Aug 06

Huddart / Wunderlich Master Plan Goes to Supervisors with Dirt Bike Route to Sky

I attended the San Mateo County Parks Commission meeting today with Jim Sullivan, Josh Moore, and a nice cyclist from the Woodside Bicycle Committee whose name seems to have slipped from my brain (sorry). Jim and Josh and the Woodside cyclist all spoke well, in favor of including bikes in the plan. There were also about two dozen equestrians, whose unanimous refrain was “keep bikes off the trails.” I prepared a couple of maps and a letter to the commission and spoke briefly, making a specific request that accommodation for bicycles be provided to allow us to ride up to the ridge without having to be on the busy highways. I showed how a trail could be built south of Kings Mountain Road that would not intersect with other trails currently used by horses with the exception of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

Despite the seemingly impossible odds, Commissioner Bern Smith made a motion at the end of all the presentations and discussion, to forward the Draft Master Plan to the Board of Supervisors with the condition that staff identify a route for bicycles up through the parks to the ridge. The motion was seconded by Chair Richard Biederman. There was discussion about whether a route should be specified, such as a trail or perhaps Bear Gulch Road, and the motion was amended to simply state “a route.” There was discussion about whether this represented a recommendation to lift the ban on bikes system wide, and Chair Biederman said that times change and maybe it’s time to re-evaluate this restriction and start with this one Park. On this commission, there are five seats. One seat is vacant. Another commissioner (Mel Pincus) was absent. The fifth seat is held by a woman, Marian Vanden Bosch, who was present, and her vote was no. So the motion carried 2-1.

I left the meeting feeling rather parched. It seemed surreal. Sully was there outside the room and we gave each other hugs. We talked about whether we should pursue the boycott of the Tour de Peninsula, and decided it would be best to just drop the subject at this point and see if the support for cycling made it through the process with the Board of Supervisors. In the hall we met Bill Korbholz, who is on the Board of Directors of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation. I told him that we really would prefer to be supporters of the foundation rather than opponents, and given the vote, we had decided that at this time we would not be opposing the TdP fundraiser. He thanked us and said the news made him very happy. The new Director, David Holland, also stopped to talk in the hall. He said that as the Director of Recreation Programs for the US Forest Service, he’s heard all these complaints about multi-use before. I told him I was really happy to see a new face and a new perspective at San Mateo County Parks and I hoped he enjoyed his new job.

So I’m very grateful for having made this small inroad with San Mateo County Parks. We owe a great deal of thanks to Commissioner Smith for listening to our requests and taking the initiative to include them in the plan. The equestrian community is sure to come out strongly against this and will be writing letters and lobbying the Board of Supervisors. They are sure to push for the route to be Bear Gulch Road and not an actual trail. With their money and connections it will be difficult to keep the support we have. It will require a lot of work on our part for this amendment to remain in the plan in the end with a trail open to bikes in Woodside. But at least the door is open a crack. You can read my letter and look at the proposed route at http://www.stanford.edu/~imahorse/norcamba Cheers,


Patty Ciesla
Executive Director
Northern California Mountain Bicycling Association
PO Box 785
Los Altos, CA 94023-0785