Video: Passionately Advocating for Mountain Bike Access in Marin County, California

Apr 2, 2019 at 10:00
by Freehub Magazine  

Beyond Dedication // Vernon Huffman's Pursuit of Passion

Vernon Huffman doesn’t take short cuts. When he wants a certain IPA, he brews it. When he sees the opportunity for a trail, he builds it—legally. When he wants to give mountain bikers access to the amazing trails of Marin County, he fights tirelessly, through legislation and litigation. As the president of the Access4Bikes Foundation, a Marin-based advocacy group, Huffman has been leading the charge for mountain bike access in the birthplace of the sport. His dedication is beyond mountain biking though, and his cause is not simply access, but rather fighting for what you believe in, with dignity and endless passion—something visible in every aspect of Huffman’s life.

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MENTIONS: @FreehubMag / @Vernonator / @Specialized


  • 21 0
 I applaud your pursuit of access. Based on what I’ve heard about Marin county, seems easier to move. Here in the Seattle area there’s ton of community support and buy in. Its an unfortunate state of affairs for the birthplace of mountain biking, but is the product of the people’s mindset inhabiting the area. If Americans politics are any show of the inflexibility and lack of adapbility in people here, there’s a long road ahead to access.
  • 11 30
flag clink83 (Apr 2, 2019 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 Both sides are right and wrong, mountain bikers ignore their environmental impacts and largely do little to help with conservation and burn political capital trying to gain access to wildernesses, and conservation groups do little to embrace the mountain biking community when they are a great resource to get work done, and could bring more people into the fold and get them involved in land conservation.
  • 2 0
 Wow great comment!!! I definitely agree!!!
  • 3 0
 I've lived in both places and I have to say that the resistance to mountain biking in Marin, the friggin' birthplace of mountain biking, is frustrating at the very least. I don't get it. I think it's just a bunch of old rich people, grouchy rich people, who just need to....ahem....."move on" and then maybe things will change there. Whereas in Seattle it's go go go, build build build. Now if only the winters up there were a little less....uh....gray. After 12 winters up there I could no longer handle the lack of sun. But the mountain biking is probably the best in nation.
  • 13 0
 I think there's a correlation between population density and land use policies. The people that complain about mountain biking in the Bay Area live in areas where land is aplenty. Yes, it's the politics, but it's a result of a lot of people vying for little resources, simple as that. That's not politics--that's humans. In Marin County, you then have a highly educated populace with access to time and money, a great combination if you want things to lean your way (i.e., hire Jacoby & Myers to keep those pesky kids from interrupting your cognac tasting party in your 10 acre estate).

