Monday, March 07, 2011

The Last Post on this Blog

.... and a new beginning for

Life is very busy in MBOSC land and one of the projects we have wanted for a long time to to revamp the old website. It was a static site so keeping it fresh was difficult. Also, having a separate blogspot site meant that we split our audience.  We have been meaning to do something about the old MBOSC site for a long time with the primary goal of making it easier to update and to integrate the blog.

Along comes new mountain biker and web developer Jon Lucas who graciously donated his time to build us a new website based on WordPress. He did an amazing job on this site. I can't recommend Jon strongly enough for your web developer needs. He's very detail oriented, responsive and has a very strong work ethic.

If you are following posts in an RSS reader then please update your feed to You can usually do this by adding to your RSS reader.

We are proud of this new site and we hope to update content more regularly. The lack of posts doesn't reflect a lack of activity. There has been a lot going on and we find it hard to get the word out.

The biggest project in MBOSC land is the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival April 9-10, 2011 in Aptos Village.  This is going to be a big event for the community which include many events like a dirt jump competition, pump track comp, short track race, bike demos, beer garden, skills clinics and more. We have quite a few sponsors lined up including the title sponsor: Fox Racing Shox, GoPro, Specialized, Black Market Bikes, CamelBak, NiteRider and many more!

Before the bike festival, we will host an IMBA Trail Care Crew visit March 26th, 2011 which includes trail building instruction and trail work at Wilder Ranch. 

Also, we are working with Santa Cruz Bicycles on one of our biggest fundraisers to date. We are raffling off a complete carbon Nomad or Blur LT carbon (your choice) to raise funds for the Pogonip multi-use trail.

We are also working with our local State Parks district to advocate more legal mountain bike trails in the trail plan for Castle Rock State Park and asking for more loops and a legal way to ride from the skyline to the sea in the Big Basin General Plan.

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz has been on an upward trajectory for the past few years. Membership, donations and volunteers are up. The local bike industry is healthy, growing and are willing to support our events and cause. Local land managers and politicians see the value in mountain biking and want to work with us. More people of all ages and demographics (young, old, male and female) are enjoying the great weather by riding on the local trails. 

Despite the popularity of mountain biking among enthusiasts it is still invisible in the mainstream when folks think about activities in Santa Cruz. We think that 2011 may be the year that mountain biking in Santa Cruz comes out of the closet.

We hope you can join us and follow along at!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

MBOSC Fundraiser at Mick's Automotive Sept 24th

Tracy Cotten - the owner of Mick's Automotive - has offered to donate 100% of the profits from labor and parts from his business on Friday September 24th from 12:30 - 7 pm MBOSC. Mick's Automotive is an auto repair shop specializing in Japanese cars.

Tracy and his lead technician Brian are avid mountain bikers and have been active supporters of MBOSC. If you have ever spoken with Tracy you will soon learn that he is an expert on the subject of cars and he is very pragmatic on car maintenance. He and his staff are serious about learning new skills an they do a lot of research on new cars and maintenance. You can be assured that you will be getting top notch service at Mick's.

If you have a Japanese car and need service then please give Mick's a call and schedule your work for Friday September 24th.

Micks Automotive
1257 Thompson Ave. #D
Santa Cruz CA 95062

We can raise a significant amount of money for MBOSC if we can get some big jobs scheduled rather than simple oil changes. If you need service on your Japanese vehicle then you can help MBOSC by having Mick's do your job on Sept 24 th.

MBOSC uses membership dues and other funds we raise to pay for basic overhead like web hosting, printing and insurance (our biggest expense). We also make donations to other non-profits and land conservation trusts which support mountain biking. We also use our funds to pay for event day use fees and permits like Carrotfest and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Recently, we have used various fundraisers and
member donations to pay for:

We are looking to fund other projects like to fix the Skyline trail Castle Rock State Park to support multi-use. We also want to help pay for the hard costs to open the Pogonip multi-use trail.

Thank you and please support MBOSC by scheduling your car maintenance at Mick's Automotive.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Wilder Ranch Sign Installed

Back in September MBOSC raised funds to pay for a new trail head sign at Wilder Ranch State Park. The mountain biking community was proud to donate $3,500 towards the design and construction of a new interpretive sign and map. I'm happy to announce that it was installed on July 19th and the results are stunning.

The sign is important to the mountain biking community and Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. We start our all inclusive weekly Saturday ride at this sign and it's a great way to orient visitors to the park. Our local State Parks are suffering from difficult budgetary times and there is a backlog of maintenance projects. Mountain bikers enjoy and support our park system so we are happy to help in any way that we can.

Thank you all once again for supporting our fundraisers. Your donations help improve mountain biking facilities in Santa Cruz County.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pogonip Multi-Use Trail Proposal Presented to City Council Tuesday July 27th

The multi-use trail proposed by Parks and Recreation will go before the City Council this coming Tuesday July 27th at 3 pm. The proposal is item 19 on the agenda (11 MB). The proposal is from pages 210 - 220. I'm not sure what time it will be addressed but you may be able to come late and not miss the item.

The objective is to push out the negative use of the area and displace it with positive use. If this passes then this means a fun new 1.5 mile single track trail that connects Golf Club Drive to the U-Con trail could be one step closer to reality. For those of you downtown and in the east side and Seabright area this is a fun alternative to the railway tracks to U-Con.

This is a very big deal and we would love your support on this issue!

We hope that you can attend the meeting, call or write (or do all 3) the City Council in support of this issue.

You can write to all of the City Council by sending email here: Messages to that address become part of the public record so please conduct your correspondence with civility in mind.

