Support San Diego Trails & Chance To Win A Specialized Turbo Levo

Nov 20, 2023 at 14:31
by Susie Murphy  
2023 SDMBA Specialized Turbo Levo Giveaway

Words: Susie Murphy

SDMBA is rolling out an incredible opportunity to support local trails and WIN! By chipping in just $5, you'll secure yourself ONE entry, and that's already awesome. But hold onto your handlebars because here's the real deal - for a $20 donation, we'll turbocharge your chances with a whopping FIVE entries to win!

Not one, but two Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon E-Bikes are up for grabs!

$5 Donation = 1 entry
$20 Donation = 5 entries


2023 SDMBA Specialized Turbo Levo Giveaway

Your contribution isn't just about the chance to score one of these Specialized e-MTB’s; it's about fueling SDMBA's mission for the 2023-24 Winter work season. We've got exciting projects lined up all across the County, and your generosity keeps our skilled trail crew on the move. It also empowers us to organize and execute incredible volunteer work days that make a world of difference. Your support also allows us to keep advocating for trail plans and improvements with the County and City of San Diego, the Cleveland National Forest, Cuyamama Rancho State Park and much more!

Read more about some of our accomplishments in 2023 and what we have planned for 2024 HERE

2023 Rebuild of Caballo Trail at Daley Ranch
Caballo Trail Rebuild - Daley Ranch, Escondido

Check out some recent projects below!

Donate by December 20 for your shot to win! THANK YOU to Specialized and to all of you for your support of San Diego Trails!

Donate here:

SDMBA 2023 activities

summer 2023 Resurfacing project at Sweetwater Bike Park by SDMBA

Boardwalk project in Otay Valley Regional Park. Built By SDMBA


Recent bridge projects built by SDMBA in Marian Bear and Tecolote Canyon

Recent bridge and trail improvements at Tecolote Canyon East Trail near golf course

Donate by December 20 for your shot to win!

Donate here:

Author Info:
spokeswoman avatar

Member since Apr 22, 2016
5 articles

  • 38 5
 Love how NONE of the recent projects have anything to do with actual trail maintenance or building of trails but rather just adding bridges to existing trails. San Diego had a 400% rider increase since Covid yet no new trails, no changes to the city/county charter on recreational activities. Weve actually lost trails and are on the verge of losing more. But guess that what happens when you only try to appeal to the ebikers and beginners. Literally no progression here unless you go to the local indian reservation or ride the unsanctioned stuff. Hell they cant even update their website ha!
  • 6 1
 To add to this, 95% of their trail work days are up in Mt. Laguna, not very many around the local trails, even for trail trimming or rut filling. Would be nice to see more work days on the trails people ride as their local trails (mission trails, black mountain, penasquitos, etc).

i think the only work days i've seen in the past year was one for Miners at black mountain and one for Cobbles at PQ. There's a ton of trails that need maintenance besides the Mt. Laguna stuff.
  • 3 0
 @whiteranger3: as someone who lives by mission trails and has done many dig days within the park, the situation there isn’t really anyone’s fault. The parks primary function is preservation not recreation and thus has some specific rules.
  • 1 0
 @Austink: i've done dig days there too, they are just few and far between. everything there could use a cleanup. if i've dug there with a ranger before, i don't see why it can't be done again
  • 2 1
 Its mismanaged! Leadership is busy being nasty on-line and partnering with Schwinn Bikes. What the hell is happening? Keep the motorcycle and give us some positive direction.
  • 5 7
 If you want a cool trail system in California. It needs to be on Private Land. No bike org has the funds or the ability to get a legit trail system unless it's in the middle of nowhere. Too much money and politics in the state. Don't blame the trail org. Blame where you live.
  • 4 0
 i do my own trail maintenance in the neighborhood.
  • 1 0
 dont you ride an ebike?
  • 3 1
 @whiteranger3: Trail work day this Saturday on Miners. Assume you’ll be there?
  • 2 0
 @coachzed: was planning on it when it was on saturday, but can't now that it's on sunday. will have to catch the next one
  • 23 2
 Everytime SDMBA gets brought up, they get comments like this. The article is a shame, you have mtb organization that is posting building sidewalks and not actual trails. I've been to their meeting and have been out on trail scouts with them and they just don't understand mountain biking. (I even took pictures of them sanitizing illegal trails cause they thought they were too dangerous) If you want to give $5 to try and win a bike that's cool but your money is not helping build trails.
  • 16 0
 I don't have any skin in the game as I don't live in San Diego, nor do I visit the area. But I can't help but notice that every single image is someone packing a trail into concrete and like 69 bridges. Is this what the organization regularly does? Yikes - feel bad for you guys. Starting to understand the rest of the comments here.

