"One hears that mountain bikers appreciate wilderness and wildlands as much as others. Yet we do not see supporting behavior."
(I don't see MTBer/NSMBA support of conserving sensitive habitat that is Mountain View Park wetland and upland area, either. Instead, they want it all, and more. Selfish brutes! It only all about their trails and thrillride, and not much more.)
Comments to the article, from an ex-pro mountain biker, and a mountain biker - The truth comes out...When will DNV listen?!
George, as a lifelong conservationist first, a resident in places where mountain biking is a primary form of recreation second, and finally as a former professional mountain biker, I couldn’t agree with you more.
In spite of the fact that they aren’t motorized, bikes are far more damaging than snowmobiles.
Further, I have yet to see even a single mountain biker ride in a way that doesn’t significantly degrade the environment.
Mountain bikes aren’t quite as bad as motorcycles but they’re not far behind in terms of the way they tear up the ground. The new bikes with beefy suspension make much terrain that would be inaccessible to few, more accessible to many.
No mountain biker can resist exercising the limits of their skills on beautiful trails. The result is rutted, torn up and consistently degraded terrain. And don’t even get me started about what happens when the ground that they ride on is wet.
I have also seen little restraint with respect to keeping ON the designated trails. If there’s a more extreme route pioneered by one, that track soon becomes a trail and then a permanent scar.
In my backyard poaching of closed trails is rampant and there’s zero enforcement. Even when it’s posted and trails are covered over, people simply ride across the unbroken earth to avoid the obstacles. The short-cut hairpins, slide around corners and in general exhibit little awareness of what’s really around them.
Worse, many feel empowered to simply disregard the rules. I have run into the two coaches of one of the top high school mountain biking teams in the country, riding together, with three unleashed dogs on a trail that is posted as illegal for both bikes and unleashed dogs.
Not only are they brazen in their disregard of the rules, but overtly hostile when gently corrected.
If this is the example high school coaches that live in a rural community are providing, I think as a whole this(MTB) community is far too immature to be gifted with access to such a precious resource when they have so far shown complete disregard for it where access has been granted or even legally withheld.
tom bradley says:
October 11, 2014 at 7:18 am
As a mountain biker since the early 1980s, I totally agree with the author. What use to be a way to see more of our beautiful forests has become a sport for adrenaline junkies with little understanding of their impact on an already strained ecosystem. I felt that opening our ski areas to mtn bikes might limit the impacts elsewhere, however I’m concerned that trashing these ski area trails has only made mtn bikers more likely to abuse the non-ski area trails. Its time for cyclists to wake up and see what just 30 years of impact have done to our forests.