Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hero Kit- Save the Day!

I was recently asked by the International Police Mountain Bike Association to do a review of the "Hero Kit" to put in their upcoming newsletter. The SDRP Mountain Bike Patrol have been using the kit for the last year with good results so it was an easy write up. This is by far one of the simplest fix-it kits you carry with you. Check it out.

I first saw an ad for the Hero Kit in the back of the September 2013 edition of Mountain Bike Action last year. Since I run a mountain bike patrol for the park that I work at I am always looking for ways to condense the tools we use on the trails to a more manageable package. There's nothing worse than hitting the trails and experiencing a mechanical only to find you don't have the right tools or know how to fix it. That's where the Hero Kit really shines, not only does it give you tools to fix the most common problems on the trail but it also gives you a 24 page field- repair instruction manual to explain how to use all those tools properly.

The Hero Kit comes in a resealable water proof bag that perfectly slips into the back of your jersey pocket or bike pack. The full model comes with a 12-Function Multi-Tool, chain tool, tire levers, master link, cleat & frame bolts, zipties, duct tape, gear cable, water purification tablet, patch kit, toilet paper and easy to follow instruction all for $40. You can also get the same kit minus the multi-tool and tire levers for $20. This is a nice option for some of us that already have some tools and tire levers. They also sell a convenient refill kit for $15 once items get used and they will.

In the year since I have had this kit I have gone through most of the items in the kit. The zipties where used to reattach a light back onto a bike after a crash on a night ride. The cleat bolt was used to replace one that was lost on the trail during a race. All the tire patches were used in one sitting too repair a rear tire that had multiple punctures. The handy toilet wipes were used to clean up a friend's leg after an accident and the master link repaired a chain. All of these situations would have resulted in someone (typically me) being stranded or forced to walk back to the nearest trail head. This kit has given me more confidence when riding, period.

The kit has been a great help to myself and my volunteer patrollers and one that I would highly recommend to others. I have a greater sense of security while on the trails and I know that if any of my patrollers come across any users having difficulties that they too will have the right tools and guidance at their fingertips. This is a must for every rider from expert to novice. Like they say "Be the Hero on your ride!" For more information or to order visit their website at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Thank you for your support!

Ok so now it looks like this blog has gone from once a month to quarterly, it happens, enough said. I want to start of by saying Thank You to every one that supports the San Dieguito River Park and the job that we do out here. Without the support of volunteers, trail users and all who come out to the park in one way or another we couldn't do half of what we do.  Thank You! 

Last time I talked about some of the realities of working with different city entities and the importance of trying to stay with in that structure when it comes to building trails and the consequences of illegal trail building. Unfortunately not to long after I got a quick reminder of what it was like to work with the City of San Diego in particular. As most of you know the City of San Diego, Mayor Kevin Falconer, and council people Sherri Lightner and Mark Kersey decided they were going to hold the River Park funding hostage while they conducted a cost analysis study, (presumably at tax payers expense) of the River Park operations. While I never saw the study itself I did see the key bullet points that the City of San Diego wanted the River Park and the JPA board to comply with. Complying with those points bought us another year and kept the dream of the Coast to Crest trail alive. Again thanks for your support! What will next year bring, I honestly haven't the faintest idea. While I still think it is important to play by the rules it sure does suck when someone feels the need to consistently change those rules.

Alas we push on and continue to do what we do in order to bring you quality trails and events and we have had some good ones so far. The Quick n Dirty mountain bike race series continues to be a great success. We averaged over 160 participants over a four race series and continued to further grass roots racing in San Diego. The QnD crew lead by Victor "Slasher" Sheldon have always acted in a professional manner and were always willing to comply with my outrageous demands at a minutes notice. The Belgium Waffle Ride hosted by Spy has also been a big hit, bringing of all rider groups "roadies" onto the dirt trails of the park. The SDMBA Archipelago ride also continues to be a main stay, joining multiple park systems together like no other event. Thank you!

