Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001


Subject: Trails Spiked

Dear Editor:

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 (

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