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Topic: Growth & Planning     Department: Letters

"Flow trails" for mountain biking

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The following comments were posted in response to Kimberly Hirai's blog, "Illegal trailblazing as a negotiation tool?"

"Flow trails" for mountain biking don't necessarily cost more to build than hiking trails. But sustainable trails for any user group do cost more than trails cut randomly through the woods.

One reason is land managers often bring in a trail professional to ensure the trail is designed to minimize erosion, while at the same time ensuring it has good flow and meets the needs of user groups and land managers. The way sustainable trails are built also generally costs more. The $30,000-per-mile figure that you came across should take into account volunteer hours, equipment and tools, design time, mapping, signage, etc. By certain estimates, it takes 528 volunteer hours to build a mile of bench-cut trail. At $12 an hour, let's say, that's $6,336. You might not actually pay that out, but it's still taken into account. You may also have to armor creek crossings, build retaining walls, bridges and so on, to protect sensitive areas and minimize erosion on switchbacks.

One reason mountain bike trails are getting built this way is that organizations like the International Mountain Bicycling Association have done a fabulous job promoting and educating mountain bikers -- and land managers and other user groups -- on sustainable trail building. Mountain bikers were getting a bad rap for eroding trails and started losing access. IMBA set out to prove that it wasn't the bike that was the problem, it was the design and construction of the trails. As any hiker can attest, we hike trails all the time that are in horrible shape, not because mountain bikers are riding those trails, but because they weren't designed and built in a sustainable way.

I don't agree with building illegal trails. The reason illegal trails are working is because the land managers are starting to realize there is a huge demand for mountain bike trails. But a better way to gain access is to organize as a group and approach land managers in a positive and professional way. Plus, it's no fun to put in all that time and effort just to have the trail you built closed once it's discovered.

Shana Payne
Victoria Harbour, Ontario, Canada


I've done some trail work for the Forest Service in Arizona and Idaho. My impression of the mountain-biking crowd is that they are the tip of the spear. Behind them are hordes of ATVers, motocross riders, jet-powered unicyclists, rhinoceros pack trains -- you name it. Humor aside, I have seen venerable hiking trails torn to shreds. Mountain-bike volunteers then appear, and the water bars become banked turns. How convenient. The problem is cultural: Everyone wants more, more, more. Dedicated biking trails are simply not enough in this selfish age.

In my humble opinion, land managers should treat all activity activists with the same disdain. Promote recreational uses that are low-profile, low-impact and consistent with historical uses and values.

Bill Gore
San Diego, California

Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Sep 20, 2011 09:53 AM
Bill is right on. 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 1994: 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 .
Ray Sauce
Ray Sauce
Oct 06, 2011 10:24 AM
I find it discomforting that some people view mountain bikers as some destroyers of nature. The reason most people are out there is to enjoy nature and to get some exercise. I have been riding for a short period of time but I love being able to ride the mountain trails while still being respectful to nature. I just got a bike like this http://www.2wheelbikes.com/sx30-mountain-bike.html and its nice to be able to ride. Hope views like this change soon.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 06, 2011 10:43 AM
Ray, this will never change, because it's just a FACT: regardless of how carefully or "respectfully" you ride (how do you "respectfully" kill plants and animals?), mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts in the trail, kills small plants and animals on and under the trail, drives other trail users off the trails and our of the parks, and teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is acceptable (it's NOT!). Stop trying to greenwash mountain biking.
melitta smith
melitta smith
Oct 08, 2011 06:18 AM
Almost 20 years ago I was employed by a state conservation agency that worked with a mountain biking club to establish new hiking trails. These new trails were the only place mountain bikes were permitted on over 14,000 acres and once a trail became established it was on the next one and the earlier one opened to hiking only. When I asked why the bikers were allowed to decide the trails I was told they would be able to best discover the trail through multi-habitat that would permit access without endangering the habitat. Bikes need a more sensible trail than straight up or down a hill. Although there were certain stretches that defied that thinking, for the most part the switchbacks they created worked. On thousands of acres of mostly undeveloped forest this is possible and where a few volunteers could not repair "bad spots" the trail was rerouted and nature fixed what was disturbed because of water pooling or a little erosion. On less resistant habitat this may be disastrous and wipe out whole areas. I was introduced to mountain bikers as stewards of the Earth because the future of their fun was dependent upon their sensibility and enjoyment of the habitats where they chose to ride. They had every reason to be careful of the vegetation, animal homes, and topography they disturbed. Not all mountain bikers are screamin', streamin' down the hillside. Many ride the mountains for the commune with nature that is not possible on city streets.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 08, 2011 11:02 AM
Melitta, this has nothing to do with intentions. Animals and plants run over and killed don't care what the mountain biker's intentions were. Whenever a trail is opened to bikes, MOST mountain bikers do ride as fast as they can, and therefore don't experience what they are passing (like driving on a "scenic highway"). So they quickly get bored with it, and then want more and more trails. And many of them are never satisfied, and hence start cutting their own illegal trails. This has happened in every park that I know of. The latest edition of "Bike Magazine" has two articles glorifying and promoting illegal riding and illegal trail building. Mountain biking is an outlaw culture. It has been that way since the very beginning, and will never change. Bicycling is not conducive to "communing with nature". It's physically impossible to do that while trying to control a bike. Your entire attention is of necessity directed to controlling the bike. If it isn't, you will crash! If you want to commune with nature, WALK, like everyone else. I really don't understand why mountain bikers are too lazy to walk!
Robert Krantz
Robert Krantz Subscriber
Oct 08, 2011 11:03 AM
Here we go again. I am a hiker, a trail runner, and a mountain biker. All of these activities have some impact on the landscape. Perhaps in many locations and conditions, the impact varies by activity--but assuredly also by number of users. And the impact of all users can and should be mitigated by trail design and maintenance. Please don't speak as though hiking has zero impact. If we want to debate aesthetics or philosophies, that's fine--as long as we acknowledge the context for debate.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 08, 2011 11:31 AM
Robert, no one has EVER said that hiking has zero impact. But it's abundantly clear that hiking has a lot less impact than mountain biking. If nothing else, there's no way that a hiker can travel as far as a mountain biker, so mountain bikers have AT LEAST several times the impact of hikers. Bikes just don't belong in nature. Knobby tires are inherently destructive, regardless of how slowly you ride. And the presence of bikes destroys the natural feel of the park: it makes you feel like you are back in the city. That is unfair to hikers and equestrians, who are there to enjoy NATURE. If we wanted to be around bikes and other large pieces of machinery, we would stay in the city! Mountain bikers are incredibly selfish!
Tony Ferlisi
Tony Ferlisi
Oct 08, 2011 06:55 PM
Michael, I am saddened by the sweeping generalizations that you have made concerning mountain bikers and the impacts of mountain biking. I have read a number of your publications and find it very disheartening that an individual who has dedicated themselves to research, innovation and discovery (you do have a Ph.D) has reached such a level with his research. With all due respect, as someone who highly values education, has a fervent passion for mountain biking and a deeply rooted love of wild places, I adamantly disagree with many of the statements you have made. Yes, all human visitors in 'nature' leave some level of impact. As our human population exponentially grows, increasing demands will be placed upon our landscapes, watersheds and wildlife. In many regions throughout the US, via education and outreach, led in this case by groups such as IMBA and through successful collaboration between local stakeholders (cycling groups, backcountry horsemen, OHV enthusiasts, private land owners, hunters and anglers) as well as partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, major strides have taken place with regard to mitigation of said impacts. It is difficult for me not to use this space to attempt to dispel some of the myths that you list about the thoughts and behavior of mountain bikers (e.g., mountain bikers are incredibly selfish) but I think most readers, mountain biker or not, who examine your words know which are founded in sound research and mindful consideration and which are not. Balanced public land recreation management is possible.
 
