The SF Rec & Park department has created a new map-based survey to collect thoughts on possible programming, infrastructure, and connectivity improvements in John McLaren Park.
It’s largely about prioritizing the existing proposed programs, which one to spend money on first from the 2020 bond.
It’s also an opportunity to ask for more!
On the page asking about potential improvements, ask to expanding the bike park. Or your own suggestions such as improving your favorite trail.
On the page about new programs, you can ask about the Golf Course, which may no longer be able to operate–if so, we believe it should become a multi use recreational area including mountain bike and cyclocross opportunities.
The “Tower Trail” is a well loved trail in San Francisco. It is challenging, scenic, and an important connection. The land it crosses has many stories. Here are some recent ones.
The Sutro Tower is a radio tower and prominent landmark at the top of a hill near the center of San Francisco, between Mt Sutro and Twin Peaks.
The tower is surrounded by open space. A trail runs around the west and south side of the tower, and has been in existence for many years. It is not a formal trail, yet it is heavily used. It connects the Mt Sutro Open Space Preserve to Twin Peaks. It is a connection in the SFUR “San Miguel Hills Loop”, a potential part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, and even shows up on city plans.
This open space is owned by a variety of land owners: Sutro Tower Inc owns much of it. The SF Public Utilities commission owns the reservoir and adjacent lands to the east. Some areas are owned by the Recreation and Parks department, a part of the Interior Greenbelt most people don’t know about.
Two properties are remnant from the development of the Midtown Terrace neighborhood. They were abandoned by the original developer for many years. Ideally they would have been acquired for open space by the city or others, yet somehow a property developer (known as Midtown Lands) acquired them in 2020.
One property is “Zero Palo Alto”, or city lot 2724/002, near the corner of La Avanzada and Dellbrook. This property is a relatively flat open space of about 0.2 acres. It is being subdivided into two lots, which will each likely have two housing units built on them. The access to the lot is across the Rec & Park Interior Greenbelt land. Rec & Park and the developer have come to a proposed agreement for a 50’ easement for utilities and a driveway. This easement has restrictions to keep the buffer space maintained and planted with appropriate landscaping, and to ensure there is no further encroachment on the trail.
The other property is known as “402 Dellbrook Ave.”, or city lot 2724/004. This is south of the Tower, west of the end of Farview Court. It’s about 3 acres. The developer has proposed a subdivision into 19 lots. Eighteen lots for single family homes with accessory dwelling units. One lot for teacher housing (with 40 units). This would also require extending Farview Court across SFPUC and into the subdivision. It also requires significant regrading of the hillside.
This proposed subdivision of the larger property has a trail closing impact on the eastern end of the Tower Trail: this part of the trail appears to run through portions of the proposed housing.
We believe that this area would be best used as open space but recognize the need for housing. New housing can be built while preserving the existing community multi-use trails, and we urge the City to include that as a requirement for any new development in the area. This trail has been in use for many years. It is recognized in the 2014 Recreation and Open Space Element of the city’s General Plan. It is shown in the Vision and Proposal for the San Miguel Hills Bioregional Park, published in 2010 by a coalition of San Francisco conservation groups.
Our secondary concern is the open space itself. As shown in the Bioregional Park proposal, this area is part of a large contiguous open space consisting of the Rec & Park, SFPUC, and Tower properties and part of a larger open space consisting of other properties separated only by a street.
How You Can Help
Review the plans and send the Planning Department your feedback.
This is one step of many in this project, so follow us on our newsletter (subscribe on this page), Facebook, or instagram. If you’d like to be included in extra email about this project, just drop us a note.
California Mountain Biking Coalition (CAMTB) and SF Urban Riders are thrilled to announce a partnership with Crankbrothers to support more and better bike-friendly trails in California this Spring, 2023. Donate $5 or more via the form below today to be automatically entered into the drawing. One lucky donor will take home this one-of-a-kind Commencal T.E.M.P.O. with the finest components from Crankbrothers, Industry 9, Cane Creek, Fizik, Hayes, Pro Taper, Continental, and Wrench and Roll. Make your donation by May 31, 2023 @ 11:59 PM Pacific.
