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Proof that Mountain Biking Is Unsustainable: It's Motor Vehicle-Dependent

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Old November 16th 13, 04:53 AM posted to alt.mountain-bike
Mike Vandeman[_4_]
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Default Proof that Mountain Biking Is Unsustainable: It's Motor Vehicle-Dependent


Get Out of Town Without a Car

Let’s play the wilderness shuffle

By Elly Blue

One of the great paradoxes of Portland, and other similar cities, is that two of the big attractions of living here a

1) Being able to live car-free, getting around by bike and transit
2) Proximity to gorgeous natural areas and outdoor sports*which you often need a car to reach.

Mountain biking is a particularly popular pastime here. A friend recently shared that she and her husband are considering giving up their car, but access to the region’s mountain bike trails, a passion they share, is their sticking point. “We hardly ever use the car for any other reason,” she told me.

I’ve heard the same story from countless other Portlanders*they could easily live without a car, and just own one to mountain bike, hike, surf, ski, climb. What this essentially means is that the thousands of dollars these folks spend on payments, insurance, registration, gas, and maintenance each year*on average $9,400 a year for a two-person household*are part of their mountain biking budget, not their transportation budget. Even a thrifty faction of that bill makes for an expensive hobby.

A hearty few manage the mountain bike life carless. “It sucks,” is the exact quote two of them gave me separately. Of them, one bought a car recently and says he’s much happier. But just because there are financial barriers and environmental objections to owning a car doesn’t mean these outdoor endeavors aren’t worth enjoying*in fact, it’s all the more worth working to make such sports accessible to everyone.

I don’t have the craving for the open trail that many of these folks do (when I go for a hike, it tends to be with a friend who is borrowing a car), so I asked around for tips on being sporty and car-free. Here’s what I got back:

Ride with a friend or borrow a vehicle
This is a common strategy, but it gets old after a while, they report, but contributing gas money plus a six-pack or a round of beer for post-ride festivities can help make you a very welcome guest.

Rent a car
Car rentals are surprisingly cheap (enough to give me some serious questions about the future of that industry). Car-sharing schemes like GetAround and Zipcar can be a great deal for shorter jaunts under a half day, but day-long rentals from traditional companies can turn out to be a better deal*in many places, you can nab a vehicle for under $50 a day, about the same amount as five hours of Zipcar use. At least one mountain biking friend reports having trouble finding an easily-mountable bike rack that fits both his mountain bike and most rental cars*and the logistics of getting a bulky rack united with the car by bicycle can be troubling. Products like the suction-based, small-footprint SeaSucker racks can smooth this process.

Make the most of existing options
Amtrak goes to a surprising number of outdoor destinations, including stops right inside glorious national parks. Greyhound goes even more places, including Whistler. Car-free adventurer extraordinaire Russ Roca has gone on fishing expeditions using a combination of train and bicycle. Portland nonprofit Cycle Wild organizes camping trips within what they call the region’s “bikeshed”*and have compiled a surprisingly long list of campgrounds that you can access in an easy day’s ride by a combination of bicycle and public transportation. And apparently biking with a surfboard is totally a thing (and helps you avoid parking hassles at the beach).

Research, research, research
If you’re used to arriving by car, you might not know, for instance, that the nearby ski lodge offers regular shuttles to your city and equipment for rental on arrival. Sure, this is more expensive than bringing your own, but it is definitely less expensive than driving (though some report that shuttles can be slow and a hassle). Your regional parks service or a local business may run organized trips that include transportation as part of the package. And sometimes there’s a bus or a private shuttle company that does business catering to the car-free that rarely makes it onto the radar of the becarred. Here in Portland it only costs $11 to take a bus out to the coast, another popular driving destination, and you can bring your bike with you.

Get organized
Maybe what you bring to the table is your logistical work, rather than your vehicle. “Organize a really fun trip” and carpool or rent a van for people and bikes, suggests my pal Gabe. DC bike advocate Nelle Pierson started a Facebook group for friends and friends-of-friends who love to mountain bike and they use that to coordinate carpooling. Car-free super-athlete Matt Ruscigno in San Diego organized a more complicated outing that involved some people trail running and others towing mountain bikes on their trailers..

What are your tips? Wishes? Creative ideas? How do we do a better job of bringing nature to the city, or the city to nature, without a car?
Old November 19th 13, 10:33 AM posted to alt.mountain-bike
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Default Proof that Mountain Biking Is Unsustainable: It's Motor Vehicle-Dependent

Now you've really lost it. Did you actually bother to read the article or simply start frothing the moment Mountainbiking was mentioned and rush to post it here ?

Firstly, I quote "I’ve heard the same story from countless other Portlanders*. They could easily live without a car, and just own one to mountain bike, hike, surf, ski, climb.". It's not just about mountainbiking, it's about getting access.

Secondly, surely this statement "How do we do a better job of bringing nature to the city, or the city to nature, without a car?" is one you would support ? Or have you completely lost your principles in your pointless battle against mountainbikes ?

These guys are trying to minimise car use ...

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