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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! La Honda Bike Exclusion Protest: 12/4/2007

    Edit for strategy update! THIS IS HAPPENING! The tide is turning! 4-7 PM this Tuesday Dec 4...see the end of this post for details.

    First, you must show up! Numbers are everything at these events! Bring your spouse, your kids, your friends, anyone! Tell your riding buddies and your local bike shop! It doesn't matter if you can't be there at 4 PM or if you can't deal with public speaking. This is an open house: you can show up whenever you like, and you can talk with MROSD reps one-on-one, or just silently stand there in your helmet. Even getting there at 6:30 PM will make a big difference so long as you make your presence known.

    Please wear your helmet if you have one, and bring extras if you can. We want all the MROSD staff to have helmets in their field of view at all times during the evening, so that they are constantly reminded of our presence even when we aren't talking to them directly. DO NOT WEAR SPANDEX OR BIKE GEAR! Dress sharp...business casual, even a suit if you normally wear one to work. You are a normal taxpaying citizen who just happens to ride a bicycle.

    Most importantly, our position is this: Cyclists are legitimate trail users and deserve the same access equestrians do. There are legitimate reasons to make trails hiking-only, but if a trail is safe for horses to share, it is safe for bicycles to share. And if equestrians feel they can't share, then we need to have our own bicycle-only trails in compensation. Period. No more discriminatory Jim Crow laws! "The colored bathrooms are over in Skeggs, what's your problem, boy?"

    Here are some points you can bring up to the MROSD reps and anyone else who asks. Pick a couple that you like, or come up with your own:

    0) All of the meetings and public comment periods indicated a strong desire for bicycle access by the local community, as repeatedly stated in MROSD's documentation of these events. Yet MROSD has completely ignored this.

    1) Study after study has been initiated by parks districts, at the behest of anti-bike zealots, to try and prove that mountain bikes destroy trails and harm wildlife, and they all prove the opposite: that fire roads and surface runoff are the main problem, followed by use trails and cutting of switchbacks. I am printing out and bringing this report from Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland:
    http://www.btceb.org/jmpreport.htm
    http://www.btceb.org/pdf/jmp_report.pdf
    with the following telling quote: "Surface water runoff was determined to be the dominant erosion mechanism acting on the park trails. Erosion generated by horses, bicycles, and hikers was determined to be a minor erosion mechanism on established park trails." Note that the impact is so minor that they don't even bother to differentiate!

    Here's the Skeggs report, with the same conclusions. Feel free to bring it up, since it's the MROSD's own study!
    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/pro...2001-06-06.pdf

    2) Many people, especially the aged, have injuries or illnesses that prevent them from hiking long distances, but are perfectly capable of riding a bicycle. Prohibiting mountain bikes shuts those of us with arthritis or other joint problems out of our open space.

    3) Banning bicycles from trails just makes trail conflicts worse on the remainder. The reason multi-use trails get so much bicycle use is that there are so few of them. Imagine how many horses would be in Skeggs if they were banned from most other preserves the way bicycles are! The more trails that are open to bicycles, the less bicycles you will see on any one trail.

    4) Unlike horses, cyclists do not require MROSD to construct and maintain gigantic parking lots for their trailers.

    5) As a hiker, I'd rather share the trail with bikers than horses, because bikers don't force me to walk through huge smelly piles of their feces. Nor do they require that trails be bulldozed out to a six foot wide freeway so they can pass each other.

    6) There is a formal, legal designation for prohibiting bicycle access: it's called "wilderness". A working ranch with a network of fire roads and trails does not meet the definition of "wilderness".

    7) Mountain biking gets kids off the sofa and out of doors. You can't expect kids to enjoy quietly reading Aldo Leopold...that comes later, but only if they learn to enjoy being outside in the first place. Otherwise they grow up with the idea that the outdoors is for losers, and they don't care about acquiring open space or passing parks bonds.

    =============== original post ===============

    We all know that MidPen has gone back on their promises of 60% bicycle access to preserves, created byzantine petition procedures that they then proceed to ignore, and so on. We all know they have completely ignored the results of their own series of public workshops for La Honda Creek. We all know this is completely insane, but that nothing we've done so far has mattered, and we need to step it up somehow.

    Here's what we do:

    WE ALL WEAR OUR BICYCLE HELMETS TO THE UPCOMING MEETINGS, OPEN HOUSES, AND DRAFT PRESENTATION PLANS. No bicycle jerseys or gear! Wear your regular street clothes, shave and dress sharp, keep the suit on if you wear one to work, you are a solid taxpaying citizen. But WEAR YOUR HELMET. It's the tricorn hat of our revolution.

    Imagine the upcoming La Honda OSP meetings with 100 mountain bikers attending, all of us wearing bicycle helmets. Imagine the MidPen representatives addressing the crowd and looking out over a sea of people that they've just voted to completely exclude. Even better, imagine putting out news releases to the press, and having news cameras show a huge crowd of taxpayers completely unable to use the open space that their own tax dollars have paid for, because MidPen has ignored their own policies and their own long series of public workshops. It's a great visual.

    Right now MidPen officials and anti-bicycle zealots can live in their own little fantasy world, where mountain bikers are a tiny minority that they can safely ignore, because we don't look any different than anyone else. They're wrong, and we can bring that home to them in a very dramatic, newsworthy fashion.

    The best thing: this is totally legal, totally non-violent, and almost impossible to spin badly, because we're not doing anything other than we normally do at meetings. No chants, no obstruction, no bulls**t, just a sea of people in bicycle helmets all politely yet firmly demanding that MidPen follow their own recommendations from their own public workshops and provide equal access to the open space we've all paid for.

    Obviously this only works if there are more than three of us there. We need FIRM COMMITMENTS to show up. We need people to copy flyers and hand them out at their local bicycle shop, at local group rides, and tell their friends...this isn't just MTBR, this is everyone.

    The revolution starts here, at the La Honda OSP Draft Plan Open House:
    Tuesday, December 4, 2007
    4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    The Mountain Terrace
    17285 Skyline Boulevard
    Woodside, California 94062
    (At the corner of Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) and Woodside Road (Highway 84), across the street from Alice’s Restaurant)

    http://www.openspace.org/plans_proje...onda_creek.asp

    I'm doing this. Who's coming with me? Post your commitment here. Can you make a flyer? Hand out flyers? Bring a group? Post your commitment here.

    (For the slackers that can get that day off, how about a group ride at Skeggs beforehand? Bring street clothes and leave plenty of time to clean up...call it 12:30 at the main lot.)
    Last edited by El Caballo; 12-03-2007 at 01:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Sometimes i love my work schedule and sometimes i hate it... this would fall into the latter catagory. I will see what i can do but i doubt i will be able to do it.

  3. #3
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    Can everyone please bring all your extra helmets if you have any? I'm sure not all mountain bikers who plan on attending will see this message.

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure if I totally buy into the plan and strategy, But I will show up with helmets. I'm tired of this. More importantly, I'm tired of not doing anything.

    We can do trail work for the next millennium and still get the same treatment, if not worse.

  5. #5
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    helmets on huh?

    i'm with Rensho on this. If the turnout is too few we look more like a few folks wearing their dunce caps than an army wearing battle helmets. I REALLY like the idea, but if our numbers are few I feel like we're putting targets on our heads- literally.

    i'll be there and i'll bring 3 helmets- just in case.

    everyone- please bring two friends. maybe we should send out an Evite? Anyone have time?

