Well at the risk of being flamed some more, we have different ideas of back country. There is off road and then there is back country. Until the cycle group got on this newsgroup it was primarily devoted to discussion of wildeness trips, tents, stoves, other gear, avoiding bears, etc. The only mechanical or motorized discussions involed the use of motors on boats in some northern lakes. Now I have not seen a bike in the mid sierra for many years. I have seen some in the Tahoe area but most backcountry as discussed here is off limits to cycles.
I am not anti cycling, I ride 75-120 mi. a week when not hiking. I am just saying that this newsgroup was more concerned with wilderness travel and hiking, some canoing but no mechanized travel until Vandeman cross posted here. Cross posting is rude anyway. Now a third of this group has vandeman and all the flaming that goes on clogging it up. So, maybe you can explain to me just what you call backcountry. Do you mean ‘off-trail’? If so, that’s just not true. Mostly, the terrain is not ‘bikable’ off-trail. If ‘off-road’ means off bigger trails with a solid underground (gravel, asphalt), I don’t understand the point: Why don’t you accuse those building these roads?
They did the real damage. because that is just the nature of the sport, just as ALL bulldozer racers damage the land and its inhabitants. There is no such thing as “responsible mountain biking” (except relatively speaking), just as there is no such thing as “responsible bulldozer racing” or “responsible atomic warfare”. The pure human existance is irresponsible, isn’t it? Recall, that your house was build on ground which once has been perfect backcountry. You could also live in a large skyscraper or even better underground structure, this would consume less valuable terrain. Seriously, where would you draw the line dividing ‘good’ and ‘evil’? Have you thought about the neither good nor evil, which makes up the biggest part? Obviously, I am exaggerating in order to make the point perfectly clear. Yes:
You are good, mountain bikers are evil, by principle. (should I better say ‘postulate’?) It also makes sense to generalize, when the description fits the vast majority of the group. I assume that not all mountain bikers are liars, but I haven’t met any yet, either in person or on the Internet. Either, you are very very lonely, or, you are talking absolutely big shit rubbish. So I am still asking “why do mountain bikers feel it necessary to lie, to make their case?” If I were doing statistics, this would be both scientific and justifiable, like the generalization “Americans speak english”. Why do some self-announced ‘experts for nature’ feel that they are the better humans, more intelligent, more ethical, more responsible? I know a Professor of Biology who ripped out a very rare flower on an excursion he was making with students. When the students protested he just answered: ‘I am the expert, I need it for my scientific studies – shut up you ignorant students.’ Now, who is more intelligent, more ethical, more responsible? This subject does seem to have the same universal lack of science and excess of emotion as I have experienced over the last few years in the New Forest. In the New Forest cyclists had unlimited access up until cars were banned in the 70′s which then automatically banned cycles.