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 08, 2011 09:05 PM
This is not rocket science. My conclusions are quite transparent, besides being documented completely on my website (http://mjvande.nfshost.com). I have never seen mountain bikers lobby for wildlife conservation. Their goal is always more access for bikes, which means more trail-building, more habitat loss, more dead wildlife, and more hikers and equestrians driven off the trails and out of the parks. That can only be characterized as selfish. "Balance" means absolutely nothing, especially since bikes intimidate everyone not on a bike. A hiker is no match for a large, fast-moving piece of machinery! Hikers have no choice but to jump out of the way, in spite of the fact that they have the right-of-way! You can "greenwash" mountain biking all you want, but everyone else can see through your arguments. The ONLY fair compromise is to restrict bikes to pavement, where you already have millions of miles of road you can ride. You can still WALK on every trail, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. If that's too "tame" for you, tough, but don't deny everyone else their right to enjoy the parks they have paid for.
Tony Ferlisi
Tony Ferlisi
Oct 08, 2011 10:51 PM
Michael: Thank you for your spirited response. I would, however, like to introduce myself to you. I am a dedicated mountain biker, a backcountry hiker, and an occasional horseman who regularly lobbies for "capital W" wilderness, wildlife conservation, the ideals of "Multiple Use" and open dialogue when it comes to management prescription recommendations for public lands. I assure you that I am not alone. I would be happy to discuss this topic with you either in person or over the telephone at any time, instead of on the comment boards of HCN.
Robb Cadwell
Robb Cadwell Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 08:51 AM
The comment boards at HCN are exactly the right place for this sort of discussion.
]
Kudos to Ms.Hirai for her original blog post. While I might see humans as a part of the natural landscape mostly Mr. Vandeman's comments ring true. Mountain bikes are a scourge on public lands, similar to ATVs or worse as new trails are easier to make. Logs low enough to step over in thickly forested areas.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 10:01 AM
Right on, Robb. We need to hear from more people like you, who have the guts to speak out in spite of the harrassment that inevitably follows from mountain bikers. I have been talking with and listening to mountain bikers for over 17 years, and I have yet to hear even ONE good reason to allow bikes in natural areas. They think that they can persuade me in private, when they can't do so in public. I challenge ANYONE to come up with a good reason to allow bikes off-road. There is no such reason. Mountain bikers are ALL capable of walking, and thus have access to ALL the wilderness that they claim to be excluded from. Maybe if they would start to tell the TRUTH, they would get some respect....
Tim Baker
Tim Baker Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 10:51 AM
The problem with taking an extreme position for or against a particular use of public resources is that it excludes the possibility that other people might hold different but equally valid views. And the truth is that with any given user group you will find zealots that will not accept that others have an equal right to those public resources. The problem is of course that zealotry is simply narcissism disguised as righteousness.

Does that mean that mountain bikes should be allowed everywhere? Of course not, neither should ORV's, horses or hikers. But it does mean that some areas of public resources should be accessible by different users where those uses are compatible with other resource management goals.

However zealots, be they hikers or ORV riders (or any other user) firmly believe that they have a divine right to their particular form of recreation regardless of impacts on any other use and will not tolerate any exceptions. It's why you find gates on NF roads destroyed or circumvented or switchbacks shortcut or bootleg hiking or biking trails. The simple fact is that any particular group is going to have some minority of its participants that are simply so narcissistic that they feel like the normal rules don't apply to them.

The reality is that public resources are exactly that -- public. The only way we can manage public resources for 'the greatest good for the greatest number over the long term' is to recognize the diversity of users and the work to fit them in the context of maintaining ecosystem resiliency. Decrying one particular group as being unfit to share in the public good in any fashion is not much different than any single religious group claiming that their belief system is the only valid interpretation of the world.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 12:41 PM
Tim, than calling me "extreme" and a "zealot" does nothing except make you look desperate. When mountain bikers realize they can't rationally justify mountain biking, they always start attacking the messenger instead, as you are doing.

You say mountain bikers have equal rights to the public resources. True, you can hike there, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. You have exactly the same access as everyone else to trails closed to bikes: ON FOOT. There is no right to mountain bike, which was determined in federal court in 1994. The court said that land managers have the right to ban bikes from trails. If there WERE any discrimination, you would be able to sue to gain access for your bikes, but there isn't any. All of your name-calling won't change that fact.

