Welcome to Mountain Biking in Santa Cruz County

Website-Graphic-1Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) is a non-profit mountain bike advocacy organization and a chapter of  the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). MBoSC works to promote mountain bike recreation and to expand sustainable trail access in the Santa Cruz area.

MBoSC enriches the local mountain bike community through trail building, group rides, events such as our annual mountain bike festival and Enduro race, as well as through cooperation with local land managers and other trail user groups. These activities are driven by our volunteer staff and our members.

Get involved with our current trail project, a FOUR MILE FEATURE-RICH FLOW TRAIL that swoops through the beautiful Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF). A project in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), this progressive trail is designed for all rider abilities and is an excellent example of how local mountain biking enthusiasts and land managers can work together to build new trails in a sustainable way. Learn more about this highly anticipated trail and how you can help here.

MBoSC encourages you to be a part of bringing mountain biking into the mainstream of Santa Cruz living. Join, volunteer, and sponsor/donate — we appreciate your support!

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Reminder: Next Volunteer Trail Work Day Saturday 12/20, presented by Adventure Sports Journal

Photo by Bogdan Marian.

Trail work is FUN! Photo by Bogdan Marian.

Volunteer Work Day #2 is scheduled for Saturday, December 20, with Adventure Sports Journal generously providing the day’s hospitality. We expect to resume work on the flow trail that day and would love another big turnout of help.

Volunteer involvement is crucial to completing the flow trail, and work days are scheduled for twice a month. Check out the schedule and mark your calendar! All are welcome at our workdays—no trail work experience required. Bear in mind that work days are weather dependent. Windy and wet weather may produce hazardous conditions, or limit workday productivity.

Registration for volunteer trail work days is REQUIRED. Sign up for the December 20 event HERE.

Continue reading

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An open letter to support mountain biking at SDSF

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Photo by Called To Creation

Mountain biking activity at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF, colloquially known as Demo) is at risk of being restricted or eliminated due to illicit land usage by mountain bikers. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) SDSF recently contacted local leaders in the mountain biking community to help address this situation.

The main issue at hand is illegal trail building and riding at SDSF and through neighboring private property. Other issues are night riding and unauthorized stunt building.

Complaints from private landowners, internal agency pressure, and concerns for public safety have prompted an emphatic response by CAL FIRE SDSF. These issues are threatening recreational access for mountain bikers. Consequences of not addressing these issues include closing trails, ceasing flow trail work, and denying special use permits (i.e. Santa Cruz Super Enduro).

It’s important to understand that Soquel Demonstration State Forest is not a park; it is a working demonstration forest, with its primary purpose being timber management, watershed and habitat protection, along with forestry education and outdoor recreation. Learn more about SDSF here.

SDSF land managers have gone above and beyond in support of mountain biking. In recent years, they have taken a proactive approach toward the mountain biking community by expanding opportunities which include more trail access and allowing special events. Without their support, we would not have our exceptional existing trail system, we would not be building a four mile flow trail, and we would not have the Santa Cruz Super Enduro.

Also worth noting is that other land managers look to SDSF as a model for developing mountain biking access. We have significant opportunities to expand legitimate mountain bike trails in Santa Cruz County within the next 10 years. Maintaining an excellent relationship with CAL FIRE SDSF demonstrates to other land managers that the mountain biking community is a trusted partner.

How can we—the mountain biking community—help? It’s simple: influence, urge, press, pressure, cattle prod, and downright put the screws to our peers to not jeopardize mountain biking opportunities at SDSF by engaging in these illicit activities.

If you have any questions, contact Drew Perkins, Trails Officer at trails@mbosc.org. We appreciate your commitment to our community!

—Board of Directors, Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) Continue reading

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Stewards of Soquel Forest 12/6 work day recap; Adventure Sports Journal 12/20 work day announced

Volunteer trail workers pose with raffle prizes at the end of a long but productive work day.

Volunteer trail workers pose with raffle prizes at the end of a productive work day. Photo by Drew Perkins.

