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!