Archive for the ‘Bike Skills Park’ Category

Tell Los Angeles Recreation and Parks What You Want

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

rec and parks logoThe City of of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department (RAP) is seeking public input on the future and funding of our City parks. This is being conducted through a series of public meetings, and an online Community Budget Discussion survey

We are taking this opportunity to remind RAP of their obligations and duties as identified in the 2010 Los Angeles City Bike Plan. CORBA worked diligently to keep the meager provisions for off-road cycling in the 2010 Bike Plan, while the powerful equestrian lobby fought hard to have them removed. We submitted over 1000 letters and petition signatures calling on the City to include strategies for accommodating mountain bikes on at least some City trails. We also asked that a recommendation for Bike Parks be included in the Bike Plan, but a Bike Park provision was not included in the final plan.

Havemeyer Park, a pop-up bike park facility in Brooklyn

Havemeyer Park, a pop-up bike park facility in Brooklyn

The City has made remarkable progress on the implementation of the Bike Plan, at least where the Department of Transport is the lead agency. The five-year implementation strategy is ahead of schedule with regards to new bike lanes and other infrastructure supporting cycling on the City’s streets.

To our knowledge, nothing has yet been done to implement the off-road cycling provisions identified in Chapter 4, Sections 3.3.5, 3.3.6, and 3.3.7 of the 2010 Bike Plan. The lead agency identified for those provisions is RAP.  The Bike Plan calls for these provisions to be completed by 2015.

We therefore urge all of CORBA’s members who live within the City of Los Angeles to complete the survey. The survey is available at http://laparks.org, where a popup window will direct you to the survey. The survey can also be accessed directly at http://m.laparks.org/survey/#survey, but please read on before doing so.

The RAP survey will ask how often you visit City parks, what activities you participate in, how far would you travel for specific activities, and what amenities you would like to see. Nowhere within the survey is there any mention of bicycles, trails for bicycles or bike parks. You must write those in where appropriate.

While “equestrian trails” and “hiking/walking” trails are referred to in the survey, there is not a single mention of bicycle trails or multiple-use trails. Also missing is any mention of Bike Parks. Therefore the only opportunity within the survey to request park facilities for bicycles, such as trails, pump tracks or bike parks, is in the “Additional Comments,” section 9.

We encourage our members and readers to take the survey, and in the “Additional Comments section,” urge the RAP department to:

The Recreation and Parks Department needs to allocate the necessary resources to complete the programs for which it is the lead agency as identified in Chapter 4, Sections 3.3.6 and 3.3.7 of the 2010 Bike Plan. Numerous funding sources in the form of bike industry grants, community health and wellness grants, and youth initiative grants are available to fund and support bike skills parks and multiple-use trails, as well as sponsorships and public-private partnerships. RAP needs to provide natural-surface trails for bicycles, and should consider developing urban bike skills parks, with a range of skills development features that are suitable for all ages and skill levels. 

You may copy and paste the above paragraph to post under “additional comments”, but feel free to provide your own input for the survey. Additionally, section 6 asks surveyees to rank or prioritize desired facilities. Bike parks are not mentioned, but can be written in under option W: “Other, Please Specify.”

Core to the survey is the identification of sources of revenue to fund the City’s parks. There are many funding options in the form of bike industry grants available for the construction of bike parks and multi-use trails. There is also a ready and willing army of volunteers who would gladly help build and maintain bike parks. However, the City must first undergo a change in attitude towards off-road bicyclists, just as it has seen a change in attitude towards road cyclists and bike commuters.

A series of public meetings are being held, some of which have already taken place. A full list of them is available at http://www.laparks.org/pdf/comInput.pdf. Meetings are from 6:30 – 8 p.m. For more information, contact Theresa Walker, theresa.walker@lacity.org, at (213) 202-3205.

CD1 – December 4: Ramona Hall Community Center, 4580 North Figueroa Street
CD3 – December 3: Woodland Hills Recreation Center, 5858 Shoup Avenue
CD4 – December 9: Griffith Park Visitor’s Center, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr.
CD7 – December 10: Ritchie Valens Recreation Center, 10736 Laurel Canyon Boulevard (Pacoima)
CD8 – December 3: Algin Sutton Recreation Center, 8800 South Hoover Street
CD9 – December 12: EXPO Center, 3980 South Bill Robertson Lane
CD10 – December 4: Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, 5001 Rodeo Road
CD14 – December 2: City Hall, 200 N. Spring St. Public Works Board Room
CD14 – December 3: Evergreen Recreation Center, 2844 East 2nd Street
CD15 – December 5: 109th St. Rec Center, 1464 E. 109th St.

