The number of negative biker related incidents reported at various riding areas around the state of Arizona has been on the rise. There has been increased pressure on the land managers to do something about it. Without a viable solution, there is a very good chance that the number of trails that allow mountain biking will shrink or in some areas, disappear entirely!
One such area that was under heavy scrutiny is the South Mountain Park. "SoMo", as some of the locals call it, has seen more than its fair share or biker/hiker conflicts lately. A group of local riders decided that it was time something was done and a group of concerned riders met with the South Mountain Rangers to discuss establishing a bike patrol. When presented with the idea of someone else acting as additional “eyes and ears” of the Park, the Rangers were ecstatic and stated that they were behind the project 100%. The Rangers then brought the plan to the Park Supervisors who gave it their endorsement. After a donation from the MBAA and REI to fund most of the start-up costs, the Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol ("CAMBP") was launched.
CAMBP will operate under IMBA’s guidelines of the National Mountain Bike Patrol. The bike patrol will provide assistance to any and all park visitors through providing directions, assisting in basic bicycle maintenance, and administering first-aid to injured riders. We will also provide regular reports regarding changing trail conditions, user trends and areas that have increased violations. The Rangers will be able to make use of this information to identify areas that may need special attention or additional supervision.
It should also be noted that both the Rangers and the Park Supervisors were surprised that it was the "mountain biking community" that approached them with a solution and not some other user group. For once, we are the "good guys"!! We hope that our efforts will go a long way in ensuring that mountain bikers will have full access to all trails of Arizona and South Mountain for many years to come. If you would like to learn more about becoming a member of the Bike Patrol, click on the "How Can I Help?".