MCBC Off-Road Program
Winter 2014 Newsletter

Off-Road Newsletter - February, 2014

  

1. RTMP revisions support new trail opportunities

2. Tails and Tires Workshop - Saturday, March 1

3. Bill's Trail Training Day - Saturday, March 15

4. Stafford Lake Bike Park to break ground in 2014!

5. Tamarancho Dirt Classic Weekend May 31-June 1!

6. Volunteer Opportunities

 

RTMP revisions support new trail opportunities
Civil tone returns to planning process

  

At a meeting of the Marin County Parks and Open Space Commission on Thursday, January 23, Parks staff presented revisions to the Road and Trail Management Plan based on comments from over 200 people and organizations, including letters from MCBC. We were pleased to learn that Parks has responded to our main concerns including:

  • Zones dramatically altered, and no more zone-specific policies
  • Elimination of the ratios that were used to justify new trail construction. The focus remains on reducing net impacts to the system, which we support
  • Rewording of policy T1d makes it possible to open existing trails on existing lands to mountain bikes as well as existing/future trails on future acquisitions
  • Redundant trails can be considered as a way to separate user groups
  • No more policy of blanket decommissioning of nonessential fire roads
  • New language defining "social trails" and recognition of historical uses

In addition, a process will be outlined to look at the existing conditions in nine Open Space regions to develop public consensus around which trails to keep, which to improve, which to adopt and which to decommission. Policies to promote harmony and cooperation among trail users, and to avoid displacement of all users remain and have our full support.

  

A presentation on illegal trail building at the start of the meeting (and an article in the IJ on the same day) took the wind out of our sails.

MCBC does not accept or condone illegal trail construction.

 The meeting was more cordial than the previous meeting and protecting the environment was a common theme among those who spoke.  

 

MCBC is very appreciative of the revisions that Parks staff has proposed and we believe they will strengthen the plan. With these and other revisions, the Road and Trail Management Plan will bring greater balance to our public trail system, enhance the user experience and reduce impacts on the environment.

 

A Final Plan and PEIR will be released in the spring. To see an outline of the revisions and to read a revised Chapter 4 of the plan, visit www.marincountyparks.org and click on the link for the Road and Trail Management Plan on the right side of the homepage.

 

Tails and Tires Workshop

Saturday, March 1

 

MCBC and the Marin Horse Council are pleased to announce a Tails and Tires workshop on Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 9 am - 1 pm. We will start the day working with Marin County Parks to pull invasive broom at the nearby Rush Creek Open Space Preserve. Then at 11 am we'll head to the Novato Horsemen's arena for a lesson on:

  • Horse psychology - how they see and react to approaching objects
  • How to safely pass a horse
  • Saddle time on a horse
  • Interactive bike/horse exercises on the trail
  • Lessons on basic trail etiquette and park rules

Following the workshop participants can stay for lunch at the outdoor snack shack, courtesy of the Marin Horse Council. High school students can receive two hours of community service credit for the habitat work in the morning.

 

WHAT: Bike/equestrian workshop and habitat restoration

WHEN: Saturday, March 1 from 9 am - 1 pm

WHERE: 600 Bugeia Lane, Novato, CA 94948

 

The workshop has limited space, so RSVP today by contacting Tom Boss at tom@marinbike.org

 

Bill's Trail Training Day - Saturday, March 15
Come learn CA State Parks trail building techniques and Best Management Practices

 

Later this year work will begin to convert Bill's Trail at Samuel P. Taylor Park into a shared-use trail. Stream crossings will receive rock armour, pinch-points will be created to slow bikes at blind spots and the trail tread will be expanded to its original 48" width. Switchbacks, bridges and fencing will be repaired as well.

 

In preparation for this work, which should begin in August, MCBC is partnering with CA State Parks on a Training Day on Saturday, Mach 15. This is your opportunity to learn how State Parks builds and maintains trails and how they implement change-in-use projects. It will also be an opportunity to see the beautiful trail and learn about the best management practices that will be applied during construction to safeguard the federally protected Coho salmon that spawn in the creek at the base of the trail.

