Update: Lincoln Park cyclocross bike race canceled

The Parks Department confirms that this Saturday’s planned cyclocross race at Lincoln Park is now canceled. We got first hint of this last night when CC’d in an e-mail exchange from a West Seattle resident to Parks, in which the resident wrote, in part:

Several years ago, a cyclo-cross race at Lincoln Park caused major damage to native shrubs, grasses and trails. At that time, a large number of complaints led to (I thought) a ban on this kind of race in our Parks, and a revocation of a permit for a future race.

However, I just learned that the Parks Department has issued a permit (or so the organizer claims) for a similar race in Lincoln Park for this Saturday. …

The attached map (and photo!) shows clearly that this Cyclocross race will cut through the forest, on social trails, and given the previous damage, and the stated intent of this race, will cause irreparable harm to the native vegetation and shrubs.

I ask you, as a resident and frequent user of Lincoln Park, to please cancel this inappropriate permit, and prevent the damage from being done (as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure).

In a reply shortly thereafter, Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter replied to the original writer:

… Parks has taken a look at the event coming up this weekend, and we have decided to move it to another, more appropriate venue. Our staff will evaluate its success there, and make a decision about whether and where to permit future such events.

We checked back with Parks today, to see what that venue might be, and spokesperson Joelle Ligon just replied, “The cyclocross folks have cancelled all together. There will not be an event this weekend.” We will be contacting the race organizers too – they had also posted in the WSB Forums recently to get the word out about park-access changes in connection with the then-scheduled event. ADDED 2 PM: A little more information from Parks’ Ligon, answering our question about why this all played out at the last minute:

About four years ago, there was a cyclocross event at Lincoln Park. At that point, the community let us know that they did not like having cyclocross there. We made a commitment to not hold cyclocross at Lincoln again. When our files went electronic about two years ago, the prohibition on cyclocross at Lincoln did get translated into the new system; hence, permitting staff were not aware that they should not have permitted the event at all.

We just heard from the cyclocross organization, and they have let us know that they intend to hold their event on Nov. 15 at Lower Woodland Park. We will waive their permit fee for the Nov. 15 event, and we have refunded the Lincoln permit fee.

3:35 PM UPDATE: As Zac announced in comments, the race promoters’ website now has a long explanation of what’s transpired from their standpoint, and what’s next — read it in its entirety here. WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The race will be held at Lakewood Park in White Center instead – as announced on Twitter by MFG Cyclocross, and confirmed by this post on the King County Parks news site.

147 Replies to "Update: Lincoln Park cyclocross bike race canceled"

  • John October 27, 2009 (1:59 pm)

    I remember walking Lincoln Park after the cyclocross race a few years, and the bikes caused large amounts of damage. I remember most clearly wide muddy paths bisecting some of the grass fields. It looked horrible. I’m glad to hear the City rejected the permit request.

  • RT October 27, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    Are you kidding me?! We all pay taxes to use the parks facilities and if the promoters have permits as required by City guidelines then they should be able to proceed. Just another example of whiney not in my neighborhood bullsh*t…

  • ProudPugetRidger October 27, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    Ya know, kids playing soccer really trashes the fields. Baseball players’ spit is unsightly. Joggers might bruise the gravel when from the impact of their plodding along. It is also really unfortunate that the elderly folks’ canes leave such a pin-point indentation on the ground. Let’s fence the park off to keep anyone from destroying our public facility!

    Get real folks, healthy outdoor recreation is a good thing!

  • mama o'four October 27, 2009 (2:13 pm)

    Yeah, let’s “trash” other neighborhhods’ parks!

  • Robert October 27, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    They haven’t put out a notice on their website yet.


  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    We should hold a critial mass at the park on Saturday to show our solidarity as cyclist. Thanks West Seattle for showing your true colors as citizens…just a bunch of whiners!!

  • WSB October 27, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    (Re: Robert & the website) – I know, and the fact they hadn’t posted a notice to that effect is why I did not report this until I could double-clarify with Parks today – the exchange on which we were cc’d happened literally just before 6 pm, and when we saw it at 6:28, the parties involved were gone for the day – TR

  • Kevin October 27, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    It is a shame the race is canceled. Cyclocross races are great spectator events that draw a lot of people and showcase our beautiful parks. Its true there would have been some muddy ruts, but “irreparable harm” is an exaggeration. Grass quickly grows back and clearly the park is none the worse for that last race.

  • Brian October 27, 2009 (2:29 pm)

    They haven’t blasted it to the racing community yet. I’ll follow up if we get an email.

    Sad really, this was going to be a great race. It’s not just a loss for us but for the community too (which I am part of!)

  • 4thGenWestSider October 27, 2009 (2:33 pm)

    What’s next? A “remove your shoes” sign before entering the park?

  • Michael October 27, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    I’m not sure what part of “their race damages the park” the cyclocross dudes don’t understand, but apparently from their comments here they either don’t understand or don’t care. Maybe they’re all really young, that would certainly explain the lack of thought.
    Their group doesn’t seem to be helping, with a lack of clear communication.

  • Brian October 27, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    The more times I read this the more I get sick. Some folks are just disgusting in their quest to ruin West Seattle.

    All the hungry racers are going to go buy food and buy a pint in someone elses neighborhood now! And all the kids that were planning on racing (which is a HUGE AMOUNT) just got jacked.

    You people disgust me.

  • amnesiak October 27, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    Man, this sucks. I’ve always thought Lincoln Park was perfect for cyclocross. The grass will grow back, especially this time of year. It’s really an ideal time for it. If it were May or June I could see more validity in the complaint. However, the grass is going to be soggy and muddy for months now anyway.

    On a related note, it’s hard to get disc golf courses in Seattle due to similar types of complaints. DG would be equally at home in Lincoln Park.

  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    (Re: Comment by Michael ) Maybe you should look at yourself Michael and your condesending attitude towards a group you obviously are unaware of. It’s interesting you are able to identify us as really young through a web-blog. But the fact of the matter is most of us have families, have jobs and live in the same neighborhoods as you. But since you don’t approve of our recereational activity you find it easy disapprove and rant and rave about how it intereupts your day or ruins “your” park. Well it’s our park too and as a community we value it just as much as you Micheal. Maybe you should get off the couch and see what cyclocross is about and maybe you will have a different opinion of the age group those who support the sport.

  • rw October 27, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    Interesting debate. Who are the environmentalists here, the cyclocross advocates or the cyclocross adversaries? I’m surprised at the harsh words of the advocates in this thread (but perhaps not totally if they are of the self-centered Critical Mass mindset).

    Someone mentioned muddy fields from soccer. I presume these are designated play fields. If cycle races were permitted, I would expect there to be a plan to minimize damage during the event and to repair any damage after the fact. Did the organizers have such plans? If not, then I, a dedicated cyclist, would kindly ask you to find a different venue than our favorite park, a jewel of the community.

  • LH October 27, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    Irreparable harm is not an exaggeration! The open fields at Lincoln Park were largely unusable for the entire fall/winter following the last race. We live in a state with numerous Mt. Bike trails and Forest Service Roads. We are only asking the Cyclocross community to find a more appropriate venue. And we don’t pay taxes to trash our parks and then have to repair them over and over again.

  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (2:49 pm)

    What does “our” park mean? You don’t own it? We as citizens of the City of Seattle have a stake in it…not just your nieghborhood. That’s the problem with this city….everyone thinks “they” own it and no one else can enjoy it. Wake up by now!

  • WSB October 27, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    To Michael’s point above: I’ve never seen one of these races, much less been in one, and we are not taking a side. But if it wasn’t clear enough in one of my last lines, I do want to note that organizer Zac did send us information a couple weeks ago saying they wanted to make sure the community had early, ample heads up that this would affect park access for the day.
    Before we got a chance to publish a front-page story (the race was already in our Events calendar), Zac subsequently posted a heads-up directly to the Forums. Few event organizers take the time to reach out by doing that.
    However, the past controversy wasn’t mentioned, and while we have lived in this area (a few blocks from Lincoln Park, in fact) for 15+ years, I was unaware of it till the aforementioned letter on which we were CC’d last night.

