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I'm really diggin it!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems the esteemed member of "trail partners" the wonderful collaboration of anti bike environmentalists, anti bike equestrians and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition has made a public statement on language for State Parks:

It seems these equestrians were not "tricked" by the IMBA language. They are against multi use anything. If "trail partners" intends to restrict us to fire roads there will be a 15 MPH speed limit a prohibition on NICA practice and no features for bikes.

It doesn't seem like a world I would like to live in. What say you Tom Boss?

Here is the letter published just now on the MHC facebook page:




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J-Flo
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Thanks for posting the MHC comment letter Davey.

I got a real kick out of their proposed new State Park regulation:

"No person shall operate a bicycle or other operator or gravity propelled device in a manner that might frighten or endanger life or limb of any animal, person or property."

There's more, but that just about sums up the MHC attitude right there. They want it to be illegal for a mountain biker to do anything that might scare a horse. Like riding your mountain bike. There is obviously no room to compromise with these maniacs under their current fanatical leadership.
 

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Horses don't belong on narrow trails. They are a danger to other users since there is no room to safely pass without going off the trail. A hiker or cyclist (even dismounted) must give a horse AT LEAST 10-15 feet berth to get out of the range of it's hoofs. Since going off the trail is often dangerous due to terrain (and sometimes illegal) the only reasonable solution is to restrict equestrians to fireroads. How close to a horse is safe?
 

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The world is changing for horses.

Proposed Rule Change for Private Horse Use - Bryce Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

"The changes in private horseback riding at the park are being proposed in order to avoid trail conflicts and ensure the safety of all users on the park’s steep, narrow trails. Those trails offer limited space for stock groups to pass. When unfamiliar groups of stock pass each other they can spook. This poses a safety risks to guests on concessioner-guided trail-rides who might be unfamiliar with equestrian techniques and unable to manage their mounts under these situations. Additionally, the park’s natural resources have also been damaged by users traveling off-trail and trail treads have been damaged by cutting across switchbacks."
 

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Horses don't belong on narrow trails. They are a danger to other users since there is no room to safely pass without going off the trail. A hiker or cyclist (even dismounted) must give a horse AT LEAST 10-15 feet berth to get out of the range of it's hoofs. Since going off the trail is often dangerous due to terrain (and sometimes illegal) the only reasonable solution is to restrict equestrians to fireroads. How close to a horse is safe?
I wonder why PETA does not campaign against owning dangerous slave animals for entertainment.
 

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It's about showing up.
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Backlash; exactly, and it is of their own doing. You can only defame, shut out, misrepresent, and abuse for so long.
 

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30 years is enough of being nice. I do believe that the only way to bring the MHC to the negotiating table is to confront them...not by defending ourselves anymore. The best defense is a good offense. I want to push the proposal to restrict THEIR access at all future meetings of the MCOSD and elsewhere in Marin.
1) Horses are unpredictable and dangerous to hikers and other trail users. Evidence by their own sites and news reports.
2) Erosion is much worse than hikers or bikers as reported by CAL Parks and others reports.
3) They only make up 0.4% of the users of the MCOSD and are therefore practically irrelevant as a user group.
(I can link the reports on these but they are here in other posts, just trying to convey the gist of the message)

The upside is:
- Put the radical equestrians on the defensive so they have to spend their time on defending THEIR access instead of infringing ours.
- Even if we don't gain trail access (as they desire) at least when I go hiking I won't have to deal with them and the horsesh&t)
-We really have nothing to lose by responding in kind to the MHC as they have offered us nothing in any kind of negotiation.
-The only downside is that MTB opposition to Equestrians in Marin may negatively influence relations in other areas as it is reported by other equestrian groups. On the plus side they may realize that if they don't make an effort to actively participate with other user groups on a good faith basis they may be marginalized and eventually excluded.

Bottom line for me is that I think the only solution to the MHC's utter inability to compromise on anything that would benefit trail access in Marin is to actively campaign against horse access on any trail, any fire road, any public property, in Marin. It is now the only way to get them to get off of their single minded purpose of restricting any gains for bikes. SLOCAUS had some good links to presentations on the other thread...One common theme of them was not to bad mouth the other users in public forums. The MHC has had it their way for way too long and has bashed mountain biking with no repercussions, only our defense of why WE deserve to have access. Let's put them on the defensive and explain why THEY deserve access!
 

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J-Flo
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I understand the desire to fight fire with fire, and it seems only right that hypocrites be hoisted on their own petards.

For what (little) it may be worth, however, I would not support an effort to ban horses from fire roads; rather, the focus should be on applying safety concerns (to the extent they are real) evenhandedly. For example, if MTB use presents dangers on a trail, then equestrian use probably presents even greater dangers on that same trail. Anyone who has encountered a horse on a hillside singletrack knows how dangerous it can be for the hiker (let alone cyclist) to have to get off the trail somehow so that huge animal can get through -- this can mean clambering up through tick-infested bushes on a slippery hillside when there is really nowhere to stand (as I have had to do more than once when hiking). This is true even when the horse rider is skilled and the horse is well-trained, which unfortunately is not always the case.
 

