off road bicycling
Since they first opened in 2010, the off-road cycling trails at Sandy Ridge have become such a resounding success that the Bureau of Land Management wants to double-down on its investment.
According to environmental assessment documents filed by the BLM, their Sandy Ridge Trailhead Access project is comprised of a slew of additions and upgrades that will add over four acres to the facility. The project includes: an expanded parking area with oversided stalls and “tailgate bumpouts,” a beginner skills trail loop and a bike demo area; a “bicycle hub” featuring a changing room, bike-wash station and a bus stop; a designated special events area; an upgraded entrace; and two short connecting trails.
A new position currently being offered by the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) bureau could have a huge impact on the future of off-road cycling.
PP&R’s new Land Stewardship Division Manager will be a senior-level manager who will make between $95,000 and $128,000 and will report directly to bureau director Mike Abbaté. Currently when Parks approaches a large policy or project they use a number of different types of planners and managers who all report to one project manager. This new position would, “bring together all land management expertise, knowledge and strategies under one manager.”
Here are the responsibilities of the new position as taken from the official job description:
Responsibilities include planning, organizing, directing and evaluating the programs, activities, and personnel of the division of approximately 150 employees who protect, maintain, restore and enhance the 11,000 acres of land managed by the Bureau that are part of a regionally ecologically significant system of open spaces, ranging from natural resource areas to highly developed parks to active recreation facilities. This position also oversees ecologists, horticultural services, community gardens, a plant nursery, turf and irrigation maintenance, environmental education, the integrated pest management program, and the recreational trails program.
If all goes according to their plans, Metro could build about a dozen miles of new biking trails in the North Tualatin Mountains Natural Area, a 1,300 acre section of hills just north of Forest Park. The agency will unveil their recommendation for where trails should be built and who should be allowed to use them at a meeting tomorrow night (11/17).
If the trails in this plan get built, they will represent the most comprehensive network of singletrack (made for cycling) in the history of Portland.
Metro used a voter-approved levy to purchase four parcels off NW McNamee and Skyline Roads and has spent the last year in a planning process to decide how to manage public access. The stakes are high because the new trails will be built a mere 12 miles from north Portland — far closer than any other similar riding opportunities in the region. The land is currently undeveloped with only rudimentary dirt roads running through it.
(Photo courtesy Andy Jansky)
This article was written by Andy Jansky, a volunteer trail steward with the Northwest Trail Alliance.
It’s time to start a new cycling movement. I call it the “Dirt Roots Movement” and it’s all about getting more kids on mountain bikes.[Read more…]
Just north of Forest Park in northwest Portland lies 1,300 undeveloped acres spread across four separate properties. The land, which was historically a logging area and can be currently accessed from either Skyline or McNamee roads, is owned by Metro and is known as the North Tualatin Mountains natural area.
Metro is embarking on a planning process to figure out what to do on the land and there’s a great opportunity to include bicycle access in the equation. Advocates have been fighting for years to improve bike access in Forest Park but have made frustratingly slow progress.
The Tualatin Mountains natural area offers a fresh start and a new political context since it’s under Metro jurisdiction and not managed by the City of Portland (the current Parks Commissioner, Amanda Fritz, has all but shelved the Forest Park debate calling for “a citywide Master Plan for cycling recreation… prior to embarking on individual projects.”).
(Click for larger view)
If everything turns out like the Northwest Trail Alliance hopes, the River View Natural Area in southwest Portland will someday be home to six biking trails and a “skills area” built specifically for off-road riding.
Trailfest has something for everyone.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
If you prefer riding off-road and have been curious about Portland’s mountain bike scene, this weekend was made for you. The 2013 Trailfest, an event organized by the Northwest Trail Alliance, begins tomorrow night (9/20) and continues with an entire weekend “dedicated to mountain biking.” Here’s how the NWTA describes it: “Trailfest is the Portland region’s premiere mountain biking festival that celebrates everything mountain biking: The trails. The people. The culture.”
Sounds great to me.
(Photo used with permission of
Dakota County Parks, Minnesota)
This article is written by Joshua Rebannack. Joshua contacted me after he read our recent coverage of mountain biking in Forest Park. As a way of helping Portland see a different vision for urban, off-road bicycling access, Joshua wanted to share how the issue has evolved in riding areas around Minneapolis, Minnesota. — Jonathan
My name is Joshua Rebennack. I’m a “Dirt Boss” at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails and a member of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew. I am writing this guest article in response to some of the controversy surrounding the possible inclusion of mountain biking at Forest Park.
Below I’ll discuss an example trail in an urban setting, Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, Minnesota, and the lessons the citizens of Portland can learn from it.
While it might seem an odd choice comparing a West Coast location with Midwest, there are more similarities than one might think. Both Portland and Twin Cities (including Eagan) are at similar latitudes. While Portland prides itself on its rainfall, actually, the Twin Cities receives somewhat similar amounts of precipitation, though far more of it in snow. They both have similar political climates. And both are biking hot- spots.[Read more…]
If you care about off-road bicycling in Portland, take note that a very important planning process is getting underway.
Portland Parks & Recreation is seeking members of the public to sit on an advisory committee that will help plan the future of their River View Natural Area. This 146 acre parcel of land, which was acquired by the City of Portland in May 2011, holds great potential for off-road bicycling; but given the politics around trail access issues, it remains to be seen to what extent bikes will be allowed.
While off-road cycling advocates have already invested many volunteer hours helping PP&R clean up the River View site, and locals have ridden bikes on its trails for many years (when it was privately owned), the agency itself is making no promises about the future extent of bike access. It is clear, however, that a new trail system will be developed.[Read more…]