Yesterday I watched a mountain biker park his minivan at a trailhead marked by a prominent "No Bikes" sign, get out his bike and dog, look over his shoulder at me, and then ride out of sight down the trail.
The clinical term for this kind of behavior is "addiction". These guys (and women) are so addicted to the thrill of illicit biking that they risk even a VERY HIGH probability of a fine or jail time, just to feed their addiction. All I had to do was write down his license plate number and walk 5 minutes to the ranger's office to report him.
I don't use the word "addiction" lightly. I spent 15 years working with drug and alcohol addicts in Synanon who were trying to escape the temptations of alcohol and drugs. So I know what I am talking about. All addicts exhibit the same symptoms -- throwing away everything of value in their lives (spouses, family, friends, jobs, health, etc.) in a desperate attempt to reach "Nirvana" via a short-cut like heroin, cocaine, or, recently, extreme sports. The object of the addiction varies, but the process is always the same. It is usually accompanied by feelings of being mistreated by society, and a desire to simply TAKE what they believe the world OWES them -- in this case, the "right" to practice extreme sports on land that doesn't belong to them.
Mountain biking organizations, such as IMBA, ROMP, NEMBA, etc. perform an essential role in the cycle of addiction by perpetuating the myth that mountain bikers are abused, discriminated against, and mistreated (due to the fact that their BIKES are excluded from certain areas and trails!). Of course, we know that the mistreatment is actually in the other direction....
There is no "methadone" for easing the pangs of withdrawal from mountain biking, nor any "Mountain Bikers' Anonymous" organization to turn to. The only solution is to help them leave it, "cold turkey".
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 15:30:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: today's attack by a mountain biker
Today my neighbor was attacked by a mountain biker after she told him he was
riding on an illegal trail. He threw her to the ground and when she tried to
get up, he knocked her down to the ground twice again. He then rode off and
the police were not able to find him. Terri