Nov 3 is approaching quickly, and California Mountain Biking Coalition is encouraging all voters to weigh in on their local, state, and federal races and measures. This year, and per our mission, we sought out measures that directly impacted trail improvement and access for the trail riding community in California. As such, CAMTB is endorsing two local ballot measures this year: Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Measure T and San Francisco Measure A.
Measure A (Vote Yes). San Francisco’s recovery bond includes a number of important park improvements, including funding for trails. Some of these trails will be open to mountain biking. Measure A is a bond measure, but new bonds would only be issued as old bonds expire, maintaining the current capital spending level. Learn more at https://www.sfrecoverybond.com/.
Every Californian should already have received a ballot in the mail this year. Voter registration closes on October 19th, however, all eligible voters can register conditionally at their place of polling. Learn more at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections
Now more than ever it is apparent how precious access to our public lands is. Your $5, $50, or $5,000 contribution to the Easy Steezy campaign will help build trails and support the California Mountain Biking Coalition, and earn you a chance to win a limited edition Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL Founder’s Edition worth over $16,000.*
For every $5 you donate you get one entry to win. The more you donate, the better your chances to win!*
A winner will be chosen on September 12, 2020, so don’t procrastinate!
100% of the money raised goes to mountain bike advocacy
The Easy Steezy campaign by Access4Bikes (A4B) is raising money to build mountain bike trails in Marin County and support California mountain bike advocacy.
For every $5 you contribute, 75% goes into the Marin Trail Fund, established by A4B to fund trail building projects like Easy Grade Trail on Mount Tam. The iconic Easy Grade trail was originally built by the CA Conservation Corp’s in 1935 to access Mount Tamalpais, perhaps the most iconic peak in the entire Bay Area and the birth place of mountain biking. This trail is prohibited to bikes, forcing bikers to navigate the highly trafficked and shoulder-less Pantol Highway. State Parks has approved the change in use of the trail to allow bikes, and has approached the bike community to help fund raise to contribute to the over $400,000 in expected costs. Closing the funding gap will allow State Parks to proceed with permits and construction, connecting yet another piece of our access puzzle in Marin and taking us one step closer to a more connected network.
This bike is unlike any the world has ever known. Limited to just 250 bikes worldwide, the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL Founder’s Edition pulls out all the stops. The individually numbered Founder’s Edition comes with a very special build where it’s all in the details—gold foil graphics laid over Spectraflair paint in satin finish, a custom Power saddle with a matching gold “S” graphic, matching gold FOX fork and rear shock graphics, SRAM AXS wireless drivetrain with “rainbow” colored cassette, chain, and brake hardware, as well as two Range Extenders. Go here for more information.
Fund new trails, support California mountain bike advocacy, and win a dream bike. Easy Steezy.
For the complete rules, and to donate and get a chance to win vist Giving Fuel.
We’re pleased to announce that on June 22, 2020, CAMTB received our nonprofit determination letter from the IRS. We are official!*
With the challenges to getting things done during a pandemic, this took much longer than expected. The delay didn’t prevent us from getting things done: commenting on federal policies and rulemaking processes, supporting legislation that bring more resources to public lands and trails, engaging with other potential partners and member organizations, and providing a forum for discussion among MTB clubs around California.
*Though we are now officially a nonprofit organization, as a 501c4, donations to CAMTB are NOT tax deductible.
In Spring 2020, CAMTB conducted a survey of mountain bike organizations around California, to help inform the development of public comments on the Department of the Interior’s rulemaking process for Electric Bikes.
The findings were presented in a public virtual conference call, and CAMTB submitted comments to the four agencies under the Department of the Interior. Our submitted comments are consistent with the statement below.
This statement is a draft “living” document that we intend to re-visit as needed to best comply with changing regulations, demographics, and community needs. We welcome your feedback
CAMTB STATEMENT CONCERNING ELECTRIC BICYCLES
DRAFT – JUNE 10, 2020
After much research, review of other policies and input from advocates across California, The California Mountain Biking Coalition (CAMTB) Board of Directors has developed this draft statement that reflects the input received from our membership organizations regarding e-Bikes and e-Mountain Bikes (e-MTB), hereafter referred to as “e-bikes”.
