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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This post is new in a very stupid sense.

I'm a former mountain bike advocate who is tired of being on the defensive for our sport. I've been a member of many national organizations, President of local clubs and a dedicated volunteer for the county I reside in.

I've had enough of us being the bad guys and those idiots being angels, even though they cut illegal trails, cut switchbacks and drop trash.

Welcome to Badhiker.com

Please submit your pictures of illegal hiker trails, hiker geocaches, hiker trash and whatnot to [email protected].

This is the true offensive, nationally.

Pictures are more than welcomed.

Sincerely,
The Mgmt.
 

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gravity curmudgeon
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I'm really sick of the mule deer, elk, black bear, grizzly bear, wolves, squirrels, birds, and other critters that crap all over the woods, make noise, create "game" trails, get in the way, and so on. And they way they look at me when I ride by -- I know they are just saying all sorts of crap about me just because I'M ON A BIKE. And don't get me started about the trees. What's up with all that litter? Treefall, branches, cones, ... It's a mess out there. Hopefully someday only bikers will be on the trails, because then everything will be 100% perfect.

I must note, however, that I don't mind aspen trees. They've always been good to me.
 

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Probably drunk right now
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A Divisive Waste of Time

g c said:
This post is new in a very stupid sense.

I'm a former mountain bike advocate who is tired of being on the defensive for our sport. I've been a member of many national organizations, President of local clubs and a dedicated volunteer for the county I reside in.

I've had enough of us being the bad guys and those idiots being angels, even though they cut illegal trails, cut switchbacks and drop trash.

Welcome to Badhiker.com

Please submit your pictures of illegal hiker trails, hiker geocaches, hiker trash and whatnot to [email protected].

This is the true offensive, nationally.

Pictures are more than welcomed.

Sincerely,
The Mgmt.
Your approach is divisive, a waste of time and cowardly. Even Mike V. has the sack to stand up for himself using his real name.

Rather than wasting time pointing out how screwed up other user groups are, how about spending that energy and time focusing on working with the land managers to improve trails, working with the government to help ensure that mountain bikers are a resource for them that they can rely on to help them or putting together a program to educate trail users based on science and fact?

I've noticed a trend in mountain bike advocacy that is a little embarrassing to me, as a political representative for mountain bikers: We're extremely sanctimonious to the point where we turn other trail users off. Your new approach is simply reinforcing that perception among other trail users.

We come across as better than thou and take every opportunity to let other trail users know that our approach is the correct way and theirs is bunk. It turns people off.

In much the same way that Christians turn people off with their evangelical fervor while they look down their noses at those who don't know the church, mountain bikers are actually turning people away from our approach. The knock against modern Christians is that they judge people as being inferior to them because they "know" the way. Don't many mountain bike advocates do the same thing?

While the church leaders were condemning sinners, Jesus took supper with them. What are mountain bikers doing? Are they judging the hikers and equestrians or are they trying to work with them to show them a better approach to trails and advocacy? An approach based in science and fact, not hyperbole and emotion.

Conclusion
I know that religion is a personal and emotional subject, so is trail access and advocacy. People feel strongly about it. The point I'm trying to make by comparing the two subjects is that we could spend our time sitting in judgment of other trail users but our time would be far better spent working directly with land managers, politicians and other trail users to try and improve our access.

I know for a fact that a professional, take the high road, approach works. There are hundreds of miles of singletrack trails today that either didn't exist or weren't open to mountain bikes 15 years ago. I firmly believe the reason for this is because while many anti-mountain bike organizations decided to take the identical path that you're on, mountain bikers collected data, conducted scientific studies and became a resource for land managers and politicians rather than a contentious user group that they had to "manage".

We know our approach works. We know that our trail building techniques are great. We know, based on science that mountain biking doesn't impact trails any more than hiking does. But with this knowledge comes the responsibility to teach others, not to judge them and certainly not to take the unsuccessful approach that they have.

Ken
 

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VRC Illuminati
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Hmm...Interesting angle.
I don't think I agree with it...but it is interesting.