80% of the donations made using via this web page or Giving URL will go directly to SFUR and support the trails and programs we provide to the local community.
Grand Prize: Custom Commencal T.E.M.P.O. Dream Bike (Size Medium)
First Runner-Up: Crankbrothers Synthesis Alloy Industry9 Wheel Set
Second Runner-Up: Crankbrothers Shoe and Pedal Prize Pack
About the Crankbrothers Special Edition Commencal T.E.M.P.O. Dream Bike
To help further our shared vision for more and better bike-friendly trails in California, Crankbrothers has collaborated with Commencal, Industry 9, Cane Creek, Fizik, Hayes, Pro Taper, and Continental, to give away a one-of-a-kind trail bike showcasing some of the finest components on the market. The Crankbrother’s Special Edition Commencal T.E.M.P.O. premiered to rave reviews at the 2023 edition of the world’s premier cycling festival, Sea Otter Classic.
As a brand with a passion for building premium components, Crankbrothers has always had an appreciation for a well-built custom bike – there is something special about a collection of highly-curated parts coming together in harmony to create a two-wheeled, trail-ripping machine that can’t simply be purchased off the showroom floor. But there’s perhaps one thing that we bike nerds love even more: an opportunity to give back to the cycling community.
This winter, record-breaking rainfall hit California’s trail systems hard, leading to widespread trail closures due to flooding and erosion. Many of the affected trails are still in need of repair and maintenance, limiting options and trail access for members of our cycling community.
In its search for ways we could help, Crankbrothers struck up a conversation with CAMTB and its member community to help support the restoration and expansion of California’s bike-friendly trail network. Inspired by the lush chaparral-covered California hillsides (greener than ever thanks to the record rain totals mentioned above), Crankbrothers Special Edition 2023 Commencal T.E.M.P.O. frame sports a custom sage camouflage paint scheme, hand-crafted by the artists at Element 6.
Crankbrothers made the obvious choice to equip this dream bike with its top-shelf Synthesis Carbon Enduro rims with custom graphics and laced to Industry Nine Hydra hubs, a Highline 7dropper post and remote, as well as its limited edition “Camo Green” Stamp 7 pedals in keeping with the theme.
In addition, Wrench and Roll assisted with preparation and assembly. Crankbrothers and CAMTB would like to thank all of the industry partners who contributed to this build, including Commencal, Industry 9, Cane Creek, Fizik, Hayes, ProTaper, and Continental.
Grand Prize: Complete custom-built, size Medium, Commencal T.E.M.P.O. mountain bike (estimated retail value: $10,000 USD).
Spokes: Sapim Bladed
Brakes: Hayes Dominion T4/T2
Rotors: Hayes 203 Front/180 Rear
Tire Front: Continental Krypotal 2.4 Re Trail Casing
Tire Rear: Continental Xynotal 2.4 Trail Casing
Crankset: SRAM XX Carbon transmission
Groupset: SRAM XX Transmission
Pedals: Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Camo edition
Handlebars: ProTaper A25
Stem: ProTaper A35 stem 32mm
Seatpost: Crankbrothers Highline 7 with Ti hardware
Saddle: Fizik Alpaca Trail
Bottom Bracket: SRAM Dub
About the Partners
Define Your Trail.
From humble beginnings in a Laguna Beach garage, Cranbrothers has grown into a globally recognized, leading brand of pedals, wheels, dropper posts, pumps, tools, and accessories. Crankbrothers products are tested and proven by world-class athletes but are created to improve every rider’s experience. They engineer mountain bike components that deliver superior function through disruptive design. Its design philosophy is simple: start with a clean slate, and finish with a product that makes each ride better than the last.