You say that the parks should be managed for the greatest good for the greatest number. They ARE. MOuntain biking drives out all other park users, so the only way EVERYONE can enjoy the parks is if bikes are excluded. Then EVERYONE can go there safely. You also forgot that wildlife are actually the owners of the parks. It was their habitat that was commandeered by humans, to make the parks. If the wildlife are taken into consideration, bikes must be excluded, so that human impacts on their habitat are minimized.

I notice that you ignored my challenge, so I'll repeat it: give even ONE good reason to allow BIKES in natural areas. I submit that you CAN'T, or you would already have done so.
Tim Baker
Tim Baker Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 01:17 PM
Actually, Mike, I was just making a general statement about the trouble dealing with a diversity of view points about appropriate recreational use of public lands which goes back to the original blog post by Kimberly and the letters by Shana and Bill above.

But thanks for making my point so eloquently.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 04:27 PM
Sorry, but as anyone can see, "zealotry is simply narcissism disguised as righteousness" is not a "general statement about a diversity of views", but an insult directed at me and others who oppose mountain biking. You obviously feel that you need to resort to insults, because you can't answer my question: "What is ONE reason why bikes should be allowed off-road?" Three strikes and you are out! Try being honest, for once. Or admit that you CAN'T. Your choice. That should be an easy question for you to answer, since you advocate mountain biking.
Tony Ferlisi
Tony Ferlisi
Oct 09, 2011 05:22 PM
Mike: I appreciate being called out. In an attempt to not place myself in a category similar to yours, I will stick with reason (I understand that you have praised injury to mountain bikers in the past). I am not arguing that bicycles should be allowed everywhere, in all "natural" areas, as you have suggested. I am arguing against the sweeping generalizations that you have made concerning mountain bikes and mountain bikers. I will go to work on Monday to participate in meaningful work for an organization that advocates for sustained management/designation of places where mountain bikes are NOT ALLOWED and leave these rants alone for good. I will say that you have sufficiently mastered the art of using inflammatory rhetoric in order to get people like me to pay attention to you. I assure you that as long as this is your modus operandi, you and your "research" will not be considered when making decisions that impact humans, wild lands, wildlife, land use, public/environmental policy, etc. Best of luck to you. My apologies for not acknowledging Kimberly's original blog. Thanks to her, Shana and Bill for getting this great discussion going!
Tim Baker
Tim Baker Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 05:44 PM
I hate to disappoint you Mike, but it's really not all about you -- though you might want to take a closer look at the whole narcissism issue. I was attempting to point out that all pursuits have participants that are so self-centered that they don't care about any other use of public space other than their own.

By the way, I'm not a single-issue supporter. I hike, backpack, climb, snowshoe, ski, road bike, canoe, hunt and, on occasion, mountain bike. I also support logging and other resource uses on public lands where these activities are appropriate. I'm not a big fan of most ORV use but I acknowledge that they too have rights for access to some public spaces.

And since you insist, the reason mountain bikes should be allowed off-road is simply that it is a valid recreational use of some public lands. That's the only reason it needs for justification. It is neither a more or less valid use than hiking or horseback riding or skiing or rock climbing or sitting on a log writing poetry or taking a photo. None of those activities, including hiking, is appropriate everywhere and only the overzealous amongst the various recreational pursuits maintain that their particular choice of recreation should have primacy over all others or to the exclusion of any other use everywhere on public lands.

Just because you view the only appropriate way to experience nature is through pedestrian (and for some strange reason, equestrian) modes doesn't mean that it's the only way the rest of us experience it. Rationalize your arguments anyway you choose but that's really the crux of the matter.

But it doesn't really matter for the sake of discussion in this forum because it's fairly clear from your replies that you won't accept any other viewpoint other than your own. Fortunately it's not a view widely held by the folks actually responsible for dealing with public lands recreation.
Robb Cadwell
Robb Cadwell Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 07:17 PM
Tim I think inadvertently you might have bumped up against the conundrum. Multi use is certainly a value enshrined in law, but overuse instigated the making of another land designation exactly in line with Mike's extremist views.

These lands are called Wilderness Area.

Not all uses of land are equal from a preservationist or wilderness perspective. Foot and horse modes of transport are considered more in line with the Wilderness ethic.

Most user groups applaud the new designation of Wilderness. Hikers, hunters, photographers, bird watchers, tree huggers, poetry readers. Other user groups fight tooth and nail to restrict or block new Wilderness areas. Off road 4WD clubs, oil companies, open pit mining companies, and mountain bikers. (and commercial mountain bike guiding companies ;-))

I haven't heard Mike say yet that mountain bikes have no place on public lands, only that they are incompatible with "natural" settings, sounds reasonable to me. Why not combine mountain bikes with ATV use, ski areas, and already existing dirt roads?
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 07:49 PM
"the reason mountain bikes should be allowed off-road is simply that it is a valid recreational use of some public lands"

Tim, all you said is a tautology: mountain biking should be allowed because it's allowable. That says exactly NOTHING. Yeah, and water is wet because it's moist.

I never said hiking is the only valid form of recreation. I said that mountain biking is far more destructive than hiking, and on that ground shouldn't be allowed in any natural area (= wildlife habitat). We have already destroyed far too much wildlife habitat, which is why we have so many species that are endangered. If that's your best shot, then it's obvious that you can't give even one good reason to allow bikes off-road. But that's to be expected, since there ARE no good reasons. That's why the court rebuffed IMBA and decided that land managers are allowed to ban bikes from trails. In other words, there is no "right" to mountain bike. That's why there are so many jurisdictions that prohibit mountain biking -- not because they are being unfair, but because they are being FAIR to wildlife and other trail users.

