It was rocky riding for mountain bikers in Boulder in the ’80s — in 1983, City Council voted 8-1 to prohibit “non-motorized” bikes on trails, fire access roads and other unimproved roads in city parks and open space. Just four years later, the City Open Space Board closed 12 more trails of the 16 still open to mountain bikes.
Arguments against the “wide-tired” bike riders rang out from the Flatirons. From the hikers: They’ll run over us! From the preservationists: They’ll run over the flowers! But the people on mountain bikes had no intentions of hurting anything or anybody; they just wanted access to places where riding was legal and accepted. So they did what any small group of thoughtful, committed citizens would do: They formed the Boulder Offroad Alliance (BOA). The group’s current iteration, the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (BMA), celebrates 25 years of advocacy, trail building and community engagement this year, capping off its quarter century of work with a fundraiser on June 18.