By Nels Johnson
Fundraising to create an elaborate county bike park at Stafford Lake in Novato topped $290,000 this week as the county accepted a $25,000 donation from a mountain biking company that helped launch the sport. County officials accepted a $25,000 check from Patrick Seidler, CEO of Wilderness Trail Bikes of Mill Valley, a firm that supplied parts to Marin mountain bike pioneers decades ago.
Seidler, a former county trails committee panelist who advocates off-road cycling, took time in an appearance before the Board of Supervisors to praise the Stafford Lake plan as a “great model” — as well as boost single-track riding, saying Big Rock Trail indicates shared use of narrow trails is possible.
In return for the contribution, a perimeter trail at the park will be named after the firm, the business will be listed as a sponsor on the park website, and it may use the park logo in advertising, among other benefits.
Wilderness Trail Bikes joins others, including the Violich Family Foundation, which donated $50,000, and Mike’s Bikes, which also provided a $50,000 donation, in exchange for benefits in accord with a policy covering sponsorship of public facilities.
The bike fund, which has topped a third of the amount needed, includes a $50,000 challenge grant from county supervisors. The county also provided $182,000 for design and construction drawing work by consultants Hilride Progression Development Group.
The master plan calls for a sophisticated network of trails, configurations, challenges, riding zones and stations that can accommodate cyclists of all skill levels.
The facility is planned on a 17-acre northwestern segment of 139-acre Stafford Lake Park. It will include a learn-to-ride area; “pump” tracks for beginning, intermediate and expert riders; table-top jumps and hip jumps; elevated ladder bridges; a dual slalom track; skill stations and practice areas; a perimeter trail and shaded viewing areas.
A learn-to-ride area would be near the entrance to the park, followed by beginner and intermediate zones. An advanced zone would provide riders with technically demanding riding features including an advanced track with pumps, rollers and berm turns; advanced dirt jumps, and wood ramp takeoffs with dirt landings linked to curved wall rides.
Those interested in becoming a donor may call county principal parks planner Stephen Petterle at 473-6394.