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

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Bike Station Aptos Grand Opening

The bike business must be picking up in Santa Cruz County. This is the second grand opening notification I got recently.

Bike Station Aptos recently moved into the Aptos Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center. They will be having a party/celebration with events from July 9-11th

From Courtney:
I thought you might like to spread the word about a special amnesty program Endura will be running throughout our Grand Opening weekend here at Bike Station Aptos.  It's pretty cool, so here's the scoop - basically, people can bring us/Tim (from Endura) a pair of their old/worn out/crappy lycra cycling or mtb shorts, and they get 50% OFF Endura's most popular Hummvee short.  Its a sweet deal, and the supply is unlimited =).  The Grand Opening will be July 9th - 11
We're also putting an an "underground' race together called the Top of the Incline Challenge in Nisene Marks, July 10th at 6:30 am that's going to be a real hoot!  Endura is sponsoring the event, and going to give away some fun stuff at the top of the incline.
I really like that LBS's are putting on events and reaching out to the community. Help support the local bike shops and grow the scene!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Progress at the Epicenter Pump Track

The pump track at Epicenter Cycling in Aptos was approved a couple of weeks ago. A volunteer party was organized and we got to work.

This is the plan. There are two tracks. The beginner track is on the left and the big kids track is on the right.

The overcast morning provided cool temps for digging. Shovels and barrows were the tools of choice for this work.

Building a berm

There were probably about 30 workers over the course of the day. A Bobcat arrived at 3 pm and it made the work simpler. 

Bicycle Trip Grand Opening Celebration July 17th

The Bicycle Trip is having a grand opening party on July 17th. Last winter they moved down the street to nicer digs. 

Jeff Lenosky will be there and so will MBOSC. Come and check out the fun!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Shuttle Smith: A Bike Shuttle from Aptos to SDSF/Nisene

Dave Smith has been mountain biking for a long time and used to work in the construction industry. With the downturn in construction he started a new business to called "Shuttle Smith" which provides a service to shuttle riders from Aptos to Buzzard Lagoon road near the East entrance of Nisene Marks. Dave converted his cube van and can securely carry 9 bikes and riders.

The goal is to provide a way that riders can get to SDSF and upper Nisene Marks without driving. After a loop or two in SDSF then you can ride down the Nisene Marks fireroad back down to Aptos. Or you can ride over to Aptos to catch the shuttle and meet some friends at  SDSF.

The service costs $15 and starts June 5th 2010 with pickup next to Epicenter Cycling in Aptos Station at 9:00 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. See the Shuttle Smith flyer for more details.

Dave is quite flexible to provide shuttle services for other locations or you can rent Dave and his van for special events.

I applaud Dave's entrepreneurial spirit and he recognizes there is a market for mountain bike tourism and services.

Call Dave at 831-234-3383 to make a reservation.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

New(er) Soquel Demo State Forest Map

MBOSC has been working with the Santa Cruz County RTC to update the commuter bike map to show mountain biking trails in the local parks and forests. The map will not be adequate to navigate the trails but our goal is to show that mountain biking trails exists in these parks. The new edition of the commuter bike map should be available later this summer.

We have been passing a lot of documents by email and I was given a nice representation of the SDSF trails and roads. I also got a copy of the March 2010 SDSF brochure from CDF and we recognized that this is the same (official?) map.

Enjoy the map and we would like to remind people that there will be trail work at SDSF this Saturday. Sign up and we would love to meet you!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Soquel Demo State Forest Trailwork May 8th

Hey all you trail riders and trail workers out there,

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz is sponsoring the next trail work day at the Soquel Demonstration State Forest. We will be providing coffee and pastries, and FREE SCHWAG for those who sign up at, a free raffle and post work snacks and beers!

Now, that’s an offer you just can’t refuse!

