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Bike Flow Trail Regains Momentum

on January 4, 2018 - 8:55am
Hogan Koesis of Pajarito Receation updates Council on plans to construct new bike trails on Pajarito Mountain. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/
Los Alamos Daily Post
When the single bid to construct a bike flow trail in Bayo Canyon came in over budget, the project skidded to a stop. However, work is underway to push the project back into motion.
Open Space Specialist Eric Peterson said he will give an update about the project during the Jan. 11 Parks and Recreation Board meeting.
“The County will be preparing a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for the development of a bike trail within the original flagged corridor in Bayo Canyon”, he said. “The scope of work has been adjusted to be a design/build project with LAC (Los Alamos County) staff training involved. All permitting requirements are presently underway for the project through the appropriate organizations. The Board will be periodically updated on the project via the Parks, Recreation, Open Space report and agenda items as available.”
The bike flow trail, as it was originally proposed, would cover about 6 to 8 miles from the Bayo Canyon trailhead to the N.M. 502 Y. A bike flow trail, according to Peterson, is geared toward mountain bikers. He explained during a past Parks and Recreation Board meeting that a flow trail takes the bicyclist on a “terrain-induced roller coaster experience, with little pedaling and braking necessary.”
During a special County Council meeting Dec. 15, Community Services Department Director Brian Brogan reported the single company that responded to the first RFP bidded $450,000 to design the flow trail. This was well above the $50,000 earmarked for the project.
Brogan pointed out there are a number of avenues the County can pursue to finance the trail project. These include grants and turning to Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) for assistance.
Council Vice Chair Susan O’Leary wondered if the work could be handled in-house. Brogan said the County doesn’t have a trail designer but it could be looked into.
Councilor James Chrobocinski said perhaps the County could employ Hogan Koesis of Pajarito Recreation, LLC, who is working on enhancing the bike trails offered at Pajarito Mountain.
According to agenda documents from the Dec. 15 meeting, County Council has been interested in expanding mountain biking opportunities for several years, and previously set aside monies in order to promote the expansion of mountain biking trails in the area.  Initially, the Council created a $500,000  but ultimately whittled it down to $50,000 to pursue a pilot project on County-owned land. This pilot project was intended to be the bike flow trail in Bayo Canyon.  
The bike flow trail is not only the only amenity the County is looking at for bicyclists. According the Dec. 15 agenda documents, the County’s Community Services Department is planning to work with public land owners such as Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Forest, Pajarito Mountain and residents to develop a “holistic, family friendly, long range masterplan for the future of mountain biking in Los Alamos County.”
In addition to the bike flow trail, the County is looking to develop an intermediate to advance bike park and upgrade the beginner to intermediate bike park with a new pump track, new obstacle courses and other features.
Work is also underway at Pajarito Mountain to enhance its offerings to cyclists. Koesis reported that Pajarito Recreation, LLC, which manages the mountain, is striving to add 15 miles of new trails to the mountain. Currently there is about 13 miles of trails.
He explained in his presentation the objectives are to create a dynamic trail system that includes fun for all ages, create a marketing platform that is unique, support mechanisms that create positive experience, and form long term goals that are achievable.
If these objectives are achieved, Koesis said the County should see an increase in tourism. He added Los Alamos is able to really capitalize on the mountain bike industry due to its long biking season.
Councilor Antonio Maggiore wondered how making improvements to the mountain’s trails would impact other users. Koesis said buffer zones are important and if a special event was scheduled, some trail may be closed. He added having interpretative signs and clearly defining the trails is also important.
O’Leary said she is a big supporter of mountain biking. She explained it is an obvious way to extend the local economy plus it is a popular activity. She also urged Koesis to make sure the mountain offers something for everyone and for all levels of ability.
“If we don’t make it more accessible … we are not going to sustain attendance,” O’Leary said.