California does have red tape, but there are plenty of areas in the state that work around the tape and build amazing trails. If any of you folks ever find your way up north near Bass Lake, hit me up and I'll take you on some primo trails. Our trail organization works with Southern California Edison and Sierra National Forest to create some amazing trail networks. We're building in the national forest and on private property that SCE has opened to the public. Just go to youtube and look at Thunderstruck in Shaver Lake. This is what needs to be happening all across the state.
  • 17 2
 After many many years riding in San Diego you learn that SDMBA isn’t for the MTB community but for the Lycra riding, horse loving, San Diego elitist. Again annd again we voice our opinions on trails and they keep building 10ft bridges for 20k$. Seems to be getting plenty of donations and nothing ever gets done.

If you want to donate in San Diego the only way to do it is with your own shovel, sweat, and friends. Don’t count on SDMBA for anything other than another XC trail.
  • 15 1
 So... As someone that has been involved on all sides of these issues in SD for essentially the last decade, I could write for hours about all the things being discussed here. I'm a gravity rider who does his own thing now within SDMBA's volunteer crew as I found the challenges of dealing with certain ego's and "most" Land Managers to be too much. Yes, the bulk of the rangers here in SD are essentially "Anti fun trail" and that tends to center around the fact that most of the trails are located in "preserve" areas.

So per the Rangers / Land Mangers "trails are designed to help you enjoy the the preserve, NOT be a fun roller coaster ride that is a sole destination inside of the preserve". The parks are not "zoned" for that type of use. I could bore you to death but just google MSCP rules and guidelines (Multiple Species Conservation Program). Also, if you're ever going to try to go the legal route and communicate to ANYONE of authority regarding trail use here in SD, you must know the in's and outs of the MSCP guidelines.

