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Is Mike Vandeman finally dead?



 
 
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Old June 10th 13, 01:56 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
Blackblade
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Posts: 274
Default Is Mike Vandeman finally dead?

I hiked thousands of miles of trails in the western US when I was young and never encountered any runners. What are they? Hikers encountering one another on a trail is an occasion to greet one another. There does not have to be many collisions between hikers and bikers. Just a single collision can be extremely serious or even fatal.

So why are hiker/biker encounters not an opportunity to greet each other too. Where I ride that’s the standard interaction … “Hi there, have a good day”.

I completely accept that a collision could be serious … particularly in a remote location … but it’s incredibly rare. If we stopped all activities based on a remote risk then we would not fly, drive or travel. There are ‘reasonable’ risks in life.

Mr. Vandeman has all the scholarlty qualifications to be considered an expert, but more importantly he is a gentleman, something that mountain bikers never are. I use the words "pure soul” to refer to his mission to cleanse our environment of all polluters, like mountain bikers for instance. I am not so extreme as him ... which is nothing to brag about in this day and age when everything is going to hell in a hand basket.


I was tempted to let this slide … but when you wrote that he has scholarly qualifications I had to respond. He has no RELEVANT qualifications whatsoever and, after his one success in getting into a very tangential publication (Urban Heptology), he has had precisely zero subsequent work published. He does himself, and your cause, no good as far as I can see. But, as I said, it’s your choice. I would suggest that your honesty about WHY you don’t want mountainbikers on the trails is far more relevant, and meritorious, than Vandeman’s.

In the way that you use it, the most apt synonym for ‘Pure Soul’ would be monomaniacal sociopath.

I only need a few bad experiences with mountain bikers on a trail to know where I stand. Statistical data lies about everything most of the time just like polls do. You need to get some reality into your thinking. Further, many parks and recreation areas have created special trails for bicycling. I have no objection to that provided that other trails are available solely for hikers. Hikers will always have the best trails. Even idiots know that much.


I think that your view is common; anecdote is powerful and personal experience even more so. However, as I suspect you realise, it’s also fundamentally suspect and leads to all kinds of prejudices. Statistics can be mis-used, as can most tools, but measuring what is really going on is essential if you want to know the truth.

I think that some degree of split is perfectly rational … in some cases. I would not wish to hike on a downhill mtb trail for sure either. In locations where alternative trails are feasible then, sure, why not. However, that won’t ever be the case for all trails so some degree of sharing is essential. Long, remote trails are not going to be created twice and, given the low usage, this would make no sense anyway.

But I just plain don’t like bikes on trails. It is an incompatible use of a scarce resource. There are millions of miles of roads of various grades suitable for cycling. It is god damn selfish of you to want to horn in on the few trails that exist for another use. What’s the matter? Can’t walk?


I got the message about your feelings on the matter; but can you not, at least logically, accept that these are subjective ? You feel it strongly, I can see that, but not everyone does and your views should not take precedence over others’ valid right to use natural resources as they see fit too.

I think, also, that you’re missing the point about use; the trails were, frequently, NOT created purely for hiking use. They were created by animals, by trade and for transport purposes in many cases.

I am a hiker and a biker. In my youth I hiked all over North Wales with my father. Now, I prefer to ride, but I do still hike too. My son prefers hiking, my daughter riding. How is it ‘selfish’ to want to use the same trail for both activities ? Is it any less ‘selfish’ than you saying that you want them exclusively for your activity ?

Yes, indeed ... it is all emotion and perception – yours to be precise.


No, I’m rather less emotional; if you could produce objective, reviewed data that proved me wrong I would accept it.

“It is an incompatible use of a scarce resource. There are millions of miles of roads of various grades suitable for cycling. It is god damn selfish of you to want to horn in on the few trails that exist for another use. What’s the matter? Can’t walk?” – Ed Dolan


It’s not incompatible; you’ve asserted that many times but I have shown that it works fine in some areas. How is it ‘selfish’ to want to use one’s chosen form of transport to experience that scarce resource ? Is it not more selfish to wish to restrict others’ enjoyment ? Roads are a completely different experience … and not attractive to those of us who wish to continue to enjoy nature.

The list that I am on is the only one that counts. Your worship of numbers (data) marks you as an ignoramus who is easily swayed by lies.


I disagree. My open-ness to being persuaded by real data is, I would suggest, the only rational approach to this. If you get messianic then there is no solution; the reality is that we will end up with some trails being single use and others being shared. If all parties are prepared to approach this in a less prejudiced manner it’s more likely that the outcome will be successful. For example; there is a voluntary moratorium on riding on Snowdon at certain times. And that was agreed because people were reasonable and prepared to accommodate each other.

