Edit ModuleShow Tags

The New Face of San Diego Mountain Biking

A Q&A with former elementary school teacher and Chula Vista resident Susie Murphy, who became executive director of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association in August 2015.


Published:

How did you get into mountain biking?

I started riding seriously around 1993 or so, when my husband started riding while carrying our daughter in a backpack. I was nervous he would get too crazy with her. When he rode in races without her he flew! I was just trying to keep up with them; I guess I picked up some skills along the way.

What is so great about the sport?

I like being outdoors, and mountain biking gets you farther than hiking. I like seeing my skills improve. I enjoy new places and challenging myself. Sometimes it’s hard. But it’s always rewarding.

Can you dispel the myth that mountain biking is for twentysomething men?

That is our hardest-to-reach demographic! SDMBA members and mountain bikers in general are 80 percent men between 40 and 60, and 20 percent women. I would love to balance these numbers out a bit. This myth is perpetuated by the advertising and Red Bull Rampage–type videos that come across social media.

What are SDMBA’s big accomplishments from the past year?

SDMBA volunteers had more than 35 trail work days last year, contributing over 3,000 volunteer hours on new projects, including completing the Manzanita Loop at Black Mountain Open Space Park. We installed seven trail tool stands around the county, which were funded by an REI grant. Cyclists love them and we love seeing selfies with the stations! Land managers have been pleasantly surprised at the positive response, and we’re working on approving more locations for future stations.

What’s the next project for SDMBA?

Our biggest project for 2017 is the opening of the Stowe Trail, which connects Santee to Poway. The legal opening of this trail has been a high priority issue, since [the only other trails in the area cross through MCAS Miramar, and] 50 bikes were confiscated by the Marines last year. SDMBA advocacy volunteers are also working on new riding options at Black Mountain, Mission Trails Regional Park, and Cleveland National Forest. We are also hoping to finalize a site with the county for a bike park.

Are there any similarities between working with kids and the bike community?

It all comes down to education—how to teach people to be responsible stewards and still enjoy their sport, and how to improve the trails and environment for future generations. Most mountain bikers are young at heart. They have to be inspired; that means having fun but being inspired to give back at the same time. There’s a balance between asking people to serve and volunteer and providing fun, quality events where everyone can enjoy their sport and each other.

Have you seen any progress?

SDMBA is making some impressive advancements with several agencies and jurisdictions around town, including the National Forest Service and the County of San Diego. Progress—as always—is slow, but there is an increased sense of energy in several areas.

 

Lightning Round

Favorite local trail: Anything at Laguna Mountain.
Currently riding: An Ellsworth Absolute Truth.
Clipless or Flats? Flats
Tire size: 27.5”+
Side gig: A coach for the Eastlake High School Mountain Bike Team.
Random qualifying position: A Girl Scout mountain bike camp counselor.
What’s cool about your job? All I get to think about is mountain biking and how to make it better for everyone. New friends, new trails, and new adventures.
Job perk? I’ve learned so much about the geography and history of our county even though I am a San Diego native.
Worst part of the job? Trying to understand how there are over 50,000 people who ride mountain bikes in San Diego and we only have 1,140 members.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Canned Tuna Sucks!

But Catalina Offshore’s new local, sustainable tuna doesn’t

Have a Beer with AleSmith’s Head Brewer Ryan Crisp

From the early days with a team of six, to one of San Diego’s biggest producers — he’s seen it all

AFP Announces Keynote Speaker for National Philanthropy Day

San Diego Charity News for August 14, 2017
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

9 Reasons You Need a Better Barber

Get the look and service you deserve at this East Village salon

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Jason Mraz Is Growing Coffee on a Farm in Oceanside
    We spoke to the musician about all the whys — why food, why farming, why Oceanside, why coffee?
  2. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2017
    The top tacos, chicken wings, seafood, burgers, kid-friendly eateries, breweries, and more
  3. San Diego Fourth of July Guide 2017
    Celebrate Independence Day all weekend long with fireworks, festivals, parades, drink specials, and more
  4. The Man Behind San Diego's $26 Billion Company
    Will Illumina's new hotshot CEO be able to lead the San Diego genomics giant into the complex world of clinical care?
  5. Celebrating Women: Shanna Missett Nelson
    Like a good dancer, the Jazzercise president has mastered her balance—of career, family, and life
  6. The Oceanside Revolution
    The North County city has gone from an all-but annexed coastal town by Camp Pendelton to a thriving bed of culinary and artistic success.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module