Hikers and bikers unite!
I began mountain biking in Santa Cruz in 1984, riding
in the Coast Range from Big Sur to the Bay Area. In the years that
followed, I was baffled and dismayed by the rancor of the
hiker/biker conflict. For me, and the friends I rode with, mountain
biking was simply another way to explore the woods and mountains
and our own physicality. I learned all sorts of things about my
local ecosystem, its fauna and flora (especially the kind that
produces itchy blisters), its human history, its geology, its
smell, pace and feel. In other words, I always felt that I
experienced the land on my bike much as I did on my feet. Plus,
sometimes I got to go flying downhill.
doubt for a minute that there were and still are reckless,
thoughtless cyclists for whom it’s all about the gear and
testosterone. But given that that’s true for just about any
group, I’m still struck by the folly of turning against each
other. The foes of wilderness are far too numerous and strong for
us to be quibbling amongst ourselves about what configuration of
rubber and metal we use to get around in the backcountry.