Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001
Subject: Trails Spiked
Jordan Sinclair's crocodile tears for the coyotes and deer is simply
heart-wrenching. What is out of hand is destruction of nature by off-road
vehicles, including mountain bikes, and the 4-wheel drives that transport
them. I question whether or not the spikes actually existed.
The sport of mountain biking is characterized by arrogance, lawlessness, and
environmental destruction. Why is anyone still surprised when trespassing
occurs or illegal trails are built? The tired excuse that illegal trails are
built because land managers don't provide enough legal ones is the same one
the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the Bicycle
Trials Council of Marin (BTCM) used in their unsuccessful law suit against
the U.S. Department of Interior (BTCM v. Babbitt, 82 F.3d 1445, 1452 [9th
Cir. 1996]) to force mountain bike access to singletrack trails.
Plaintiffs argued "that the closing of trails might force bicyclists to ride
in other areas" or "that the regulations would somehow force off-road
bicyclists to trespass on the property of adjoining landowners." The Court
found this argument to be "unavailing" because "riding in any other
non-developed areas is also forbidden" and "the agency (NPS) should no more
assume that citizens will violate any other law than that they will not
violate the regulation being promulgated."
A BTCM Director and two associates were recently indicted for building a
4-mile illegal mountain bike trail on federal land in Marin County. One of
our local stories (www.brightpathvideo.com/Marin_County/Fairfax/fairfax.html)
is a common experience for private property owners subjected to the
insatiable natural resource appetite of the mountain biking industry and its
leaders. Agencies should not spend public funds to create or expand
facilities for damaging sports which are uncontrollable.
Very truly yours,
Therese F. Alvillar