The SDRP mountain bike patrol continues to impress me as well as others within the bike community. At the Trails ans Greenways conference this year we were awarded the Merit Award for the patrols outstanding performance and benefit to the community.
We are currently up to 26 patrollers as of now and more are on the way. We have also been able to partner with a lot of great companies again this year that fully support the mission of the parks mountain bike patrol. Your probably getting the gist of this blog post right now buttttt. Thank you North of the Border bike shop, Quick n Dirty Mtb race series, Sock Guy, Hero Kits, WD-40 Bike, San Diego Mountain Bike Association, Spy Optics and the Ranchos Cycling club for your continued support. Without it we could not provide the service to trail users in the professional manner in which we currently do.

Onto some trail stuff. If you hadn't noticed we are currently in one of the worst droughts San Diego has seen in along time and the effects are apparent when out on the trails. A lot of the natural buffer(native grasses and such) between the trails and habitat are completely dried up or non existent. This gives the illusion that the trail is wider than it seems and people tend to deviate from the beaten path into those buffer areas. Short term effect is that it widens the trail in areas it shouldn't and looks like crap. Long term effect is that it compacts those areas to a point were nothing will grow in the future thereby permanently widening the trail.
Another area of concern is people cutting trail, at this point once the damage is done it's done. It's very hard for us to rehab those type of ares during drought conditions. If you see someone engaging in this type of behavior please ask them to stop. With any luck and the prediction of a coming El Nino the habitat and trails will return to normal. Until then please stay on the trail and please keep the single track single and of course those of you who do.Thank you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fear and Loathing on the trails of San Diego County

I run into a lot of people on the trail while out on patrol and I have been hearing a lot of concern regarding what is happening in San Diego/North County with the trail systems. Their main concern is that as of late the parks are only focused on taking trails out rather than putting them in. That's only a tiny piece of the story, the process of building trails in San Diego/North County is fairly involved costing tens of thousands of dollars just to get a concept off the ground. If all the stars align and you manage to be able to pay for every environmental study that comes your way then you may be able to start to build your trail within a year. Very rarely does that scenario happen, but it does.

Why? We live in a dry semi-arid climate (very little rainfall) that just so happens to be next to a nice coast line, guess what; everybody wants to live here. So we have to take steps to ensure there will be viable habitat in the future that everyone and everything can enjoy. Because of the area we live in our resources are very finite, meaning in a lot of cases that once it's gone, it's gone. Remember we live in a dry semi-arid climate with not a lot of rainfall, not the lush forests of Oregon. Most of the parks you see throughout the county are "Open Space Preserves" set up to do one job. That job is to protect the natural resources of the area. Is it a perfect system? No. But were it not in place, we wouldn't be discussing trails because there wouldn't be any, just a bunch of houses and tract homes as far as the eye can see.

The San Dieguito River Park is always looking to build more trail. Trails are a good way to protect habitat, by making sustainable trails users are able to enjoy and learn about the benefits of an area. We plan to build a lot of trail in the future but we need to make it to that point first without anything impeding the process. As a park we know how to work with government agencies on the best way to put these trails in. We may not see eye to eye, but that's how the game is played and as a park we are players in that game. The privateer illegal trail builder is not. If you wanna see a trail system get shut down in San Diego build an illegal trail on it. It may not happen over night but it will happen.

Some of the issues that illegal trails cause a land manager and why they get shut down are, destruction of habitat, non sustainable trails that cause safety issues, the blatant disregard for the lands on the outside of the parks, increased maintenance costs, all of which push back the legal process of us, the land manager, being able to go out there and build trail. The process takes time but until someone changes the process that's where we stand in "Americas Finest City". Just because it doesn't look like we're building trail doesn't mean we're not going to be. If you want to affect change come on out and put your trail building skills to use and help us maintain the trails we already have.

