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A new plan for MTB access in Forest Park

Posted by on December 17th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

PUMP's Forest Park mountain bike tour

A rider enjoys the rare piece
of singletrack in Forest Park.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Frank Selker is like many people in Portland who wish there was more opportunity for mountain biking on singletrack trails in Forest Park.

The issue has been batted around by a number of individuals and groups over the past two decades. But so far, not much has improved for those who crave the experience of riding narrow trails.

Currently, the all-powerful Forest Park Natural Resources Management Plan (adopted by city council in 1995) states that mountain bikes are only allowed on “trails” (roads really) that are at least eight feet wide.

Currently, in the over 5,000 acres of Forest Park, just 1/3 of a mile is set aside for singletrack mountain bike riding. That short (but very sweet) stretch of trail, Firelane 5, was built by volunteers (with major help from the Forest Park Conservancy), and was officially adopted by PUMP in 2007.

The Portland United Mountain Pedalers (PUMP), Portland’s 20 year-old mountain bike advocacy group was founded on the issue of access in Forest Park. However, the group has not yet been able to build the relationships necessary to thaw the glacial bureaucracy that hinders progress on the issue.

Enter Frank Selker.

Selker on a recent trip to Utah.
(Photo: Frank Selker)

Selker is a 50-year old Southwest Hills resident who describes himself as a “passionate” mountain biker. He feels that 1/3 mile of singletrack in Forest Park just “doesn’t do it” and last week, he went public with an idea he had been stewing on for a while — that the key for more access lies with the Forest Park Conservancy.

The Forest Park Conservancy (formerly known as The Friends of Forest Park) is a non-profit group that preserves and protects the park.

Selker’s plea is for a “bunch of cyclists” to join the conservancy. In his statement (that he first posted to the Cross Crusade forum and then emailed to me with additional thoughts), he writes:

This group (the FPC) has the most cred of anyone involved…They have earned the respect of Portland Parks and others through real work in the park for many years. I know some think they have opposed bikers, but I think that can evolve if they see that we will be contributors to the real work of taking care of the park.

Selker thinks that the gesture of support (FPC membership will set you back $35 minimum), cooperation and goodwill just might lead to reciprocal support from the FPC. Just what form would FPC’s support for mountain biking take?

Selker writes:

“I believe they may support devoting parts of the Wildwood Trail (the main nerve of the Forest Park trail system) to cycling on certain days of the week.”

“For a variety of reasons, both known and unknown, a culture of distrust between the mountain biking community and FPC seems to have built up around these issues.”
— Stephen Hatfield, Forest Park Conservancy Stewardship Director

According to Selker’s math, if 150 mountain bikers join the FPC at the $35 membership level, that equals $5,250 — or, about 50% of the annual trail maintenance costs for eight miles of the Wildwood Trail.

“I think that’s an excellent place from which to start conversations.”

Selker is aware that even with the Conservancy’s support, a major hurdle exists with Portland Parks & Recreation. They’re likely to be very conservative about any new mountain bike access due to the confines of the adopted management plan and potential opposition from runners and hikers.

To that, Selker writes, “However, visibly joining the FP Conservancy starts to make cyclists players, not just jaw-boners. It is a constructive way to start.”

And he’s not all talk. Selker has made a pledge; if 100 cyclists join the Forest Park Conservancy by March 1, he promises to:

  • Give the group a $500 donation.
  • Set up a meeting of between mountain bikers and the Forest Park Conservancy leadership “to assure ourselves that we have an ally that will listen.”
  • “Try to get a meeting with elected officials to highlight our quest and demonstrated willingness to work together and support the park.”

Stephen Hatfield is the stewardship director at the Forest Park Conservancy. I reached him today and asked what he thought about all this. “I think Frank’s idea is a great one, and we are thrilled at the potential for this level of collaboration and engagement,” Hatfield replied.

PUMP's Forest Park Mountain Bike Tour

This type of riding is what many
Portlanders are looking for.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Hatfield went on to tell me that, “For a variety of reasons, both known and unknown, a culture of distrust between the mountain biking community and FPC seems to have built up around these issues.” That distrust, says Hatfield, has led to “a resistance to working together.”

Most of the history between the two groups predates Hatfield’s involvement with the issue, and he says his goad has been to “foster collaboration and partnership, and hopefully redirect the energy in a constructive manner.”