What mountain bikers do on trails is indeed a desecration. Managers determine what rights people have to share public resources. I suppose the game of politics is the final arbiter, but it seldom ever gets to that level. Broadly speaking, people never have the right to share equally in public resources, Where did you ever get a crazy idea like that?


“In the modern representative democracy, ‘public property’ is said to be owned by the people as a commons or held in trust by the government for common benefit.” …

When an incompatible use is involved, it is not possible to reconcile the conflict. The mountain biking situation just keeps getting worse and worse. Education is not the answer to most things. The answer to most things is force majeure. It is the reason we have police forces and military forces.


You keep stating that it’s incompatible. You don’t verify this other than by asserting that you don’t like it. How do your perceptions determine reality ?
I would assert, by reference to successful projects, that in most cases it’s completely compatible. In the rare cases where it is not then separate trails may be the answer.

I would also be careful about asserting that it’s incompatible; if the situation, as you imply, is that there are more and more mountainbikers then if they become the majority users then your intransigent stand of “It’s us or them” will result in hikers leaving the trails.

We hikers do not like equestrians much either if truth be told, but at least we can coexist as long as there are not too many of them. Bikers can easily take over trails so that no one else can use them. Frankly I do not mind cyclists in the low lying flatlands where the trail is broad. But high mountain trails are not for cyclists any more than they are for motorcyclists..


If you can co-exist with a tonne of horseflesh I would contend you can deal with 20 – 30 lbs of mountainbike.

The incompatible use idea extends to things other than just physical contact. It most powerfully extends to what you are there for in the first place and what is your mindset. Mountain bikers are there for fun and games; hikers are there for contemplation of nature and natural beauty. These things never go together.


I just don’t agree. I can sit on an aeons old rock and contemplate the ephemeral nature of life … without requiring that everyone else does the same. I might decry the mentality of those that get to the top of a mountain and go to the gift shop rather than enjoy the view … but they don’t spoil my enjoyment.

Maybe you would not object to motorcyclists on the trails either? After all, they are god damn people too and have a perfect right to the use of a public resource just like everyone else?


I would accept that they have some rights to enjoy natural resources. However, given the damage that they do, even in small numbers, I can completely accept that they have to be restricted for the common good.

I believe the trails are for hikers and are not for bikers. That has always been the tradition until recently. The fact that we are all people is totally irrelevant. Everything under the sun must be managed for ideally best use. Permitting bikes on trails is a worse use.


Better and worse are more emotive terms. Better and worse for whom ? If ten people want to ride a trail and only three want to hike it then which use is the better one ? There’s no logical basis for preferring hiking in such a circumstance.

You can ‘believe’ that this is the case … I don’t. Therefore, since we disagree the only fair arbiter is to look at the facts. If it is acceptable to bring a tonne of horseflesh along then it certainly must be acceptable to bring a mountainbike.

I think the present situation will have to get worse before it gets better.. The compromise will be that bikers will get their own trails separated from hiking trails. It is just a matter of time.


In some cases, that may be the best solution … I agree. In others, not so. However, unless both ‘sides’ accept the others’ valid concerns and wishes then reaching an accommodation is difficult.

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  #2  
Old June 13th 13, 12:58 AM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
EdwardDolan
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Posts: 532
Default Is Mike Vandeman finally dead?

"Blackblade" wrote in message ...

I hiked thousands of miles of trails in the western US when I was young and never encountered any runners. What are they? Hikers encountering one another on a trail is an occasion to greet one another. There does not have to be many collisions between hikers and bikers. Just a single collision can be extremely serious or even fatal.


So why are hiker/biker encounters not an opportunity to greet each other too. Where I ride that’s the standard interaction … “Hi there, have a good day”.


When I hike and meet a biker I am in fear of my life. I am going slow, he is going fast.

I completely accept that a collision could be serious … particularly in a remote location … but it’s incredibly rare. If we stopped all activities based on a remote risk then we would not fly, drive or travel. There are ‘reasonable’ risks in life.


The greatest risk of mountain biking on single track trails is that the biker will crash all by himself without any help from a hiker. Even so, it is an incompatible use to have hikers and bikers on the same trails.

Mr. Vandeman has all the scholarlty qualifications to be considered an expert, but more importantly he is a gentleman, something that mountain bikers never are. I use the words "pure soul” to refer to his mission to cleanse our environment of all polluters, like mountain bikers for instance. I am not so extreme as him ... which is nothing to brag about in this day and age when everything is going to hell in a hand basket.