Now that the boring shit is out of the way, how to make the legal, Sanctioned SD trails better... The fun envelope NEEDS to be pushed by the SDMBA Liaisons BUT... just because someone is a Liaison to a certain area doesn't make them qualified to build fun trails (remember the ego thing I mentioned above???). Figuratively speaking, there are only a handful of exceptionally good mtn bike trail builders in SD and I know for a fact that none of them are SDMBA liaisons to the public trail areas. The SDMBA liaisons understand the rules, regulations and environmental features that need to be on trails to keep them in line with what the rangers want to see. Example, if anyone has ever witnessed Ben Stone defend and legally explain away a mountain bike feature as an important environmental protection necessity, I'm sure they were left speechless and in awe as I have been... the man is pure poetry in action when it comes to that skill! Now if I went to Ben and said "build me a bad ass jump line", he'd probably laugh and just point me in the direction of some of the good jump builders he knows. So until the SDMBA board makes it a point to find and get those good builders matched up with the Liaisons who have the land manager relationships and environmental understandings to start getting the fun envelop pushed, we're going to keep winding up with the same bland / boring Sanctioned trails. The good builders are never going to want to be a trail Liaison (trust me, it's annoying, I've done it before), but that's okay, they don't have to be! The liaison's just need to let go of their ego's and realize that the guy(s) that does nothing but build wild fun illegal stuff has the expertise they need to make things fun. Think about it, would you let engineers design a race care WITHOUT extensive input from professional racers?!?!? NO, it needs to be a team effort! the same way in which you can't expect the fun trail builders to care about anything MSCP related!
  • 3 0
 well said
  • 3 0
 Proper input on what the issues are and a viable solution that is achievable. I hope SDMBA does read these comments.
  • 14 3
 San Diego is a total joke, unless you like meandering long boring rides. Any trail system worth riding is unsanctioned. And with that, its always a battle to keep the best one up and going, with no new trails allowed being built as it would just blow up! Its just to bad, it always feels like its one step forward, two steps back here in SD. Have to see what happens with the new Luiseno Bike park. Hopefully over the next couple of years some really cool, aggressive trails get build that cater to the crowd that aren't just out for a Sunday cruise. Which unfortunately, SDMBA seems to only support.
  • 4 0
 Luckyteds... Name checks out. I can see it from my house and am there about 30 rides per year.
  • 15 1
 they closed down a bunch of trails to build unaffordable houses
  • 5 0
 Don't tell Suzie that. I was told "I didn't know what I was talking about" despite riding and working on said DMM trails for 20 years.
  • 13 1
 I'm just here to read the SDMBA hate comments. Was not disappointed.
  • 11 4
 Hahaha, San Diego "trails." San Diego is a joke (I live here) rather than manage open spaces they just put up huge fences and Habitat Restoration signs. SD county is over 5 times the physical size of Orange County and have 1/10 the trail network.
  • 8 1
 Orange County has great trail network. Maybe the trail association support is the key. Anyhow, just based on the TF stats, SD has 1000 miles more trails than OC. I'd wager it's higher than that because you can't see the 'hidden' trails which I know SD has loads of. It could always be better, though, but I wouldn't classify SD as a joke. We are blessed with great weather and year-round riding. It's not nirvana, but it's darn nice.
  • 7 1
 @BenLow2019: Why do you think SD has loads of hidden trails? Cause the local MTB representatives cant or wont get them sanctioned nor build trails that have progression. So we have to build our own and hope for the best.
  • 5 6
 @imoore85: Have you even attended an SDMBA meeting? They are actively working on getting trails available to the public and they are in a constant grind with the wide variety of agencies, organizations, utilities, public and private owners to get it done. It ain't easy.
  • 8 2
 @BenLow2019: Been to multiple meetings and and spoken to Ben Stone at length. We also attempted to talk to Susie but got amnesia all of a sudden and deflected to Ben. Its always the same bullshit, all promises and under deliver. Nothing ever changes and for a county with as many riders as we have, they do nothing to outreach to the actual riders in the community other than go to silly events like Trailfest and the street rides the city puts on. They just expect everyone to support them no questions asked and if we try to start our own thing for progressive riders, they find a way to shut it down. Im sorry but how do you expect to connect with your local community when no one on the staff has any concept of progressive riding either as they're all ebikers or stick to PQ/Black Mtn. We have sooo many sponsored riders here that could be a liasion or rep but none of them want to work with SDMBA. Even good trail builders dont want to either.
  • 5 0
 @BenLow2019: i think the issue is the lack of progressive trails. OC has many legal, black/double black trails with sustained steep descents. I can only think of 2 in SD off the top of my head, black widow at black mountain, which has speed killer uphill sections, and nascar in La Costa (which is better).

other than those 2, those 1000 miles of singletrack are filled with green and blue trails that don't offer any progression for intermediate/advanced riders.