You may also contact individual council members:

Mayor Mike Rotkin 
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
(831) 423-4209 Residence 
(831) 459-4601 Office 
Current Term Expires: November 2, 2010
Vice Mayor Ryan Coonerty
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5027 City Hall 
(831) 423-8939 Residence 
Current Term Expires: November 6, 2012

Katherine Beiers 
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
(831) 426-6108 Residence 
Current Term Expires: November 6, 2012
Don Lane 
809 Center Street., Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
(831) 426-4272 Residence 
Current Term Expires: November 6, 2012
Tony Madrigal 
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
Current Term Expires: November 6, 2012

Cynthia Mathews
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
Current Term Expires: November 2, 2010

Lynn Robinson 
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
Term Expires: November 2, 2010

You should try to include some personal story about your experience in Santa Cruz and how this trail will make it beter. Some of the points that you can include in your testimony, call or letter should include:
  • Re-iterate your support of the multi-use trail project. Your support of this proposal is the most important thing they want to hear.
  • Support the mountain biking community to design, build, raise funds (for environmental studies and signage) and maintain the trail. The cash strapped City would like the mountain biking community to take an active role in the stewardship of this trail. MBOSC will take the lead in organizing the trail work and maintenance but we want your support.
  • Provides an alternate route to the U-Con trail/UCSC from the City when combined with the San Lorenzo bike bridge and the tunnel under Hwy 1.
  • Provides a safe (but off road) eastern bike route into UCSC for commuters.
  • Provides additional recreational facilities for families and residents.
  • This proposal will eliminate the criminal activity from that area of the park. This was true when we put the U-Con trail in back in 1999. Think of I-5 Colonnade in Seattle or Highbridge Park in NYC. If you have any experience with other areas then please bring them up.
If you are going to attend the City Council we ask that you conduct yourselves professionally and respectfully. 
  • Dress appropriately. Pants and shirts with buttons recommended.
  • No talking over or laughing at opponents
  • Take the higher ground
Our opponents are going to fight this every step of the way. They are organizing right now. Our opponents feel the people do not belong in open space and successfully excluded mountain bikes and equestrians from Pogonip back in 1998. These policies have created a safe haven for drug trafficking and transients. We can change this and we represent the new generation of Santa Cruz residents who believe in sustainable economic development and recreation. We want real solutions to our problems not just talk and block.

Please remember: we have a lot of allies but this is no guarantee of success. This proposal is endorsed by the Santa Cruz Police Department, the Fire Department, Take Back Santa Cruz, IMBA, the equestrian community (SCCHA), the local bike industry and local bike shops. We would love to have your support as well.

Is the future of our city heroin tourism or mountain bike tourism? We can make that choice by what we do and how we act over the next few months.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pogonip: Healthy Choices to Clean up the Community

The proposed multi-use trail through the east side of Pogonip is a win-win situation. Not only will we clean up the drug trafficking and illegal camping in that area but we will have an amazing new trail to connect Golf Club Road to the U-Con trail. The success of the project will depend on our community and the choices we make.

Drug Sanctuaries or Family Activities

Shooting Dens or Single Track

Wasted Youth or Healthy Youth

Track Marks or Tire Tracks

Sleeping Hovels or Happy Riders

Crash Pads or Knee Pads

Trash or Trails

Monday, July 19, 2010

Trails not Tracks: Access to Pogonip will Solve the Problems with Heroin Hill

A 640 acre city park in Santa Cruz called Pogonip has an area known as Heroin Hill which is the place to score cheap heroin in Northern California. Heroin addicts come to Santa Cruz from all over Northern California (and beyond) and stick around - which may have increased the population of homeless. The incidence of petty and property crime has increased in the City over the past few years. The situation in the Pogonip has deteriorated so badly that many of the local residents have had enough. We saw opportunities to work with the city to bring in more positive use (i.e, mountain biking) to push out the bad use. We formed a sub-committee to focus on this issue. We were pleased to hear that the Parks and Recreation Department were crafting a multi-use trail plan right through Heroin Hill. If you are a mountain biker in Santa Cruz this multi-use trail will allow you a fun and scenic alternative to the train tracks to access the U-conn trail.

On Monday July 12th the multi-use trail proposal was introduced to the Parks and Recreation Commission at their monthly meeting. This proposal has the support of the Santa Cruz Police and Fire Departments, Parks and Recreation staff, the equestrians and Take Back Santa Cruz - a grassroots crime and public safety advocacy group. The mountain biking community fully supports this plan and offerred trail design, labor and fund raising to get this done. 

We were really pleased that the Commission voted 7-0 to move it forward to City Council. The next step is that the Parks and Rec multi-use trail will be discussed and voted by City Council probably in September. 

Right now we are shoring up our support within the mountain biking community, local bike shops and bike industry. We are also reaching out to community groups and local residents and visitors to Santa Cruz. Our opposition were not as prepared as we were for the Commission meeting but now they are starting to organize. We need to build a broad base of support for this plan to demonstrate that the community endorses this plan as a way of displacing the negative use of the park with positive use.

We think that opening up more of the park to legitimate use will prevent moving the illegal activity to another part of the park. 11 years ago mountain bikers and equestrians built the U-Conn multi-use trail in the northern part of Pogonip - which was also a refuge for illegal camping and drug activity. It was pushed out of that area after the trail was constructed and it was in use by the community. Mountain bikers love our community. We can provide positive solutions to displace the bad elements. Please support this plan!

Trails not Tracks!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Recreational Biking in Pogonip

Once upon a time people had fun on bicycles in Pogonip. And it was good. Bikes weren't exclusively for transportation. These bikes were used for pure whimsical recreation. In Pogonip. And it was good. And people had fun. In Pogonip.

The image of bike polo was scanned from "Pogonip: Jewel of Santa Cruz" 2007 Joan Gilbert Martin & Colleen McInerney-Meager. ISBN 978-1-890625-08-5