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From the top of Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Parks, you can look down on Laguna’s beaches, some of the most beautiful in Southern California. Then you have the option to ride your back straight down the hill through the last native coastal chaparral in Orange County.

Residents of the OC are quite lucky to have access to mountain biking in this landscape of sage, cholla, sycamores, coyote bush, bunch grass and the occasional bobcat. Unfortunately, many of the area’s trails in the Aliso Canyon Wilderness Park are fall-line legacy trails, created before the open space was preserved for the public (imagine a green necklace around Orange County). These trails are certainly appealing to some downhill-oriented riders, but since Laguna wants to become an international mountain biking destination, they need to step up their game with more beginner- and intermediate-oriented trails that appeal to new and visiting riders.

As part of our recent Trail Care Crew visit to Laguna Beach, we partnered with Hans Rey, the Laguna Canyon Foundation, Share (the local mountain bike advocacy organization), and other area riders to assess many of the existing legacy trails and provide feedback on how to make the trails more sustainable while at times maintaining their gravity-oriented character. After our Trailbuilding School, local riders expressed their desire to work with land managers to decommission some of their unsustainable fall-line trails and create fun, flowy, sustainable singletrack as part of a larger system of multi-use, multi-skill trails. This two-way partnership between land managers and riders is critical to success.

Therefore, the other key part of our visit focused on bringing together the mountain bike community to help chart a course toward this better riding for all types of mountain bikers. We hosted a Club Care presentation and a screening of the movie Pedal Driven that brought together local bike industry leaders from Crank Brothers and SDG Components; pro mountain bikers like Hans Rey, Brian Lopes, and Richie Schley; club leaders from Share; and leadership from the Laguna Canyon Foundation. Just the fact that these guys all broke bread together was enough to get the movement started.

If you haven’t yet screened Pedal Driven for your club or community, but want to kick-start a new energy around trail advocacy, it’s a great tool to do so.

From the 70 TCC visits we’ve had in two years, Laguna is probably the best-suited to build a world-class mountain bike destination: stunning terrain and scenery, open space, industry leaders, pro riders, a sustainable club, willing partners in local land managers, and a passionate community of mountain bike advocates. It’s just a matter of channeling all of that positive opportunity into a cohesive, long-term movement, which Laguna is on the verge of doing.

Thanks to Hans Rey, Crank Brothers, and the Laguna Canyon Foundation for hosting a productive and fun weekend. We can’t wait to come back and ride what you’re going to create!

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Support Complete Streets

Trails are just the beginning. If you folks want to see a safe return route on Laguna Canyon Road from Telonic back to downtown, or bike-lanes to connect the existing El Toro bike-lane back to town, or a connector from Arch Beach Heights to TOW, then get involved. Help us Complete the Streets to include bike-lanes on surface streets through-out Laguna Beach, Dana Point and Newport Beach.

The Complete Streets Task Force is a city appointed committee to make these street changes happen, the Sharrows on Cypress and Monterey are the beginning of our work. Support us! Check out the Blog at www.lagunastreets.blogspot.com and take the Poll, leave your comments, show-up at city meetings in Laguna Beach. Watch www.lagunabeachcity.net for Tuesday night meeting schedule. Join us and Complete the Streets.
-Les

Great news

This is phenomenal! Since moving here from Colorado, I have lamented that the spaces we have could include trails that are longer, with gentler gradients and better flow. I love some of the chunky, challenging downhills in Aliso, and I hope we don't lose them, but there is no place for a beginner to get that flowy singletrack feel that brought so many of into mountain biking. Thanks CB, Hans, Richie, Brian, SDG, LC Foundation, SHARE and IMBA.

Laguna

Thanks so much Morgan and Steve for giving us the tools to move forward in a proper and sustainable way to manage our incredible trails!

Thanks to Hans Rey for helping to bring everyone together! Next time we'll help get the rangers out there!

Thank you Max for the incredible hospitality and facilitating this event! We look forward to anything that arises in the near future.

SHARE, thank you all for being there and I'm hoping that we can all help out in getting more organized action in a proactive way for our community.

Cheers
Chris

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