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Let’s Design a Bike Park!!!

June 1, 2011

To the general biking public, it may have seemed like this whole MBP thing had stalled out. I’ve been out riding and can’t count the times someone’s asked “What’s up with the bike park?” My answer: A lot. These things never move as quickly as you think, or in the ways you think they’re gonna move. There’s quite the checklist of players that all have an important stake in how this thing goes, and if this thing goes. And not just cyclists. In fact, more non-cylists, and by a landslide. Neighboring communities will be affected and need their say. Naturalists want to insure we’re taking mother nature into account. Youth programs are a key ingredient to the success of this bike park. Scores of groups, organizations, and neighbors need to be a part of the process.

That’s why we’ve gone a bit dark lately. It’s not real sexy to talk about meeting with neighborhood groups, or sitting down with SFRPD to talk about potential boundaries of the park, if we need an EIR or Soil testing, or have to remove the asphalt, or cap it with soil, and how we’re going to get the money to do all of it. So, we’ve spared you the unsexy bits, and are inviting you to the beginning of the culmination of all the meetings, and community outreach, and emails, and phone calls that have been out of the view of most of you. If you are a part of a community group we’ve met with, thank you for your time and support. If not, now’s the time to become a part of the MBP Community Design Process!!!

On Saturday June 18th, SFUR and SFRPD will be hosting the first McLaren Bike Park Community Design Meeting. We’ll meet at the Crocker Amazon Clubhouse at 1:00pm, then take a short bike ride over to the proposed bike park location on Sunnydale Avenue near the entrance to Glen Eagles Golf Course. We’ll return to the Clubhouse for our meeting start at 2:00. We’ll finish up between 3:30 and 4:00. The site visit will help inform the meeting, so if you can make it, awesome. If not, hopefully you can make it to the meeting.

We’ve been jockeying dates to hold this meeting for quite some time, but the recent support letters from  SFRPD General Manager Phil Ginsburg and District 11 Supervisor (and now Mayoral candidate) John Avalos, have given us the political capital we’ve needed to start this process. We don’t have a green light on the Park itself… yet. That will most likely come in the Commission meeting on September 22nd when we present the final bike park design.

To work with us through the Community Design Process, SFUR has retained Alpine Bike Parks of Whistler, BC. Alpine’s most recent project is Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colorado, set to open June 11th, just one week before our first community meeting. Look for another Alpine specific story here shortly.

SF Urban Riders wants to give a big thanks to everyone in the McLaren Community. There are too many groups and individuals to list. We also want to thank SF Recreation and Parks Department for their openness and partnership in the development of this project.

MBP shirts will be for sale for $20 cash. All proceeds to go to Bike Park Design. Available in Red and Black. Three layer screenprint on American Apparel Triblend high-quality short sleeve shirts. Adult and kids sizes available.

Thank you for your time and support!!!

McLaren Bike Park Community Meeting

November 29, 2010

On November 16th, SF Urban Riders and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department held their first community meeting to discuss the possibility of a bike skills park in McLaren Park. The area in consideration is the partially paved unused area just outside Glen Eagles Golf Course along Sunnydale Ave.

This meeting is a huge step towards the realization of the first bike park in San Francisco. Over the course of the last year, there were a series of McLaren needs assessment meetings where bikes were not on the agenda. These previous meetings focused on sidewalk improvements, play areas, and general park maintenance. All very much needed, by the way. But, SF Urban Riders turned out a majority of bike park supporters that raised their hands, commented, and ultimately made their voices heard. The November 16th meeting was the culmination of the community support received at past meetings. Sometimes it may seem like a long road, and it may not seem like coming to a meeting and listening makes a difference, but this is proof that it does. Thank you to all have helped get us to this point.

At the Nov. 16th community meeting SFRPD Sports and Athletics Manager and native McLaren resident Bob Palacio, opened the meeting and told of McLaren Park’s BMX past. He handed off to SFRPD’s Leisure Services Manager, James Wheeler who explained his recently created role and the Extreme Sports programming that SFRPD is looking to create. He then introduced SFUR’s Executive Director, Dan Schneider and MBP Project Manager, Dustin Smith who presented the case to local community groups, leaders and families from the neighborhood surrounding McLaren Park.