First, please sign up at so we know how many tools and food and free stuff we will need to bring. Next show up on Saturday May 8 at the Demo parking lot by 9:00AM to get your free stuff and to sign in. We will be opening the parking lot for trail workers only so don’t be late if you want to park inside the gate. Bring a lunch with you because we won’t make it back to our vehicles until sometime between 2:30 and 3:30.

View Soquel Demo State Forest Parking Lot in a larger map

We will be working on Ridge and Corral so bring your gloves, comfy boots and your great attitude and let’s get’r done!

This could be one of the last trail work days of the season at Demo so let’s make it a good one!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MBOSC at the Sea Otter Classic 2010

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) was really busy at the Sea Otter Classic this year. I think it was the biggest year yet for us. The weather was the best I have ever experienced in the 13 years of attending the Sea Otter. Lots of fun was had by all of those who attended. How can you not have fun when in an immersive environment surrounded by shiny bikes, pro events and 20,000 of your closest friends?

The success of this organization is a testament to the volunteers and officers who make it happen. No one draws a salary and there are very little benefits to this type of work. At the end of the day it's people like you and I who want to improve mountain biking in Santa Cruz. We do it because of the passion for the sport and we love to ride in Santa Cruz County. There are a lot of people to thank and one concern about a note like this is that someone will be left behind.

MBOSC provided all the volunteer course marshals for the Dual Slalom races and they went off really smoothly. This is a testament to the organization of Megan Zemney who did an amazing job of co-ordinating the volunteers for the DS and the booth. Megan really stepped it up this year to lead many initiatives. She is an effective leader and really took ownership of many tasks and drove them to completion. Not only that but she managed to practice and race downhill and took 4th in her category! That's a podium folks! Thank you Megan for your passion and energy and driving MBOSC in a really fun direction. She also needed some downtime and went off the grid last weekend in Yosemite.

There were so many volunteers on the DS course who really stepped up and represented MBOSC in a very professional and courteous manner. There are too many to name but I would like to give a big shout out and thank you the guys who worked multiple shifts and on the long day on Sunday. This included Dwight Follien, Alan Strahsburg, Kevin Brouwers, Dan Abernethy, Rich Henthorn, Bob Walden, Buff and James Bradley. I would like to especially thank Tracy Cotten for all the shifts on the swaile and stepping up to lead the crew on Sunday when we wanted to give him the day off. That Sunday shift was pretty brutal and went 2.5 hours overtime. We'll make it up to you guys!

The raffle for the Titus El Guapo was held on the last day of the Otter and we successfully met our goals. We raised over $5500 - which is more than enough to pay for the SDSF parking lot project and managed to implement electronic memberships during the process. We are really happy to say that we signed up and/or renewed 27 memberships during this campaign. Thank you all for your generous support!

The raffle couldn't have been executed without the help of some very key people. First of all, Sebastien Praly developed the online payment system and web pages. Things were a little tense when PayPal shut us down for a while and we had to work out some bugs but he managed to get it back on track. Michelle Lamelin did all the posters and graphics and worked closely with Rick Graves at Cluch Couriers for doing all the printing. We highly recommend using Clutch Couriers services for fast, effective printing at a reasonable price.

Eve Davidson did a stellar job of doing the back office work of member, raffle fulfillment and accounting. She is the reason that MBOSC continues to run so smoothly and effectively and she ensures that the organization is compliant and efficient. I don't thank her enough for all that she does and she has managed to put up with my bike advocacy "hobby" for all these years.

There are so many who helped with the raffle in so many ways. Steven Gemelos, Bob Walden, Jo Rathbun and Daryl Breuninger for their work in promoting and supporting the raffle. I would also like to thank our shop partners Lars Thompsen at Trail Head Cyclery in San Jose and Wade Hall and Matt Potter at The Spokesman Bicycles for selling tickets and hosting the El Guapo for all to see. Thanks to Michele Lamelin, Alan Strahsburg, Josh Moore, Jo Mutch, Daniel Abernethy, Marty Abaurrea and especially the man in the top hat Steve Cooper ("Cooper"!) for driving ticket sales during the Sea Otter. It was phenomenal and impressive how much raffle tickets we sold in the last 2 days of the Sea Otter.

