The Angry Singlespeeder: Our “Environmental Impact” is a Joke

Opinion
After seeing the apocalyptic natural destruction that happened in Colorado last week, how can anyone take the argument of human “environmental impact” seriously?

Photo courtesy of XCGuy, an Mtbr Forum User.

Editor’s Note: The Angry Singlespeeder is a collection of mercurial musings from contributing editor Kurt Gensheimer. In no way do his maniacal diatribes about all things bike oriented represent the opinions of Mtbr, RoadBikeReview, or any of their employees, contractors, janitorial staff, family members, household pets, or any other creature, living or dead. You can submit questions or comments to Kurt at singlespeeder@consumerreview.com. And make sure to check out Kurt’s previous columns.

A few months back I ranted about the word “epic” and how people throw the term around more carelessly than a dog with a chew toy. But last week’s deluge of water that raged through the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains was a flood of proportions entirely deserving of the word epic. In fact, it wasn’t just epic, it was biblical – or so I read in the newspapers.

Which got me to thinking; next time I want to describe a ride that’s even more epic than epic, I’m gonna say it was biblical. “Yo bro, that ride was biiiib-lical”.

What started as a few sporadic Facebook posts last Thursday morning about heavy rain turned into a non-stop barrage of photographs and videos from my Boulder and Colorado Springs friends that I couldn’t believe. Nearly 15 inches of rain in a 24-hour period came down in parts of the Front Range, a precipitation equivalent to nearly 13 feet of snow.

Photo courtesy of XCGuy, an Mtbr Forum User.

20-foot tall walls of water raged down narrow canyons, completely eliminating entire roads, stacking cars on top of each other like mud-caked Jenga blocks, entire trees floating downstream as if they were small twigs, portions of homes rolling down the river like stick-framed rafts crashing into other homes that lay on the precipice of a raging, swollen river bank; my eyes were having a hard time comprehending the destruction.

Then I saw the below video from the Denver Post and had to watch it twice, because the first time I was too busy saying “holy shit” on infinite repeat. I’m not even sure if the world biblical adequately described what I was seeing. I think “apocalyptic” might have been more appropriate.

Video: Flooding washes away town of Salina, Four Mile Canyon – Leslie Martin and Matt Smart were awakened by a friend Thursday morning, September 12, with just enough time to put on shoes and start climbing before a wall of water blew through the town washing away many houses.

So how does talking about a flood of apocalyptic proportions relate to mountain biking? Well, one of the first thoughts that popped into my head as I watched entire homes, roads, and canyon walls wiped from the face of the Earth was the topic of environmental impact.

Photo courtesy of XCGuy, an Mtbr Forum User.

For years mountain bikers have been chastised and vilified for destroying the environment, cutting trails through sensitive habitats and areas where we shouldn’t be. Organizations like the Sierra Club, the American Hiking Society and equestrian groups lobby to government bodies like the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, stating how our use of trails will lead to irreparable harm to the environment.

The natural bureaucratic response is to either conduct lengthy and taxpayer-wasting “environmental impact” studies on areas for several years before any mountain bikers are allowed on public land that we have a right to, or take the simple route and just shut an entire area off all-together, calling it “wilderness”.

Photo courtesy of XCGuy, an Mtbr Forum User.

This absolute asinine silliness is all really put into perspective when I see an event like what happened in Colorado last week. What was the “environmental impact” of that 500-year flood? Entire canyon walls are gone, deposited in somebody’s garage, thousands of trees uprooted and sent downstream to sit in someone’s living room, and, oh yeah, at least four people are dead and hundreds still unaccounted for.

It’s bad enough when developers can line the pockets of local governments to rape the land however they wish for their own greedy gain, but when you see how much jaw-slackening destruction can happen at the hands of Mother Nature in the matter of hours, it really makes you realize how insignificant our “environmental impact” is as a species. We aren’t ruining the Earth; we’re only ruining ourselves.

YouTube Preview Image Video: Boulder Canyon Mudslide – Leslie Martin and Matt Smart were awakened by a friend Thursday morning, September 12, with just enough time to put on shoes and start climbing before a wall of water blew through the town washing away many houses.

Yesterday I went for a ride in the Sierra foothills above Reno, exploring the Hunter Lake Trail region. Hunter Lake Trail is an old carriage route from the 1800s that climbs from Reno to nearly 9,000 feet before descending down into the outskirts of Truckee. Because of its historic significance, Hunter Lake Trail is protected as a right-of-way for 4x4s, ATVs and dirt bikes. However, everything surrounding it is designated as Mount Rose Wilderness, off limits to everything – except hikers and horses of course.