By the way, I don't support using animals as vehicles, but horses evolved in North America, and hence arguably have a right to go wherever they want to, including on trails. Bicycles, on the other hand, are machines, and hence have NO rights. Mountain bikers have proven over the last 17+ years that I have followed them, that they can't rationally support mountain biking, and can only defend it by resorting to name-calling and other infantile modes, as you are doing here. I, on the other hand have studied all the scientific research on the subject, and presented papers on mountain biking impacts at over a dozen scientific conferences. None of the scientists at any of those conferences found anything wrong with my research. In fact, I'm the world expert on the subject. The most that mountain bikers ever do is point to some discredited, unscientific papers written by mountain bikers, with predictable results.
Tim Baker
Tim Baker Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 08:32 PM
Rob, I appreciate your comment and I'd like to add that I'm a huge fan of wilderness areas (been in 50+ of them) and fully support the idea that mountain bikes should not be allowed in them and I support new Wilderness designations in many of the existing roadless areas. But that doesn't seem to be what Mike is proposing but rather the complete ban of mountain bikes from all public lands (since it is all wildlife habitat in one form or another). My guess is that Mike lacks the background in ecology or land management to appreciate the distinctions about designations between different public lands that you made.

I'll end my commenting on this thread here.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Oct 09, 2011 11:41 PM
Tim, you (and everyone else) need to study conservation biology. Yes, I understand the distinctions among human-created appellations for land uses. But the wildlife don't, and they are what ultimately matter most. They don't care if their habitat is designated by humans "Wilderness" or "ski resort". It's all habitat to them, all degraded in varying degrees. I know the specious argument: "It's already messed up, so that makes it okay to mess it up some more". It of course doesn't hold water. ALL land is subject to the Endangered Species Act. It would help if mountain biking would be restricted to private land, but that will never happen. We can't even stop them from riding where mountain biking is illegal. Mountain bikers are an outrlaw culture. "Bike Magazine" in its latest issue has two articles glorifying and promoting illegal mountain biking and illegal trail-building. Have any of you wrote to them and objected? I doubt it. When three mountain bikers were arrested for building an illegal trail across 4 different jurisdictions in Marin County, CA, IMBA excused it by saying that "there aren't enough legal places to ride"! Right, and people have to rob banks because there isn't enough free money given out.
john  stevens
john stevens
Nov 03, 2011 09:28 PM
Speaking of "outlaw culture" Mike Vandeman is a convicted criminal (battery, brandishing) who is obsessed with mountain bikes. Do a google search on his name. Or better yet, read Peter Frick-Wright's excellent article on Mike and his trial in BIKE magazine: http://www.zinio.com/pages/Bike/Nov-11/416191718/pg-62
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 03, 2011 11:02 PM
What John Stevens neglected to mention is that I was only convicted because the mountain bikers lied under oath. No surprize there! Peter Frick-Wright's "article" is also full of lies. I stopped counting at 25. If you believe anything Peter Frick-Wright says about me or mountain biking, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. This only strengthens my case against mountain biking. If mountain biking is such a good thing, why do its proponents always have to lie about it???
melitta smith
melitta smith
Nov 04, 2011 09:18 AM
One good reason to let mountain bikers on a trail is, as I said in my earlier comment, to let them open trails through habitats for later hikers. I would like to add that as a naturalist for over 30 years I have observed trails made by deer and other animals that are comparable to what I observed the mountain bikers constructed before they were moved to open a new trail. The difference is that the animals were not so careful about placement through sensitive areas, either due to ground conditions or existence of protected, threatened, or endangered species. Should we take out the animals to protect their habitat? What I did see was that the animals began to use the human made trails allowing their own trails to grow back over in particular instances, and others to dwindle to less impact. Rerouting animals to less sensitive areas is another good reason to let the bikers in the wilderness.
I guess I wonder why a mountain biker who is just looking for the thrill of screamin' streamin down a hill would choose wilderness if being in nature is not part of the experience. There are certainly more challenging streets with cars stopping right in front of you, cutting you off, turning in front of you, doors opening, people aiming for you because they hate bikers. I have been intentionally hit by a car just because I was there. Thrill a minute (sarcasism). I wonder if Mike is a representative mountain biker or one of a minority able to rally those who feel like he does. The silent majority may be speaking more loudly here.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 04, 2011 10:56 AM
Melitta, the wildlife has had millions of years to learn how to live with deer and deer "trails". So they are not harmful. To say that there are "sensitive" and "non-sensitive" areas, and that humans know which is which, represents humans' ignorance. ALL habitat is sensitive to being ripped up by mountain bikes. Mountain bikers themselves even use the term "shred", as in "Let's go shred some trails"! The knobby tires are designed to rip up the soil. Bikes also allow people to travel several times as far and as fast as a hiker, thereby multiplying their impacts.

