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East Bay, Rain Delayed

Rained out. It doesn’t happen very often, but when the precipitation is measured in inches, it means that we stay indoors. And that’s just what happened during our recent visit to the Bay Area. We rolled into town just about the same time a major multi-day storm did as well.

It was a bummer that we weren’t able to get outside Saturday afternoon to do our project Joaquin Miller Park. However, staying inside gave a us a chance to allow more time for local advocates, new and old, to pick our brains.

Our last visit to the Bay Area was back in the fall of 2009 during the first months of our tenure on the Trail Care Crew. While we were well versed in Western US trail culture, we hadn’t been around the country, and had yet to develop that ‘nationwide’ awareness. It’s something that happens for every Crew and really, is one of the things that make our program so valueable. Since 1997, we've traveled US (and Canada) working in different locations and landscapes, building a body of knowledge that benefits every else across North America. Last year we had the opportunity to continue the trend by working and visiting some major urban areas in the East (New York City), Midwest (Twin Cities) and South (Miami). This weekend we were able to bring our collection of diverse experiences back to the Bay Area.

During the two days we met with local advocates, cyclists, and land managers, we worked through a number of ideas and issues. This area certainly has some unique geography and demanding regulatory processes. However, it also faces one of the most common challenges that we’ve seen from coast to coast; intense recreation use from a large population. As a group, we had a valuable discussion that emphasized the importance of sustainable trail design and community involvement. We also talked about new opportunities. As new relationships form and fresh ideas come about, we all agreed it takes a long-term commitment with consistent efforts from everyone involved.

Although our weekend was cut a bit short, we were so psyched to work with Bicycle Trails Council – East Bay. They are one of the clubs that formed IMBA and have been an advocacy presence in the East Bay for many, many years. Thank you for organizing a visit! (And thanks to Brent and Jan for home and food!)

Thanks also to East Bay Regional Park District and their staff for attending Better Living Through Trails and the Trailbuilding School.

Finally, thanks to everyone else who participated in the Trail Care Crew activities. Your efforts are very much appreciated and you keep us inspired as we travel around the USA!

Photos can be found here.

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Leslie and Chris,
Thanks again for coming out to Oakland and providing us all with your knowledge and passion. It was great to see, hear and talk with everyone that day. Just wished the weather would've cooperated better! I was looking forward to "get dirty" and build some trails. Perhaps the next time...

Anyway, it was fun and it certainly was a pleasure meeting you both! Looking forward to your next visit to the Bay Area. I hope the weather is better in Santa Cruz.

Happy Trails!
Larry Placido

larry placido photography