Want better biking in Forest Park? Come to the open house next week

PUMP's Forest Park mountain bike tour

If you want to see more of this
in Forest Park, come to the open
house on Tuesday.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Portland Parks & Recreation will host an open house on Tuesday (April 20th) to hear feedback on how to improve access to single track mountain bike trails in Forest Park. The event comes after eight months of meetings by the Forest Park Single Track Cycling Advisory Committee, which was formed in response to public demand for expanded riding options in the park.

Open house attendees will be asking questions of the committee members and provide input on their trail access and park management recommendations. Local mountain bike advocacy group, The Northwest Trail Alliance is calling the open house “a unique opportunity to show your support for more single track bike trails in Forest Park!”

The NW Trail Alliance had two board members on the committee, but one of them, Tom Archer, is disappointed with how the process has gone thus far. He feels the options that will be on the table at the open house do not include “elements we believe are critical to long-term success of the plan.”

Archer wants to see short-term steps that will expand trail riding opportunities. He cites a promise made by Parks Commissioner Nick Fish at the outset of the committee process to expand access to single track by this summer.

On the NW Trail Alliance website, Archer explains the options on the table:

“As it stands, the proposal would include adding some new trails in the South area of the park as well as improving some of the existing fire lanes including fire lane 1, 3, 4 and 5. We believe this is a good start but we think additional elements should be included.”

One recommendation that the committee has not been able to reach consensus on is sharing existing trails. Archer is urging community members to “indicate that you support providing short-term increases in access, along with a comprehensive plan to provide single track riding opportunities within the park.”

Stay tuned for more coverage on this issue.

    Open House on Forest Park Single Track Mountain Biking Options
    5:30-7:30 PM, Tuesday, April 20
    Holiday Inn Express (2333 NW Vaughn)
    Parks press release with more details here

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RWL1776
RWL1776
12 years ago

Awesome work, Tom.

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

The time has come to rally ALL cyclists in and around Portland!

Portland Parks and Recreation is holding a community open house next Tuesday, April 20, 5:30–7:30 PM at the Holiday Inn Express, 2333 NW Vaughn. We need to support our fellow riders who have put in countless volunteer hours to try and get us more singletrack in Forest Park, and give our input on their proposals.

Where: Fat Tire Farm, 2714 NW Thurman
When: Tuesday, April 20th. Meet in the parking lot at 5:45pm, and leave at 6:00pm to ride together to the Open House

If you are so inclined, we will be meeting at the Lucky Lab NW afterwards-Tuesday is pint night. 1945 NW Quimby

More information about the committee and open house can be found at: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=51017

Please help spread the word by forwarding this bulletin.

Tony Pereira
12 years ago

According to a “Friends of Forest Park” email that I received today:

“Included among the Advisory Committee’s recommendations are proposals to: construct a new trail in the south management unit; make improvements to several existing firelanes; and, to open up shared use of Firelane 7, Oil Line Road and the Tolinda Trail.”

Depending on what the “new trail” is this sounds woefully inadequate. I’m not sure what Oil Line Road is, but it’s sounding like most of what is proposed amounts to opening up more firelane-type roads. Boring, boring, boring. Let’s get to this meeting and show our support for more SINGLETRACK. The selfish people that won’t share the trails should be ashamed of themselves.

BTW, the Tolinda trail is well known as a place where people already ride. It’s not even on most park maps, is unmarked and is very lightly traveled by anyone but cyclists. The folks that showed it to me called it a different name.

I’ll try to reserve judgment until I see the proposal, but I don’t understand why the existing trails can’t be shared. It’s done elsewhere successfully. The refusal to do so in Forest Park is disappointing.

jj
jj
12 years ago

Bicycles destroy trails. These are fragile areas and are very wet 8 months a year. The selfish ones are the cyclists who want to reserve trails only for their thrill seeking, devil take the consequences.

If you want to off road bike, get out of the urban area into a wilderness.

Tony Pereira
12 years ago

jj,

That simply is not true.

