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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:30 am 
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I've been up in Sacramento for the last 5 years. Things are good here, but of course I miss some things SD has, like the beach and Noble Canyon. Currently working with the local Fair Oaks Rec and Park District (FORPD) to improve a strider bike park they put in 3 years ago from American Ramp Company that was a flop. I'm really impressed with all the bike park action going on down there lately and wanted to get some input on Asphalt vs Dirt.

A little background on our local bike park efforts - after moving up here in 2015, I proposed building a bike park to the FORPD administrator and Board. They were into it, but after the administrator position changed hands, the ARC strider park was put in without any input from the bike community or me. The features sucked, weren't fun for kids, it didn't get much use and was neglected by the park. I approached the park administrator last year about redoing the park as a pump track. He was on board with it, but wanted it to be a hard surface/asphalt so he doesn't have to maintain it. I received permission to bring in donated dirt and start building "some rolling dirt features" on the perimeter of the existing ARC strider course as a proof of concept while details and funding for the pro built pump track were worked out.

Last spring, I cobbled together some bike friendly families and we started knocking it out. Brought in about 100 yds of dirt, put in a couple dirt mounds, some rollers, and spruced the place up a bit. We didn’t get an entire loop built, but did what we could and it’s been getting a lot more use. We spent about $1500.

Last October I presented the pump track rebuild to the FORPD Board and received permission to apply for a $40k grant from the county, with a contribution from the park of $20k. I found out last week we didn’t get the grant. The FORPD has a bunch of money from a bond measure that was passed last year and is spending 3 or 4 million on softball fields, $400k for a neighborhood park, etc….. I met with the administrator last friday and found out he has allocated $40k for the pump track but wants to apply for a $10k grant specifically for bike parks to make the bond money go further. We should find out by May on that grant.

If you’re still with me, this is where I’m at now - I’m very hesitant on going with asphalt because I don’t want it to turn into a skate/scooter park. How are things going at Pacific Highlands Ranch? Is concrete how the bike community wanted that project to go? I heard it was supposed to be ‘bike only’ but that didn’t last long.

I can propose to the board again, specifically on going dirt, and if they vote for it, the administrator will have to do what they say. I think rallying the bike community and fundraising would be necessary to get the board to approve dirt over asphalt, against the recommendation of the administrator. I’ve been in contact with Alex from Action Sports Construction who gave a rough estimate of $36k for a stabilized dirt pump track and $49k for asphalt.


Still reading? If you’re interested, here’s a quick personal update since I haven't been on here in about 5 or 6 years... (and wasn't too active when I was). Moved up to Sacramento in 2015, the wife popped out 3 kiddos who are now 7, 4 and 4, I started a bike riding group, Family Freeride, so my kids would have more kids to ride with. I'm hoping to turn into the little league of Mt Biking (got our 501c3). While expecting the arrival of our twins, I put my TreadMarks Media video production company on hold after the wife told me I needed to get a real job. Became a cop for Sac PD. Did that for about 3 years then jumped ship to work for RecruitMilitary helping connect companies with veterans and transitioning military. Upgraded my ride last year from a 2004 (i think) Heckler to a 2017 Nomad :-) but haven’t been riding it enough :-( The kids are crushing it on their bikes and need more places to ride.

Thanks for reading!
Garett McDermid


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:47 am 
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Howdy... I've been over to the Pacific Highlands pump track a few times. It's a pretty small pump track which is effectively split into two halves. In one half you do a figure 8, and the other half is itself split into two loops where you keep turning the same direction, NASCAR-style. When I go, I try to get there just before they open so I can get my turns in before the crowds show up. There are pretty much two types of people that show up: (1) kids, and (2) guys in their 40s who haven't grown up yet. I'll let you guess which category I'm in.

Anyway, you asked about scooters. Yes, there are lots of kids with scooters there, as well as skateboards, bikes, and pretty much anything with wheels. It's not as chaotic as an actual (trick-oriented) skate park since there is a minimum of intersecting lines, but since it's small it can get crowded at times. I've actually found that the kids on bikes are more in the way b/c they're not going any faster than the kids on scooters but they take up more space. Also, yes, there are (were?) signs saying bikes-only but nobody is around to enforce this and I'd hate to be the guy trying to kick out some kid on his scooter while his over-protective parents come after me.

Overall, I don't think the scooters ruin the pump track... it's the large numbers of participants that cause problems, but this is easily avoided (for me anyway) by showing up prior to opening. When it gets crowded, I just leave.

BTW, a dirt bike park just opened up in in the Sweetwater/Bonita part of San Diego. I haven't been there yet, but it looks much bigger and has separate areas for a pump track, jump line, and skills area. Youtube has several videos if you want to check it out.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:52 am 
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Here's an article that popped up on my news feed b/c Google reads my mind now:
https://www.delmartimes.net/news/sd-cm- ... story.html

A couple of nuggets:
- Concrete (the track is concrete, not asphalt) can create some noise issues compared to dirt.
- The plans were originally for dirt, but the city expressed concerns about maintaining it and switched to concrete.

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