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  1. #1
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    sdmba - m.i.a. ?

    Is it me or is the SDMBA (San Diego Mountain Biking Association) missing in action? I have been giving this some thought as of late.

    The Fires
    An individual (mtbbill) has taken action to keep the MTB community informed of trail status & closures. Where is the SDMBA?

    Trails
    their numbers have been dwindling (even before the fire). Who's taking action? Taffy15. I participated in the SDMBA trail maintenance project at La Costa a few months ago and the first 30-45 minutes was spent standing in the road. They had no clue about the trail and what the goal was for the day. It wasn't until Taffy15 showed up that the project was given some clear direction.

    Perhaps I am missing something here. I mean I pay my dues and am willing to work to build and maintain trails. It just seems the SDMBA is not providing the San Diego mountain bike community the leadership it deserves.

  2. #2
    dft
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    time to move to the shore!! me and friends do our own trail work, but granted i'm mostly into freeriding, so i don't expect many others around here to be into the same type of riding. the shore trail days get like 100 people to show up, of course they have infinetly more good trails than we do, that probably helps

    also wanted to mention that if your into true long backcountry rides in OC (trails like joplin, los pinos, bell ridge, coldwater), the subgroup fo the warrior society called "dog soldeirs" are always looking for people. good guys that do hard work, i've been at their trail days, keeping the backcountry trails going. (just email warriors to get info about them)

  3. #3
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    Perhaps you need to step up...

    and take on a leadership role and do more than just attend an occasional trail day.

    You have to remember that these people are VOLUNTEERS. They have families, jobs, responsibilities and obligations outside of their role in this group. The jobs they do here are largely thankless as your post demonstrates. There is a very small number of people that are ultimately responsible for all of their accomplishments and we should be applauding their efforts.

    Instead of b*tching about this. Go to a meeting, step up and give these few people a hand! They won't turn you away. It takes more than a monitary donation to make SDMBA work!

  4. #4
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    Tom - good info, thanks.

    To the OP - maybe email them directly for info? They have sent out a few emails, and Mark posted about the CNF being closed. It may simply be that they are in communications with local parks and groups to determine the first steps toward opening the trails again in the future.

    There is a lot of behind the scenes work that is probably going on, and let's not forget the fires aren't all out yet!

    I don't believe any groups up north have really done too much about the OC fires either. They are all working with communication probably at the moment, and will wait until the forests are back open and the parks have determined what to do first.

  5. #5
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    This is just a guess, but San Diego is a big place, and traffic is a headache. Maybe SDMBA needs not just fresh blood, but a regional split as well. I'm not saying that the organization should break up, but that it needs regional chapters or sections. folks are more likely to show up for meetings and trail days when it is in their own back-yard. Knowing San Diego (I used to live there), I could see the need for a north county group, a central group that would cover an area say from Penasquitos to Mission Valley, and a South county chapter. Or divide it up some other way that makes sense to the folks on the ground and involved.

  6. #6
    i can't type the letter s
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    SDMBA is a volunteer organization with its directors and liaisons working full time jobs and coping with fire management issues both personal and professional of their own.

    That being said, SDMBA welcomes others who have the time and motivation to inform the San Diego cycling community of trail closures and access issues relating from the San Diego Firestorm.

    SDMBA is currently in contact with Forest Service rangers and officials, and city and county leaders including Supervisor Jacob, regarding trail status and outdoor recreational cycling affected by the recent fires. Until the proper city, county, and forest authorities determine the next plan of action regarding trail work and maintenance, such trail work and maintenance will be on hold.

    As you may know, all of Cleveland National Forest is closed until further notice. Black Mountain, Penasquitos, Mission Trails, and Elfin Forest remain open.

    Be assured that SDMBA will continue to fight for trail access as an advocate of the San Diego cycling community and we value and appreciate any constructive input from the San Diego cycling community to that end.

    And donít forget to attend the next SDMBA meeting, November 21, at 7 pm in the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center.

  7. #7
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    We all need to step up. I have not seen many posts stating what people can do to help. Start with the trail in your back yard, no matter how big or small, since it will see more usage due to closed trails. Contact SDMBA and look at their website for park specific contacts and see what can be done to help.

    Trail specific meetings lead by the SDMBA contact for the trail would be a great idea. But I would not want it to turn into mini-factions fighting for resources.

