Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
I'm really diggin it!
Joined
·
3,078 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I should pass this along to many from MTBR because as we all know there are is a "wealth of opportunities in Marin County in which mountain bike riders can share recreation safely along with walkers, hikers, and equestrians."

Yay Trail Partners! Yay!

April 23, 2014

Friends of Stafford Lake Bike Park
c/o Steve Petterle, Principal Park Planner
Marin County Parks Department
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 260
San Rafael, CA 94903

Subject: Web and Video Promotion of Stafford Lake Bike Park

Dear Friends,

The recent circulation of a video promoting Stafford Lake Bike Park has prompted Marin Conservation League to register our concerns regarding “messages” being conveyed as that facility nears construction. The video, presented by Bell Built to promote the Park in a competition for a possible grant award to help fund construction, was posted on the Friends of Stafford Lake Bike Park web site and apparently has since been withdrawn, but not before wide circulation. The Friends’ web site shows on its Home page, lower left corner: “Copyright 2014 Marin County Parks and Open Space District,” and prominently displays the Marin County Parks logo. Presumably, what is posted on this web site has been sanctioned by the District (Department).

MCL’s concerns are not with the intended purpose of Park itself, which is clearly described in the web site. The Park was approved in concept by the Board of Supervisors in 2010 as a means of fulfilling recreational needs that have been expressed for a number of years by mountain bikers in Marin, and it enjoys broad political support. Rather, MCL is concerned that public communication about the Park and its uses must be consistent with and reinforce Marin County Parks policies and regulations for bike use on the County’s Open Space Preserves (as well as on other public lands in Marin). It is a County owned facility, notwithstanding that the majority of funding is from private sources. It is also an opportunity for County Parks, working with private sponsors, to distinguish the types of training and recreation that the Park will afford from appropriate behavior on public open space lands of Marin and guide mountain bike behavior accordingly. That is, what is appropriate in the Stafford Lake Bike Park will not be appropriate on Marin’s public lands, and teaching this distinction is critical.

The narrative and images shown in the video fail to make this distinction in several regards. The web site itself contains images that appear to condone inappropriate behavior on public lands. If these are indicative of a general attitude toward the Park in operation, they should be corrected. Images can be powerful in prompting both desirable and undesirable behaviors. The following images on both the web site and the posted video are of concern:

1. The Friends of SLBP web site background photo shows two bikers apparently off-trail, riding through open, vegetated land. If this behavior were transferred to public lands, it would violate explicit policies in the County’s Draft Road and Trail Management Plan to remain on designated trails, as well as regulations of all other public lands in Marin that prohibit riding off trail. It is, however, the dominant image on the site.

2. The video narration begins by focusing on the apparent lack of trail facilities open to bikes in Marin and shows several photos such as “No bikes” signs to reinforce this myth. In point of fact, a recent calculation by Marin County Parks staff revealed that Marin public lands, taken together, can boast 600 miles of dirt roads and trails, 50 percent of which are open to bikes. Throughout the county, most narrow paths (i.e.,“single-track trails”) are closed to bikes with reason: they were not designed for shared use, and without extensive reconstruction continue to be unsafe for shared use. Many are regularly ridden illegally by bikers, however, threatening the safety of others on foot or horseback.

3. The strong message presented in the video is one of exclusion of bikers on public lands, a mentality that is portrayed as hostile and the antithesis of “community.” This persistent message fails to show the wealth of opportunities in Marin County in which mountain bike riders can share recreation safely along with walkers, hikers, and equestrians.

4. At the conclusion of a segment of the video that shows kids and families riding bikes on fire roads and old ranch roads (a positive image!), there follows a single photo showing a bike aloft – an image of technical riding that would be wholly inappropriate on public open space land shared by other users.

5. The video suggests that the new bike park will be magnet for the whole Bay Area, emphasizing the sense of “community” that the Park represents. This is an existing reality (Marin County as a magnet) that makes it all the more essential that behavior appropriate to the Bike Park must be distinguished from behavior that is appropriate in heavily used public open space.

6. Other images of technical skill are shown in the video – jumping rocks, racing, etc. Any future communications on the Friends’ web site and in other promotional media should reinforce the point that these are not allowed on public lands that are shared by other users.

Several months ago Marin Conservation League signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Marin Horse Council, forming a “Trail Partners” collaboration, with the objective of effecting a positive change in the culture of trail use in Marin. Our goals are to encourage legal and appropriate behavior so as to ensure both safety for all users of public lands and long-term protection of the natural resources that make Marin unique. We are counting on others copied on this letter to help in making this effort successful. The Stafford Lake Bike Park is in a special position to reinforce these goals, and we ask that the Friends and County and other organizations work together to make this happen.

We also ask that the Board of Supervisors (acting also as Directors of the Marin County Open Space District) be fully assured that activities at the Stafford Lake Bike Park, whether sponsored by donors to the Park or the County, serve to promote the County’s important long-term goals for stewardship of its public lands.

Sincerely yours,


Nona Dennis
Chair, Parks and Open Space Committee
Marin Conservation League
175 N. Redwood Drive, Suite 135, San Rafael, CA 94903
Ph: 415-485-6257 Fax: 415-485-6259
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
When you are wealthy enough to wholly choose your social group and your media consumption, one need never be troubled by facts.

