BIKE PATROL STORY
The new American River Bike Patrol began serving the American River Parkway in Sacramento County in June, 2020. Bike Patrollers, now 50-strong, work as trail ambassadors, providing trail directional advice, equipment assistance, safety insights and bike safety programs, assistance with events, first-aid and CPR services and serve as eyes and ears of the Parkway Rangers and other stakeholders on one of the country’s busiest and most scenic bike ways.
Members of the public are invited to join the National Ski Patrol’s growing bike patrol subset and take the bike patroller training program. Patrollers can set their own patroller shift hours, and are asked to fulfill 48 hours or more of service per year. Current NSP members, whether patrollers, hosts or alumni, are also invited to join and log at least 30 hours of service. We are seeking those interested in both patrol leadership slots as well as bike patrollers.
NSP members current with either OEC or OFC can join as secondary members. Alumni, if their first-aid has lapsed, who would like to rejoin in an active bike patrol role will need to take Outdoor First Care, as will new community candidate members. The new patrol will also offer “visiting patroller” options during weekends, by prior
Join the team and support our work. See you on the lovely American River Parkway trails!
AMERICAN RIVER PARKWAY RULES
Every year, millions of people descend on the 32-mile Jedediah Smith Memorial Multi-use Trail along the American River Parkway to bike, jog, walk, skate, or go horse-back riding. Because the trail experiences such a high and varied amount of traffic, there is always the possibility that an accident may occur. It is important that all trail users, regardless of skill level, obey the rules of the multi-use trail to ensure that everyone who visits the trail gets home safe. View and print a copy of the multi-use trail rules.
Pass on the left - Be sure that when you are passing someone on the paved trail, stay on their left side and move to the right after you have passed them. Call out "passing on your left" so you don't startle the person you are passing.
Pull completely off the trail if you need to stop - By pulling off the trail, you are less likely to get hit by multi-use trail traffic and cause an accident.
Wear a helmet - It's required for children under 18 years of age and it's a good idea for adults as well.
Obey all traffic signs - Be sure to yield to traffic signs and follow any detour signs. Make sure you watch for car traffic, particularly where it crosses the multi-use trail.
Pay attention when you ride - Don't wear headphones and make sure you keep your eyes on the road to look for potential hazards. Stay in your lane.
Ride in single file - Even if you are in a group, riding single-file helps keep the trail clear of congestion and reduces the chances of an accident.
The speed limit is 15 mph - The trail is not designed for extreme biking and too much speed can be a hazard to you and those around you.
Stay on the paved trail - Bicycles are not allowed on non-paved trails on the Parkway.
The trail is best used by experienced riders - While there is no age limit for bike riders, the multi-use trail is probably not the best place for someone to learn how to ride a bike. Children and adults who visit the trail should know how to ride.
Riding in the dark - When riding in the dark, bicyclists are required to wear a forward-facing white light that is bright enough to be visible from 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.
Use the left shoulder when it is accessible to you - Joggers and walkers should stay on the dirt shoulder off the pavement to minimize the chance of an accident.
Stay single file - This reduces the chance of people straying onto the paved trail and potentially being involved in an accident. If you want to walk with a group of people, it is recommended that you either walk along the levee or move away from the bike trail.
Keep your dog on a short leash - Dogs are not allowed to be off-leash within the American River Parkway. The maximum length of a leash is six feet. This includes retractable leads.
Other Parkway Traffic
Equestrians - Horses are only allowed on the horse trails. Be sure to let people know when it is safe to pass your horse when you encounter others. It is recommended that equestrians wear helmets and only use the trails during the day to avoid potential hazards or obstacles that may be hidden from view in the dark.
Skaters - Both roller skating and rollerblading are permitted on the trail, and all skaters must obey the same rules as bicyclists. Skateboards are not permitted on the Parkway.
No motorized traffic - No motorized traffic is permitted on the trail.
If you have an emergency while on the multi-use trail, you can find an emergency call box to call for help. Be sure to let them know your location on the trail by reading the closest mile marker to you and reporting it to emergency personnel. Contact Park Ranger Dispatch at 916-875-PARK (7275) to request assistance. If you are within the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, you may contact the State Park Rangers at 916-988-7322 to report an emergency.
Bike Patrol's American River Parkway News
This calendar has patrol hours of its members as well as training days and other events. If the calendar events do not show in your browser, click here.
American River Parkway Foundation:
The American River Parkway Foundation works along the 23 miles, 4800 acre Parkway. The work of the Foundation is centered on restoration, clean ups, enhancing the visitor experience and ensuring the Parkway is here for generations to come.
The core of our work is engaging volunteers. The Parkway has 43 volunteer mile stewards who ensure "their mile" is clean of debris and graffiti. In addition to the mile stewards, we host monthly and private clean up events. In 2019, the Foundation engaged over 4,000 volunteers and removed over 120,000 pounds of debris.
The Parkway Foundation also is responsible for removing invasive plants - specifically those along the water's edge, maintaining the equestrian trails to be clear of overgrowth and working on small plots of land for restoration. Volunteers play a vital role with this work as well, in 2019 we had over 2300 volunteers assisting with these tasks.
In 2011, the Parkway Foundation engaged in the refurbishment of the abandoned Camp Fire Girls property in River Bend Park. The 10 acre site now hosts STEM classes to Title 1 students between 4-7th grade. The classes are taught by SCOE and the Foundation covers the cost of the classes.
The Parkway would not be what it is today if not for the users. The Foundation feels it is important to enhance the user experience. This is accomplished through our trail etiquette, infrastructure replacement program and our marketing- public outreach events. Log on to our web site to become involved in your parkway; www.arpf.org.
- Dianna Poggetto is executive director of the American River Parkway Foundation.
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ARBP IN THE NEWS
Save the American River Association:
Save the American River Association members have been the foremost policy advocates for the preservation and enhancement of the wildlife habitat, fishery, and recreational resources of the American River Parkway since 1961. With more than 8 million visits annually, the Lower American is the most heavily used river for recreation in California. The Parkway has become a prime destination for outdoor activities: walking, cycling, fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, or simply enjoying the area's natural beauty and wildlife. The magnificent American River meanders through the 6,160-acre Parkway in some of the most densely populated areas of the County. No other urban area in the West has a comparable resource.
SARA's founders were involved with the development of the Parkway master plan development, including the drafting of the operating concept still in place today:
"The American River Parkway is a unique regional facility which shall be managed to balance the goals of:
a) Preserving naturalistic open space and protecting environmental quality within the urban environment and
b) Contributing to the provision of recreational opportunity in the Sacramento Area."
More than 50 years later, SARA remains embroiled in Parkway issues involving river flow standards, fisheries, inappropriate recreational activities, public and private development adjacent to the Parkway, and illegal sewage discharges upstream. The American River Parkway will always be a work in progress - as will SARA's mission as the Parkway's champion.