Mountain bikers like being in wilderness because it offers more of a challenge than streets, without the danger of being hit by motor vehicles. But it is physically impossible to pay attention to nature while riding a bike. If you look away from the trail for a second, you will crash! Just as bikers fear getting hit by cars, hikers have to fear getting hit by mountain bikes. They shouldn't have to put up with that. They are the MAJORITY! Why should a tiny minority of the population be able to drive everyone else off the trails?! Mountain bikers can walk, just like everyone else. That's the only equitable solution: restrict bikes to pavement.
melitta smith
melitta smith
Nov 04, 2011 01:28 PM
I guess I wasn't clear that when the trails I am familiar with were open to mountain bikes it was posted and hikers knew they had the rest of the myriad miles of hiking trails to choose from, while one 5 mile trail was open to the bikes--hikers beware! I get that you can't look around while sailing down a hill, but that doesn't take away just being in the wilderness that by itself relieves stress from everyday life with less noise, pollution, danger from other vehicles, and the option to stop and view the wildlife crossing the trail up ahead. I am not even a mountain biker, my first choice for my street bike is a state, paved bike trail where deer, snakes, turtles, owls seem to ignore my passing because I bike alone and am not using my voice. I have stopped on the trail to allow a herd of 6-8 deer cross in front of me, screeching my brakes, they ambled across less than 15 feet from me as if I were an everyday occurence, which is quite possible. Walking on a dirt trail in a talkative group I have seen very few deer. I love both experiences for different things. I am advocating for motivation for all recreationists to get out into nature in hopes that the commune will instigate a sense of the need for protection that turns into doing something. You are my best example of doing just that, trying to protect nature. But when you say that the MBikers can hike, that is not correct reasoning from their point of view. Their chosen form of exercise/recreation/getting out is on their mountain bike. A mountain bike is called that because it is intended for mountains, not streets. I believe that what we know first hand we feel more protective of than what we experience through media. Yes, it is a kind of reverse thinking--let people use something so they will want to save it--but I know it works.
I am not advocating opening all trails to mountain bikes, but it seems that there could be some compromise here with specific areas designated for mountain bikes. And if the biker is just there for the thrill and doesn't care about the nature, then put those trails in the common, nothing special, no one else wants to walk there, areas.
I read all of your references except Wisdom et al.,2004, I couldn't find it online or through my university library consortium. There are flaws in some of the thinking in the articles that you presented such as the argument that longer bike trails lead to more destruction. I am guessing there are many more hikers than bikers as you indicate they are the majority, then that would seem to make up the difference in impact, based on bikers traveling farther. In my limited experience as a researcher the articles are narrowly focused in order to study one or a very few items of interest in order not to cloud the particular information they are seeking. Most issues are complex and looking at one facet ignores many more that may even be influential. Most of the time it is a Catch 22 without the comedy. But you already know that although it probably doesn't always occur to those on the outside of research wondering "what was the agency or author thinking?"
There is one solution to the problem, although it will not please everyone. That is to close all public lands to mountain bikes off road and encourage private owners through tax incentives and/or low cost loans to open fallow lands to bikers for a fee. I guess it would be sort of like ski areas. Maybe they could build lifts to the top of the mountain and just charge for the ride up for the true thrill seekers. Are there enough mountain bikers to make that feasible? Or are we talking about a distinct minority? I guess I am wondering what is the difference in providing for mountain bikers rather than skiers, golfers, ORVers. Shouldn't there be some equity for all?
john  stevens
john stevens
Nov 04, 2011 02:21 PM
Melitta,

Here's a link to the Wisdom study: http://www.fs.fed.us/[…]/ms-06_Wisdom.pdf
Tim Baker
Tim Baker Subscriber
Nov 04, 2011 02:32 PM
Melitta, You should probably be aware already that Mike's "research" does not really qualify as science because he cannot back up any of his criticisms with peer-reviewed science, only conjecture and anecdote. Anyone can dissect an experimental method because of the limitations you pointed out but the methods in the peer-reviewed literature at least met the standards for peer-reviewed publication, which Mike's review cannot.

It appears that he starts with the thesis that mountain bikes are bad for various psychological reasons (e.g. teaches people to run roughshod over nature) and then constructs straw man arguments about impacts on wildlife habitat even though none of the papers he criticized looked specifically at habitat impacts (two examined wildlife behavior). His real opinion is evident in the last paragraph above where he states bikes should be restricted to pavement because as a hiker, he does not want to share any trail with them (although he lost me when he called that 'equitable').

There's a more thorough science-based review of the literature at:
http://www.imba.com/resourc[…]e-review-and-best-practices

And before Mike suggests, again, that I should study conservation biology, I should point out that I have a PhD in ecology and have taught wildlife biology and conservation, including endangered species management, for 15 years at the college level.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 04, 2011 05:08 PM
Tim, we in a very sad state, when we can't even rely on a so-called "scientist" to tell the truth! I guess you must be a mountain biker. I can't imagine anyone else defending mountain biking. IMBA's "review" is totally biased. It takes all studies at face value, even if they are junk science, as long as they support mountain biking. ALL of the "studies" they cite were done by mountain bikers, and ALL of them draw conclusions that don't follow from their data. I doubt that any of them were peer-reviewed, but if they were, the system utterly failed to prevent this junk science from being published.

On their web site, IMBA asks people to send them references to other studies on the subject. Well I sent them the Wisdom study, but because it doesn't support mountain biking, they refused to list it! They also used to have a study on their website showing that 87% of mountain bikers disobey the law (riding through a creek instead of across the bridge). Of course, they quickly removed that study!

"He states bikes should be restricted to pavement because as a hiker, he does not want to share any trail with them". That is a blatant lie. I have NEVER said that. I said that NO ONE (except mountain bikers) wants to share a trail with bikes. But that is only one of MANY reasons for banning bikes. And, YES, it IS equitable. If it weren't, mountain bikers would be able to sue in court for discrimination and win. They sued in federal court in 1994, and LOST. The court said that land managers can ban bikes from trails (see http://mjvande.nfshost.com/mtb10.htm). It's equitable because the exact same rule applies to everyone.

The ONLY equitable rule is to ban bikes from natural areas. It is better for the wildlife, as well as for people. Mountain bikers, of course, can all WALK, so they can keep fit that way. I have yet to hear even ONE good reason to allow bikes on trails.
john  stevens
john stevens
Nov 04, 2011 06:03 PM
I think Mike just jumped the shark.
melitta smith
melitta smith
Nov 05, 2011 02:43 AM
Thanks for the info Tim and John
John Neiley
John Neiley
Nov 07, 2011 05:58 PM
It's really a competing use issue - hikers like Mike just don't like bikes and don't have any interest in sharing the resource. Hikers are often an elite, arrogant group who deny their own massive impacts to public lands while chastising other user groups like bikers. Hikers bring their own set of "needs" to the equation but typically deny their own selfish motives. Consider Conundrum Hot Springs outside Aspen - Wilderness with a capital W and also a coliform cess pool from hikers and their dogs. Poop your guts out on public lands - no problemo, just don't dare ride a bike there: http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20111028/NEWS/111029823 And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's the equestrian brigade, also Wilderness users who ride their non-native invasive species (at least for the last 20,000 years or so) into the back country leaving piles of manure for us all to enjoy. And of course hunters are welcome to blast away at the nice critters who live there. The argument that bikers present some monstrous intrusion into public lands is a straw man and unsupported by the science - it's a battle of recreation users trying to preserve their niche and nothing more. For the most part, the anti-bike crowd is simply driven by fear and anger. When a Wilderness advocates are willing to completely ban all human use from Wilderness areas, then I'll believe the fairy tale about preserving areas "untrammeled" by man. Until then, it's just a food fight over who gets to do the trammeling.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 07, 2011 07:31 PM
"hikers like Mike just don't like bikes and don't have any interest in sharing the resource. Hikers are often an elite, arrogant group who deny their own massive impacts to public lands while chastising other user groups like bikers. Hikers bring their own set of "needs" to the equation but typically deny their own selfish motives."

