Mountain Biking Myths
August 22, 2022
At 11:56 AM 8/22/2022, Shannon Wilson <email@example.com>
Myth: Hikers have equal impact to the soils of trails.
Physics. Pounds per square inch. Tires focus all pressure on very narrow surface area depending on size of the tire. 200 pounds on 1 square inch is 200 PSI vs a boot/shoe of many square inches with same weight (add 30+ pounds for bike).
What about the spread of exotic invasive plant.? I have noticed a lot more exotic invasive weeds/plants invading mountain bike routes over trails with not much if any mountain bike use (like Wilderness).
This is not being addressed by agencies as far as I can ascertain.
Yes! Good points!
On Aug 22, 2022, at 10:35 AM, Mike Vandeman
Mountain biking is based on several myths:
1. “Mountain biking ‘connects people to the land’”. Sure, just as much as bicycling through an art museum would connect people to art, i.e., not at all.
2. “Mountain biking makes people care about conservation”. No, mountain bikers only care about the existence of trails and access for their bikes, not habitat or wildlife.
3. Slowing and saying “Hello” makes people accept mountain biking - even when you are riding illegally. No, that’s nonsense. When they are riding illegally, it only makes me angry. Even if bikes are allowed, saying “Hello” does nothing to reduce the harm that mountain biking does.
4. “Banning bicycles from trails discriminates against mountain bikers”. No, the exact same rules apply to everyone, so there can't be any discrimination against one group.
5. “Mountain biking has less impact on wildlife than hiking or horseback riding, because mountain bikers spend less time in any one place”. Not according to the best research. Mountain biking and ORVs have the greatest impact.
6. “Hikers have equal impact on the soil”. It’s simple physics: pounds per square inch: tires focus all
weight on a very narrow surface area depending on the size of the tire. 200
pounds on 1 square inch is 200 PSI vs. a boot/shoe of many square inches with
same weight (add 30+ pounds for the bike).
7. What about the spread of exotic invasive plants? I have noticed a lot more exotic invasive weeds/plants invading mountain bike routes over trails with not much if any mountain bike use (such as Wilderness).
8. “Hikers have a greater impact on the wildlife”. The primary impact is due to the presence of a human. Mountain bikers travel much farther than hikers (one ride was announced as 115 miles), thus having a much greater impact on the wildlife.
Etc. Did I miss any?