  • CXRACER AND WESTSEATTLE FAN October 27, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    This news is very disappointing. I raced at Lincoln Park years ago and lived in West Seattle at the time. I knew a lot of West Seattlites who liked the fact that the race occurred there and would support another race. One of the great things about the Cyclocross community is that after a race, the community works hard to help the park or space we’ve used bounce back. At first the area does look different and there are tracks in the grass and other such noticable marks. But, time after time, after the Cross volunteers get out there and work on the area, the park or space is back to normal once the fall and winter months end. I had planned on returning to W Seattle for the weekend, going to a local pub for beers Friday night, frequenting my fav shops after the race and enjoying a night out at a local restaurant. Sadly, I won’t be doing that anymore.

  • WestSeattleCyclocrossRacer October 27, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    I intend to hold a large group Cyclocross Practice at Lincoln Park this weekend now. See if we can get a couple hundred to show up. The original course is marked, we can just use it and screw the permits! Can’t wait to use my park to have fun!

  • Brian October 27, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    Did anyone hear of any damage at Westcrest Park Cyclocross race a month ago? No? Because there WASNT any and a lot of the neighbors came out to watch.

  • Jim October 27, 2009 (3:08 pm)

    I get the feeling that decisions in Seattle are made based on where the crying comes from. Pretty sad leadership at the parks department and pretty obvious deflection of blame (“when our files went electronic…”).

    And with regard to the local community, this just sound like, “I don’t like this activity so nobody else should do it either.” The “native plant” excuse is silly.

  • CM October 27, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    I for one was very excited about this event coming to West Seattle and within walking distance from my home. Very disappointed to see that it has been cancelled. Can we vote on these types of issues or do one or two residents who scream the loudest get to determine it for the rest of us? If majority rules that this is not something that we should have in our parks, I get it, but I am not so sure I agree with one person complaining and the rest of us having to deal with the consequences.

  • 4realWS? October 27, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    I am a neighbor of this park (less than a block away), I also race cyclocross and have been very much looking forward to showing off my passion and this great sport to my neighborhood. This decision is beyond lame and says volumes for the uptight personalities around us. I walk this park almost everyday, I was there 4 years ago at the last race, the park has recovered wonderfully – just as well as it does from the dozens of XC running races there every year. Grow up Lame WS – this is a PUBLIC park, it is meant for great activities like this. Oh so sorry for those daily routines of some that might be inconvenienced. Disappointed but not at all surprised.

  • fabien October 27, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    Michael, maybe you should move in a retirement community, them cyclists won’t bother you anymore… We are too young to understand you because most of us are in our 40s and 50s… time for you to let the young folks like us lead the way.
    Oh and remember what they say… “if it’s too loud, you are too old!”
    — Fabien

  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    If I were the promoter I would be down at the Mayors office pronto asking for an detailed explanation as to why my permit got pulled 3 days before the event, and I would file a claim for “ALL” lost costs/revenue due to a politically driven decision because someone in the Parks department doesn’t have to b#lls to stand behind their original decision of approval for the event.

  • SeattleCX.com October 27, 2009 (3:15 pm)

    I didn’t know trails were native. Nature didn’t put trails in the park, did it? So funny that at a time where small businesses need an influx of money, we here in West Seattle continue to drive it away.

    I wonder if Endolyne Joe’s knows it’s canceled now, or Zeeks or the Beverage Place… I know A LOT of teams that were planning on hitting those places after the race. Congrats you old farts! You are killing everyones lively hood!!!!!

  • B October 27, 2009 (3:16 pm)

    I’m an avid cyclocross racer, race promoter and West Seattle Resident. Frankly I think this is a minority affecting the majority. I have worked with the MFG cyclocross promoters and we hosted a race at Lake Sammamish State Park a few weeks ago. Our even raised over $7,000 for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Survivorship Program. The rangers were very involved with our event and the “damage” was very minimal and repaired without issue (just like any other sporting event). It saddens me to hear this, as it can be a great event for the community bringing in about 500 racers and fans (and there money) into our community. The city made a bad call. This is our park too.

  • jodi October 27, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    This is a huge disappointment. Well stated, many above post-ers (especially CXRACER…).

    I am a West Seattleite, cyclocross racer, local park patron, parent, etc. This cancellation is a loss to the WS community. We should be proud to host such an event. It is rare to have such wholesome, good clean muddy fun with people of all ages and abilities.

    This would have been a mutually beneficial situation – bringing over a thousand racers/spectators to gain new appreciation for a beautiful park, go to local businesses, and perhaps come back. It would have been good for the cyclocross community – a beautiful venue, West Seattleites exposed to the fantastic sport (several friends were going to bring their kids to the kids race), and hopefully recruit some supporters.

    Cyclocross race promoters and racers don’t litter, do quick and effective course clean-up and repair, and respect the environment by taping off sensitive areas (even to spectators), provide course marshalls to help at course crossings, and invite/encourage spectators to cheer any racer that is passing by.

    Again, a huge loss by cancelling this race.

  • huindekmi October 27, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    How could you race in Lincoln Park anyway, what with all those large packs of unleashed dogs running rampant?

  • Kelly October 27, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    Wow. Well, I for one am certainly not won over by the cyclocross advocates’ use of harsh words and threatening remarks.

  • KateMcA October 27, 2009 (3:23 pm)

    Wow. I am really disappointed in West Seattle. This is our neighborhood park as well, quite literally. My husband and I both ride off-road together, we both hold jobs in the city and pay city taxes for our home that is just up the hill from Lincoln Park. Do you know how often mountain bikers get together to do trail maintenance work on the very trails that we get rejected from using? Why is mountain biking so hated in a city that claims to be so bicycle friendly?

  • Lara October 27, 2009 (3:23 pm)

    My husband and I are avid cyclocross racers and had looked forward to racing at Lincoln Park this weekend–so many of our races are out of town and it’s nice to have some closer into the city. I can attest to the care that the cx community brings to course clean-up–we’re all aware of the difficulty in lining up venues and are all willing to do what it takes to be considerate users. Yes, courses are a bit chewed up after a day of racing, but it is October after all and the grass will grow back quickly. As to harm to bushes and shrubs, we’re all doing our best to stay on the trail and away from these hazards! And I agree with B’s comment above that other events also cause damage so why is cyclocross being singled out?

    I’d encourage anyone curious about the sport to come out and watch a race–I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. Please don’t condemn an event you’ve never witnessed.

    This race is part of a series that’s new this year and I hope MFG continues to work out these issues and continue with their races.

  • Benjamin October 27, 2009 (3:24 pm)

    not sure what areas the race route would go through but it easy to imagine damage. as a former racer i was looking forward to coming out to watch this race. to bad the posts have been so heated on this.

  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    (Re:Comment by Kelly) Really Kelly? Really? Well then maybe you should come to a cross race and actually meet some of us gangsters…riduculous comment.

  • fabien October 27, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    is it the reason why you remove comments?

  • WSB October 27, 2009 (3:26 pm)

    The number of comments that our system is holding for moderation – major factors in that are (1) never commented here before and (2) profanity – indicate we need to note WSB rules, particularly: No name-calling. Criticize an idea/position/statement, not the person voicing it. (Easy way to explain that, you may say our policies are idiotic, but you can’t call us idiots.)
    We reserve the right, unapologetically, to delete or not approve any comment violating WSB rules. This site is NOT like the unfortunate majority of news sites that allow their comment sections to deteriorate into profane, pointless trashfests. We report the news, you comment on it, but if you choose to do that commenting here, you need to maintain some degree of civility.
    Thanks – Tracy (editor/co-publisher)

  • Kayleigh October 27, 2009 (3:26 pm)

    Gee, I don’t know *why* cyclists have such a bad reputation for being intense and overreacting….this thread has been so reasonable and respectful, after all. (I could care less if the race is at the park and I know plenty of civilized cyclists. But good grief.)

  • JS - I have lived in WS for over 30 yrs October 27, 2009 (3:27 pm)

    This is a sad day, I have been looking forward to racing at Lincoln Park for months. I am a WS resident and have been for over 30 yrs, I grew up playing baseball in that park, I practice CX there with my wife. I take my child to this park, this is a shame. I was really hoping we could showcase this fabulous park to the cycling community in Seattle. Those of you who want to protect this park from being used are nothing short of clowns, why not ban soccer and football practice or cross country events…. really. This is one day once a year…. SUPER LAME!

