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  1. #1
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    Obtaining Permission

    I would like to make a trail in my area because there really isn't anything to ride, we have lots of room but its all open space trust. How would I go about obtaining a permit to build a trail. Also whats the best way to clear sagebrush? Where are some tips to make a trail that will make everyone happy ie: the environmentalist. Any guides to making a trail that will have the least impact on the environment. Thanks

  2. #2
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Start by finding the land owner, be pleasant and tell him what your plan would be!

  3. #3
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    A good understanding and explanation of what sustainable trails are is important.

  4. #4
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    Alright, I live in half moon bay CA, its 45 mins outside of SF on the coast and 1 hr north of Santa Cruz. Around me there are some trails, we have skeggs and Higgins canyon which are all fun and all but a pain to get to. Around me there is allot of open space but it is peninsula open space trust, with no trespassing signs everywhere. There is a large eucalyptus forest which is called quarry park, however where there is the eucalyptus there is lots and lots of poison oak and there are already fire roads there (which isn't a bad thing but if you want to make flowy single track it is) I mean I should just contact the pen open space trust but I don't know how to go about doing such a thing, what should I say "There are no trails around here for bikes and I would be willing to make a trail to the IMBA specifications with erosion control and such." -along those lines but more formal ect.

  5. #5
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    Well, you need to educate yourself about this open space trust. Is recreation part of what the open space is in trust for? You need to know who you are talking to, and where they are coming from before you start a conversation. Being prepared will help you to frame your approach appropriately.

    Are you part of an organization? Land managers are usually much more interested in working with an organization than an individual.

    Once you have your approach, be able to provide examples of projects like what you have in mind, and where they have been done successfully. IMBA is a really good resource for this.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for your advice, I will do some more researching.

  7. #7
    Builder of Trails
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    Also, expect the process to potentially last from months to a couple of three years.

    D

  8. #8
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    Contact the ROMP people, also I'm sure you know about the rideSFO guys and woodside bike shop. There are hundreds of bicycle orgs in the bay area, problem is with all the rules, red tape and politics it's likely you'll be old enough to get an AARP discount before any trails YOU want will get build, it's a sad fact.

    Reality is most DH oriented types of trails are built by frustrated people who just got fed up with trying and waiting for meetings, approvals and total lack of focus on the DH scene (shared use XC trails sometimes get built) but mostly the horsey folks have uber bucks and therefore control the land and politics.

    It's a good thing to try, but I don't know how much luck you will have.

    http://www.msdhw.com/

    http://www.woodsidebikeshop.com/index.html

    http://www.romp.org/

    http://www.ridesfo.com/servlet/StoreFront

  9. #9
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    Theres amazing singletrack in Pacifica. You should check it out

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-ville Rider
    Theres amazing singletrack in Pacifica. You should check it out
    pacifica is nice, but after riding it for 2 years.... you get my point

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Havoc
    Contact the ROMP people, also I'm sure you know about the rideSFO guys and woodside bike shop. There are hundreds of bicycle orgs in the bay area, problem is with all the rules, red tape and politics it's likely you'll be old enough to get an AARP discount before any trails YOU want will get build, it's a sad fact.

    Reality is most DH oriented types of trails are built by frustrated people who just got fed up with trying and waiting for meetings, approvals and total lack of focus on the DH scene (shared use XC trails sometimes get built) but mostly the horsey folks have uber bucks and therefore control the land and politics.

    It's a good thing to try, but I don't know how much luck you will have.

    http://www.msdhw.com/

    http://www.woodsidebikeshop.com/index.html

    http://www.romp.org/

    http://www.ridesfo.com/servlet/StoreFront
    Thanks for all of your advice, one of my main goals is to get bike shops involved. My local bike shop might have some advice and when I get in there next they will probably know some more about the possibility of it happening. The main problem is the anti-biking bird watchers, they don't know the first thing about biking and the difference between fire road and single track and why we should deserve a trail. I don't know I really want a trail here but I don't know how likely anyone would care. Hell we have had a temporary skate park here that was supposed to last for 6 months for 9 years. Anti-growthers......
    Last edited by f0ggy; 07-06-2008 at 03:57 PM.

  12. #12
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    Your idea of contacting your local bike shop is a good idea, it is always better to approach a land manager with the support and backing of a larger, more organized group.

    You suggested sending a letter to the land manager outlining your idea. I don't think you should contact the land manager just yet, and here is why:

    Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think it is a good idea to start by contacting the land manager.

    I'm no expert, but I would say, first contact the group (like romp) and that way when you do talk to the land managers you will have the benefit of a large support group and people with experience dealing with land managers.

    Sometimes the direct approach seems like a good idea, however adults are strange creatures and if you don't "follow the unwritten rules of protocol" you will be shot down and no matter how hard you try they will just ignore you (which can be very frustrating).

    Don't tell them how old you are (adults don't believe a 16 year old is very responsibility, or reliable) they may or may not be right about that in your case, but that is just the way they think, sad to say.

    Getting trails with jumps and drops scares the crap out of land managers because of the possibility someone will get hurt and sue. For that reason I would leave that part out of your request, you could mention "technical or more advanced trail features" but don't say jumps.

    I hope these tips help you some.

  13. #13
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    GH has some good advice and I will add to it.

    Are you a member of any mountain biking org? IMBA, or your local club? The powers that be are always more willing to work with an organization than an individual. Would your local club support something like this? I know our club will support just about anything related to biking, but we expect people to put energy into what they want, not just tell the already busy volunteers what they "should" be doing.

    One of the best ways to make friends with the land manager is to do things that prove your commitment to the property. Our club did clean up and maintenance ONLY for two years, so they could see we were serious about taking care of the trails in this area. Get your friends together and pick up trash!!! Tear down the crap built stunts that are a hazard. Fix some drainage issues. Be able to explain what a sustainable trail is, what a "trail filter" is, etc.Anything you can do to take care of your area that doesn't cost them money is a good thing.

    Once you've established that you are reliable and committed, THAT is when you go in and talk about new trails, rebuilding old features and so on.

  14. #14
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    Looks like you've got some good advice. You might want to do some volunteer trail work in other areas, check out an IMBA sponsered trail clinic, get the IMBA book on trail building. There's deffinitely a right and wrong way to build trails, as most bootleg trails are too steep and erosion prone. Just remember, every trail out there used to just be an idea in someones mind. If you're determined, it will happen! Some day people will be going down to Half Moon Bay to ride Foggy's trail!

  15. #15
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by bpressnall
    Looks like you've got some good advice. You might want to do some volunteer trail work in other areas, check out an IMBA sponsered trail clinic, get the IMBA book on trail building. There's deffinitely a right and wrong way to build trails, as most bootleg trails are too steep and erosion prone. Just remember, every trail out there used to just be an idea in someones mind. If you're determined, it will happen! Some day people will be going down to Half Moon Bay to ride Foggy's trail!
    Great advice cause once a trail is made incorrect and erodes it's much harder and way more work to repair it! A little trail school goes a long way! I build with this word in mind! "FLOW" Hikers don't need to maintain momentum where as a flowy trail when mt biked provides the user with a connected experience, and second use of flow is where will the water flow and how will it effect the trail.

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