Team, Laramie High School Mountain Bike Team, Stone Temple Youth Mountain Bike Camp, and to various local trail projects.
Hopefully everyone has attended at least one Tour de Fat event. Many of you have probably volunteered for it as well. If you have…THANK YOU! You are helping to make all of these events happen…you are helping to keep our trails maintained…you are helping to keep our trail users safe…and you are helping support multiple fantastic organizations continue to do great things for this community, including Overland Mountain Bike Club!
See you on the trails!
Administrator – Overland Mountain Bike Club