“There has been some very positive progress to be sure,” said Hatfield, “but there is still a great deal of room for improvement. I think that Frank’s plan could be instrumental in helping us get there.”

So, who’s game to join the Forest Park Conservancy and help get this new partnership rolling?

— For more coverage of mountain biking in Forest Park (or the lack thereof), browse our “Forest Park” tag.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

not a chance…

Nick
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Nick

One thing I failed to research before moving to Portland was access to MTB trails. In short, it’s a serious black mark regarding the likelyhood of my permanent residence here. I like to be able to ride REAL trails without having to drive a hour (or more). If Mr. Selker’s plan picks up speed, I might well join the FPC before March. It seems to me that the area northwest of Germantown is ripe for a single-direction MTB specific trail with technical side options. Arizona has done it well with McDowell Mtn park in Phoenix and Fantasy Island in Tucson. Regarding the inevitable shouts of “erosion” from the established user groups, see the excellent armored trails built in the UK MTB centers, particularly in Wales, as well as the very technical, very steep, and very sustainable work done in Vancouver BC by the NSMBA. Seem like Portland out to be on the forefront here. I for one am willing to help.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Another thing that I though of, is if the number of cyclist members increases by a large margin, perhaps they could vote out the opposition (given time).

DaHoos
Guest
DaHoos

I think riding in the more popular running sections of the park should still be off limits to avoid user conflict. That park is huge however. Head north and you won’t see anyone on the trails during a beautiful weekend day. Bike designated trails that offer other users a warning about cyclists could offer a safety factor. I feel more than money needs to be offered to the FPC however. When mountain bikers come together, positive things can happen. Look at Blackrock Freeride Park.
Bikers could contribute their time to the trail construction/maintenance to help keep the park safe and upkept. Mtbrs would give the city more recognition as being truly “bike friendly” if allowed to ride in a large urban park such as F.P. This topic has been a heated discussion on MTBR.com in the Oregon forums. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=470132
I’m glad to see that Frank has a plan of action. I hope it will get off the ground with help, which I plan to offer.

Zaphod
Guest
Zaphod

Anonymous says, “not a chance…”

Such a negative statement is really not productive. Either explain why it’s a bad idea or don’t post. Weak.

I’ll dig into this a bit further and likely join over the holidays. If those who manage FP, which is in desperate need of invasive plant mitigation, realize what the collective energy of the bike community could do to resolve this and other maintenance, this could work.

Just looking at the topology, FP *could* offer long and amazing trails if we were given the opportunity to build them. If such a network existed, it would be a big boost to businesses in the NW area. Any restaurant with bike valet and good beer on tap would be an overwhelming success.

Roy
Guest
Roy

Anyone who has spent time in FP knows that trails in the innermost areas of the park are poorly maintained, often overgrown. They’re also difficult to access at a hikers pace unless you’ve got several hours to devote, but easy to get to by bicycle. I support the idea of MTB’ers banding together to put our money where our mouth is…trail maintenance! Sure…I’ve..um…heard of people that ride illegal trails. Unleashed pets in the park are illegal too, but as a tax payer I think its reasonable to expect access to singletrack (under dry conditions, not on weekends, etc) After all there is plenty to go around!

Icarus falling
Guest
Icarus falling

While I agree this sounds like a good idea, I wonder if Frank himself knows that PUMP has been trying to knock down this wall for many many years, with only one real short trail to show for it. ( I realize it is related to in the above article, I am just pushing the point home)

The “Friends of Forest Park” have proven to neither be friendly, nor Friends of the Park really.

I could point to many reasons why I say this, though I will now digress.

While this on paper appears to be a good idea, I think the best idea is not to support the Friends of Forest Park, not to give them extra funding, and instead to go over their heads through the proper channels and get changes made.

The largest city park within a city in America should have limited access to anything other than motorized vehicles.

While I do agree that some trails should stay hiker only, (and by hiker I do not mean runners, I mean basically walkers) the largest percentage of them should be completely and totally multi-use.

I do not think that supporting a group that has spent at least 20 years oppressing what could be it’s largest user group/supporters, is worth supporting at all, even at the level of $35.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

I want to look into it a bit, but this sounds like a great idea!

BURR
Guest
BURR

There are lotsa trails to ride in Forest Park, just not legally. Without legal options to chose from, guess what happens?