A very special thanks to Jason, Jeff and Mike at Titus Bikes who believe in what we are doing and support our goals. We really appreciate your partnership and look forward to the next event where we can work together.

Camping at the Sea Otter was a blast and it was great to get to know our fellow mountain bikers. Initially MBOSC bought 3 campsites and offered free spots to members and volunteers. Camping was pretty sparse this year so we managed to spread out (take over?) 2 additional sites. We must have had at least 35-40 members and affiliates of MBOSC camping with us. I think we have firmly cemented the reputation of Santa Cruz mountain bikers as ones who have the most fun at the Sea Otter campsites. It was quite a party. Firewalking, bonfires, and propane fireballs. Beer and fire probably don't mix but there was never any concerns about safety. Needless to say the cops seem to think that we had the funnest campsites because they kept visiting us... at least charges weren't laid and no one got hurt.

We would like to thank Charlie Meehan, Jason the brewmaster the crew at Seabright Brewery for making sure that at the end of a hard day at work we had enough delicious IPA to make things right again. Charlie has been a loyal supporter of MBOSC over the year and we really appreciate his patronage. The fuel of bike advocacy is great beer and Seabright Brewery delivers the goods.

Finally, there were numerous people who dropped by the booth to say hello, buy raffle tickets and have renewed your membership over the past month. The MBOSC officers and volunteers appreciate your expression of support and we thank you, thank you, thank you! Together we have accomplished a lot of great things to improve mountain biking in this County. We are starting to get some momentum and it's building into something big. There are so many people who are passionate about mountain biking in Santa Cruz and MBOSC represents a small fraction of those enthusiasts. Imagine what we can accomplish if we represented all the mountain bikers who enjoy Santa Cruz County? Tell your friends about us! Encourage them to
get informed on the issues. There is so much to grow and there is so much potential. Collectively we can turn Santa Cruz County in a world class mountain bike playground.

Thank you all for making MBOSC a stronger club! Whew! I'm glad that's over. I can't wait until next year.


President, MBOSC

Titus El Guapo Raffle at the Sea Otter Classic

The raffle for the Titus El Guapo was held on the last day of the Sea Otter. It was a very successful campaign. We managed to raise about $5500 with raffle sales and we also used this bike raffle as a motivation to do online memberships - which is something we have been wanting to do for a few of years.

We had an amusing way of conducting the raffle at the MBOSC Sea Otter booth. Cooper was a great barker/host who really drew the crowd in and pumped them up. I gave a pitch for MBOSC, thanked the audience, Sea Otter and Titus and mentioned why we are raising funds. Then I held my blindfolded 7 year old daughter upside down in the raffle bin. She shuffled the tickets and the crowd told her when to pick the winner. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind about the randomness of the drawing.

The winner was Mark Woodhead - a Santa Cruz local and one of the founding members of MBOSC. Mark is no longer active with MBOSC leadership but he does lead the weekly ride. Winning the bike was good karma for him and he has promised to be more active in the future. I wasn't surprised that a good friend won the bike (since a lot of my good friends bought multiple raffle tickets) but I'm pretty impressed at how many tickets we sold at the Sea Otter. Titus has a great reputation and a strong enthusiast base. Many bought tickets to support MBOSC and the cause. But many out of towners bought tickets because they love Titus and wanted to win the El Guapo.

Thank you all for participating. We raised about enough money to fully fund the SDSF parking lot environmental mitigation project. We're golden. All mountain bikers of Santa Cruz County and the visitors to Soquel Demo State Forest are winners!

May 15th Jump Jam at Depot Park in Santa Cruz

The City of Santa Cruz, The Bicycle Trip and Barry Swenson Builders are hosting a Jump Jam at Depot Park in Santa Cruz with a cash purse.

Come celebrate Bike Week Santa Cruz and rail and trail day. There will be booths (including MBOSC) and food and drinks and bike valet parking provided by People Power.

