Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
I am lost, I'm no guide
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nisene Marks reopens to bikers
By GENEVIEVE BOOKWALTER
SENTINEL STAFF WRITER

APTOS — Mountain bikes are once again allowed on the fire road in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, after a settlement Friday ended the legal standoff between state officials and a group fighting to keep cyclists off hiking paths.

The announcement from the state Department of Parks and Recreation came early Friday evening, and avoids a courtroom showdown that either could have opened the entire park to bikers, or left most of it off limits to them.

The settlement basically maintains the status quo, letting cyclists continue riding the popular Aptos Creek fire road and lower 1,000 acres of the park, said Roy Stearns, spokesman for State Parks.

But it stops efforts to open single track trails to fat tires, an idea considered by some bikers and park officials as a way to reduce crowding in the park’s lower realm and expand riding terrain.

"We learned that there was opportunity for settlement, and it seemed like opportunity for settlement was a wiser action to save taxpayers money on appeal," Stearns said.

Bicycles are illegal on trails in the upper 9,000 acres of The Forest of Nisene Marks. When the property above the landmark steel bridge was sold by the Marks family to create a state park, it came with deeds allowing only hiking, nature study, camping and associated activities. Horses were specifically banned.

Bikes were not mentioned, but State Parks officials decided in the spirit of the deed, they would restrict pedalers from the trails. Cyclists would be allowed on the road, which was built to handle vehicular traffic.

Advertisement

The controversy arose around a new general plan, adopted in August 2003, that let parks officials study if bikes might be allowed on trails through the Marks’ former property.

Serenity-loving hikers rallied against the proposal. They sued, arguing it violated the original deed. A Sacramento Superior Court judge agreed, ruling that not only should cyclists be off the trails, they should be off the fire road too.

Some mountain bikers responded to yesterday’s announcement with mixed emotions.

"We’re grateful that they settled out and everything remains to the same standard that it was," said Eric Brecheen, owner of Mr. E’s Cyclery in Aptos.

The road closure could have hurt his business, Brecheen said, as most other popular mountain bike spots are on the north end of the county.

But Brecheen said he was disappointed more trails won’t open to bikes.

"When you confine everyone to the lower trails, then you have a population issue of a saturated trail with hikers and cyclists," he said.

"We as riders are willing to pedal the distance to upper trails to have access to it and would rather do that than ride in a populated area where there’s more risk of collision."

Sandy Henn of Aptos, spokeswoman for Citizens for the Preservation of The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks, said she was thrilled with the result.

Most in her group never had a problem with bikes on the fire road, she said. They just didn’t want cyclists careening down trails now reserved for hikers.

"I’ve been smiling from ear to ear," Henn said. "I bet Herman Marks is just looking down on this and smiling. He has to be."
 

·
I am lost, I'm no guide
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree

but right now I'll settle for "baby steps"
 

·
Slowest Rider
Joined
·
5,237 Posts
Great News!

Good news! But not as good as more legal singletrack for the SC riders, which is very badly needed for them.

Combined with the potential opening of Sierra Azul route from Mt. Umunhum to Demo, this will soon allow riders to legally go on epic rides through the mountains from San Jose to the beach in Santa Cruz. Much of it will be fire roads, but some nice single track is very possible and in the works for Sierra Azul. (see above link)

I don't come up Nissene Marks from the SC side and don't understand one comment. The article implies there's some legal singletrack at the lower part of the park (or just outside the park at the lower end)? Then there's Demo at the top with all the great singletrack trails. (Demo's moderately crowded but OK. See St. Josephs for crowded - take a ticket and get in line!)
So the issue is really the in-between single track stuff at Nissene Marks? :confused:

-Larry
 

·
I am lost, I'm no guide
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BigLarry said:
I don't come up Nissene Marks from the SC side and don't understand one comment. The article implies there's some legal singletrack at the lower part of the park (or just outside the park at the lower end)?

-Larry
All singletrack below the bridge at NM is legal. It's not much, and usually very crowded on weekends w/ horses, runners, and hikers, sharing these trails, but it's something.
 

·
29 inches and Pissed Off!
Joined
·
693 Posts
When I rode tuesday, a hiker was berating anyone on a mtb. Baiting them that friday was the last day they could ride. It almost got me down. This is great news. I guess I will not be moving after all. Not that I would have.
Dan C. :D
 

·
SS Clyde 29er
Joined
·
607 Posts
ahh..same ol' same ol'...

what really happened is that the "advocates for NM" pissed of ALOT of local parents that have kids that ride in the park. many parents and folks in the area, like myself, moved here partically to have access to such a wonderful place. oh well, busyness as usual.
 

·
29 inches and Pissed Off!
Joined
·
693 Posts
fire horse said:
what really happened is that the "advocates for NM" pissed of ALOT of local parents that have kids that ride in the park. many parents and folks in the area, like myself, moved here partically to have access to such a wonderful place. oh well, busyness as usual.
Notice you have a 29er? I have a couple. We will have to meet up. I ride Nisene at least 3 to 4 times a week.
Dan C.
 

·
Registered
my hair crawled away
Joined
·
543 Posts
We want all or nothing Issue not going away

There are no good reasons not to poach the sweet single track other than its illegal.
The hikers who sued got what they wanted - to select which trails(fire road) can be ridden by bikers and which trails were off limits. This was not the original intent of the Mark deed for one self interest group to carve out the park as they saw fit......