  • Jason October 27, 2009 (3:27 pm)

    As a relatively new cyclocross racer, I’ll add a few points to this spirited conversation for the benefit of those who not familiar with ‘our people’:

    1)We are a supportive, family-oriented lot, with dozens of kids mixing it up at any given race

    2)We care about other users of the park, and we appreciate them having us as guests (don’t be surprised to get a few ‘good morning’s if you take a walk around during our races

    3)We care about our venues. I personally spent 2+ hours raking flattened grass after a recent race. We understand that part of being a racer is to do our part cleaning up the venues generous enough to have us

    4)By my understanding, the organizers of this series have opened a long-closed door with Seattle Parks by demonstrating a commitment to low-impact to these venues. So far, they seem to be living up to that expectation

    5)I think a lot of the hostility here is likely shock and frustration with a venue being yanked away at the eleventh hour

    I hope we are racing at Lincoln on Saturday, as I already have a costume ready.

  • Chad October 27, 2009 (3:28 pm)

    Riding bikes in a park?? Crazy talk!

    Native vegetation = grass


  • Zac Daab October 27, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    Hello Folks:

    This is Zac Daab, one of the co-promotors to the event. Please visit http://www.mfgcyclocross.com for accurate details about this posting.

    In short, yes, the City has revoked our permit and the cyclocross race will not happen.

    That said: No, the race is not altogether cancelled: We are working on a new venue. Although we have only 24 hours to really secure a venue, as I type this post, we have a good option, and will post details on our site hopefully by noon tomorrow.


  • kstineback October 27, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    Tracy, thank you again for being such a great moderator to our debate.

  • B October 27, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    MFG just posted the notice to the website.

    CX racers – if you are as upset as I am here is who you need to email:

    * Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council Member, Chair of the Parks and Recreation Department: tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov
    * Timothy Gallagher, Superintendent Seattle City Parks and Rec: timothy.gallagher@seattle.gov
    * Christopher Williams, Deputy Superintendent Seattle City Parks and Rec: christopher.williams@seattle.gov

  • Alex W October 27, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    Some residents are forgetting that after the last race, SSCX put in over 100 man hours of volunteer time back into the park, not just repairing damage, but also improving the park by removing invasive ivy and climatis that choke trees to death, and planting native species. And the grass grew back by the way.

    As for the original email, there are no native plants at risk. The grass is not even native, and I very much doubt the cedar trees will be hurt. And as I said, the grass grew back. There was no irreparable damage. This emailer could benefit from cross referencing his larger words with a dictionary.

    I did set-up for that race and the response I got from walkers, joggers, and other park users was overwhelmingly positive. It’s a shame that a few weathly and influential neighbors can ruin an event that is LEGAL, healthy, family oriented, and builds community, simply because they don’t like to share. Those aren’t the Seattle values I was raised with.

  • SeattleCX.com October 27, 2009 (3:33 pm)

    Hey you… cyclist! Get off the road, path, sidewalk and the park! Go ride in your basement!!!

  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    Thanks Zac for the updated information. For all you uptight West Seattlites, maybe you should take some time out of your day and watch us race our bikes and spend our money in a more cyling friendly community.

  • JEM October 27, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    And I was looking forward to some dog vs bike trail action!

  • d October 27, 2009 (3:41 pm)

    Riders –

    Westcrest is waiting for you! We LOVED having everyone using the trails with bike and ENLIVENING our neighborhood with good spirits and the extra-ordinary politeness and respect for Parks’ protocols. I am a gardener and a bike owner. And I say this, to those who wrote and complained, about your attitude: how retentive are you over there? I KNOW not ALL Lincoln Park users feel the way you do. Why? Cause I am one of them too. The trails would be maintained!! What a ninny! Nature, in all her glorious resiliency, can take a small hit like one day of bikers. The riders/clubs are MORE than willing to work with other Park users to mitigate any problems and share in the impacts. You wrote and complained? You never gave the race organizers a chance to do that! I say SHAME on you for blowing an opportunity to act collaberatively instead of covertly and confrontationally. I realize lots of folks put in alot of hours working and maintaining the park, but is there no acceptance of the existence of other users and that community members must ADAPT! Letter writer(s): FAIL.

    Next time, all you bike clubs, think of Westcrest in Highland Park. Next time, you sour, dour letter writers, lighten up, relax! for God’s sake, and think about cooperation, not co-option or

    I can’t imagine how many of the neighborhood kids just had their dreams dashed. Way to go letter writer.

  • Rentonite October 27, 2009 (3:41 pm)

    This is absurd.. like grass won’t grow back in the rainy season. Its not like the racers don’t clean up after themselves anyway. I’d like to see a study done showing how these “native” species are so damaged after a cyclocross event.

  • fabien October 27, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    @Kelly… again
    you said “Wow. Well, I for one am certainly not won over by the cyclocross advocates’ use of harsh words and threatening remarks.
    Comment by Kelly”

    Well, maybe you should grow a spine, that’s the reason why republicans and big corporations can do whatever they want in this country… Don’t think only locally…
    — fabien

  • Zac Daab October 27, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    As I mentioned, we are working round the clock, literally, to come up with a new venue. As B mentioned, yes, this means it will be outside of the West Seattle Community and the economic benefits which may have been realized by West Seattle businesses will go elsewhere.

    Stay tuned!

  • SeattleCX October 27, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    Q: Who wrote correspondence to the City?
    A: UW Professor and Boeing employee. We can provide the actual emails upon request.

    Thanks dude.

  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    Wonder what if the news would be interested in this? Anyone? Anyone?

  • Chuck and Sally\'s Van Man October 27, 2009 (3:57 pm)

    I knew nothing about the existence of Cyclocross prior to this thread. But I gotta tell you folks, your obnoxious attitudes put me squarely in the camp of those who are happy your permit got pulled.


  • Brian October 27, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    Thanks d… Westcrest was a lot of fun and the neighbors were AWESOME! We sure hope to be back next year :)

  • jiggers October 27, 2009 (3:59 pm)

    Has anyone thought that liability is probably the main reason why it has been cancelled.

  • Kelly October 27, 2009 (3:59 pm)

    @ Fabian, Um, yeah, I don’t even begin to understand how you want to connect my comment with “that’s the reason why republicans and big corporations can do whatever they want in this country… Don’t think only locally…”

    I maintain that the tone of the comments by many of the cyclocross advocates is adversarial and really unnecessary. I don’t know anything about cyclocross and now I don’t want to. I think I’ve been schooled enough, and I think I’ll decline your members’ “friendly” “invitations” to come on out and see what it’s all about. No thank you.

  • sam October 27, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    I’ve never seen an event like this, but know a couple people who enjoy it and they are great people. maybe the vitriol stems from getting a permit pulled at the 11th hour.
    especially since it sound like the cyclists themselves do a lot of restoration work afterward.

    is there a special nimby property tax that people in that area pay ?

  • Brian October 27, 2009 (4:13 pm)

    Here is a vid of someone you all might recognize… Lance Armstrong racing CycloCross in Las Vegas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG4WEpy0dnU

  • B October 27, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    Chuck – When did expressing an opinion become obnoxious? Is it only if you don’t like it?

  • Brendan Connolly October 27, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    As a West Seattle resident, avid cyclist and cyclocross racer, public servant to the city and father of kids who frequent Lincoln Park, this is true disappointment. On behalf of all cyclists represented here, we are a diverse but inviting community of young, old, families, teens, elite racers and beginners who all treasure our public spaces as much as the residents of west seattle do. Cross races are wonderful events that celebrate community, healthy outdoor activity and open space. There are many comments that reflect the frustration of our group, but on behalf of the cyclocross community, please know that we seek cooperation in the use of these treasured and resilient shared park spaces, not confrontation. In the future, perhaps the Parks Department could consider a forum for discussion prior to revoking established permits so that all sides of the issue can be vetted prior to blind reaction to isolated public input. Lincoln Park is a sacred place, but it is a sacred place for all.

  • MeToo October 27, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    I certainly don’t want bike users roaring around Lincoln Park. It is bad enough with all the folks irresponsibly letting their dogs run loose on the path and on Lincoln Beach.

