"There is NO doubt that mountain bikes and motorized bikes (far worse), cause severe damage to vegetation.You’d have to be pretty brainless not to understand this. It causes soil erosion, crushed vegetation, exposure of tree roots, and damage to soil structure. Mountain biking should be completely restricted to certain trails ONLY, and no off-trail riding should EVER be allowed (except on wasteland areas that are not in National Parks). Motorized bikes or other vehicles (except national park services vehicles) should NEVER be allowed to be used in National Parks, full stop. I used to live in a national park called “Dartmoor” in Devon, UK, near a beautiful area called “Hound Tor,” and the erosion and damage caused by mountain bikes and motorized bikes in one of the small woodlands bordering a stream, was unbelievable. They would go in there and ride over tree roots, exposing them ever more, destroy the bluebells and other wildflowers growing in the woodland, and they would ride over the stream which in various places had caused the sides of it to crumble and fall into the water. I could hardly believe that the National Park Authority would ever allow this kind of damage to the such a special, beautiful, fragile area. They would also have competitions in there and leave little plastic flags and ribbons tied to trees lying around.
This obsession with motorized off-road vehicles and ‘extreme’ sports has become a fad in recent years. Sadly, this is what happens when too many emotionally immature people get a bit of extra money and time on their hands and go out and buy useless, destructive toys instead of using their legs to get around. In the US, it’s commonly the fat people who ride about on noisy ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles) and snowmobiles, pretending that they are exercising and ‘enjoying’ nature. The West has become obsessed with all things forceful and noisy. It seems few humans can simply go for a walk in the beautiful, unspoiled countryside, sit under a tree and just contemplate on the magnificent beauty around them (what ever happened to the writers and poets among us who were inspired by the beauty and tranquility of nature). Only these people know what it is to be grateful for nature, it’s animals and plants, and only when one is grateful will he/she become aware of how fragile and precious it is, and of how much we must respect and protect it before it is too late. I am Navajo Native American, and even in my land this mental, Western sickness of force, noise, extreme sports etc has raised its ugly head in some places. One day it seems we will be forced to change our ways, nature will make sure of that."