 

You will learn State Parks technique for removing slough and berm and compacting it back down on the tread surface. We may do light brushwork and remove old fence railing. Tools will be supplied, please wear hiking boots and bring your own gloves.

 

WHAT: Trailwork Training Day
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, 8:30 am - 12 noon
WHERE: Bill's Trail, Samuel P. Taylor Park at Devil's Gulch
RSVP: tom@marinbike.org

NOTE: The Trail is NOT open to bikes at this time!

 

Kitsbow Mountain Bike Wear will provide lunch.

 

Stafford Lake Bike Park to break ground in 2014!
$100,000 still needed to assure a diverse selection of features

 

The Stafford Lake Bike Park will break ground this May! But there's a catch. How much is built will be determined by how much money is raised between now and March 15.

 

So far it is estimated that a little over $480,000 has been raised to build a 17-acre world-class bike park in Novato, including $250,000 from businesses and foundations, $50,000 from individual donations and $50,000 from events. Rounding out the funding is a generous $50,000 matching contribution from the Marin County Board of Supervisors and another $81,000 from the Marin Community Foundation's Open Space and Parks Fund, held for Marin County Parks.

 

With the money raised to date they can prepare the area, build the related infrastructure as well as a partial perimeter trail, advance skills run and two of the three proposed pump tracks.

 

If they can raise another $100,000 they can also build additional skills area, flow lines and other features, making the facility a much more complete bike park. Volunteers will be needed to do the work, but the park needs that $100,000 to assure a significant portion of the park is built out.

 

DONATE NOW!

 

Please get out your checkbooks and give to this important project! Send checks made out to Friends of Stafford Lake Bike Park to P.O. Box 875, Kentfield, CA 94914 or go to www.staffordlakebikepark.com and click on the DONATE button.

 

A huge MCBC "Thank You" to Al Baumann for making the project a reality and to Julia Violich, Mark Weir, Ryan Gibson and Sam Neff for doing a stellar job raising money and driving the project. We'd also like to acknowledge Supervisor Judy Arnold for her leadership and thank the Board of Supervisors, Steve Petterle and the Marin County Parks staff for their dedication to the project.

 

And another big thank you to the major donors:

Mike's Bikes, Family Foundation, WTB, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Access4Bikes, Lagunitas Brewing, Henessey Funds, Hagar Foundation, Heffernen Insurance and Fireman's Fund. Negotiations are continuing with other potential donors.

 

To learn more about the park and to donate visit www.staffordlakebikepark.com

 

Tamarancho Dirt Classic Weekend!

Bike Monkey takes reins of May 31-June 1 XC mountain bike race

 

The Tamarancho Dirt Classic is going from rad to rad-tastic this year as the event will be expanded to a TWO-day race weekend - with the addition of a smokin' short track race on Saturday May 31 AND you can also camp at Tamarancho Saturday night! The traditional XC race will round out the weekend on Sunday, June 1.

 

Bike Monkey, organizers of many great bike events in Sonoma County, will be producing the race weekend, taking it to a new high.

 

As always, race proceeds go to the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League and Marin County Bicycle Coalition's Off-Road Program and the campout and BBQ support Access4Bikes. Registration is now open, SIGN UP TODAY at www.bikemonkey.net/events/tamarancho/ 

 

Volunteer opportunities

 

Saturday, Feb 22 - Trail Work at China Camp in San Rafael

Saturday, March 1 - Broom Pull at Rush Creek in Novato

Saturday, March 15 - Bill's Trail Training Day at Samuel P. Taylor Park

Saturday, March 22 - Habitat Restoration project in Mill Valley

Saturday, April 19 - Trail Day on Dias Ridge in Mill Valley

 

See details for each event at the MCBC Calendar

 

Join MCBC online at www.marinbike.org