    And very glad to get the e-mails of the city folks in charge. I have already sent my email to them – and the next e-mail will be about all the irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs run loose.
    The city should assess enormous fees for events like these – and charge dog owners enormous fees too. That will help the city budget and hopefully lower our outrageous property taxes.

    If you want this race in West Seattle so bad, why don’t you have your race up and down California Ave – and then you all can support the local merchants before and after the race?

  • Brian October 27, 2009 (4:29 pm)

    MeToo… you sound like you’re 95. The Bike Racers DO support the local merchants. There were already huge plans to at Endolyne Joe’s, Zeeks, Beverage Place, Elliot Bay pub, Talerico’s and Rocksport. We are talking about almost 1000 people (racers, staff and fans) coming to the area. Comparing this to out of control dogs is just plain ignorant. It doesnt take up the whole park and is safely marked and taped off. learn of what you speak before you speak.

  • pissedoffnow October 27, 2009 (4:32 pm)

    (Re:Comment by MeToo) This has nothing to do with your property taxes. If you can’t afford to live there, then move. If you don’t like dogs then don’t go to the park. But let the others who enjoy living here, raising families here, recreating here and enjoy what Seattle has to offer to everyone live here in peace….Take your NIMBYism attitude elsewhere

  • Jordan October 27, 2009 (4:33 pm)

    Very unfortunate that this happened like this.
    As a long time Fauntleroy resident, I will be sending emails to the above list to request that in the future these events be allowed in the park. I sure don’t remember the park being trashed in 2003, at least not any more noticeably than the cross country events cause.
    The grass always grows back, and the park is none the worse for wear.
    It is sad when the complaints of a few residents can get events banned without the full community understanding the issue. If these people had gone to the the Morgan Junction Community Association and the Fauntleroy Community Association and had them bring the matter to the attention of their members and the city officials that would be different. The surrounding community associations are the correct groups to be listening to on community matters, not single individuals who feel put out by an event.

  • Hormel October 27, 2009 (4:49 pm)

    What a disappointment and a poor representation of what West Seattle is. Wanted to bring the kids over to watch this weekend, hopefully a new more welcoming venue will be found. So is the park just for those on foot and professional dog sitters?

  • rw October 27, 2009 (5:00 pm)

    Everybody, if you read the original news report the problem is less with WS NIMBYers raising a stink that cause the Parks Dept. to revoke permission and a lot more to do with the Parks Dept’s bad recordkeeping of promises made several years ago to neighborhood groups that there would be no organized bike races in Lincoln Park.

    You can disagree with that agreement, which precedes this year’s race permit by several years all you want.

    But rather than call people all sorts of names it would be better to promote your plan for restoring the park after the race and circulate a petition throughout West Seattle to garner and prove local support for your race.

    Just calling people this, that, and the other thing only serves to burn bridges — and I always assumed cyclocross folks liked bridges more than dead ends.

  • JumboJim October 27, 2009 (5:03 pm)

    Lincoln Park is home to some interesting and unusual native plants. No, not grass. Do we know if the race was only set up to run on lawn grasses and/or bare dirt? Do we know if there was any damage to native vegetation (again, not grass) last time? Seems that may have been part of the issue that generated complaints about the last event.
    Nobody who knows about it either way is discussing it though.
    Like so many discussions this one is generating a lot of heat and not much light.

  • B October 27, 2009 (5:08 pm)

    RW – A plan for restoration is always presented in the application process. I think the largest part of the frustration comes from the timing. Less than a week before an event is BRUTAL on a promoter to find a new venue. The renewal plan consist of restoring the turf by use of rakes (both leaf and landscaping) to revive the grass. Then if needed seed is sprinkled in high traffic areas. If deep ruts occur they are filled in. Sometimes it takes a trip or two back after the race to continue to restore a certain area but over the winter they always come back to original form. The course is also canvased for trash. Usually the park ends up cleaner than before! Not trying to be sarcastic! :) Just wanted to inform and educate that a plan is always in place and several places allows these races to happen year after year. Again, the biggest frustration here is the timing at which they are canceling the permit.

  • David October 27, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    I’m sad this was canceled. I was looking forward to watching it.

  • mjc October 27, 2009 (5:14 pm)

    What is very disappointing to me is the short notice decision on the Parks departments side of things to revoke the permit. From a small business standpoint, Zac and Terry (the race promoters) are scrambling to find a new venue and they invested heavily to make the event happen in Lincoln Park. This is disrespectful and troubling from a business standpoint. And lets be very clear here, yes, this is a “for profit” venture, but the return these guys are making is pennies on the dollar. Their real return is creating a community and a community run event that supports a solid family values kind of recreation and something that most people can engage in. I race and I see people from 3 years of age to at least 70 years of age racing.

    Insurance was never a problem since the promoters were on top of details like that. It was all cleared months in advance by Parks and Rec.

    The promoter did pay fees to get the permit. In fact, they paid a fair share of money all up front to ensure that the Parks Department saw them as professional and serious.

    Short term impact like making some mud out of grass seems like a minor cost to invest in our community, all the while still letting kids play in the park, dogs run freely, beach combers to check out the washed up booty and fun loving cyclists to race about a small portion of the park.

    I think in the end, we all want the same thing: A great community with lots of resources, events and some quiet places to walk the dogs, ride our bikes, play with our kids and enjoy the neighborhood that is West Seattle. It just seems like a few people didn’t have the big picture details to make a more educated decision and now we’re all a little bent out of shape.


  • B October 27, 2009 (5:14 pm)

    Jumbo Jim – regarding course layout, these course generally stick to grass, gravel paths and paved roads. It’s of no interest to go through areas of vegetation other than grass. That’s not good for the race or the plant life! :) I happen to know the course designer and he has a huge amount of experience in designing professional level courses that are safe for racers, spectators and the environment. When a race is held in a venue the racers are guests. Venues are hard to find and it doesn’t do the racers any good to trash the course and then expect an invitation back.

  • clark5080 October 27, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    Personally I was looking forward to the race. I was going to photograph it.
    Not sure who was the organization who ran the last race that people who are complaining about but to totally lock out others who could put on a race and not cause damage or have other logistic problems is very unfortunate and short sighted.


  • rob October 27, 2009 (5:20 pm)

    Pretty disgusting how this has gone down.

    It would be one thing if we were talking about a permit not being issued for some good reason. But, its a completely different matter to revoke a permit at the last minute based on nothing but the gripes of literally a couple of people.

    Using the outcome of a race six years ago that was put on by different people as an excuse is pretty shameful.

    Are you going to start denying/revoking everyone’s permits for parties at the shelters after you get a couple emails about the messes some people leave behind?

  • mjc October 27, 2009 (5:38 pm)

    Jumbo Jim- Here’s a link to the proposed course. http://www.mfgcyclocross.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Lincoln-Park-Course-Map.jpg

    “B” is spot on with the word on the course designer. He knows what he’s doing and everyone from the promoter’s side of things are all about creating good relationships and supporting the community by being mindful of the aesthetics and the biological health of the venues along with good communication…

  • Dartanyon Race October 27, 2009 (6:20 pm)

    Canceling this event is truly a shame. As an avid bicycle commuter, father, member of the park going public, I was really looking forward to taking my kids to see their first cross race.

    I am greatly confused and concerned how something can be “banned for life” from a public park without a public vote, and I am rather sure that I have never been asked if I want to use “our” park for cyclocross racing.

    1 person, even 10 or 20 people writing a letter of concern should not get anything banned from public parks. I have been writing letters to the parks department for years begging them to do a better job at enforcing leash laws, but have yet to see dogs banned from parks …

  • Roland October 27, 2009 (6:24 pm)

    Wow is that how things work around here?
    The promoters go through all the the right steps securing permits and stuff from the City and Park Department and then somebody who is not fond of the event writes an email or two to somebody else and just like that the event is cancelled and the permits are revoked. Pretty cool trick. Try to explain that to the kids.

