Bike Park Gets New Lease

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

December 18, 2020

A young mountain biker gets some air in this photo taken in January 2016 at the grand opening of the Morro Bay Bike Park. The City just signed a new 5-year lease to keep the park open through August 2025.

Morro Bay’s off-road bike park will continue to operate for another 5 years, after the City signed a new lease with the property owner.

The City Council on Nov. 10 approved extending the bike park lease with Pacific Gas & Electric, which owns the bike park property on Main Street. The deal also includes the non-profit group, “Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers, Inc.,” which built the bike park and is responsible for its maintenance and operations.

In January 2015, the City and CCCMB entered into a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU for “the construction, maintenance and repair of a Bike Park,” reads a staff report from the City Manager.

That October, the City wanted CCCMB to provide proof of consent from PG&E but was “unable to meet PG&E’s insurance requirements; however, the City of Morro Bay’s insurance policy was and is fully compliant with PG&E’s requirements.”

So the City signed the lease and CCCMB has in essence a sublease that expired this past Aug. 31. CCCMB is required to pay PG&E’s rent of $500 a year and produce a “work plan” which lays out the intended use of the property.

“The MOU between the City and CCCMB,” City Manager Scott Collins wrote, “requires that group be responsible for all aspects of the PG&E agreement except indemnification and insurance.”

The bike park’s new lease expires Aug. 31, 2025 and the rent is still $500 a year, which CCCMB is responsible for but the City will pay should that group not be able to.

Construction on the Bike Park started in late 2015 after more than 2 years of work through the red tape and fundraising. The bike park was spearheaded by Bonnie Johnson, the City’s support services manager at the police department.

At the time, Johnson had children that were avid bike riders including a daredevil daughter that competed in downhill mountain bike racing. Johnson said she remembered years before when there was a small dirt track at the old Flippo’s Skate Harbor, a long-closed roller skating rink on Atascadero Road.

Though tiny and not very exciting, the little dirt track was well used and popular. It was a place for families to come together, she said.

The Morro Bay Bike Park was designed and constructed by Alex Fowler of Action Sports Construction of Santa Cruz who has built dirt tracks around the world including tracks for X Games and the Olympics.

The Bike Park cost about $30,000 to build, relatively cheap so far as public facilities go.
The Bike Park, located just north of Radcliffe Avenue on Main Street is free and open daily to the public. It is for BMX, mountain bikes, and any non-motorized bikes and is open to kids of all ages.

A parking lot on Little Morro Creek Road contains a sign listing the park’s rules that include wearing helmets at all times.
In his report Collins notes that mountain bike riding is popular around the world and it stands to reason would be popular on the Central Coast, which has numerous mountain and coastal trails most notably in Montaña de Oro State Park, which has great fame as a mountain biking destination.

“It is no surprise then that the Morro Bay bike park has become an increasingly popular recreational opportunity for Morro Bay residents and visitors during its first five years,” Collins said.

He added that CCCMB has been great partners on the park, “and have made numerous improvements to the track to coincide with the interests and desires of the biking community.”

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