City of Fillmore Considering a Pump Track TONIGHT, November 12th!

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Pump TrackFillmore City Council meeting TONIGHT at 6:30 to consider putting in a pump track! Fillmore City Hall, 250 Central Ave., Fillmore. Please come out and show your support!

Lang Ranch Community Park Update

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

meeting of the knobsIf you remember last year, CORBA helped get out the word that the Conejo Recreation and Parks District (CRPD) was holding a series of public meetings to guide them in planning for the park’s development.

Over 100 people came out and asked for a bike park facility.

The good news is that the CRPD is following through with the community demand for a bike park at Lang Ranch. They have retained the services of a RRM Design Group, who has in turn retained the services of Wormhoudt, Inc., a well-known designer with expertise in skate, BMX and bike parks.

At this point a pump track, dirt jump park, flow trail and multi-use cross-country trail with optional technical features are planned for the site, along with other outdoor recreational facilities including a disc golf course and a remote control glider area.

In approximately six weeks there will be on-site visits with the planners to better determine the topography and get a clearer idea of what the design will entail. The area is still subject to environmental studies and reports, so even though this project is proceeding relatively quickly, it is still estimated that it will be approximately two years before it will approach completion.

This project is a joint effort between the CRPD and Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, which maintains a shared use policy for its open space trail system, which consists of nearly 14,000 acres and 140 miles of trails. The Lang Ranch Community Park will be an area that allows for enjoyment of natural open space with amenities not usually seen in open space. CORBA has been identified as the primary off-road bicycle organization to consult the project’s bicycle facilities.

 

Mammoth Mountain Kamakaze Games Supports CORBA

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

 

Kamakaze Bike Games, Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth’s Kamikaze helped establish Mammoth Lakes as a bike Mecca in the mid-80s, about the same time that mountain bikes were being banned from local trails throughout California. It was a time when advocacy was beginning, CORBA was formed, and lift-accessed downhill bike racing in the US had its start.  In the world-famous Kamakaze, pros raced the same course as amateurs and success was measured by how much fun you had.

It’s back! Kamikaze Bike Games goes down September 4-8 and includes downhill, cross-country, and enduro races as well as an off-road Gran Fondo and kids race.

This year, there will be much more happening than those early days, including some road cycling events. There’s an award winning century, Gran Fondo or one of the shorter courses to choose from. There will be great food, entertainment, epic riding, and an expo. It promises to bring back the glory of big mountain racing and should be the bike bash of the year!

Mammoth Mountain has generously donated some entries into the race and some Mammoth Bike Park day passes for us to reward our volunteers. We’re excited to see the Kamakaze return, bigger and better than ever, and are grateful for their support of CORBA.

Lang Ranch Community Park Meeting #3 Sees Another Good Turnout

Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Jim Friedl talks about the process

Jim Friedl talks about the process

It was another good turnout at Wednesday’s community input meeting for the Lang Ranch Community Park Conceptual Recreational Use Plan process. This, the third of four meetings, was aimed at further prioritizing the list of potential uses supplied by community members.

Another great turnout

Another great turnout

Approximately 75 attendees were given maps of the planned park site and were encouraged to indicate locations where they thought they might want to put certain amenities. On the back of the maps were lists of potential uses, divided up into three categories; Green: Those the agency (Conejo Recreation and Park District, CRPD) felt were appropriate uses based on the plan’s criteria; Red: Those that did not meet the criteria; and Yellow: Those that were “on the bubble” and could go into either the Green or Red categories. Attendees were divided into five groups with two facilitators each and provided input on any amenities that were missing, as well as any amenities that should move from one category to another. Afterward, groups summarized their input.

Based on group summaries, bicycle related amenities, including a pump track and skills features, were still a high priority. A new term came up in the list of prospective bike amenities, “dual slalom course,” which while new to the process, is not a new concept. It’s basically the same thing as slalom ski racing; two parallel downhill courses run through gates with jumps and berm turns. Sort of like downhill BMX (but it can be done on mountain bikes as well).

Members of the public talk about their proposed changes

Members of the public talk about their proposed changes

CRPD facilitators reminded attendees that this is still very early in the process and that they are in “big picture” mode. To quote Jim Friedl, CRPD General Manager, “We’re not yet looking at the gnat’s eyebrow at this point.” The next and final community meeting takes place March 21, and from there CRPD staff will produce a report and recommendation to present to the CRPD board. According to Friedl, an optimistic estimate for delivering that presentation could be 4-6 months.