It's amazing that mountain bikers think that they can just lie, and people will believe them! (1) Not only do I like bikes, but I own 6 of them, and the bike is my primary mode of transportation. But I don't believe in using a bike to destroy wildlife habitat. (2) I have no problem "sharing the resource" with mountain bikers. But not with BIKES. BIKES have no rights. They are machines! (3) I don't deny the impacts of hiking and trail-building, but they are FAR exceeded by the impacts of mountain biking. Mountain bikers also build illegal trails and ride illegally whenever they aren't happy with the rules that everyone else obeys. (4) Hikers' motives aren't selfish. We want to protect the wildlife, and even the safety of mountain bikers themselves, who are frequently killing or maiming themselves due to the inherent danger of mountain biking. Mountain bikers don't care about their own safety, much less the safety of other bikers or other trail users. In their listservs and newsgroups, they NEVER discuss the danger of mountain biking. Instead, accidents are considered badges of honor! We are happy to share the trails with mountain bikers, but not with bikes. That's not selfish at all, just sensible.
John Neiley
John Neiley
Nov 07, 2011 08:27 PM
Your prior example of bikers riding through a stream instead of using the bridge proves my point. Why do we have to build a bridge to accommodate you hikers and your trails? Why do you feel entitled to defecate in the wilderness? You are picking nits about a specific user group while you ignore the plank in your own eye. So you're fine with your bikes on paved roads? Great! I suppose that the road was always there and never part of a pristine landscape? Now that it's despoiled and part of the paved road system you're fine with it? Do you live in house? Are you using electricity? Burning natural gas? Hypocrite. Get over your self righteousness Mike. It's like a Toyota Prius owner feeling superior because their 2,500 pounds of manufactured steel and lithium batteries gets marginally better mileage than a Chevy Tahoe. You're just another user of public lands who doesn't like mountain bikes. The idea that hiking is any purer than mountain biking is a self-serving myth. Hikers will readily and avariciously crap the wilderness to death. And if a bear happens to eat a hiker? Kill it. We know you don't like mountain bikes, but drop the righteous pseudo-scientific arguments already. After thousands of rebuttals you would think it would finally start sinking in. You would be much more convincing if you just stopped trying to prove your virtue and admitted your bias. There's nothing wrong with having an opinion, it's the ad hominems and need to always be proven right that's sad.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 08, 2011 05:21 AM
"Your prior example of bikers riding through a stream instead of using the bridge proves my point. Why do we have to build a bridge to accommodate you hikers and your trails?"

Your question perfectly illustrates why bikes don't belong in natural areas! You obviously don't think wildlife are important. Riding through creeks wrecks the creek habitat! It kills the eggs of fish, frogs, salamanders, and other creatures that lay their eggs there, and ruins the water quality by stirring up silt. Bridges are built to protect the habitat and keep people out of where they shouldn't go. Mountain bikers can't be bothered to think about that or get off their bikes for one second. All they care about is the thrill of riding. If you want to have a place to practice extreme(ly damaging) sports, buy some land (as equestrians do) and do it there! Don't deny the MAJORITY of the population the peaceful, quiet, RESPECTFUL use of the land that belongs to all of us. The rest of your post is equally ridiculous, or worse!
Stephanie Paige Ogburn
Stephanie Paige Ogburn Subscriber
Nov 08, 2011 07:53 AM
Hi folks,

I appreciate the spirited dialogue here and wanted to remind everyone to keep the back-and-forth civil and substantive. Our comments policy (http://www.hcn.org/policies/comments-policy) prohibits personal attacks, and some of the comments are approaching that level of vituperative language. Comments that violate the policy will be deleted.

Again, thank you for your contributions and opinions.

Best,

Stephanie Paige Ogburn, online editor.
John Neiley
John Neiley
Nov 08, 2011 08:58 AM
"Bridges are built to protect the habitat and keep people out of where they shouldn't go."