That never works you say, we give and help but it doesn't do anything you say. If there's a will there's a way, every positive step made is a step in the right direction. That's exactly how I started. I rode the trails around San Diego county for years and then like a lot people I know asked myself "I wonder if there's anything I can  do to help maintain some of these trails I enjoy riding so much. I was a volunteer for this park and others from 1993 'til 1999, I did trail maintenance and a bike patrol before most of the riders on the trail today could even ride a bike. I was hired as a contract employee and eventually hired on as a full time employee. I've always had the rider in mind but understood from early on the give and take we as a user group would go through. Mountain biking as a user group has been on a steady climb since then and it is only now that the effects of such a large user group are being felt. The knee jerk reaction that a lot of the parks are dealing with right now only reveals the extent of the problem. Slowly but surely the tides are changing and more consideration is being given to things like "bike only" trials and bike parks. This just means that in the meantime even more pressure will be put on the biking community to be an overly responsible user group. We need representatives that want to effect change not just be a bunch of renegade trail builders.

The way things are starting to setup, I have high hopes for the future of mountain biking in San Diego/North County. Local programs like my mountain bike patrol and the events that more and more parks are doing, are being talked about by a lot of different government agencies, on a lot of different levels. Who really knows though, maybe I'm just some optimistic asshole with rose colored glasses on. Doesn't matter, no one really reads these blogs anyway.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yeah it's been awhile!

Yes it has it's been a awhile since the last time I wrote anything in this blog. Why, not sure, other crap going on, building a ukulele or the overwhelming feeling that these ramblings just fall on def ears, so it goes. When last we spoke the park was gearing up for some big events. The Freedom 50 one of the parks longest mountain bike races went off without a hitch this year, my initial intention was to just ride it as a patrol but about half way in I decided to race it. As normal it was about the hottest day of the year so much suffering was had by everyone, but never the less it was fun event with good competition. The Quick n Dirty 30 was also a big hit with a good showing. The event which I thought would be a really unique and fun was the Ninja Night Race. I had never seen or heard of a nighttime mountain bike race in San Diego so I was keen to take part in it. Normally the park would be closed during that time but I was willing to make a concession because of the uniqueness of the event. The race was also limited to 50 participants in order to try and mitigate some of the night time impact an event such as this would generate. All of the participants seemed to have fun and while it was cool seeing all those lights along the lake shore I can not see myself putting in the effort to do it again, but who knows. Suffice it to say the park out did itself last year by hosting over 40 events. 2014 looks like another big year, Quick n Dirty will be back on February 22nd for a stand alone race and also for the Wednesday night summer series. We will also be having a Tuesday night running series event this summer.

The mountain bike patrol had its first mountain bike swap meet in September. Twelve vendors showed up and all the people that came to check out the deals walked away with something worthy of the effort made to attend. It would be great to have this swap meet once if not twice a year and hopefully see it grow. It fills a much needed niche in the North County area.The event raised money for both the SDRP Mountain Bike patrol as well as the Sikes Adobe historic farm house.

Mountain Bike Patrol Swap Meet

I was also able to hold another patrol training within the last couple of months and the SDRP mountain bike patrol is now up to 21 patrollers. Outstanding by any measure and we have been nominated for an award by the Parks and Recreation Association to boot. With the continued support of our sponsors and dedication of our volunteers this program remains one the best attended mountain bike volunteer patrol programs in San Diego County if not the whole of SoCal. In six months the patrol has put in 436 hours of volunteer time patrolling the trails. This has enabled me to stay on top of things in the park and address any issues that may come up in a timely manner. I will be doing one more patrol training in the coming weeks, so if your on the fence now is the time to act. I have discussed spreading the love to other parks but I am still waiting for the phone call. If you live near an open space that may or may not be having difficulties managing their trails send them my way.

The patrol crew, well half of them.

Cool side story to the SDRP mountain bike patrol. Just before Christmas one of our more active patrollers had his bike stolen. During our end of the year BBQ we decided to put the word out to our other patrollers in hopes of getting some donations to get him back on a bike. Within two weeks the patrol donated $700. That enabled us, through working with one of our great sponsors (North of the Border bike shop) to buy him a brand new Norco 27.5. Couldn't ask for a better group of guys and gals!

