Remembering the LoBo Trail Opening

by Martin Mapes

For me the LoBo Trail started with justa a brief story in the local newspaper... something about the ceremonial opening of a trail between Boulder and Longmont.

Our friend Jeff, who likes to bike and walk with us, called to tell us about it... or mabye we called him. We're freelancers and he's self-unemployed so although it was possible to get away on a weekday for an outing, we all kinda thought... "ribbon cutting?" Meh.

But afternoon rolled around and, having had my trail epiphany the year before, and needing a little break from work I decided, "why not?".

Jeff and I met at Community Cycles (right next to Boulder Beer), to join the Boulder contingent riding bikes to the opening ceremonies. We met 2 (or was it 3?) other people at the appointed time. I believe they were both county employees, one leading the ride as part of her job.

In any case, Jeff and I suddenly felt honored rather than bored. We were going to be the only civilians riding to Niwot for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and probably thence on to Longmont. We were going to be first!

Ribbon cutting. Photo by Joshua Buck/Times Call

Along the way, the leader of our group showed us a few unofficial shortcuts. She mentioned the city's (county's?) wish that they could get some sort of an easement along Jay Road so that there'd be even fewer cars along the route. (That still hasn't happened, by the way.)

When we got to Niwot we were surprised at how big a contingent had come from Longmont. There were probably 30 riders (compared to the 4 or 5 of us from Boulder)!

I don't recall very much about what was said (you can read all about it on the Longmont Times Call's article). I recall a speech thanking a former High School student (since graduated) who had inspired the idea. I remember many local politicians praising Boulder, Niwot, and Longmont. And then I remember making a point to ride through the little walkway where the ribbon had been cut so that we could make it official.

We rode the rest of the way to Longmont to join the leaders for a pint at Oskar Blues. On the long stretch near the cornfield a photographer stopped to take some shots. The family 30 yards in front of us were pulling a kid's trailer as they crossed Ogallala Road. Their picture ended up in the Daily Camera the next day. We just missed our shot at fame. Still, we can say we were among the first to ride from Boulder to Longmont on the LoBo trail.

* Okay, we admit it. There are segments of the trail where there are cars. See the Route Overview page for more details.