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I'm really diggin it!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I understand the desire to fight fire with fire, and it seems only right that hypocrites be hoisted on their own petards.

For what (little) it may be worth, however, I would not support an effort to ban horses from fire roads; rather, the focus should be on applying safety concerns (to the extent they are real) evenhandedly. For example, if MTB use presents dangers on a trail, then equestrian use probably presents even greater dangers on that same trail. Anyone who has encountered a horse on a hillside singletrack knows how dangerous it can be for the hiker (let alone cyclist) to have to get off the trail somehow so that huge animal can get through -- this can mean clambering up through tick-infested bushes on a slippery hillside when there is really nowhere to stand (as I have had to do more than once when hiking). This is true even when the horse rider is skilled and the horse is well-trained, which unfortunately is not always the case.
Safety will be the main focus on removing bikes from open space going forward. A4B has been compiling safety concerns regarding horses for quite some time. I just hope we stop kowtowing to the equestrians and stand up for ourselves before it is too late.

The only way to make this think work is ignore the MHC until they come to us looking for help.

I agree with Jfloren that we should not be bad mannered and ask for any other user to be pushed out of open space. However, we need to confront our opponents or we will be the loser on access for another 30 years.

Remember the name of the game going forward is safety. If we can not address the safety concerns being brought up by the NIMBYs at every meeting going forward we will continue to lose access.
 

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Present the facts to defeat their claims.

Turn the tables on the safety issue.

I have no desire to remove these trail users from our parks but their refusal to share public space has caused a reaction which sounds like we do.
 

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What say you Tom Boss?
1. You have my phone number and can call me anytime if you want to discuss something.

2. I have no interest in spreading the Marin Horse Council's perspective on trail access.

3. MHC's message hasn't been getting much traction and your constant attacks on them and your trolling of their Facebook page only expands a dialog that does little to open new trails for bikes.

4. This is not a personal attack on you Davey, just my perspective as you've requested.
 

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Paper or plastic?
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Why can't we write to State Parks and others and complain about having horses on narrow trails? Let's ban them to fire roads, and take it from there.
 

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I'm really diggin it!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
1. You have my phone number and can call me anytime if you want to discuss something.

2. I have no interest in spreading the Marin Horse Council's perspective on trail access.

3. MHC's message hasn't been getting much traction and your constant attacks on them and your trolling of their Facebook page only expands a dialog that does little to open new trails for bikes.

4. This is not a personal attack on you Davey, just my perspective as you've requested.
If you consider asking the MHC simple questions like why they claim to support multi use yet write land mangers claiming the exact opposite trolling and attacking I guess I understand why you do as well.






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1. You have my phone number and can call me anytime if you want to discuss something.

2. I have no interest in spreading the Marin Horse Council's perspective on trail access.

3. MHC's message hasn't been getting much traction and your constant attacks on them and your trolling of their Facebook page only expands a dialog that does little to open new trails for bikes.

4. This is not a personal attack on you Davey, just my perspective as you've requested.
I think their message is getting a lot of traction with Linda Dahl and open space. They seem to agree that bikes are not safe and are in no hurry to open any new trails for bikes. They said that alternate days are off the table and will not happen. That sounds like exactly what MHC wants and when no one calls hem ion their crap at these meetings it makes our side look a little weak.

I know MTBers are not buying their theories but I think some others are.
 

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Like a boss.
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I don't think MHC has ever claimed to actually "support" multi-use, and no land managers think that they do, either. MHC supports educating people how to safely share trails, but that's only because there are places like fire roads and the sparse trails (China Camp, Rush Creek, Coastal, etc.) where they have to share.

Davey, I know you think that MHC is somehow pulling the wool over everyone's eyes by participating in Trail Partners, but no one who is involved in that effort - not MCBC, not MHC, not MCL, not the County, not anyone - is under any illusions that it means that MHC is magically going to start agreeing with mountain bikers that sure, we should have access to more trails! And those trails should be multi-use! Linda Dahl and the Supervisors are happy that Trail Partners is happening because they're happy to see both sides agree on the bare minimum - that people shouldn't be jerks to each other on trails. All three groups can agree to disagree on the rest.

MHC (and likely MCL, too) is going to continue to argue against more multi-use trails, and they're going to continue to argue against increased opportunities for mountain bikers. This isn't news to ANYONE. They are free to make their arguments. And we are free to make ours.

If y'all spent half the time pouring through in-progress County policy language (like the RTMP) and suggesting thoughtful, effective revisions that would open the door to increased mountain biking access, it would be a hell of a lot more helpful then hanging on every word from MHC and throwing a fit when they say the same thing they've been saying for 40 years.
 

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that sounds like work.
I've been to meeting after meeting where MTBers, including Davey, do just that and it seems as open space doesn't give a crap.
My problem with MCBC is that every meeting MHC gets up, bashes bikes, and they don't counter. Why is it ok for Monte to be part of trail partners and say this stuff but MCBC has to play nice every time?
 
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