Although I was disappointed to see shotgun shells, blown up targets, empty beer cans and broken glass all over the side of Hunter Lake Trail, at least there were no restrictions on this public piece of land that every recreationalist should have a right to use.

I’d rather have some litter and no restrictions on a piece of public land than a pristine wilderness only a select few recreationalists can touch – especially when you see the absolute destruction that Mother Nature can carry out in a matter of hours. Those beer cans, shotgun shells, deep ruts from dirtbikes and 4x4s can vanish in a matter of seconds if Mother Nature wants them to. It can also decimate your pristine and sacred wilderness.

My friends were once hauled into court and fined $400 each for “destruction of natural resources” after being caught building a singletrack trail that’s now a fully legal and regularly used trail in their neighborhood. If building a singletrack is “destruction of natural resources”, who do we fine for the destruction that happened last week in Colorado?

Somebody is to blame, right? I mean, there has to be someone to blame; it’s the American Way. Forget all the trails and natural beauty that have been completely wiped from existence – leaving nothing but scarred earth – but what do we do about the lives that were lost, roads that disintegrated and homes that are now nothing more than flotsam?

Photo courtesy of XCGuy, an Mtbr Forum User.

I find it hard to comprehend how some people can witness such apocalyptic natural destruction, then have the gall to turn around and stonewall mountain bikers and other motorized recreationalists for fear of destroying the environment. We’re all here for a very short time, shorter than we realize, so why are we fighting over such useless and futile matters?

I know I’m just preaching to the choir here, but for those of you who read this and disagree – get out of my church. The Earth will have its way with us – whether we like it or not – and quibbling about “environmental impact” is a completely moot point when you see what destruction the Earth can inflict upon itself in a matter of a couple hours.

The Angry Singlespeeder: Our “Environmental Impact” is a Joke Gallery
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Photo courtesy of XCGuy, an Mtbr Forum User.
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About the author: Kurt Gensheimer

Kurt Gensheimer thinks the bicycle is man’s most perfect invention. He firmly believes ‘singlespeed’ is a compound word. He sometimes wears a disco ball helmet. He is also known as Genshammer. He is a Gemini and sleeps outside in a hammock.


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  • jim says:

    as a professor of environmental policy, and an avid mountain biker of 20+ years, i’ll offer the following: there is so much “wrong” with this rant. yes, it’s a rant, and little more. enjoy your time here/now, with little concern for tomorrow’s “biblical” “environmental impact.” (sarcasm font for the preceding sentence) … do you get paid to “write?” if so, you owe it to your reader to actually do some research before “penning” your words.

    • Scott says:

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  • Steve says:

    The existence of a greater evil does not justify a lesser evil.

    Would you be fine with someone keying your car because they COULD have doused it in gas and lit it on fire?

  • Luke says:

    I feel compelled to chime in on this one, I agree with many of the commenters here. I do typically enjoy your stories Kurt, but in this one I see you exploiting a terrible disaster for a narrow political goal. It appears you have joined a vocal segment of the mountain biking community who seem to be pushing this mountain-bikers as victims story line that pits riders against all other non-motorized user groups. If we want to align ourselves, as mountain bikers, with the open access motorized recreationalists like the blue ribbon coalition we can have all the jeep trails littered with bottles and bullet casings we can imagine. We can enjoy miles of riding on quad tracks between natural gas wells and through clear cut forests.

    Personally I appreciate the work and vision of preservation groups and their allies who have fought to protect our public lands from extractive industry and destructive recreation. I see these groups as allies, and ultimately, if I had to choose between wilderness for my children or access on my mountain bike I wouldn’t hesitate to choose wilderness. Fortunately, that’s a red herring and we can enjoy both.

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    Maybe I should clarify my position here, as sometimes my rants can be taken the wrong way.

    Mother Nature can destroy our environment much more quickly and more devastatingly that humans ever will. The biggest folly of the human race is that our self-righteousness makes us think we pose a threat to the planet. The planet will wipe us out in a heartbeat if it wants to, and whatever waste we create, the earth will absorb it and digest it in time. Millions of years might seem like a long time to us, but to the earth, it’s a work week.

