July 17, 1993
Board of Directors
East Bay Regional Park District
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, California 94605-5369
Re: Mountain Bike Races in the Parks (e.g. Briones, 9/25/93)
Please deny any requests for "mountain" bike races in the parks! Your own regulations prohibit erosion-inducing activities (bulldozing of "fire" roads is another example of how you ignore your own policies, and facilitate erosion).
Several hundred knobby-tired, "macho" bike riders will do a lot of damage to the trails, as well as disturbing the wildlife, which have a preeminent right to be there. Your job is to protect wildlife, not drive it into hiding, or worse, squash it on the road.
Even ordinary hikers wouldn't be safe on the trail during such a race. You are obligated to protect our safety, but you are not obligated to rent out the parks for commercial exploitation.
Since Mt. Diablo State Park had the unusual courage to expel the cows, I would appreciate your following their example, and expelling the cows and bikes. Neither belong in a park.
A park is, by definition, supposed to be a place of refuge from human/urban noise and other excess and artificiality. You seem to have lost sight of what parks are for!
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.