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  1. #1
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    % of Bay Area trails open to MTB?

    Has anyone ever done the math?

    I recently got into a “discussion” with a hiker who was basically bitching about bikes ruining his morning of solitude connecting with nature.
    I responded “Hey, I get it…but understand you’re on a multi-use trail. You’re gonna have to deal with bikes (and horses). There are waaaay more trails available to hikers exclusively, so maybe you should choose one of them”.

    I would liked to have quoted some facts & figures to this individual, for example (and btw I’m inaccurately throwing these numbers out there): “There are 500 miles of legal trails in the greater Bay Area, yet only 10% are open to bikes, so your whining is falling on deaf ears”.
    Or something like that.

    Annnyway, has anyone done the math, or would like to venture a guess?
    How badly are we getting the short end of the stick?

  2. #2
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    I hate using the paved multi-use trails for walking. The bikes are buzzing by so fast and so closely, I can completely relate to the hiker who complained about mountain bikers.

    OTOH, I get annoyed by the pedestrians on these same trails because almost none of them respect the two way traffic and spread out in a large group and cover the entire path and make it impossible to pass.

    Even after I ring my bell repeatedly a lot of them ignore it. These multi use trails are without question dangerous for both cyclists, pedestrians and hikers.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by westernmtb View Post
    Even after I ring my bell repeatedly a lot of them ignore it. These multi use trails are without question dangerous for both cyclists, pedestrians and hikers.
    Dangerous seems like an exaggeration, the situation you're describing is definitely irritating though. I don't think the OP is talking about paved paths, and I don't think there are many walkers/hikers on these paths who would dispute our right to ride our bikes there as these paths are almost always unnaturally constructed and multi-use from the start.

    As far as the original question, I'm sure you are about right as far as percentages go. It's easier to know local alternatives and suggest them. For example, when riding in San Francisco on multi-use trail, I've had a group of people loudly gripe to me as I passed about how they wished "their" trails weren't overrun with bikes. I actually stopped, pulled out a map, and showed them how to get to several hiker-only trails nearby in San Bruno Mtn, Lands End, and Marin Headlands. They were a little puzzled and let out a meek thanks, to which I replied "just being a good neighbor." Kill em with kindness

  4. #4
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    I actually stopped, pulled out a map, and showed them how to get to several hiker-only trails nearby in San Bruno Mtn, Lands End, and Marin Headlands. They were a little puzzled and let out a meek thanks, to which I replied "just being a good neighbor." Kill em with kindness[/QUOTE]

    ^ This

    Also reminds me (off topic here) of how many times I’ve encountered lost/confused/clueless hikers who didn’t bother to grab a map at the trailhead. I’ll give ‘me mine if I’m riding in a familiar region. Or grab an extra at the trailhead in expectation of this.

    Carry on...

  5. #5
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    From MidPen web site (https://www.openspace.org/what-to-do...ities/biking):
    Most of the District’s 220 miles of designated trails are unpaved “wildland” trails in steep, rugged terrain. Approximately 65% of these trails are “multiple use” trails and are open to bicyclists, which is the highest ratio of trails open to bikes among parks and open space in the Bay Area. Many of these trails are also single-track trails, providing bicyclists with a more technical experience.

    To make this more confusing, MidPen (along with some other land owners) allows hikers but not other users to go anywhere, including off trail.

    Then, of course, you have entire park agencies (like San Mateo County Parks and Rec) that have little, if any, dirt trail open to bikes.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenj View Post
    Has anyone ever done the math?

    I recently got into a “discussion” with a hiker who was basically bitching about bikes ruining his morning of solitude connecting with nature.
    I responded “Hey, I get it…but understand you’re on a multi-use trail. You’re gonna have to deal with bikes (and horses). There are waaaay more trails available to hikers exclusively, so maybe you should choose one of them”.

    I would liked to have quoted some facts & figures to this individual, for example (and btw I’m inaccurately throwing these numbers out there): “There are 500 miles of legal trails in the greater Bay Area, yet only 10% are open to bikes, so your whining is falling on deaf ears”.
    Or something like that.

    Annnyway, has anyone done the math, or would like to venture a guess?
    How badly are we getting the short end of the stick?
    So Bay Area is big and run by different groups/governments. There's North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, South Bay, and perhaps Santa Cruz.

    And really just consider singletrack trails, not fire roads usually for access or fire breaks.

    MBOSC which is taking control of Santa Cruz County has the following amazing master plan. They've gone from part-timers to one full-time employee... then now... six.
    http://mbosc.org/wp-content/uploads/...MasterPlan.pdf

    One key stat is 39 miles of singletrack open to bikes, out of 217 in the county or....18 percent. This number was very, very difficult to arrive at so I doubt we'll get it from the other districts. And this is Santa Cruz, the hallowed, world-renowned mountain bike destination, home of almost a dozen bike companies. Anyway, MBOSC's mission is to change that.

    http://mbosc.org/wp-content/uploads/...MasterPlan.pdf

    Who We Are – Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz% of Bay Area trails open to MTB?-screen-shot-2018-12-26-9.44.28-am.jpg

    MBOSC is the model since they are now fighting for us for every inch of singletrack. The other groups are just doing the bare minimum to keep us out and appease us.