Not only do bicycles do little more damage than boots on those muddy days, allowing bikes on the trails would bring an army of people to help maintain the trails. Cyclists do not want to “reserve trails only for their thrill seeking.” They want to share them with other users and help maintain them.

I have lived in several other parts of the country where trails proximal to urban areas are shared by hikers and cyclists and it works out just fine.

A great compromise that works elsewhere is only allowing bike access on alternating calendar days. If it is concluded that muddy trails should be avoided then the trails could be closed on the muddiest days (or months).

Minnow
Minnow
12 years ago

The city will never do alternating days. That is a non starter. We were told that last night. There is no money for enforcement. So… Shared trails are dangerous. They are hilly switchbacks. If you don’t believe that, go bring your young children out on a hike on them with cyclists. Bikers have 7 miles of trail at Powell butte. You can jump up and down all you want, but it isn’t the right thing to do.

brian
brian
12 years ago

Thanks Tony,

This city hates bikes. We will never compare to cities like Austin and Philadelphia, both which care about providing their citizens with places to recreate.

Tom Slovak
12 years ago

If you want more singletrack to ride in Portland, this is a chance to show your support. Even if Forest Park isn’t your 1st choice for riding, please show your support in principle by showing up and being involved.

Zim
Zim
12 years ago

Minnow,

Switchbacks help to slow down all trail users. Your perception of mountain bikers being dangerously out of control is false. This is obviously a case of one user group, (hikers) selfishly refusing to share access to a public park.

Northwest Girl
Northwest Girl
12 years ago

I sat in on the last three meetings as an observing member of the public.

This committee has done a stand out job of negotiating its way through a contentious topic. Almost 20 people have been sitting at the table all representing various constituencies and working to achieve consensus on the topic of increased mountain bike access in Forest Park. I have seen firsthand how challenging and how committed these committee members have been.

It’s clear it’s been a long six or seven months for these folks and they deserve our thanks. Not one of these committee members deserves to be vilified or castigated. Rather, they should be thanked profusely for their commitment to this topic and process.

another bicyclist
another bicyclist
12 years ago

Wow. In the food chain of getting around, I guess bikes trump having a peaceful place to actually walk/hike/run using your own feet.

And of course, bicycles do no damage to terrain or wildlife (you do realize that one reason for opposition is that it freaks the shit out of wildlife, right?).

And of course, tearing through the dirt trail on a bike is totally eco-friendly, doesn’t disturb folks looking for a quiet, reflective place to walk, hike and run, and riders always stay on the trail provided and don’t go tearing by pedestrians or cutting new trails.

After being hit myself while walking in Forest Park, having three friends with the same experience on trails in the past decade, I keep wondering–how in the world is carving up more of the park for mechanical vehicles a “good thing”?

Or is this some sort of false equity thing, that somehow bicycles have a “right” to sharing the park?

Northwest Girl
Northwest Girl
12 years ago

Correction: I have seen firsthand how challenging this process has been and how committed these committee members have been.

Minnow
Minnow
12 years ago

Hikers are not selfish, and I am not a hiker. I am a runner. And I have run all of these trails that the bikers want to share. The committee did go thru a thoughtful process, and it was decided which options would be available to mountain bikers. Mountain bikers even had an over-representation on the committee. I have sat thru hours and hours of these meetings.

I have seen the track marks of the bikes on the northern section of Wildwood. I have seen the destruction of the rogue trail. I have seen mountain bikers on Ridge and Maple. So much for following the rules. It is too dangerous to share these trails. It is common sense, not selfishness.