  8. #8
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    SDMBA at work

    First, this may come as a surprise to newcomers to mountain biking, but there was a time, maybe ten or fifteen years ago, when we had very few legal trails to ride at all. The comment that trails "...have been dwindling (even before the fire)" is simply not true. What has been lost are trails on private land crushed by development (what a euphemism!) and places like Flightline, which was built without permission. I sure as hell mourn Flightline's loss and I think the whole process that brought about it's destruction is fundamentally flawed, but more trails in legal areas have been opened to mountain bikers than ever.

    I originally joined SDMBA to fight to open the many trails that were then closed to us, and we've been pretty successful, especially over the last couple of years. Land managers now listen to us because we have been providing them with both trail work muscle and expertise. We show them how to do it sustainably while keeping it challenging. Now we fight more to prevent the "dumbing down" of trails, which happens when we're not involved. Some land managers still don't get it, but we keep hammering them to keep the features, that mountain bikers want a challenge. That's what "plastic courage" is for!

    Second, I appreciate the comments about all of us being VOLUNTEERS. Like most folks, we work full-time jobs and we can't do this alone. To just anonymously snipe in forums doesn't really help. My e-mail address is readily available on the SDMBA web site and I answer. Incidentally, you probably figured out by now that we also monitor the forums. We're not so arrogant to think everyone is going to go to our site or even know about it.

    Saying "It just seems the SDMBA is not providing the San Diego mountain bike community the leadership it deserves" forgets that it takes lots of involved members to give a leadership the power to influence land management and get things done the way we mountain bikers want them done. There must be several thousand people in this county who call themselves mountain bikers, but we have 500 members. Imagine what we could get done if we could tell land managers we have thousands of members, if a hundred people regularly showed up for trail work, or if we filled hearing rooms when issues were being voted on that affect our access.

    The few of us who actually do the heavy lifting of fighting every proverbial fire, going to meetings, and working with all the land managers in this county are getting worn out. Most places, Sedona for instance, are surrounded by one land management agency. We have almost twenty, each one with its own rules and agendas and their staffs seem to be constantly turning over. We've always been stretched thin. That doesn't mean we stop trying. We do this because we love riding challenging trails.

    Third, SDMBA is indeed in contact with all the major land managers. You can rightfully expect that of us, but keep in mind that a couple of fires are still burning and we all know someone who lost their home. I know of someone who lost eight bikes as well. We have already talked to Mountain Bike Bill about linking his list of fire impacts on our home page. Bill has been a strong long-time SDMBA supporter and was happy to have us do it. (Our web master did a hell of a job on our new site - for free. Check it out.)

    Finally, this is southern California and fires happen. As for what we can do right now, land managers know we are anxious to help, but they are basically telling us to stand by while they assess the damage. Some places may still be smoldering, but at least I can take a saw the next time I hit Noble.

    As of today, the REI annual volunteer project at Cuyamaca this weekend is still set to go. Ironically, most of what we will be doing is clearing tree trunks killed in 2003 in the Cedar Fire. The ferocious winds that fanned the recent flames brought a bunch of them down onto the trails. I was up in the Lagunas the morning the fires started and there were trees coming down already. If you've been there or at least seen Aquaholic's pictures of Noble Canyon, there's literally tons of work to do. Land managers will need our help and appreciate it.

    This isn't just about continued access. Keeping on good terms with land managers should take care of that. In the wake of disaster, it's also about the potential for new thinking, for new trails. Personally, I would also love to see some easily accessible pump tracks and challenge parks built on public lands and I'm going to continue to work on that too. They're happening all over the place. Why not here in San Diego?

    Any community thrives on involvement. The more people we have, the more we can do to make sure trails get done right. Join us and learn how. If you know it all already, then we really need you!

    Sign up for our TrailNews e-mail newsletter to keep up to date with what's going on because there is likely to be some impromptu trail work events in the near future:

    http://sdmba.com/index.php?option=co...ask=view&id=67.

    Thanks for letting me unload.

    John Eric Holloway
    SDMBA President

  9. #9
    dft
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    well said.
    i just live in the wrong area. if you like hardcore technical freeride trails, SD is NOT the place. there isn't even ONE legal reasonably long technical trail here. i will continue to help out on the back country santa ana trails though. i applaud everyone that does trailwork, its a small fraction of the total riders. now can we add skinnies and ladder to noble (kidding

  10. #10
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    Hear ye, hear ye!!!!