    Ty
    Last edited by Dirt_Diggler; 11-26-2007 at 05:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    Rensho and Ty, I feel the same way, but I'd rather have my helmet with me than regret not having it. On the other hand, if it's only very few of us, making ourselves look goofy by wearing a helmet in the meeting probably will do us no good. Let's hope the turn out is good.

    Others, even if you can't make it, please help spread the word. Some of your friends might be able to attend. You never know.

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    I think it is far more important that we show up than wear helmets. Just be there, be calm, respectful, and on point.
    On point is:

    Out of the thousands of acres of this preserve, a few regional connector trails don't interfere with quiet contemplation of nature;
    cycling is not incompatible with the enjoyment of nature;
    The geographic location of this particular preserve makes it regionally important for connections to other areas;
    Suggesting the possibility of bike trails only if they can be routed through other properties under other ownership and management is dis-ingenuous at best

  8. #8
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    i'm just thinking.....that might give the wrong impression? or maybe you need to be wearing your body armor too?

    i was just thinking i would show up after a four hour poach of wunderlich and huddart in my sweaty bike gear. maybe wear my "horses are dog food" t-shirt? and leave my unleashed wolf-husky mix waiting outside the door.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes
    That's why I asked about the full face. If it's not, cool.. but it would mean a few more helmets I would have to lend. Either way, it doesn't matter to me.

    I'll be there with my XC helmet on.
    it just sucks cause i think the only thing that would be "cool" is if we rolled up in our european shorts sedans or our 2007 diesel trucks with horse trialer, or a Prius's and wanted a hiking and horse only open space forever and ever. full face or not- we're going to be the "threat."

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    I mentioned this in another thread: "My husband went to a public meeting on this subject before and he was impressed (for lack of a better word) how involved and organized the equestrians were. Even though that meeting probably had the best representation of mountain bikers, but still the equestrians out-numbered mountain bikers by about 7:1."

    I'd like to see that we mountain bikers can be organized as well. I guess wearing a helmet is one way to show it. But yes, definitely, we are not talking about banging tables and walls with it. To make our point heard and respected, we need to "be there, be calm, respectful, and on point." (Harry, well said.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudworm

    I'd like to see that we mountain bikers can be organized as well. I guess wearing a helmet is one way to show it. But yes, definitely, we are not talking about banging tables and walls with it. To make our point heard and respected, we need to "be there, be calm, respectful, and on point." (Harry, well said.)
    I doubt I'll say anything. Its hard to hear the important points when too many are talking. Its my understanding that there are people (ROMP and others) who have been more involved, have more insight, and will be more effective at getting the important points across than I. I just want to make my presence felt and be plugged into what is/may happen on publicly managed lands.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler

    i was just thinking i would show up after a four hour poach of wunderlich and huddart in my sweaty bike gear. maybe wear my "horses are dog food" t-shirt? and leave my unleashed wolf-husky mix waiting outside the door.
    How about if you showed up on a skittish horse that you tied to the handicap rail right in front of the meeting? Be sure to feed and water the horse plenty just before you get there, so it can use the meeting time to attend to bodily functions...

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    How about if you showed up on a skittish horse that you tied to the handicap rail right in front of the meeting? Be sure to feed and water the horse plenty just before you get there, so it can use the meeting time to attend to bodily functions...
    i think you're on to something..... i'm scanning the wild horse and burrow rescue sites now.

  14. #14
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    Now we're thinking. I can arrange for a horse or two I think.

  15. #15
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    All that will do is get the equestrians upset about how badly you're treating the horse. They're used to wallowing in their own horsesh!t.

  16. #16
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    4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    ... man, is it scheduled like this to make it hard for people to attend?

    I've never been to any of these meetings, is it worth attending when you can't show up before 5.30 - 6?

  17. #17
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    in the news....

    The helmet idea is wonderful! If the numbers are good….the local TV stations might like to show up. An email to local news directors about a "protest" with helmet wearing MTB'ers might just catch some attention on a slow news day.

    I mean... we are talking about the Bay Area here....you have to do something silly...or strange to get anyone to pay attention to you...Even aside from that I like the idea as it shows some solidarity.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
    I doubt I'll say anything. Its hard to hear the important points when too many are talking. Its my understanding that there are people (ROMP and others) who have been more involved, have more insight, and will be more effective at getting the important points across than I. I just want to make my presence felt and be plugged into what is/may happen on publicly managed lands.
    My understanding is that somebody takes minutes of everything said at the meeting, so the more people talk in favor of MTBing, the better. Remember that your speech needs to be concised and only hammer at one point or two. No need to go on and on about multiple points that muddle your message.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  19. #19
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    It's not too late yet -- we might still be able to change the plan. I wrote to a board member (http://www.openspace.org/about_us/bo..._directors.asp) the other day, and following is the reply I just received:

    ==========================
    Thank you for your interest in the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve Master Plan project and for taking the time to send in your comments. Your input has been collected and is now part of the public comment record for the project. The recommendations that are mentioned in the Winter Newsletter and that will be presented at the Open House are still in draft form. These have not yet been forwarded to the full Board of Directors for their review and approval. Your comments will be considered by the project's Ad Hoc Committee, which is comprised of three of the seven Board members, who will determine if any changes should be made to the Draft Plan before it is forwarded to the entire Board. We encourage you to also attend the December 4 Open House to again voice your input. For more information on the Open House, including time and location, please visit the project website at www.openspace.org and navigate to the La Honda Creek Master Plan under Plans and Projects/Open Space Planning.

  20. #20
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    I received a word for word identical response

  21. #21
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    I'll be very surprised if they write personalized replies. However, I don't think they lie about the process. So it seems that there is a hope that we can still get the draft changed before it is submitted to all the board members for review (which might then be too late).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo

    (For the slackers that can get that day off, how about a group ride at Skeggs beforehand? Bring street clothes and leave plenty of time to clean up...call it 12:30 at the main lot.)[/size]
    So, I'm going to "work from home" that day. I live here:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...0169&z=15&om=1

    I will try to make a ride at 12:30. However, regardless, if anyone wants a place to change/shower before heading to the meeting after riding at Skeggs its no problem. If there are only a few of you there is parking for 2-3 cars too. Its basically 200 yards from blue blossom.

  23. #23
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    Open Space NOT to Open La Honda to MTB'ers

    On December 4th at 4pm, a meeting by Midpeninsula Open Space District will occur in Skylonda to show the draft master plan for the new La Honda Open Space Preserve. This preserve will be west of Highway 35 on Highway 84, a short drive from El Corte Madera (Skeggs Point). The plan is completely excluding mountain bikes, while allowing full access to esquestrians and hikers, even though mountain bikers attend all of planning public hearings and workshops, sometimes in great majority over the other two user groups. A petition from the residents of the town of La Honda requesting equal acess for mountain bikes was ignored.
    It is very important that the mountain biking community be well represented at this meeting. Here are the details:

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007
    4:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
    The Mountain Terrace
    (Across the street from Alice's Restaurant, at the corner of Skyline Boulevard (Hwy 35) and Woodside Road (Hwy 84)).
    17285 Skyline Boulevard

  24. #24
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    I'll squeeze out early and head up there, helmet and all, for the Open House. I agree with the idea, if we have the numbers...so it's up to us all to get there, and bring friends.

