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: citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com. 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 
Email: mrotkin@cityofsantacruz.com 
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 
Email: rcoonerty@cityofsantacruz.com 
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 
Email: kbeiers@cityofsantacruz.com
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 
Email: dlane@cityofsantacruz.com
Current Term Expires: November 6, 2012
Tony Madrigal 
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
Email: tmadrigal@cityofsantacruz.com
Current Term Expires: November 6, 2012

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

Lynn Robinson 
809 Center Street, Room 10 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(831) 420-5020 City Hall 
Email: lrobinson@cityofsantacruz.com
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!!