    All for Tacos and Beer as the next president of the SDMBA say "Aye"!

  11. #11
    Supreme Enchilada
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    Mmmm. Rolled tacos, with cheese and guacamole no lettuce and a Pacifico with Lime.
    2006 Iron Horse MKIII Team
    On One Inbred SS
    2009 Santa Cruz Bullit

  12. #12
    Glad to Be Alive
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    Quote Originally Posted by dft
    the shore trail days get like 100 people to show up, of course they have infinetly more good trails than we do, that probably helps
    )
    more people = better trails
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  13. #13
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    Interesting discussion.

    We all wish for a "Whistler Bike Park" here in San Diego County, but we have to look at the "realities" that exist.

    I can tell you that I've seen in one instance, a lot of "behind the scenes dialogue", "posturing" and "politicing" that occurs between SDMBA members and land managers. "Baby steps" seem to work in getting things done.
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  14. #14
    Mountain Bike Sensei
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    I think that information needs to be shared with those who can't attend the meetings. I think a monthly newsletter would be nice to keep everyone updated on what is happening. I think that if you are only sharing information with those that attened meetings your missing the majority of the MTB community.

    Your new site looks great but is just as starved for content and frequent updates as the old site. I subscribe to the TrailNews list but that has little information. I think if you opened up the club a bit more you would get participation where it counts at the trail work parties and in the land manager meetings.

  15. #15
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    I think the posts that followed my earlier one pretty much prove my point. I'm not criticising SDMBA at all, but offering what I hope are seen as constructive suggestions to grow the size and effectiveness of the club. When you've got the club president saying that the active members are stretched thin and getting burned out, well, you need more people.

    I'm not all all suggesting breaking the club into rival factions. But if getting involved means hitting up a Wednesday night meeting in Mission Trails, that's going to exclude a lot of folks. How long does it take to drive to Mission Trails from, oh, Encinitas?

  16. #16
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    I think the posts that followed my earlier one pretty much prove my point. I'm not criticising SDMBA at all, but offering what I hope are seen as constructive suggestions to grow the size and effectiveness of the club. When you've got the club president saying that the active members are stretched thin and getting burned out, well, you need more people.

    I'm not all all suggesting breaking the club into rival factions. But if getting involved means hitting up a Wednesday night meeting in Mission Trails, that's going to exclude a lot of folks. How long does it take to drive to Mission Trails from, oh, Encinitas?
    I agree! Pretty tough to get to Mission Trails for a lot of us. Why not rotate the meetings around the county.
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  17. #17
    i can't type the letter s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudd
    I agree! Pretty tough to get to Mission Trails for a lot of us. Why not rotate the meetings around the county.
    Um, yeah. From North County to South County to East County they met in different locations. They did that for about two years and less people showed up, so it was switched back to Mission Trails to try and establish a consistent meeting place in the hopes more would show up.

  18. #18
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    trailwork at Daley

    Event: 'Trailwork At Daley Ranch'

    Date: Saturday, December 08, 2007 At 08:00 AM
    Duration: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
    Contact Info:
    For more info and to RSVP contact Minette. Email: minette@sdmba.com
    URL:
    Join us for a morning of trailwork at Daley Ranch in Escondido.

    We will have something fun and challenging to work on. Then stay for a white elephant style swag give away. Remember, this is your last chance to rack up the volunteer hours if you are in the running to win the Haro bike this year!

    Meet at 8:00am at the La Honda Rd. dirt parking lot.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by noslogan
    Event: 'Trailwork At Daley Ranch'
    Thanks for posting this. I'm going to copy it over on STR for others to see.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouse jockey
    Um, yeah. From North County to South County to East County they met in different locations. They did that for about two years and less people showed up, so it was switched back to Mission Trails to try and establish a consistent meeting place in the hopes more would show up.
    I wouldn't advocate moving the meetings for that exact reason.

  21. #21
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    follow up

    Well I think some interesting points have been brought up here. My initial post was primarily inspired by the lack of information coming from the SDMBA website. Yes- it is new and looks nice but as someone here pointed out "is just as starved for content and frequent updates as the old site." In this internet age, information and a strong web presence is vital to any organizations success. Be it large corporations, retail outlets or even local bike organizations, an informative and up to date website is a must.