CAMTB is an organization which was born from the self-identified need to build consensus among off-road cycling and trail organizations across California. With e-bikes rising in popularity and quickly becoming a significant and growing user group both on and off-road, CAMTB believes it is in everyone’s best interest to provide clear guidance to public land managers and the communities in which we all ride regarding where and how these new and quickly evolving bicycles should be allowed. Technology is quickly improving with lighter and more integrated systems creating difficulty identifying e-bikes from traditional bikes while out on the trail. E-bikes have benefited bike shops and bike manufacturers as sales of these bikes are on the rise. Cyclists have also experienced the benefits of this new technology, allowing them to continue to enjoy the outdoors when potential health and mobility challenges might otherwise prevent or seriously limit their saddle time.
Notably, California State Vehicle Code defines e-bikes as non-motorized bicycles; as long as its power output is no more than 750 watts, it has a saddle, includes fully operative pedals, and meets the criteria of the following classes according to California Vehicle Code 312.5:
Class 1: E-assist only while pedaling, with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.
Class 2: Can be propelled solely by the motor, with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.
Class 3: E-assist only while pedaling, with a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph, and has a speedometer.
CAMTB’s intent in releasing an e-bike policy is to ensure that:
The management baseline for the various classes of e-bikes is clearly understood and implemented in a consistent manner on publicly managed lands.
California public land managers introduce e-bike access on non-motorized trails in locations where the new technology may be appropriate and that decisions affecting where all types of bikes are allowed are made in consultation with local bicycle advocates and interested parties.
E-bike management objectives for paved or otherwise improved surface non-motorized trails are separate from e-bike management objectives for natural surface and single track trails.
Single track trail access is limited to Class 1 e-bikes only.
E-bikes are clearly and consistently labeled in a manner that makes their identification by a layperson as different from entirely human-powered bikes easy and quick.
All rules applicable to traditional bicycles apply to electric bicycles when they are being ridden.
As growing evidence indicates, that when ridden responsibly, the trail impact of e-bikes is no greater than that of traditional bikes. Knowing this, CAMTB supports the use of Class 1 e-bikes on all traditional natural surface trails, unless there are specific circumstances to prevent such use. Such circumstances include a public or private land manager who restricts their use, or a riding area or trail condition that justifies prohibiting e-bike use. In keeping with CAMTB’s core tenet of supporting local control and engagement in making decisions affecting land use, CAMTB only supports such restrictions or allowances when the local cycling and multi-use trail community is included and engaged in the decision-making process.
Summary Position: CAMTB supports Class 1 e-bike use on all legal trails unless their use is posted as prohibited by the land manager. CAMTB also supports Class 1 and Class 2 e-bike access to roads, bike lanes and non-motorized paved and improved surface recreational trails, unless specifically restricted or signed closed by the local jurisdiction. CAMTB does not support the use of Class 2 or Class 3 bikes on natural surface trails, but supports their use on streets and unimproved natural surface routes open to vehicular traffic or areas designated for off-highway vehicle or motorcycle use. Lastly, CAMTB believes prominent and consistent labeling for all e-bikes containing the classification number, top assisted speed, and motor wattage should be added to all e-bikes.
CAMTB asks that cyclists check and follow local regulations prior to riding an e-bike and reminds all riders that the trail etiquette for e-bikes is the same as for all other bicycles; please yield to equestrians and hikers on shared-use trails and obey all relevant rules, including speed limits.
On April 8, 2020, four federal agencies under the Department of the Interior announced proposed rules governing the use of electric mountain bikes. The rules are available for review and open for public comment.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management were required to update their respective regulations to accommodate e-bikes under the Secretary of the Interior’s order 3376. That order directed agencies to create a clear and consistent e-bike policy on all federal lands managed by the Department. The rule would also support Secretary’s Order 3366, to increase recreational opportunities on federal lands. From the BLM:
“The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to amend its off-road vehicle regulations at 43 CFR part 8340 to add a definition for electric bikes (e-bikes) and, where certain criteria are met and an authorized officer expressly determines through a formal decision that e-bikes should be treated the same as non-motorized bicycles, expressly exempt those e-bikes from the definition of off-road vehicles.”