Mario and his new bike!
Quick trail bulletin, if like me you ride the trails around the San Dieguito River Park you may have started to notice that some of your favorite trail features are slowly but surely being removed. I can assure you the the rangers of the San Dieguito River Park are not responsible for this trail sanitation. I prefer to preserve those features, they act as good buffers in slowing traffic and add fun to an already tame trail, if I didn't I would just flatten everything, pave it with DG, through some peeler post fencing up for good measure and call it a day. The sole responsibility for this recent round of sanitation lies within the mountain biking community. Those trail features have been in place since I started riding these trails over 20 years ago and within the last year they are gone. If you can't ride the feature there is no harm in walking your bike, really no one will give you any grief for doing so. If someone out there witnesses this type of behavior please due us all a favor and ask them not to. Since when did this become a popular way of looking at a challenge? That being said while I pride myself on some of the best maintained trails around there is plenty of actual trail work to be done in the park. I hold a trail maintenance day every second Sunday of every month from 0800 to 1100 and have done so now for over ten years. So if any of you would be trail work folk are out there we would love to have you. I always find it strange that mountain bikers who use the trails the most are never there come trail maintenance day. If you love the trails and want to help maintain them please come out. Right now the trails are bone dry so please stay on them at all cost, any incursions off trail will cause irreparable, unsightly and unneeded damage. Now if we could just get some rain!

All in all I am looking forward to this year and working with everybody in anyway I can in order to provide a great outdoor experience for both parks users and it's inhabitants. Stay safe and enjoy the trails!

Friday, August 16, 2013

What's growing on?

It's been awhile since I put my thoughts down on here but that doesn't mean that nothing's been going on just that I'm a lazy ass. One of the things that has surprised me the most is the success of the volunteer mountain bike patrol. I trained a dozen fine individuals back in June to start the program and they hit the trails in force. In the month and a half since I started the patrol we have put in 106.25 hrs on the trails. I now have a consistent feel for what is going on in the park and that has enabled me to respond to conflicts in concerns almost immediately. This response time is crucial because it lets the public and the organization know that we are on top of things, in the past unfortunately some important issues fell through the cracks. Through the amazing support of the local bicycling community I was able to purchase patrol jerseys, pumps, tools to help maintain and fix bikes, first aide kits and nutrition.

 I believe that this program can and should be used in parks around the country. It's my hope that I can progress it at least within the SoCal area, it just makes good common sense. I get that the IMBA has the National Mountain Bike Patrol, and I am one of it's members, but unfortunately I think that this type of program needs the personal touch and the IMBA is just too far removed from the process to be effective in that area. I have pitched the idea to a couple of groups and have had a pretty decent response. Some groups are just too mired in their own politics to see the program for what it really is. Hint, it's a bunch a people that care about trails and riding and want to promote a safe and mutually beneficial progress of it. Enough on that, again thanks to all involved with the program.

The park is also gearing up for a couple big events. The Freedom 50 will be on tap at the end of the month and the Giro Di San Diego in September. Both are great events but we all know how jittery I get before one. If you don't know please refer to my "Herding Cats" post in this blog. I'm sure the promoters will do me right. On top of that we are gearing up for the first ever, at least in the SDRP, Bike Swap Meet on the 28th of September. I'm pretty excited to see how this will turn out. All the proceeds will go to support the SDRP mountain bike patrol and to help out the Sikes Historic Adobe Farm House that is one of the parks cool historic features. Do some garage cleaning, gather up your old, new and in-between bike parts,and join us out in the park for a fun day.

The condition of the trails in the park are stable but only just so. The lack of rain last season has made for a really dry summer and with that the trails can only hold for so long before they start to give. This coupled with the high amount of traffic we receive in the park make it very important for people to take their time and really be mindful on the trail. Ride within your ability, use the trail that is given to you, don't skid. All of these principles seem pretty basic but time after time after time I see trails destroyed by this very behavior. I have seen a staggering number of trails throughout the county in other parks that have been completely altered. Downhills are being reduced to foot deep silt trough's with four or five ruts even deeper causing people to cut the corners or go farther to the outside to avoid the conditions making a once nice single track trail into an eight foot trail builders nightmare. The uphills are not immune, some people think that if an obstacle on a trail is just too tough they'll take it upon themselves to go around or create a bypass. This again causes irreparable damage. Like I said no rain so there's no time for the ground to recover. Once one person goes that way it just makes it easier for others to follow suit.  I know I've said this before but here it goes again, if you cannot ride the trail, suck it up, walk your bike over the obstacle and carry on. How are you going to know your making any progress as a rider if you continue to cut corners. Here is an appropriate picture that has been making the rounds on FB lately.