    To address some other comments : The meetings are indeed hard to attend for North County residents. The only meetings I have been able to attend were the Flightline related not only because my desire to desperately save that trail but also because of the proximity of the meeting to where i work and live. Sounds from some of the other posts that moving the meeting around did not work. That is quite surprising but if that is the case so be it. I do like the suggestion of a newsletter recap for those unable to attend. Perhaps there should even be a link on the SDMBA website where individuals unable to attend can post topics for discussion. I don't know - just a thought.

    I am an SDMBA member - I was shocked that there is only 500 members in the organization. That is truly unbelievable in a city / county this big. Has there ever been a membership drive at a grass roots level to try and boost these numbers?

    To the SDMBA President. My original post was not meant to be an "anonymous snipe". It was meant to generate a discussion. That's why forums exist. For specific questions and concerns with the SDMBA, I have contacted you directly some months ago with a suggestion regarding the SDMBA logo and the fact that the current one does not present a very positive image of mountain bikers. Yes, you did respond saying that a new logo was in the works for the reason I brought up. I appreciate the response and I do appreciate the efforts the organization has made.

    The obvious smarta$$ suggestions that I "step up" and take a leadership role: I know what my limitations are and would not do the San Diego mountain bike community justice. Commitment and support can be provided in many different ways. No, I am not able to take a 'leadership" role. there was a time in my life where I was able to be more involved. But not now. What can I do? I can offer my financial support through my membership. Attend trail work days when ever possible. Encourage others to participate and join.

    If I offended some of you then please accept my apology. That was not my intent and perhaps my original comments were too harsh. I am a part of this mountain bike community and would like to see it grow in positive directions.

    Cheers !

  22. #22
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    Tacos & beer,

    Nice post! Very well spoken.

    Regarding the SDMBA web site, there's got to be some talented web folks at one of the local colleges. maybe somebody could be recruited to do some content in exchange for some schwag or to help them meet a course requirement. You can often recruit interns who need academic credit to do short projects like web site updates, poster development, outreach, etc. Just write up a little job description and find the intern office at SDSU or CSU San Marcos.

    We had an IMBA club care visit up in Santa Cruz recently. One of the topics was growing and re-vitalizing the club. Might be a worthwhile thing to look into.

  23. #23
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    make it a fulltime job?

    what would it that to make it a "JOB", you know... pay someone to do it.... just a thought.
    sounds like the current crew is doing pretty good, imagine doing it 40 hours a week.... even just one person.... they could do website, news letters, emails, meetings, etc...
    how many members would it take? 500 or 500,000... anyone know?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by durbish
    what would it that to make it a "JOB", you know... pay someone to do it.... just a thought.
    sounds like the current crew is doing pretty good, imagine doing it 40 hours a week.... even just one person.... they could do website, news letters, emails, meetings, etc...
    how many members would it take? 500 or 500,000... anyone know?
    Interesting thought. Say you were going to pay a salary of $50K a year, plus budget another $25K for benefits and insurance. So $75K a year, and that's before any budget for office space, supplies, promotions, tools, whatever. You'd need 1,500 members paying $50 bucks a year, just for your person.

    Or maybe another way to go would be a management company. Homeowner associations have them,and I know of at least one statewide non-profit that uses one to manage the office functions. Does the club really need an FTE, or just staff to cover the admin functions for a volunteer board?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Interesting thought. Say you were going to pay a salary of $50K a year, plus budget another $25K for benefits and insurance. So $75K a year, and that's before any budget for office space, supplies, promotions, tools, whatever. You'd need 1,500 members paying $50 bucks a year, just for your person.

    Or maybe another way to go would be a management company. Homeowner associations have them,and I know of at least one statewide non-profit that uses one to manage the office functions. Does the club really need an FTE, or just staff to cover the admin functions for a volunteer board?
    interesting, sounds like you know a thing or two about this... the management company might be the way... so what is it these management companys do? anyone know?
    BTW $75K sounds high to me, but office space is something I didn't think of... supplies could be donated.............. and getting 1500 to 2000 new members is part of the job, never know it might work... maybe someone could do it as a consultant for several areas in So. California and rack in 100K ...
    do people at IMBA volunteer or are they salary?

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