Friday, June 22, 2012

No Bikes on Trail!

I often think about what causes user conflicts on trails in the USA. It is sure a very complex problem, perhaps people hate each other for the same reasons as avoiding eye contacts, driving alone in cars, fencing off their homes and pretending to have fun at parties with people they never saw before and will never see again?
Just as a visual comparison, the trails around Riva del Garda were shared happily among hikers, mountain bikers, even electric mountain bike riders!
Here in the SF Bay Area, we often brag about how good the weather is, allowing us to ride year around, and how many trails there are to ride. Sure, that's mostly true, yet the contrasts, such as all Marin singletracks being off limits to bikes vs. the "bicycles must stay on singletrack" signs in the fee for use Tamarancho camp in Fairfax, are stark.
The San Mateo county where I live is notoriously known for banning bikes from their trails (e.g. dirt path along Canada Rd., Huddart and Wunderlich parks etc.). The adjacent Palo Alto seems like a bike friendly town, yet the trail system between Stanford University and Arastadero preserve (both allow biking) and the Skyline highway is closed to bikes. I am talking about the Foothills park (managed by Palo Alto) and the Los Trancos preserve (MROSD). These trails are actually part of the Bay to Ridge Trail a 16 mile hiking trail.
While I rode the Montebello preserve trails and the adjacent Steven's Canyon, Skyline Ridge and Russian Ridge trails many times, I never looked at the Los Trancos trails across Page Mill Road.

This week, being somewhat tired after a road ride and wanting to explore these trails, I drove to the trail head.  Another reason for driving here was the fact that the marine layer fog and clouds were hanging over the ridge just north of here and I was looking for a warm place to run.

I have ran the following loop on these trails: Lost Creek loop (counter clockwise) to Page Mill trail, to Los Trancos Tr. (also counter clockwise) to Steep Hollow - so far all mostly downhill-  and back onto the  northern segment of Los Trancos trail, now climbing back up to Page Mill tr., Lost Creek and to the parking lot. Nice trails! The scenery changed from golden grass, chaparral, oaks, to dense vegetation where the trail forms a tunnel in the brush, to shady woods along the creek, with fern and moss around. There were some nice new for me views and the whole trail run was very challenging, technical and steep. 12.2 miles took me almost 2.5 hours.
So this was the "alternative" mode of trail exploration, and despite the limited range of distance when you use your feet instead of wheels, I really enjoyed the area and the fact that I seemed to have the whole place for myself. Wait a sec, what did I start this post with? No, I really missed mountain bikers flying by me at 25 mph!

No comments:

Post a Comment