Past Projects

Founded in 1994 by a group of friends that wanted more places to ride, SDMBA has since been the driving force behind an impressive number of accomplishments - 

Appendix Trail/Del Mar Mesa

Allen Kashani of Pardee Homes came to SDMBA in the fall of 2015 looking for assistance in building a single track trail in canyons of one of their recent developments on Del Mar Mesa.  The houses were built upon an area loved by many riders for a trail system formerly known as The Intestines.  Many riders were saddened upon the development of the property.  This new quarter mile Appendix trail pays homage to and set in the canyons below the original location of the now lost trails. This was one of the first ventures between SDMBA and a developer.  The build was financed by Pardee construction but completely overseen by SDMBA under the leadership of Trail Liaison Matt Bartelt and built by over 100 dedicated volunteers contributing more than 600 hours time to complete the trail in one build season.

In the late fall of 2015, trail leads met with the Pardee representatives, biologists, and landscapers to scope out the work.  The best path, allowing for distance, grade, and sensitive habitat was laid out with flagging tape.  In spring of 2016, a 4 foot wide corridor was cut through heavy brush following the flagging tape.  The first build day was part of the IMBA's now defunct Trail Crew.  Half of the day was dedicated to teaching new builders as well as city staff the proper techniques for building sustainable trails.  About 1/4 of the trail was cut this day.  Over the coming weeks, multiple one day builds attracted people from all over San Diego.  Bike riders, equestrians, hikers, students, private citizens, and city officials all lent elbow grease to complete the task.  Pardee graciously provided irrigation to assist in the completion of a section of trail that became too dry and hard to effectively cut and mold into a trail.  It was a perfect storm of cooperation.  

By late spring the trail was complete and word of the trail spread fast.  The ribbon cutting was attended by city officials, Rangers, Pardee officials and SDMBA representatives.  The mood of cooperation forged in this project has spread to other areas of the city.  It has helped create a good relationship between the City of San Diego, Pardee Homes, and SDMBA that helps forge new trail opportunities to this day.  Seen as a positive in a community that saw trail contractions only a few years before, the trail is a welcome addition to the Los Penasquitos trails system.

Map link on MTB Project

Trail Design and Construction on Black Mountain

In early 2010 a task force was formed to update the Black Mountain Open Space Park master plan.  Working with the community and trail users, Rod Simmons and Senior Ranger Ed Christensen walked the surrounding hills to find optimal routes to take advantage of the terrain.  The process would involve multiple agencies and a great amount of review.  It took nearly 5 years for the master plan update was completed in 2014.  It included proposals for nearly 10 miles of trails, acquisition of private land, and several new trail heads to accommodate the ever growing user base.

Starting November 2014, the first new trail construction began with the start of the Lilac Canyon trail.  It would connect the Glider Port parking lot with the Miner’s Ridge trailhead parking lot.  In early 2015, the Awhee trail linking the Lilac Canyon to the Black Mountain Open Space Ball Fields was built.  The event was supported by 120 volunteers and the 7/8th mile trail was completed in one day.  These two trails removed all trail users from the nearby Carmel Valley Road, greatly increasing safety and the user experience.  In May of 2015, City Council Member Mark Kersey, Black Mountain Ranger Staff, City Open Space Representatives, and Trail Leads Rod Simmons and Matt Bartelt, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the trail segments to public use.  Both trails received high praise for their design and functionality.  For the first time, users could circumvent Black Mountain without ever leaving a trail. 

The following fall/winter of 2016 the trails on the East Ridge of Black Mountain were started.  Utilizing American Conservation Experience (A.C.E), the corridors were cleared in anticipation of a large trail build season. Starting in December and meeting every Saturday until early April, 2017, over 250 different volunteers representing all facets of the trail user community hiked with tools to the trail build site.   By the end of the build season, another 2 ½ miles of single track were added, allowing better access to the East Ridge trail complex.

On the west side of the mountain there is an old jeep scar known as Black Widow.  A plan has been designed to incorporate some of the original line while creating a sustainable trail with reinforced turns and lesser grades to make the trail multi-directional.  The plan has conditional approval and is awaiting formal approval from the City of San Diego.  The start date will be late 2017. 

Read more about future work here...

San Diego Canyonlands Partner Project

This collaborative effort involved San Diego Canyonlands, SDMBA, and the San Diego Urban Corps and was funded by an Opening the Outdoors Grant from the San Diego Foundation. 
Planning for the enhancement and completion of the Chollas Creek Trail (1 mile trail between 54th and Euclid) and the Swan Canyon Trail (1/4 mile connection) began in late 2016 and work was completed over a series of work days in the spring of 2017.  Learn more about San Diego Canyonlands and their ambitious urban trails plan HERE. 

Bernardo Summit Trail Rehabilitation

An enthusiastic group of volunteers supported by a grant from REI assisted the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and SDMBA in rehabilitating the bottom portion of the Bernardo Summit Trail in April 2017.  This well traveled section which includes a few switchback turns had suffered some damage from the heavy rains.  The efforts of the volunteers under the supervision of the San Dieguito River Park rangers improved the conditions and drainage capabilities of this trail.    

Bike Tool Stations

In 2015, SDMBA received an REI grant to purchase bike tool stations with pumps to place at various locations around the county.  BikeFixation was settled upon as the supplier for these trail side amenities.  The first one was installed on the north shore of Lake Hodges in the San Dieguito River Park and was an instant success.  Ranger David Hekel and SDMBA volunteers Matt Bartelt, Rod Simmons and Kerry Waldman became experts at getting these in the ground.  Other stations started to pop up around the county with the help of volunteers and land managers.  The latest station was installed in July, 2017 at Del Dios Gorge at the Santa Fe Trail with the help of Ranger David Hekel, Victor Sheldon of Quick N' Dirty Racing, and the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy.  Other locations include Black Mountain (2), Tiki Hut at Sweetwater Reservoir, Daley Ranch, top of Powerline Climb at Penasquitos Canyon, Mission Trails, and Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.  

Interactive Map with Tool Station locations

Bell Boxes

One of the main concerns of SDMBA, is sharing the trails with everyone. Having a signal for trail users to know that a mountain biker is coming goes a long way to happy sharing of trails. While first started as a way for hikers to let bears know of their presence, bear bells attached to mountain bikes make it very easy for hikers, equestrians, and other bikers to not be surprised by an oncoming mountain biker. This helps everyone have an enjoyable time in nature, helps prevent misunderstandings, and improves safety.
SDMBA’s first set of bike bells were provided through a generous grant from our friends at REI in 2014. Bell boxes are currently maintained at Noble Canyon, Mission Trails and Tijuana River Valley.