Brilliant. Thanks for proving my point. It’s fine to put permanent man-made structures in wetlands and wildlife habitat so you can enjoy your preferred method of experiencing nature. We have to destroy a pristine area in order to protect it. If protecting wildlife and natural areas is paramount, why not ban hiking, bridges, trails, and campsites altogether? But that would necessarily inconvenience hikers. So it really is just a question of who gets the privilege of trammeling the resource. That in turn opens the door to a reasoned evaluation of relative impacts and appropriate uses. All the studies I've seen show that mountain biking can readily be managed as a compatible use on public lands with no more impact that hiking or equestrians. Of course, I don't buy your theory that all the research is biased and all the scientists are liars under the sway of the powerful mountain bike lobby.
Mike Welch
Mike Welch Subscriber
Nov 08, 2011 04:13 PM
The argument concerning bikes and resource damage aside, most outdoor user conflict can be attributed to what is called "goal interference". That is, goal interference attributed to another's behavior. I dont know any hikers/backpackers who dont consider running into a mountain-biker (particularly the careless/dominate the natural world types who zip around blind-corners)to be a prime example of goal interference. Pure User-Conflict, the behavior of other's negativly effecting your personal experience. Side note... I am aware of a "real-life" true and terrible incident involving a mountain biker and horseback rider, one of whom was left paralyzed from the waist down. Needless to say mountain bikers can pose a threat and danger to other trail users, the only non-motorized recreation activity I can think of that does so. Again, as has been mentioned, if you are an avid outdoors person and a frequent user of trails you either HATE mountain bikers or you ARE one of them. In a world of grey this is one of those neat and tighty little issues that is fairly black or white.
John Neiley
John Neiley
Nov 08, 2011 04:43 PM
Mike W. - I can understand hikers not always enjoying sharing the trail with bikers, but my experience has been 99% good with the hikers. Our local riding and hiking area here in Carbondale is Red Hill, and it is heavily used by bikers, hikers and trail runners. Everyone knows that it is a BLM multi-use area, and goes there with that understanding. I have yet to have a bad interaction with anyone there. In fact, people are really friendly and mutually respectful of each other. Many hikers comments are positive: "I can't get over that you are actually riding this! Great job!" When I'm riding down I look ahead and always yield the trail. It's a pleasant social scene for everyone, and I have not heard of any injuries or altercations between groups. A little respect and tolerance goes a long way.
Mike Welch
Mike Welch Subscriber
Nov 08, 2011 05:00 PM
John. You are right, a little respect and tolerance does go a long way. However, it has been proven time and time again that negative experiences are those that leave the most long lasting impressions on our minds. This concept does not change when one has a negative encounter with mountain bikers. The problem is not all mountain bikers are respectful and/or tolerant. In fact I have come across my fair share of arrogant, rude, and enititled bikers. I have even heard them yell "this (or these) are mountain bike trails" while passing. Which is 100% false as I happen to know for a fact that the trails they are reffering to were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, long before the words Mountain and Bike were ever put together. Anyhow, I agree respect and tolerance go a long way, but sometimes recreation activites JUST DONT MIX. Regardless of how many people are out there doing "the right" thing.
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 01:02 PM
What Mike V fails to realize is that he intertwines his own veiws of morality and ethics with facts, which alone may discredit his own research as biased. He will never recognize an opposing view as valid if it clashes with his own morality and ethics. Mike V's large sweeping generality of other cultures and behaviors are based soley on his own experiences. This is fine, and even fair, as our experiences shape our perceptions. However, one has to ask if one is doing anything personally to influence and perpetuate such interactions. Lets not fail to recognize his bias to conservation when he mentions "scientific fact". Mike V does not need to ground his arguments in science, as his spirited stance is perfectly valid from even an emotional point of view. His arguments of science merely reflect a desperation. I appreciate that we have such champions of conservation as Mike V in such industrial times, but as long as he continues to degrade, attack and threaten personal harm upon others, he will be given little credit.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 02:57 PM
Brian Bolin: "as long as he continues to degrade, attack and threaten personal harm upon others, he will be given little credit"

Brian, you don't know what you are talking about, and your lies and ad hominem personal attack only demonstrate how mountain bikers treat ANYONE who opposes mountain biking. It has no place in a public website like this. You are deliberately violating the Comment Policy. Science isn't a sign of "desperation"! It's the way we determine what the facts are! There is no scientific support for mountain biking. There are several so-called "scientific studies" written by mountain bikers, but they are dishonest junk science. Their conclusions don't follow from their data! You don't need to take my word for it. If you read those "studies", you will see that what I say is true.

What I wonder is, if mountain biking is a good thing, why do mountain bikers need to LIE about it? And about their critics?
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 03:49 PM
Mike,
Which of my statements do you perceive as a "personal attack"? What I wrote are not lies, as your recent court rulings were well documented in the public record. Not a lie, not slander, but fact. Your attemps to pursuway others away from facts of public record and discredit them as lies can most certainly be diagnosed as delusional.

Also, your last comment further provided evidence substantianting my claims of your biasnes. Not once did I ever say I was a Mt. Biker or not, you do not know who I am, yet you automatically assume I am one.

Also, you entirely missed my point. You have an obvious bias which nullifies your scientific claims. I would think someone of your educational pedrigree would recognize this before embarrasing yourself for years online. You are not the only one with a PhD, and you are just one of many who knows real scientific data from unsubstantiated.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 06:29 PM
Brian, EVERYTHING you say is a lie and a personal attack. You can presumably read your own post. For example, I never said you are a mountain biker. Learn to read. You also say I am "biased", when all I do is tell the truth! Court rulings mean NOTHING, as you well know. The innocent get convicted every day. Neither the judge, the lawyers, nor the jury were present during the events, and so have NO IDEA what happened. The mountain bikers all lied. No surprize there! What is YOUR motivation to lie??? You claim to be able to detect bias, meaning that you know what the truth is, but you obviously haven't even READ trhe research. If you did, you would know that everything I said is true. Look up "Projection" in a dictionary of psychology. Then look in a mirror. You are the one who is biased, because you make claims without knowing the facts. That's called "projecting".
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 06:45 PM
So you truly believe that you fell victim of a grand conspiracy in which elected judges, legal professionals, officers of the law, and mt. bikers target you specifically to try and silence your campaign for conservation?



 
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 07:36 PM
Brian, see what I mean? You fabricate, instead of telling the truth. You are one sick dude! As you well know, I never said that. It's not like you can't READ what I wrote. But you seem more interested in making up stuff. The mountain bikers lied in order to punish me for blowing the whistle on their illegal mountain biking. The jury was just STUPID. But that's the nature of the jury system: humans think that they can tell who is telling the truth. They CAN'T. But I can tell that you are lying, because I have intimate knowledge of the subject you are talking about (me, for example).

How about answering my questions?
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 07:53 PM
Mike, nothing fabricated, just looking for clarification which I have received. Don't you think if everyone in that trial was really lying and out to get you, you would have been found guilty of all charges? What exactly were you doing in the forest with a hacksaw anyways Mike, conservation? Why would anyone need a hacksaw and screwdriver for hiking? Doesn't seem that conservation and hacksaw even belong in the same sentence.

The only question you have asked I assumed was just hypothetical. I apoloigize as I did not realize it was directed to me. Unfortunately, as I have never acknkwoledged whether or not il am a mt. biker, I do not have an answer. If you have any other questions, I will do my best to answer them.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 08:02 PM
See what I mean? You just lied AGAIN, saying I had a "hacksaw". You don't have the least bit of interest in knowing the truth, or you would know what I was carrying, and why I was carrying it.

