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Oct 25

Sanborn Family Mountain Bike Park FAQ

What is the Sanborn Family Mountain Bike Park Proposal?
Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers (SVMTB) funded a bike park design concept at the South West corner of Sanborn Park near the John Nicholas Trail which is now an abandoned Christmas Tree Farm. The design concept includes several miles of bike specific trails, slaloms, pump tracks and kid-friendly features often found in bike parks. Since June 2017, SVMTB has been holding monthly meetings with the community to review the Bike Park Design that has resulted in the following:

There is a strong demand for bike specific trails.
There are people interested in building bike specific trails because they don’t exist in the Bay Area.
In order to prove the concept of a bike park in the Silicon Valley area, a limited number of trails from the bike park design concept will be presented to the Santa Clara County Parks Department to be built.

What will the proposal be? The committee has decided to propose the following:

1) A smaller gravel parking lot at the top of the property.
2) A children’s pump track area at the top.
3) One intermediate downhill trail with mountain bike specific features.
4) One multi-use trail back up the parking lot.

How much will it cost?
It is too early to know the cost of the project.

Why was the original Sanborn Family Mountain Bike Park Plan so extensive?
This is the full plan done by IMBA Trail Solutions, which is an analysis of what is possible for a full mountain bike park build at this location. The plan can be seen as a plausibility study and is not necessarily what is being proposed.

What are the benefits of a mountain bike specific park?
A mountain bike park will increase recreational diversity and use of the public lands by opening up opportunities for broad range of users to mountain biking especially young kids and families. Kids and families have a safe controlled space to develop mountain biking skills. Parks can be used as a hub for the community to host various events or fundraisers. Mountain bike specific trails also decrease the number of bicyclists on multi-use trails.

Is this a part of Sanborn County Park or something different?
This piece of property is owned by Santa Clara County Parks on the south side of Black Rd and is within the park boundaries. The site of the bike park is not within what is generally known as Sanborn County Park, though it is technically a part of Sanborn’s property.

Who is paying for this?
A number of volunteers have expressed interest is building the park. In addition, Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers and other groups have expressed interested in fundraising for the necessary capital. It is also assumed that Santa Clara County Parks would help construct some of the trails.

What are you going to do about the one-lane sections of Black Road? 
We encourage all users to avoid Black Rd and use Hwy 9 to Skyline Blvd. Any changes to the actual road are up to the county. We support any measures to improve the road and hope that increased recreational opportunities will encourage the county to make road improvements.

How many parking spaces will be available at the top (Skyline) and at the bottom?
It’s really too soon to tell.

Will you have water storage tanks?
There will be water storage for trail maintenance and any other uses deemed necessary. The planning stages are too early to determine the actual amount of water.

What are you going to do about bathrooms?
Yes, there will be a plan for bathrooms.

Are bike trails going to cross Black Road? If so, what will you do to ensure that these crossings are safe?
The planned trails are intended for people to ride down on a downhill only trail and then ride up an uphill only trail. The trail(s) will not have direct access to Black Rd, except at the main parking lot.

Will mountain bikers ride up Black Rd.?
There is no reason for mountain bikers using the park trails to ride their bikes up or down Black Rd. There will be an uphill only trail for riders to get back up to the top. For the most part, mountain bikers prefer to ride on dirt and be away from cars. The uphill only trail will provide a gradual dirt climb route back to the top.

How long until the park is built, from now and from approval?
This is hard to answer given that the process is still in the very early stages of approvals and plans still need to be finalized. We hope that our current proposal of one uphill only trail and one downhill only trail will take three years or less to complete.

Will mountain bikers shuttle Black Rd.?
We discourage shuttling and the use of Black Rd. in general. Users will be disincentivized to shuttle with the building of one-way trails.

WIll John Nicholas Trail be a hiking only trail after the park is built?
No, however bikers may prefer the park over John Nicholas Trail so it’s possible that it may take mountain bike traffic off of the John Nicholas Trail.

How will the park be patrolled after hours?
Any patrols or law enforcement in the park is done by Santa Clara County Parks. It is assumed that the ranger patrol hours at Sanborn will remain the same.

Is this open to hikers, and equestrians.
The downhill trail(s) are for mountain bikers only. We are proposing that hikers can be allowed to hike up the uphill only trail. Horses will not be allowed.

What is the current use of the park?
The site location was an old Christmas tree farm and is not currently being used.

How does this help promote outdoor stewardship?
We see the park as a potential hub for mountain bikers and outdoor recreation lovers to in the bay area. The park will be a great place for people to learn about trail stewardship and resource management. The park can also be used as a key location to spread the word about stewardship opportunities and outdoor ethics.

Who is this park for?
Everyone who wants to a ride a bike! That includes kids, teens adults, baby boomers, and whoever else wants to pedal! Very specifically, to learn to mountain bike, learn new skills, and to watch others in a space like no other.

How will locals benefit from it?
This park will continue to build upon the vibrant green belt of outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities along Skyline Blvd for locals and visitors alike. Mountain biking is an activity that promotes health, community, and an appreciation for the natural environment.

Why mountain bikers only?
Primarily a safety reason. The downhill only trail will be uni-directional so that riders do not have to worry about pedestrians or other riders coming uphill. This means that the downhill riders can focus on the trail. Being able to focus on the trail instead of watching out for other trail users, makes the experience safer and more enjoyable.

Can people picnic at the top who do not have bikes?
Yes, riders, non-riders, friends, and family can hang out, enjoy the outdoors and picnic.

How many people are expected to use this park during the week (M-F) and how many people will be using the park on the weekends (Sat-Sun)?
It is hard to determine an exact number. There is a growing demand for this type of park in the bay area and across the country. Many bike parks operated by local county park system are opening up every year, so there will likely be a lot of interest from the mountain bike community.

Will there be events with amplified music and/or a PA system?
The standard rules of county parks will be enforced and that is access times, noise, music etc. Events may have amplified announcements and music but will be limited to the upper parking area.

How do I get involved in making this happen?
Contact Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers at info@svmtb.org