I think the law suit should have gone ahead, now the hikers get to keep the cream of the crop.....and leave us the hand outs......... I say thats BS

Any how.......................the demand for trails will continue regardless of bogus rules. There are already more trails in the upper park carved by motorcyclist and bikers. This issue is not going away and will come up again.

Tahoe has even odd days which would work great at Niesen. Either do West Ridge or Big Slide....

We want all or nothing...........
 
G

·
gonzo said:
There are no good reasons not to poach the sweet single track other than its illegal.
The hikers who sued got what they wanted - to select which trails(fire road) can be ridden by bikers and which trails were off limits. This was not the original intent of the Mark deed for one self interest group to carve out the park as they saw fit......

I think the law suit should have gone ahead, now the hikers get to keep the cream of the crop.....and leave us the hand outs......... I say thats BS

Any how.......................the demand for trails will continue regardless of bogus rules. There are already more trails in the upper park carved by motorcyclist and bikers. This issue is not going away and will come up again.

Tahoe has even odd days which would work great at Niesen. Either do West Ridge or Big Slide....

We want all or nothing...........
First of all, speak for yourself, not everyone wants all or nothing. Its this attitude that gets bikers a bad reputation. If you want all or nothing, then don't ride at N.M anymore.

Second, even/odd days is not a good idea for various reasons, one being that rule will be broken by people who do not know the rule and secondly who's to say what days people should get.

A better idea would be access fees, like the saying goes you have to pay to play. However since so many users use N.M these fees would be applied to everyone not just bikers. This idea works, just look at what is going on with Camp Tamerancho in Marin. However the best solution would be more trail repair days, as this gets the community of trail users involved with each other to solve problems.
 

·
Registered
my hair crawled away
Joined
·
543 Posts
Is FireRoad a WIN??????

Your missing the point................why does a select group get to dictate how the park is used? Does this make sense? Is it right?

I don't think it would be fair if bikers got to decide how the park was used. It would be better if both sides came to a compromise which would result in less conflict in the long run................the current decision was a one sided win. If you consider riding a fire road a win then we are on different pages.
 
G

·
I consider the fact that we could have been banned all together from the park a win. Although I agree with you on the fact that all of the land should be open to everyone it is not. However I do not believe that we should give up everything that we have worked for, if we can't get access to the entire park.
 

·
I am lost, I'm no guide
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
agreed

Whoaohohohoh said:
I consider the fact that we could have been banned all together from the park a win. Although I agree with you on the fact that all of the land should be open to everyone it is not. However I do not believe that we should give up everything that we have worked for, if we can't get access to the entire park.
Well said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
A reference....

Larry,

Great Map of Nisene Marks/Demo available here:

Nisene/Demo Map

Steel Bridge is marked on there near "Winter Gate" and "George's Picnic Area" up a couple miles from the Pacific. All single track (and they are LONG and sweet) we "lost" in the latest legal battle, between this point and the boundary of Demo at the top of Aptos Creek Fireroad is closed to bikes.....and for the time being will remain so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I beg to differ....

Whoaohohohoh said:
Second, even/odd days is not a good idea for various reasons, one being that rule will be broken by people who do not know the rule and secondly who's to say what days people should get.

A better idea would be access fees, like the saying goes you have to pay to play. However since so many users use N.M these fees would be applied to everyone not just bikers. This idea works, just look at what is going on with Camp Tamerancho in Marin. However the best solution would be more trail repair days, as this gets the community of trail users involved with each other to solve problems.
Whoa.....

I fail to see the logic (real or implied) of your argument against even/odd days.

The Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) has used this particular system very successfully for the past several years as a means to allow ALL user groups to enjoy a valuable, albeit potentially congested resource. The TRT between Mt. Rose and the Flume trail is an awesome chunk of ST that would be legally off-limits to MTBs were it not for this system.

How does your statement that people would ignore the "rule/law" of even odd days differ from the situation now, anyways??? Wouldn't it be better to have the option of riding it LEGALLY half the time? There will always be "benders/breakers" of every rule established...it is human nature to test our "limits". For example, I would venture to guess that it isn't a matter of did every single person reading this exceed the legally posted speed limit somewhere (if not everywhere) along the route they last drove their car....it's only by how much did they exceed it. Furthermore, the way the system usually works, one group gets the even days, the other gets odd calendar days....what the flock does it matter if you ride on even vs odd days - they'd be evenly distributed among both user groups....is climbing somehow easier on even days??? (sarcasm intended) :rolleyes: :confused:

Finally....regarding paying a user fee....in a word...NO. I already paid my friggin' user fee in the taxes levied against my wages and property. It seems to me that a more creative trail management plan (such as alternating user groups on even/odd calendar days) is a far better solution than throwing more $$ at an issue.
 

·
Paper or plastic?
Joined
·
10,638 Posts
wXman said:
Larry,

Great Map of Nisene Marks/Demo available here:

Nisene/Demo Map

Steel Bridge is marked on there near "Winter Gate" and "George's Picnic Area" up a couple miles from the Pacific. All single track (and they are LONG and sweet) we "lost" in the latest legal battle, between this point and the boundary of Demo at the top of Aptos Creek Fireroad is closed to bikes.....and for the time being will remain so.
The real question: how strongly do the Rangers enforce the ban? How much is the fine if you're caught?
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top