SFFTS in 2022 - New Trails, Fun Events, Group Rides are Back!

To say 2022 was a successful year for the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society would be an understatement. Despite the headwinds of uncertainty and seemingly endless challenges with fire, bureaucracy, and Covid, this year will be remembered as a banner year for the club. I wanted to briefly review our successes and thank the selfless volunteers that made it all possible. 

First, we’re finally building trails again in the Santa Fe National Forest. Thanks to the relentless efforts of our project lead and government relations co-chair, Carl Gable, we successfully built an additional 5 new trails in the Arroyo Hondo Headwaters including SFNF’s first downhill specific mountain bike trail. With your donated funds and the expert trail building of Henry and Teddy of Rocket Ramps, Bonnie Flow Trail is complete and ready to ride.  Our volunteers collectively spent 2,050 hours building new trails this year, nearly completing Phase 1 of our Arroyo Hondo Trails Project. Board member Helene Minot helped secure our first Outdoor Recreation Division grant (over $90,000!) to ensure we can fulfill the vision for the trail system. We hope you enjoy the backcountry experience this new riding area is providing. 

Second, thanks to the unstoppable Brent Bonwell and many other amazing coordinators, the greater Galisteo Basin Preserve trail system got 3.5 miles of new trails added in 2022.  A system wide signage project is almost complete with new signage at all 74 trail junctions in the GBP system.  Over 20 new junction posts were installed, some carried over 5 miles from the closest trailhead, and all 74 junctions got 4-6 pound steel sign holders hand delivered and installed by volunteers as part of the 450 hours of volunteer labor spent building new trails, repairing erosion damage from the awesome monsoon season and installing the new signage.  There were also 5 running and mountain bike races put on by volunteers in 2022 that raised over $10,000 to support the privately owned, publicly accessible, GBP trail system.

And if it only stopped there…our events and communications coordinators helped bring people together, once again, after the pandemic shuttered our gatherings. Thanks to the efforts of Mike Chapman & Wayne Herrick of The Broken Spoke, and Hidden Mountain Brewing, we were able to gather once again and launch a mountain biker’s beer–the Broken Spoke Pilsner. Come summer, during the heartbreaking Calf Canyon Fire, we successfully raised nearly $2,000 for the Santa Fe Community Foundation by hosting a mountain biking short films event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema

We were elated to see so many of you come ride at the launch party at Glorieta Camps for Chips n Salsa. Thanks to board members Liz Zeiler, VP Dylan Rose-Coss, and Alex Gibson for making that one of the more memorable days we have enjoyed in a long time. We look forward to doing more events like this in the coming years!

And group rides are back! We saw our group rides rise back from the ashes and reconnect people through bikes and trails. A special shoutout to Lauren Kahn and board member David Grafe for resurrecting these fun evenings. Thanks to Phil Lucero & Ross Martinez, the Atalya Flyers, our kids group, returned en force and reminded us all how bright the future is for Santa Fe riders. 

A special thanks to Patti Jenkins, who after 6 years as club treasurer is stepping down. We thank you for helping keep the gears turning! Likewise, thank you to board member and media officer Jim Robillard who has kept everyone informed throughout the year.  

Whew! Ok, that was a lot and I know I have left out many names that have contributed greatly to our local mountain bike community–we all collectively thank you for helping make this year a huge success. 

Looking ahead, there are still challenges to address: re-opening of Rio En Medio and nearby trails, finishing Phase 1 in Arroyo Hondo and funding Phase 2, addressing concerns in the Nambe Badlands,  and ensuring our local leaders recognize mountain biking as not only an economic force, but a healthy and community focused activity that makes Santa Fe such a tremendous place to live. 

We still have lots of work to do and we look forward to you being a part of it in 2023. 

See you on the trails,

President, Kyle Klain

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