Bike Park – CRPD 3rd meeting on 2/29/2012 at 7pm

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

If you live in the Conejo Valley or a nearby community, please attend a meeting to be held by the Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD) and press for a pump track and bike park to be included in the plans for the Lang Ranch Community Park.

On Wednesday, February 29th, CRPD will have a meeting to get public input into recreational activities they would like to see included in the Lang Ranch Community Park and other parks in Zone 2, roughly north of Hillcrest Drive and east of the 23 Freeway.

This is our chance to lobby for a bike park and pump track in a semi-urban area. Our kids and the young-at-heart could use to improve their balance, coordination, upper body strength, and generally have fun! In this age of video games, “sweet/salty snacks” and increasing obesity among our youth, everyone should appreciate a healthful, outdoor activity to engage them.

CRPD has plans for two more public meetings:

 

Meeting 3 – More Brainstorming & Bubble Diagrams
Wednesday Feb 29, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Hillcrest Center Community Room

Meeting 4 – Report Back and Recommendations
Wednesday March 21, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Hillcrest Center Community Center

Directions to the Hillcrest Community Center. From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit at Lynn Road, turning north, then turn right onto Hillcrest Drive. After 0.3 miles, turn left onto McCloud Ave, then turn right immediately at the sign for the National Park Service and Conejo Recreation and Park District. At the stop sign at the top of the drive, turn left and drive the short distance to #403, on the left.  Google Map and Directions

Packed House asks for a bike park at the Lang Ranch Community Park

Sunday, February 12th, 2012
Parks officials show the abandoned plan

Parks officials show the abandoned plan

On Wednesday evening, February 8, 2012, a packed house was far more than the Conejo Recreation and Parks District was expecting. But they were very pleased with the turnout, and encouraged to see so many local residents take an interest in the future of this large, but undeveloped park.

The Lang Ranch Community Park appears on the District’s Master Plan and has already had its own master plan drawn up. The plan included numerous wonderful improvements, but the reports of geologically unstable ground made the cost of implementing this plan beyond feasible. The cost of stabilizing the park’s sloping hillsides–a necessary step before any improvements could be made–proved prohibitive. The plan had to be retired and a new one envisaged.

A packed house of more than 90 participants

A packed house of more than 90 participants

This meeting was to gain public input on what could be done with the park without major construction, without digging, without the need for water. After this history and the given parameters the attendees were divided up into nine groups, each to discuss what they’d like to see in the park. A facilitator from the parks department took notes on easel boards, listing the table’s priorities. Each group then assigned a spokesperson to summarize the groups wishlist.

A common theme among all the groups was the call for a pump track/bike park/dirt jumps and trails. This was probably helped by the last minute efforts of local bike park advocates putting out the word through facebook and other social outlets.  It was referred to as a Bike Skills Park, a Pump Track, a Dirt Jump Park, a Mountain Bike park, but the common thread was there: a facility for off-road bicycles.

Also high on the suggestion list were trails, connectivity to Conejo Open Space trails, off-leash dog park, radio-controlled car and plane facility, landscaping with native plants, disc golf, playground facilities, picnic benches, bathrooms at the one place in the park that was deemed suitable for construction, through-trails/bike paths to connect students at the neighboring residential areas to the school at the western end of the park, and many other options. The parks staff were notably pleased with the input.

Facilitators seek public input from each table

Facilitators seek public input from each table

Subsequently, on Saturday February 11, a second meeting took place during which interested parties walked the park property with parks staff to discuss the possibilities. While fewer people attended this, some key proponents of a bike skills park were there to ensure the City continued to hear of the desire for a bike park facility.

Over the coming weeks and months the parks department will be distilling the key requests from the public into an updated vision for this Community Park and inviting more feedback.

The next meeting is on February 29, 2012, 7 – 9 pm at the Hillcrest Center Community Room, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360. This meeting is listed as a “Brainstorming and Bubble Diagram” event. The public will be asked to put their ideas on maps of the park property.

On March 21, 2012, also 7 – 9 pm at the Hillcrest Center Community Room,  CRPD will be reporting back to the public on what they’ve garnered from the public’s input, and their recommendations. There may be additional meetings so stay tuned for further announcements.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can email your input to parks@crpd.org.