Volunteer Trail Work Day Recap: 12/6, presented by the Stewards of Soquel Forest
A dedicated 37 volunteers showed up at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) on a rainy morning this past Saturday for the first trail work day of the 2014/15 season, presented by the Stewards of Soquel Forest.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) SDSF Forest Manager Angela Bernheisel kicked off the day by addressing the crew. After applauding their volunteer effort, Angela asked for their support and that of the mountain biking community at large to help manage the growing issue of unauthorized trail use and trail building on SDSF and neighboring private landowner property, pointing out that such activity jeopardizes the future of mountain biking at SDSF.

Fueled with coffee and breakfast treats courtesy Whole Foods, crews then headed into the forest to perform much needed drainage maintenance on Braille and Sawpit, cleaning out old drains and adding new ones where needed. This maintenance work will help the trails weather the significant storm event forecast for Thursday this week. The rain relented and glimpses of blue sky were seen by lunchtime. A gourmet lunch was provided by the Stewards of Soquel Forest and Summit Store.

After a long but productive day of work, volunteers enjoyed post-work refreshments, also provided by the Stewards, and a fun raffle featuring product from Bell, Epicenter Cycling, and Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company.

Former CAL FIRE SDSF Forest Manager Thomas Suftin, who pitched in with a volunteer crew, expressed how impressed he was with the event’s organization. Other feedback echoed this sentiment from long-time volunteer Ben Harold, who also worked on the Emma McCary Trail: “I love volunteering for MBoSC events—I get a lot more out of them than I put in.”

Huge thanks to each and every volunteer for the hard work, and to the Stewards of Soquel Forest, Whole Foods and Summit Store for the hospitality!

A trail crew heads to their work site in the mist. Photo by Bruce Dorman.

A trail crew heads to their work site in the mist. Photo by Bruce Dorman.

Volunteer crew leader Bruce Dorman takes care of a drainage problem. Photo by Julie Kanagy.

Volunteer crew leader Bruce Dorman takes care of a drainage problem. Photo by Julie Kanagy.

Volunteers were also rewarded with an amazing sunset view over Soquel Creek and SDSF courtesy Mother Nature. Photo by Bruce Dorman.

Volunteers were also rewarded with an amazing sunset view over Soquel Creek and SDSF courtesy Mother Nature. Photo by Bruce Dorman.


Next Volunteer Trail Work Day: 12/20, presented by Adventure Sports Journal
Volunteer Work Day #2 is scheduled for Saturday, December 20, with Adventure Sports Journal generously providing the day’s hospitality. We expect to resume work on the flow trail that day and would love another big turnout of help.

Volunteer involvement is crucial to completing the flow trail, and work days are scheduled for twice a month. Check out the schedule and mark your calendar! All are welcome at our workdays—no trail work experience required. Bear in mind that work days are weather dependent. Windy and wet weather may produce hazardous conditions, or limit workday productivity.

Registration for volunteer trail work days is REQUIRED. Sign up for the December 20 event HERE.

The SDSF flow trail was featured as the Adventure Sports Journal cover story in their April/May 2014 issue. The article was written by SDSF flow trail builder Matt De Young with photography by MBoSC volunteer Bogdan Marian.

The SDSF flow trail was featured as the Adventure Sports Journal cover story in their April/May 2014 issue. The article was written by SDSF flow trail builder Matt De Young with photography by MBoSC volunteer Bogdan Marian.


Other ways you can help:

  • JOIN OUR WEEKDAY DIG CREW: We will also hold informal work days during the week Tuesday through Friday, weather permitting. Contact us for further details if you can join us.
  • ASSIST WITH OTHER TASKS: If you want to help out, but aren’t keen on digging, there are still lots of ways you can help out without breaking a sweat; check out our Help Wanted page for ways you can get involved.
  • SPONSOR A VOLUNTEER TRAIL WORK DAY: Promote your business while supporting a community driven project by pitching in to help MBoSC put on an A+ Volunteer Trail Work Day. Your sponsorship donation will provide hospitality for volunteers as well as cover MBoSC’s costs to plan and organize the event. Learn more here.
  • DONATE EQUIPMENT/RAFFLE ITEMS/CASH:. We need to raise another $140,000 in order to complete the flow trail. We also could use raffle items to reward our volunteers with, and certain equipment useful for trail building. Details here.
  • TAKE OUR SURVEY: Have you ridden the flow  yet? We want to know what you think. Your feedback will help us evaluate our work so far and plan the remaining segments. Chime in here.
Posted in access, advocacy, demo, flowtrail, sdf, sdsf, trail building, trail work/crew leader training, trails, volunteer | Comments Off

Reminder: THIS SATURDAY (December 6) Volunteer Work Day on the SDSF Flow Trail, sponsored by Stewards of Soquel Forest with Whole Foods Market

Our thirsty trails sure appreciate the tall drink of water from these recent storms!

