Honeybee Update 9/27/16

As of Friday, 9/23, there is bad news and good news about access to the Honeybee trail system.

First off, the bad news. As of October 1, access to State Trust land and the Honeybee trails via WAPA Trail 180 at Quiet Rain Lane will be closed by vote of the Honeybee Canyon Estates HOA. It is not a popular decision, nor is it the right or fair one, but the HOA has the legal right to restrict access.

Next, the good news. The MTB and trails communities have spoken, and the Town of Oro Valley and Pima County are listening. With huge turnouts at the last two Oro Valley Town Council meetings, and contact with a variety of elected officials, government staff, and the community at large, mountain bikers have made it clear how important the Honeybee trails are. While the Quiet Rain access point may be closed, temporarily or permanently, local trail users, Oro Valley, Pima County are working together to establish alternate access points as quickly as possible. Details will follow as they are available, hopefully by the end of next week. Your patience is appreciated.

In the meantime:

• PLEASE RESPECT THE CLOSURE. Again, the HOA has the legal right to restrict access, and the MTB community needs to show that we can follow the rules. Disregarding the closure will make working with Oro Valley and other stakeholders that much harder, and may jeopardize access to the trails (and preservation of the Honeybee trail system as a whole) in the future.

• GET YOUR STATE LAND DEPARTMENT PERMIT. The Honeybee trails are on State Trust land, which requires a relatively cheap yearly permit. While permit enforcement is rare, this is the only concrete way to show how many recreational users there are on State Trust lands, and to show that mountain bikers are a strong user group (make sure to check “Bicycling” as your primary use. Get your permit here:  https://land.az.gov/recreational-permit-portal

• USE ALTERNATE ACCESS POINTS. The only other “legitimate” access points to the Honeybee trails are via Rail X/Edwin Rd. in Catalina, or via Wild Burro trail from Dove Mountain. Be aware that Edwin Rd. is poorly maintained and high clearance/4WD is recommended. The trail crosses the road 2.6 miles West of Oracle Rd, and there is parking near the intersection. Check MTB Project or Trail Forks for maps.

• ACCESSING THE TRAILS VIA THE VISTA DE LA MONTANA METHODIST CHURCH: It has been reported that there is another access point at the Methodist Church on Oracle Rd. just South of Golder Ranch Rd. This is not an official access point, and SDMB can’t recommend that anyone uses wildcat trail to access State Trust land. However, the church has been contacted and are willing to let riders cross their land to get to the Honeybee trails. AT THE REQUEST OF THE CHURCH, PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON CHURCH PROPERTY, AND DO NOT INTERRUPT TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD IN TO THE CHURCH. If you choose to ride in through the church property, find alternate parking near Oracle and Golder Ranch.

• CONTINUE TO CONTACT THE ORO VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL, THE PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. Let them know that trail access (especially to the Honeybee trails) and mountain biking is important to you, especially if you are an Oro Valley resident. They are on our side on this issue, and Oro Valley was just recognized for their cycling infrastructure, so make sure to be polite and solution-focused!

 

Honeybee Canyon trail and access issue. What you need to know and what you can do.

honey bee

 

The Honeybee Canyon trail system contains about 27 miles of singletrack, it is situated to the Northwest of Tucson in the town of Oro Valley.  These trails are on state trust land, with the most common access point being a power company’s easement through a development. The dispute over this access point has reached a critical point where the HOA in charge of the area is planning on cutting off access as of the 1st of October 2016.

The PDF bellow includes everything you need to know, as well as what you can do, and the people you can contact to request that they preserve access and save the trails.

 

 

Honeybee WAPA Trail 180 fact sheet Sept 2016

 

 

There is also a city council meeting on September 7, please join us and let them know how important this issue is to the community.

Follow the link bellow to the facebook event for more info.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1775319896074285/

Honeybee Canyon/Tortolita Mountain Access Update

As most mountain bikers in Tucson are already aware, there are a number of access issues going on right now at Honeybee Canyon in Oro Valley. Representatives from the MTB community are in touch with the respective stakeholders to try to find solutions. Here is an update of the current situations. Most of this information has already been posted, but we wanted to get everything in one place.

Parking Issues at 1171 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd (Fast Rhino/Cop Shop):

First off, the property management who runs the commonly used parking area at 1171 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd (sometimes called the “Cop Shop”) has, for the time being, prohibited non-customers from parking there 7 days a week. This has always been a popular place to park for folks using the Honeybee trails and, and since the Como Rd. access was closed off it has seen a huge spike in use. Numerous road cycling groups also use the lot to start and finish rides, sometimes having as many as 50 plus riders. There have been issues with folks parking there for years, mainly due to some local residents who were hostile to bikes, but things came to a head recently with business owners citing overuse of the lot during business hours, public nudity due to riders changing before and after rides, a recent bike demo day that was not cleared with the owners, and some riders urinating and even defecating at the lot.