I was tempted to let this slide … but when you wrote that he has scholarly qualifications I had to respond. He has no RELEVANT qualifications whatsoever and, after his one success in getting into a very tangential publication (Urban Heptology), he has had precisely zero subsequent work published. He does himself, and your cause, no good as far as I can see. But, as I said, it’s your choice. I would suggest that your honesty about WHY you don’t want mountainbikers on the trails is far more relevant, and meritorious, than Vandeman’s.


Mr. Vandeman is a purist. We need types like him to see how far short we fall from the ideal. As far as I know, you cannot get a Ph.D. without doing some scholarly work. Who cares whether it is relevant or not. He is a man with a mission and it is good for us to be confronted with a viewpoint pushed to the extreme. Most of us are only too ready to compromise with the less than the ideal.

In the way that you use it, the most apt synonym for ‘Pure Soul’ would be monomaniacal sociopath.


I only need a few bad experiences with mountain bikers on a trail to know where I stand. Statistical data lies about everything most of the time just like polls do. You need to get some reality into your thinking. Further, many parks and recreation areas have created special trails for bicycling. I have no objection to that provided that other trails are available solely for hikers. Hikers will always have the best trails. Even idiots know that much.


I think that your view is common; anecdote is powerful and personal experience even more so. However, as I suspect you realise, it’s also fundamentally suspect and leads to all kinds of prejudices. Statistics can be mis-used, as can most tools, but measuring what is really going on is essential if you want to know the truth.


I think that some degree of split is perfectly rational … in some cases. I would not wish to hike on a downhill mtb trail for sure either. In locations where alternative trails are feasible then, sure, why not. However, that won’t ever be the case for all trails so some degree of sharing is essential. Long, remote trails are not going to be created twice and, given the low usage, this would make no sense anyway.


Yes, the low usage is what works best, but we cannot count on that condition persisting forever. However, some trails in some parts of the country are frequently quite crowded with both hikers and bikers. That should be our template, not a trail that no one uses.

But I just plain don’t like bikes on trails. It is an incompatible use of a scarce resource. There are millions of miles of roads of various grades suitable for cycling. It is god damn selfish of you to want to horn in on the few trails that exist for another use. What’s the matter? Can’t walk?


I got the message about your feelings on the matter; but can you not, at least logically, accept that these are subjective ? You feel it strongly, I can see that, but not everyone does and your views should not take precedence over others’ valid right to use natural resources as they see fit too.


My viewpoint will increasingly become dominant as conflicts grow between hikers and bikers on trails.

I think, also, that you’re missing the point about use; the trails were, frequently, NOT created purely for hiking use. They were created by animals, by trade and for transport purposes in many cases.


How they were originally created is not relevant. They have been traditionally reserved for hikers and equestrians once the era of recreation began about a hundred years ago.

I am a hiker and a biker. In my youth I hiked all over North Wales with my father. Now, I prefer to ride, but I do still hike too. My son prefers hiking, my daughter riding. How is it ‘selfish’ to want to use the same trail for both activities ? Is it any less ‘selfish’ than you saying that you want them exclusively for your activity ?


Bikers will need their own trails, if not quite yet, then eventually. It is a conflicting use.

Yes, indeed ... it is all emotion and perception – yours to be precise.


No, I’m rather less emotional; if you could produce objective, reviewed data that proved me wrong I would accept it.


“It is an incompatible use of a scarce resource. There are millions of miles of roads of various grades suitable for cycling. It is god damn selfish of you to want to horn in on the few trails that exist for another use. What’s the matter? Can’t walk?” – Ed Dolan


It’s not incompatible; you’ve asserted that many times but I have shown that it works fine in some areas. How is it ‘selfish’ to want to use one’s chosen form of transport to experience that scarce resource ? Is it not more selfish to wish to restrict others’ enjoyment ? Roads are a completely different experience … and not attractive to those of us who wish to continue to enjoy nature.


A bicycle is a mechanical contraption designed for road use, You can best enjoy nature by walking through it, not by cycling through it. The fact is that I don’t believe that nature can be enjoyed via cycling – unless you are stopped! Maybe some else’s chosen form of transport is a motorcycle. Do you want those mechanical contraptions on trails too?

The list that I am on is the only one that counts. Your worship of numbers (data) marks you as an ignoramus who is easily swayed by lies.


I disagree. My open-ness to being persuaded by real data is, I would suggest, the only rational approach to this. If you get messianic then there is no solution; the reality is that we will end up with some trails being single use and others being shared. If all parties are prepared to approach this in a less prejudiced manner it’s more likely that the outcome will be successful. For example; there is a voluntary moratorium on riding on Snowdon at certain times. And that was agreed because people were reasonable and prepared to accommodate each other.


