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Comment Archives: stories: Opinion: The Outsider

Re: “Jumping on the 30-day challenge bandwagon

What were you thinking??? Mountain biking and trail-building destroy wildlife habitat! Mountain biking is environmentally, socially, and medically destructive!

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: https://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm . It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else -- ON FOOT! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking....

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see https://mjvande.info/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Mountain bikers also love to build new trails - legally or illegally. Of course, trail-building destroys wildlife habitat - not just in the trail bed, but in a wide swath to both sides of the trail! E.g. grizzlies can hear a human from one mile away, and smell us from 5 miles away. Thus, a 10-mile trail represents 100 square miles of destroyed or degraded habitat, that animals are inhibited from using. Mountain biking, trail building, and trail maintenance all increase the number of people in the park, thereby preventing the animals' full use of their habitat. See https://mjvande.info/scb9.htm for details.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it's NOT!). What's good about THAT?

To see exactly what harm mountain biking does to the land, watch this 5-minute video: http://vimeo.com/48784297.

In addition to all of this, it is extremely dangerous: https://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm .

For more information: https://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm .

The common thread among those who want more recreation in our parks is total ignorance about and disinterest in the wildlife whose homes these parks are. Yes, if humans are the only beings that matter, it is simply a conflict among humans (but even then, allowing bikes on trails harms the MAJORITY of park users -- hikers and equestrians -- who can no longer safely and peacefully enjoy their parks).

The parks aren't gymnasiums or racetracks or even human playgrounds. They are WILDLIFE HABITAT, which is precisely why they are attractive to humans. Activities such as mountain biking, that destroy habitat, violate the charter of the parks.

Even kayaking and rafting, which give humans access to the entirety of a water body, prevent the wildlife that live there from making full use of their habitat, and should not be allowed. Of course those who think that only humans matter won't understand what I am talking about -- an indication of the sad state of our culture and educational system.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Mike Vandeman on 07/13/2019 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Taking out a powder insurance policy

Hi Vince, so glad you could make it to Revelstoke. If anyone is interested in direct flight info (Vancouver to Revelstoke) here are the details: https://everythingrevelstoke.com/transport/revelstoke-air/

Posted by CMoran on 12/14/2018 at 3:48 PM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

This is all very interesting, and I am open-minded. Where is the evidence? Are there some studies people can cite to back-up their points? Thanks in advance.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Edward Smith on 12/11/2018 at 11:52 AM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

Wedge in the door. Say hello to full e moto bikes on the trails in a few years and goodbye to trail access.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Yahs Soren on 12/09/2018 at 7:23 PM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

Plain silliness. The trail doesn't get chewed up on an e-bike. Not sure how you made that conclusion after your limited experience. But that's just silly. If you are an aggressive rider, you'll make the same impact on an e bike as a non ebike. Truth is that safety of hikers and other riders should be the main concern, and down hills are no faster on the e bike. But a bell on your bike and you're good.

This year or the next decade? Please. Funny purists will be converts in short order. I remember some of my friends in 2002 saying that they would never have a cell phone. Good one. You want to slog up hills at 2mph? Be my guest. I'll be up and down three trail with the same calories burned in the same time.

Honestly, wish I worked for Specialized. I see the future, and it looks like a lot of fun.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jared Wells on 12/06/2018 at 5:37 PM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

So, please help me understand. If e bikes have the potential of damaging the trails because of their weights, what about those people on a manual bikes who weighs more than 200 lbs? Are we supposed to smirk at them too for being too heavy for a trail? I dont own an e bike but I have ridden one on more than one occasion but I dont see them making impacts on our local trails here. Have you ridden an e bike?

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Don-dae Cabreta on 11/27/2018 at 7:44 AM

Re: “Pack your lunch, pack out the remains

Orange and banana peels are nothing else but an eye sore what do you think happens to the compost when the truck takes it away, it sits in a pile next to the garbage.

Posted by nick99 on 10/26/2018 at 10:24 PM

Re: “Downhill is dead. Long live downhill.

Ha, nice one, Dan

Posted by JimmyJones on 10/10/2018 at 12:36 PM

Re: “Downhill is dead. Long live downhill.

I'm going to save Mike a job and just copy/paste this here like he does with every other bicycle related article on the planet.