    I am not saying that trashing our habitat is acceptable. I don’t condone littering on a trail. EVER. It depressed and angered me to see people doing that. But that is human nature. People are lazy and don’t give a shit, so they litter. But that kind of stuff isn’t going to stop no matter how many trails are closed or how many ‘environmental impact’ studies are conducted. Unfortunately, a distinct minority of people usually cause a vast majority of the problems.

    What I am saying is that lobbying, bureaucracy, trail closures and exclusion of user groups in the name of ‘environmental impact’ is ridiculous when you see the destruction Mother Nature can unleash in a matter of hours.

    I guess my biggest frustration is that complete canyons on the Front Range are unrecognizable after last week’s rains, neighborhoods are destroyed and people are dead, but if a mountain biker rides or builds an illegal trail – especially in the Boulder area – he’s treated like public enemy #1. That I have a problem with.

    - ASS

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    Steve,

    In the words of Ween, I’d rather they just ‘cover it with gas and set it on fire’. That way I could claim it on insurance and get a new car.

    - ASS

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    Luke,

    Your points are well taken. If there’s one thing I don’t have here, it’s a political goal. Narrow or otherwise. And please don’t think I’m exploiting a disaster. It truly saddens me to see what has happened in Colorado. All I’m doing is speaking my mind. And I never claim that what I feel is right. It’s just my opinion. Agree or disagree as you wish.

    As both an avid mountain biker and a 4×4 enthusiast, I have vested interests in both recreation activities. Unfortunately, the motorized vehicle world is fighting a losing battle. And as you point out, I am glad mountain bikers are aligned with the non-motorized vehicle world, as we should be.

    I just find it hard to accept that such apocalyptic natural destruction can happen, yet there are people who have no problem shutting down the rights of others to recreate in the way they wish, even if it has minimal environmental impact.

    - ASS

  • Luis says:

    The impact that humans have on the environment cannot be denied! Lets face it, we have been careless beyond reproach, so no sense in arguing that point. Natural disasters such as the recent floods in Co bare a huge impact on the environment as well. I think we could differentiate the two though. Political agendas, bureaucracy, and special interests (man made impacts), have been part of that carelessness that has caused and will continue to cause further issues. No doubt Mother Nature can zap us out in an instant, but we owe it to ourselves and future generations to take care of our home . Without getting to “Biblical” , it was the way GOD intended it.

  • boomking says:

    I agree with ASS!
    crying about this rut from a 2.5″ tire?!?!are you kidding me? Have you seen what 3.5 billion “people” are doing to China???
    Stop crying about my bike rolling over rocks.
    There wouldn’t be a trail if we didn’t ride it. Nature takes over, and quick!
    Fyi, there used to be 1 mile thick chuck of ice that carved out 1/2 of North America, nature does what ever she wants.

  • Greg Lesoine says:

    I respectfully disagree with your reasoning. What you call “environmental impact” is really referring to the destruction of man-made infrastructure. I mean, don’t get me wrong, that destruction is devastating to those involved, but as far as nature goes, it will totally recover over time and thrive (new river and stream beds, clearings where new plants will grow, etc.). On the other hand, it is man who is continually putting pressure on the natural plant and animal habitats – think entire forests being cleared, massive amounts of grasslands turned into sterile cornfields, etc., etc,. etc. Sure, in the end if we are stupid enough we may completely screw our natural systems to the point that human life becomes questionable and at that point maybe nature will recover over millennia, but why the hell should we go there?? I’d rather just live more in harmony with nature and in a more sustainable way. Now, horses being allowed in wilderness and not mountain bikes? – that is another subject :)

  • Sam L says:

    This post is absurd. Comparing concern for destruction of our public lands by user groups to a 100+ year flood is not only naive, but ill-informed and ignorant.

    While I get frustrated from lack of access sometime in National Parks and such, the implications of your rant are far worse than the system we have now. We’ve made enormous strides in mountain bike access over the years, and your attitude and statements only set us backwards. Do us all a favor and keep this crap off of MTBR, which is otherwise a very respectable website and resource. Make your own blog if you want, but stop polluting this community with your ignorant posts. Please go away.

  • the-one1 says:

    “Mother Nature can destroy our environment much more quickly and more devastatingly that humans ever will.” Umm….NO. It’s not ours, it’s hers. She made it, she can destroy it, change it however she sees fit. You first mistake was to think it was yours to begin with. It was never yours. We (all living beings) have equal access to it, but we took too much of the pie. Then we bitch and moan when she comes around to clean up after our mess. Sure it destroyed homes and roads and such, but nature has a way to rebound from what “Mother” did. Gotta chill out man.