Neil
Guest
Neil

New trails can be for bikes, but the existing trails should stay hikers only. Has PUMP offered to create new trails in Forest Park?

John
Guest
John

This discussion always comes back to the fact that the political entities that control access to the Park choose to hoard it despite any credible evidence that making more areas available to cyclists would create insurmountable problems.

“New” trails are a red herring. The sheer complexity of pushing that sort of project through a bloated bureaucracy makes it a non-starter from the get-go even if the funds to cover the enormous cost of such a project could be found. PUMP cited a total of $20K spent on the FL 5 project, which works out to a bit over ten bucks per linear foot of tread.

There is more than enough trail in the Park to accommodate all users-the only reason cyclists are excluded is because they can be. Even if cyclists were to take over the FPC lock stock and barrel there is nothing to prevent Portland Parks from simply marginalizing the newly constituted organization and maintaining the status quo.

AllOver
Guest
AllOver

“Neil
December 17th, 2008 17:32
10

New trails can be for bikes, but the existing trails should stay hikers only. Has PUMP offered to create new trails in Forest Park?”

Yes they have, however it’s not as simple as getting a group together with some tools and building a trail these days. Very expensive environmental studies must be done which has made it difficult for them to achieve building singletrack trails of any real length.

My hats are off to the PUMP members though, they keep on trying which is what needs to be done.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I wholeheartedly support mtn bikers joining FPC. FPC has been very supportive of working with the mtn biking community over past two years- they are a partner not an obstacle. We all share goals of improving the park, building and maintaining sustainable trails (for bicyclists, runners, dog walkers, and hikers), removing invasive species, and reducing illicit and illegal activities. The maintenance work PUMP has done on the routes open to bikes, along with behind the scenes work of several devoted advocates has helped greatly to change attitudes at FPC. However, there are still huge challenges in convincing the Park to improve experiences for mountain bikers. Working with FPC can help cyclists and other trail users gain better park experiences.

Frank
Guest
Frank

Great to see the positive responses – this will help us get there!

BTW, when you join FPC put “cyclist” in the “In honor of” field or somewhere, so they can count cyclists.

I agree that other efforts will also be key (trail work, communications with elected officials, supporting local Mt. bike clubs), but FP Conservancy has an important place at the table and this is a way to build positive bridges.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Frank Selker seems to have the right idea. Better to work to build an alliance with Forest Park Conservancy than to devise strategies for infiltrating and taking control of the conservancy with the intention of opening the majority of the park’s trails to mountain bikes.

If such an intention turned out to be against the interest that Portland residents in general have in the manner that FP is allowed to be used, Mtbrs wouldn’t be leaving a very good impression of themselves with the public.

Selker’s idea could have the benefit of producing a much better understanding than exists currently, of just how many people have an interest in mountain biking in the park, relative to the numbers interested in using the park in ways that don’t require mountain bikes.

If he and other Mtbrs follow through in joining up and working with the conservancy, discussions that come out that effort may be very worthwhile. I’m definitely interested in hearing about them. A discussion about how much of a recreational resource such as FP should be dedicated to a use such as mountain biking is certainly one that would be worthwhile.

red hippie
Guest
red hippie

good luck, but I think the money would be better spent on an organization dedicated as mission one to open up and maintain bike trail access, PUMP and IMBA. Not Mission number 57 as with FFP.

As Portland becomes more and more bike focused, especially with corporate bike interests (chris king, Ralpha, showers pass, etc.), a discussion from additional fronts than PUMP and FFP need to be opened up. We need people like ORBike, Oregon Travel Board, PDC to get on the band wagon and work to develop a world class facility.

The room to do this exists north of German town. The energy in volunteer support exists in groups like PUMP. The money and design can be organized from the corporate and civil interests. We just need to FFP and the Parks department and their fear of opening a slippery slope of MTB’ing in FP out of the way.

No amount of infiltration into their organization is going to change their ways. They just take your money and use it to exclude you more and block access.

Start calling your commissioners and city government. Ask the people who you buy bike products from to call. Ask our organizations to call.

tr
Guest

I am an avid cyclist and frequent forest park for a variety of uses.

!!No Way!! Keep the bikes on the roads where they are already allowed and leave the trails for peds.

