Should Griffith Park Allow Mountain Biking?

Last week, I got a number of messages asking my reaction about the Griffith Park Advisory Board’s position against creating mountain bike trails for the off-road cycling events being held at the Park for the 2024 Olympic Games. As someone who cycles through the area on a weekly basis, my thoughts are pretty clear on the issue.

A mountain bike course would be a boon for the sport. There is so much space to the park, that you could have miles of trails close to such a high density of population.

You can already see how popular Mount Hollywood Drive is for road cyclists despite it’s shoddy conditions. Even Vista del Valle is better served on a mountain bike.


Road cyclists climb Mount Hollywood Drive despite the Moonscape

There is such a dearth of mountain bike opportunities along the Santa Monica Mountains east of Sepulveda, that any additional trails are badly needed.

Adding Mountain Biking to Griffith Park sounds like such a no brainer that you’d have to have a very compelling argument against to change minds.

Well there is one. Griffith Park’s beauty comes from the land’s naturalness which we need to preserve without damaging what fragile ecosystem there is.

The park deals with a great number of tourists, hikers and picnickers that already push the limits of upkeep to the park. Despite its size, there are times when Griffith gets really crowded, even on the trails. There is also a great deal of wildlife that reside within its limits that any added load will alter the living patterns of its inhabitants.

Factor in we’re in the middle of a drought and a number of dying trees had to be cut down, Griffith is liable to catch on fire at any moment.


Look! The only thing rarer than P22! A parking spot!

While you can see some of the fabulous work done by CORBA to help preserve some of the southland’s greatest trails, Griffith would be so highly used that trying to counterbalance that level of erosion would be pointless. I’ve already seen how terrible the park got during the Mount Hollywood Drive fiasco. Griffith doesn’t need any added load.

Adding Mountain Bike trails are a delicate situation anywhere that requires a lot more foresight than coming up with an attention grabber to make a few headlines. I don’t speak for all cyclists, but the ones I’ve talked to pretty much agree that mountain biking should be kept out.

Oh, let me say one more thing that will put both sides in their place: We are not getting the 2024 Games!

First of all, this was a hastily put together bid after Boston realized they couldn’t afford to swim with the big boys. Griffith01Sm
There are a lot of details within the application that makes little sense and maybe the Griffith Park Mountain Biking component was just meant to grab the committee’s attention.

Furthermore, and I’ve been saying this for the last four years, Europe is getting the 2024 Games. That continent has never gone more than three Summer Olympiads without hosting and a Los Angeles victory would be the first to break that trend.

My prediction all along is that we’d be getting the 2028 Games without much competition. Maybe by the next bid, we can think it out better…like a course through Universal Studios!!!