I could blame this behavior on all kinds of things but I won't. In the end we all have to take responsibility of the land we ride and actually give a shit once and awhile. If we don't then the trails are going to continue to decline and with that the experience and pure joy some of us get by using them. Please enjoy the trails, just do so responsibly.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Trail Tales

Its been an interesting and busy month in the park. Most of the 5k's and half marathons have wrapped up until fall. The Quick n Dirty summer mountain bike racing series has come to an end and the oppressive California heat has started to settle in. I have also launched the SDRP Mountain Bike Patrol and have trained 12 patrollers. Since I a haven't written in here in awhile I decided it was high time for some stories from the trail.

For the most part I don't run into many issues on the trail. Most people come out to the park enjoy the outdoors, go for a hike, a run or a bike ride then go on about there day content. A chosen few seem to have other plans. Usually the culprit of most of my encounters on the trails are those visitors that come to the park with their four legged friends. I've heard it a thousand times, my dog is the best behaved dog in the world, it's an open space park right, he stays by my side the whole time, he's a hunting dog, whatever the reason the rule still states that "Dogs must be on trail and leashed at all times."

That brings me to my first tale or should I say tail. One afternoon I was out on foot patrol on one of the parks more popular trails with people with dogs. It's proximity to the community just plain makes it easy for people to take their dogs for a walk after work and I think that's great as long as they are leashed. I was walking towards one of the parks kiosks when I noticed what I thought were two dogs off leash running on the trail. I started to approach the owner and when I got closer I noticed that these were not dogs and in fact the were goats. I called the owner over and explained to him that he needed his goats on a leash in the park. His first answer was "I heard that hoofed animals don't need to be leashed." not sure where he got that from but it is sadly not true. I told him that in this park you do. His second statement was that "They are very obedient and would never go off trail."  I continued to tell him that for the safety of his animals and other trail users I would need to insist that he now put his goats on a leash. No sooner had I said that, another user was making their way down the trail towards us, as soon as those goats saw him they took off down the trail right at him scaring the living daylights out of him. The whole scene was comical and unfortunate at the same time. I turned to the gentleman and said "That's exactly why I need you to put your goats on a leash." After apologizing to the other trail user he did.

Occasionally I get calls on lost pets, more than likely because there animal was not on a leash and their well-trained dog took off on them. This a however was a strange call. I received a call about a small dog that was stuck in a porta poty in one of our staging areas. My first thought was man this is gonna be nasty. All I could picture was a little dog stuck in the porta poty covered with blue dye (referring to the blue liquid they use in most porta poty)  and who knows what else. I prepared for the worst, latex gloves, baggies and a couple towels. I gathered all the gear and headed out to rescue this porta pooch, all the while the B52's song Quiche Loraine played in my head, "has anybody seen a dog dyed bright green?" or blue. When I got there the door was closed and I approached with caution again expecting the worst case scenario. I opened the door to find a little Chihuahua snarling and heading straight for me. I quickly shut the door. "Thank god it was not in the actual toilet." I got a little water for him and put that and a towel inside and proceeded to call animal control. After a little while they showed up to rescue him and all was good in the world.

