What's the deal with riding at South Mountain these days? Didn't I read something about a pilot program re-introducing MTBing to the park and a permit system? Is that accurate and if so, how is the riding?
I don't have any new info on the proposal to allow biking in South Mountain, but I would urge all bikers to write the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and ask them to support the proposal. I drafted a letter a few months ago and for some reason never got around to sending it. This thread reminded me about it and I just put it in the mail. If they don't hear from bikers they have no compelling reason to change the status quo.
Where is the plan hung up? I'm trying to get a feel for the background of the whole process....as I understand it, the South Mountain Conservancy proposed the plan to Essex County who is currently reviewing it, please correct me if I'm wrong. Who are the decision makers within the county on this thing, the agency managing the parks or the freeholders, or a little bit of both? Does the plan have to go up for public comment?
... at Jays Cycle in Westfield and promptly signed. I started MTBing in South Mountain years ago before they banned it. It's one of the better places I've been to with lot's of trails of varying skill level. The ECPC also has excellent trail maps. I'd love to see riding permitted there again.
From what I understand...basically Essex county has more or less agreed to go along with the recommendations of the SoMo Conservancy. The SoMo Conservancy has proposed a plan that would allow biking in about 3/4 of the reservation. I don't know if this plan has been formally presented to the Essex County BoCF yet. If it has I'm not sure what the delay is. I do know that the BoCF can and will be swayed by public opinion. If we want to ensure that this plan is adopted we need to let the BoCF know that as bikers (and taxpayers) that we support this proposal and urge them to do the same.
Please open this trail. I am not a resident of Essex County but this would be the closest trail to where i live and would like to come ride there and spend money at all the local establishments. I rarely ride a place where i'm not stopping on some nearby business for pre or post ride nutrition. I am also not above the idea of moving to a place near an awesome trail.
Jorba has been there supporting the effort in SoMo. We have helped educate the trail crews in sustainable trail designs. Now is the time for the political process. Please understand that there are sensitive issues and if you live in Essex Cty. please support the tm efforts here. Go to the LBS and sign the petitions and ask if there are other ways to get involved. Remember, local support is neccessary to move forward.
Thanks for the updates, hopefully there is some feedback from the county soon! A coworker runs in the res several days a week and he saw a group of about 5 riders in there very recently. Support the cause and don't ride here until its legal!