Apr 09

Important meeting for Mountain Bikers – April 29

Fellow parks and trail lovers:BearCreek

There is an important MidPen meeting regarding the Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve on Wednesday, April 29 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Los Gatos Community Center – Adult Recreation Center 208 E. Main St. Los Gatos, CA 95030. It is an ‘information gathering’ session put on by the District – essentially an opportunity for the public, the staff and the board to propose ideas for how the Preserve will be used. The existing plan calls for no mountain bike access but we believe there is an opportunity for true multi-use access on at least part of this preserve. It is important that mountain bikers show up to this meeting to let the MidPen staff know we are looking for. I’ve been to several of the meetings regarding the plan for the stables and have been impressed with the openness of the process and the desire of staff to understand the preserve user’s interests.

Some of the comments that we have heard from SVMTB members, other riders and the broader community are summarized here:

  1. We would like to see the District create a regional connector trail so that cyclists can ride from Los Gatos or Lexington Reservoir up to Skyline. This would create safe loop options utilizing the recently opened John Nicholas Trail and the Bay Area Ridge Trail and reduce traffic congestion riding up narrow Bear Creek Road.
  2. The preserve is only a five minute drive from Los Gatos. Can we get some loop trails that families, kids and beginner riders can use that aren’t as steep and challenging as the dirt roads in Sierra Azul?
  3. Please recognize that Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve has been a great place for equestrians to ride, keep their horses and give children opportunities to experience nature. We believe that allowing cyclists a safe route would maximize the public benefit by broadening public access and use of the Preserve. It appears that it would be easy to open the preserve lands west of Bear Creek Road (currently closed to ALL users) to allow true multi-user access for hikers, equestrians and cyclists.

What I’ve learned from working with Land Managers and staff is that you should:

  1. Keep your message simple (ask for a few concrete things)
  2. Keep your message respectful (these are people doing their jobs just like you)
  3. Let them know what you want and why (why you want something is as important as what you want)
  4. Figure out how you can get what you want and help other users get what they want (classic Win/Win)
  5. Be pleasant and persistent (these processes take time)

Details on the planning process and the April 29 meeting can be found here http://www.openspace.org/plans_projects/bear_creek_planning.asp