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    check this out

    http://www.evite.com/pages/invite/vi...WRGABNMKRVDQZY

    i'm not sure how to get this out to everyone. I've sent it to about 30 of my "closest friends" and we'll see what happens. if you want me to add you, please PM me your email.

  26. #26
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    oops! i just noticed that it appears that midpen has sent out the evite....no so good

  27. #27
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    Francois, or others, let's pass this along to large bike groups like Altovelo, TWW, SJBC, MereMortals, LGBC, etc...

    Let's do something right for once.
    Last edited by rensho; 11-27-2007 at 07:53 PM.

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    I like Rensho's idea. I'm surprised I haven't seem much, if anything about this on the ROMP list

    I don't know if what I'm going to say here works for or against bike access, so I'll just say it and see what others think.
    I recall reading that when MROSD wanted to extend their sphere of influence over to the coast, one of the coastal folks' political concern was that MROSD wouldn't be sensitive to regional concerns. It kind of seems to me that here's a perfect example of this concern being valid.

    MROSD has this great piece of property, with some history of local bike access (at least from what I've heard), and it sits in a geographic position to allow regional trails, something like the Skyline to Sea Trail further south. Are they going to continue to allow local access? No. Are they doing a planning process that even has a clearly defined process of how or when some regional multi-use trails might be built? No. Are either of these omissions needed to protect the property as open space? No.

    Let me add a little bit more. I know that Mark Davidson at MBOSC has been doing some research on Eco-tourism and cycling. How much do you suppose the businesses of La Honda and the Skyline area benefit from cycling? We buy gas, food, beer, and if there are places to stay, we spend money on that as well. Is our money any less important to local merchants than that of folks who don't cycle?

    As cyclists, we get branded as not being environmentally friendly. For the most part, I don't think that's true. We like the woods, we like trails. Our votes and tax dollars are just as important to MROSD as those of any other group.
    Last edited by HarryCallahan; 11-27-2007 at 07:18 PM.

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    Would someone be so kind as to post what efforts the mtb community has made thusfar in order to be heard on this issue? I'd like to be fully informed on this before acting. Is there a point person or organization that is taking the lead? ROMP?

    Thanks~
    Can we talk tires now?

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    Nice momentum....

    I like the momentum that seems to be building on this issue. I sense just a hint of some "anger" coming from my Bay Area mtb brethren. A little anger can be a good thing to get some folks motivated. I believe the very reason the board thinks they can run roughshod over the mtb community is that they think there is not enough anger....motivation among those who oppose them.

    Helmets!

    Lights, camera, action

    bump!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Law
    Would someone be so kind as to post what efforts the mtb community has made thusfar in order to be heard on this issue? I'd like to be fully informed on this before acting.
    • La Honda Creek OSP Workshop #1 November 3, 2004
    [I have nothing for this one.]

    • La Honda Creek OSP Workshop #2 December 6, 2004
    http://lists.live555.com/pipermail/r...er/000872.html

    • La Honda Creek OSP Workshop #3 November 11, 2006
    La Honda Creek OSP Thurs 11/16
    La Honda Open Space Master Plan Input (Bike Access)
    http://lists.live555.com/pipermail/r...er/003626.html

    • MROSD La Honda Creek Bicycle Stakeholders meeting February 8, 2007
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=264288
    MROSD La Honda Creek Bicycle Stakeholders meeting
    http://lists.live555.com/pipermail/r...ry/004154.html

    • Lots of information here: MROSD's La Honda Creek Master Plan
    http://www.openspace.org/plans_proje...onda_creek.asp

    ///Charlie
    Last edited by Skyline35; 11-29-2007 at 07:24 PM. Reason: To correct the workshop dates

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Law
    Would someone be so kind as to post what efforts the mtb community has made thusfar in order to be heard on this issue? I'd like to be fully informed on this before acting. Is there a point person or organization that is taking the lead? ROMP?

    Thanks~
    Check out this short document from the MROSD web site. It summarizes public input at a workshop. There seemed to be widespread support for multi-use trails within this preserve.

    http://www.openspace.org/plans_proje...%20Summary.PDF

  33. #33
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    We need some concise talking points and counter arguments for the meeting.
    We take care of your technology needs so you can focus on what's important.

  34. #34
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    Media contact

    I forwarded this thread to my KPIX south bay bureau cameraman road/MTB rider neighbor.

    Who else knows any members of the fourth estate?
    We take care of your technology needs so you can focus on what's important.

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    Getting To The Trailhead

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    I like Rensho's idea. I'm surprised I haven't seem much, if anything about this on the ROMP list

    I don't know if what I'm going to say here works for or against bike access, so I'll just say it and see what others think.
    I recall reading that when MROSD wanted to extend their sphere of influence over to the coast, one of the coastal folks' political concern was that MROSD wouldn't be sensitive to regional concerns. It kind of seems to me that here's a perfect example of this concern being valid.

    MROSD has this great piece of property, with some history of local bike access (at least from what I've heard), and it sits in a geographic position to allow regional trails, something like the Skyline to Sea Trail further south. Are they going to continue to allow local access? No. Are they doing a planning process that even has a clearly defined process of how or when some regional multi-use trails might be built? No. Are either of these omissions needed to protect the property as open space? No.

    Let me add a little bit more. I know that Mark Davidson at MBOSC has been doing some research on Eco-tourism and cycling. How much do you suppose the businesses of La Honda and the Skyline area benefit from cycling? We buy gas, food, beer, and if there are places to stay, we spend money on that as well. Is our money any less important to local merchants than that of folks who don't cycle?

    As cyclists, we get branded as not being environmentally friendly. For the most part, I don't think that's true. We like the woods, we like trails. Our votes and tax dollars are just as important to MROSD as those of any other group.

    I agree. I also know people who ride that area on their road bikes that don't mind going off road a little. Many people in MTBR do rides that they could actually start from home and ride to this area with only a few road miles. Not only are bikes not unfriendly to the environment but they can be ridden to the trailhead, which makes them more friendly to the environment than hikers who really have no public transportation access to that area.
    Anyway, I'm thinking of riding up from Menlo Park or Palo Alto Caltrain Depot. I will probably have to leave by around 2:15 to comfortably ride to this. If you want to join me send me a PM. Hopefully the environmentally correct Mid Penn will have a nice safe place to park bikes for those who choose to ride up and not just assume that all the enviromentally sound, Prius driving, moral majority will drive. Rain will cancel.

  36. #36
    Curse you Coe!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portola Vince
    Anyway, I'm thinking of riding up from Menlo Park or Palo Alto Caltrain Depot. I will probably have to leave by around 2:15 to comfortably ride to this. If you want to join me send me a PM. Hopefully the environmentally correct Mid Penn will have a nice safe place to park bikes for those who choose to ride up... Rain will cancel.
    Portola Vince - Check ur PM. I wanna ride to the Mountain Terrace.

    I am new to this subject and want to learn more. I've just read the URLs posted on this thread. Does this open house event schedule time for feedback, or is this a decidedly one-way MROSD-talking-at-us event?

    I am particularly interested to hear from those of you who have attended MROSD access/planning meeting(s).

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj2
    We need some concise talking points and counter arguments for the meeting.
    Someone PM'd me that has some experience with representing groups in an environment like this. He's a MTBR regular.

    Maybe Patty, PortolaVince, or others can help with 3-4 talking points?

