How to Fight Mountain Biking
Michael J. Vandeman
June 8, 2019
1. Write a "boilerplate" summary of the harms that mountain biking does. This allows you to send comments with a minimum of effort. I add a bit to the top of my boilerplate, if necessary, for each specific occasion. You can get ideas from https://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm, where I summarize all of the issues I'm aware of.
2. Create Google alerts for "mountain biking" and "mountain biker": https://www.google.com/alerts. Google will send you an email every day listing all the news- or web mentions of those phrases that it finds. Sometimes you can comment on the article, using your boilerplate. Complain to any agency that supports mountain biking. For example, if the Lincoln School District sponsors mountain bike racing, search for "Lincoln School District email contact" and send them a complaint. You can also send a letter to the editor of papers that publish articles ignoring the harm that mountain biking does. It is especially important to comment on projects (e.g. U.S. Forest Service or BLM) that include mountain biking or trail-building.
3. Subscribe to mountain biking listservs (discussion groups). Don't use your real name or post comments, or you will be banned. You will hear about disputes that you can comment on, e.g. where an agency is debating whether to allow mountain biking or build new mountain bike trails or bike parks. The latter are the worst, because they teach young people to disrespect and abuse the land.
4. Look at the web sites of mountain bike racing teams. Complain to their sponsors, especially ones that aren't profiting monetarily from mountain biking (e.g. naïve environmental groups). Lobby schools to not sponsor mountain bike racing.
5. Read the research on mountain biking impacts, especially https://mjvande.info/scb7.htm, so you can refute false statements about it. Understand, especially, that mountain bikers travel several times as far as hikers, and therefore have at least several times the impact. Most "research" ignores that important fact.
6. Publish articles on mountain biking impacts in scientific journals and other magazines. Attend environmental- and wildlife conferences and present talks (preferably) or posters on mountain biking impacts.
7. Always carry a cell phone when hiking and report illegal mountain biking or trail-building to the authorities, preferably also in writing. These reports can be used as evidence in court.
Did I miss anything?