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Vandalism is putting SLO County's only bike park in jeopardy

Vandalism is putting SLO County's only bike park in jeopardy
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 00:19:27-05

The Morro Bay Bike Park is becoming more expensive to maintain, which could affect its future, after vandalism has made it challenging for the operator and volunteers to make sure the track is safe for riders.

Jordan Streder and his son, Ryan, have been coming to the bike park to ride for some time.

"We've been coming to the bike park for about six months or so, just as Ryan has been getting a little more into riding bikes," said Streder, a Morro Bay resident.

Vandalism to the park includes breaking down posts, and cutting chains and locks, which is making it dangerous for riders and pricey to operate.

The bike park was intended to be a community space where kids and families in San Luis Obispo County had a place to go and get outside.

However, rain and other weather conditions can make the jumps and track dangerous for riders, forcing the park to at times to remain closed.

But the recent vandalism by some who apparently want to ride anyway is beginning to take a toll on the park's operator.

"Unless people are donating the expenses for new wheelbarrows, and shovels, and rakes, and brooms, and posts, (it) comes out of my own pocket," said Bonnie Johnson, Morro Bay Bike Park operator.

Johnson says she spends $40 a month here and there but without cooperation from some riders, it's making it harder to come up with the money.

"That's becoming an expense that's hard, is kind of hard to swallow when I'm paying for it out of my pocket and people are just disrespecting the fact that this is a public community park," Johnson said.

Streder hopes people will follow the rules of the park, so that everyone will be able to keep their wheels turning.

"When people are out here causing trouble, it minimizes our opportunities to to be out here and the rest of the public who wants to come out and ride," Streder said.

Johnson said she hopes that people can respect the fact that when the park is closed due to rain or other reasons, it’s for their and the park's safety.

She says the park permit has one more year until it expires, and if they can't find enough people to step up and the vandalism continues, she might not able to renew it.