Announcing our 2023 Ambassador Team

Please join us in welcoming our first CAMTB Teen Ambassador Cohort!

Over the past CAMTB has been working in partnership with NorCal Interscholastic Cycling League and the SoCal League, as well as members of our trail stewardship community to craft a new program aimed at engaging the generation of leaders in trail and cycling advocacy. Now we’re ready to announce our first cohort of teen ambassadors!

The CAMTB Teen Ambassador program provides a peer-based internship model for junior and senior high school student-athletes that are interested in building their resumes while riding, connecting, and taking meaningful action with other California-based student-athletes.

2023 Ambassadors

Mariana Barr, Chula Vista – East Lake High
James Jordan, Albany – Albany High
Nicolo Costanzo, Eureka – Humboldt Composite
James Meezan, Mill Valley – Tam High
Craig Wilmanns, Santa Barbara – South Coast Composite
Sebastian Fowler, San Francisco – SF Composite
Sierra Paliaga, Arcata – Humboldt Composite

This year, we received applications from a stellar group of young leaders and riders from across the state. The future of cycling looks incredibly promising. Thank you to everyone who applied. Congrats again to those there were selected this year, and we encourage those that weren’t to resubmit for 2024.

This year’s cohort members hail from as far north as Arcata and as far south as Chula Vista. All are juniors, and many have existing relationships with their local trail partners, including CAMTB affiliates Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, Sage Trail Alliance, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, San Diego Mountain Biking Association, Access 4 Bikes, and SF Urban Riders. We were incredibly impressed by their passion for riding, as well as activating their interest in advocacy for trails and mountain biking in California.

Teen Ambassador Partners

CAMTB Announces Exciting Updates to its Board of Directors for 2023

A message from outgoing CAMTB founding Board President, Jake Bayless, to CAMTB members and the larger mountain biking community in California.

It is my sincere pleasure to share some exciting leadership changes to CAMTB’s Board of Directors.  For the first time since our inception, and since our legal formation in October of 2019, CAMTB will be led by a new Executive team. The following executive officers were elected during the Board’s Annual Meeting on January 4, 2023:

  • President, Steve Messer, Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists
  • Vice President, Jake Bayless, California Trails Foundation
  • Secretary, Susie Murphy, San Diego Mountain Biking Association
  • Treasurer, John Terberg, Orange County Mountain Bike Association

I am honored to have been entrusted as CAMTB’s President these past four years, during the development of this unifying platform for the mountain biking community in California.  It has taken a village to get to here, particularly given the adversity of our complex geography and politics, and in the face of a global pandemic. CAMTB, though, is now making the waves we originally envisioned! We’re showing California that we are deeply invested in our trails, parks, and open spaces, and we’re proving that trail partners are the stewards those places need and deserve. I am deeply thankful for the hard work and dedication of the CAMTB trail partner community, our partners, and you, the mountain bikers of California.

As noted, Steve Messer is now the Board President of the coalition. Steve’s trail advocacy experience and diplomacy are unmatched, and I am confident in his ability to lead us through this crucial next phase. I will support Steve as Vice President to help ensure a seamless transition and transfer of institutional knowledge. I will also be serving as Board President of the newly formed California Trails Foundation, a 501(c)3 philanthropic organization which aims to secure broader institutional and corporate support for our work.

I’d like to take this moment to thank our outgoing Vice President, Vernon Huffman, for his invaluable contributions to the Coalition. His hard work and dedication have been integral to our progress these past four years. Fortunately for us, Vernon will continue serving as a Board Member in 2023.

Another exciting change is underway for Matthew Blain.  Matthew has stepped down as Treasurer to expand CAMTB’s political influence and action through our Legislative and Government Affairs Committee. Similar to Vernon, Matthew will continue serving as a CAMTB Board Member in 2023.

In Matthew’s place, John Terberg from Orange County will be taking over as CAMTB’s Treasurer.  John’s business acumen has provided CAMTB with an essential operational and fiscal guiding hand since joining the Board of Directors in 2021.  