yes the weather is nice and we are lucky to live in such a place, but it's hard not to compare to what the trail organizations are able to accomplish an hour north from here
  • 3 3
 @whiteranger3: You might be right there. I think that SDMBA's challenge is multi-layered. They have to persuade the policy makers and land owners that trails are okay, then they have to up the ante and also try to include every variety of bike rider's desires as well.
If looking for progressive trails I'd maybe take a look at Crestridge: Test Pilot and Coors Banquet. They are not exactly 'sustained', but definitely fun. If you know that area then you know there's some serious progression in that neighborhood - not sure if they are all 'legal' though. Anderson Truck Trail has some double black action as well, but I believe the First Nation jurisdiction over there prevents any advertised public use.
  • 5 0
 @BenLow2019: i know both of those spots well, as far as i know neither are legal. i wouldn't have an issue if SDMBA were trying, but it seems like most of the money gets funneled into wood bridges and features instead of trail building/maintenance
  • 2 2
 @whiteranger3: Well, to be fair, features and bridges cost money and that is just one part of maintaining a trail.
  • 2 0
 @whiteranger3: Thats the problem, blk widow and nascar are nothing close to a black trail! Yeah, there may be one feature or section at best that maybe, just maybe you can say is at the level of black, but 99% of those trails are all blue, and I mean blue at best! Thats the problem, SDMBA does nothing to promote or build anything worth while, I mean it must cost a fortune to build those much needed bridges for people out on a Sunday cruise! They need to branch out and realize theres a whole other segment of riders that are completely ignored! The only true black trails in SD are all UNSACTIONED! SDMBA need to get their s#@t in check, there's no way I would donate a single penny to them.
  • 3 0
 @whiteranger3: let's be honest, a lot of the money gets funneled into salaries for Suzie and Ben. Last numbers I saw SDMBA brought in ~$400K and over $150K went to those two people.
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: gotta love non-profit finances being public, that's ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: Suzie has to go. Plain and simple.
  • 1 0
 @whiteranger3: and that PQ bridge is a huge piece of shit - narrow, dangerous, worse than what it replaced.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: I mean, do you expect them to work for free?
  • 8 1
 I will agree with some of the sediment here... but, there is far too much 'red tape' in California, especially in populated areas, to get anything built or even worked. I encourage fellow Californian's to sit in of some of the local organization meetings and listen to what they have to deal with, prior to making emotional mommy baggage statements. Like I said, the 'red tape' is thicker than the duct tape the mob would tape your ass with, in a blanket, and throw you over board.
  • 9 2
 This is a bullshit excuse. Santa Cruz has tons of local support. Orange County as well. If you ask Susie about "red tape" she always brings up the "city charter" or some shit not specifically
recognizing "mountain biking" as a "recreational activity". This is supposedly what is the reason they cant build. Why would the first order of business not be to get this changed?? Why arent they organizing riders to go to city halls and open forums to push the local council to change it? Instead they kiss the local organizations and HOPE they say yes to letting us build trails. Then when they do, we get shit trails like Black Widow and easy bridges over everything. Its a joke.
  • 2 0
 red tape is understandable, but the legal trail systems in OC seem to have found a way to have good trails even with the red tape
  • 11 0
 Isn’t a big portion of why SDMBA exists (and why members pay for the salaries of Susie and other leadership) to be the organisational advocate for either removing or circumventing the red tape to get trails built? I know that you’re not saying it, but I’ve heard SDMBA use language such as “the city doesn’t let us” to basically stop initiatives in their tracks. To me that’s a cop out to not want to perform their jobs. If the city doesn’t let you do something, it’s SDMBA’s responsibility to lobby the city/county to change the laws or work within them to accomplish goals that are in the best interest of the ENTIRE mountain bike community. I understand that this legislation can be difficult to work within, but that is partly why these guys are getting paid, to do the difficult work.
  • 6 1
 People say that all the it must be true. But it's absolutely not true. Plenty of populated areas in California have new and improved legit MTB trails. It takes an organization that has the talent and will power to pull it off.
  • 1 8
flag AppleJack76 (Nov 21, 2023 at 10:53) (Below Threshold)
 @imoore85: Also takes money, time, and politicians willing to work with the groups. How many dig days have you worked in the last 12 months and how much $ have you donated?
  • 2 0
 @AppleJack76: Multiple dig days this past season with multiple people who have been responding. I was an SDMBA member but why would I give money to an organization that I don't feel represents me or my fellow riders?
  • 1 1
 @imoore85: You may be missing the point. If you ride a mountain bike, they (SDMBA) represent you. But I digress... if you don't build new beginner trails, and get kids excited about riding... you don't have an army of adults in 20 years, that can keep the trail network going and progressing. Sure, you can be selfish and say, "they don't build the black diamond trails I want now", but don't complain when / if you have kids someday, and they have the same or nothing to ride. This comes from the guy, who does 5-10 dig days a year, gives monthly to CORBA, just sent SDMBA some money (you're welcome), and has to visit his kid, at a cemetery. Now, which one of use should be complaining?
  • 3 0
 @AppleJack76: so then why aren’t they trying to do an ambassador program? We have like 5 legitimate pro riders that grew up and live in San Diego, I’m sure that’d love to be apart of this, but like we all said sdmba could care less about that and are only going to do what the 50+ year old community want. There’s a reason why you don’t see 1 teenager and his group of friends on a maintenance day. Because they are helping us with the real trails they use not lake Hodges.

