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SF East Bay Mountain Bikers!!!

Old 12-18-21, 02:37 PM
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LV2TNDM
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SF East Bay Mountain Bikers!!!

East Bay Regional Park District is conducting a survey on bicycle access issues. Time to act!

Bikes have been unfairly prohibited on single track for decades. It's way past time to rectify this injustice!

And with middle and high school mountain biking booming, the need for more, better trails and equitable access is greater than ever.

Here's the survey:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1F...Fn7DA/viewform

Obviously, we need support for equitable bicycle access. Mountain bikes being relegated to fire roads is an archaic land use policy that needs to end. User conflicts? Then let's see BICYCLE ONLY trails! Hikers can continue to enjoy the trails they've enjoyed for years. Let's build another network of single track for mountain bikes. That way we reduce the chance of conflict. I suggest this because of the high-density usage of these parks. In areas with more land and lower density, shared use is no problem at all.

Or maybe not. I'm just suggesting it. Perhaps make that a long-range goal. But until then, we need ACCESS to trails! I've "suffered" single track bans for 40 years. Aren't you sick of it? Our sport is no longer "new" or unknown. Land managers fully know our sport doesn't "destroy the environment." These were excuses used to justify stupid knee-jerk reactions in closing trails. Enough is enough!

Please forward it to as many SF East Bay riders as you can!

Thanks!
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Old 12-19-21, 03:21 PM
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Calsun
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Suggest use of time of day restrictions so that bicyclist have a window of time to use certain trails which minimizes chances of them running into people walking on the trail. Problem is that sight distance tend to be very short and stopping distances are relatively great with the soft surfaces of trails.

Horse people punch way above their weight and have far more public spaces available as they have been more organized and more aggressive with public officials and parklands managers. Might take a lesson from what has worked for them in the past.
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Old 12-19-21, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
Suggest use of time of day restrictions so that bicyclist have a window of time to use certain trails which minimizes chances of them running into people walking on the trail. Problem is that sight distance tend to be very short and stopping distances are relatively great with the soft surfaces of trails.

Horse people punch way above their weight and have far more public spaces available as they have been more organized and more aggressive with public officials and parklands managers. Might take a lesson from what has worked for them in the past.
I hear what you're saying, but we should not just "settle" for less trail access. We've already done this for long enough. Why accept less again? Sure, sight distances can be short, but that can be addressed. A habitual bell user for 30 years, I now added one of the "jingle all the time" bells to my bike (perfect for Christmas)!

We do need to ride responsibly and be good trail stewards. No doubt about it. But the bias mountain bikes have had to tolerate these decades is simply unacceptable. I've been mountain biking since '84 (and riding trails since '75) and when the sport was new, I understood the restrictions. But that it has persisted so long is a serious disappointment.

And equestrians are the PERFECT example of how the democratic process is thwarted! How a TINY minority has the power to exclude and limit a very large demographic is terrible. This is what we need to use to CHANGE policy! (Plus, how absurd we've been told, "Hey, my 2,000 conveyance may spook and kill me or you, so YOU have to modify YOUR behavior. YOU must take caution around ME!" Are you kidding? If motor vehicles suddenly went berserk and killed a group of kids, you think they'd blame the kids for not being careful or the operator of the vehicle???) No, I cannot agree with the fact that we should take the equestrian example as one to model. No way!

Why do we never hear "bike only" trails suggested? We've come to accept "hiker only" trails. Seems only reasonable to have the two separate trails available to the user groups. If conflict is your main concern, then this should be part of the solution. I don't think it's totally necessary, but not a bad idea. But fairness and democracy say if you have 15 miles of exclusive hiking trails, then you should have 15 miles of exclusive bicycle trails! That we accept less shows how twisted our our perception and expectations have become.

But that was almost 40 years ago. The sport is established and here to stay. We need to expect more. And since we've been an after thought up until now, it's time to demand more.

That CA State Parks basically have a blanket ban on bikes on dirt, is unacceptable. Who appointed their managers kings? Since when shouldn't our public spaces accommodate the public? Mountain bikes are NOT the "environmentally destructive fringe element" they were called back in the 80's.. So this attitude simply must change. And thanks to the new generation of kids racing at the middle and high school levels now, we'll finally have the advocates we need. "Back in the day," land managers weren't mountain bikers. Today, chances are, most or all of them will be!

Some may point to trail damage seen in high-use parks. This is an issue, but the bike community has done a pretty good job addressing it. Local bicycle advocacy groups provide a lot of volunteer trail maintenance hours. That said, much of the trail damage you see in places like Joaquin Miller Park are simply due to over-use. Which means, instead of restricting bicycle use, we need MORE trails! Why would we want to discourage use? Discourage getting outside? Discourage exercise? Discourage kids from improving their skills & fitness on the bike? We need and should expect more. (Which raises the topic of public monies for parks, but let's not delve into that aspect of the issue.)

We simply have to change the narrative. We need to politely but firmly stand our ground and simply expect that our public parks serve the needs of the public. And that need now includes mountain biking. So let's move forward and have public park managers fulfill their responsibility. Thanks.
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