  • Stickler says:

    None of you get it. This was God’s way of punishing these folks for legalizing Maywanna- had nothing to do with the environment. All that pot smoke went into the atmosphere and created rain clouds and the result speaks for itself.

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    I’m going to let George Carlin speak for me. He says what I feel far more eloquently than I do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmtSkl53h4

    - ASS

  • Mindless says:

    Jim, you are the problem. Sanctimonious blowhard with no sense of scale. You are paid to conduct public policy? What a waste of money.

    • jim says:

      mindless: actually, yes, i’ve been paid to conduct public policy. working for ngos/non-profits, and on contract with your tax dollars, which i take seriously (my tax dollars too), i’ve worked on environmental sustainability, which entails public policy on various gov’t levels when working with local groups/people/humans, on 3 continents. it was that experience as a practitioner that led to the invite for me to teach at the university level. also, i spent a decade as a newspaper columnist, and have freelanced for a few mtb magazines, online and in print, over the years. the ASS put to print some thoughts that needed more polishing, i think.

  • quasi says:

    Take out the whole environmental impact part of it of this article. The thing that your think must be written about when seeing a tragedy like these floods in Colorado is trail access advocacy? I understand you cannot help what pops into your head as a thought whenever your brain recieves information; everyone has uncontrollable selfish thoughts. But you can certainly control whether or not you take those thoughts, write them down, and post them here as opinion. This argument contextually could have been written using any number of other generic counter examples. For example, ‘we worry about bike tracks in the dirt when we have hurricanes, volcanos earthquakes, etc, etc’, and could have been written at any time. This is not a particularly original thought and I doubt this line of thinking ‘just’ occurred to you now after seeing this story. But you chose to write it now using this current tragedy affecting thousands of people negatively and monumentally. To say you did not try to leverage this specific tragedy to forward your own agenda after getting called out on it seems somewhat disingenuous to me. Mountain biking is recreation (albeit a really fun one) that is enjoyed by a very small percentage of people; it is not life and death. Frankly, this article is embarrasing to the mountain biking community on this board.

  • Mindless says:

    Steve, existence of bigger “evil” (and why natural event is evil, I am not sure, but anyway) put a smaller “evil” in perspective.

    It is downright silly to whine about a mountain bike trail in the woods as “environmental impact”. It is insignificant and transient.

    That is what most “environmentalists” complete lack – any sense of scale, proportion and significance. Rally against China burning coal – live mountain bikes alone.

  • ChillyMost says:

    Well, I guess you’ve earned the moniker you so cherish, ASS. Yes, the MTB community has had it’s challenges when it comes to trail access and wrongful blame for some degradation. But the reality is that nature doesn’t choose whether it “wants to wipe us out”. Nature is a system and we’re a part of it. The catch is that we’re on our way to upsetting the system just enough to kill ourselves. You’re certainly right that we are ruining ourselves in the process.

    Give this a read: http://qz.com/124389/everything-that-led-to-colorados-record-breaking-flood-and-why-it-will-only-get-worse/

    We can take care of our trails AND make the changes to our civilization that will allow us to stay on this planet (and hopefully keep riding bikes!) but we’ve got to wake up and start doing something about it.

  • Willderness says:

    I got your point AngrySS. We all know (to varying degrees) that humans impact the planet in both positive and negative ways. What many angry responders here don’t seem to focus on is your attention to the ideological way in which the earth is “protected”. More importantly WHO is doing the protecting and the enforcement of that protection is of more importance than whether we all agree on protection of our planet. Anyone here actually against preserving and protecting? Of course not. Anyone here think personal accountability for your own actions when you ride might trump the ignorant system set up now for protecting land? As one of the above posters said, equine trails can be destructive too. It is only a matter of time before we start fining horses!

  • Cary says:

    Hey Kurt…Not responding to bash either way… I live close to the Patagonia Outlet in Reno…not sure what the downhill is like coming down from Hunter Lake area but just on the other side on Peavine, there is a nice, 14 mile, continuos climb with a solid 12 mile descent onto the Keystone area… Not many people approach it from the Del Webb area, today it was just me, the coyote’s and bear tracks… but it’s a legit, (somewhat of a grind climb) with rewards for summiting Peavine. I race most of the long distance endurance events so I’d probably not slow you up too much..so if you want to check it out, hit me back and we’ll go for a spin! Word….

