It was hot that day in 1975 when Richard L. Biederman found himself in a war he had no stake in. As an American, from Minnesota, he traveled halfway around the world to fight in the bush of Africa. He had come here because, while the fight was not his, he agreed with the underlying philosophy of one of the belligerents. The place was Rhodesia and Richard L. Biederman was a mercenary.
Today, a new type of mercenary is arising. Instead of being armed with a rifle, they come armed with important sounding titles and resumes. They are professionals, hired by anti-mountain bikers to prop up some sort of an argument against mountain biking access. They write letters and reports, all with doom and gloom descriptions of what happens if mountain biking is allowed at a location.
What happens when professionals are hired by those opposed to trails to write reports in opposition to a trail project? Is there anything you can do to prevent this? Can you counteract it when it happens? What do these types of situations mean for the larger concept of facts & truth?
The state of Pennsylvania's urban trails have been added to the trails inventory.
Pennsylvania has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the best states east of the Mississippi River. In the past 15 years, Pennsylvania has greatly expanded its urban mountain biking access. Pittsburgh has become an epicenter of sorts, with more and more trails in more parks than all but a few cities in the country. What is unique about Pennsylvania is the depth of land managers who have embraced urban mountain biking access. City parks departments, borough natural areas and county urban wildernesses have all come to see the benefit of urban mountain biking access. Pennsylvania is quickly becoming one of the most forward thinking states in country and certainly in the New England region.
In honor of the adding of Pennsylvania state trails, we are going to reach back in time to an influential band from Pennsylvania in the 1980s who is largely forgotten today:
This article was originally written some time ago, but shelved because it seemed outside the norm of our standard article fair. However, with recent events, it seems like maybe an "outside our normal" article was needed. Dusted off and ready to go, here it is. Due to nature of the article, we will be turning off the comments for this one.
If you read the title of this article and began hate typing a comment about “social justice warriors” or “white privilege” or the “patriarchy”. Just stop for a moment. There is a real issue here, with real questions and maybe real answers.
Can we, as mountain bikers, name trails in a way we find funny, cute or ironic, and in doing so create hurt feelings or harm to others? How do we know if a concern is legitimate? What can we do if we find a trail name offensive?
The state of Oregon's urban trails have been added to the trails inventory.
While Oregon has tons of great mountain biking, especially around the Bend area, most of the trails in Oregon are outside of municipal centers. This leaves Oregon rarely poorly represented when it comes to urban mountain biking. Complicating this is the fact that Portland, brimming with amazing parks and natural areas is also home to a rabid anti-mountain cadre. Regardless, Oregon is starting to see the benefits of urban mountain biking with some newer trails coming online.
In honor of the adding of Oregon state trails, lets showcase some Portland locals who merge shoegaze and garage rock:
The state of Oklahoma's urban trails have been added to the trails inventory.
While it doesn't have many large cities and is largely rural state, Oklahoma has some fun and interesting urban trails, both in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In fact, for a state is thought of as wind swept cow palace, Oklahoma has some so chunk and challenge that awaits urban riders. All the prairie has rocks slabs underneath and were water has had a chance to work on it, the gnar appears.
In honor of the adding of Oklahoma state trails, lets showcase some Oklahoma City locals from way back in the 1990s, you know when Alternative was awesome. Here they are, the Nixons from 1995:
Your and your local club are scouting locations for future trails to create in your park. However, you have a problem. There is great terrain over here and over there, but between those two areas is a popular regional trail or hiking only trail. How do you cross said trail and not turn the crossing into a source of concern for yourselves, the land manager and (most importantly) the public? The answer: an Iron Crossing.
The day comes when your city has its first trails open for mountain biking at a local park. Its been a lot of work, but the dream is finally realized. But now that you have this resource, can you have events on these trails? If so, how can you? What issues or items should you be aware of?
All this and more will be answered as we discuss mountain biking events at urban parks.
The state of Ohio's urban trails have been added to the trails inventory.
Much like its Midwest brethren, Ohio is one of those places that has way more and way better mountain biking than people imagine. The geography of Ohio gets pigeonholed as flat, but the southern half of the state is dominated by the Ohio River Valley. Most of the major cities in Ohio are located near rivers and therefore come with elevation changes that create the type of riding Ohio is known for: tight singletrack with punchy climbs.
In the last few years, Ohio has been piling on the urban mileage as cities across the state have begun to see the benefits of having an involved user group in their parks. One of the really interesting things about these newer trails is that many are built on some type of post-industrial or abandoned lands. Ohio is firmly in the Rust Belt and many industrial users once had vast amounts of land, now lost to them via bankruptcies and reclaimed by nature.
In honor of the adding of Ohio state trails, lets showcase some Ohio locals, The End of the Ocean, and their post-rock instrumental anthem "Redemption":
While mountain biking isn’t as likely to injure riders as some believe, the fact is, sometimes there are boo-boos on the trail. And some of those boos-boos require the calling of emergency personnel. How can land managers and clubs create a system to benefit those that need to call in emergency services? What systems are the easiest for users and still work for those personnel?
Let’s talk about an Emergency Location Marker (ELM) system.
Social media has become a fact of life now. It has inspired positive in the world around us, brought us closer to lost friends and brought a stream of great cat videos. It also has inspired negatives in the world around us, enabling genocides, given rise to fringe politics and letting your parents (or grandparents) to share all sorts of fake news.
The British sitcom The IT Crowd hilariously lampooned social media in a faux commercial for a social media site called “Friendface” from the episode with the same name:
But can social media be a boon for mountain biking clubs and land managers who what to let users know about trail conditions and other trail updates?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.