Mountain Biker Michael West Keeps Boulder's Trail Rangers Angry

March 30 2011, 11:00 AM

The discovery of an illegal bike trail on the north side of Boulder's Flagstaff Mountain has put the local mountain biking community in the hot seat (Daily Camera). The "Angry Ranger Trail" apparently cuts a one-mile-long, 18-inch-wide path almost straight down the mountain—right through a sensitive, closed-off wildlife habitat used for nesting golden eagles. The trail was discovered March 19, when Boulder resident and professional mountain biker Michael West was caught and ticketed for riding down it (Daily Camera). He allegedly told the park ranger he rides the trail multiple times per week because it's a "good practice run."

Concerned that the news may impact city leaders as they consider granting access to the West Trail Study Area, local mountain bike advocates are weighing in: "The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance does not condone illegal trail building, breaking rules, or trespassing," the group says in a statement. The BMA adds that a few mountain bikers—even prominent ones—don't represent the entire mountain biking community, noting access has increased over the years.