A mountain lion's habitat is about 30 square miles. Encroach on that and people start getting attacked. Imagine that.
  • 5 0
 @singletrackslayer : I agree. I've lived in CA for working purposes for 3 months at a time and it was so apparent to me how population density really affects recreational land use. One thing I love about where I live (NM) is that there's more open land for recreation than you could ever get tired of in a lifetime. I feel for the people that don't get to enjoy open space on a regular basis.
  • 12 0
 It's mostly politics. Marin County has significantly more undeveloped open space than Bellingham does, and is less densely populated as well. Guess which place has more trails? It's really more of a function of NIMBYs with vast amounts of wealth with which to advocate for their beliefs in the legal system. The fact that mountain biking originated in Marin isn't great for land access either. Many of the policies that are still in place originated as knee-jerk reactions to a sport that was at the time barely recognized as a sport at all
  • 14 1
 I applaud your efforts, but I'd never return to Marin county to visit again. The only place I've ridden my bike where a guy stopped me to say he was calling the Sheriff's office for unauthorized use of public trails. I tried to show him how the trail was legal and on Trailforks with links/description/etc of the local trail riding association stating how the trail was legit. Guy didn't care. Became aggressive and threatening. Odd thing was he said he was also a mountain biker, but still disagreed about riding local legal trails. Ride out of town. I sent an email to the local trail association and apparently that's normal and interactions with local jerks are a normal thing. I've never heard of such a thing where I'm from. Ride your bike somewhere else.
  • 3 0
 true, but there are also good stories. i've had hikers tell me, on many occasions, that a ranger was waiting at the bottom of a trail, so that i could turn back. not everyone is a piece of shit, but it tends to be that the bad outweighs the good... but yeah ride your bike somewhere else.
  • 1 0
 @sosburn: haha a positive interaction was that a friggin' ranger was waiting to get you in trouble? Sounds awesome, everybody head to Marin country asap!
  • 16 0
 Marin County - the birthplace of "get off my lawn"
  • 4 0
 Yea sounds like some snooty douches live there
  • 13 0
 Burnin' Vernon - doing LIFE way better than me. Cool to see the Stafford rangers send it.
  • 4 0
 I've never seen a Ranger on a bike so that was really awesome to see!
  • 11 2
 so great and relaxing to watch a video what the sport is really about, no "shredding and ripping" like in most copy/paste vids, ahhh and no pick up trucks;-)
  • 1 0
 Hear hear! I'm with ya on that!
  • 10 0
 Keep up the good fight!
  • 5 0
 What a hero. It seems like Vernon is turning the tide in Marin. Up here in Squamish, political entities that oppose biking get voted out. There’s a majority of people that support trails and biking and multiple user groups on trails. The same thing is in North Van, Whistler and in countless other communities in B.C. It’s because of guys like Vernon that it’s like this up here. Keep fighting the good fight,Vernon.
  • 8 0
 Ales & Trails on May 4th is a great event put on by Access 4 Bikes!
  • 2 1
 I drank (redacted) beers at A & T last year and slept in my van in the 7-11 parking lot for a couple hours.
  • 3 0
 I've had the pleasure of working with Vernon and A4B on some trail projects, and fund raising efforts. What you see in the video is what you get. Dedication, passion, integrity. For sure Marin county is not the easiest place to advocate for trail access, but he, and the fine folks of A4B, are doing the lions share of work to benefit all of us that enjoy riding trails. Well done, and thanks Vernon.
  • 4 0
 Seems so crazy that in a place that was among the pioneering location of our sport, you now have to beg,plead and petition to get any trails at all.
  • 2 0
 Is it Mount Tamalpais? I wanted to bike there, but there were fires around, could not go there. My first decent mtb was a Marin Eldridge Grade 95, tange triple butted tubing. I think it is named over a trail over there.
  • 3 0
 There was some Mt. Tam, Camp Tamarancho, & Stafford Bike Park a bit north from what Isaw.
  • 2 0
 You are correct, Eldridge Grade is the name of a trail here. I ride it a couple times a week. More fire road or access road than a trail, but it's a good one. Takes you almost to the top of Mt. Tamalpais, where you continue on Indian Fire Trail to make the summit.
Send me a PM, next time you're in Marin, and I'll take you there myself.
  • 1 0
 @KaffeineKeiser: lol gnarliest legal trail in MMWD
  • 3 0
 What a great bloke ! Isn’t it a shame countries aren’t run by people like Vernon because I expect the world would be a better place.
  • 5 0
 That is some serious white people shit.
  • 3 0
 That's a tough row to hoe. I applaud the efforts of trying to make positive progress there.
  • 1 0
 Wow...I feel sorry for you people in LaLa land...higher population density and land use no ...more people..more jerks. GB Canada soooo much land sooo few peopleSmile
  • 2 0
 The rangers are top notch dudes out at Stafford, they’re mountain bikers just like us and they always take the time to chat. Thanks to those guys and cheers to Vernon
  • 3 0
 Keep up to good fight Vernon!
  • 2 0
 Wanna see this ay Banff film festival world tour next year! Awesome work ...
  • 1 2
 I drove up Mount Timapais one day whiel visiting California, what an extraordinary landscape, there is massive potential for a MTB community if they wanted it, but they don't, oh well. What a place to take a fun driving car instead for now!
  • 4 0
 You should try dealing with hikers who are more worried about our tires causing erosion than world hunger and it's funny how you think that we don't want sick trails yet you probably hiked railroad grade to west point and talked to a ranger about the trail he logged earlier while he gave you free lemonade and said not to wander onto anything illegal, classic move.
  • 2 0
 That was awsome keep up the hard work man!!
  • 1 0
 Usually people will tell you there are no more OGs left. Vernon, you're an OG, I appreciate the stoke and dedication.
  • 3 3
 Fighting tirelessly, Hah.
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