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

Minnow,
You bring up an important point, safety for everyone (including those on two wheels). I’m not sure why you feel it is “common sense” to not have trail sharing. We share the majority of the trails around the state, and rarely if ever do we hear about accidents. I encounter countless hikers on busy trails on Mt Hood and in the Gorge, and never have I been even remotely close to an accident with them. Are you saying that we are not using common sense around the state with regards to shared trail use? Or that city parks around the country are not using common sense? If your response is that the trails in FP are busier than other trails, I would ask if you have ever been on the McKenize River Trail on a sunny Saturday? Many hikers/runners, many cyclists. Never have I heard of an issue.
I am confident that we can all make it work, and the park will be better as a result.
Brian

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

Another Bicyclist,
If we follow your logic, all others users should be omitted as well. Hikers/runners/horses/dogs freak the shit out of wildlife. Hikers widen trails around mud, hikers cut switchbacks, dogs shit in the park, etc etc.
As a user group, we understand the need for peace and quiet in the park. For this reason, we are not asking for 100% access. We are simply looking for a reasonable solution that meets the needs of all user groups.
We feel that with this solution, more resources will be brought to improve the park as a whole. I pull ivy and do trailwork in the park because I appreciate the park, as a mountain biker.
Brian

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

I have a proposal for those who oppose increased mtb access. The two concerns I hear most, which need to be considered in this process, are safety and the desire for solitude. How about if the 20+ mile Wildwood Trail remains open for runners/hikers only, and the 5 or so mile Maple Trail is open to mtb’ers only. Mountain bikers will work on improving the firelanes we have access to, and hikers/runners will maintain the other sections of singletrack/firelanes we do not have access to. We each maintain our own singletrack trails, and educate our own user groups. If/when a boot print shows up on the Maple, the hikers/runners do outreach to educate their user groups, and if/when a bike tire shows up on the Wildwood we do the same. Every two months we all get together and pull ivy and do other habitat restoration as a whole group, as well as outreach to raise $ for the park. In one year we review the results, and have actual data to make future decisions.
Thoughts?

Minnow
Minnow
12 years ago

Ah yes, let’s give Maple to the bikers. They aren’t asking for much. It is on a contour line and is the most beautiful trail in the park. It has only been available to runners for how long? Does it go back to 1948? It was part of the original Wildwood when it ended at Saltzman. Did you know that? It is where many of the schools have their cross country teams train. PSU and UP. Maybe, they would like to chime in as Division 1 universities.
And of course you would know the impact of giving it to cyclists. I am sure you have done a recent wildlife and vegetation survey. Remember, you are proposing a change and ANY change can impact wildlife. Perhaps for the better or perhaps for the worst. But until a survey is done, it is all blowing smoke.

Did you know that there was a peregrine falcon nest in the park up to 2002 on a PEDESTRIAN trail.
Call Portland Audubon and see if they would want cyclists on that particular trail with an active nest. The answer would be “no.” And Portland Audubon Society’s answer to shared trails in Forest Park? Again, no. They had a representative on the committee who decided along with two other biologists that shared trails is against the interest of wildlife and fauna in the park.
You may want it, but the experts are saying “no.”

brian
brian
12 years ago

I thought the parks were for the citizens of this city. This has nothing to do with the Audobon Society. You designate trails for bikes, and if one does not ride bikes, then they will never go on these trails. Hiker only trails exist, therefore, bike only trails should exist. The park is big enough for all. Stop suppressing others freedoms.

Minnow
Minnow
12 years ago

The committee has been meeting for 8 months, considering all options and ramifications. A biker’s only trail did not come out as an option. You should have been involved in the process eight months ago. The biology and ecology of the park has to be taken into consideration, and there were experts on the committee. Just because you want it, does not mean it is going to happen.

Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

I rode last sunday on a trail that is open to bikes only on Sundays in Wake Forest NC. It was a great experience and when I talked to some other trail users about it I was told that they have very little problem with people using it when not allowed. They have no enforcement agents. When people have reasonable access they have no need to break the rules.