None of this matters much as there doesn't seem to be an actual website. Wouldn't that be just one more thing to fuel anti mtb-hiker relations?
Your 'offensive' approach could set 'us' back a bit.

I'm not saying there aren't bad hikers out there...there most certainally are. I just don't see this being the most PC approach.

Just my $.02
 

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Ken in KC said:
....I've noticed a trend in mountain bike advocacy that is a little embarrassing to me, as a political representative for mountain bikers: We're extremely sanctimonious to the point where we turn other trail users off. Your new approach is simply reinforcing that perception among other trail users.

We come across as better than thou and take every opportunity to let other trail users know that our approach is the correct way and theirs is bunk. It turns people off.....

Ken
I don't think we're sanctimonious to other trail users, in fact I think that's hardly the case, but maybe that's just a local thing. While I don't disagree with a lot of what you're saying, the only thing embarrassing to me about our current approach to "Mountain Bike Advocacy" is that we assume such an "apologist" demeanor for our use of the trails and go begging, hat in hand, for our user rights....I'll stop there.
 

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This is kind of the point...

DWF said:
I don't think we're sanctimonious to other trail users, in fact I think that's hardly the case, but maybe that's just a local thing. While I don't disagree with a lot of what you're saying, the only thing embarrassing to me about our current approach to "Mountain Bike Advocacy" is that we assume such an "apologist" demeanor for our use of the trails and go begging, hat in hand, for our user rights....I'll stop there.
It doesn't matter if "we" don't think we're sanctimonious toward other trail users. Overbearing Christians don't feel they're sanctimonious toward those not in the church, but they are. The other trail users perceive us as sanctimonious. I sit on several multi0user group boards and panels and this is the overwhelming opinion of hiking and equestrian advocacy volunteers. And I think they're correct. Step back and listen to a mountain bike advocate from a hiker or equestrian enthusiasts point of view.

I've never assumed an apologists demeanor toward access/advocacy nor have I suggested that we adopt one. Coming to someone with our helmets in our hands on bended knees won't gain or preserve access.

On the other hand presenting a land manager with a proposal that clearly and concisely indicates that by working with with a not for profit trail building organization, the land manager will realize a benefit of $x per linear foot of designed, constructed and maintained singletrack that is sustainable and will increase the number of park visitors (which will increase the land manager's budget) will result in increased access.

So the land managers receive an environmentally sustainable trail system valued at roughly $10,000 per mile (@ $2 per linear foot) at little or not cost to them that will result in more people using the park for positive recreation which results in increased budgets for them.

Finger pointing certainly won't result in increased access. If anything, it will result in land managers taking the easy route and closing off access. If we (mountain bikers) put the land manager in a position where they have to babysit various user groups we'll be making their job harder. They don't want a harder job, they want an easier job. So why not become a resource for the land manager to make their job easier?

Ken
 

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????

Ray_from_SA said:
You can really spin the PC argument about though....is it really PC the way we're ALL losing trail access because of a few bad apples and people's insecurities?
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. I'm not spinning political correctness. I'm voicing my opinion based on my experience with access, advocacy and politics.

I've also found that using absolutes will undermine credibility. We're not ALL losing trail access. Overall we're all gaining access, but there are geographic regions where we're losing access (California, for example).

Ken
 

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DOH!
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Ken in KC said:
It doesn't matter if "we" don't think we're sanctimonious toward other trail users...The other trail users perceive us as sanctimonious
...However, how many times have hikers and equestrians used the argument that we (i.e. bikers) are not only physically damaging "their" trails but also depriving them of their God-given right to commune with nature without us "interferring" with their quest for the Ultimate Zen experience? All trail rights groups have, to greater or lesser degress, been guilty of hopping on the high horse at some point or another. You're right, it does no good for any party to do so, but sanctimonious behavior - perceived or otherwise - certainly isn't limited to MTB advocates.
 

