Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sand Hill Closing ?

Wow. This is not totally unexpected but still a bit of a shock. From a letter over at Lee Likes Bikes:
" I have just recently heard that the good folks at Sand Hill Ranch might be considering shutting down the bike section because of unknown reasons. I personally consider this a horrible thing to happen. If I had the opportunity to help them keep the area open or help maintain the park, I would."
For those of you unaware of Sand Hill, they are a gravity park devoted to dual slalom (mostly) in the East Bay. Luckily, Lee delves a little deeper into the issues for us:
According to co-owner Renee Anderson, there are no easy answers. The problems include (ed: I am paraphrasing here):
  • The owners don’t have the time or resources to run the park the way it needs to be run.
  • Attendance and income are very low.
  • Liability insurance is hard to get. And expensive. USA Cycling only covers races, not practice sessions.
  • Business has been declining over the past several years.
  • Good volunteers are impossible to find.
You can and should read the entire article (it is quite in depth) over at Lee Likes Bikes.

While I agree with everyone said in the article, I also believe that the rise of community MTB skills parks (like the ones in Folsom and Fresno) have cut into their audience. A lot of people want to practice the skills but not everyone wants to race (this is obviously wrong on many levels :) ).

Thanks to Brian B for pointing this out.

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