DATE: Saturday, .May 15th 2010

TIME: 11am – 2pm

WHERE: Depot Bicycle Trip Jump Park Santa Cruz (Big Bike festival, post rail trail road ride)

ENTRY PRO JAM DEMO ADMISSION: free for demo (invitation only)

COMBINED CLASS PRIZE MONEY: 1st place = $ 500.00, 2nd place = $ 300.00, 3rd place = $ 200.00,

CLASSES: small wheel 20” BMX and big wheel 26” mt. bike (invite only)

EVENT JUDGES: general Public Voting (ballots and pens and pencils)

PRE-EVENT SET UP: Saturday, May 15th 8:00 to 11:00


8:00am to 11:00

Set up: contest + Sound Equipment

10 – 11:00am

Registration + Safety Check + practice schedule

10:00 to 10:30

Bicycle group Leaving Depot park on the train

11:00am to 12:00

Start practice schedule

11:00 to 10:30

Bicycle group Leaving Roaring camp ride down

11:30 to 12:00

Bicycle group rolls in to the park

12:30 – 1:00pm

26” big wheel Pro demo (1/2 hr)

1:00 – 1:30pm

20” big wheel Pro demo (1/2 hr)

1:30 pm -2:00 pm

Combination Pro jump competition (1/2 hr)

2:00 to 3:00

Breakdown and clean up

Monday, April 26, 2010

Your Donations at Work: Wilder Ranch Trailhead Sign

Back in September MBOSC held a showing of Freedom Riders to raise 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 this interpretive sign.

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. The old sign didn't reflect the current status of the trails or the park boundaries. Also, this new sign was falling apart and was an embarrassment. It was not up to the high standards of a California State Park.

We are happy to preview one of the latest layout for the new sign. This was a collaborative process which involved many members of the State Parks and interpretive community. One of the pending changes is to replace the road biker and child with renderings of mountain bikers. We hope that the sign will be installed by the end of May.

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

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Your Donations at Work: Soquel Demonstration State Forest Parking Lot

Soquel Demonstration State Forest (a.k.a Demo, SDF or SDSF) has some of the most legal technical trails in the Bay Area and is managed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (a.k.a Cal Fire or CDF). The forest manager, Ed Orre, is supportive of mountain biking so it's a place where a lot of mountain bikers and advocates like to invest their time and efforts to make the trails first rate. Unfortunately, CDF is a state agency and is impacted by the same dysfunctional budgeting process that all state agencies must face.

Back in November we learned there was a lot of pressure on SDSF from a variety of sources.
  • The budget had been severely cut and staffing levels had been reduced by at least 80% since 2006
  • The parking lot has been the site of a lot of weekend raves and parties
  • Fish and Game had concerns about sediment runoff from the parking lot entering Soquel creek
  • Redwood Empire owns the parking lot (SDSF has an easement) and are indifferent to the needs of mountain bikers.
  • Both Redwood Empire and CDF will be doing timer harvesting this spring and summer and will use the parking lot as a staging area.
Mountain bikers have enjoyed the use of the Redwood Empire parking lot as a safe and secure way to get ready for a ride and enjoy a post ride beverage with friends. The parking lot is also the scene of great bike demos hosted by local shops like Trail Head Cyclery which include beer and BBQs. Unfortunately, due to some of the issues outlined above the parking lot is currently closed and we must take our chances by parking along Highland Way.

Fortunately, the mountain biking community are doing things to mitigate some of these problem. We held the first Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival featuring the California premier of Women of Dirt to raise money for the parking lot environmental mitigation project.

We are happy to say that we are putting your money to work in order to address the parking lot issues. MBOSC Vice-President Daryl Breuninger, Forest Manager Ed Orre and Erosion Control Professional Steve Butler met in January to assess the scope of the environmental mitigation project. MBOSC member and volunteer Drew Perkins provided detailed topographic maps of the parking lot based on elevation data using a very precise GPS in an airplane shooting a laser at the ground many tens of thousands of times a second. These topo maps were created by Drew and donated to the erosion control specialist. Thanks Drew!

