July 5, 2011
This weekend I was out mountain biking with my friend Melissa "Moe" Briley. We were in the Sun Peak area, riding up Colin’s to Rob’s Trail.
After six seasons of mountain biking, I’m proud to say I have finally gotten to a point where the sole thought going through my mind on a ride is no longer "I’m going to die." Which means there’s now time for a number of other thoughts. Among them on this particular ride: "Who are Rob and Colin? What did they do to get a trail named after them? Do they still live in Park City? (If so, are they single?)"
When I pondered these questions out loud, Moe suggested I contact local trail legend Bob Radke for the 411 on some of the more humorous stories behind the area’s most popular trails.
Bob has lived in Park City for 23 years and has built, designed, and named the local trails in some capacity for over a decade. Here are some of his favorite trail tales.
Princess Di located in Promontory. In the early 1990s, when Promontory developers were first going through the approval process with county, one of the requirements for new developments was to build public trails. These developers believed they should be released from this obligation. The reasoning? As noted by one of the developers who showed up to a planning commission meeting to lobby for the exemption: "Princess Di will have a home in Promontory and when she comes to visit, there will be security issues."
This discussion, of course, took place before her untimely death, but as Bob says, "It was just stated as a fact that she would have a home here and visit. It didn’t matter that the approval process would take years. They just believed their clientele would be British royalty."
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The Dropout and The Graduate located in the Glenwild area. As Bob explains it, there was a volunteer workday one weekend and a man brought his 12-year-old son to help build some trails. The kid needed to volunteer to earn his community-service pin for the Boy Scouts. But he wasn’t particularly motivated to do any manual labor. The dad was doing and saying everything he could to get the boy to put in some effort. He told his son, "You know, when you go to college you might have to have a job like this to help pay for it. "
Unimpressed, the boy still did very little. Exasperated, the dad said, "If you drop out of college, this is the kind of work you’ll be doing for the rest of your life." Bob, who was standing nearby told the father, "Hey, I’m a college graduate and this is my job."
Short Ribs, Short Stack, Side Order and Over Easy Summit Park area. "As we were cutting these trails, we found a deer carcass next to us. It was just the rib cage, so we named that trail Short Ribs," Rob said.
But thinking about ribs made him hungry and he began to think about having breakfast at his favorite spot, No Worries Café, at the Summit Park exit. And so, several of the trails in this area are named after the café’s menu items.
24/7 located in the Jeremy Ranch area. "When you first set out to cut a trail, the first stage in building the trail is to make a really rough cut," Rob explained. "And this one was super rough and rocky."
During the initial construction, when the trail was still a mess, a man in the area called the Mountain Trails Foundation number and left a particularly crazed message. "He just went off about this trail, saying it was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever seen and it was the worst trail he’d ever seen in his life."
As if to further verify his opinion, the man went on to claim, "I can out-hike, out-run, out-bike anyone, and out-anything anyone in your organization 24/7."
The Road to Arcylon located above the Gorgoza tubing park near Pinebrook. This trail was created specifically for downhill riders the kind of riders who are decked out head to toe in pads and protection. These riders don’t wear Lycra. So, Arcylon is an imaginary place where Lycra doesn’t exist. Spelled backwards it says: No Lycra.
As for Rob and Colin, it seems no one has heard from them for quite some time. Bob says they were instrumental in helping cut the trails that that bear their names. I just hope the next trail he names isn’t called "Lame Interview."
If you have a story idea for Redcard Roberts, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, public-relations guru and globe-trotting thrill seeker. In a former life she worked in TV news, both as a reporter and sports anchor. She has bagged peaks on six continents, kayaked the Zambezi and Nile rivers, swam with great white sharks in South Africa and tracked mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She was once very nearly sold for 2,000 camels while traveling through Morocco.