I have just learned that anti-bike forces in the Sierra Club have mounted a call in campaign to scuttle the recent progress made between the Sierra Club and the International Mountain Bicycling Association on mountain bikes in the backcountry. It is important to register the other side. If you are a responsible, environmentally oriented mountain biker, especially if you are a member of the Sierra Club or other national environmental groups, please call the Sierra Club National Office at 415-776-2211 and ask for the Public Information or Public Affairs office. Tell them that in this time of budget shortfall and attacks on the environment, it is important to work together. Support the Park City agreement between IMBA and the SC. It says: 1. We will work together for Wilderness, park and open space protection. 2. Mountain bicycling is a legitimate form of recreation and transportation on trails including singletrack when and where it is practiced in an environmentally sound and socially responsible manner. 3. Not all non-Wilderness trails should be open to bicycle use. 4. We will create joint projects to educate all non-motorized trail users; and 5.
We will encourage communication between local mountain bicycle groups and the Sierra Club. This is a good beginning to what should be a natural alliance, but some anti-bike folks are determined to abort the agreement. Don’t let them. For further information, feel free to e-mail me. Jim Hasenauer, IMBA President MO, any mountain biker that gives a penny to the Sierra Club is an idiot. What an organization! As a cyclist, I’m supposed to overlook the hikers’ beer cans, cigarette butts, and unleashed dogs I see on the trails (because hikers must *never* be stereotyped as anything but the most pristine ideal), while I am supposed to be thankful that I am *allowed* only on fireroads, dodging horse droppings and sections made unrideable by cattle.
If you think “environmentalists” are friends of mountain biking you are kidding yourself. IMO, the only way trails will reopen to bicycles is if mountain bikers push to establish day use fees at parks, regional open spaces, etc. as the sole source of park land funding. Then, park administrators and land use managers (like any other government agency) would become dependent on the revenue, and would have an incentive to attract mountain bikers. I wish it wasn’t true. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve seen more than my share of irresponsible mountain bikers, laughing in the parking lot about how they sent hikers diving off the trails. But I’ve also seen enough garbage, and been chased by enough dogs, to know that the “other side” could stand to spend a little more time concentrating on their own problems. Why would it be so impossible to open single track trails to bicyclists — in one direction only — on certain days of the week — before or after peak hiker traffic hours?