In Lompoc, some trails and parks have started to reopen following last month’s damaging storms, but one local bike park that is maintained by community volunteers is still yet to do so.
Dave Baker, River Bend Bike Park Committee Chairman, says the heavy rainfall on January 9 submerged the site's parking lot in two feet of water, preventing access to the entry gates.
As the rainwater has now subsided, Baker says he and other volunteers have been working to resurface bike jumps, pull overgrown weeds and get the park back in shape to reopen.
Baker says that by design, the River Bend Bike Park typically does a good job of draining water properly, but he admits the continued downpour on January 9 overwhelmed their resources, leaving them unable to reopen.
Lompoc residents walking other nearby trails recalled the damages from the storm.
“When the really big rain hit, the trails basically got flooded with a mud river and that was closed up for a few days in this lower area down here,” David Rentschler said.
“Compared to a month ago, they are a lot better. They still need some cleaning up to do. They came in and moved a lot of mud off of the trails because they were completely covered after the storm,” added Mike Woods, who also frequently walks Lompoc’s trails.
But while the trails neighboring River Bend Bike Park have since been cleaned up by City of Lompoc Parks and Recreation crews, a lock still remains on the gate outside the popular BMX and dirt bike destination since its upkeeping is solely dependent on volunteer support.
“I know it is an all-volunteer situation. They keep it cleaned up and have their equipment to clean it because they have to get out there and get a lot of the weeding out of the way because it is covering up the trails where the kids would normally ride the trails in there,” Woods said.
Baker says that after a typical rain, the River Bend Bike Park usually closes for one-to-two days to allow time for maintenance, but after last month’s storm hit, it has now exceeded a month since the park has reopened.
Volunteers are invited to come out to the site this Sunday at 8 a.m. to assist with the cleanup.
Sunbelt Rentals in Lompoc also donated a tractor that has been used in the volunteer efforts.
Baker adds that the City of Lompoc provides the land, water and trash services for the River Bend Bike Park but its maintenance is under the responsibility of the nonprofit organization, Lompoc Trails.