Mountain Bike Bill, The Dirt on the Dirt

SDMBA Volunteer Appreciation Gala

Saturday the San Diego Mountain Bike Association had it’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Event at the Visitor’s Center of Mission Trails Regional Park.

The event started off with an afternoon ride through the park.   A sizable crowd showed up for the pre-festivities ride that included three different routes for various skills levels.

I ended with the group that I believe should have been called “Should have known better group”.

We decided to climb Jackson to Suycutt Wash and then up to the saddle between North and South Fortuna Mountain.  There is some steep freaking fireroads on this route.  Somewhere near the top of the saddle, I remembered why I don’t ride much here.   Freaking fireroads everywhere trying to be passed off to the public as trails.  Just because you designate something a trail does not make it a trail.  I did chuckle pretty hard later in the day when someone said this place should be called  “Missing Trails Regional Park”.   The rumor/good news is that the management is starting to see the light on sustainable multiuse singletracks.   Okay rant aside,  after making it to the saddle we hung a right and climbed up to the peak of South Fortuna Mountain were we got in some cool views of downtown, Point Loma and the Coronado Islands.  From here we got in some mighty zippy descending that included some hike-a-biking down a portion of “The Steps” trails   Before long we were back to Jackson Drive and dumped a lot of hard earned elevation down the gravely fireroad.

Back at the visitor’s center, I along with a bunch of trails rats and dirt divas enjoyed a good time hanging, grubbing and conversating with each other.  Some of these folks I only see during trailwork events.   It was certainly a good time.  

Some people looked to be planning for world-wide singletrack domination.

It was a pretty lively crowd and there was a rumor that a gang sign or two might have been thrown around. (I think I caught the highly secretive “Sparticus” sign in use)

Later in the evening, there was some absolutely funny awards and killer swag handed out.  Many Shimano shiny bits, cool clothes and various assorted goodies found there way to good homes that evening. Nobody left empty handed.

There was one huge item left to the end for SDMBA’s Volunteer of the Year.    For that Dave Turner was on hand to present Mike MacGregor with a brand spanking shiny new Turner Frame!   Mike logged a grunch of trailwork hours at SDMBA events over the past year, established and headed up the new Trailwork committee and devoted a mountain of time off the trail to help out SDMBA and the MTB community at large.   

Congratulations Mike!    

Special thanks to Andy, Minette, the Social Comittee and rest of the folks that put this thing on.  I think everyone that was there would say it was a really great event.

More Stuff Like This

3 thoughts on “SDMBA Volunteer Appreciation Gala”

  1. I’m not sure whether to take the “Missing Trails Regional Park” comment as a criticism of the park’s management or a knock on the quality of the trails. If it’s the former, the park’s management should get some credit for the apparently serious consideration being given to permitting the building of a skills park where the BMX jumps are now; if it’s the latter, I recommend you have someone take you out on the east side of MTRP, north of the 52(Spring Canyon and Oak Canyon) where there are a quite a few fun trails, a couple of which are brand new.

  2. The trails on the east side North of the 52 (Spring, Oak and beyond) are good trails. Unfortunately they are not part of Mission Trails…yet. They must be the most well known social trails in town. That area is planned to eventually become part of Mission trails at some point to link Sycamore and MTRP together. Most of MTRP (there are a few exceptions) is a patch work of old service roads that are for the most part high maintenance and provides a pretty low quality trail experience.

    Just because you designate something a trail does not mean its a trail. Unfortunately this has been happening all over the county for many many years.

    Take a look here the County’s Trail Plan at
    and navigate your way to Chapter 7 Design and Construction Guidelines. You will see there are some major problems with those guidelines that lead to the notion by many land managers that wide fireroads are okay as trails. What is more interesting in some areas after a trail has been approved for construction, these guidelines are often handed off to county engineers whose expertise is building roads and sidewalks. The next thing you know we have these expensive triple-wide dirt sidewalks all over being called “Trails”. A more natural narrower trail will be liked by more people and will cost far less taxpayer dollars than the current setup.

    With all that said, SDMBA is working to get those guidelines changed and spreading the good word to land managers about sustainable multi-use single track that provides a high quality trail experience for all users. SDMBA has been engaging the folks at MTRP and they are listening and coming around. Daley Ranch in North County is onboard with things and the CNLM at La Costa is great example of what things can be.

    The overarching trail guidelines for the county should be more reflective of more modern and proven trails guidelines such as those from the USDA/USFS, IMBA and Appalachian Mountain Club.

  3. Thanks for the reply. I’d love to see more quality singletrack in MTRP proper, and it’s good to hear that the folks at MTRP are listening and coming around.

    What, if anything, was discussed about the skills park? I assume that the artist’s renderings shown in one of your posted photos related to that issue.

Leave a comment