Town Square

Post a New Topic

Local mountain bikers stage protest against trail restrictions at Pleasanton Ridge

Original post made on Feb 16, 2022

Dozens of mountain bikers gathered together at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park earlier this month to call attention to what they say is a lack of trail access for cyclists to use.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 10:16 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Nils Erickson
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 16, 2022 at 5:10 pm

Nils Erickson is a registered user.

Their argument makes no sense at all. If people don't want to see a bike coming downhill at them on an eight foot-wide road trail, why would having a bike come down at them on a steep and uneven one-foot wide foot trail be better?

Stay on the fire road. Bikes are dangerous to hikers and riders on steep foot trails. Seems like the current policy is a good one. And it sounds like the board has already been through this before, and that's why there has been no change. Current policy is fine.

Posted by Mike Vandeman
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 16, 2022 at 6:50 pm

Mike Vandeman is a registered user.

What were they thinking??? Mountain biking and trail-building destroy wildlife habitat! Mountain biking is environmentally, socially, and medically destructive! There is no good reason to allow bicycles on any unpaved trail!

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: Web Link . It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else -- ON FOOT! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking....

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see Web Link ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Mountain bikers also love to build new trails - legally or illegally. Of course, trail-building destroys wildlife habitat - not just in the trail bed, but in a wide swath to both sides of the trail! E.g. grizzlies can hear a human from one mile away, and smell us from 5 miles away. Thus, a 10-mile trail represents 100 square miles of destroyed or degraded habitat, that animals are inhibited from using. Mountain biking, trail building, and trail maintenance all increase the number of people in the park, thereby preventing the animals' full use of their habitat.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 16, 2022 at 7:14 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Nils and Mike are antibikers who refuse to follow the published science. They should not be allowed to post due to spreading dangerous misinformation about a group of people they don’t represent or understand.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 16, 2022 at 8:30 pm

Jerry is a registered user.

Hey everyone just so you know Mike Vandeman (was arrested) for assault with a deadly weapon. He actually cut a mountain biker across the chest with a handsaw. (portion removed) Here is an article

Web Link

Posted by Jeff Durban
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 17, 2022 at 9:48 am

Jeff Durban is a registered user.

@ Nils @ Mike - Every user group has bad apples that negatively impact the group's reputation. No one group is to blame for negative impacts to our parks and open spaces. Hikers and dog walkers leave trash and poop bags along the trails, horse riders cause extensive damage to trails and leave piles of manure in the middle of trails. Some Mt. Bikers ride off established trails or ride too fast near other trail users, but in the end, we are all tax payers who are entitled to use our parks and open spaces for those legal activities we enjoy.

What the Mt. Biking community is asking for is fairly simple. They are looking for single track trails that can be dedicated to biking. Many other parks in the State have seen the benefits of working with the Mt. Biking community to build bike only trails. Done responsibly, trails can be built with minimal impact to the environment often following nature/animal trails that are already present. The trails remove a large percentage of the riders from the main fire road trails reducing the bike-hiker-horse interactions while allowing riders to enjoy their hobby to its fullest.

If you want to see an example of how well this works, visit the Soquel Demonstration Forest near Santa Cruz. Miles of trails have been built that not only help mitigate erosion of the hillsides, remove dead trees and underbrush that would be fuel for wildfires, and provide a great place for riders to enjoy all levels of Mt. Biking.

Posted by Joe
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 17, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Joe is a registered user.

As I look around at the pics, it seems most of the “protesters” were on E-bikes. EBRPD should be more aggressively enforcing the “No E-bike” rule.. They truly don’t belong on nature trails. Period.

Posted by Carl
a resident of Stoneridge
on Feb 17, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Carl is a registered user.

Jerry, I read your web link about the arrest and trial of Mr Vandeman. The trial took place in 2011 and the author said it was not a slam dunk case. What was the outcome of the trail? Guilty or innocent? Sometimes it is not safe to have a mixed use trail and something has to give. Seems the bike riders have had a bunch of wins, just look at all the markings on our streets dedicated to biker safety, and can’t stand to be told no.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 17, 2022 at 7:31 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Rancho San Antonio Park in Cupertino has "horse gates" at the trail heads. They are too narrow for a horse to pass through and too narrow for handlebars to cruise through. Runners and walkers can pass unimpeded.

I was coming down hill walking a few years ago on the ridge when three mountain bikers approached at a left angle towards me on a narrow trail. they stopped, I stopped, we all had conversation then went on our way. I pointed out that a large tree had just come down up the trail behind me as I was coming down.

They said they would check it out. They had parked their vehicle in the Moller Ranch area and got on the trail there.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 17, 2022 at 7:35 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Rancho San Antoin Park in Cupertino is runners Heaven.

Posted by Paul
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 17, 2022 at 7:57 pm

Paul is a registered user.

Hi Carl,

Michael Vandeman was convicted of misdemeanor Battery and misdemeanor brandishing a deadly weapon in public (PC242-M: BATTERY and PC-M-417A1, respectively). He was sentenced to 30 days weekend confinement, three years probation and a fine. He was narrowly acquitted of the most serious charge of assault. I know this because I served on the jury. Court record is here:
Web Link
(Users will need to enter the defendant’s name.)

Posted by Ob
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 18, 2022 at 3:22 pm

Ob is a registered user.

If you want to see wildlife destruction, just go up on the ridge after the sheep are up there. Mtb destroy the environment, *** please.

Posted by Gee
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 19, 2022 at 7:12 pm

Gee is a registered user.

Below is a good analysis of mountain biking impact.

Mountain Bike Management Implications
So what does this mean for mountain biking? The existing body of research does not support the prohibition or restriction of mountain biking from a resource or environmental protection perspective. Existing impacts, which may be in evidence on many trails used by mountain bikers, are likely associated for the most part with poor trail designs or insufficient maintenance.
Managers should look first to correcting design-related deficiencies before considering restrictions on low-impact users. By enlisting the aid of all trail users through permanent volunteer trail maintenance efforts, they can improve trail conditions and allow for sustainable recreation.

Web Link

Dr. Jeff Marion is a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey who studies visitor impacts and management in protected natural areas. Jeremy Wimpey is a doctoral candidate in the Park and Recreation Resource Management program at Virginia Tech.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Transgender controversy played out at Dublin High track meet
By Tim Hunt | 25 comments | 3,046 views

How quickly will we electrify our homes?
By Sherry Listgarten | 13 comments | 2,871 views

Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC)
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 672 views


2023 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here