"Is the current situation up there unfair? You bet." Kevin Axt thinks he is discouraging poaching, but ACTUALLY, perpetuating the myth that mountain bikers are being treated unfairly when bikes are banned from trails is the root cause of poaching.
Today, for example, I heard that a hiker met a mountain biker on a narrow trail on University property that is closed to bikes. The mountain biker said that he had "no other trails" to ride on. (He said that he doesn't consider fire roads "trails", only "singletrack".) He said he rides illegally because it is unfair that he is excluded from singletrack. People like Kevin Axt and IMBA CLAIM to oppose poaching, but in the next breath furnish the excuses that encourage it.
Another way of looking at it is that these guys are ADDICTED to mountain biking, especially on singletrack. They will do ANYTHING, including risking arrest or hostility from hikers, to get their fix. Their behavior is indistinguishable from that of drug addicts.
I came up with a new analogy: mosquitoes. Have you ever had a mosquito in your bedroom? Its buzzing wakes you up. You swat at it, but invariably miss. You can turn on the light and search EVERYWHERE, but you won't find it. Then you try to go back to sleep, and just as you have relaxed your guard again and are about to fall asleep, you get buzzed again! The mosquito NEVER gives up, until it drinks its fill of your blood! Mountain bikers trying to get access to trails are just like that mosquito. They irritate land managers and everyone else repeatedly, and NEVER give up, until they get the blood (bike access to trails, especially singletrack) that they crave -- legally or otherwise!
From: Kevin Axt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 07:51:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Something to ponder about trails and mountain bikers.
I don't understand their "dilema". Is Tiger the ONLY place with good
singletrack trails to ride on? Health no. Are they poaching at say Cougar as
well? Pretty damn weak justification too. Just because they have the modern
day "because I wanna" disease is no reason for them to be poaching the trails
up there. Is the current situation up there unfair? You bet. Are they in any
conceivable way helping with that? No freakin' way.
--- Bob Bournique <email@example.com> wrote:
> The real difficulty is, I understand their dilemma. I don't condone it and I
> don't poach the hiking trails either. But, I understand. Even if it makes
> the BBTC's position that much more difficult. I too, "just want to ride my