Maybe there are some areas that might make sense to make “new” trails that are designated Bike/Ped in Washington park. It seems mountain bikers already ride there with impunity anyway.

Icarus falling
Guest
Icarus falling

I think some of you may not realize that Forest Park Conservancy is not as into conserving Forest Park as you may think.

Try googling it.

I truly feel that The FOFP, or FPC, does not really have the best interests of all users of the park in mind, therefore the term “Friends” is not applicable…

I must also point out that it is possible to ride from NW Thurman to near, or south of Astoria, off road, only crossing roads at certain points.

Icarus falling
Guest
Icarus falling

I also love how Frank responds to the “positive” responses, but not to the very valid “not so keen ” responses here….

The book has a cover, and also has pages inside.

Open it, take a look.

BigB
Guest
BigB

I thrid that the area NortWest of GermanTown would be perfect for mountain bikers. I have no desire to ride on a high populated part of Wildwood.

Stephen Hatfield
Guest

First, let me just say that I appreciate Jonathan creating a forum for this dialogue.

When I came on board with what was then the Friends of Forest Park three years ago, I was aware of the tension between the groups. But I was more interested in finding ways to move on from what was clearly a difficult past, seeking ways to build partnership with PUMP and others. It has taken some time to build up trust and get back to a place where we can all work together. I don’t think we have fully arrived, but we are getting closer.

So much of the tension, while valid, seems to be based on distant history. And to be honest, I am still not fully aware of what the Friends of Forest Park (the group that the Forest Park Conservancy evolved from) might have done to warrant some of the fierce resistance seen in this thread.

I can speak to what we have been doing over the past three years. We secured the funds and permits for the Firelane 5 project, then hired a Project Manager and AmeriCorps crew to see it through to completion. As many of you know, PUMP volunteer crews were also very instrumental in completing that project. Our partnership with PUMP has evolved well beyond where it ever was, including coordination of quarterly trailwork parties.

In addition to that, we have formed a committee to work with a small but dedicated group of mountain bikers, to study the issues in greater depth. It appears that our work is now beginning to yield tangible results. Granted, the progress may not be as rapid as some in the mountain biking community might like. Nevertheless, the reality is that we have a bit of forward momentum – and an opportunity to build upon that.

To Icarus (#18) and others, I welcome you to contact me directly. I am interested in learning more about the history that has led you to your respective positions. I think it would be instructive for both of us to discuss some of these issues at length.

Note: I will add that the north unit (the section north of Germantown) of Forest Park is managed first and foremost for wildlife habitat. Recreation is a secondary value, and as a result, expansion of the infrastructure in that section of the park is not likely. In the south (and to a lesser extent central) units, which comprise everything south of Germantown, recreation is given a higher priority.

Thanks,

Stephen Hatfield
Stewardship Director
Forest Park Conservancy
503-223-5449

Frank
Guest
Frank

I know that not everyone agrees: There are diverse views and there is history.

I would be happy to respond but I assume folks don’t just want to hear my views, which are already in the article. In short, I believe in biking access to more single-track and I believe having cyclsts supporting FPC is important to showing we can work with other users and bring material support to the party.

No one effort is right for everyone. I personally think this is constructive step to solutions, but different people will have their own preferred directions and contributions.

I would be happy to meet with folks who don’t agree (or do) in person so we can talk more about issues.

Icarus falling
Guest
Icarus falling

Most folks, including me, have shown support for the FOFP by not riding the trails we are not supposed to. That is as strong of support as a $35 donation, in my mind.

Following the rules made by a group you may still not agree with is the easiest way to show support.

But sadly, at the same time, FOFP has shown a total lack of support for access that is totally reasonable, totally called for, and has at times, I believe, almost begged for.

FOFP has caused this problem, they have had 20 years to fix this problem, and have not taken any more than one real step (albeit a very short, 1/3 of a mile step) towards solving them.

I for one am not very interested in supporting them through another 20 years of negligence towards a very valid user group within Forest park.

I am however very interested in being involved in properly fixing the problem.

Which sadly may involve bypassing the FOFP entirely.