The California Mountain Biking Coalition CAMTB leverages the collective voice of California mountain bikers and other human-powered trail riders to expand and enhance bike-friendly trails in California. Together, and with the support of our 30-member organizations, we advocate for the larger mountain biking community by:
Providing a unifying voice for California mountain and gravel bikers across the state
Engaging Legislators and Major Land Managers
Tracking and influencing legislation and elections
Cultivating, connecting, and developing shared resources for bike-friendly trail stewards
Facilitating a member-led Advisory Council, our MTB brain-trust
Amplifying the amazing land stewardship being undertaken by our member organizations
Building Cooperative Cross-Pollinated Community of MTB advocates in California
It’s been another great year maintaining the trail system and habitat in our partnership with Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. We completed Phase 3 of the project, with the opening of Dan’s Lost Trail and several re-routes and rebuilds elsewhere in the system. Installed a wayfinding system as a project from a Scout from Troop 333. Planted many plants–and seeded so many more. Funding was provided by the SF Community Challenge Grant program, with assistance from JINS, Sierra Nevada, our SFUR Supporters and, very importantly , the dozens of volunteers who put over a thousand hours into the project.
Our trail and habitat workdays continue on the 2nd Saturday of every month at 9AM at Laguna Honda. Next events on January 8th and February 12th.
McLaren Bike Park
In late November, we held a volunteer day with Rec Park at the McLaren Bike Park. From Jay: “We swept, shoveled, cleaned muddy dirt out of the drains and rebuilt a couple of the perimeter rollers. It was fun work and rewarding as always to see what a difference a couple hours of maintenance makes.” We plan to return several more times this winter, drop us a note or follow our social media to stay in the loop.
Since 2016, the “Figure 3” (Twin Peaks Boulevard along the east side of the top of the Twin Peaks) has been closed to cars. This is a permanent status.
Since 2021, Twin Peaks Boulevard between Christmas Tree Point and Burnet has been closed to cars. This is a permanent status.
In 2017, Twin Peaks Boulevard was repaved and re-striped to have a wide uphill shoulder which bicycles and pedestrians can use. Several crosswalks were added.
In 2016, several trails were re-routed, and son after several professionally re-built with stairs.
As of 2021, two of those trails (over Noe Peak, and connecting the Figure 3 to the crosswalk below) are scheduled and funded to be professionally re-built with stairs soon.
In Fall 2021, Rec & Park is looking for design input on the “Promenade” or “Figure 3” section.
Twin Peaks Promenade
What is the Twin Peaks Promenade? It’s the road which goes around the east side of the top of Twin Peaks, also known as the “Figure 3”.
Five years ago, it was closed to cars. The Recreation and Park Department would like to make the road more park-like, including removal of part of all of the concrete wall, part of all of the pavement, the trails, etc.
What do you think of their plans?
SF Urban Riders look forward to improvements in this space. We have concerns, such as loss of gathering areas, trail style change from engaging to less engaging, and connectivity.
We have some concept comments in drawing form. The concept goals are as follows:
Retain paved multi-use path
Retain/recreate engaging trails.
Limit car ingress. Visually, depave enough to make it clear this is not a road. The barriers today are unsightly, and I hear they are sometimes crossed by cars anyway.
Retain much of the wall and gathering areas. This means depaving primarily around ‘gateways’.
Rebuild Crestline/bus stop to promenade connection. Perhaps a flatter grade as well, though there’s habitat and terrain constraints. Consider step design which welcome people to stay on trail.
Connect to Christmas Tree Point. Make it appear (from the ‘restroom’ area) welcoming. Today, people avoid connecting, or simply use the middle of the road.
Improve trail past fire reservoir towards Marview.
Maintain connectivity to existing trails.
Habitat improvements by reclaiming some space from pavement.
What do you think of the SFUR plans or the Rec & park plans?