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

Thanks for the reply MInnow.
In your first paragraph you argue that mountain bikers should not be given access to Maple as it is a beautiful contour trail with a tradition of running and university XC (ironically the name given to the type of mountain biking that would take place on it) training. I would argue that cross country mountain bikers absolutely deserve access to the Maple Trail, much as hikers and cross country runners should have access to the even more beautiful, contour Wildwood Trail. They deserve this access because they continually demonstrate that that they care about the park with their work ethic, and more recently with their dollars.
One thing we agree on is the need for an Environmental Impact Study. I am confident that an impartial study will be unable to find the data that would be needed to exclude mountain bikers (based on the “potential” for impact), in light of the fact that groups of people have been hiking, walking dogs, and running on it since 1948, including teams of college students.
I guess we also agree that just because I want something to happen, doesn’t mean it will. I would add that if something doesn’t happen (or hasn’t happened), doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have happened.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

If, as a visitor to the park you’re one that walks and has reservations about the park providing single track off-road bike access to its trails…you’re a ‘hiker’. Is that about right? Not a parent, a student, a homemaker, a family, an amateur photographer, botanist, or naturalist, but…just a ‘hiker’. In the words of commenter zim #9:

“… This is obviously a case of one user group, (hikers) selfishly refusing to share access to a public park. …”

And there’s Tony Pereira #3 seemingly echoing that same calculated bias to launch the ‘guilt trip’ strategy:

“…The selfish people that won’t share the trails should be ashamed of themselves. …”

Although, Tony doesn’t actually use the word ‘hiker’ in the #3 comment. Maybe he has someone else in mind, like the homemakers or the birdwatchers or, who knows?

Well that’s just great. An arbitrary categorization of the park’s users, made by a special interest group having the objective of securing a use of the park that favors them, and not really anybody else. Most everybody seems to be able to walk along just fine and enjoy every natural wonder the park has to offer.

But somehow, certain of the people that have taken up off-road biking for a pastime, can’t seem to enjoy the park…unless they’re riding their bike…and not on quiet roads already provided that allow ample room for all park users to easily and safely pass by each other…but rather, on trail whose 2′-3′ width is basically the same as that which the the park’s visitors walk on.

For dependence upon riding a bike to be so great that it impairs certain person’s ability to enjoy a marvelous natural area urban park like Forest Park…on foot…must be a terrible thing.

Occasionally, as an effort to support the idea of single width trail access to Forest Park, people commenting will note examples of other states and other parks in other states and cities that have made such trail accessible to off road bike use. In other words, ‘Hey look at them! They’re doing it! So it must be o.k. to do it here to!’.

Really? Well that makes things simple. Why should the people of a city like Portland bother to think about and make sound decisions about what’s right for its own resource if it might be easier to follow the example of what they did over in Tahoe or North Carolina with their resource.

Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

It seems to me that it we substituted motorist for “hiker/birdwatcher” in wsbob’s post and left biker as biker, the same arguments are what we hear from folks who want bikes off the roadways because they are for cars.

Don’t look to examples in places like Europe that have created better cycling opportunities because what could we learn by looking at examples that work well from other places.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Brian @18, A couple clarifying points:

1. WW is 30 miles long. Maple is 4.8 miles long.

2. I am surprised to read your point that “this has nothing to do with the Audubon Society.” You might want to inform yourself a bit more about Audubon’s role in wildlife, bird and habitat management in our Fair City.

3. Nobody’s freedoms are being restricted. Want to bike in Forest Park? You’ve got almost 30 miles of trails/roads/Fire Lanes to bike on.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Oops. Sorry Maple is 3.48 miles long. My bad.

Aoshea
Aoshea
12 years ago

What about holman ??
It’s a wide, muddy, mess yet has potential
how about some freeride structures-bridges and such above all that mud it is wider every time I run up it and is unbikeable when wet

dan
dan
12 years ago

bjorn, #23:
You echo my sentiments about this issue precisely. Whenever I hear the arguments from the anti-singletrack crusaders, I can’t help but equate their position to that of all the car/pickup drivers who think that the roads are for cars, and bicyclists shouldn’t be allowed.

Another issue I have is the extreme misconception coming from a lot of people that singletrack mountain biking is inherently some sort of thrill-seeking, adrenaline fueled act. What they don’t understand is that we ride singletrack for the same reason they would rather walk or run on singletrack rather than some gravel fireroad.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Except that people on foot are not cars.

