On the issue of whether mountain bikers are valuable "allies" of the Sierra Club (i.e., environmentalists):

Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2001

From: [a friend in Marin County]

Subject: Re: The political brains of mt. bikers (an oxymoron)

Don't forget the paid newspaper ad taken out by "Environmentalists

Against Measure A" in Nov. 1996. This was an incredible selfish and

long diatribe by the mountain bikers AGAINST the passage of Measure A,

which would have raised our sales tax a minor amount -- I think it was

1/4% -- the proceeds to be used to buy undeveloped land in order to put

it , the flora and the fauna, into permanent protection. It was a

ranting bundle of misinformed claims that the mt. bikers were being shut

out of public process and out of public lands...lies, every single one.

Who were these "environmentalists" ? Mountain bikers, every one:

Patrick Siedler (current co-owner of Wilderness Bikes), Charlie

Cunningham (frame builder), Matthew Storms, Myles Rockwell, Steve Potts,

Mark Slate, Susan DeMattei (a champion women's cross-country mt. biker),

Susie Weaver, Gary Gleason, Ryan Murphy (who, three years later, would

attack a woman hiker with a hammer), Oren Noah, Suzanne Miller, Erik

Koski, Greg Biber, and.....Gary Fisher -- yes, THE Gary Fisher, one of

the early mountain bike developers (no, he did NOT invent the mt. bike as

is popularly supposed). This paid ad has come back to haunt them. I

am looking at a copy of it right now. I regret to add that Measure A

was defeated; it gained well over 50% but not 66.1%.

Question. Has anyone, anywhere, ever heard of a sector of adult

recreationalists which had to be EDUCATED before it would, or could, use

trails responsibly?

Can you imagine what would happen if, say, horseback riders smashed

into hikers, terrorized wildlife, galloped wildly around parklands in

the dark, screamed and yelled while whizzing through otherwise-peaceful

residential areas, illegally cut down trees and constructed cross-country

courses, and then claimed that horseback riders were being discriminated

against and we should "educate" them into proper behavior first?

Frankly, this constant whine, "Let's educate the mt. bikers" disgusts

me. We have been tolerant of renegades for far too long.