  • Carrie October 27, 2009 (6:55 pm)

    Wow – I am a WS resident for 3 years & my husband has been a resident for his entire life. We enjoy Lincoln Park often with my step-daughter for Frisbee, her sports, family gatherings, trail running, etc. We were planning to show our support for this event by participating on Saturday. My in-laws, husband’s cousins & our friends, who are also WS residents, were going to come out to cheer us on. I am really disappointed by this as it seems those responsible for issuing and revoking the permit are behaving cowardly and do not fully understand the care taken in the course design. There are HS cross country meets in the park. Doesn’t that impact the natural vegetation? It seems, the parks people are just not feeling up to hearing from residents, but they are going to hear from this one. I will be getting in touch with these folks, encouraging those above to do so as well, & expressing my disappointment in elections. Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council Member, Chair of the Parks and Recreation Department: tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov
    Timothy Gallagher, Superintendent Seattle City Parks and Rec: timothy.gallagher@seattle.gov
    Christopher Williams, Deputy Superintendent Seattle City Parks and Rec: christopher.williams@seattle.gov

  • donnie October 27, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    The Ownership mentality is what built this country, now it feels like it’s ruining it!

  • VBD October 27, 2009 (7:19 pm)

    I race and live on Fauntleroy across the street from the park. I was looking forward to this event. It is truly MY park too. This was a terrible decision by the city.

  • ttm October 27, 2009 (7:31 pm)

    you would think with all the crime in west seattle that a fun family event would be welcome.

  • Dante October 27, 2009 (8:38 pm)

    From cyclocross’s own website forums, people remember the last run tore up the trails and hurt native plants. (and that’s PLANTS for all you jerks strawman arguing about grass). I wasn’t in WS last time the race came through. I know many people on this site are long term residents, any of you actually witness the damage or lack thereof? What condition did the park actually get left in to put a permanent ban on their sport? This group certainly talks a good game about their cleanup, but that’s the easy part.

  • Jacob October 27, 2009 (8:48 pm)

    What an absurd decision by the Parks Department.

  • JJ October 27, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    Terrible decision. Two people decide who gets permits? What is the process for? I don’t care about the event either way, but if they got a permit, they should be able to do it.

    Another case of West Seattle complainers ruining the enjoyment of others. Probably the same naysayers who fought so hard against any improvements in CA Place Park.

  • Kelly K October 27, 2009 (9:14 pm)

    I’ve done a lot of native plant restoration (including at Lincoln Park) and trail maintenance.

    The original message said the route went on “social trails” which means trails people cut on their own–not the official, graveled park trails. This is bad because they are cut through (potentially sensitive) native plant areas–not just grass.

    I don’t think there’s any use in pointing fingers this time–it seems like a communication issue. For the future, I’d love to see responsibly-routed cyclocross events at Lincoln Park.

  • MargL October 27, 2009 (9:16 pm)

    According to this: http://www.seattle.gov/PARKS/ParkBoard/minutes/2003/11-13-03.pdf

    The cyclocross event in 2003 caused “minor damage to 7,500 square feet of turf”.

    Dante – what cyclocross forums were you looking at?

    I couldn’t find any listed on MFG Cyclocross’s site or the Marymoor Velodrome group’s site that apparently held the 2003 event.

  • Mike October 27, 2009 (9:26 pm)

    Next time I see a junkie or some rat kid running across the native plants and cutting their own trail I’m going to call Seattle Parks Dept. and demand they ban them.

  • Mike October 27, 2009 (9:29 pm)

    Want to tell the Parks Dept. what you think about their decision, here http://www.seattle.gov/parks/administration.htm

  • mo October 27, 2009 (9:45 pm)

    I, too, am a West Seattle resident and my husband and I both race cyclocross. I find it discriminatory that this neighborhood group made an agreement with the Parks Department 6 years ago banning all future cyclocross events from the park. If there was a serious problem at that time it should have been discussed with the event coordinators and plans should have been made to prevent the problem in future years.

    Asking permission for one cycling race per year per park is not unreasonable.

    I will be writing to my council members on this matter.


  • MeToo October 27, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    Even mjc on his 5:14pm post says:…”dogs run freely”….. well Lincoln Park is not an off leash park!….

    Promoters of events like this should pay for all the city’s extra costs… police, parking, extra patrols in the park, and restoring or repairing any damage… etc. I bet the fees the city charges does not cover the entire cost of allowing these events in the city and the tax payers pick up the difference.

    I agree a great community has facilities for all ages and families to enjoy. Lincoln Park is one of our city’s great treasures. Folks should respectfully use it and enjoy it.

  • homesweethome October 27, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    west seattle NIMBYs unite – you’ve ruined yet another fun, family oriented event — I was looking forward to taking my daughter to this race, my brother has done these races for years…not only is it a great sport, but lots of people come out to watch adding to the camaraderie of the events…another sad day for west seattle

  • homesweethome October 27, 2009 (9:54 pm)

    JJ – I just saw your comments, yes perhaps it is the same group of NIMBYs that thwarted CA Place Park improvements – but as that group clearly pointed out – parks are for looking at, not for actually using

  • Reeve October 27, 2009 (9:56 pm)

    I raced Lincoln Park in 2003. Yes, there were muddy ruts in grassy areas, but racers came back several times with implements and elbow grease to put things right. Note the messages from several residents that never noted the damage from the last race. Damage to “native” plants other than grass is an assertion I’d challenge for lack of proof. It’s a visual issue for a few weeks. Grass is dormant at this time anyway and will regrow.

    By the way, the courses are taped off and marshalled to reduce racer/spectator/bystander accidents. But spectators are always welcome. In Belgium, they get 10-20,000 spectators for a race with entry fees of 20 euros. It’s a big deal there and really does foster community.

    What I remember being told about 2003 is that particular dog-walkers were upset that they had to take a detour for the day, but they were vocal enough to get the attention of the Parks Department, used the excuse of damage to grass and extracted the “promise” that was called upon to revoke this year’s permit.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the same people are behind this year’s pre-emptive complaints.

    I am a veteran cyclocross racer and Seattle resident. My kids race too. My (now) twelve year old son raced at Lincoln Park as one of his first races without training wheels. He is now nationally competitive for his age group, with 2 top 10 finishes. We enjoyed going to West Seattle, brought several friends with us, and were disappointed to lose the venue. I was looking forward to coming back to racing in an urban park in Seattle with freinds, the cross community, and even passers-by. I was especially looking forward to the chance to prove the haters in West Seattle wrong, and show the positive things about the sport for racers, kids, and spectators. Yes, and that includes staying late for course clean-up.

    I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get that chance again – maybe next year. I’ll be e-mailing the city.

  • Westie October 27, 2009 (10:27 pm)

    Sad day for West Seattle. I and many other residents of the beautiful peninsula are bummed about the race not being in our back yard. This is exactly what parks are for. This should have been the spirit of West Seattle. Museums are the places that we don’t want people to touch things in, not parks. Sorry racers, please come back soon.

  • Eric L October 27, 2009 (11:35 pm)

    I am a new cyclocross racer, and I must say that I was very frustrated when I first heard the news. My biggest frustration is that a few people ruined what was to be a great day in Seattle. I own land, I pay taxes, but apparently my opinions aren’t as important as Mr.-not-a-UW-Professor. I didn’t write any scathing commentary only because I had to jump on my bike to get home from work at a decent hour thereby allowing me to cool off. Now I am just sad. I feel like this is really a few people ruining a good thing for hundreds. Cyclocrossers drive hours for a good race, the MFG folks put on a great day. Cyclists in general, are very quick to spend time and money in neighborhoods that host events. Sure the grass will be torn up in a handful of corners, but it is grass. Not a huge issue. As people stated, Cross Country would do the same. I know for a fact Cross Country participants won’t help repair the course after the race. It’s sad really. I know I will be keeping this issue in mind when Mr. Rasmussen’s term ends. This is a very unprofessional way to treat event organizers and it just adds to the inept actions by our Seattle politicians (see Sonics, snow plowing, viaduct, etc.).

  • 55rpm October 28, 2009 (12:13 am)

    How many other “Prohibition Laws” did the Parks Department forget to transfer to their electronic files?

    To me, Lincoln Park seems like a great venue for cyclocross, just like it is a great venue for several cross-country races each fall. It’s a shame that the race had to be cancelled at the last minute.

  • chas redmond October 28, 2009 (1:33 am)

    @ Westie
    “Museums are the places that we don’t want people to touch things in, not parks.”
    ‘cept when it’s SAM’s Sculpture Park, through which you have to walk your bike. As many backyards as there are, we really are surrounded by NIMBY’s.
    cheers all…ps – i’ve seen Jeep tracks in Lincoln Park during the muddy season – they’re much worse then bike tracks. You can actually trip over them.