Take a break Mike, you deserve it.

>>>>

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: https://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm . It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else -- ON FOOT! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking....

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see https://mjvande.info/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Mountain bikers also love to build new trails - legally or illegally. Of course, trail-building destroys wildlife habitat - not just in the trail bed, but in a wide swath to both sides of the trail! E.g. grizzlies can hear a human from one mile away, and smell us from 5 miles away. Thus, a 10-mile trail represents 100 square miles of destroyed or degraded habitat, that animals are inhibited from using. Mountain biking, trail building, and trail maintenance all increase the number of people in the park, thereby preventing the animals' full use of their habitat. See https://mjvande.info/scb9.htm for details.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it's NOT!). What's good about THAT?

To see exactly what harm mountain biking does to the land, watch this 5-minute video: http://vimeo.com/48784297.

In addition to all of this, it is extremely dangerous: https://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm .

For more information: https://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm .

The common thread among those who want more recreation in our parks is total ignorance about and disinterest in the wildlife whose homes these parks are. Yes, if humans are the only beings that matter, it is simply a conflict among humans (but even then, allowing bikes on trails harms the MAJORITY of park users -- hikers and equestrians -- who can no longer safely and peacefully enjoy their parks).

The parks aren't gymnasiums or racetracks or even human playgrounds. They are WILDLIFE HABITAT, which is precisely why they are attractive to humans. Activities such as mountain biking, that destroy habitat, violate the charter of the parks.

Even kayaking and rafting, which give humans access to the entirety of a water body, prevent the wildlife that live there from making full use of their habitat, and should not be allowed. Of course those who think that only humans matter won't understand what I am talking about -- an indication of the sad state of our culture and educational system.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Dan Harmon on 10/04/2018 at 11:31 AM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

No Ebikes? So, after 30+ years of MTB riding, advocating for land to build trails, maintaining them and riding charity rides, we aging MTB riders should now stay off the trails and stay home. At 57 and years of injuries, I simply can no longer crank up the hills, an ebike allows me to continue riding and supporting the sport but NO, a group of tail Nazis have decided that I can not ride public lands with my class 1 ebike. What group of people would take such a stand a discriminate against those that have done so much for the sport? I have read the most ridiculous, uneducated views on ebikes and can only assume that a few will keep the many down. I can only guess that is it out of pur ignorance and that the haters have a complete lack of understanding what an ebike can do. I wonder how many of the e-bike haters have even ridden one? I ride a assist class 1 e-bike MTB and a class 1 MTB is not to be feared, it is not the bike but the rider and you know as well as I that there are many non e-bike riders riding trails like they are on a closed course bombing down the trails. Shame on all of you that have taken such a stance and you too will age on day then you will understand.. Shame on you all..

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ebike123 on 09/28/2018 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Another way down the mountain

France is no longer France.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Very Fake News on 08/25/2018 at 5:12 PM

Re: “How much heli is too much heli?

Another question is, the trails bh are proposing to build, will they be accessible to the public? Or only via their tenure? if they are not accessible to the public without heli assist, why should the public support the proposal?

I too gave no problem with heli access, but there should be a public benefit to this proposal.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sharon Bader on 07/26/2018 at 5:37 PM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

The great news is.....when people actually get a chance to ride an ebike all the negative stuff will appear as just what is is.....SILLY. Right now the only thing holding class 1 bikes back are negative nells doling out reactionary and purposefully negative comments that aren't even based in fact. I think it's mostly because they have personal reasons against someone possibly having it easier than they do. I've been riding and racing for many decades and I think class 1 ebikes are the best thing since sliced bread. I think this article is a little misleading and negative (intentionally so). You infer that because the bikes are heavier than other bikes, the trail impact is real? Really? Much the same, you think, as a non carbon weight weenie enduro bike? I ride an enduro, it's 34 pounds.What about heavier riders..or gasp, clydesdales? I'm tall and thick. 6'3 and 200. Even when I'm on my race bike I'm still 40-50 pounds heavier than most guys. Full suspension electric MTB's like the pivot and focus weigh 43-44lbs....that's not much more than an enduro bike. And unless you're weighing people at the trail head and turning away people who weigh 15 or 20 (or 40 or 50) pounds more than (insert arbitrary number here) I guess you should stay home? Also your "you'll be waiting at the top of the trail for a half hour for your friends" is nonsense...unless you're super man and your friends are all slow. I've been riding an ebike for over a year and I can't keep up with the fast guys when they go fast. ...I can hang uphill but I'm NOT leaving them behind.