The centerpiece of the presentation? Kids, bikes and more kids. Kids are the future (sorry to sound cliche’) and our future relies on getting kids outside and on bikes. As proof of SFUR’s commitment to the kids and the community, a dozen or so past SFUR events were showcased in the presentation such as the Vis Valley Street Fair, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, McLaren Wrench Day, the SF Bike Expo Pumptrack and numerous trailwork events on Mt. Sutro and at McLaren Park itself. Pictures and stories of these events, as well as a strong partnership with the YMCA and SFRPD in creating kids mountain bike programs, demonstrated that SFUR is not a fly-by-night group of self-serving cyclists. We’re here to build a bike park AND strengthen the community and it’s children.

The presentation itself was also designed to explain exactly what a bike park looks like, who might use the bike park, and how it could benefit the community. Overall, the project received much support that Tuesday evening. There were many questions and comments about how a bike park would affect current paths and trails. Points of concern were the Sunnydale housing and how a bike park would serve it’s residents. And how bikes flocking to the bike park would affect traffic on the trails. Dan, Dustin and James responsed to those questions as best as possible, but a more detailed follow up will be posted shortly for public viewing.

Of the many positive comments a few favorites (paraphrased) were: “Are you sure this space is big enough?” and “That asphalt dumping area has been there for at least 20 years. Now you’ve got a group that wants to come and make something useful out of it? I say we should let them. And give them as much support as possible”. The latter comment was met with a room full of applause.

Thanks again to everyone that came out to the meeting. There will be more meetings. And each will be more important than the last. So, if you want a bike park, it’s time to get involved. Please stay tuned for next steps and future meetings.

SF Bike Expo – Pumptrack Build Oct 30, 31st

October 25, 2010

I was just out at the Cow Palace yesterday morning scoping out the area for the Pumptrack and AT’s Showdown. AT and Phil were out there coordinating the placement of the dirt… The pumptrack dirt was moved to an easily accessible spot, and is tarped (to protect it from the rain) and ready to become a glorious bicycle playground. All we need are shovel-wielding peeps to come and help shape the berms and rollers.

The dirt will be placed roughly on Friday via bobcat, and shaped over the weekend by SFUR Volunteers.

If you know how to use a shovel, tamper, rake, etc. Please hit me up with an email at dustin@sfurbanriders.org and let me know when you can help this weekend, even if its only for a few hours. FYI… Sunday will be fun-day, as things should be taking shape and rideable. If weather is an issue, a revised build schedule will be posted on the MBP facebook page.

Phil hooked up a huge space for us to work with, so lets make it great.

Pumptrack at the SF Bike Expo Nov 6th!!!

October 25, 2010

TKMBD – Huge Success

October 25, 2010
TAKMBD

On Sunday October 3rd, SF Urban Riders and its partners hosted San Francisco’s Second Annual ‘Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day’ to great success. Over 30 youth between the ages of 8 – 16 years old, and their families, participated and took on the challenges of McLaren Park.  The events long list of partners included Specialized Bicycles, Clif Bar, SF Rec & Park, Mike’s Bike’s, YMCA, Noah’s Bagels, and San Francyclo. The highlight was the FREE Bike Raffle Specialized hosted, and they generously donated TWO 2010 Specialized Hardrock Bicycles! Full article at sfurbanriders.org.

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

October 3, 2010

Bring the kids to McLaren Park on October 3rd, for bike skills and bike maintenance. And hear about our plans for more bike-friendly trails and a bike park in SF’s own McLaren Park!

Support Letter #000188

March 31, 2010

I wholeheartedly support the development of a bicycle skills park in McLaren Park. I was born and raised in and around the Excelsior neighborhoods. McLaren Park has been my playground and secret riding spot all my life. As a kid BMX was a huge part of the local neighborhood culture. Bands of working class Latino, Filipino, Black and White kids used to run the streets searching out dirt jumps, backyard ramps, and asphalt fixtures. Armed with our dads tools we built dirt tracks & ramps at Cotter St, Alemany Blvd, Cayuga Park, Corpus Christi… Many of us joined race teams with the two local bike shops at the time- Borelli’s & R/P Racing- and traveled the state racing in BMX competitions.

As I raise my four kids less than a mile away from McLaren Park I am confident a bicycle skills park will cultivate a new generation of bike riders on the South East side of the city. I know first hand the importance of having positive recreational activities that fall outside of the traditional sports. Bicycling has been my life saver, it kept me out of trouble and connected me to a tight knit group of friends, including community members who supported us. I look forward to a bicycle skills park that is community driven and supported by local residents, community organizations, area schools, churches and small businesses.

Male 37. 94112. 3/26/2010 23:44:49

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