  • Jose October 28, 2009 (2:23 am)

    Oh, what a shame. Cyclists will just have to clog the roads and disobey traffic rules…oh, wait, nothing’s changed.

  • I. Ponder October 28, 2009 (8:08 am)

    I think the broader issue is whether a handful of chronically unhappy complaining “neighbors” should be able to stop all.

    This is so common in Seattle. I’m not talking about just this one issues. Seems like it’s very easy to stop all sorts of things from happening in Seattle.

    I just came from a demonstration last night in Ballard to get the Burke Gilman Trail completed on Shilshole Ave. where a few local businesses have deterred progress for going on 20 years now, despite it being a public safety issue and not their private property.

    This is part of Seattle culture.

  • CanDo October 28, 2009 (8:16 am)

    Boy, speaking of whiners… I just read through this string and the whining about experiencing a little roadblock in your cycling life is unreal. Threaten, bluster, call people names, link this little bump in your road to national politics. That’ll endear your cause to those of us who were curious about your event. I was thinking it was too bad the event was cancelled until I read this thread… now I’m thinking it’s probably for the best. Who needs your attitude in our neighborhoods. You’d probably berate a youngster who accidently got in your way or run over a wild critter who appeared in your path. How do you deal with real big roadblocks in your life? Throw tantrums?

  • John October 28, 2009 (9:03 am)

    I just read the entire list of entrys to this point. What I get from the bikers is ‘what’s it matter if we damage grass and plants, they will all grow back’. With that attitude we might as well harvest all the trees in Lincoln Park, because they’ll all grow back too.

    The anti-race people hated the fact that the course race of 2003 was not on existing trails. Truthfully, I remember seeing the new muddy trails created by the bikers. I also remember seeing City Park employees flagging the areas with keep off signs to help with regrowth.

    I’d like to see the bikers ride again, but they need to find away to decrease Park damage. I walk my dog in that park 5 days a week. I’ve never seen as much damage as the 2003 bike race. I’m amazed it was 6 years ago, it feels like only a few years back. The x-country runners leave very little notice that they were there.

  • Patrick October 28, 2009 (9:34 am)

    I was due to race this weekend. I’m a cyclist and and environmentalist.Any objectors should have requested the racers assist with rehab work following the race. I will volunteer a half day to help replant, reseed, litter pick etc.

    I went to review the route last weekend. It would have been 80% on regular trails, I think dmaage would be limited to the grassy field behind the ball field. Since when has turf grass been a priority habitat that is hard to regrow in Seattle?

    500 racers pay more taxes to the Parks Levy than a couple of over entitled neighbors. I personally live less than 1 mile from the park and wanted to share the facilities for 1 weekend a year with other users doing a sport I love. Apparently I missed the Citywide referrendum that said the voice of the few beats out the voice of the (tax paying) many in Seattle.

  • JW October 28, 2009 (10:34 am)

    Totally. Stupid. Decision. Next thing you know Lincoln Park will have stricter rules than my mother’s living room. This isn’t a motocross for #$%@ sake. There will be no monster trucks driving on the grass. Cyclocross bikes don’t spew Roundup. Should we shoot any wildlife in the area to make sure it doesn’t f-up the grass too? It’s grass people. Seriously. Grass.

  • sa October 28, 2009 (11:41 am)

    This is irresponsible for the City to backtrack on the permit. If they don’t have their act together they have to live with the consequences.

    I find in general that there is an unnecessary hostility to mountain biking in the city. Lincoln Park is an ideal place to hold this event. There are other areas that are great for trail riding that the City has excluded without adequate explanation. Look at Discovery Park for instance. There are loads of trails that would be appropriate for use with mountain bikes, particularly the really wide paths that snake all over the park. This is just an example of the myopic view of Seattle Parks on this issue.

  • Yardvark October 28, 2009 (11:53 am)

    Such a shame this was so last minute.

    Because I’m sure the organizers could’ve publicized their plan for park restoration if they’d had the time.

    Just to avoid these screw-ups in the future, I’d encourage cyclocross organizers to actually have participants commit on their registrations to fixing up the course afterwards.

    I’d also encourage organizers to find community partners in Sierra Club or other enviromental groups that would firm up this event as the enviromental race that it is.

    I really looked at that cyclocross event as a wonderfully enviromental race in my own neighborhood, so it’s very ironic that it’s been done in by so-called environmental concerns.

  • AuldSaltyDog October 28, 2009 (12:07 pm)

    Typical selfish not-in-my-backyard complaining. Good god people. You live in a city, not in the countryside. Ever heard of sharing? For half of one day? These are parks, not wild places. Hopefully you get that, no matter how ecologically ignorant you are or whatever fantasy you enjoy while strolling down the paths. It’s amazing how a little exaggeration from a couple of people and the parks officials fall all over themselves to avoid any conflict. Can we get a backbone for someone, any extras anywhere?

  • jiggers October 28, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    How come they couldn’t use California avenue down thru Morgan Junction/Fauntleroy and end up at the North end of Linocln Park?

  • B October 28, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    Jigger – Cyclocross racing is actually done off pavement on grass and dirt. It’s a type of racing that was invented in Europe to keep the road racers in shape during the winter months. The bikes look similar to road bikes but are setup with off road tires. However, the route you suggested would make an excellent ROAD race come summer time! :) Here is a great description of the sport: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclocross

  • cherylc October 28, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    Thank you B, for explaining cyclocross racing. I didn’t know what it was. This is a sad situation. On the one hand, if the Parks Dept made the agreement I could see that they would stick by it. OTOH, pulling a permit three days before the event is unacceptable. What a mess, and my sympathies to the cyclocross racers.

  • eloc October 28, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    disappointed in the way the parks officials handled this to say the least. revoking a permit with any less than two weeks is unacceptable. wrote them this morning. i think the most absurd and in a way rather humorous part of all this is the “UW professor” who wrote in protest of the event, “I am sending this message as a citizen, not as a UW Professor,…” ( i.e., I really want you to know I am a UW professor because, though I may not be writing this as an official UW professor, I think being one makes me smarter and more powerful and I want to exploit that for all its worth…but I’m writing as a citizen and not a UW professor of course). This type of academic elitist snobbery makes me want to gag. I have been around entirely too much of it.

  • Lucky October 28, 2009 (2:06 pm)

    Just wanted to thank the residents that commented on here showing their support for the event and our sport of Cyclocross. As a long time cyclist, racer and promoter it is nice to see the majority are in favor of having positive community events amongst them.
    thanks again for your support!!!!!!

  • no meato burrito October 28, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    It is mind-boggling that one whiner could bring a halt to an event that was to be attended by hundreds of athletes — especially when the logic in his letter makes no sense. He complains that birdwatchers, dog-walkers and other park users will be “excluded” from the park because of the race. These users would still be very able to use the park during the few hours that the race would have occurred and would be welcome to do so. What is really happening is that this one person seeks to exclude a very specific group of users — bicyclists.

    As a West Seattle resident, a regular Lincoln Park user, and a cyclocross racer, I am appalled that this is happening. What part of “public park” means “no bicyclists”? The City should be ashamed for pulling the permit.

  • Kayleigh October 28, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    eloc, after the bullying and name calling by some of the cyclists, you make bitter comments about a UW professor who wrote a civilized letter that you disagree with?
    I know lots of UW professors too, all of whom are smarter than I am and none of whom is an elitist.
    We see what we want to see.

  • Bill October 28, 2009 (3:27 pm)

    I live right next to LP, I love that park, I walk my dog there (on leash) every day, I’ve made great friends there.. People like “CanDo” make me ill, but seriously sum up a typical Seattle personality. How about some credit for the passion that is being posted here? We LOVE to race our bikes, we do it every weekend. We CARE about our venues (it’s proven over and over again). The race community as grown and matured hugely since 2003. This is not a “roadblock”, it’s a slap in the face to something we’ve been working on for years. As neighbor of the park, it’s an embarrassment since all other venues greet us with open arms, and even thank us when we’re done (including Park Rangers). For those who think we’re a bunch of whiners, don’t waste your uptight time replying. What’s your point? We (I) will always feel like you are the cause and we (I) will forever think differently of where I live.