  38. #38
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    I will be there
    I am used to this type of atmosphere, being a chair/president and chief negotiator for Local SEIU 521 Mountain View
    I might make the ride
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  39. #39
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    The deciding body is the MROSD board of directors. The board's decision will be shaped by the board's ad hoc committee - Larry Hassett, Mary Davies, and Curt Riffle. What will be presented is a draft plan which is a long way from being accepted, so we have time to influence the plan still. The board is elected in theory and "reports to" the voters. Contact the district if you want to run. There are a few seats up in 2008. Curt Riffle is very pro recreation. Mary Davey is anti bike and Larry Hassett is probably in the middle. If you live in Atherton, La Honda, Loma Mar, Menlo Park, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Gregorio, or Woodside, please contact Larry - try to get a meeting with him to sway him to a more pro bike stance. While probably fruitless, contacting Mary Davey could not hurt either.
    http://www.openspace.org/about_us/bo..._directors.asp

    The issues are fairly complex as the District needs to take care of Rudy Driscoll's (previous owner) 50 year ranching lease, and the district has a limited amount of money, so as they acquire more land, they need to spend more money managing the resources. Specifically, enforcing speed limits and responding to mountain bike crashes take up a lions share of resources that could be otherwise directed at acquiring more land, which is really ultimately good for everybody, although it does not address my personal, immediate need to recreate. By simply not permitting mountain biking on some land, the district has more money now to use for land acquisition now, that future generations may get to recreate on later. The District believes it spends more time, money and resources responding to mountain bike related incidents than other user groups. It would be interesting to find data to support this claim. You can probably call and or write the district and request it.

    There are a couple of areas we can push on.
    1) North - South bike access Route from Bear Gulch to the Elementary School. In my opinion, this is the likely route of the ridge trail looping through Portola Redwoods as the audobon property is unlikely to change public access. We should push for access as soon as the trails are built, not when the neighboring trails get opened to bikes so as to avoid the chicken and egg problem that faces manay trail access decisions.
    2) Build a network of bike / dog / mulituse trails near the elementary school for the town of la honda to use. Take precautions to protect the calving area at Sears Ranch by seasonally closing it to dogs during calving season and/or build fences. It would be great if we could get the La Honda City Council to advocate for this as it is in their interest to have a popular trailhead in town, as mountain bikers will stage there and then hang out at AppleJacks and Alices.
    3) The District needs to be made aware that they are about to make a big PR blunder. There has been a lot of upset coast side residents who perceive the District as interfering with their way of life, and the District knows it needs to show some goodwill and gain some respect from coastside residents. We need to make it clear that they are not meeting the expectations of coast side residents, and that not allowing bikes simply perpetuates the belief that they don't care about their neighbors.
    3) The District needs to be made aware that they are about to make a big PR blunder. There has been a lot of upset coast side residents who perceive the District as interfering with their way of life, and the District knows it needs to show some goodwill and gain some respect from coastside residents. We need to make it clear that they are not meeting the expectations of coast side residents, and that not allowing bikes simply perpetuates the belief that they don't care about their neighbors.

    In exchange for anything, the district is going to appreciate it if we can be more self policing. They are very concerned that the constant illegal trail building in El Corte de Madera OSP next door will move into La Honda Creek OSP. It does not help that the builder of unauthorized trails writes letters to the district saying (s)he is not going to stop. They would want to see more mountain bikers volunteer for trail patrols and work to influence all mountain bikers to behave.

    One suggestion that came up was having docent led bike rides ala SF Water. Personally I don't think this is a great idea, but any access is better than no access.

    Another thing that has been suggested is having bike access over a one year trial period with targets for management. If mountain bikers can self police and stay within what ultimately is budgetary constraints, the trails would stay open.

    Any suggestions about how to stop illegal trail building in ECDM OSP would be greatly appreciated. If you know that person, tell him/her to cut it out.

    One thing I remember from the IMBA Summit in Whistler was that WORCA (Whistler Off-Road Cycing Association) did a good job of self policing. How can we develop that culture in the bay area?

    To re-iterate the one argument I believe will be really effective is PR. MORSD recently expanded its sphere of influence to include the San Mateo Coast which was not popular with inhabitants. If the district does not honor the desires of the residents of La Honda, they will only inforce and perpetuate the widely held belief that the district is a bad neighbor and does whatever they feel like. I think Larry Hassett especially needs to hear this.

    I think we should continue to push for access in the whole preserve, but need to be ready to accept a compromise and be willing to do some work to make it work.

    What do you think?
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  40. #40
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    I Think

    that the fact that this area borders and is near to county and state land which don't allow bikes makes it easier to keep the La Honda Open Space that way as well. I also think that some bike access will occur whether it's legal or not just like it does in the four county and state parks that it is near. Making bike riding illegal is an easy way to not have to spend money to patrol it.
    However, since I don't like having to look over my shoulder when I take a ride, or be constantly nervous when I am supposed to be destressing, I think Mid Penn should not take the phony stance that Portola State Park and San Mateo County take by saying all these trails are illegal therefore no one is riding them and we just won't spend much money on them or patrol them.
    Just make them legal and don't provide any parking. Put up a bunch of no parking signs and get San Mateo Sherrif's to ticket illegal parkers. I know this won't happen though and outlaw bikers will continue to be rewarded with the best trails. That's why they are the best since they aren't torn up with over use after all.
    You know it's kind of funny since all these remote places get battled over, yet, if you go someplace like Big Basin where there are miles of legal trails in a beautiful and remote place, you really don't see too many bikes even on weekends. La Honda OSP may be remote enough that it will never become over used. I know it butts against Skeggs but Skeggs and Corte Madera have some very fun and technical stuff. Just putting a boring connector trail in may not appeal to many mountain bikers anyway.
    As for the illegal trail builders..Mid Penn is a law enforcement agency and they should be embarrased that this is happening on a regular basis on their property. I personally feel that they spend too much time trying to catch speeders and occasional trail poachers and not enough time busting illegal trail builders.

  41. #41
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    Online petition started for bike access

    Please sign this if you support it, and pass it on to others who may sign it.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/lahonda/petition.html


    From the petition originator....

    Figured this was worth a try,
    If we can get enough sigs, we can also present it to MROSD at the meeting next Tuesday. Sign it and pass it along to any groups or message boards that you think could help out

  42. #42
    xls
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    Not only are bikes not unfriendly to the environment but they can be ridden to the trailhead, which makes them more friendly to the environment than hikers who really have no public transportation access to that area.
    One could argue that you can always ride your bike to the park but then go hiking in the park. Just thought I'd point that out before you use this as an argument at the meeting.

  43. #43
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    In the news

    Please fwd this to anyone ya'll know that would be interested in
    adding to the western slope discussion
    Thanx,
    JS

    http://coastsider.com/index.php/site...k_osp_dec_4th/
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by xls
    One could argue that you can always ride your bike to the park but then go hiking in the park.
    Then we should point out whoever makes that argument is not living in reality. If you leave your bike unattended, you might as well head straight to a bike shop and buy another one. My colleague's bike ($150 bought from Costco) was stolen from his enclosed patio!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROMP
    The deciding body is the MROSD board of directors. The board's decision will be shaped by the board's ad hoc committee - Larry Hassett, Mary Davies, and Curt Riffle. What will be presented is a draft plan which is a long way from being accepted, so we have time to influence the plan still. The board is elected in theory and "reports to" the voters. Contact the district if you want to run. There are a few seats up in 2008. Curt Riffle is very pro recreation. Mary Davey is anti bike and Larry Hassett is probably in the middle. If you live in Atherton, La Honda, Loma Mar, Menlo Park, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Gregorio, or Woodside, please contact Larry - try to get a meeting with him to sway him to a more pro bike stance. While probably fruitless, contacting Mary Davey could not hurt either.
    http://www.openspace.org/about_us/bo..._directors.asp

    The issues are fairly complex as the District needs to take care of Rudy Driscoll's (previous owner) 50 year ranching lease, and the district has a limited amount of money, so as they acquire more land, they need to spend more money managing the resources. Specifically, enforcing speed limits and responding to mountain bike crashes take up a lions share of resources that could be otherwise directed at acquiring more land, which is really ultimately good for everybody, although it does not address my personal, immediate need to recreate. By simply not permitting mountain biking on some land, the district has more money now to use for land acquisition now, that future generations may get to recreate on later. The District believes it spends more time, money and resources responding to mountain bike related incidents than other user groups. It would be interesting to find data to support this claim. You can probably call and or write the district and request it.

