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In Forest Park, a different spin on biking to work

Posted by on March 17th, 2009 at 9:45 am

PUMP's Forest Park mountain bike tour

Local mountain bike advocates are
gearing up for a day of trail
work in Forest Park.
(Photo © J. Maus)

This Saturday, trails throughout Forest Park will be full of mountain bikers. Is it a rogue protest for equal access? No. The off-road riding enthusiasts will have their hands on shovels and pick-axes, not on their handlebars. They’ll be putting in sweat equity to maintain trails as part of Forest Park’s second annual Day of Stewardship. The event is hosted by the Forest Park Conservancy.

With excitement building around the idea of increased access for bicycles in the park, advocates hope for a big turnout.

With a a push started back in December to have more of a presence in the Forest Park Conservancy, the Portland United Mountain Pedalers — a group that has recently gone through a major overhaul — sees this event as a way for cyclists to stand up and be counted as productive members of the trail community that do their part to support and maintain the park.

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In a flyer for the event sent to local mountain bikers, advocates wrote:

“Yes, there are a lot of people sitting on the sidelines until they get some more access, but there are also a lot of people that have been working in the park all along. It turns out we haven’t done a good job publicizing ourselves as cyclists, so there is a perception that we (cyclists) aren’t involved in the park in any positive way. It should be easy to change that perspective, and we’re getting it started now.”

PUMP and other advocates see this event not only as good PR for mountain bikers, but as a way to show that increased access for bikes in the park comes with more hands and labor to maintain the trails. That sentiment is also shared by Parks Commissioner Nick Fish, who sees increased bike access as a way to make more Portlanders feel invested in the park.

Fish and his staff plan to hold a meeting with PUMP and other riding advocates in early April to discuss the access issue.

At the FPC’s stewardship event, work parties will split up into various sites throughout the park to focus on habitat restoration, clearing non-native invasive species and planting native trees and shrubs. Pre-registration is encouraged so organizers know how many tools to bring. A party and raffle (with prizes from Patagonia, Keen, and others) is planned at the Lucky Lab after the event.

Here are more details:

    Forest Park Day of Stewardship
    Sat. March 21st 9am-1pm
    Four different worksites
    See details and pre-register online (organizers say to note yourself as a “cyclist” when pre-registering)

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Brian
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Brian

Thanks for the article Jonathan. This is going to be a great event. I hope to see many of you at the event, and for beers afterwards!

DaHoos
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DaHoos

To those of you that have registered for the event…have you received your email notifying you of where to be on Saturday AM yet? I’m hoping I didn’t accidentally trash it. Thanks.

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[…] BikePortland: On Saturday, mountain bikers will fill Forest Park in Portland to do trail maintenance. I love linking to these stories and showing them to my Sierra Club and Washington Trails Assn. friends who complain about mountain bikers. Hey, we’re the good guys! […]

tim_fsr
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tim_fsr

DaHoos:

Haven’t received it yet…unless it went to spam, then maybe, but I’ve been checking it.

Stephen Hatfield
Guest

@DaHoos and tim_fsr,

Thanks for your interest in the Day of Stewardship. We have already had more than 240 folks register for the event – with roughly 40 of them identified as cyclists. We are doing our best to send out all the site assignments via email this morning (Wednesday). Many thanks for your patience.

Stephen Hatfield
Forest Park Conservancy

toowacky
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toowacky

Way to step up, PDX bikers!

DaHoos
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DaHoos

Thanks for the update Stephen. An estimated 40 riders already! That’s great to see, and 240 people working in the park is bound to get a good deal accomplished.

Bjorn
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Bjorn

whoa just went to register for the event, and it is overflowed… Guess I’ll have to shoot for the next one.