Susie Murphy, our Rock, will serve as Secretary for a second term, and Lauren Haughey & Adrian Randal will continue as Board Members. It is also my distinct pleasure to announce that Rob Pettersen, Advisory Council Chair and founding Board Member of the Lowelifes Respectable Citizens’ Club of LA County, was unanimously elected to the CAMTB Board of Directors. Over the past year, Rob has deepened his involvement in the coalition, becoming a trusted advisor to our member, land manager, and political activities, and helped refine CAMTB’s external presence.

Thank you to all the CAMTB Board of Directors for your ongoing commitment to state-level mountain biking advocacy!

CAMTB Board of Directors as of Jan 4, 2023:

  • President, Steve Messer, Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists
  • Vice President, Jake Bayless, California Trails Foundation
  • Secretary, Susie Murphy, San Diego Mountain Biking Association 
  • Treasurer, John Terberg, Orange County Mountain Bike Association
  • Director, Vernon Huffman, Access 4 Bikes 
  • Director, Matthew Blain, San Francisco Urban Riders
  • Director, Adrian Randal 
  • Director, Lauren Haughey, Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay
  • Director, Rob Pettersen, Lowelifes Respectable Citizens’ Club

I am deeply grateful for such a warm, supportive, and collegial group of directors, and I know that we’re all looking on board to support Michael in another exciting year of moving the mountain biking advocacy needle in California.  Onwards!

Sincerely,

Jake Bayless
Former President, California Mountain Biking Coalition
President, California Trails Foundation

CAMTB Pro-Rec Candidates Win Key Seats

2022 Election Recap

The 2022 election results are nearly all in. See updates below regarding our candidate endorsements.

CAMTB’s 2022 Voter Guide endorsed a slate of pro-recreation candidates at the local and state levels that prioritized access, resource protection, and personal health by way of outdoor recreation. Thanks to your support, nearly all of the endorsed candidates won their races, including our California Assembly and Senate candidates. Congratulations to:

Our fingers are crossed for the following pro-rec candidates whose races are yet to be determined (as of Nov 17, 2022):

  • San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (District 2) Charles Stone

Citizen Action

We’d also like to recognize two important local efforts that serve as models for how cyclists can take action to support more and better bike-friendly trails. In Marin county, Access for Bikes (A4B), a local 527 PAC, focused on get-out-the-vote campaigns for State Assembly candidate, Damon Connolly, as well as candidates for the Marin Municipal Water District Board. A4B’s community outreach efforts helped Connolly garner the votes necessary to secure the district. Their efforts also were successful in helping bike-friendly candidates secure seats on the MMWD board, which manages public watersheds, parks, and open spaces in the region.  

On the San Francisco Peninsula, a number of committed local mountain bikers also campaigned to ensure that their city government reflected the will of the local Belmont community and its longstanding permission of bike access in the Waterdog Open Space. Congratulations to Mayor-elect Julia Mates, councilmember-elect Gina Latimerlo, and councilmember Robin Pang-Maganaris.

Congratulations to those who prevailed on Nov 8 that recognize the relationship between recreational trails, environmental stewardship, and public health. We look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. CAMTB also thanks all of the first-time candidates in this year’s elections. Not all prevailed but all should be commended for stepping up to the public service challenge. 

And perhaps most importantly, we want to thank YOU, the voters, for lending your voice. We owe it to each other and to our communities to rise above partisanship and focus on the issues themselves.  

About CAMTB

The California Mountain Biking Coalition’s mission is to expand and enhance bike-friendly trails throughout by providing a unifying statewide platform for trail riders. CAMTB represents 30 nonprofit trail stewardship organizations in California. These organizations build, maintain, and advocate for bike-friendly trails here in the state. The CAMTB and its affiliates are working hard to expand trail access for bicycles in California while protecting the natural landscapes we love to ride and the trail systems that take us to, through, and from them. Together we advocate for more and better bike-friendly trails by: 

  1. Engaging prominent land managers, like CA State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service 
  2. Tracking and influencing State & Federal legislation and elections 
  3. Activating and growing the larger mountain biking and gravel riding community

Support More and Better Bike-Friendly Trails in California

Please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to support our statewide advocacy efforts for more and better bike-friendly trails.

