This article is a lot longer than the average article. This is due to the number of quotations contained within. Its well worth the read and important for those wanting to create urban mountain biking experiences. -- City MTB
On the About page for City MTB this description is given under the “What we promote” tab:
We can do this while talking to our fellow citizens and finding how to make the best thing we can for everyone, even if we don't understand or agree with the activities those persons might enjoy. Instead of thinking of that other user group as "those people", why not listen to them and use their concerns and opinions as a way to make your activity of choice that much better?
The fact is, however, there is a group of very dedicated people across the United States that view mountain biking as the devil and mountain bikers as “those people”. It’s easy to dismiss them as Hateful Old Hikers. These kinds of blanket dismissive attitudes aren’t respectful, nor are they helpful. It also shows a real lack of wisdom to dismiss statements because of the person making the statements. A broken clock is right twice a day after all.
Let’s not fall into the trap that many anti-mountain bikers find themselves: hating the activity so much they dismiss facts that destroy their arguments. We should have the wisdom to think critically about ourselves. We need to understand and process people’s concerns. That may mean we work to change a proposal or find a solution to a problem they have highlighted.
There is a bit of defensive strategy to this too. Anti-mountain bikers will be talking to local officials and writing op-eds in the local paper saying a Hellmouth will open if mountain biking comes to a local park. If you can’t show with facts that the ground won’t split open and imps and demons won’t come skipping out, you are ceding the conversation to the antis. So instead of waiting for your local anti group to get in front of the town council with garlic and holy water, use your proposal to the town council for urban mountain biking trails as a way to strangle their arguments in the crib.
To know what the arguments are, of course, will require you to read, digest and understand anti-mountain biking arguments and what lessons can be learned. This entire article will be built around examining an argument, disassembling it and learning the lesson that will allow you to make your proposal better. The discussion will be broken up by subject matter.
You will need to know three things:
“Mountain biking wrecks natural areas,” like a lot of post-fact statements, fits on a bumper sticker. You could try fighting that one after it gets said. Or you could think of ways to remove its power before its said. Thinking ahead and formulating how to make the facts of urban mountain biking accessible will do far more than dueling op-eds in the local paper. Take the lessons mentioned above and apply them to your work making urban mountain biking trails. Next time you go online, instead of rolling your eyes at an anti-mountain biking scree, look at it and ask yourself, “Could I use this to make my urban mountain biking proposal better?”
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Anti Mountain Bike
Memorandum Of Understanding
Off Road Cycling
Ride To Your Ride
Urban Mountain Biking
User Management Techniques