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Re; mountain biking & the trails

Poohbear wrote:

>Before I get flamed, let me just say I agree 100% -- it pains me to see a
>trail torn up by a mountain biker.  However, having recently purchased a
>mountain bike I have become fairly addicted to trail riding.  
>Where is the common ground?  Can the trails be shared by both bikers &
>hikers (or horses for that matter)?  Who says hikers  have exclusive rights
>to the trails?  I just don't know how I feel about this, because I am truly
>on both sides of this issue.  
>Just looking to stir up some controversy (as usual) about something other
>than electronics on the trail...<g>

Since I live far from the AT, I fill in my leisure time with cycling. I 
mostly road bike, but I also own a mountain bike. I consider myself a 
hiker/backpacker first, and a cyclist second. I've been backpacking for many 
years and have heard all the nasty comments from fellow hikers about 
mountain bikers. As usual, most of the comments generalize and all mountain 
bikers are thrown into a class of untermenschen. 

To keep things short, it all comes down to consideration. I consider the 
environment and fellow trail users first, then my recreation/fun, last. In 
doing this, I don't:

1)Ride on hiker only trails;
2)Ride when the trails are wet;
3)Lock my brakes in a stop or gonzo power turn:
4)Pass hikers going 25mph after coming out of nowhere;
5)Throw bananna peels in the woods or any other trash for that matter;
6)Race or pretend I'm racing;
7)Chase wildlife; 
8)Ride where I could damage the trail or cause erosion.

I do:
1)Local trail clean-up;
2)Alert and greet hikers well before I pass them (slowly);
3)Stay on designated trails;
4)Pack everything out;
5)Stop and admire wildlife;

Just consider the other users and follow the Golden Rule and you don't have 
to be a pariah. To paraphrase Jim Owen,

Ride softly,

Peter H. Fornof
broknspoke@aol.com (my biker identity)