    • Angry Singlespeeder says:

      Hey Cary! I live near McCarran and Mayberry. Would love to explore Peavine with you. Haven’t ridden there much yet, but I know there’s some good stuff. Shoot me a line at singlespeeder at consumerreview dot com

      -ASS

  • Matt B says:

    This is a stupid bait and switch argument, which can also be called “equivocation” if you want to get fully pedantic. ASS repeatedly uses the word ‘human’ which clearly umbrellas all human activities through time, but the context (a cycling web page) and the backstory (trail closures, regulation and infighting over environmental impact of trail users viz. mountain bikers) both lead the reader to think first of cycling, and more importantly, _their own_ cycling. Then ASS writes about human environmental impact. Which puts the reader in a position where it serves their own interest to agree w/ ASS that storms/floods/etc. are worse than wheel ruts. Gee, what a profound argument. If the worst human impacts to the environment were those wreaked by mountain bikers and rebel trail builders, we would have little to cry about. But the point, comically f-ing missed here, is that ‘human environmental impacts’ are more powerful than any single flood event. MTBR is not a political forum, so let’s keep it very simple and just name a few of the big ones: toxified fresh water, halified (salt) soil, eroded top soil, reduced genetic diversity at numerous taxonomic/ecological levels, resistant pests, melting icecaps, and on and on. If this blog was “Storms are worse than bikers” we could have all agreed and stayed in the realms of the sane. Instead a guy we want to like because he’s into bikes is trolling us like a Young Earther espousing environmental deregulation because the Apocalypse is coming soon anyway. Lolwut

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    Again, I’ll refer to George Carlin. He sums it all up to perfection. Watch it at least three times to really catch every detail of what he says.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmtSkl53h4

    - ASS

  • chasejj says:

    Excellent article and totally on point. Ignore the koolaid drinkers. You got it correct.

  • Sam L says:

    Except Carlin was a drunk drug addicted comedian. Funny yes, but not a blogger on a CYCLING site. ASS, you just don’t get it, your argument is so stupid and counterproductive that not only does it not belong here, I’m convinced that you don’t either.

    Please, please stop this crap MTBR. This is an embarrassment to your site and makes a mockery of all mountain bikers and our efforts for access and sustainable trails.

  • Billy says:

    I always enjoy reading your OPINION pieces ASS! They are super entertaining, and sometimes the comments are just as entertaining!! Everyone going back and forth about what the point is or isn’t, and what people should be taking from what you said is comical! People… its an OPINION piece..meaning its not factual, its not informative in any official sense, its just that an opinion. I love that you write with the same conviction in the comments that you do in your articles! I love that your pieces almost always stir up controversy, but isn’t the point of sharing ones opinion meant to do just that?! We have had very similar debates on our local club pages here on the east coast and the sides are the same! The thing is I just want to ride my bike and not have to worry about what everyone else thinks…I show up to trail maintenance days on occasion and I ride when its wet and muddy… in the end I did something to help my self stay healthy and cope with the stressful rat race that is the “adult world” MTBing is my escape and I don’t need someone on a soap box to tell me when or how to ride. But I do take in to account what the trail advocates have said or recommended and in some cases have adjusted how I ride.. Like George Carlin said in the video… “it just is, and so are we…for a little a while” I always say to those that are worried about every little aspect of their riding experience, the gear, the setup, the components, the lingo, the “training”.. that shit changes.. instead just clear your mind and ride!!

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    Sam L –

    You need to take a long walk in the woods, do some deep breathing exercises and think about life. The world doesn’t revolve around you and what you think is right or appropriate. There are other people in this universe who don’t share the same beliefs and opinions that you do. I’ve read your scathing comments – both on this forum and via private email. Wishing to have someone banned for expressing their thoughts in an OPINION column reeks of fascism and censorship.

    If you don’t like what I have to say – or can’t handle what I have to say – then don’t read what I have to say. That’s your right. But YOU don’t have the right to censor what I have to say.

    And although I might not share the same opinions and beliefs that you do, I always have an open mind and will consider the opinions of others without tongue lashing them and pleading that they be gagged for expressing their thoughts.

    A mind is like a parachute – it only works when it’s open.

    - ASS

  • Sam L says:

    OK ASS, I’ll admit to getting pretty pissed about your post and asking that this sort of stuff not be printed on the most read mountain bike website in the free world. It’s just that so many folks work so hard to get access to build and maintain trail systems with our public lands, and I simply think your writing in this case is counter productive. I’m guessing that you’re well aware of those efforts going on, hell you even wrote about them some time ago.