Presenting his table's ideas for a bike park

Presenting his table's ideas for a bike park

We’re especially pleased that the Conejo Recreation and Parks Department is reaching out to the public, and engaging people directly in this early stage of the planning process. While a Conejo Bike Park is not yet a done deal, it seems that the idea is alive and well and has a good chance of becoming reality. We urge people to stay involved in the process and keep pushing for a bike park. Opportunities like this don’t come very often, especially right here in our own back yards… or city parks. For more information, follow the progress on facebook and at the parks department web site, www.crpd.org.

 

 

Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 Signed by Obama

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

On November 7, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 (S. 382/H.R. 765). A version of this legislation was first introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) in 2008, and again in 2010. The bill was re-introduced in February 2011, and this year passed both the House and Senate. It has strong support from both the mountain bike community and the Ski industry. IMBA testified in favor of the act earlier this year and has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the National Ski Area Association to help increase visitation and improve summer mountain bike experiences at U.S. ski areas.

The Act amends the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 and clarifies the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to “permit appropriate additional seasonal or year-round recreational activities and facilities on National Forest System land subject to Ski Area permits.”  The act goes on to specifically mention mountain bike terrain parks and trails, zip lines, frisbee golf courses and ropes courses as acceptable additional recreational activities for ski areas. It excludes activities such as tennis courts, water slides, swimming pools and golf courses.

This should make it easier for ski areas to get the required permits to operate mountain bike parks during their summer off-season. Year-round recreation at ski resorts is expected to create additional jobs and increase local commerce. Ski areas must still comply with environmental regulations when operating year-round, and their primary function has to remain snow sports.

In the Angeles National Forest there are four ski areas: Mountain High (East, West & North), Mt. Waterman, Ski Sunrise and Mt. Baldy. For a few short weeks in 2009 Mt. Waterman opened to bicycles in the summer, but was forced to abandon its mountain bike park plans because of the limitations of their ski area permit. The passage of HR 765 now allows the Secretary of Agriculture to issue permits for mountain bike parks to existing ski area permit holders.

This is a great step forward and one that will hopefully increase our opportunities for lift-access trails and bike parks in the years to come.

Glendale Bike Skills Park – Show Your Support!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Glendale needs a Bike Skills Park. Southern California needs a Bike Skills Park. Sign our petition and let the City of Glendale know!

Italian Bike Park showing Wooden and Dirt features

Bike Park showing Wooden and Dirt features (Italy)

Bike Skills Parks are a dedicated area for bicycles and include features like a pump track, progressive tabletop jumps, balance training features, XC short tracks, and much more. They can include dirt features, man-made (cut) wooden features, natural wooden features, and rock features. They are becoming more and more popular as people realize the skill-building fun and health-promoting exercise they provide.

A great example is the Woodward West Bike Park in Fresno. The City of Fresno, local mountain bike advocacy groups and the community came together to make this park a reality. We would like to see that model emulated here in Glendale.

In 2007 and 2008, the CORBA trail crew assisted the City of Glendale in developing their Trails Master Plan. In that plan are several desired new trail corridors in the Verdugos, San Rafael Hills and the foothills of Mt. Lukens. The biggest and most significant addition to the Trails Master Plan is a Bike Skills Park.

In Glendale’s Citywide Trails Master Plan for the San Rafael Hills (available as a PDF here), a bike skills park location is identified as “A” on the San Rafael map. Subsequent to the City’s adoption of the Trails Master Plan, CORBA volunteers worked with the City to identify the most suitable location.

With City Parks staff, we identified what we believe is an ideal location for a Bike Skills Park project. There is access from existing park facilities, and it could easily be tied in to the trail network of Cherry Canyon and the San Rafael Hills.  There are no nearby neighbors to disturb, and the location is surrounded by open space to the east and the 2 freeway on the western side. The land itself consists of debris fill from the construction of the 2 freeway.

Glendale will be revising its Bicycle Master Plan in 2011, and we want to see the Bike Skills Park included in that plan. As of this writing the public hearing dates for Glendale’s Bike Plan have not yet been set. When those hearings are held, we want to show how much demand and community support exists for a Bike Skills Park.

To demonstrate that need, we are gathering signatures on a petition. You can read and sign our petition online on iPetitions.com. If you prefer, you can print out a PDF version of our Petition and gather signatures from your friends, family and neighbors. If you choose the printed petition, please snail mail, email or fax the petition sheets back to us as they are filled.

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