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Email: info(at)sfurbanriders(dot)org

thanks for the image, heyrog@flickr


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Borden September 30, 2008 at 10:14 am

I’m interested in a dirt skills park for the city.
Do you have any relationship with SF dirtlab?

James Aliberti October 1, 2008 at 11:43 am

Dear Urban Riders,

Cool, and I dig what you are trying to do, but I have to disagree with some aspects in defense of our City’s wildlife, which as many of you probably know, is barely hanging on and starting to make a comeback. I love mountain biking, and we are lucky to live in an area with so many options. North, South, and East of SF, we have Mt Tam and Marin, San Mateo County Parks and city parks in Palo Alto etc., and the East Bay Regional Parks.

SF also has good places to get radical right now, but, there are also critically endangered critters living right here that we could trash if we try to expand more areas to off road biking. Please view The Nature in the City Website for specific details about how many of us with the SFBC and other orgs are trying to encourage responsible biking and, more importantly, protect the precious wildlife we still have left.

I know, for a fact, we can have knarly off-road biking in areas that are not significant to wildlife, and protect nature at the same time.

Thank you and I look forward to riding with you some time soon.


Loam Gnome November 18, 2008 at 11:06 am

We value your insights, and are aware of the organizations you refer to. We strongly believe in both recreation and habitat stewardship and know they can work in cohesion with a proper inclusive plan and open discourse.

Unfortunately an inclusive plan and open discourse does not presently exist with most land managers and habitat oriented groups. In addition, the efforts at present habitat saving and preservation also leaves wide areas of neglected parks full of unauthorized activity and plenty of trash from lack of routine maintenance.

This is where SF Urban Riders vision is more well-thought, inclusive and sustainable than what exists currently.

Please stay with the group and help bring this much larger topic to the public. They are public parks – The Public deserves the opportunity to voice their opinion an all matters related to this topic.

Youth Recreation and healthy development is also an important issue related to the topic. As is the bigger ‘Green’ vision of our city.

What is more GREEN – a biker using a bike to get to a trail head and then enjoying the park by bike
A hiker or other user getting in a car to get to a trail head?

The biker is even more green than public transportation which would use electricity or gas to move the user from point to point

Lets open up this conversation – we all have a lot to learn!

admin November 21, 2008 at 10:48 pm


The truth is acually totally opposite of what you describe. Expanding multi-use trail networks for bikers/hikers/dogwalkers actually increases environmental and natural area protection because it brings in enthusiastic people who want to work and volunteer to protect their local outdoor spaces.

In fact, SF Urban Riders and local mountain bikers are working directly to improve habitat for local plants and animals, not destroy it. We, along with members of Nature in the City, have worked countless hours to build new multi-use trails on Mt. Sutro, remove non-native plants that have devastated the local environment, and reestablish the native plant communities along the trailways. I have worked at least a dozen events side-by-side with the NTC founder Peter Brastow to improve trail access and steward the environment.

How does a bicycle traveling a trail somehow cause environmental damage but a hiker traveling the same trail does not? That argument is not logical. Without the cooperation and stewardship of all user groups, you have nothing. Without including the groups such as mountain bikers, who want to create trails within natural areas in conjuction with the protection of the natural areas, you have nothing but an island of eco-idealism.

There are places in SF that are perfect for a combination of sustainable trail building and environmental restoration and stewardship. These two efforts compliment each other.

When you make natural areas off-limits to non-motorized recreation like mountain biking, you only alienate people who want a spot at the table. Once alientated, a user feels hopeless and totally disengaged and uninterested in helping improve something he isn’t allowed to use. We actually need more mountain biking opportunities and not less if you want to save your treasured local environment.


Rob Bakewell November 22, 2008 at 1:36 am

As a volunteer steward for the SFRPD Natural Areas Program’s Oak Woodlands Natural Area in Golden Gate Park I have some mixed feelings about dirt biking in this area.
There are signs prohibiting bike riding on the Oak Woodland trails and besides being poorly placed and unsightly these signs are not effective !
These signs were presumably placed by the SFRPD in line with a policy restricting off road bicycling in GG Park – and , as far as I know, were not requested by Natural Areas.
Anyway, the Natural Areas mandate is to restore and develop the natural habitat of this remnant of SF’s natural heritage.
In developing a network of trails we want to encourage public access to these areas so that the community can enjoy the spiritual, recreational and educational opportunities.
In my view, the more people that visit the Oak Woodlands the better.
There are a few cautions however, and some are prompted by my own riding of these trails.
One is that most of the Oak Woodland trails are narrow and have blind curves. Another is that some of the surfaces are fragile and the erosion mitigation is relatively primitive.
Having seen the results of bike usage of these trails it is clear to me that there is some extra ‘ wear and tear ‘ delivered to our trails by dirt bike use.
We have not as yet , as far as I know, had any official participation by dirt bike groups in the ongoing effort to maintain /steward the trails of the Oak Woodlands in Golden Gate Park.
Nor do I know of any bike group approaching either the Steward ( me ) or the Natural Areas staff for Oak Woodlands in regard to ‘ race events’ or other usage .
So, it would seem to me that there needs to be more cooperation between dirt bike enthusiasts and those who , for years, have been donating their time to restore, steward and advocate for these green spaces.
I suppose I feel the same way about any group that benefits from the efforts of a small group of dedicated volunteers – hey ! – come join us and put back some energy into helping maintain the place !
Steward for Oak Woodlands – GG Park

admin November 22, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Rob, the reason you have not seen a bike group approaching the Natural Areas staff is because all non-paved trails in all San Francisco city parks are closed to cyclists. Why would I volunteer one minute of my time to improve the natural areas when there is not one legal off-road trail within the natural areas that I can use? Give mountain bikers a stake in the process by allowing access and you will see volunteers.
–Aaron D Thies

rod killian September 8, 2013 at 1:12 am

wondering if there are results from sept. 7 short track challenge,…I had to leave right after the race and wondered if there will be link with results on line?.Thanks , Rod

Todd November 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I was wondering how many support people on the average come to your events along with each participant? 3, 4, or 6? What would say your average participant to fan ratio is?

Kindest regards,


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