    There are a couple of areas we can push on.
    1) North - South bike access Route from Bear Gulch to the Elementary School. In my opinion, this is the likely route of the ridge trail looping through Portola Redwoods as the audobon property is unlikely to change public access. We should push for access as soon as the trails are built, not when the neighboring trails get opened to bikes so as to avoid the chicken and egg problem that faces manay trail access decisions.
    2) Build a network of bike / dog / mulituse trails near the elementary school for the town of la honda to use. Take precautions to protect the calving area at Sears Ranch by seasonally closing it to dogs during calving season and/or build fences. It would be great if we could get the La Honda City Council to advocate for this as it is in their interest to have a popular trailhead in town, as mountain bikers will stage there and then hang out at AppleJacks and Alices.

    3) The District needs to be made aware that they are about to make a big PR blunder. There has been a lot of upset coast side residents who perceive the District as interfering with their way of life, and the District knows it needs to show some goodwill and gain some respect from coastside residents. We need to make it clear that they are not meeting the expectations of coast side residents, and that not allowing bikes simply perpetuates the belief that they don't care about their neighbors.


    In exchange for anything, the district is going to appreciate it if we can be more self policing. They are very concerned that the constant illegal trail building in El Corte de Madera OSP next door will move into La Honda Creek OSP. It does not help that the builder of unauthorized trails writes letters to the district saying (s)he is not going to stop. They would want to see more mountain bikers volunteer for trail patrols and work to influence all mountain bikers to behave.

    One suggestion that came up was having docent led bike rides ala SF Water. Personally I don't think this is a great idea, but any access is better than no access.

    Another thing that has been suggested is having bike access over a one year trial period with targets for management. If mountain bikers can self police and stay within what ultimately is budgetary constraints, the trails would stay open.

    Any suggestions about how to stop illegal trail building in ECDM OSP would be greatly appreciated. If you know that person, tell him/her to cut it out.

    One thing I remember from the IMBA Summit in Whistler was that WORCA (Whistler Off-Road Cycing Association) did a good job of self policing. How can we develop that culture in the bay area?

    To re-iterate the one argument I believe will be really effective is PR. MORSD recently expanded its sphere of influence to include the San Mateo Coast which was not popular with inhabitants. If the district does not honor the desires of the residents of La Honda, they will only inforce and perpetuate the widely held belief that the district is a bad neighbor and does whatever they feel like. I think Larry Hassett especially needs to hear this.

    I think we should continue to push for access in the whole preserve, but need to be ready to accept a compromise and be willing to do some work to make it work.

    What do you think?

    Great post! I think your point 3 about PR and support for MROSD is well taken.

  46. #46
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    Not that I'm for illegal trail building, but isn't opening up more bike trails likely to put an end to illegal trail building naturally? Not 100%, but at least severly reduce? I'm not naive, well, not totally, but why would mtb'ers do work if they don't have to? I don't want to derail the thread, I just want to play out possible argument points for these committees.

    In no way am I in support of illegal trail building if this is what MidPen is claiming to be their #1 issue.
    Last edited by rensho; 11-29-2007 at 01:10 PM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes
    This is REALLY a big problem, the illegal trail building/re-opening of closed trails in ECDM. Until that's fixed, we are going to have constant uphill battles, and MidPenn will ALWAYS use that against us.
    I hate to disagree with you, Anne, but my dealings with MidPen don't bear that out. They're frustrated about the ECdM situation, to be sure, but I don't think they hold it against the entire MTB community.

    Seems to me the best way to head off a similar situation at La Honda Creek/Driscoll Ranch is to open a reasonable trail network to cyclists. But that means convincing the board that it's a good idea. IMHO it all starts and ends with the board.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes
    This is REALLY a big problem, the illegal trail building/re-opening of closed trails in ECDM. Until that's fixed, we are going to have constant uphill battles, and MidPenn will ALWAYS use that against us.

    At least one of the rangers hates mountain bikers because of this, even though MTBers do help out with LEGAL trailbuilding and patrols. He truthfully could care less unless the illegal building stops. That would probably be the biggest win we can do for ourselves.

    does anyone know where these trails are being built in the park? PM me. I'm in their 3+ times a week and I would be happy to try and cut this off.

    i mean, if you're going to build trails, why not do it somewhere where there isn't constant patrol? i can think of many places...

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    Not that I'm for illegal trail building, but isn't opening up more bike trails likely to put an end to illegal trail building naturally? Not 100%, but at least severly reduce? I'm not naive, well, not totally, but why would mtb'ers do work if they don't have to? I don't want to derail the thread, I just want to play out possible argument points for these committees.

    In no way am I in support of illegal trail building if this is what MidPen is claiming to be their #1 issue.
    For the record (and not on the Peninsula), the illegal trails have always been the most fun to ride.

    Otherwise, I'm with Rensho, build some cool legal trails, and the illegal ones will go away. One thing that is for sure is that banning bikes all together will encourage illegal trail building.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  50. #50
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    from the peanut gallery...

    It's important that consideration be made for what the users interests are in order to build trails that meet the users interests. Fire road vs singletrack vs flat grade vs steep grade vs technical vs etc etc. This concept may play into the reason non-sanctioned trails appear. This is also part of the reason other user groups are so organized (hikers, equestrians, etc), they don't have as varied of interests as mountain bikers so it is easier for them to find common ground. We do have significantly varied interests among ourselves that land managers have trouble addressing. Land managers in areas that have successfully provided for mountain biking understand different interests. That approach may help with addressing non-sanctioned trails. And no, I'm not the rogue trail builder.

  51. #51
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    With Bells ON!

    I'm there, with a Blazer,clean shaven, combed hair and Bike Helmet on, and to throw a curve ball into the mix - Wrangler jeans and Justin Boots.....

    Maybe even bear bells.

    enough is enough..... Bicyclists got roads paved in the early 20th century.... we as the new guard should gather in solidarity to gain access to open spaces to ride. Horses are outmoded and not viable for the majority of society for recreation, transportation or industry.

    We are the new America.
    Earn your turns. )'(

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucko58

    Seems to me the best way to head off a similar situation at La Honda Creek/Driscoll Ranch is to open a reasonable trail network to cyclists. But that means convincing the board that it's a good idea. IMHO it all starts and ends with the board.
    I agree with this. At that winter workshop, http://www.openspace.org/plans_proje...newsletter.pdf
    there was extensive community support for all inclusive trails. Folks in the area noted that some of the property already had roads that were clearly suitable for multiple use. Now, I don't want to derail the thread with a discussion of singletrack versus fire roads, but unless MROSD is going to de-commission roads, consider the absurdity of banning cycling on a road. And if MROSD thinks they have a problem with trailbuilders at ECDM, consider the proximity of this preserve to the community of La Honda. I can't claim to be an expert on illegal trail building, but my perception is that it is most likely to crop up and be a problem near towns. My guess would be that whoever is building at ECDM is a local.

