Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Irvine Ranch Conservancy Hosts First Activity on New Mountain Bike Skills Course at City of Irvine's Portola Staging Area

Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) hosted its first public activity on the newly constructed Mountain Bike Skills Course at the City of Irvine's Portola Staging Area on Sunday, April 25. The new Mountain Bike Skills Course has been in development for the past year with work executed by Irvine Ranch Conservancy's Infrastructure & Planning Crew.

"We were thrilled to have people come out and experience the new bike skills course at the Portola Staging Area," said Dave Raetz, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Irvine Ranch Conservancy. "Many activities on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks were postponed this past year in accordance with state and local guidelines and we can't wait to start welcoming people back to Orange County's native wildlands in the coming months."

The new Mountain Bike Skills Course at the Portola Staging Area, open only for guided activities, is larger than the previous and is primarily used as a training tool to introduce riders to mountain biking and improve their skills before heading out for a ride on the trails. Activities held on the new course will provide a controlled area where bikers can safely learn mountain biking techniques from certified IRC volunteers. New Mountain Bike Skills Course features include pre-engineered ramps and terrain-influenced surface areas such as rocks, dirt ramps and more.

"The IRC Infrastructure & Planning Crew worked safely and efficiently throughout the pandemic to ensure the new Mountain Bike Skills Course would be ready for bikers to prepare for their trail rides on the Landmarks," said Adam Maywhort, Director of Planning & Infrastructure at Irvine Ranch Conservancy. "The great thing about this course is that it can also be a fun way to experience mountain biking without needing to go out on a trail."

In addition to hosting public activities, the Mountain Bike Skills Course is also utilized by the City of Irvine Police Department as a training tool for the city's bicycle officers during off-hours.

The City of Irvine and IRC are working to add additional activities according to the local government safety guidelines and look forward to safely offering additional activities in the near future. For more information about the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and upcoming activities, visit

Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization created in 2005 to help preserve and support the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, enhancing the public's connection to the land while helping partners and landowners with all aspects of stewardship. The Conservancy offers a variety of free, guided outdoor programs for all nature enthusiasts including hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding and much more. For more information, visit


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