The contractor Steve Butler came up with an erosion control plan and submitted it to Ed, Stewards of Soquel Forest and MBOSC. The solution includes re-graveling the surface, installing parking control logs to prevent "wild driving" (which creates sedimentation), constraining parking areas and adding culverts to direct the runoff. Your donations from the Bike Festival allowed us to make a down payment on the plan and the work.

Unfortunately, we didn't raise enough funds from the Bike Festival to cover the costs of this project. We still regard the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival a huge success since we met a lot of our social and organizational goals. We made a profit and met our minimum fundraising goals but we could have made a lot more given the value of the donated goods. Our expenses for the festival were high yet we didn't charge anyone for participating. All the Festival income came from movie ticket sales and the raffle. We had a lot of people and companies donate goods and we offered complementary tickets to these companies and the Pro riders who participated. In all we comped over 100 tickets ($1000!!) and we also handicapped ourselves by not allowing the MBOSC officers and event organizers to participate in the raffle (good for about $500-700). We had a lot of fun and brought the community together and established the reputation of MBOSC to run logistically complicated event in very little time (it was 6 weeks from inception to execution!). However, a movie and raffle is not the most effective mechanism to raise funds. We are still learning about effective fund raising. We will probably use a silent auction to raise money from some of the big ticket donations so we can raise more funds next time. Anyway, I digress...

MBOSC is committed to fund the environmental mitigation project for the parking lot regardless of the funding source. This can be through increased memberships or by donations. Titus has generously donated a Titus El Guapo (a ~$4700 bike!) to help us raise funds for the SDSF parking lot project.

Please support SDSF by becoming a member or donating to MBOSC and the El Guapo raffle. You can donate to MBOSC at We will do the drawing for the bike at the MBOSC Booth #239 at the Sea Otter Classic.

Thank you for supporting mountain biking in Santa Cruz County! We love mountain biking and we love Santa Cruz. Mountain biking in Santa Cruz is the best and it's up to the mountain biking community to keep it that way.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Monthly Soquel Demo ride with Titus bikes on Saturday

The 2010 Sea Otter Classic is around the corner (hope for sun!) and the big bike companies are coming to our area full of demo vans of nice shiny bikes.

Titus has been an awesome supporter of MBOSC and will be at our monthly SDSF ride this Saturday April 10th at 10 am. You should probably show up at 9:15 - 9:30 to get a bike. Let me know if you want to reserve one of these bikes and I will put it in the spreadsheet:
  • X Carbon Medium Black
  • X Carbon Medium Black/Yellow
  • X Aluminum Medium Red
  • X Aluminum Large Red
  • Rockstar Medium White
  • FTM Carbon Small Black/Red
  • FTM Carbon Medium Blue/Silver
  • FTM Carbon Large Black/Red
  • FTM Aluminum X Small Blue
  • FTM Aluminum Small Blue
  • FTM Aluminum Medium Blue
  • FTM Aluminum Large Blue
  • FTM Aluminum Large Blue
  • El Guapo Small Orange
  • El Guapo Medium Orange
  • El Guapo Large Orange
You can learn more about these bikes by checking out the Titus website

Titus has graciously donated an Orange El Guapo (a $4700 value) to MBOSC as a fund raiser. The bike is currently on display in the front window of Trail Head Cyclery. We are raising funds to pay for the parking lot environmental mitigation project at SDSF. If you want to support demo as a place to ride with a safe place to park then please support MBOSC and our fundraiser!

Raffle tickets for the El Guapo can be purchased online or at Trail Head Cyclery in San Jose or The Spokesman in Santa Cruz. You can buy raffle tickets online at

We will also be selling raffle tickets at the demo at Demo on Sunday at the MBOSC booth and at the MBOSC booth #239 at the Sea Otter Classic.