No one cares about statistical data expect statisticians. Personal experience on the trails is the be all and end all. The trouble with mountain bikers is that they are mostly slobs only one step removed from being hooligans.

What mountain bikers do on trails is indeed a desecration. Managers determine what rights people have to share public resources. I suppose the game of politics is the final arbiter, but it seldom ever gets to that level. Broadly speaking, people never have the right to share equally in public resources, Where did you ever get a crazy idea like that?


“In the modern representative democracy, ‘public property’ is said to be owned by the people as a commons or held in trust by the government for common benefit.” …


The mangers who act for the government are the only ones that count. The general public is lucky if anyone ever considers it. It is usually just a very specific public that matters.

When an incompatible use is involved, it is not possible to reconcile the conflict. The mountain biking situation just keeps getting worse and worse. Education is not the answer to most things. The answer to most things is force majeure. It is the reason we have police forces and military forces.


You keep stating that it’s incompatible. You don’t verify this other than by asserting that you don’t like it. How do your perceptions determine reality ?

I would assert, by reference to successful projects, that in most cases it’s completely compatible. In the rare cases where it is not then separate trails may be the answer.

Time will tell how compatible any of this sharing of trails is. I say it is an incompatible use. You say it isn’t. But even if it isn’t, it SHOULD BE! Hikers like me, of which there are many, do not want to share our trails with bikers.

I would also be careful about asserting that it’s incompatible; if the situation, as you imply, is that there are more and more mountainbikers then if they become the majority users then your intransigent stand of “It’s us or them” will result in hikers leaving the trails.


That is exactly what will happen to hikers like me! Hikers like you will put up with anything apparently. How about motorcycles sharing the trails with you also?

We hikers do not like equestrians much either if truth be told, but at least we can coexist as long as there are not too many of them. Bikers can easily take over trails so that no one else can use them. Frankly I do not mind cyclists in the low lying flatlands where the trail is broad. But high mountain trails are not for cyclists any more than they are for motorcyclists.


If you can co-exist with a tonne of horseflesh I would contend you can deal with 20 – 30 lbs of mountainbike.


It is the speed of a bicycle that I object to the most as well as the attitudes that mountain bikers bring to nature.

The incompatible use idea extends to things other than just physical contact. It most powerfully extends to what you are there for in the first place and what is your mindset. Mountain bikers are there for fun and games; hikers are there for contemplation of nature and natural beauty. These things never go together.


I just don’t agree. I can sit on an aeons old rock and contemplate the ephemeral nature of life … without requiring that everyone else does the same. I might decry the mentality of those that get to the top of a mountain and go to the gift shop rather than enjoy the view … but they don’t spoil my enjoyment.


Moving slowly along a trail induces an appreciation of nature in spite of ourselves. Moving fast on a bike does not.

Maybe you would not object to motorcyclists on the trails either? After all, they are god damn people too and have a perfect right to the use of a public resource just like everyone else?


I would accept that they have some rights to enjoy natural resources. However, given the damage that they do, even in small numbers, I can completely accept that they have to be restricted for the common good.


Yes, of course, It all comes down to what interests are valued. I do not value the interests of mountain bikers just as you do not value the interests of motorcyclists.

I believe the trails are for hikers and are not for bikers. That has always been the tradition until recently. The fact that we are all people is totally irrelevant. Everything under the sun must be managed for ideally best use. Permitting bikes on trails is a worse use.


Better and worse are more emotive terms. Better and worse for whom ? If ten people want to ride a trail and only three want to hike it then which use is the better one ? There’s no logical basis for preferring hiking in such a circumstance.


What anyone wants to do is irrelevant if trails are being managed for best use (not majority use). How about what motorcyclists want to do? Should they not be given the same consideration as mountain bikers.

You can ‘believe’ that this is the case … I don’t. Therefore, since we disagree the only fair arbiter is to look at the facts. If it is acceptable to bring a tonne of horseflesh along then it certainly must be acceptable to bring a mountainbike.


How about bringing a motorcycle?

I think the present situation will have to get worse before it gets better. The compromise will be that bikers will get their own trails separated from hiking trails. It is just a matter of time.


In some cases, that may be the best solution … I agree. In others, not so. However, unless both ‘sides’ accept the others’ valid concerns and wishes then reaching an accommodation is difficult.


You need to rethink the trails with respect to motorcycles. Your claim that they damage the trails is weak. So do mountain bikes. I want to see your justification for motorcycles on trails. Then maybe I will listen to your justification for bicycles on trails.

Ed Dolan the Great
aka
Saint Edward the Great


 




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