Skyline Wilderness Park, Napa, CA
(host of the 2008 SSWC? Who knows...)
Aerial view of lombard section.
The last two videos include footage from the area referred to in the Mountain Bike Magazine article ("infestation of switchbacks").
Note: some very much less than bright people have confused my comments about the "trail work" at Skyline with some kind of indictment of the quality riding that is still to be had at the park. That is simply not true.
There is still plenty of great riding to be had in the park, if you know where to ride, and you're not afraid of a little bit of climbing. Even though some of the old great moves are gone, it's still a worthwhile destination for some great riding.
Manzanita trail at Skyline Wilderness Park in Napa California has been undergone some major changes over the past few years.
In preparation for the World Cup, and in order to make the trails more rideable for lame weekend warrior pansies, beautiful and challenging sections of singletrack were destroyed. The most technical sections were closed and rerouted and the rest has been bludgeoned with shovels and pick axes to the point that they are suitable for baby joggers and big wheels.
The reason that has been given by the trail rapists, err .trail workers, is that the Citizens Committee (read equestrians) wanted Manzanita to be easier for their 2000 pound post holers. This is amazing in light of the fact that there are numerous gentle trails that are available for the equines and their corpulent passengers.
Another reason is the weenie factor of certain riders. These are the folks who would rather destroy a section of trail they can't ride, rather than learn how to ride the super whiz bang bike that they got for Christmas..
To quote one idiot trail rapist (said gleefully, as I cleaned a rocky rutted stinger of a switchback climb), "Well, that's the last time you'll have to ride that!" He then proceeded to pummel that section of trail into mediocrity.
"Have to ride" for some folks is "love to ride" for the rest of us.
Erosion control needed??? It was friggin' solid ROCK! Note that the Rock
ledges have been chipped away and filled with loose, erosion-prone soil
and the ledges have been replaced with telephone pole logs.
Hmmm...let's see. Would I rather ride down boringly predictable telephone poles or would I rather ride a rocky, rooty, ledge strewn, erosion resistant mix of Ma Nature's finest?
Mountain Bike trail maintenance volunteers at Skyline = tools of the exclusionary equestrian Skyline Park Citizens Commitee
An explanation of the "exclusionary" part:
Napa World Cup venue nixed
This report filed August 6, 1999
By Kip Mikler
VeloNews Associate Editor
A citizens' association that manages Skyline Park, site of the Napa Valley World Cup mountain-bike race, has decided not to allow next year's race to be held there. After determining that muddy conditions at this year's race, held last March, caused excessive trail damage, the Skyline Park Citizens' Association board of directors voted against allowing the event to be held in 2000. The association's 16-member board is considering extending the ban to five years.
According to the Napa Valley Conference and Visitors Bureau, losing the event, which has been the World Cup season opener since 1997, could cost local businesses more than $500,000. In addition, the international television exposure that the event has brought to Napa Valley has been valuable.
"Napa Valley is very international in its scope, and the World Cup draws attention from places we target -- Asia, South America and Europe," said Daniel Howard, executive director of the Napa Valley Conference and Visitors Bureau. "The event really has a good synergy with the Napa Valley." Howard said the community hopes to find another venue in Napa Valley to host the event.
Officials at GaleForce Sports Marketing, promoters of Napa World Cup and other events including the Sea Otter Classic, were surprised by the decision. Rick Sutton, president of the company, told the Napa Valley Register that a 600- to 800-yard section of the five-mile course was damaged, but that the eroded area is being restored. Sutton also said that GaleForce pays the park $20,000 each year to hold the event and donates hundreds of hours of trailwork labor.
Yet another example of the sanitization of Skyline Wilderness Park's fine technical trails. This destruction has been done by "mountain bikers" (I use that term very loosely) at the behest of, or in collusion with, the equestrians who run the park.
A nice rocky shelf, obliterated and turned into an erosion hazard. This makes no sense whatsoever.
Once there was a nice section of Chaparral trail. It was almost fifty yards long.
It was California Slickrock, which is erosion-proof sandstone (erosion-proof on any scale except Geologic Time).
There were two nice off-camber drops that offered a good challenge, despite the high traction due to the sandstone.
Then some IDIOT decided to sanitize these NATURAL features and create an erosion-prone nightmare, replete with STEPS carved into the rock via application of a pickaxe.
Click on the images below to see the details.
The next victim?
Bayleaf Trail, part of the former World Cup course.
During a recent ride we made a disturbing discovery.......the mark of the Devil.
Evidently the equestrian/hiker committee have difficulty traversing this tame, albeit slightly off-camber, section of sandstone.
Their solution? Tear into the soft, and erosion prone, soils of the adjoining hillside.
A long view of the planned trail abuse.