Paul Andrews

California State Park closures hit mountain bikers hard

In Mountain Biking, Trail Access on June 12, 2009 at 8:20 am
Whooping it up in Nisene Marks

Whooping it up in Nisene Marks

Wow, these hurt. Some of California’s best close-in mountain biking venues, its State Parks, are under threat of being closed by September due to the state’s onerous budget cuts. On the list:

Mount Tam. It’s hard to believe that this spot, the renowned birthplace of mountain biking and scene of literally thousands of hikers, strollers and riders each weekend, could be gated. But there it is.

Testing skillz in Wilder

Testing skillz in Wilder

China Camp. Eeshhh. Another favorite retreat for mountain bikers just north of San Rafael. Between Tam and China Camp you’ve basically shut down the primary winter routes close to San Francisco.

Samuel B. Taylor. The recent move to add Marin’s first new mountain bike trail in years in Samuel Taylor got a lot of attention. Now they’re planning to shut the whole park!

On top of Tam, where mountain biking was born

On top of Tam, where mountain biking was born

Ford Ord Dunes. Not sure, but isn’t this the site of the annual Sea Otter Classic, the opening U.S. season event? If not the park itself, at least its environs. And lots of folks ride Fort Ord during the four-day bike festival each April.

Henry Coe. Good lord. What can you say — Coe is a mountain biking destination trip for Bay Area riders all over.

Wilder Ranch and Nisene Marks, both in Santa Cruz, both full of prime mountain bike trails. Both are conduits to some of the best riding in the Bay Area as well — Wilder links seaside with UC Santa Cruz, which has abundant technical and freeride trails, while Nisene Marks does the same with Soquel Demonstration Forest along the summit of the Santa Cruz range.

To put the closures in perspective, it’s unclear whether riding would be banned or simply unsupported. If the latter is the case (as has been said), mountain bikers will still be able to ride their favorite haunts. After all, if there’s no money to keep the parks open, there’s hardly budget to police them. Still, you hate to see any public open space go to seed, which is undoubtedly what will happen with no money for maintenance and improvements.

(Thanks to Tom Stienstra and the SF Chronicle for the full list.)

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  1. Paul, the list is proposed closures — there’s no budget yet so we don’t know what parks will be shuttered, if any. It’s important for California residents to get word to legislators about their priorities.

  2. What are actions California residents can take to get the word out? Are there any planning meetings one can join or petitions out? Or any other events?

  3. [...] painted the grim picture before of how proposed state park closures in California (to save money) would impact mountain bikers. Now [...]

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