What about the “more vulnerable user” argument that cyclists rally around when it comes to sharing roads?

When trail sharing happens the more vulnerable user is the pedestrian. The cyclist is more like the car in your scenario above.

another bicyclist
another bicyclist
12 years ago

Isn’t it interesting when bike riders are on top of the “food chain”? Suddenly, all the justifications that auto drivers give and bicyclists ridicule are coming out of the bicyclists mouths, verbatim.

Sadly, one day soon there may no longer be place where people on foot an actually walk unmolested my mechanical traffic. Already in the US off-road bikers are pushing for more, more, more access in wildlife and wilderness areas–just like motorists. One piece of land at a time, bikes tear it up. It’s been going on for decades now. It’s changed the face of entire national parks.

But of course, this won’t make a bit of sense to off-road bicyclists. THey seem to view it as some sort of “right of access”, and act as if they’re doing nothing that a hiker hasn’t already done. How odd.

Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

@another bicyclist that argument might hold some water except we are seeing hundreds of miles of accessible mountain bike trails in oregon being removed by the federal government, and the people who are asking for access to forest park are asking for some access to some trails, and many of us would like that access only one or two days a week. I agree that the park has too many users for trails to be shared at the same moment in time, however weeks are long and I really think it isn’t asking to much to say runners have to move over to wildwood on wednesdays. Also I would like to point folks to the triangle mtb webpage where trail status reports are updated practically in real time based on how wet things are or in the case of new light if it is sunday or not. This type of a site could be used to let people know if it is too wet to use the trails in forest park on a winter day.

http://trianglemtb.com/

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

another bicyclist #29
Can you please send me a link (or links) about these situations you describe:
“It’s changed the face of entire national parks.”
That sounds pretty drastic and I’d like to know more about these national parks and what exactly took place.
Thank you.

Minnow
Minnow
12 years ago

The city does not have the money for signs or enforcement of alternate day use. The city has said, “no” to that.
Those trails are muddy from November to March. This is the Pacific NW. We are Oregon. We all live here and love Oregon because it isn’t the East coast. We get it , remember? We love our environment and the livability here. That is why the committee has decided on no shared trails. They have met for eight months. This was not decided overnight. It was a thoughtful process by a host of people with different backgrounds.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Bjorn @30: How would you possibly manage this vis a vis enforcement in Forest Park? Where does the money come from to manage your proposal? Alternate day sharing was not one of the committee’s recommendations precisely because the proposal needed to have a management plan that was actionable. Alternate days are just not going to happen in Forest Park for the forseeable future and mountain bikers are just going to have to deal with that fact. Same with trail sharing on Maple. It’s not going to happen.

Bryan
Bryan
12 years ago

unreal. i just cant get over the lack of problem solving. 8 months of a committee getting together and we can not figure out how to share. blows me away.

brian
brian
12 years ago

That is all this boils down to…sharing. Hikers do not want to yield their wealth of trails to any other user group. I hope your kids do not know about your anti-sharing stance.

Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

I believe that the need for enforcement has been seriously exagerated. My point was that the experience of places like Chapel Hill shows that when bikes are allowed reasonable access self enforcement works and is effective. The website I suggested is managed by the local mtn bike club but the open/close info is from whoever has authority. People call or see the closed signs and then update the website. I believe that NWTA could create a similar site that would allow for forest park to be shared using an alternate day method without enforcement. The need for enforcement is in my opinion a red herring thrown out by folks who don’t want any bike access because they know that it won’t be funded. They can say no sharing til we get rangers but what they are really saying is no sharing.

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

Rest assured Lisa, the last thing we are going to do do is just deal with it. Our numbers are growing, and we will continue to participate in our local government until an agreeable compromise is reached.

Minnow-I continue to be amazed by how much we (cyclists and I am assuming that you are a runner given your posts) have in common. We love Oregon, the environment, and recreating/exercising in it. It’s why many of us have moved here, and why we stay here. You simply prefer two feet while I prefer two wheels.

