Mike Vandeman | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

Mike Vandeman 
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Re: “Be a World Class Mountain Bike Racer at Windham

1. Mountain bikers love to blame trail damage on trail design, but there is no such thing as "sustainable" trail design that is immune to mountain biking damage. All we need to do is remove the bikes, and the trails will be fine.
2. Mountain bikers NEVER advocate for land protection. All they ever ask for is bike access. That is the opposite of protection. Mountain bikers - of their own choice - are not allies. Their goal is purely selfish.
3. No one is advocating leaving kids on the couch. But there are plenty of positive activities that don't require habitat destruction and don't threaten their lives. If mountain bikers actually CARED about the natural world, they would find a less destructive activity. The fact is, they DON'T care about nature, whch is why they openly call their sport "shredding trails".

Mountain biking is environmentally destructive and shouldn't be permitted.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Mike Vandeman on 08/05/2015 at 10:15 AM

Re: “Be a World Class Mountain Bike Racer at Windham

Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking, besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl DIED during her very first mountain biking lesson! Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told, mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1) they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand and object to this activity. For 500+ examples of serious accidents and deaths caused by mountain biking, see http://mjvande.nfshost.com/mtb_dangerous.htm.

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: http://mjvande.nfshost.com/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 http://mjvande.nfshost.com/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.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them, but scientifically, they are worthless.

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?

For more information: http://mjvande.nfshost.com/mtbfaq.htm .

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Mike Vandeman on 08/04/2015 at 12:22 AM

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