Some people think it's perfectly fine to camp in the park. It is an open space preserve and we do have plenty of space. But not for camping! Usually I spot the camp, talk with the people, then they pack up and move on. One lady in particular decided she was gonna stay and stay she did for almost two years. The first time I meet her was on the trail as she was setting up her "camp", this loose term describes the rock wall and tarp she was using to live in. When I approached her to introduce myself and ask her what she was doing I was meet with fury and venom. While she stood about 5'4" and weighed about 110 lbs the language and hate that she spewed towards me would have made a sailor pause. That was enough for me and SDPD was called. They arrived talked with her for awhile and she decided to move on. End of story right? No sir, a couple months later while on patrol I passed by the (at the time) newly constructed bike bridge path over Lake Hodges and noticed the smell of a campfire. I went underneath the bridge to investigate only to find the same lady ready to do battle. I tried to explain the reason she could not live underneath the bridge or anywhere in the park (one big reason was the fact that she had an open non-contained fire) and again she would have none of it. I departed and SDPD arrived this time she was taken away.

This sad saga played out off and on for months, different Rangers had dealt with her and all refused to do so again because of her demeanor towards them. One time I went to try and talk to her and was attacked with a random cup filled with liquid (you do the math) that was thrown at me. If it were not for my ninja like skills she would have connected. Push finally came to shove and I was again tasked with "fixing" the problem. The plan was I would go one last time, try and talk to her and see if I could maybe get her some help, if not at least inform her that she again was illegally trespassing, she could not stay there and the we the SDRP were going to block off the access to underneath the bridge to stop anyone trespassing. When I started to talk with her she now insisted that I didn't work for the SDRP that in fact I worked for the Wild Animal Park so I had no jurisdiction. I told her that was not the case and that I had talked with her many times before. This lead to the most vicious attack yet. As she started to come out from under the bridge swear words a blazing she decided to step it up a notch and hurled whatever rocks she could find at me, (most were softball size and bigger). She also made it very clear to me that her son lived not to far away and when she told him of me he would "Kill me and bury me in a shallow grave!" I retreated to my park vehicle as she continued the verbal and physical assaulthitting the vehicle before I got out of there.

SDPD was called, this time charges were pressed and off to jail she went. I immediately got on the phone with the fence contractor and they built a cage underneath the bridge to stop any further incursions. So far this has worked and from my knowledge we don't have anyone else living in the park. I do however still see this lady from time to time on the outskirts of the preserve and if you ride the trails you probably have too. All I was trying to do was my job which included trying to help this person, unfortunately not everyone can be helped or even want to be helped.

I would never give this job up, for me it's a way of life and a passion but not all days at the office are fun and games. Some days are just truly bizarre!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

International Mountain Bike Association's Regional Trail Summit 2013

I left Thursday afternoon from North County Escondido bound for one of my favorite places, Idyllwild for the International Mountain Bike Associations regional trail summit. I pulled in to town center and checked into my cabin at the IdyllwildInn. It's a cozy little cabin with a lot history. The place is covered with peoples names etched into the wooden walls that have stayed there, the oldest I found was a couple from 1968. I did add my own before I left.

 After a brief rest and stocking up on groceries for the weekend I made my way over to The Hub Cyclery to get the 411. The plan was to ride and have dinner then rest up for the next day. Fuzzy from Niner was just pulling in so Brendan and I decided to wait and hammer with him. Always good to ride with those guys, it was a tough one but hella fun. The night ended at CafĂ© Aroma eating Gnocchi in the back room, mm, mm good.

Number 9
What follows is my brief overview of the summit itself, no names have been changed because no one is innocent. A lot of the information given out at the summit can be found on IMBA's website in more detail.

Friday-1st day of the summit.

Those that had not arrived the night before started to slowly filter into town throughout the day. Meanwhile Brendan, Fuzzy and Jason from Shimano decided it was time for some Niner product testing. We all took some Niner RDO Rip9's out and hitched onto a shuttle up to South Ridge trail for some tasty downhill action. Those bikes handled like a dream while I don't think I would ever own one(unless someone gave it to me) I can easily say it was one of the best full suspension rigs I have ridden yet. Nothing seemed too big for it and the power out of the saddle when climbing was excellent. 
Registration and group rides- Registration went quickly and group rides were loosely formed and poorly organized on the IMBA's side of things. A couple of good rides were organized on the fly with help from Brendan at The Hub Cyclery. The ride Brendan and I took out was 20 deep, they all had a great time and they all made it back together. 