Enforcement of trail sharing would be accomplished the same way all other policies in FP are enforced, by the users and signs. In addition, mountain bikers have proposed creating a mountain bike trail patrol group to assist with education and outreach, especially as it relates to new trail agreements. The patrol would be CPR/First Aid trained, and would provide free data on trail conditions (and whatever else, small maintenance perhaps?) to a financially strapped PP and R.

Signs? Mountain bikers would be happy to pay and install them! It would give us much joy to finally post a sign that reads, “Mountain bikes *ALLOWED* on this trail!”

Zaphod
12 years ago

The tone of this “conversation” seems the antithesis of what Portland represents to me. In my experience on other singletrack in other lands, hikers and bikers get along perfectly fine. Most cyclists are respectful as are the hikers/runners. Contrary to the anecdotes above, getting along with smiles and peace is the norm.

The fictional caricature of cyclists as thrill seeking out of control speed freaks is getting old. Riding a bike on a trail is treading lightly.

Welcoming this user group to FP will make it better for all users. We’re motivated, we work hard and many of us have experience with trail work through IMBA and other organizations. We can, have and will, pull out invasive species. We’ve put our money where out mouth is. It would be lovely if we could end the vitriol and move thoughtfully and positively for all of Portland’s citizens.

are
12 years ago

re comment 2, i do not accept that this issue has anything to do with “cyclists” generally. recreational trail riding is not transportation, and the equipment used in that sport bears only superficial resemblance to a road bike. re comment 23, disregarding nature and stuff, a closer analogy would be to not allowing semi trailers on residential streets. or monster trucks or formula one racers or whatever. hummers. fighter jets. the surface grid was not “made for” cars alone, but there actually are vehicles that are out of place there (not bikes and peds). similarly, it is just possible that there are uses for which a forest preserve is inappropriate. i actually don’t know anything about it, but my point is, your rallying cry is addressed to offroad sport cyclists, not to transportational cyclists.

Coaster
Coaster
12 years ago

I know the focus here has been on shared use of existing trails, but I don’t see much response to the concept of new trails. It there not enough space in FP to build an area of bike specific trails? Seems there is lots of land along the eastern park edge, butting up against industrial use, where nature seekers don’t prefer to go, but mt.bikers would be happy to ride. It sounds like the bikers are capable and willing to plan, build and maintain those new trails… and it looks like they are willing to sit through all sorts of bureaucratic torture to get it done… Okay, I can understand not wanting to share existing trails, childish as it is. But why not allow new users to help create new park experiences? Isn’t the point of the park to help people connect to nature?

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

These are the facts: alternate day trail use is not being recommended to Nick Fish, shared use of Maple is not being recommended to Nick Fish, shared use of WW is not being recommended to Nick Fish.

Enforcement done via signs and users? How do you explain the multitude of tire tracks on trails not open to mountain bikers? I can see that the current signs and current users have done a great job of enforcement. NOT.

Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

Right now cyclists who believe in following the rules rarely enter the park because the rules don’t allow riding. The experience that I see other places is that when reasonable legal use is allowed the illegal use decreases. There will of course probably be a few bad apples, just like the last time I was in the park I saw people with unleashed dogs, I mentioned to them that they were not in an off-leash area, they didn’t seem to have any leashes but maybe next time they will. Regardless I don’t think that all people with dogs should be banned from the park because a couple of people aren’t following the rules, and I am tired of those of us who are following all the rules being told that we will never be granted access to any singletrack trails because someone saw what looked like a tire track near wildwood.

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

Lisa,
Your facts are correct; however, PP & R/Nick Fish could still decide that the committee process did not come up with the best solutions in it’s proposal (especially given the decision making process used) and that trail sharing could still be a reasonable outcome. If more singletrack is not part of the short-term solution, I am confident that cyclists will not take it lying down. That’s the beauty of local government, we have the power to change that which we find unacceptable. Have a nice week.
Brian

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Ok. So if a group doesn’t like the outcome of a committee of 20 people comprised of myriad constituencies that has met for 8 months, then that group can have at it for a second (or third or fourth) go round. Read the recommendations. Go to the Open House. There is more single track proposed. Good luck.