    By the way, the renegade trail building at ECDM is troubling, but also a relatively recent phenomena. There have been anti-bike board members and their supporters at MROSD before this problem arose.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    By the way, the renegade trail building at ECDM is troubling, but also a relatively recent phenomena.
    The way I understand it, the ECdM situation is a reaction to the fact that MidPen has been "sanitizing" the trails in what was at one time a legal playground for dirt motorcycles. Some people object to the sanitizing, and have taken matters into their own hands.

    Maybe someone can explain to the MidPen board that this is the kind of thing that happens when the historical uses of a property are not taken into account. It should be obvious how this applies to the Driscoll Ranch road network.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    I
    By the way, the renegade trail building at ECDM is troubling, but also a relatively recent phenomena.
    No way has this been relatively recent, it's been going on for a long time. Actually I thought it was way down compared to the late nineties. Guess I just don't ride there enough anymore to notice the new stuff.

    BTW, gonna try and make this meeting also.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucko58

    Maybe someone can explain to the MidPen board that this is the kind of thing that happens when the historical uses of a property are not taken into account. It should be obvious how this applies to the Driscoll Ranch road network.
    Check out this story about historical uses and some reversing of decisions of the state beach access.

    http://coastsider.com/index.php/site...e_in_pacifica/

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    No way has this been relatively recent, it's been going on for a long time. Actually I thought it was way down compared to the late nineties. Guess I just don't ride there enough anymore to notice the new stuff.

    BTW, gonna try and make this meeting also.

    I wasn't taking into account the history of ECDM when I wrote that, so maybe it is a bad example of the point I was making.

  57. #57
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    Vaporized

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
    does anyone know where these trails are being built in the park? PM me. I'm in their 3+ times a week and I would be happy to try and cut this off.

    i mean, if you're going to build trails, why not do it somewhere where there isn't constant patrol? i can think of many places...

    I think a thread got vaporized last time someone went out and actually put a citizen's stop to a mess out near Santa Cruz. I thought it was a good idea though, but not in this case. I really think Mid Penn needs to get out and check out their land more than they do. They just park their butts in the hot spots and wait for someone to come by for another 307 dollars. Meanwhile the land that they are paid to protect gets raped by a bunch of kids. Like I said this is an embarrasment for Mid Penn, and a mess they need to solve themselve's.
    When I first started working for State Parks the new Mid Penn rangers were all fired up about being on the bike patrol and being paid to ride. Now it seems the bike patrol is a rare bird and they hang out in their FWD's. It's pretty hard to find an illegal trail sitting in pickup that is 7 feet wide. They have a much better chance on foot or dusting off those mountain bikes that are sitting in Mid Penn's storage area.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudworm
    Then we should point out whoever makes that argument is not living in reality. If you leave your bike unattended, you might as well head straight to a bike shop and buy another one. My colleague's bike ($150 bought from Costco) was stolen from his enclosed patio!
    I don't think you're going to start that argument at the meeting (or any meeting with more than 3 people). You can try, and it'll probably go back and forth: "but you should lock up your bike" - "my friend's $150 bike was locked!", etc. at which point people will stop listening to you and the discussion moves on.

    It's better to start out with arguments that are tight, which the original one wasn't. I just wanted to point that out, that's all.

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    Hey, we've got a couple media folks we could contact. KFOG's Big Rick has posted here a few times. So has Tom Sienstra (sp?) from the Chronicle. I know the riding community is somewhat cool to Tom, but he has been pretty outspoken about the wrongness of SFPUC shutting the public out of Crystal Springs. Anybody know how to get in touch with these guys?

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Hey, we've got a couple media folks we could contact. KFOG's Big Rick has posted here a few times. So has Tom Sienstra (sp?) from the Chronicle. I know the riding community is somewhat cool to Tom, but he has been pretty outspoken about the wrongness of SFPUC shutting the public out of Crystal Springs. Anybody know how to get in touch with these guys?
    I believe that Johnnyb (sp?) works at the Chron and took the pics of the barb wire on that bootleg trail in Marin.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  61. #61
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    Again, be careful when seeking publicity... you might stir up anti-MTB backlash.

    Big Rick is probably a safe bet. Stienstra may not be.

    Play up the "La Honda locals want bike access, MidPen resists" and "extending the multi-use Bay Area Ridge Trail" angles and you should do well. Lean too hard on the "it's our land too, MTBers want our fair share" and you invite backlash.

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    We're not the only ones

    I don't have anything to do with building illegal trails but I have this to say. Midpen has no basis to exclude mountain bikes because of illegal trail building (generally) and poaching (specifically). I have a good friend who runs on OSP trails. He is frequently surprised by horses on trails - and their leavings - where they're not supposed to be. This is a general problem and midpen needs to treat it that way and we (bicyclists) should insist on that. We're not the only trouble makers.

  63. #63
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    it's politics...

    so its not about doing the right thing. It's about those in some kind of authority getting their ego stroked (ever talk to anyone on a schoolboard?). There has to be a couple people at Mid Pen that are interested in doing the right thing, they need to represent mtb'ers. If you only go after what you want, you'll never get it. You have to go after more than you want so that they can meet you in the middle, like salary negotiations. That way the tools get to feel like they "showed you", just don't be an egomaniac yourself and tell them about later. Personally, I hate that hikers and equestrians get their own trails. MTB's should get their own trail, and it should be steep and technical and one directional! Successful landowners across the country have properly dealt with user conflict by making a few trails directional and mtb specific. If this is done properly, the non sanctioned trail issue will also decrease.

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    IMBA - guidelines Meeting with Elected Officials and Their Staff

    These guidelines may help to make the best impression possible for the people going to the meeting.

    http://www.imba.com/resources/organi...ng_primer.html

    I'm a La Honda resident and have followed this issue from at least 2004. I'm really hoping that the mountain bikers and mountain bike supporters can convince the MROSD to have mountain biking access.

  65. #65
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    I wish I could be at this meeting... I agree that our demands for all access is likely to result in some access and that this would be an excellent step forward. I also agree that the bias of the board must change before much will happen. Maybe my three key points could be brought up by someone at the meeting:
    1. Complete and honest analysis of the costs of trail maintenance. Horses are much harder on the trails and mountain bikers may increase emergency response costs but where is the data?
    2. Treat everyone fairly. I don't like horses (especially their leavings) but I'm not fighting their access to trails and I treat them with extreme respect and caution during on trail encounters. (I get off my bike and talk pleasantly to both the horse and the rider until they are past. "Hello, How's your horse feeling today?")
    3. More legal trails and more trail variety for mountain bikers will result in less illegal trail use.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj2
    I forwarded this thread to my KPIX south bay bureau cameraman road/MTB rider neighbor.
    He's pitching the story to his producers.

    The helmets make a great visual.
    We take care of your technology needs so you can focus on what's important.

