A little McLaren Park history from Wikipedia:
McLaren Park was once a part of Rancho Cañada de Guadalupe la Visitación y Rodeo_Viejo. When California was part of Mexico, its then governor Juan Batista Alvarado granted what is now known as McLaren Park to the local authorities in 1840.
In 1905, subdivisions of the land grant were drawn up and Daniel Burham recommended that the land where McLaren Park is today be a park. The land was purchased anyway by the Board of Supervisors in 1928 despite the bond measure being defeated. In 1934, John McLaren organized a dedication flag ceremony in the park, which had its name, and it is currently the second-largest park in the city.
A little McLaren BMX history from SF Urban Riders:
Here at SF Urban Riders, one of our favorite historical facts to point out is the original use of the sloping, grassy area below Mansell street in McLaren Park. (Note: This is not the area proposed for the bike park, but nearby).
During the late 70’s, this area was a well used, well populated BMX track, drawing children of all ages and their families out to the park on weekends to enjoy competition, fun, and social use of the park. Thanks to a variety of sources found online, we’ve found the following hisorical documents. Click on an image to follow them to their source.
The next photo was provided by Roger Serafin, who came to race at the McLaren track in 1979. His father happened to snap off this classic McLaren Park photo. Roger is still riding and likes to spend his free time at the dirt jumps. One of the spots he enjoys is the Calabazas Park in San Jose.
Now, in the exact same spot where many of these pictures were taken, the area is rife with illegal dumping, homeless encampments, and drug deals, but the type of fun you see above is the un-desireable usage that merits a sign posted.
It’s a shame about the present, but let’s work together to figure out ways that illustrate the cycling community’s commitment to caring for and bettering our natural parks, and though we don’t need 20 foot wide tracks ripping through beautiful grassland, it would be nice to improve on the trails that exist, build some new ones, and have thin, beautiful corridors passing through and around our parks for hikers, dog walkers, and cyclists alike to enjoy. Stay with us, and the future is bright for SF Urban Riders and every other San Franciscan who enjoys moving through our beautiful park lands, regardless of their non-motorized transit choice.
Click for more about McLaren Park from the Neighborhood Parks Council.
Even more coming soon…