Fri, 24 Sep 2004

Oh, lord, not again!

Several years ago, Marin County mountain bikers, led by Jim Jacobsen, president of the Bicycle Trails Council, tried to convince bike commuters, the public , and public agencies that off-road biking constituted legitimate commuting and therefore bikes should be allowed on all trails . Everybody, including all bay area bicycling coalitions rejected this transparent ruse.

Apparently the Sierra Club is clueless on this since the article by Michael Kelley, (Yodeler, Sept.-Oct. 2004) promulgates this exact same scam. Come on, anybody with a smidgeon of perception knows that mountain bikers do nothing, take no position, unless it gains them access to more trails and the right to ram their disruptive, high-speed vehicular activity down everyone else's throat. Do you really think it's about commuting or helping the environment? Why do you think they always oppose Wilderness designation? They are not friends of the Sierra Club, they obviously line up with the Bush administration more than our Club when it comes to usage of our land- they want to exploit it, not preserve it.

In the same issue, you hold up an ORV park to shame for the damage vehicles cause. Well, I do trail work on Mt. Tamalpais, and the rangers talk of vandalism to trails by bikers, damage caused by bikers that we always have to repair, and the constant scars of off-trail riding and the jumps off the fire roads. Mountain biking is closer to ORV use than it is to responsible trail use both by attitude and by technology. I would suggest the Sierra Club divorce itself from a group that has such a ridiculously high percentage of lawbreakers and whose prime directive clearly is at odds with any sensible conservationist.

By the way, I was nominated for bike commuter of the year for Marin County two years ago, and I still bike and work to improve the lot of bikers. Commuting by trails, indeed!

Carlo Gardin