  67. #67
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    Stienstra's contact info

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Hey, we've got a couple media folks we could contact. KFOG's Big Rick has posted here a few times. So has Tom Sienstra (sp?) from the Chronicle. I know the riding community is somewhat cool to Tom, but he has been pretty outspoken about the wrongness of SFPUC shutting the public out of Crystal Springs. Anybody know how to get in touch with these guys?
    Tom Stienstra's e-mail address is tstienstra@sfchronicle.com. He's unpredictable and strongly opinionated. Nevertheless, I think the risk of a negative response is worth taking, so I would suggest contacting him. Maybe someone at the San Jose Mercury News as well.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke
    Tom Stienstra's e-mail address is tstienstra@sfchronicle.com. He's unpredictable and strongly opinionated. Nevertheless, I think the risk of a negative response is worth taking, so I would suggest contacting him. Maybe someone at the San Jose Mercury News as well.
    Thanks. I agree with your above assessment. Let me give it some thought, and I'll write him a careful note.

  69. #69
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    Good job!

    Thanks, everybody, for the support! Now I won't be standing there by myself and looking like a dork. Let's make this happen, and if you're on the fence, show up!

    Some things to keep in mind:

    First, you must show up! Numbers are everything at these events! Bring your spouse, your kids, your friends, anyone! Tell your riding buddies and your local bike shop! It doesn't matter if you can't be there at 4 PM or if you can't deal with public speaking. This is an open house: you can show up whenever you like, and you can talk with MROSD reps one-on-one, or just silently stand there in your helmet. Even getting there at 6:30 PM will make a big difference so long as you make your presence known.

    Please wear your helmet if you have one, and bring extras if you can. We want all the MROSD staff to have helmets in their field of view at all times during the evening, so that they are constantly reminded of our presence even when we aren't talking to them directly.

    Most importantly, our position is this: Cyclists are legitimate trail users and deserve the same access equestrians do. There are legitimate reasons to make trails hiking-only, but if a trail is safe for horses to share, it is safe for bicycles to share. And if equestrians feel they can't share, then we need to have our own bicycle-only trails in compensation. Period. No more discriminatory Jim Crow laws! "The colored bathrooms are over in Skeggs, what's your problem, boy?"

    Here are some points you can bring up to the MROSD reps and anyone else who asks. Pick a couple that you like, or come up with your own:

    1) Study after study has been initiated by parks districts, at the behest of anti-bike zealots, to try and prove that mountain bikes destroy trails and harm wildlife, and they all prove the opposite: that fire roads and surface runoff are the main problem, followed by use trails and cutting of switchbacks. I am printing out and bringing this report from Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland:
    http://www.btceb.org/jmpreport.htm
    http://www.btceb.org/pdf/jmp_report.pdf
    with the following telling quote: "Surface water runoff was determined to be the dominant erosion mechanism acting on the park trails. Erosion generated by horses, bicycles, and hikers was determined to be a minor erosion mechanism on established park trails." Note that the impact is so minor that they don't even bother to differentiate!
    knobbyknees: do you have access to the Skeggs report?

    2) Many people, especially the aged, have injuries or illnesses that prevent them from hiking long distances, but are perfectly capable of riding a bicycle. Prohibiting mountain bikes shuts those of us with arthritis or other joint problems out of our open space.

    3) Banning bicycles from trails just makes trail conflicts worse on the remainder. The reason multi-use trails get so much bicycle use is that there are so few of them. Imagine how many horses would be in Skeggs if they were banned from most other preserves the way bicycles are! The more trails that are open to bicycles, the less bicycles you will see on any one trail.

    4) Unlike horses, cyclists do not require MROSD to construct and maintain gigantic parking lots for their trailers.

    5) As a hiker, I'd rather share the trail with bikers than horses, because bikers don't force me to walk through huge smelly piles of their feces. Nor do they require that trails be bulldozed out to a six foot wide freeway so they can pass each other.

    6) There is a formal, legal designation for prohibiting bicycle access: it's called "wilderness". A working ranch with a network of fire roads and trails does not meet the definition of "wilderness".

    7) Mountain biking gets kids off the sofa and out of doors. You can't expect kids to enjoy quietly reading Aldo Leopold...that comes later, but only if they learn to enjoy being outside in the first place. Otherwise they grow up with the idea that the outdoors is for losers, and they don't care about acquiring open space or passing parks bonds.
    Last edited by El Caballo; 12-03-2007 at 03:40 AM.

  70. #70
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    Cut and Pasted

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Shirts
    I wish I could be at this meeting... I agree that our demands for all access is likely to result in some access and that this would be an excellent step forward. I also agree that the bias of the board must change before much will happen. Maybe my three key points could be brought up by someone at the meeting:
    1. Complete and honest analysis of the costs of trail maintenance. Horses are much harder on the trails and mountain bikers may increase emergency response costs but where is the data?
    2. Treat everyone fairly. I don't like horses (especially their leavings) but I'm not fighting their access to trails and I treat them with extreme respect and caution during on trail encounters. (I get off my bike and talk pleasantly to both the horse and the rider until they are past. "Hello, How's your horse feeling today?")
    3. More legal trails and more trail variety for mountain bikers will result in less illegal trail use.

    I cut and pasted both of your posts 2 shirts. I was unsure of what to say myself since this is a sensitive issue for me having lived in Portola State Park for 4 years. I think you pretty much nailed it on the head though, especially in your first post. To use a metaphor you can't bust all Camaro drivers just because one does donuts on your lawn. Not even if your Tony Orlando and Dawn. You can't bust all mountain bikers because a bunch of kids are out playing Rambo either.
    I sent it to my work email and I will print it out today and bring it to the La Honda meeting. Of course sometimes at these meetings it's a bit hard to get the floor as the dominant voices do tend to dominate.
    If it is too wet and rainy I won't be going though either. In either case, hopefully a dominant speaker will spend some well deserved time with your points.

  71. #71
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    the Skeggs report can be found here

    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/pro...2001-06-06.pdf

    it says the same thing- erosion caused by fire roads

  72. #72
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    be sure to talk to the ad hoc committee

    Make sure you talk to the members of the board on the ad hoc committee - Curt Riffle (6' even, thin, balding, 40s looks like a biker because he is one), Larry Hassett (maybe 6', late 50s? grey thinning hair), and mary davey (60s+, grey hair in a bob, red lipstick) These three are making the recommendations to the board in general, and need to be influenced.

    The talking points below are awesome! Don't forget that not opening the trails to bikes is going to be bad publicity / PR for them and it is angering coastside residents.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo
    Edit for strategy update! THIS IS HAPPENING! The tide is turning!

    0) All of the meetings and public comment periods indicated a strong desire for bicycle access by the local community, as repeatedly stated in MROSD's documentation of these events. Yet MROSD has completely ignored this.

    1) Study after study has been initiated by parks districts, at the behest of anti-bike zealots, to try and prove that mountain bikes destroy trails and harm wildlife, and they all prove the opposite: that fire roads and surface runoff are the main problem, followed by use trails and cutting of switchbacks. I am printing out and bringing this report from Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland:
    http://www.btceb.org/jmpreport.htm
    http://www.btceb.org/pdf/jmp_report.pdf
    with the following telling quote: "Surface water runoff was determined to be the dominant erosion mechanism acting on the park trails. Erosion generated by horses, bicycles, and hikers was determined to be a minor erosion mechanism on established park trails." Note that the impact is so minor that they don't even bother to differentiate!