    Santa Clara County Parks is another amazing group. They have a lot of old rules and regulations but they are really trying to open up to us.

    https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/p...arkfinder.aspx
    IPA will save America

  7. #7
    I'm really diggin it!
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    I know the Marin County stats pretty well:

    Overall the mileage open to cycling is about 35 miles. (Not including Tamarancho. This is private property and was developed by cyclists for cyclists. I don't believe these trail miles should count toward public trail miles.) This 35 miles includes recent "gains". There are over 370 miles of narrow trail on maps in Marin. Overall this is 9% or I'll be generous and call it 10%.

    Keep in mind that East Bay Regional Parks District is 0%

    Overall there a few trails open to cycling in the greater Bay Area. Unless of course you include Santa Cruz and even then its far from good.

  8. #8
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    I know the Marin County stats pretty well:

    Overall the mileage open to cycling is about 35 miles. (Not including Tamarancho. This is private property and was developed by cyclists for cyclists. I don't believe these trail miles should count toward public trail miles.) This 35 miles includes recent "gains". There are over 370 miles of narrow trail on maps in Marin. Overall this is 9% or I'll be generous and call it 10%.

    Keep in mind that East Bay Regional Parks District is 0%

    Overall there a few trails open to cycling in the greater Bay Area. Unless of course you include Santa Cruz and even then its far from good.
    good input.

    East Bay parks, 0% for singletrack

    San Mateo parks, 0% singletrack and 0% fire road.
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  9. #9
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    EBRPD is not 0%. Crockett has a whole system of what they call 'narrow trails', some of which are really bike designed. And there's some smatterings elsewhere. Now that may only add up to 1% but it's not zero. Look for narrow at https://www.ebparks.org/activities/b...ps/default.htm . That agency also has a good 2011 overview of rules region-wide, though it's a bit out of date. (Marin has gotten better since then!)

    SMCo is interesting. It's not 0%, but for singletrack I think it is 0% de jure. They have plans to change that but the general manager at the time was fired and the plans are 'delayed', nominally 'til 2019. De facto it's a touch more than 0% but not much. There's certainly a number of dirt roads open to bikes.

    Midpen calls everything a 'trail', I think they do distinguish a 'road width trail' from the other trails (built to 4' and often singletrack) but I don't know if they publish #'s.

    I wonder if Trailforks can answer what %age of their database (mostly legal trails) overlaps with OSM marked 'trails' (can be anything from a legit trail to random social trail).

  10. #10
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    More East Bay Stats - Walnut Creek Open Space has 1 singeltrack legal to bikes - Upper section of Kovar Trail.

    This makes it about 1% of singletrack legal to bikes in all of their parks - Shell Ridge, Lime Ridge, Acalanes Ridge, and Sugarloaf Open Space.
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmtb View Post
    EBRPD is not 0%. Crockett has a whole system of what they call 'narrow trails', some of which are really bike designed. And there's some smatterings elsewhere. Now that may only add up to 1% but it's not zero. Look for narrow at https://www.ebparks.org/activities/b...ps/default.htm . That agency also has a good 2011 overview of rules region-wide, though it's a bit out of date. (Marin has gotten better since then!)

    SMCo is interesting. It's not 0%, but for singletrack I think it is 0% de jure. They have plans to change that but the general manager at the time was fired and the plans are 'delayed', nominally 'til 2019. De facto it's a touch more than 0% but not much. There's certainly a number of dirt roads open to bikes.

    Midpen calls everything a 'trail', I think they do distinguish a 'road width trail' from the other trails (built to 4' and often singletrack) but I don't know if they publish #'s.

    I wonder if Trailforks can answer what %age of their database (mostly legal trails) overlaps with OSM marked 'trails' (can be anything from a legit trail to random social trail).
    thank you
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  12. #12
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    Numbers have been run for the East Bay Park system, I don't have them ,if you want them get in touch with Mike Udkow ,president of the Bicycle Trails Council of East Bay . Info@BTCEB.ORG.

  13. #13
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    What's the situation in the Berkeley/Oakland Hills such as Tilden Park?

  14. #14
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    This would be a really good project

  15. #15
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    Tilden/Wildcat doesn't have any bike legal single track. Havey Canyon gets sort of single track when it gets over grown. There is legal single track in Briones ,Chabot Pleasant Ridge ,De Valle and Crockett Hills. Closer to Berkeley is Joaquin Miller in Oakland.

  16. #16
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    Oyster Point Trail used to be the longest legal singletrack in the EB. Suspect it's been surpassed by something at PRidge or Crockett now.

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