Bikes in Parks
I am a year-round bike commuter. I really enjoy urban riding and using my bicycle for daily transportation needs. But truth be told, asphalt lacks some magic for me.
My heart belongs to the dirt. When the wheels of my mountain bike make contact with sweet singletrack trail, my spirit soars. Riding through the woods, I am completely present in the moment. I love the smell of damp leaves in the fall, the texture of the moss clinging to ancient trees, the feeling of connection to the earth, the JOY. It’s my church. It’s my play. It’s my place.
But from my Ballard home it takes nearly an hour to get to most of the region’s trails built for mountain biking. And I need a car to transport my bike.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had the chance to experience riding singletrack in the city of Seattle? How cool would it be if local families could set out from their houses and go only as far as the neighborhood park to have this same experience? SUPER COOL!
And our city agrees that the time is now.
The city of Seattle Board of Park Commissioners understands that people want to bike on trails.
They’ve watched as Duthie Hill Park and St. Edwards State Park have successfully accommodated mountain bikes into their user mix.
On Thursday, Jan. 9, the Commissioners will decide whether to recommend an update to the Bicycle Policy for use of bicycles in parks recognizing mountain biking as a “legitimate recreational use” and adopting the International Mountain Bicycling Associations trail building standards. This will allow sustainably built trails to our city parks, trails designed to be in balance with and even restore our natural environment.
Then, if the Parks Superintendent approves the policy as recommended, the Parks and Recreation department will need help to make new trails a reality; their resources are limited and focused on maintenance of existing trails.
Prior to opening any new parks or trails to bicycle use, the Superintendent will notify the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, the Seattle area mountain bike clubs and interested community groups.
It’s up to us, community volunteers, to partner with our city and establish new trails. Cascade will follow the story of this amazing opportunity, so stay tuned for more information about how you can help.