Until further notice, please do not park at the parking lot at 1171 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd. You will likely be towed. It is private property, and the owners are threatening to tow anyone who parks there for cycling purposes. Representatives from the cycling community are in contact with the property management company and are working hard to find solutions to maintain access, and we will update via Facebook and the internet as things progress. Please be respectful of the business owners at the Plaza; getting confrontational will not help us secure access.

Continue reading “Honeybee Canyon/Tortolita Mountain Access Update” »

SDMB needs your help at the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo!

Join Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists as we partner with Epic Rides and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company to run the beer garden at the 24HOP for the second year. This year, there will be a second beer garden up at the rock drop in addition to the main beer garden.

As the nonprofit running the beer gardens, all proceeds go directly to support SDMB’s advocacy efforts. We are finalizing a stewardship program with Pima County for county trails including Tucson Mountain Park, Sweetwater, Robles Pass, and Ridgeline Trail. SDMB is raising more than $3,000 to provide stewards with trail tools, training, and incentives to keep the trails we ride and love in great shape.

Shifts are only 1.5 – 3 hours long, so they fit in great between laps during the race. We need 5 volunteers per shift for the main beer garden, and 2 per shift up at the rock drop. Volunteers must be 18 or older. The Main Beer Garden is open from 2 PM – 8 PM on Friday, 11 AM – 9:30 PM on Saturday, and 10 AM – 3 PM on Sunday; the Rock Drop Beer Garden is open from 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM on Friday, 11 AM – 6:30 PM on Saturday, and 10 AM – 1 PM on Sunday.

Please follow the links below to sign up for shifts; there is a separate link for each beer garden. If you have any questions, email trailsteward@sdmb.org.

Link to sign up for the Main Beer Garden: https://doodle.com/poll/324cv4zqe3g7tc5q

Link to sign up for the Rock Drop Beer Garden: https://doodle.com/poll/8y5axbd76xb3gf2e

Thanks for pouring beer for trails!

January TLC Day- Sweetwater

When: Sunday, January 17th, 8:30 AM.
Location: Sweetwater Trailhead

Let’s give Sweetwater some love while we wait for the county to finish it’s review of the new Starr Pass trails! We will start by working on Saguaro Vista and Black Rock Loop, then hit Lost Arrow if there is time.

Meet at the TH at 8:30 and plan on working until noon. SDMB will provide all the tools we need, along with lunch and beverages for after the work day. All you need to bring are work gloves, water, and appropriate clothing.

Please RSVP in the comments on the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1646403618907381/ or emailtrailsteward@sdmb.org so we know how many lunches to get.

Starr Pass Build Day #1

After more than 18 months of planning, we are finally ready to start building new trail at Starr Pass! Join SDMB for our kickoff of an entire winter of trail building.

Sunday, December 20th

Meet at the Sarasota Trailhead at 8:30 AM, and plan on working until 12:30 PM. SDMB will provide all the tools; all you need to bring is work gloves, water/snacks, and appropriate clothing for a day in the desert.

Lunch and beverages after the event will be provided courtesy of SDMB.

Please RSVP to the following Doodle link so we know how many tools and how much lunch to bring:

https://doodle.com/poll/xefrw59xp5dfkwcn

Como Access into Tortolitas CLOSED

Late last week, representatives from SDMB, TORCA, and CASA met with area property owners and a representative from Saguaro Ranch with the end result being that the present trail access from Como Road being declared closed. Sadly, there were a number of events cited that lead to their decision, each of which reflect an escalation of behaviors and emotions with the closure of access being the only remedy acceptable by the property owners. Additionally, Saguaro Ranch is under new ownership, and in the near future, a larger gate was slated to be installed, further declaring the community as closed.

On the silver-lining side of the story, a meeting has already been scheduled with Marana’s Planning & Development and Parks & Recreation Departments to resurrect the plan for a new trailhead access to be granted (knowing that the current situation was not acceptable). More information will be coming out as comes available.

Obviously some will want to keep riding through this access, or certainly know people who will. Please don’t, and urge others not to as well. While it was the unfortunate build-up over several confrontations that lead to the road closure, it is these same people who have indicated support for the new trail alignment, and will encourage the owners of the two other properties to support the re-route that will benefit all. Continuing to add fuel to the fire will only jeopardize what remains.

This is where you come in.

Whether in the Tortolitas or elsewhere, we all like to have access to our favorite trails. Truth is, most people don’t even think about what it took to bring that trail to fruition. Every trail has had its challenges with property ownership, government agencies, and working with the natural habitat. Trails just don’t happen, which is why we need your help to make them happen. If you are not already a SDMB member, join today to help is continue our mission to Build, Ride, and Protect trails in the Tortolitas and all over Tucson.

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