The Hub System
Saturday-2nd day of the summit, time to hit the books.

The summit officially kicked off with a nice breakfast put on by the Idyllwild town hall followed by introductions that were held in the basement(kids classroom) of said town hall. Apparently there was a jazzercise class still going on in the main hall. Still it was kinda funny seeing a bunch of grown men and women sitting in tiny plastic chairs. Lots of mtb clubs, a couple of land managers a few concerned citizens and one local "trail gardener" were on hand.
Class is in.

The first workshop was a simplified version of the IMBA's trail solutions plan and dealt with the costs of trail planning, effective trail planning and the benefits of trail systems to the public. When asked about how much it would be to use IMBA's trail care crews to create these trail plans the first answer was "It depends" but the simplest figure was between $500-$700 initially. There was a lot of other costs involved to inflate that number and I came away with no clear picture on costs involved with using IMBA's crews.

Second workshop dealt with what areas the IMBA'S governmental arm deals with. Policy, land management, trail management and trail advocacy. Discussions on PCT usage in sections were talked about in their Long Live Long Rides Project. It ended with one slide explaining how to deal with land managers. Ha! It could have and should have gone into a little more detail when it came to this area as most of the clubs in attendance will be dealing with land managers and local agencies as opposed to the federal government directly.

Brief lunch from Idyllwild Pizza and a chance run in with Jim from Central Coast brewing. After a glass of Catch 23 an excellent Black Rye IPA I was ready for round two.

Third workshop focused on collaborative problem solving between trail advocacy groups and land management aka common sense 101. Good info to use that most don't.

Fourth workshop talked about the IMBA mapping program, the MTB Project. An overall trail mapping initiative. This will give users access to trail maps online and with phone apps. What this will do to local bike shops is unclear since this application kind of cuts them out of the picture. If it were not for Brendan from The Hub Cyclery I would not know half the trails I do in Idyllwild and there have been many other occasions in other cities where bike shops are the go to source for local trails. Of course the app will only list "designated" trails, and some of the follow up questions brought up concerns on just how and who will determine this "designation".

The final workshop of the day was grant writing. Basic "do's and don'ts" when it comes to writing an effective grant proposal as well as where to find said grants. Again good information to know and have for the up and coming trail advocate.

Rides were organized afterwards and fun was had by all. Found out later that some who went on rides got left on the trail, fortunately locals were on hand to guide them back.

The evening culminated in a BBQ and raffle at local eatery Jo-Ann's. The food was solid and the raffle was full of decent swag. Crowning moment was watching the locals karaoke. Elvis was spotted alive and well in Idyllwild.
Raffle time! 

Sunday-Final day of the summit.

No breakfast for me apparently when they said on the summit schedule breakfast at the town hall like the previous day they actually meant somewhere completely different. Missed the memo.

We start with a workshop on how to create a bike park and the management involved. IMBA has a very pragmatic view on the creation of bike parks, not as easy as it would seem. Bottom line get your ducks in a row before you approach an agency with an idea like this.

The final workshop of the summit was on high school mountain biking and why it's a good benefit to local advocacy groups. Program runs thru NICA National Interscholastic Cycling Association that provides grants and guidance to the affiliated leagues. They are not purely race based but more of a high school sport youth development program. All of that translates to trail advocates in the making. Wish they would have had these when I was a kid.  Man they got it good these days.

At the end Patrick Kell from the IMBA presented the Idyllwild Cycling Club with 500 dollars, part of the proceeds from the previous night's raffle. Kind gesture to be sure.

Overall it was a very informative weekend and I got to meet a lot of really good people with some really great ideas on how to progress mountain biking and trail advocacy in the future. I want to give a huge THANK YOU for the kind gesture that was afforded to me by the San Diego Mountain Bike Association. They will be graciously donating 500 dollars to the San Dieguito River Park's Mountain Bike Patrol from some of the proceeds generated from the Archipelago Ride held last April that was supported by the SDRP. It's partnerships and summits like these that will make it easier on upcoming generations of mountain bikers to continue to enjoy the trails we all hold so dearly.