2022 November Voter Guide

CAMTB is excited to share our 2022 California midterm election endorsements! These range from local positions to state Assembly and Senate positions. We support these candidates for their particular stance on and commitment to outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship in California.

We are also linking to guides provided by other organizations.

Marin & Sonoma Counties

State Assembly (AD-12): Damon Connolly.  “Marin and Sonoma County have incredible trails for walking, hiking, and mountain biking — to live here is to love the outdoors. As our next Assembly member, I will continue to work hand-in-hand with Access4Bikes to ensure the preservation of open space and improvements to our trails and bike paths for all users, as I have in implementing Marin’s Road and Trails Management Plan as a County Supervisor. Adequate funding for California State Parks is crucial to ensuring the Parks are partners with neighboring jurisdictions on wildfire prevention, forest health, and sea level rise adaptation.“

San Anselmo City Council: Tarrell Kullaway. Tarrell Kullaway is the Executive Director for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition working to improve safety and access for people who bike in Marin. She has a 30+ year career in environmental policy and advocacy and has helped the MCBC almost double its operating budget since she took the helm in 2019. She is an avid mountain, road, and transportation rider and will fight for the things that people who bike care about.

Marin Voters Guides, see MCBC Bike the Vote and the Access4Bikes Voter’s Guide.

Contra Costa & Alameda Counties

East Bay Municipal Utility District Board of Directors Ward 3: Marguerite Young.  She has been an advocate for expanded use of the EBMUD trails since her 2014 election, and was key in establishing the current access.  She advocates for re-engaging in a collaborative process with trail users to identify opportunities to open some of our narrow trails for bike use, or to create single track trails designed for bikes.

East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors Ward 3: Daphne Lin.   She supports increased bike access including bike only trails in areas where environmental impact is low and supports class 1 e-bike access.   “There is no excuse for the Bay Area not to have adequate mountain bike trails.” “I believe EBRPD has failed to evolve with time and as such, is stuck in the past as it has refused to change its policies.”

Contra Costa and Alameda Voter Guide see BTCEB Candidate Survey

San Mateo County

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (District 2) Charles Stone. During his nine years on Belmont City Council, Charles Stone consistently supported keeping singletrack trails open to all trail users in Belmont. When a special interest group tried to restrict access to the Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont, he successfully championed efforts to keep it open for both high school track athletes and the general public. He has a strong track record of supporting inclusive multi-use access in open space.

Belmont Mayor Julia Mates. “Waterdog is one of the few areas in the region where mountain bikers can enjoy trails. It brings a diverse group of people from our community and beyond to recreate together. When I’m out on the trails, I see mountain bikers of all generations: families with kids, adults, and senior adults. And going into the future I want to make sure we have the safest trails possible, while keeping the wonderful and long-established multi-use aspect of these trails.”

Belmont City Council (District 1) Gina Latimerlo. “Belmont has so much beautiful open space, and each of us is entitled to enjoy that open space. None of us is entitled to monopolize it. The answer in our divided America is not to divide us more, like ‘hikers here,’ ‘bikers there.’ The goal is for us to share the land—hasn’t that been the lesson of the last couple of centuries?”

Belmont City Council (District 3) Robin Pang-Maganaris. “We are fortunate as a community to have access to such wonderful spaces such as Waterdog Lake and I do not believe that there should be limits placed on who has access to that area. It belongs to all of us — to all of us to use in the ways that are most comfortable to us.”

Belmont Voter Guide see Waterdog Open Space Stewards

Sacramento County

Fair Oaks Recreation and Parks District Director: Garett McDermid. McDermid is a long-time board member in mountain bike access organizations and runs a local nonprofit that leads youth bike rides, clinics, and events to develop and grow the bike community in our area.

Ventura County

State Assembly (AD-38): Steve Bennett. Assembly Member Bennett has a record as an environmental leader and a trail supporter. In this past session, he was the key player in getting increased funding and improved planning for natural surface trails.

San Diego County

State Senate (SD-40): Brian Jones. Senator Jones has long worked with and supported the local mountain bike advocacy group in their work for more and better trails.

