Mountain Biking - Ban vs. Compromise
Another report from the trenches. I think bans only work since mountain bikers are such scofflaws.
It was good to read your point of view and I get
that perception is a big deal. However, the
activist mountain bikers don’t seem to share
your point of view. I’ve observed a total
disregard for the laws by these activists and
yet they are not seen as “freaks” as you
identified yourself. I also agree that walking
in wilderness should not be banned and that the
“damage” hikers do is not nearly as horrible as
biking does. I never considered mountain biking
(I’ve always been a street/paved path
bicyclist). Because of Mike’s activities and
his sharing on the damage of this activity to
our wilderness and the bicyclists has made me an anti-mountain biking activist.
I think that if we could get enough volunteers
around the world to adopt a trail or two that
does not allow mountain biking; we can help the
park rangers with enforcement. I began that
process by hiking a trail in Oakland’s
wilderness and discovered the website was not
current in its information. So I helped by
communicating with East Bay Parks and they fixed
it. Now I’m adopting a new trail which I will
begin next week (weather permitting).
I don’t think this is radical – I think it’s a
good way to begin the process of educating
everyone to the radical mountain bikers who
don’t care about wilderness in the same way most folks do.
· Walk the trail at least one time per week
· Bring a whistle (and light if necessary)
· Wear nice bright clothes so you are
not invisible ( a safety vest is good)
· Bring a cell phone (or satellite if you have one)
· Enjoy nature while paying attention
· If you run across illegal trails or
mountain bikers, be polite but ask them to get
off of their bikes and walk to the nearest legal trail (have one in mind).
Or back the way they came, which they don't like.
If they are hostile, use your whistle and cell phone and
· Then report any incidents (minor or major) to the park rangers.
Good idea! A digital camera is also useful.
Photographing them sends them a message, and
inhibits their law-breaking, and the photos may be
useful for law enforcement. I think that a
digital camera usually takes clearer photos than a cell phone.
Mountain bikes have wheels. Wheels are for roads.
Trails are for walking. What’s the matter? Can’t walk?
Ed Dolan the Great – Minnesota