The first 5-years of SF Urban Riders has been a phenomenal journey for everyone, and has left an indelible impression of San Francisco’s off-road cycling community….. What Now?
Time has come when the adolescent youth side of SFUR needs to think in mature terms about long-term sustainability of both the organization and the message.
Since SF Urban Riders sprang from the peleton in 2008, the organization has worked tirelessly on anything and everything that would improve or promote off-road recreational cycling in San Francisco. Our members have been tremendously generous with donations and volunteerism, and our community partners have embraced and supported our efforts. In five years SFUR successfully initiated a vision which is highlighted by multi-use trails on Twin Peaks/Mount Sutro/Interior Greenbelt corridor, the McLaren Bike Park conceptual designs registered with SF Recreation & Park Department (SFRPD), and a series of youth programs including the popular Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
Now SFUR has turned a corner and needs to adjust its strategy to account for the changing conditions and new terrain out front…. in this case a grinding bureaucratic headwind known as ‘San Francisco Politics’, and the real-life business climate of ‘money speaks’.
Priority One is working with SFRPD on Permitting an ANNUAL Fundraising Event in Golden Gate Park.
An annual fundraising event will provide SFUR the anchor it needs to grow sustainably. The event will be a great fundraiser for SFUR, but at the same time it will also elevate awareness for the organization, and create an entry-level opportunity for the cities youth and beginning riders. Year after year the event will grow in size and generate more leverage for SFUR to complete other trail and bike park projects. We are not kidding ourselves, we know this process could take a long time to ‘Negotiate’ with SFRPD….. but thats okay, because the riding community has plenty of time and will enjoy riding, building, and sculpting are favorite trails while ‘the process’ plays itself out…. and 2012 is shaping up to be a good summer to be out riding!
Preliminary routes are being scouted now, and will continue until a proper 5-Mile loop can be identified. Golden Gate Park offers many possibilities, and with the average 5-Mile loop racking up between 275-375 feet per lap and with lots of corners it appears to be a level playing field for Cyclocross and Mountain Bike styles. Not sure what time of year SFRPD will be able to schedule this event, but this is classic San Francisco terrain and the course will be perfect for early spring warm-up, or as a fall lead into the cyclocross season.
There is always potential to ‘build up’ select areas of the course with dirt, rock or wood features to enhance the flow of the loop… again this could take a few years to integrate, but the long-term results will be spectacular and ever evolving…. just like the first segment of the journey has been.
The first 5-Years was a pleasure riding with everyone…. Looking forward to riding the next 5-Miles with everyone as well!