Despite early morning showers, close to 700 mountain bikers participated in the Appetite Seminar (Turkey Day Ride) this past Thursday, Nov. 24. This year, bicyclists were asked to make a small sacrifice for Mother Nature by staying off Repack Fire Road, which all participants willfully honored.
The ride started in 1975 and has become a holiday tradition, in which mountain bikers ride the famous Pine Mountain Loop on Thanksgiving morning in order to build up a significant appetite for the afternoon feast.
This year the Marin Parks and Open Space and MMWD reached out to Marin's bicycle organizations and asked for help addressing an environmental concern. The unorganized activity traditionally ends with a ride down Repack Fire Road (aka Cascade Fire Road), which ultimately sends over 500 bicycles through Cascade Creek four times. The creek and the watershed support one of the largest populations of steelhead trout.
Representatives from the , Access4Bikes, BTC Marin and NorCal High School Cycling League huddled and decided to support a one-day closure of Repack, which represents a small portion of the overall route.
The organizations went to work letting the bicycle community know about the change to the traditional route. They recruited volunteers, who were stationed at key locations along the ride with maps showing the alternative route options. Rangers were also out at key locations to make sure bicyclists complied with the closure.
To everyone’s astonishment, there was 100 percent compliance with the closure. Not a single bicyclist came down into Cascade Canyon during the one-day closure.
A big thank-you to all who participated and cooperated this year. Marin’s bicycle organizations will be working with land managers to find a permanent solution that everyone can support.