San Diego

Local Bike Association Paves Way for New Trail in Black Mountain Open Space Park

Dozens of volunteers helped pave the way for a new bike trail in Black Mountain Open Space Park Saturday morning.

The recently sanctioned six-mile trail in the Rancho Peñasquitos area was years in the making, said Matt Bartelt, vice president of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) and the project’s lead.

It’s been in the works since 2010.

“This trail is unique in that it’s one of the first close-to-downhill or what’s called a flow trail, which means it will not require much pedaling to come down the hill, in San Diego approved in a long time,” according to Bartelt.

The process of legally creating a new bike path needs to follow rules set up by the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970.

“Just the paperwork alone can take five years,” Bartelt said. The actual construction part is just “the icing on the cake.”

The finishing touches are where SDMBA can get creative.

“We leave the rocks features here because we want to make sure we have features and interests for all users,” Bartelt said.

About 80 volunteers formed a production line of sorts to create the path.

In front, people were weeding, dethatching, and clearing brush. The next group then scrapes the area clean. And the final group benches the ground, which means to take the path’s slope and make it relatively level, Bartelt told NBC 7.

SDMBA said it’s carefully working around the protected plant life.

Near the trail is a group of barrel cacti which is a protected plant in California, according to Bartelt.

“[The trail] is protecting it by making sure people aren’t going to the areas that they shouldn’t be at,” Bartelt said.

Trails in general can help control access of open areas like the one at Black Mountain, according to organization.

“We’re advocating for the creation and improvement and continual access of trails,” Bartelt said. “San Diego needs more trails, period.”

Nearly a thousand members make up SDMBA.

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