  • shollqwa October 28, 2009 (3:33 pm)

    This is not about what you or I want. This is about how we choose to treat one of the last few acres of forested land in the city – to make sure that future generations have places like these to enjoy, too. It’s only a measly few acres! Can’t we agree to use it in a low-impact way?

    And it’s not “only grass”, (there are still a few acres of woods – barely). It used to be a lot bigger and more forested even just thirty years ago. Do we have to beat that up, too?

    This is not about 1 or 2 whiny people. There were many, many of us that were promised by Parks that what happened in the last race would never happen again. Because the racers were not supposed to go off-trail in the first place, but they cut a bunch of new trails through the woods and fields that are still there. And once cut, they only get bigger from then on. Can you imagine what the park would look like now if this had been allowed to continue over the last 6 years? There would be little left.

    Apparently Westcrest and Woodland Parks have been designated places that can be used in a heavy-impact way. Can’t you be happy with that? Do you have to take it all?

  • Thistle Res. October 28, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    shollqwa – You don’t know anything of what you speak. Educate yourself before you type.

  • Eric L October 28, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    Please read this as an honest question. To all who oppose this race, when was the last time you attended a cyclocross race? Did you return to the park after the race and view the park’s condition? Please do some research before completely banning an event 4 days before the event is legally scheduled to occur.

    I am not so opposed to Seattle stating that certain locations are not appropriate for certain uses. I am opposed to the city treating anyone in the manner that they treated the race organizers for MFG. Pulling an existing permit to a large event 4 days before the event is ludicrous and unprofessional. If the permit should have never been issued, then allow it and fix it next time. If the folks at MFG wanted, they may have a case for breach of contract. I am sure this cost them a lot of money. That means this conduct by our elected officials is putting our municipal finances at risk.

    No matter what you think of the race, the conduct by the parks department is unacceptable. I hope we all remember this come re-election time for Tom Rasmussen, Timothy Gallagher, and Christopher Williams.

  • WSB October 28, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    Gallagher and Williams are not elected, but appointed.
    FYI MFG Cyclocross just tweeted that the race is on for Saturday in Lakewood Park. I believe that’s the Lakewood Park in White Center but checking to confirm before publishing a separate update – TR

  • WSB October 28, 2009 (4:30 pm)

    Yup, it’s official – it’s on the King County Parks news site:

  • Eric L October 28, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    Touche’ on the to appointed officials…
    Wasn’t sure but thought I would go for the glory. Good to hear the race is on, it sounded promising.

  • AJP October 28, 2009 (4:58 pm)

    Well I think Kayleigh summed it up exactly: We see what we want to see.

    The cyclocrossers see an event they look forward to cancelled at the last minute by a small number of people, perhaps unfairly. People who hate cyclists see the tone of every comment as John has interpreted for us: ‘what’s it matter if we damage grass and plants, they will all grow back’ and insinuates that the cyclocrossers would prefer cutting down all the trees in Lincoln park. It’s similar to Jose, who has never, ever seen a single cyclist stop at a stop light or sign, use proper hand signals, or stop for people in a crosswalk, according to his comment: ‘Cyclists will just have to clog the roads and disobey traffic rules…oh, wait, nothing’s changed.’

    We see what we want to see, indeed. It’s a shame we can’t take into account what other people see as well.

  • eloc October 28, 2009 (6:23 pm)

    I am simply pointing out that, though he claims to not be writing “as a UW professor,” he is in fact trying to use his position as leverage. If he were simply writing as a citizen then no need to mention anything about being a UW professor. And of course, not all are professors are elitists, but that does not mean that some are not. And by the way, have you read the letter? Not real civilized, closer to threatening really.

  • Zac Daab October 28, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    Hi Folks!

    Yes, it’s true: MFG Cyclocross will be putting on King County CX at Lakewood County Park in Seattle. You can register for the race here:


    We’d love to see as many new folks come out as possible!

    Thanks a ton to WSB for providing this forum for communication.

    Zac D.

  • John Muir October 28, 2009 (7:28 pm)

    Cyclocross racers. Get over yourselves. No-one who cares about the natural beauty of Lincoln Park hates cyclists. What we hate is the wanton destruction of one of the few somewhat natural areas this City has to offer. There are many grass fields (to whit, Lakewood Park) that are entirely appropriate for this kind of activity. The routes shown on the plan for Lincoln Park would have expanded and degraded trails that already should not be there, and damaged native plants. No-one is concerned about grass. The course included many, many segments that went through the forest, one tiny remnant of the spectacular old-growth forest that existed in Seattle 150 years ago.

    The Europeans, who invented Cyclocross, do not have native forests, but they wish they did. They come by the millions, to experience our natural parks, because they have no parallel (even the small ones).

    Find an appropriate Park, and you will hear no complaints.

  • David October 28, 2009 (9:47 pm)

    West Seattle…

    You’ll be missing a great sporting event.

    Seattle Parks…

    Poor judgement.

  • KB October 28, 2009 (9:54 pm)

    This whole situation stinks. For all those who think this race is a bad idea please come to Lakewood park this saturday and watch and observe what goes on. The fact that 700+ people come out to exercise, enjoy their families, their friends and a day outdoors will help you get over yourselves. I can appreciate wanting to keep the park pristine, but show me a study that says that cyclocross does irreparable damage and we’ll likely never ask to come back. Try calling the Everett parks dept and ask about our race at Silver Lake. Ask the park rangers who attended how bad this group is, how we left the park a wreck, and how we are a bunch of young hooligans. Go ahead, you might be surprised.

  • missadventuregirl October 28, 2009 (11:42 pm)

    Mike, excellent, I go one step further — let’s just ban all kids from the park. They run loose and might destroy everything. :) (you think I’m kidding…)

    I have to say my life is the same whether we have a Cyclocross race in Lincoln park or not, and the “we would’ve brought tons of business to your neighborhood” argument makes me yawn. But never mind that. The way the city handled this is really dirty.

    Also, can I just say that I read the letter sent by the UW professor, and he sounded like a total git. “I’m writing this as a citizen, not as a UW professor.” Puke. Oh great, one of those professors who has to mention the fact that he is one at every opportunity, however irrelevant it is to the conversation. Racers, don’t take all of WS-ites to be like this person!

    pissedoffnow, I’m sorry you’re pissed off, but good luck with that plan to ride anyway with the normal park crowd, lol.

  • Alexander von Humboldt October 29, 2009 (8:10 am)

    Dear John, it is with great interest that I read your comment. It appears you have won your battle to keep the plebes out of your neighborhood park. They will have their fun somewhere else. However for all of our education and in the interest of science (of course), which are these native plants that you refer to, specifically? Furthermore who in your community decides what trails should or should not be here or there through the woods and what they should look like? Curiously yours, AvH

  • what October 29, 2009 (2:16 pm)

    it is a little ironic.
    these permits have been pulled because of peoples’ concern of what the race will do to the plants in the park.

    yet the City of Seattle, DPD will issue permits for people to build houses on steep slopes, increasing the risk for landslides, especially by taking away natural vegetation to replace it with permeable surfaces for the 2+ cars and big house. I wonder how many of the original complainers, people who get this type of activity banned from the park are the same people have actually done a lot worse to the environment by developing the land on those steep slopes. and why ?
    oh yeah-people need their views…


    FYI there is a landslide awareness meeting nov. 7.


  • WSB October 29, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    Thanks, “what,” the meeting’s been in the calendar for a few days now. We’ll be issuing some reminders too as the rain resumes … TR

  • what October 29, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    (I meant to say impermeable)

    thanks TR- yes, the WSB calendar is so handy !! and If I can’t make it to something, I know where to find a good synopsis too.

  • rob October 30, 2009 (6:51 am)

    Cyclocross or an offlease dog in the park, little difference. Start leashing your dogs! My dog doesn’t want to be molested by your offlease dog or hit by a cyclocross participant.

  • Mike October 30, 2009 (7:56 am)

    rob, the course area for the cyclocross event would be marked and you would not be allowed in those areas during a “hot” stage as it would be in rally. Police would be there for crowd control, just like any other larger public event. So, regarding your dog being hit by a cyclocross participant, you’re more likely to step on your dogs paw than a cyclocross rider would to hit your dog. I too walk my dog at Lincoln park, but I also have a brain.