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by SantaCruz on 05/23/2018 at 7:47 AM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

I agree with you Don, you make valid points. Just keep them in the cities, not in the mountains.

3 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Grant Leo on 05/22/2018 at 6:52 AM

Re: “The inconvenient truth about Ebikes

Electric Bicycles are quickly becoming the vehicle of choice for folks who are discovering the health benefits of bicycling while helping to reduce the environmental impact of our existing transportation system.

Electric bicycles are as safe, stable and sturdy as traditional bicycles and move at bike-like speeds. As a new, innovative and clean-technology transportation option, their use in the U.S. and other countries has brought the pleasure and freedom of bicycling to millions with no compromise in consumer safety.

Communities across the country face transportation challenges related to traffic congestion, local air quality, climate change, obesity and lack of physical inactivity. Encouraging alternative modes of transportation, such as bicycling, can help address these challenges.

Increases to quality of life: Electric bicycles make riding a bicycle for commuting and transportation easier and faster, allow current bicycle users to bike more often and farther and promote alternative transportation for people who cant afford the high cost of car ownership.

Increases to bicycle ridership: Electric bicycles provide a new option for people who want to bicycle but would otherwise not because of physical fitness, age, disability or convenience, especially at high altitude and for those whose work commutes are within the 5-20 mile range and who traditionally drive.

Environmental benefits: Electric bicycles reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption, improve air quality and support alternative modes of transportation.

Everyday utility: Electric bicycles can carry up to 400 lbs. of cargo and can be equipped with built-in hauling features, specialty baskets, versatile racks, carrying bags and other accessories to accomplish many daily commuting activities.

Benefits to public infrastructure and safety: Electric bicycles decrease traffic congestion, increase road safety with more cyclists on the road and reduce demand for parking spaces.

Economic benefits: Electric bicycles benefit small business owners by providing a cost-effective alternative to cars and trucks when used for equipment transport and deliveries.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Don DiCostanzo on 05/17/2018 at 6:54 AM

Re: “My complicated relationship with snowmobiling

I can relate

Posted by Chris Elliott on 05/05/2018 at 5:12 AM

Re: “Gary Fisher: An afternoon with one of mountain biking's founding fathers

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: https://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm . It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else -- ON FOOT! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking....

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see https://mjvande.info/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Mountain bikers also love to build new trails - legally or illegally. Of course, trail-building destroys wildlife habitat - not just in the trail bed, but in a wide swath to both sides of the trail! E.g. grizzlies can hear a human from one mile away, and smell us from 5 miles away. Thus, a 10-mile trail represents 100 square miles of destroyed or degraded habitat, that animals are inhibited from using. Mountain biking, trail building, and trail maintenance all increase the number of people in the park, thereby preventing the animals' full use of their habitat. See https://mjvande.info/scb9.htm for details.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it's NOT!). What's good about THAT?

To see exactly what harm mountain biking does to the land, watch this 5-minute video: http://vimeo.com/48784297.

In addition to all of this, it is extremely dangerous: https://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm .

For more information: https://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm .

The common thread among those who want more recreation in our parks is total ignorance about and disinterest in the wildlife whose homes these parks are. Yes, if humans are the only beings that matter, it is simply a conflict among humans (but even then, allowing bikes on trails harms the MAJORITY of park users -- hikers and equestrians -- who can no longer safely and peacefully enjoy their parks).

The parks aren't gymnasiums or racetracks or even human playgrounds. They are WILDLIFE HABITAT, which is precisely why they are attractive to humans. Activities such as mountain biking, that destroy habitat, violate the charter of the parks.

Even kayaking and rafting, which give humans access to the entirety of a water body, prevent the wildlife that live there from making full use of their habitat, and should not be allowed. Of course those who think that only humans matter won't understand what I am talking about -- an indication of the sad state of our culture and educational system.

2 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Mike Vandeman on 04/19/2018 at 6:54 PM

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