Curt Dewees
Guest
Curt Dewees

I think having large numbers of bicyclists join the Forest Park Conservancy is a great idea. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. And, as any politician and/or policy wonk can tell you, it’s much more effective to implement change from within an organzation, rather than remaining aloof and outside of the organization and criticizing its work from afar.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

A lot of baseless assumptions aren’t going to help create a good working relationship or improve access of FP to Mtbrs. Attempting to discredit, by vague insinuation, work that Forest Park Conservancy and its volunteers have to done to protect and restore FP, is dishonorable. Anyone seriously interested in working towards any kind of expanded access into FP by Mtbrs would probably be wise to avoid these tendencies.

Whether Mtbrs eventually gain expanded access to FP will probably depend on a lot of different factors. One of them undoubtedly will be the outcome of study that considers the designated purpose FP is assigned to serve Portland’s population, and how or whether the use of mountain bikes in FP might support that purpose. I’m sure that a lot of interesting ideas surrounding this one point, will have better exchange if Mtbrs make the effort to join the discussion table with the conservancy.

robert sanders
Guest
robert sanders

Just joined!

Max
Guest
Max

I agree with Frank and Roy.
Work with FPC. Both full use and conservancy are their objects. If we are supportive and if MTBrs are willing to put up money and time for trail maintenance, I bet at least one new trail could be forged or reclaimed. It has happened before (for hiking).
Trail builders fear MTBs because ruts dramatically accelerate erosion (it rains a lot in Portland) That’s a big issue.

That can be overcome if there is money and people power to maintain and repair.

Icarus falling
Guest
Icarus falling

Baseless assumptions?

Shows what you know huh?

David Anderson
Guest
David Anderson

I would encourage anyone who is a mountain biker and loves riding singletrack, and wants access to more singletrack, and wants to help preserve what we do have either by doing work parties or being an advocate for a trail or area to also join PUMP. We need your help and we need your voice. So I would challenge everyone who is joining the FPC and who are not members of either PUMP/IMBA to join PUMP/IMBA. Will you do that?, or will you remain on the outside and not know what we are really doing to help keep trails open and to get more trails open to our use.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Baseless assumptions?

Shows what you know huh?” icarus

Well, since you elected not to post the info you imply suggests the “…Forest Park Conservancy is not as into conserving Forest Park as you may think.”….whatever the last part of that sentence is supposed to mean, I googled the conservancy as you suggested.

Forest Park Conservancy seems to be doing plenty to conserve the park. Perhaps not your idea of what their efforts should be, but certainly no justifiable cause for you to go casting aspersions on their efforts.

I hope a lot of Mtbrs take Frank Selker up on his idea and join the conservancy. And, if any of them happen to be feeling particularly flush in these down times, throw down $100 and you get a pair of Keen shoes in addition to the membership:

forestparkconservancy

dan_m
Guest
dan_m

Nothing is new about these ideas.
Every couple of years some one gets fired up about building single track in FP. Mostly their words don’t go far and they give up in frustration. It going to take a sustained effort over a very long time. Join an advocacy group (PUMP). Learn the history of the efforts of mtbing in
FP. Create a lasting legacy of involvement in FP. Wait for the day that the Forest Park Natural Resources Management Plan is finally up for a renewal(there are no plan for that).

Ryan
Guest

It’s not enough to just join FPC, all that does is support FPC as it stands. One would also have to show up at meetings consistently, volunteer and voice their pro-mtb opinion.

If you only have time & money to join an organization, join PUMP & IMBA, if you have a couple extra bucks join FPC.

Also if you have time to volunteer, contact PUMP.

The hostile takeover of FPC is an old idea and not an affective way to gain access to the park.

Fred
Guest
Fred

I encourage everyone interested in opening up more single track in FP to mountain biking to join PUMP and IMBA also. Show your support by coming out for the trail work parties and meet the people of PUMP and the FPC. Come out and get to know the people who are working on this issue and understand what is happening and how you can most effectively work to make single track happen in FP.

Brian
Guest
Brian

“The hostile takeover of FPC is an old idea and not an affective way to gain access to the park.”

And how exactly will joining PUMP be any more effective? If all ideas to the city flow through FPC, it seems to me that that is the more effective use of $ and support rather than using PUMP as a middle man.

No one is saying anything about a “hostile takeover.” What Frank is saying is that if we join and show our support, we must be heard. Ultimately a group such as FPC is accountable to it’s people and $. In the past, how many mtb’ers actually joined the FOFP? 5? 10? What if 100 of us joined today, and started attending meetings and voicing opinions? In addition to that, we start to put a little more pressure on the city as a unified voice. We cannot be sure of the effect as it is most likely never happened.

