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mountain biking

Well, I started this whole thing, so I suppose I should stick my neck out 
with my 2 cents.  

Anyone who has spend a sweaty, agonizing (but rewarding) day on a trail 
croo understands all too well the work that goes into  building and 
maintaining a very small section of trail.  A mountain bike can destroy a 
full days' work in a matter of seconds.  For this reason, my heart and 
soul believes that bikers should stay on paved bike trails or railroad 
tressels.  However, the little piece of me that just sunk $400 into a mtn. 
bike says "boo hiss...boring" to that notion.  Crankin' over rocks and limbs 
and splashing thru mudpuddles is FUN!!!  

I am lucky (?) enough to work on a college campus that acually maintains 
miles upon miles of BIKE trails.  They are beautiful single-track trails 
around farms and in the woods surrounding campus and are specifically 
designated as "bike" (not hiking) trails.  Today a friend and I went 
riding (pretty recklessly, I'm ashamed to admit) and damn, did I have a 
good time.  But about half way through the ride, when I ran over a tiny 
maple tree sapling, I was riddled with guilt.  As I looked at my tires 
caked with mud and pulled out the leaves and branches from my spokes. I 
thought about the damage I had done in the past hour.  

So, yes, I'm responsible for destroying (?) several miles of nature this 
afternoon, but it _was_ designated for that purpose.  Does that make it 
okay?  Does anyone have the right to do that? 

Be gentle with the flames please, I am still riddled with guilt over that 
poor little maple tree!