We have plenty of beginner trails it’s about time for some advanced ones with progression…
  • 7 1
 As someone who lives in PQ and Black mountain area, I agree with a lot of comments here. SDMBA is overly focused on bridges and mount Laguna as I assume are the easiest to work on in the county. If we want growth of progressive trails that aren't all green, we will need change in organizations leadership or a whole new organization.
  • 6 0
 Looking at SDMBA's finances from the 2021 (couldn't find 2022). They brought in $287k in revenue and spent $160k on their staff that consists of 3 people. 55% of their revenue was spent on salaries...and this is what they have to show for it?

In comparison, 400 miles North of San Diego, and still in California, there's a mountain bike organization that has revenues of less than $20k/year. They spend all of that money on insurance, tools, gas for the mini excavator, and beer/tacos for dig days. They've built 2 new badass DH trails in the last 2 years and maintain a couple hundred miles of existing trails. 100% volunteer and no one is paid for their efforts.

Something needs to change at the top level of SDMBA.
  • 12 7
 Since my name was dropped a couple times I thought I'd reply. Probably the first thing worth mentioning is all the projects highlighted were done outside of the rainy season this summer or after the rain stopped falling. Can't do much trail work without moisture. Although the progressive community is a vocal one highlighted here in nearly all our member and public surveys they represent a small minority of riders (all our survey results are public). To be clear this does not mean we don't advocate for progressive trails but it is challenging. We live in an area with the most federally endangered species, the most state endangered species and the most federally recognized tribes. The challenges are vast and we probably have some of the most well funded conservation groups in the Country working against us at every turn. We have learned to get pretty quiet about efforts since Orosco Ridge. Things are in the works across the County and the process is admittedly slow. The most successful efforts are generally spearheaded by volunteers and assisted by our staff.

I get messaged or approached often about how to take over maintenance of a trail or build a new trail. I explain in detail the process and I'd say most people never reply back to me. The truth of the matter is nothing comes easy here. I've heard people complain about sdmba before I was an employee, before I was a board member and before we had employees when I just volunteered occasionally. Sdmba is only as good as the people who step up and volunteer their time.

I won't come back here to reply to any comments but perhaps everyone who complained here could also email or call their elected officials? We generally have a real hard time convincing them of the importance of mountain biking because they never hear it from their constituents. Elected official means City Counicl, County Supervisor, State Assemby, State Senate and even your federally elected reps.
  • 11 1
 “I won't come back here to reply to any comments but perhaps everyone who complained here could also email or call their elected officials? We generally have a real hard time convincing them of the importance of mountain biking because they never hear it from their constituents. Elected official means City Counicl, County Supervisor, State Assemby, State Senate and even your federally elected reps.”

What exactly are our donations going towards then? You’re supposed to be the voice for us that’s why you exist, otherwise we’d just keep our unsanctioned trails. Someone has to do the leg work and I believe those people are the ones who took on the job and payroll. I work 40+ hours a week so I donate to you guys to advocate for me. There’s plenty of volunteers and pavers don’t cost a $100s a piece. Wherever all this donation money goes is really confusing.
  • 4 2
 @haroDJkid: This is the same feedback we get in person too. I was one of the ones who has asked about maintaining a trail too and was given the option to take over Shitz at PQ. The trail whose berms are made from pavers and requires little maintenance for the most part. It was almost like they were just giving the option so we would leave them alone. Then its not like we can put features on them anyway, so whats the point?
  • 5 0
 "Although the progressive community is a vocal one highlighted here in nearly all our member and public surveys they represent a small minority of riders (all our survey results are public)."