Brian Johnson
Guest

Typical. Nothing but a bunch of talk with no action.

Bricycle
Guest
Bricycle

I’ve been Mountain Biking for about 13 years now and my best friend who introduced me to the sport had a great motto. If you consider yourself a Mountain Biker, you should commit one day every year to trailwork. And if you want to continue to Mountain Bike in the future, you should join IMBA and/or your local IMBA chapter(PUMP). I believe power in numbers will speak loudly on this topic to local officials. With that said there are other ways to contribute other than working with hand tools. If you want to whine you got to give up some of your time! Let’s Free Forest Park!

Ryan
Guest

“What if 100 of us joined today, and started attending meetings and voicing opinions?”

My point exactly, joining FPC is not enough, you have to volunteer in whatever way suits your time & skills. If you’re a good organizer step up & organize.

And if you’re not willing to step up (we’re all busy people & that’s ok) your money would be best spent: PUMP/IMBA then FPC.

Eirik
Guest
Eirik

Way to go Frank! I joined the FPC to support your enthusiasm and help the cause. I’m an IMBA member as well and I think the more avenues the mountain bike community pursues to obtain singletrack in Forest Park the better.

It’s been far too long that mountain biking has been restricted to the fire lanes. Riding fire lanes is NOT the experience that most mountain bikers are looking for. Legal singletrack within riding distance of Portland should be a priority for the Parks department. It’s been far, far too long for this issue not to get resolved.

Great job Frank!!

Frank
Guest
Frank

It’s not either or – we need the clubs, trail volunteers, support of FPC… different people have different things that excite them, and that’s fine — all such efforts can be helpful and it doesn’t mean that other stuff isn’t good too.

I believe that PUMP and other local clubs are working with IMBA to create a stronger uber-club – I plan to join that as soon as it happens.

brian
Guest
brian

It should be a true embarassment to all that Phoenix, AZ hase singletrack within city limits and we don’t.

No one group has a devine right to trails.

brian
Guest
brian

sorry. i spelled “devine” wrong. the correct spelling is “divine”.

can’t we just buy some private land with pooled resources.

Will
Guest
Will

Thanks, Frank. I just joined FPC and think this is a great idea. So much energy is wasted when we get stuck in the “us verses them” mindset. We need to show our support and come to the table to work on the things we have in common, we all have much more in common then any of us realize.

Joel
Guest
Joel

Hey, Icarus Falling how do I find that trail from thurman to astoria? thanks.

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

What if the shoe were on the other foot, and all the trails except for a few were “Bicycle Only”? Would that be fair? The current situation is ridiculous especially in America’s Best Biking City or whatever it’s being called. There should be more bike access in Forest Park. There should be bike access in Washington Park, there should be bikes allowed in every park. There should be “bike only” trails, for that matter. We shouldn’t have to buy our way in, either.

I am perfectly willing to do trail maintenence, so please make sure that info gets posted here.

Matt F
Guest
Matt F

Hey All,

First off, let me say that I would love, love, love more single track mountian bike access in FP. Also, I belong to PUMP and IMBA. But, man, I gotta say that this whole rigarmole that has gone absolutely nowhere (yes, I know: new 1/3 mile of trail) for the last 9 years I’ve been in Portland has been and continues to be infuriating. Why? In my opinion, it’s because we don’t know how to get there from here. No one seemingy can tell us what needs to be done to get access or new trails built. I mean, if someone (I know this is naive) could just tell PUMP/the mountain bike community “ya’ll need to jump through these 20 hoops, gather this many signatures, attend these meeting, put in this many hours of trail building and maintenance, and raise this amount of money”; I have no doubt that we would pull together and do it. But when you have no idea on what it would take for the man to grant our wish, it continues to feel hopeless. How many miles do we have to cross to talk to the boss?! And, more importantly perhpas, who the hell is the boss?!

Frank, Jonathon, PUMP/IMBA leadership…what about this:

Step 1: Identify who is the ultimate decision maker.

Step 2: Confirm with that person/organization that they have the power to make the decision.

Step 3: Ask the decision maker what exactly needs to be done in order to get access.

Step 4: Publicize this information/hold the boss to that statement.

Step 5: No doubt the troops will rally and jump through every last hoop and then some.