Vote by November 8th!

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. Every Californian registered to vote has received a ballot in the mail. You can mail it or drop it off on or before election day, or vote in person at a polling place or election center. To learn how to register to vote or where you can vote, see here.

Leg Update: AB 1789 Approved by Newsom

After clearing both houses, AB 1789 (Bennett) approved, giving mountain bikers and other California recreationists a path to more and better trails.

AB 1789 (Bennett), which requires an update to the California Recreational Trails Plan no later than January 1, 2024, was approved on Sep 25, by Governor Newsom. The bill also requires that a progress report with recommended revisions is submitted to the Legislature every three years and that the Dir. of CA State Parks recommend priorities for funding that improve and expand non-motorized, natural surface trails in the state. There has been an 11-year lapse since this plan was last updated, and since that time, our trails have seen unprecedented levels of use.

Thank you to all who helped get the word out, write letters, and garner widespread support for this important piece of trail and outdoor recreation-related legislation, including:

AB 1789 Clears Both CA Legislatures, Moves on to Governor Newsom’s Desk

Pictured above: Trail Partners from the CAMTB Community At Work in the Tahoe Basin

Legislative Update & Call to Action

In late August, AB 1789 (Bennet), which re-establishes accountability for, and updates to, the existing California Recreational Trails System Plan, cleared both the CA State Assembly and Senate. It now moves on to the Governor’s desk for final consideration. See the full bill text HERE.

Despite amendments that narrowed the original vision for AB 1789, CAMTB remains supportive of the bill. Most recently CAMTB submitted a shared Letter of Support with signatures from over 25 advocacy organizations from our member and partner community.

Why We Continue to Support AB 1789

AB 1789 (Bennett) requires an update to the California Recreational Trails System Plan no later than January 1, 2024. The bill also requires that a progress report with recommended revisions be submitted to the Legislature every three years, and that the Dir. of CA State Parks recommend priorities for funding that improve and expand non-motorized, natural surface trails in the state. There has been an 11-year lapse since this plan was last updated, and since that time, our trails have seen unprecedented levels of use.

Adapting to the changes in usage patterns, population trends, and increasing trail access to urban, suburban, and rural populations will take both vision and planning. AB 1789 re-establishes these, and adds accountability, to ensure that enhanced outdoor experiences are prioritized for all in the state.

AB 1909: The “Omnibike Bill” Gives Cyclists More Rights on the Road 

Photo by Dustin Snipes

A core tenant of CAMTB’s work is tracking and influencing legislation that affects trails, cycling, and public lands. As a result, we have been tuned in to the ongoing development of AB 1909 to ensure that it is precise in its language so it serves the larger cycling community in California.

Matthew Blain, CAMTB & SF Urban Riders Board Member

Authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, AB1909 is a collection of improvements that make it safer for people riding bicycles on roads. As our friends and at CalBike noted in their overview of AB 1909, “(The bill) represents a considerable change in the way California treats bicyclists.” In its current form, the legislation:

  1. Creates a margin of safety for cyclists – motorists are to change lanes wherever possible when passing a cyclist on the road
  2. Makes walk signals apply to bikes too –  the legislation would permit bikes to start crossing the street with the pedestrian signal rather than waiting for the light to turn green for cars.
  3. Eliminates bicycle licensing ordinances – municipalities won’t be able to prohibit the operation of an unlicensed bike, though they can still offer voluntary licensing programs.
  4. Expands access for e-bikes –  the legislation clarifies where e-bikes can and can’t be prohibited. It will open more bikeways to e-bike riders while allowing them to be restricted on hiking and horseback riding trails by local agencies and municipalities

First look…

The initial version of the e-bike access language concerned some trail users, including cyclists. Namely, it removed the blanket prohibition of class 3 electric bicycles on bicycle paths, bikeways, bicycle lanes, equestrian trails, hiking, and recreational trails. The preliminary version also prevented local jurisdiction from prohibiting class 1 and class 2 electric bicycles on these same facilities.