A sunny weekend is forecast and we’re looking forward to getting back out into the forest for our first volunteer trail work day of the season THIS SATURDAY, December 6, sponsored by Stewards of Soquel Forest with Whole Foods Market. We will work on maintenance of the existing trails including Segments 3 and 5 of the flow trail.

Whole Foods is fueling us up with morning coffee and pastries, and the Stewards of Soquel Forest are hooking us up with lunch, and post-work day refreshments. Huge thanks to Whole Foods and the Stewards!

We’d love a big turn out to get our favorite trails taken care of so we can focus primarily on the flow trail the rest of the season. All are welcome at our workdays—no trail work experience required. Registration for volunteer trail work days is REQUIRED; please sign up HERE.

Bear in mind that work days are weather dependent. We’ll let you know as soon as possible if it looks like the weather won’t cooperate with us after all. But so far, it’s looking good. Hope to see you Saturday!

Volunteer Crew Leader Bruce Dorman leads his team to their work site on the flow trail.

Volunteer Crew Leader Bruce Dorman leads his team to their work site on the flow trail.

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Flow trail winter build season kicks off with December 6 volunteer work day sponsored by Stewards of Soquel Forest

MBoSC President Mark Davidson getting his dig on during a volunteer trail work day sponsored by Santa Cruz Bicycles. Photo courtesy Called to Creation.

MBoSC President Mark Davidson getting his dig on during a volunteer trail work day sponsored by Santa Cruz Bicycles. Photo courtesy Called to Creation.

Hello flow trail enthusiasts!

After a long dry season hiatus, we are gearing up for another season of trail building on the Flow Trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF). Please join us for our first volunteer trail work day of the season on Saturday December 6, sponsored by the Stewards of Soquel Forest (details below).

After completing FOX sponsored segment 3 and Epicenter Cycling sponsored segment 5, and opening them to the public last June, we hung up our tools and halted construction for the season. Building this kind of trail requires good soil moisture; shaped features can’t be formed out of dust. Our build season was rather short last year as we didn’t receive our first significant rain until February, and by early April it was too dry to continue cutting new trail. By May, we found ourselves tarping berms and hauling in buckets of water to keep the last few berms we built moist enough for compaction. Because it was so dry we weren’t able to make all of the changes to segment 3 that we had hoped, we are planning to revisit it to address a few spots that are perhaps, “restricting the flow.”

The two segments held up well to the summer traffic. Our intention was to build a trail with features that are enjoyable for a wide range of riders, but also to build a trail that would require minimal maintenance and hold up to heavy use year round. There are a few spots showing some braking wear, and a couple holes that need to be filled in various berms. But by and large, the trail has proven to be rather bombproof, holding up well to a dry summer of riding and an enduro race.

With one mile of trail built and three more to complete, we hope to get the most out of this build season. We have been working closely with land manager California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) preparing for this season so we’re ready to go when soil conditions are looking good. We have prepared a detailed trail plan for segment 2, and submitted it to CAL FIRE for review so that we will be shovel ready. Segments 3 and 5 will be assessed by CAL FIRE after the next significant storms to evaluate drainage and wear. After this, we will be given the green light to begin construction.


PITCH IN
Volunteer involvement is a critical part of completing this trail. We encourage you to join us on volunteer trail work days, which will take place on weekends twice a month. Check out the schedule and mark your calendar! All are welcome at our workdays—no trail work experience required. Bear in mind that work days are weather dependent. Windy and wet weather may produce hazardous conditions, or limit workday productivity.

Our first volunteer trail work day of the season will be Saturday December 6, sponsored by the Stewards of Soquel Forest. We will work on maintenance of the existing trails including Segments 3 and 5 of the flow trail. We would love a big turn out to get our favorite trails taken care of so we can focus primarily on the flow trail the rest of the season. Register here. Continue reading

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