  • Arrhurstone October 30, 2009 (10:18 am)

    Hmmm. The great minds in the Seattle Parks Department strike again. I live in Pioneer Square & the city has permitted all-day ( Sundays no less) events in nextdoor Occidental Park featuring live amplified music in the open air venue. I guess the cyclicross organizers should have provided live music.

  • maylor October 30, 2009 (10:31 am)

    Kudos to WSB for providing a community forum and moderating vitriol.

    I’m not a racer but can appreciate the sport. I’m an avid cyclist and commute from West Seattle to Bellevue by bike. I completely understand the disappointment and frustration at the last minute reversal from the Parks department. I understand the disgust with the NIMBY whining.

    That stated, it’s good to see that the Parks revoked the permit. A cyclocross race in a city park is not appropriate. Wheels destroy wet earth – it’s not about grass growing back. To compare a cyclocross event to a cross-country run is a disingenuous fail. It’s true that footpaths contribute to erosion and require maintenance, but at nowhere near the cost and effort needed to shore up ruts from bicycles, let alone scores of bikes riding at a mad pace. Just look at the NFS trails where bikes are permitted – they’re ruined. Whether trails in the forest or trails in our urban forests, our city parks, these trails were built for feet – not wheels. Just because you pay taxes doesn’t entitle you to recreate as you want. It’s telling that it takes hours if not months to rehabilitate a course after a race.

    Here’s a suggestion – why not follow other recreational communities’ lead and work with the city to find a dedicated course for cyclocross? Skateboarders and mountainbikers have found good courses using vacant land under 99 and I-5. Since many of the cross community on this post purport to be good family people with steady jobs, are economic powerhouses (all the business they bring to bars?) and have the ability to raise substantial money for charities, how about they raise some capital to create a dedicated cyclocross park in the city?

  • B October 30, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    Hmmmm…interesting idea. :) I like it!

  • Mike October 30, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    “Since many of the cross community on this post purport to be good family people with steady jobs, are economic powerhouses (all the business they bring to bars?) and have the ability to raise substantial money for charities, how about they raise some capital to create a dedicated cyclocross park in the city”

    Wow, can that be any further from a realistic comparison? Thousands of dollars brought to local SMALL businesses by nearly 1000 people is small beans compared to multi millions of dollars it takes just to build a cyclocross course, much less the money needed to put it into motion with government and voter approval. Since the city is in horrible financial condition, you’d think they’d take the opportunity to make some money and help a community, and gee… what if they PAID some park employees to restore trails and plant more with the money from the event? It’s not motorcross, it’s cyclocross, big difference in environmental impact.

  • nwgal October 30, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    I can certainly forgive the commenters who presume that a lot of cyclocross participants are younger. Judging by the maturity level of some of the pro-comments, such an assumption is completely understandable.
    First of all, is it really necessary to point out the immature, entitled attitude behind the “I pay taxes, so I should have the right to trash a public venue if I want!” argument? It would seem to me to be self-evident.
    Same goes for the hyperbole dripping in the “if cyclocross users can’t tear up the grass and vegetation, then old people shouldn’t get to walk in the park with their destructive canes” comment.
    As far as the “grass will grow back” argument, sure, next year it will. Grass is heading into its dormant season. So the damage you do now will be “enjoyed” by all the park visitors all winter long. It will not exactly be a lovely sight to behold.
    As for the “we repair all the damage we do” argument, um, it seems to me that had that actually been the case in 2003, the City wouldn’t have put a prohibition in place.
    So, thanks to Seattle for putting such a policy in place. It protects the parks for all users, not just those private groups who, for whatever reason, think they should get to tear up public property in the pursuit of their “sport.”
    Oh, and finally, did the comment that essentially was “if the City wants to tell us ‘no,’ let’s go do it anyway! We’ll show them!” remind anyone else of something a petulant 6-year-old would say? I’m with Kelly. That kind of argument is not exactly going to win hearts or minds.

  • WSB October 30, 2009 (1:33 pm)

    Re: the cyclocross park idea –
    Not sure if it would apply BUT I should take the opportunity to mention something we have been covering a lot: The application period for the Opportunity Fund from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy will open relatively soon. The draft criteria have been published and a public hearing on them is less than 2 weeks away. Might be some possibilities there …

  • Joe October 30, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    I was looking forward to this event in this park – would have been great and we would leave couple buck in the neighborhood too. Shame on you West Seattle & Seattle parks. Excuses are very lame.

  • Andrew Novikoff November 2, 2009 (5:47 pm)

    I too am glad it worked out.
    For me though, it’s not an argument of how messed up Lincoln Park was in ‘03 or some native vegi’s getting knocked over. these are the things that should have been considered long before the permit was issued for this event.
    I wrote the man who signed and revoked the permit. I also wrote to the Mayor and the council member who is associated with the Parks and recreation. I simply asked how a permit can be revoked if it was properly issued. What is the point of going thru the permit process if it doesn’t hold up? Not to mention that it was days prior to the event. As of yet, I have not even been afforded the courtesy of a reply. Of course this is over and the event went else where and we’ll all go about our merry ways but how do we prevent this type of discrimination for occurring again. And yes I do find this to be, among many issues, one of discrimination. Especially since there seems to be some talk about a permenant ban of this event from this venue.
    In the Seattle Times I read that part of the explanation was that the park was not equipped to handle an event of this magnitude. I guess Myrtle Edwards was designed with the 40k people in mind when it comes to Hempfest each and every year.
    At any rate, I do consider myself a cross cyclist(even if I only did 2 races this year). I also consider myself a reasonably responsible citizen who would take the time give due consideration to this issue. But after reading the letter from the UW professor I can see that it is not an issue of giving a bit so we can all enjoy our parks to some extent. It is about having it my way now. For any reasonable person can see that the damage caused by the ‘03 race was temporary and there is no trace at present.
    About the comments: yes there was some rather rude remarks on both sides. And yes, I believe that if you have something to say-SIGN YOUR REAL NAME TO IT!-don’t hide behind anonymity. But I think there was an overwhelming majority of those who blogged that supported the cross community. It is after all, a once a year event.
    If anything I have written here is factually incorrect, please let me know in a civilized manner.
    and now we shall dance!

  • West Seattle November 3, 2009 (6:58 am)

    So can I get a permit for my Hummer race?

  • Andrew Novikoff November 3, 2009 (7:52 am)

    If city will permit it you should be allowed to race it. But they might pull the permit when they actually do their job and vet the circumstances under which your race will be held and the permit issued.

    Hum away

  • Chris November 3, 2009 (10:00 am)

    Funny, there was a cyclocross races in Lincoln Park in 2001 and 2002. No one has seemed to ever mention that these occured without incident, inconvienience or any undue damage. It seem West Seattle, Liconln Park and cyclocross were getting along just fine until one specific dog walker stumbled upon the event in 2003. It is sad that one vocal, opinionated individual can overshadow history, reality, and so many other people.

    The race does not close down the park to other users as the complaint letter suggests. It a large park and the race course is on the upper reaches of the park with the cource consisting mostly of mowed grass and fallen needles.

    It is truly sad that the Parks Dept abvocated their power and responsibility. Maybe they should add a this individual to the approval of all Parks use permits.

  • Andrew Novikoff November 3, 2009 (11:19 am)

    I also have noticed that the UW prof has neither defended nor acknowledged the frivolity of his accusations.
    With all due respect, it would be nice if this person would come forward and engage in the conversation instead of appearing as one who simply says one thing as the last word even though there are many other takes and perceptions on the same topic.
    Thanks Chris!

  • Fatslob November 3, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    Man! I wish I was a stupid cyclist! Then I could ignore four-way stops and only obey the traffic laws I choose to. Also I’d like to tear up local parks so all the stupid kids wouldn’t be able to play! And when people who live by the park complain I’d hold a bunch of critical mass’ rallies because like all bullies and hyenas, cyclists are only brave in packs. Yup, if only i was a big enough douche bag to get all uppity about using my bicycle in the park instead of focusing my energy on real problems, like child abuse or the homeless.

Sorry, comment time is over.