Come out and buy lots of raffle tickets! Support MBOSC, SDSF and bike advocacy in Santa Cruz County!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Get to know the "El Guapo": An MBOSC membership drive

Folks have been requesting electronic memberships for many years and we have finally delivered. We are proud to introduce a method for doing online memberships using PayPal at: In celebration of online memberships we have a special offer until April 17th.

Titus has graciously donated an El Guapo all mountain bike (in orange) to MBOSC to help promote memberships and fund raising. This fine machine is worth about $4,700 and is is a great machine for navigating the trails of SDSF.

You have a chance to get to know the El Guapo better and take it home if you are the lucky ticket holder in a drawing. You can sign up for memberships online and make a donation to be part of the El Guapo drawing. For every $5 over the basic annual membership of $25 you can get a ticket for the drawing. If you are already a member (or don't want to be a member) then you can buy tickets for the drawing at $5 each. We will draw the wining ticket at the MBOSC/MORCA booth 239 at the Sea Otter expo on Sun April 18th at 1 pm. Full rules and conditions are at

If you want to be part of the El Guapo drawing but don't want to do electronic payment then you can purchase tickets for the drawing at The Spokesman Bicycles in downtown Santa Cruz or at Trail Head Cyclery in San Jose. You can check out the orange MBOSC El Guapo currently on display at The Spokesman Bicycles in downtown Santa Cruz. It will be moved to Trail Head Cyclery in San Jose later this week.

All membership funds and donations help with our costs for events, operations and we donate to organizations and projects which support the expansion of mountain biking in Santa Cruz County.

Recently, your donations have been put to great use. In the past 6 months we have donated $3,500 to Wilder Ranch State Park to update their back country trail head sign. We have been involved in the design of this sign and it should be completed in May. We have also written a check for $2,000 as a down payment for the environmental mitigation project for the SDSF parking lot. The initial survey and work assessment and estimate has been submitted and the parking lot project should be completed in Sept/Oct.

Thanks for your support of expanding mountain biking in Santa Cruz county!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Castle Rock Trail Plan Meeting Monday March 8th

A meeting between California State Parks officials and mountain bikers concerning the Castle Rock Trail Plan is scheduled for 7 pm Monday March 8th at the Zayante Fire Station located at: 7700 E Zayante Rd, Felton, CA 95018-8704. No preparation needed. Just show up.

View Larger Map

The Castle Rock Trail Plan and the Big Basin General Plan are VERY positive for mountain biking and - if successful - they will result in the expansion of legal mountain biking trails in these parks. Expanding mountain biking in both of these parks essentially gives us a legal skyline to sea trail in the North part of the County.

However, there is no guarantee of success. There are a lot of groups who are opposed to mountain biking in Santa Cruz County and they are better funded and more organized than us.

We need to have community support for mountain biking in both of these plans. It is important to get these comments into the public record. It can be easy as firing off a quick email, making a phone call or showing up and asking questions. It's a small commitment on your time which can pay off big in the long term.

The meeting in Felton is between the mountain biking community and State Parks planning officials, trail gurus, mountain sector superintendent and perhaps the district superintendent. All the big guns. They will give a presentation on the Castle Rock Trail Plan and will engage us with a discussion.

Castle Rock State Park will never be seen as a "destination" State Park for mountain biking along the lines of Wilder or Coe State Parks. (This is largely because most of the interior of the park is a State Natural Preserve, and also because most - if not all - new trails opened to bikes there will be fireroads, rather than singletrack).

Nonetheless, Castle Rock State Park is very important to us because of its connectivity to Sanborn County Park, MROSD (Saratoga Gap and Long Ridge OSPs), and especially Big Basin State Park. In particular:

1. The Skyline Trail (which runs parallel to Highway 35, on its northern side) passes through not only Castle Rock State Park, but also Sanborn County Park and MROSD Saratoga Gap OSP. This trail has been designated part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, and it's important that it - like most of the rest of the Bay Area Ridge Trail - be opened to bikes.