In our initial reading of the BLM’s draft rule and the NPS draft rule, there are few surprises. They generally encourage local unit managers to allow electric bikes, used only in pedal-assist mode, to be ridden anywhere bicycles are allowed. They allow local unit Superintendents to open or close trails to e-bikes on a case-by-case basis, with the preference being open. Again from the BLM:
“The proposed rule would direct authorized officers to generally allow, through subsequent decision-making, Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes whose motorized features are being used as an assist to human propulsion on roads and trails upon which mechanized, non-motorized use is allowed, where appropriate. The authorization for Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes whose motorized features are being used as an assist to human propulsion to be used on roads and trails upon which mechanized, non-motorized use is allowed, would be included in a land-use planning or implementation-level decision.”
While there are subtle differences in each agency’s proposed rules, they all define and allow for the use of class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes, much the same as the classes enacted in California state legislation AB1096. Similar classes have been advocated for around the country by People for Bikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (who merged in 2019).
The rule removes electric bikes ridden in pedal-assist mode from the classification of OHV or motorized vehicle. Presumably then a Class 2 or 3 e-bike ridden without pedaling and operated by throttle control is still considered motorized, though this isn’t explicitly stated, and we’re unsure how this may be enforced.
To provide your own comments go to regulations.gov, search for the docket number for each agency to which you’d like to provide comments:
National Park Service: RIN 1024-AE61
Bureau of Land Management: RIN 1004-AE72.
US Fish and Wildlife Service: HQ-MB-2019-0109
Bureau of Reclamation: 1006-AA57
Follow the instructions there to provide your comments. Each agency is requesting information from the public on the potential social and physical impacts of e-bike use on public lands. They will give much more weight to “substantive” comments citing studies, legislation, reports, or other items of substance.
CAMTB is currently taking a survey of e-MTB conditions. experiences, and local organizations dealing with e-MTBs from around the state. Once that survey is complete, we’ll be developing our own official comments on the new e-MTB rules.
In these unprecedented times when we’re making new adaptations daily, nonprofits such as those serving and representing the mountain biking community throughout the country are facing the downturns that typically follow an economic collapse. But this is so much more. People’s lives are at stake, and public health and safety take precedence. The resilience of our funding sources, our respective nonprofit missions, and the future of our sport and the world as we know it seem at stake.
Several stimulus packages with the goal of mitigating economic and social impacts, and reducing the foreboding economic forecasts have been considered and enacted. There are more are in the works.
Some of the stimulus packages may be of direct benefit to some California mountain biking and trail advocates, especially those with paid staff. There may be opportunities to get stimulus funding for shovel-ready projects. There even may be new opportunities to fast track and save precious time off approval and funding for projects for beneficial community projects and infrastructure, such as trails.
With that said, here are some first-line resources that may help some of our more active and professionally-run trail and MTB organizations around California. These have information about applying for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We encourage you to share this time-sensitive information with other nonprofits who could benefit.
· FMA’s Payroll Protection Toolbox, which includes a PPP calculator, template for board resolution to authorize the loan, and a script for talking to your bank about PPP.
We know this sucks. Let’s do all that we can to get back to normal. We are committed to protecting the health of the public and mountain bikers. Here are some things you can do to keep everybody safe, to get back on the trail, and to keep the trails open:
STAY HOME IF YOU’RE SICK. Period. This goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway – if you’re sick, or you’ve been in contact with somebody who is, you need to stay home. Work on your bike, watch videos, but stay off the trail.
MAINTAIN YOUR DISTANCE. AT ALL TIMES maintain a safe, responsible social distance. Keep a minimum of 2-3 bike lengths between riders, on and off the trail. Do not ride in large groups. Do not hang out pre or post ride. Always allow ample passing room for other trail users.
GO FOR A SOLO SPIN. Tell people where you’re heading, then head out for a solo ride. This helps us all maintain our distance, and still gets you on the trail. It also might help keep you sane.
KEEP IT SMALL. If you must ride with other people, only ride with your housemates, family you live with, or those with whom you already have close physical contact.
STICK TO OPEN PARKS. Only ride open trails, from open trailheads. With plenty of closures in the future, let’s be part of the solution rather than the problem.
FIND A LESSER-USED TRAILHEAD. People are heading out in record numbers. If you’re fortunate enough to know of more remote, lesser-used trailheads, please plan your ride so that you start there. Refrain from driving to trailheads.
RIDE TO YOUR RIDE. If you are able to ride to a trailhead, do so. Keep the cars off the road, out of the gas stations, and away from congested areas. Balance this with avoiding crowded or closed trailheads.