CAMTB contacted Assembly Member Laura Friedman’s office and expressed its concerns with the blanket allowance of Class 3 electric bicycles on trails. Coalition members also expressed concerns that the bill, in its then current form, removed the local authority’s ability to prohibit class 1 and 2  electric bicycles. Consistent with CAMTB’s Statement on Electric Bicycles, it is the Coalition’s position that while we are generally in favor of Class 1 electric bicycles on trails, the decisions should ultimately reside at the local/community level.

Take two…

AB 1909 has since been amended and now, better reflects the Coalition’s position on electric bicycles. Specifically, “Local authority is authorized to prohibit the operation of any electric bicycle or any class of electric bicycle on an equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail.” Given this important amendment and the safety considerations for cyclists included in the bill, CAMTB is supportive of AB 1909’s revision of the vehicular code.

Bill Status:

  • Current Location (As of July 29): Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Recent Activities: 
    • Passed Senate Transportation Committee, Jun 14, 2022
    • Passed Assembly Floor May 2, 2022
    • Passed Assembly Appropriations Committee, Apr 27, 2022
    • Passed Assembly Transportation Committee, Mar 28, 2022

Compare Bill Versions: (source)

BOLT Act Gains Momentum

Photo: Kurt Refsnider courtesy of Bikepacking Roots

H.R. 6337 Bicycling On Long Distance Trails Act (BOLT Act), a bill to promote biking on federal lands across the United States and bolster the outdoor recreation industry cleared a significant milestone this week. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill and it now awaits discussion on the Senate floor.

If passed, the Biking on Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act will identify at least 10 existing long-distance bike trails. It will also identify at least 10 areas where there is an opportunity to develop or complete such trails.

The BOLT Act is supported by several outdoor recreation groups, including Adventure Cycling Association, Bikepacking Roots, the International Mountain Biking Association, and CAMTB.

CITIZEN CALL TO ACTION: There’s still time to support this important piece of legislation. Sign the Adventure Cycling Association’s petition to express your support of public biking trails to the Senate.

IMBA has been working with its Local and industry partners and other like-minded organizations to get the BOLT Act passed. Read the full bill here and see the bill’s timeline here.

Sierra Oddity Winner Announcement

Sierra Nevada Brewing, PAUL Component and CAMB team up to raise over $28,000 for state level trail advocacy in California!

This year CAMTB, Sierra Nevada Brewing, and PAUL Component partnered up to support state-level trail advocacy in California. This marks the third year that Sierra Nevada Brewing has commissioned a custom bicycle to support trail advocacy, and we are pleased to share that together we raised over $28,000!

And Sierra Oddity winners are…

The Grand Prize Winner is Mike Pountney of Alameda, California. Congratulations Mike! In addition to taking home this beautiful titanium single speed mountain bike from Oddity Frames, Mike will also be receiving a complimentary annual membership to the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay (BCTEB). BTCEB is one of 30 trail advocacy organizations affiliated with CAMTB.

Sierra Oddity Custom Bike

Grand Prize Winner: Custom Oddity Cycles Mountain Bike

Mike Pountney of Alameda, California

CAMTB also awarded two primo runner-up prizes. Jim Leissler of Portland and Sandor Lengyel of Lake Tahoe, each won CAMTB signature shirts from Kitsbow.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this campaign such a huge success. Thank you also to all of the new and existing supporters of CAMTB. More and Better Trails are coming your way soon.

First Runner Up Prize: CAMTB Kitsbow Icon Shirt

Winner: Jim Leissler of Portland, Oregon

Second Runner Up Prize: CAMTB Kitsbow Signature Henley

Winner: Sandor Lengyel of Lake Tahoe, California

The CAMTB Sierra Oddity

International Women’s Mountain Biking Day

Join us in celebrating all the daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers who ride!

Photo by Mike Schirf

International Women’s Mountain Biking Day is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in May. This year, Women’s MTB Day is on Saturday, May 7th, 2022. It’s a day for riders who identify as female to gather, experience, and share their love for mountain biking! Tag your ride photos on social with #WomensMTBDay!

And if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out Becky Timbers, Life on Two Wheels recent blog, which highlights some of the top female riders around the country.