    The thing is, I don’t disagree with what I think you were trying (you admitted as much) to say, which I translated that overzealous regulation aimed at specific user groups when said impacts aren’t proven, really sucks.

    I’m not opposed to any of your other posts, I find them humorous. I agree that I can’t censor you, but I can certainly protest to the owners of this community and yunno, maybe they might agree that this type of stuff only makes mountain bikers look petty and whiny. Just like you writing here, I have a voice too and a mind, and it’s certainly open. Calling me a fascist censor is a little cheap and childish.

    I did in fact spend the entire day in my local National Forest, and it was fantastic. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Hufdaddy says:

    Well done ASS! Your opinion doesn’t negatively effect mountain bike advocacy one bit. Infact, it probably helps it.

  • Angry Singlespeeder says:

    Sam L

    I didn’t call you a fascist, I just said your comments reeked of it. Don’t sweat it, my comments have garnered far less favorable reviews. I know you and I share the same passion for trail access for all trail users and helping everyone enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. While you might think my comments are harming trail access for mountain bikers, I think my comments are calling out the giant elephant sitting in the room. Everyone already knows it, so why pretend like we don’t? I’ve never played the political game well, and I’m not gonna start doing it now.

    We come from different perspectives, which is cool. We don’t have to agree on everything. But the fact that we care about the ability to recreate in the outdoors is what brings us together.

    The founder and the president of this site fully have the ability to decide whether or not what I have to say is appropriate. But as you can see from the responses, there are many people who agree with what I have to say. So perhaps what I’m saying isn’t as much of an outrage or an insult as you originally insinuated.

    Either way, let’s enjoy the time we have here on Earth, recreate with common sense and realize that there’s a much bigger picture at play than our own lives and the silly little rules we try and hinder each other with.

    - ASS

  • techsingletrack says:

    it’s a simple bicycle. environmental impact: a 12″ wide line through the woods and maybe some wear and tear here and there. animals adapt.

    environmental evangelists (Sierra Club, et al): turning me off of voting for democrats altogether (and I don’t care for repubs). nice work. mtb=the future of land conservation, not the bureaucrats.

  • Rick van says:

    Man makes up his own universe and how pathetic yet beautiful it is

  • So cal rider says:

    Going out on a limb here, without reading all comments, I would guess those that oppose are not living in San Diego area, from where my guess the ASS gets his opinion derived from. sD county is getting scrapped and cemented. They are paving, or have paved this entire county, building new homes in/on every canyon and what little open space they leave in a land swap is now forbidden to ride on. Even though we have been riding in those areas for decades. Hikers are getting banned to, due to “environmental impact”. The irony in it all, on of the areas to be closed off next week is 700 yards from the San Diego dump. A humongous landfill which all county trash is dumped every day, via trucks in convoy all day filling it up. The area was also a shelling ground for the us military to chuck bombs and grenades many years back. So, with my poor writing skills, I defend the ASS! There is so much energy wasted by the Feds, city rangers, mt bike associations, hiking groups, equestrian all fighting for there right..the ASS is essentially saying..what the fuck…one more wildfire and the entire place will get demolished, so why continue with the fighting. The trails exist. The users are respectful.
    The area’s will only be open space until the city and Feds deem it necessary to sell to a developer so get ther budgets outta debt. So the ASS, may not be spot on in your area, but seeing what’s going on in San Diego….he is right on the money.

  • Grant says:

    Not only do you seem to take the wrong lesson from these terrible events, but you’re absolutely, completely, 100% wrong about our relationship to nature.

    “The Earth will have its way with us – whether we like it or not”

    Well natural disasters are certainly unavoidable, but our species-wide commitment to putting more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere makes events like the recent flooding (and preceding drought) more likely. This is not subject to controversy, it is a scientific fact. Our knowledge about the near term future of our climate includes estimates of the uncertainty associated with predicting the results of complicated interactions. Even the best case scenarios predict dramatic, man caused, increases in the frequency and severity of climatological disasters (floods, droughts, hurricanes etc), and an increase in the variability of climate variables (precipitation etc).

    If you have to create a bike related lesson from this, it should be that as a society we should do everything we can to encourage more environmentally responsible modes of transportation and recreation. Dismissing the impact of human actions on the environment in the wake of a tragedy made far more likely by human actions is an incredible display of ignorance.

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