Few people have had a greater impact on off road cycling in San Francisco than Dan Schneider. We were shocked to learn of his passing last month. I met Dan some time not too long after I moved to San Francisco. He was immediately memorable for his enthusiasm, his vision, his passion, his trail building skills, his ability to inspire and mentor others. He was a core part of the vision and execution of the restoration of miles of trails and habitat at Laguna Honda and elsewhere in the city, and will be missed.
SF Urban Riders and the Sutro Stewards are planning a public memorial later this year. As a way to remember all of the people whose lives Dan touched, we are collecting stories. Please submit your story of how you met Dan or another (shareable!) story by email. The collection will be posted online and the memories shared with all the people and communities he touched.
I first met Dan Schneider on a trail in 2004. We were digging side-by-side on a warm morning, building what would soon become the lower North Ridge Trail on Mount Sutro. We made some small talk as the morning progressed and I shared imagining the day when Mount Sutro could have trails for mountain bikes. Dan had the same idea, it turns out, and we had something more in common too, he was a cyclist and home brewer.
In 2005 Dan worked alongside a few friends including Ben Pease and myself to explore an old trail recently discovered on Mount Sutro. The difficult task took almost a year of brushing and tunneling through 15-foot high blackberry covering the steep hillsides. What we uncovered was a very old trail of substantial construction which we would later call the “Historic Trail”. We asked UCSF for permission to restore the trail with volunteer labor, and formed the Mount Sutro Stewards to aid in that effort. The program launched in September of 2006 with dozens of volunteers coming out to help at our first event.
Dan was an instrumental part of the Sutro Stewards from the beginning and it wasn’t long before the Historic Trail became the first legal single track for mountain biking in San Francisco. Dan wrangled favors from his diverse contacts in the early years including the Hop Union who would ship care packages of hops for the IPA beer we brewed for volunteers to consume after a morning of hard work. As the program grew in popularity Dan was soon receiving kegs of beer from many local brewer friends since the volunteer turnouts eventually surpassed our ability to keep brewing volumes of beer for volunteers. The back of our 3rd Anniversary t-shirt reads: STATISTICS OVER 3 YEARS Contributed 15,000 Volunteer Hours Restored and Improved 8,700 Feet of Trail Reclaimed 172,000 Sq. Ft. of Habitat Consumed 1,680 Pints of Beer with 540 Pizzas And Had Fun Doing It!
Dan was a visionary and often leaps ahead of the projects already lined up. Together with Dan our core group received permission to restore trails on the East Ridge, North Ridge, Edgewood and in the Interior Greenbelt with Rec & Park. Dan envisioned youth educational programming on Mount Sutro and was an early advocate for a Youth In Nature program (funded 2021). He thought a nursery could help supply native plants for habitat restoration (constructed 2011) and that Crew Leader Training could keep a constant supply of well trained supervisors for our volunteers (began 2008). All of these things have become part of the Sutro Stewards program, though not as quickly as Dan would have hoped. Dan brought in kids from the YMCA summer camp mountain biking program to learn trail-riding skills on the trails he helped lovingly construct by hand.
By 2009 Dan had founded the SF Urban Riders in hopes of expanding off-road bicycle access in other City parks and open spaces. While he remained active on Mount Sutro he sought to open other bike-friendly venues in McLaren Park, at Sutro Tower, and finally saw his vision come true in the Laguna Honda open space where he developed multi-use trails for the public to explore.
It would be true to say that most people who adventure out on Mount Sutro, Laguna Honda, around Sutro Tower have no idea how those trails became a part of their enjoyable adventure. Those of us who do, owe a debt of gratitude to the tenacious, restless, visionary who gave his time and sweat to create the wildest single-track experiences in San Francisco…thank you, Dan.
Dan Schneider passed away July 2021. He was doing what he loved most at the time, riding through the countryside of Sonoma where he and his wife Nicole had relocated last year.
Craig Dawson Senior Program Advisor, Sutro Stewards