You simply check in with your worldview in which "technical" mountain biking in open spaces is illegal, and it is self-evident that a video depicting 'jumping over a rock' is irresponsible and inappropriate.

Zero need to consult an expert, crack a book, or even crease one's brow. It's so much easier when you just know inside what's right, right?

Will anyone in Friends of Stafford Lake have the courage to tell the author that he or she is out of their freaking mind?
 

·
mtb'er
Joined
·
4,202 Posts
The fact that Ms. Dennis, age 84, took the time to write this is disturbing, but not unexpected. What do you expect from someone that is close to hitting the clock-out button? No clue. No facts. No chance. No problem. Another voice/hurdle will naturally extinguish soon enough... and hopefully be replaced by someone not born in the 1930's.
 

·
I'm really diggin it!
Joined
·
3,078 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This thread is going to get interesting. I wonder what people who are PC experts will say about those of you who seem to be clueless about all the great riding opportunities in Marin on approved fireroads?
I'm glad someone is beginning to figure this out. We won't get anything from the MCL or the MHC. They will not make any compromise. They will only sell the safety message that keeps the trail sharing situation exactly as it is now or worse and tout that we have hundreds of miles of trails. The worst part about it is that the land managers have demanded that everyone get along and we have basically agreed as a community to maintain the status quo.
 

·
Paper or plastic?
Joined
·
10,131 Posts
MCL and MCH are the enemy. Who the heck uses aloft anyway? Good news is that this particular letter writer won't be around for too long to propagate her myths.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Also a bit OT, but related to the aging of the equestrians, this was posted yesterday by my local group:

Gold Country Trails Council said:
OK members!! as you have seen the Poker Ride is going to be here before we know it. This is our only fund raiser for the year and boy do we need funds! Since most of us are getting up in years we need to hire much of the manual labor for trail building. With this in mind, please consider getting a donation from a local business who you patronize. Most businesses are quite willing to donate to one of their customers. Linda L and I will have forms those businesses can use for tax deductible records. Email me when you have a prize to donate. Gift certificates are good, as is merchandise. Thanks.
The tone is what I found interesting along with these parts, "...boy do we need funds!", and "Since most of us are getting up in years we need to hire much of the manual labor for trail building."

I feel a little bad for them. While some of them do resist mtb access, there is also a realization that they are a dying breed and that the inevitable is coming. In the end, I don't want them to lose their access to the trails, just not restrict mine.
 

·
Paper or plastic?
Joined
·
10,131 Posts
Also a bit OT, but related to the aging of the equestrians, this was posted yesterday by my local group:



The tone is what I found interesting along with these parts, "...boy do we need funds!", and "Since most of us are getting up in years we need to hire much of the manual labor for trail building."

I feel a little bad for them. While some of them do resist mtb access, there is also a realization that they are a dying breed and that the inevitable is coming. In the end, I don't want them to lose their access to the trails, just not restrict mine.
It's gonna take a while to happen, and probably too late for me, but in the next 20 years equestrians are going to be the minority that hikers will pick on next. They'll be so small that nobody will care, and they won't be getting help from the cyclists after enduring decades of their nonsense. They're just too dumb to realize it, or they don't care and simply hope that they can keep enjoying their trail monopoly until they die and leave the mess to the next generation to deal with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
Yeah. Every 83 year old equestrian that I know uses phrases such as:

"a segment of the video "

"Other images of technical skill "

"The video narration "

"Any future communications on the Friends’ web site and in other promotional media"

I call BS.

This thing was ghostwritten by Monte et al and pushed across the table for an otherwise respectable octogenarian to sign.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Please remember that ultimately the Open Space makes the decisions for their lands. The Marin Horse Council and the Marin Conservation League are special interest groups pushing their agenda's. The more they continue to work outside the lines of reality, and ignore the changing demographics of our society, the more they weaken their platform and push themselves into inevitable extinction.

Also remember that the Tamalpais Conservation Club (TCC) kicked out Larry Minekes so he's now hiding out behind the MCL. He is the one who brings a book of dead animal pictures to the meetings purporting that they were killed by mountain bikers. It would not surprise me if he were behind this letter.

My response to the letter and advice to you is GET OUT THE VOTE. Please visit A4B's website and voting recommendations for Board of Supervisors district 1 (San Rafael) and District 5 (Novato - Stafford Lake). See a connection here? The Supervisors are the heads of Open Space. They have final say and directive on what does and does not happen. Want change? Elect GOOD leaders.

Regardless of the election and June's results I have faith that Marin County Parks will continue to support Stafford Lake Bike Park. The MCL and MHC are a familiar thorn in their side. Their bitter fight against increased MTB access goes on. We will prevail if we know how to fight.

PLEASE VOTE AND SHARE OUR SITE.

Home - Access4Bikes
 

·
J-Flo
Joined
·
1,740 Posts
Phooey on Nona Dennis and whoever wrote her letter.

Vernonator is correct; elect the right people and these bike-haters will be whistling in the wind, where they belong.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top