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Ken in KC said:
It doesn't matter if "we" don't think we're sanctimonious toward other trail users. Overbearing Christians don't feel they're sanctimonious toward those not in the church, but they are. The other trail users perceive us as sanctimonious. I sit on several multi0user group boards and panels and this is the overwhelming opinion of hiking and equestrian advocacy volunteers. And I think they're correct. Step back and listen to a mountain bike advocate from a hiker or equestrian enthusiasts point of view.
Like I said, maybe it's just a local thing or maybe it's an issue of definitions. When I think of the word "sanctimonious" I think of somebody like...well, Pete. I won't pretend to know if the hikers and equestrians in my area think MTB'ers are sanctimonious or not, but I suspect that's not the word they'd use to describe us. Maybe you could provide an example of something you've seen take place in your area that you'd define as sanctimonious so I can better understand where you're coming from.
 

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You're correct

SprungShoulders said:
...However, how many times have hikers and equestrians used the argument that we (i.e. bikers) are not only physically damaging "their" trails but also depriving them of their God-given right to commune with nature without us "interferring" with their quest for the Ultimate Zen experience? All trail rights groups have, to greater or lesser degress, been guilty of hopping on the high horse at some point or another. You're right, it does no good for any party to do so, but sanctimonious behavior - perceived or otherwise - certainly isn't limited to MTB advocates.
You're absolutely correct. Which is why I feel it's so important for us to stick with science and fact. The physical trail damage claim is easy to rebuke with the available environmental impact studies. The 'ruining the experience' claim is harder because it's subjective and based purely on emotion.
 

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What a load of crap.
Your "If we can't do it no one else can" attitude sucks. Take your ball and go home - mountain biking has enough nazi's already.
 

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I can see both sides...

Hey Ken. While I totally respect your stand on this issue, and believe it to be the correct approach, I understand why g c is so frustrated. While trail access seems to be on the rise in Kansas/Missouri, we are losing access to trails here in Colorado (and much of the west). Though we have MANY great people working very hard on this issue, the hikers and equestrians have a lot of political influence out here. Therefore, I believe it is hard for a lot of riders to want to be the "nice guy", when their favorite trails are being closed down.
 

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dirty hippy mountainbiker
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point

Hikers are harmless. They (and we) can be trained to ride/walk courteously and with minimal impact. I know of no was to ride a horse/mule on a dirt trail without turning into a sluice of crap. Let's lob our holy hand-grenades at them.

-M
 

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Lame.

Try doing something contstructive rather than giving us more enemies.

I do agree on the trash idea, but lumping everyone in one big category to bash on is just stupid. We don't need to stoop to the level of those who persecute MTB'ers. Do some real work for the community.

The Ito
 

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life is a barrel o'fun
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Just returned from a trail advocacy meeting, in fact. We're pulling together our creative and professional resources to increase awareness and encourage proper trail etiquette. I'm thrilled that the new Newsletter has already paid for itself in new memberships, and is going for a second printing 8)

A website like that is going to sprout a "rageagainstthebikers.com" or some such nonsense, where a hiker will encourage posts about how to sabotage trails with fishing wire and nails.

So yeah, channel the frustration into something more productive. Around here, the hikers are pretty powerful, and the equestrians are a small, but wealthy, group. We're striving to increase membership so people will take bikers more seriously.
 

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locality

DWF said:
I don't think we're sanctimonious to other trail users, in fact I think that's hardly the case, but maybe that's just a local thing. While I don't disagree with a lot of what you're saying, the only thing embarrassing to me about our current approach to "Mountain Bike Advocacy" is that we assume such an "apologist" demeanor for our use of the trails and go begging, hat in hand, for our user rights....I'll stop there.
Colorado has a lot more open space available to ride close to its more densely populated areas, unlike many other places. That would explain the "local thing" aspect.

Sanctimonious attitudes or not, I really would like to see a per state and nationwide user group comparison when it comes to trail maintenance volunteer hours. Sure, it'll differ slightly from state to state and locale to locale, but I'd be willing to wager which group's overall hours overwhelm the hours of the other groups.

That said, there should be no begging, nor an apologist demeanor, even in California. When politicians can effectively shut mountain bikes out by designating areas that historically have existing roads as wilderness and get away with it, things need to change. Every time I pass by Pollock's Bench on I-70 and see the old ROADBED that is the trail and is now designated as wilderness, it only strengthens my resolve for change.
 
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