SLOW IT DOWN. Ride smart, ride safe. Now is not the time to push your riding skills. The last thing you or the rest of the community wants is for a rider to wreck and end up in a hospital, adding more strain on our EMS system and taking up valuable resources. Plus, you’ll also be able to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors for a longer period of time if you slow your roll.
TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS BEFORE HEADING OUT. Many public restrooms are closed – make every effort to make sure nature doesn’t call while out on the trail.
NO SNOT ROCKETS. We get it, and usually we accept it – but if you need to blow your nose, use a hanky. If you need to sneeze, do it into your elbow.
NO SHARING. Now is not the time to share gear, food, drinks, or tools. Sorry. If you have a mechanical issue, sanitize tools and gear before sharing and again before taking it back.
PROTECT YOURSELF. Bring a small “to go” packet of hand wipes, disinfectant spray, and maybe even some soap to use with your own water. Hopefully you won’t need this, but just in case you do it’s better to have it than not.
GET OUT. As mountain bikers, we’re able to get away from trailheads quickly, and we’re able to get farther out than other trail users – let’s use that to our advantage.
LEAVE NO TRACE. Pack out what you pack in, just like always. Garbage collection is limited.
BE NICE. SAY HI. Use our sport to be a positive influence on the people around you. Remember, other trail users are likely extra stressed – don’t add to it. This is a great time to show that mountain bikers are responsible trail users, and support the broader community. It’s also an easy time to screw it up. Don’t blow it.
Our Founder’s Round of funding is ongoing. Donors know that they will be receiving a CAMTB T-shirt for donations of $100 or more. We’re super excited to announce that those T-shirts will be organic cotton, sewn in the USA, custom Kitsbow T-shirts. We’re excited to have Kitsbow on board as an apparel sponsor.
With a shared passion for trails and advocacy, Kitsbow understand the importance of having a voice in Sacramento to speak for California mountain bikers. They’ve taken their support one step further. Generous donors who donate $1000 or more will receive a CAMTB custom Kitsbow Icon Shirt in a style of their choosing, with the CAMTB logo.
“There are few pieces of equipment in my mountain biking collection as important to me as my Kitsbow Icon shirt which is hands down the most loved piece of clothing I own,” said Jake Bayless, CAMTB President. “Kitsbow was born in California, and it makes all the sense in the world that their company sees the promise that CAMTB holds here for all of us – more trails and better trails.”
Founding donors will have a hand in creating awareness for local clubs across the state, developing messaging that will foster a positive image of mountain biking to emphasize education, diversity, and healthy lifestyle choices, supporting lobbying efforts in Sacramento and building an effective and collaborative resource hub for trail advocacy best practices.
“The trails we ride on are the very foundation of mountain biking, and it’s so special to us to be able to support efforts like CAMTB who are committed to making a difference,” said David Billstrom, CEO of Kitsbow. “With our roots in California, we couldn’t be more aligned with CAMTB and the recognized need for a stronger voice for mountain bikers across the Golden State.”
Kitsbow are known for their high quality and meticulous attention to detail. They were established in Sonoma County, California eight years ago by dedicated mountain bikers and apparel industry veterans. Because their designers have logged years in the saddle, each detail is obsessively considered. Every element — down to zippers and reflective piping — is vetted for quality, style, and durability. Kitsbow already makes over 50% of its products in the U.S.A. and is on track to be making all of its products in-house by 2021. To learn more about Kitsbow, visit kitsbow.com.
With a founder’s round of funding well underway (thank you donors!) the CAMTB board of directors have been busy planning our next steps. We’re all eager to ramp up our advocacy and lobbying efforts as we put together the administrative base for the organization.
To that end, on January 28, 2020, we held an all-day strategic planning session with a recently contracted organizational consultant. It was the first time our Board were able to meet face to face, instead of our weekly conference calls.
The Marin Museum of Cycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in Fairfax, California, graciously hosted our meeting. It seemed an appropriate place to plan for the future of mountain biking in California, surrounded by its history. We appreciate their support.
Of course, with the CAMTB board together, a lunch time bike ride was included on the schedule. Split Rock Tap and Wheel provided a delicious lunch, and loaner bikes for board members Steve Messer and Susie Murphy, who had travelled from Southern California for the session.
We rode the Tamarancho loop, where board member Vernon Huffman was able to show off some of his recently completed trailwork projects.
The session ended with us having a much clearer path forward as we prepare for the California Trails and Greenways Conference, Sea Otter, and the upcoming November election.