Reread my posts and answer my questions. ALL of them. And tell the truth (if you CAN): do you own a mountain bike?
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 08:19 PM
Mike, how can it be a lie, manifested from my imagination, if it exists in court transcripts?

When you ask me a direct question, I will answer it. No, I do not own a mt. bike.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 08:23 PM
You are lying AGAIN! You don't even have ACCESS to the court transcripts! You are an incorrigible liar, and it's a big waste of time talking with a liar.

Here's another question you neglected to answer: "What is your motivation to lie?"
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 08:42 PM
I never said I had access to the transcripts, just that they exist and your trial is part of the public record.

You never asked me that question before. But since you have, I do not have any motivation to lie, so I simply do not lie. I have to say, I rather take offense to your aligations. It seems like when anyone says anything disagreable with you, you attack them, and call them a liar. How do we know you are not the liar? All we have is your word, which, by the way is inconsistent with court findings.

By the way, according to all relevent documented resources, the trail you were on when the incident happened is a legal trail for cyclists. I will give you the benefit of the doubt on that one, as I'm sure you were just mistaken, and not intentionally lying. That is what helps society get along, give the benefit of doubt before accusations, it may help in future situations.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 09:00 PM
You just lied AGAIN: "according to all relevent documented resources, the trail you were on when the incident happened is a legal trail for cyclists". Everyone involved admitted that the trail is closed to bikes. You are just fabricating whatever you feel like saying. You said that something was in the court transcripts, even though you have never read them. That is called a "lie": making an assertion that you don't know to be true. I wasn't mistaken. YOU are mistaken. But I doubt that you have the guts to admit it. If you aren't a mountain biker (and we have seen that your word is worthless), why do you act like one?
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 09:12 PM
I wasn't aware that mt. bikers acted any sort of way. Is it a good thing or a bad thing to act like one? If you reread my first post, I actually commended your spirit, but I disagreed with your methods. I cannot, and do not, condone violence upon others, even if I disagree with them, and thus, do not agree with your methods.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 10:49 PM
There you go again, lying!: "I cannot, and do not, condone violence upon others, even if I disagree with them, and thus, do not agree with your methods". I have never committed any violence. I was convicted of "touching". But even that was a lie; the mountain biker ran into ME, so he was the one who should have been convicted. The screwdriver was only for self-defense, which is not a crime. So I repeat my question which you have never answered: Why do you insist on lying??? Why is it so important to you, to make it appear that I am a violent person? All you are doing is making a fool of yourself, in front of the whole world!
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 13, 2011 11:23 PM
I am making a fool of myself? You were convicted of a violent crime and continue to blame everyone else for your convictions.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 13, 2011 11:40 PM
"I am making a fool of myself?"

Yes, you are, because you are incapable of telling the truth.

"You were convicted of a violent crime and continue to blame everyone else for your convictions."

I was NOT "convicted of a violent crime". I was convicted of "battery" (touching, which is not "violent"), and only because the mountain biker LIED UNDER OATH. Sorry to disappoint you. You obviously don't know what you are talking about and have no interest in telling the truth.
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 14, 2011 12:08 AM
Mike, the truth just spoke for itself. Thanks for joining me in this whole back and forth thing. You may not realize the full extent of your actions, or how harmful you can be to society, but everyone else does. How many more years until your stay away order is lifted? Is it 3? I'm sure you'll find the trails just as they were once you are legally alowed to go back.

By the way, all of my claims can be found from various online articles and newspaper publications, it isn't stuff I made up. You made your own reputation, and now it is all out there for the world to see. Thanks again, goodnight.
Mike Vandeman
Mike Vandeman Subscriber
Nov 14, 2011 11:17 AM
Either you are relying on unreliable sources (e.g. mountain bikers, who are totally biased), or you are embellishing/fabricating on your own. Or BOTH. It's revealing that you (1) fail to name any of your sources (because it would be obvious how biased they are), (2) run away before it becomes inescapable that you can't defend any of your false statements, and (3) COMPLETELY IGNORE what the mountain bikers have done, including physically attacking me, breaking numerous laws, and lying continually. It's interesting that you claim to oppose violence, yet you ignore the violence perpetrated by the mountain bikers, and complain about someone who has never done anything violent in his life.... So I ask again, What is your motivation for that dishonesty???
John Neiley
John Neiley
Nov 14, 2011 03:47 PM
Brian - quit poking the monkey. You will never win for a multitude of reasons: Mike is the "world expert" on the subject of mountain biking impacts. Anyone who disagrees with him is a "LIAR" or biased or just plain stupid. All mountain bikers are LIARS. Any scientific research that contradicts Mike's thesis is "junk science" promulgated by biased mountain bikers and therefore a LIE. Any scientists who may have the credentials to challenge Mike are biased, probably mountain bikers themselves, and hence LIARS. The legal system that convicted Mike is full of STUPID jurors and biased towards LIARS who have a vendetta to "punish" Mike for daring to speak the truth. Are you getting the picture yet? There are a number of probable diagnoses (NPD comes to mind), but the bottom line is - Mike is never going to accept any argument, no matter how rational, or proof, if it conflicts with his reality. John Lennon said it best. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"
Brian Bolin
Brian Bolin
Nov 14, 2011 04:19 PM
John, thank you but I know what I was doing. I figure the more Mike speaks, the more he has a chance to discredit himself.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn
Stephanie Paige Ogburn Subscriber
Nov 14, 2011 04:33 PM
Dear readers and commentators. Thank you very much for the spirited conversation. The tone, however, has gotten out of hand, and is no longer discussing the point of the article. Therefore, I am asking those involved in the back-and-forth to refrain from commenting from this point forward. Any comments that do not address the specific content of the article will be deleted.

Thank you very much,

Stephanie Paige Ogburn, online editor.
j. d. mann
j. d. mann
Apr 10, 2014 01:03 PM
Mike V. is a convicted felon. He attacked a cyclist with an ice axe. His words carry no meaning. He is severely disturbed and misguided--and he's on the losing side of history regarding cyclists' rights.

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