Bjorn, the rules do allow riding in Forest Park. Almost 30 miles of riding. No, there is not as much single track currently available as mountain bikers would like. More is proposed with more access points (Gas Line) proposed.

Bjorn
Bjorn
12 years ago

I have ridden all trails that are open for riding, there is about 1/4 mile of mountain biking. Roads are not mountain biking, and my comments reflect my belief that double track doesn’t count. If I want to ride double track there are plenty of logging roads around and I’ll take my cross bike.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Bjorn, it’s actually less than one quarter mile of trail open to mountain bikers.

Legitimate Trail Users.

At some point we will run out of dogmatic and rhetorical hairs to split, as well as excuses for turning away the thousands and thousands of volunteer man hours and and support dollars pledged by business and individuals who aren’t opposed to sharing with other Legitimate Trail Users.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Lisa-

the current recommendations by the advisory comittee were tasked specifically by Nick Fish to just recommend the “low-hanging fruit” to allow for some progress in opening up trIls for cyclists to happen this year.

This is not the end, but rather just the start. There may well be a third and fourth round of the trail advisory committee recommending further access for bikes in the park, thanks for wishing us luck.

wsbob
wsbob
12 years ago

“… Another issue I have is the extreme misconception coming from a lot of people that singletrack mountain biking is inherently some sort of thrill-seeking, adrenaline fueled act. What they don’t understand is that we ride singletrack for the same reason they would rather walk or run on singletrack rather than some gravel fireroad. ” Dan #27

The “…same reason…”. Dan, what reason might you be thinking of? I consider there to be many reasons people visit a nature park such as Forest Park. There are probably a number of reasons that off road bike riders would like access to single width path, but to what extent those reasons are similar to those of the people that visit the park by foot is something to consider carefully. I hope Commissioner Fish and the Advisory Committee is doing so.

Just a couple examples of how foot use and off-road bike use in the park on single width path might obviously differ: People that walk, travel…say two to three and a half miles and hour. Would people that want to be able to ride their bikes on single track in the park be happy having those speeds be maximum speeds for their bikes?

Runners, also on foot, travel faster than walkers…I don’t know how fast they run…say seven to ten miles per hour, but they…unlike people riding a bike, transport themselves through the park entirely under their body’s own power. They don’t use a vehicle to extend their energy and vastly enhance their ability to achieve higher speeds.

I’m inclined to think that runners, in not having the encumbrance of a bike to manage when meeting other park users on the trails, are much more likely to respond as pedestrians to people on foot traveling single width trail, than people astride a bike would.

Are people that have been requesting off-road bike to single width trail/single track in the park willing to shoulder their bike when they approach park visitors on foot? Have any of them even ventured such a suggestion? How about the NWTA?

Do a little reading, ask around, and it becomes apparent that single width trail accessible to off-road bikes (also known as ‘single track’)…has a broader meaning than the gentle amble along a forest path that certain off-road bike enthusiasts in comments to stories on bikeportland suggest.

To some enthusiasts of off-road biking, ‘single track’ implies, among other things, fast descents and jumps. The fantastic aerial leaps of ‘free ride’, or super fast descents of ‘downhill’? Probably not. But it does seem very likely that many of the people looking for single track riding opportunities, are not going to be content to limit themselves to a two to three and a half mile per hour roll over the park’s single width trail.

ecohuman
ecohuman
12 years ago

“When the purpose of being “in” nature is to consume it–to race through it, ride over it, tear across it–why bother to be there at all? Wilderness then ceases to be nature and becomes little more than a painted backdrop for our thrillseeking and stimulation. This is not contemplation of nature; it is molestation and self-gratification.”

–Edward Abbey

He was speaking of mountain biking, but explained that it applied to motor vehicles, too.

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

Hey wsbob,
How is that research on the FP topic of banning bikes 20 years ago coming along?
Brian