A group of half a dozen mountain bicyclists, estimated at high school age, were seen on Friday racing their bikes in the Nature Area on the north side, where humans and dogs are not allowed. Not content with violating this area, they then repeatedly gouged the soft wet soil on the hill just east of the kite lawn in the southern part of the park.
A park visitor who tried to talk to these two-wheeled vandals reports that they showed attitude, became belligerent, and defiantly repeated the harm they were doing.
Mountain biking can be good clean fun when done on trails designed for the purpose. There are no such trails and there should not be such trails in Cesar Chavez Park. No activity tears up dirt trails for walking and hiking like mountain biking, and weekend warriors on dirt bikes can put walkers in fear of injury from collisions. There’s a club based in El Cerrito specifically formed to stop dirt biking in public parks.
It’s hard to imagine that this gang of destructive morons on big-ticket XC bikes are connected with any of the organized mountain bike clubs in the area. The singletracks.com local mountain bike trail map does not show any trails in Chavez Park. If this repeats, it will be time to lobby Berkeley City Council for an ordinance to ban off-pavement riding in the park.