Bicyclists have been damaging our HOA landscape for years at an estimated cost between $6,000 to $8,000 per year in landscape repair. This has escalated sharply in recent months, with e-bikes being used as if they were dirt bikes. Slope damage not only damages plant material but greatly increases embankment erosion. Repair costs include erosion repair, plant replacement, sprinkler repair, and turf replacement or re-seeding. In some cases, an entire section of embankment requires replanting and new irrigation. In other cases, deterrent plants must be added. We have paid for dirt ramp and trash removal. Now, we are considering adding barrier fences as a determent.
As a reminder, bicycles (and Class 1 & 2 e-bikes) are only permitted on sidewalks and paved trails in Serrano Park. Top speed on these sidewalks and trails is 5 MPH.
A summary of the e-bike laws for Lake Forest are found HERE.
If you noticed unsafe e-bike riding behavior, you are asked to call the Sheriff non emergency number at (949) 770-6011. By providing this information, you are helping your community become educated on the issue.
This area is in the Main Greenbelt and was recently replanted after this photo was taken. This slope damage is typical of that we have seen from BMX style bicycles. We have been repairing damage similar to this in Middle Cipres Channel and Sendero Channel.
This is located next to the volleyball court. This is very recent damage is typical of what we now see from e-bikes. The increased speed, power, and weight, are much harder on the plants, grass, and erosion. To further protect these areas from bike damage, we may have to start installing barrier fences. The Landscape Committee is putting together such a proposal for the Board of Directors, next month.
This is the play yard near the clubhouse which is sometimes much more torn up than shown here. Some e-bikes can power through the sand, creating deep groves, tall berms, and spray the sand onto the grass.
This is another improvised e-bike dirt track, located next to the church on Trabuco. This property is the responsibility of our HOA. Because we have not had the budget in past years to replant this area, we try to keep the weeds down by heavily mulching this embankment.
Note that a loss of control on the left of this track, could easily put the rider in Trabuco traffic.
This suicide run, is located at the top of Sendero Channel, running straight down the very steep slope to narrowly miss a large concrete drain. The break in this hedge and the slope erosion have greatly increased in recent months.
If you have kids with bicycles or e-bikes, please remind them to respect our green areas in Serrano Park, the California and Lake Forest bicycle laws, and to please ride safely.