2. The Saratoga Toll Road is a long, scenic trail that runs from Saratoga Gap down (southwards) to Waterman Gap, roughly parallel to Highway 9. (Although it is fireroad-width, it is actually (IMHO) much more scenic and more pleasant than the corresponding section of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, which runs very close to Highway 9 in several places.

The Castle Rock Trail Plan allows for (but - because of the anti-bike members of the committee - does not specifically call for) bike access to the Saratoga Toll Road, along with a connecting trail that would connect to the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail in Big Basin (near Highway 236). Bike access to the Saratoga Toll Road (plus connecting trail) would make possible a scenic, off-road route from Saratoga Gap through to Big Basin (and hopefully from there to the ocean eventually).

There is no rational reason - beyond historical exclusion, hiker/equestrian fear and NIMBYism - for the Saratoga Toll Road to be closed to our use. It is very important that we correct this, by making clear to State Parks - at Monday's meeting - that we want and expect access to the Saratoga Toll Road (and Skyline Trail).

I would like to emphasize that this meeting is between State Parks officials and mountain bikers. We represent a significant user group in this process. We don't have to defend ourselves from other user groups in this meeting. This is a great opportunity for mountain bikers to engage these officials on our issues and concerns within State Parks.

The meeting room at the Zayante Fire Station has a capacity for at least 100 so lets try to pack the meeting with mountain bikers!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Comments for Big Basin General Plan Due Soon

Big Basin is the oldest state park in the system yet it doesn't have a general plan. After starts and stops the Big Basin General Plan process is starting up again.

We have a great opportunity to expand mountain bike access in Big Basin. You may view drafts of some planning concepts. Alternative #1 seems to be the most friendly to expanding access for bikes.

This version of the plan proposes: "Provide a continuous trail from the ridge tops to the coast (outside of the wilderness) for bicycle access to natural areas and scenic points of interest". We submitted a proposal to our State Parks District a few years ago which requests bicycle access to a number of equestrian/hiker only trails. We intend
to continue to ask that the trails we propose be addressed during the general plan process.

Please write comments
Comments in support of mountain biking for the Big Basin General Plan are due Saturday March 6th. Please write, phone, email your comments to the following places:

California State Parks
Planning Division
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA

Stuart Hong, Manager
General Plans Section
(916) 653-9644

Here are a few talking points that can help you craft your comments:
  • We support Alternative #1 of the plan to expand more recreation in the park
  • We wish to have legal access from skyline road (from Castle Rock) to the coast
  • We are willing to share trail access on alternating days (mitigate trail conflict concerns)
  • Mountain biking is a fun activity for kids and an alternative to electronic entertainment good and mitigates childhood obesity.
  • Mountain biking is a healthy activity. May be easier on the knees and feet than hiking for some people.
  • Women's participation in mountain biking has been steadily growing.
  • Brings more people out to the parks, can increase tourism revenue and create more park advocates.
  • Mountain bikers are willing to help with trail design, trail construction and maintenance.
  • Mountain biking is a global activity and brings people from all over the world to enjoy our natural resources. This provide economic opportunities for local businesses.
You may wish to relate your own personal experiences with mountain biking and why you want more access for legal mountain biking in these parks.

Both the Castle Rock Trail Plan and the Big Basin General Plan are very positive for mountain biking and if successful - they will result in the expansion of legal mountain biking trails in these parks. Expanding mountain biking in both of these parks essentially gives us a legal skyline to sea trail in the North part of the County.

However, there is no guarantee of success. There are a lot of groups who are opposed to mountain biking in Santa Cruz County and they are better funded and more organized than us.

We need to have comments and attendance from the community which support mountain biking in both of these plans. It is important to get these comments into the public record. It can be easy as firing off a quick email, making a phone call or showing up and asking questions. It's a small commitment on your time which can pay off big in the long term.

Thank you for your support of mountain biking in Santa Cruz County!