This is a self fulfilling prophecy. Beginners and casual trail users aren't aware of what they are missing and there are always more beginners and casual users than there are advanced riders but there needs to be a path to progress and the only way to do that in San Diego now is to ride illegal trails or go outside of San Diego.
  • 4 2
 @bmstone you are a liar and a cheat. I went to Duncan Hunters office and had a meeting and told you about it and you brushed it off, you have a state senator that loves to ride mountain bikes in our district. You have a liaison that booby trapped a trail to intentionally harm other mountain bikers, the author of this article husband threatened to fight another mountain biker when it was made public your organization sanitized illegal trails. You guys are a joke
  • 3 0
 You definitely built the bridge after rainy season? Or did you build it during the rain?
  • 2 0
 @tullie: bridge building does not require wet
  • 4 0
 @mior: Mr Stone stated he built the bridges during the summer after the rains. If you look at his Instagram he was working on the bridges in the heart of the rain season.
  • 2 3
 @tullie: looks like mr.stone padded his wallet to build those bridges… feels like a conflict of interest to hire yourself and decide how much you should be paid, wouldn’t he want to volunteer and do it for free… until they disclose how they use our funds Im going to believe that they are taking our money to the bank.
  • 6 1
-“No, it’s for drainage”

-“no its a berm”
  • 8 2
 What so they can take the money and put it towards a bridge in Los P Canyon? Yeah I'm good.
  • 6 0
 @maiomtblt I personally know at least half the people in these comments. We all dig way more than the advocacy group.
  • 5 2
 San Diego has no MTB trails. Sdmba hasn’t Built 100 feet of trail in 30 years. Non profits run by big ankle riders are a fund raising scam. Self build poach and evade before the tract home bulldozers beat you to it
  • 2 0
 Yeah seems like the housing developers have had no problem clearing and leveling large tracts of land... guess endangered plants/animals only matter for some.
  • 3 0
 Yuuup. Perfect example is PQ. “Oh no, you can’t have trails here anymore, they are no illegal and a Protected WildLife Preserve”, 5-7 years later 10 acres gets bulldozed for 6 multi million dollar houses.
  • 4 3
 Having worked for the govt. common sense doesn’t apply. Keep the cool trails unsanctioned and don’t post it on youtube and the interwebs. Keep the camera off, have a good time. So cal has real crime, if you don’t ruffle karen, she can call the cops on other people. This post is about a bike raffle, we all know the money won’t do any trail work. ‍♂️
  • 3 2
 ya'll are a buncha whiny cry babies up in here blaming SDMBA for development at Del Mar Mesa, or the city/county state environmental rules that don't allow trail building.

TAKE IT ALL BACK OR I'M GOING OUT TO TED'S WITH MY SHOVEL AND WILL DESTROY EVERY JUMP! If that doesn't work then I'll go back and do some crappy trail work on Circus Circus and make it a green trail!
  • 5 0
 I like turtles
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 San Diego has tons of open space especially east of the 15 freeway but over the last 30 years trail access has been very limited. We usually drive up to Orange County to ride because it's so much better.
  • 3 0
 Change the current regime, new board members. Y’all should apply and change things!
  • 3 0
 Turing in to the San Diego Bridge Association
  • 4 1
 I just came to say you guys fucking suck! That is all.
  • 5 2
 Sweetwater is cool.
  • 3 3
 You probably ride with no show socks and vans
  • 6 1
 @BajaBoundDrew: jorts and cut off sleeves actually
  • 5 1
 lips are too steep for DJs imo. BM jumps are better
  • 1 2
 @mior: BM is definitely mtb specific, you do not want a DJ there. Lips at SW are average for the size jump. The middle line at SW sucks but the small and big lines run well. If you go to Gale Webb up in Menifee the lips are very similar.
  • 1 0
 @Baklavathegreat: ive done BM on a slope bike with lower tire pressure and loved it
  • 1 0
 @mior: I’ve seen kids riding rad bikes there too. Doesn’t mean it’s the right bike for the job.
  • 1 0
 @Baklavathegreat: mightve seen me then...
  • 1 0
 @Baklavathegreat: BM jumps are fine on a DJ even with 150psi fork and 50psi tires.
  • 3 0
 @mior: sweetwater middle line is awkward because the transition does not continue all the way to the lip. The bigger line runs great with a DJ.
  • 3 2
 If I win can I trade the moped in for a real bike?
  • 1 1
 The prize and the trails are both embarrassing, and they want your money too!
  • 8 8
 An ebike..hahjaaaha what a joke..
  • 1 1
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