I know that this is a gross oversimplification of things, but I really think that this helps explain a lot of mountain bikers hopeless, cynical attitudes (for example, the first poster “Not a chance….”.) I know I feel like it’s hopeless at times.

I’m begging here: Can somebody please tell us what needs to be done?!?!?!?!

~Matt f

John
Guest
John

I’m in, but this will go nowhere if the starting assumptions are that bikes are inherently destructive and that the existing user groups enjoy an inherent right to access that cyclists do not.

Icarus falling
Guest
Icarus falling

From everything I have heard,it is not easy to follow, and takes some creativity at times.
I have been on the trails that just go out past Rocky Point Dr., which is out to about Scappoose.

I recommend checking with sites that deal with equestrian usage, as I know most of it is basically horse trails. But as we know, while horses are not the most ecological users of trails,(actually doing as much damage as motorcycles a lot of the time) equestrian trails are considered mainly to be multiusage.

I plan to one day ride it myself, as I have the opportunity to crash in some sweet Victorians in Astoria when I get there.

One day I would like to take TEAM WRECK on a Death March following those trails. It has already been talked about.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

Matt f (#45),

I hear you.

The issue is that with politics, you never get someone to say, “If you do X, then we’ll do Y” with “Y” being what you want.

It’s just not that simple. That being said, your approach is a good basic plan.

Folks… there are things going on behind the scenes on this issue I can assure you. BUT, like with all politics and advocacy, the people involved will feel much more pressure to get it done if they know the public is waiting, watching, and getting involved.

So far, from reading these comments, I’m encouraged by the response.

Stay tuned for more coverage of this issue.

ROB GROW
Guest
ROB GROW

This is great to see. People coming together to talk about what matters to us. It is obviously unfair that this organization monopolizes the use of this City Park when most of the city of Portland is EXTREMELY BIKE FRIENDLY and this group of individuals slams the door on rational conversation about what makes sense for EVERYONE to enjoy this park. It is pathetic that we have such a gigantic forested City Park with such varying terrain and little or no mountainbiking trail continuity throughout its vast reaches>PATHETIC. There should be multiple access points accessible by all those choosing to enter through these points into the park without a motor attached that lead to a designated mountainbiking area. Other areas without such a huge population of bikers have a phenomenal relationship of trails and outlying communities>Central Oregon, Hood River, Vancouver/Whistler, apparently Phoenix and Tucson, and many more with much less viable area to work with. When looking at the history of Forest Park and considering the position taken by the ‘former Friends’ now called the Forest Park Conservancy>this word reeks of the probability that this public organization plans on stonewalling genuine and true efforts to open up legitimate access to mountainbiking… I digress>when considering the founding fathers of Forest Park and its original intended uses it appears this effort made by the ‘Conservancy’ should be disallowed and their ordinance to allow mountainbiking to 8′ wide roads ridiculously passed in 1995 should be repealed. I mean completely thrown to the round files and replaced with a newer more modern all-encompassing plan that works for everyone. Attacking the issue from every angle is the best way. It ensures our deserved success. Those people with limited time and limited resource$ are probably best served committing to those groups that are more specifically geared towards the success of mountainbiking while people with additional means are best serving our communities by making sure that all of our voices are heard…albeit diplomatically, when I prefer to shout profanities to these ignorant shrewds calling themselves the ‘conservancy’. Regardless, if you are like so many right now, then last I checked time costs nothing and it can change everything. The more people involved in going in the right direction and committing time and resources to the cause ensures we will encircle the problem to get the right solution.
When I decided to move back home more than 12 years ago to Portland from Southern California it was so I could be closer to nature again and also to get out of my car. Having grown up mountainbiking along with every other outdoor activity I can get myself involved with, I consider it a travesty that we have to drive more than 1 hour in every direction to consider enjoying the truly legitimate mountainbiking experience. Especially when I can drive to multiple areas of more than 5,000 acres that I can see from my patio in less than 5 minutes. It appears to me that there is obviously enough land area to come up with a viable solution that will work for everyone. We need the ‘conservancy’ to take a mental laxative and stop their constipation of reason by not allowing reasonable access for everyone that wants to experience the splendor of Forest Park which obviously includes those of us that truly appreciate the joy of mountainbiking. Enjoy and keep on riding!

a.O
Guest
a.O

I’m in. Something needs to move here.