    Here's the Skeggs report, with the same conclusions. Feel free to bring it up, since it's the MROSD's own study!
    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/pro...2001-06-06.pdf

    2) Many people, especially the aged, have injuries or illnesses that prevent them from hiking long distances, but are perfectly capable of riding a bicycle. Prohibiting mountain bikes shuts those of us with arthritis or other joint problems out of our open space.

    3) Banning bicycles from trails just makes trail conflicts worse on the remainder. The reason multi-use trails get so much bicycle use is that there are so few of them. Imagine how many horses would be in Skeggs if they were banned from most other preserves the way bicycles are! The more trails that are open to bicycles, the less bicycles you will see on any one trail.

    4) Unlike horses, cyclists do not require MROSD to construct and maintain gigantic parking lots for their trailers.

    5) As a hiker, I'd rather share the trail with bikers than horses, because bikers don't force me to walk through huge smelly piles of their feces. Nor do they require that trails be bulldozed out to a six foot wide freeway so they can pass each other.

    6) There is a formal, legal designation for prohibiting bicycle access: it's called "wilderness". A working ranch with a network of fire roads and trails does not meet the definition of "wilderness".

    7) Mountain biking gets kids off the sofa and out of doors. You can't expect kids to enjoy quietly reading Aldo Leopold...that comes later, but only if they learn to enjoy being outside in the first place. Otherwise they grow up with the idea that the outdoors is for losers, and they don't care about acquiring open space or passing parks bonds.
    Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers
    Advocating for Mtn Bikers in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
    http://www.romp.org

  73. #73
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    Is ROMP planning on attending? What time? I'd like to learn from you all as well, in person.

  74. #74
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    Folks, this could be some really good momentum for MTBs, especially if 200 of the town's residence are signed up via the petition. Fair, equitable access, with full allegiance to the real challenges of managing the natural resources shouldn't be too much to ask. I don't mean to sound naive, this involves a hell of a lot more than a MTBR thread. Let's begin asking and not backing down. Let's figure out the stated challenges and mitigate one by one. Excuse my ignorance.

    -If trail collisions are the issue, let's have mtb'ers build seperate trails.
    -If it costs too much to rescue injured mtb'ers, lets compare similar costs to rescuing equestrians and hikers. (How the heck does a town like Moab or Fruita pay for rescues, and are the $$$ comparable?)
    -If trail erosion is the issue, let's look at the studies.
    -If the board is the issue, let's educate, compromise, ask for trails, win over...


    Folks can help tremendously by showing up in masse. Like El Caballo said above. Show up even if you will be late/later.

  75. #75
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    ROMP Will be there

    I will be there, probably early rather than late, maybe even as early as 3:30 because it is a lot easier to get some time with the decision makers then. But I do have a day job . . . still

    Other members of our board will be there - Jim Sullivan for sure. Patty Ciesla is not on our board but she will be there. I don't know about Paul Nam, Glenn Wegner, or Charles Jalgunas, but one more of them for sure.

    past presidents may be there - Kathleen Meyer and Henry Pastorelli may show up.

    It'd be nice to meet you Rensho, if we have not met already.


    Josh Moore
    President
    http://www.romp.org
    Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers
    Advocating for Mtn Bikers in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
    http://www.romp.org

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    Folks, this could be some really good momentum for MTBs, especially if 200 of the town's residence are signed up via the petition. Fair, equitable access, with full allegiance to the real challenges of managing the natural resources shouldn't be too much to ask. I don't mean to sound naive, this involves a hell of a lot more than a MTBR thread. Let's begin asking and not backing down. Let's figure out the stated challenges and mitigate one by one.

    Folks can help tremendously by showing up in masse. Like El Caballo said above. Show up even if you will be late/later.
    Remember, this is an OPEN HOUSE meeting, so if you show up at 6pm, you will still have attended and had a chance to provide input.

    Make sure if they provide a feedback form that you fill it out and leave it with them. You can ALSO write a letter later, even if you plan to say the same things in your letter.

    Patty

  77. #77
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    Francois, or others. Can we dig into bike sales and see where that trend is heading? I'm wondering if there is a steady rise of MTB's sold, those bikes need more trails. Seeing the MidPen trail growth trend and plan would be next. Just a thought. I know FC has access to bicycle retailer magazine.

  78. #78
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    Here are some industry statistics: http://nbda.com/page.cfm?PageID=34

    The average specialty bicycle retailer has gross sales of $550,000 per year, and roughly 30% of bikes sold at specialty retailers are mountain bikes. How many bicycle stores are there on the Peninsula? We're talking millions of dollars worth of mountain bikes sold in the MROSD every year...versus how many new horses?

    This is obviously silly. We should be outnumbering the equestrians 100 to 1 at these events, and bicycle access should no longer be an issue. I can't stress enough that our negotiating position should be equal access for bicycles and equestrians. We've been beaten down so long that our current state of advocacy is like slaves asking to be whipped less often instead of fighting for our freedom. It hasn't worked. The draft plan whips us even more harshly than before.

    That's why this is so inspiring to me -- no matter what happens, we will leave with our pride and respect intact, instead of groveling for scraps and still going hungry.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo
    6) There is a formal, legal designation for prohibiting bicycle access: it's called "wilderness". A working ranch with a network of fire roads and trails does not meet the definition of "wilderness".
    Don't give them any reasons to declare more wilderness areas.
    We take care of your technology needs so you can focus on what's important.

  80. #80
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    Bump for tonight. Please join us!

  81. #81
    rj2
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    Why not propose a social gathering for MTBRs and equestrians? The horses are scared of bikes and need to learn that we're not a threat. The riders get to know us. It's a win win. Maybe a joint trailwork day. Something to link us together. The current process is adversarial at best. Everyone wants to protect their piece of the pie, instead of sharing.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj2
    Why not propose a social gathering for MTBRs and equestrians? The horses are scared of bikes and need to learn that we're not a threat. The riders get to know us. It's a win win. Maybe a joint trailwork day. Something to link us together. The current process is adversarial at best. Everyone wants to protect their piece of the pie, instead of sharing.
    maybe while you're at you could organize a social gathering of gaza strip palestinians and isrealis. maybe they could get together and make hummus and dolma if only things were this simple....

    i guess our trail access and use problems aren't so bad really.

    seriously though, its not a bad idea, but who wants to attend?

  83. #83
    rj2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
    seriously though, its not a bad idea, but who wants to attend?
    My horsey friends compete in trails riding. They navigate various obstacles, fences, gates, garbage cans, balloons, etc. The calmest horse and rider team wins. Although mountain bikes are mentioned as an obstacle, my friends have never dealt with one during the trials.

    http://www.trailtrials.com/
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  84. #84
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    Doesn't ROMP do an annual "ROMP 'n Stomp" event for MTB'ers and equestrians?

  85. #85
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    Media coverage update

    From my KPIX camera man neighbor.

    It does not look like we [KPIX] will be covering the story today but I have passed along the information to Tony Russomanno and he wants to be updated on this story as it progresses and may want to pick it up at the next meeting. His email is trussomanno@cbs.com You may want to send him any info directly but of course you can send it to me and I will pass it along. I think it is a good story and I would like to see us cover it but sometimes getting the desk to get excited about something is like moving an 800-pound gorilla on a mountain bike with loaded panniers. Not the way I would choose to run things but I am obviously not in charge
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  86. #86
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    Mountain bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) does an annual event with the local equestrian group. The even is called the Carrot Fest. We get together at the equestrian staging area at Wilder Ranch with lots of people, bikes, horses, and carrots. It's a cool event.

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