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Guest Article: Riding against the machine – UPDATED

Posted by on April 7th, 2015 at 11:46 am

umaDear-portland

A manifesto of sorts, by The Ümabomber.

Publisher’s note: This article was written by The Ümabomber and was originally published on her blog.

I’ve been a cyclist for over 25 years and a dedicated mountain biker for the past 8 years. I have ridden trails all over the Western US. And I have never poached a trail that was closed to riding. Ever. Until today.

“People — especially conservative people — love to hate what they don’t understand… When we ride bikes, we are perceived as less human.”

Today I popped my poaching cherry.

People who know me can’t believe I’ve never poached. I’ve been an outspoken advocate for bike access on trails since I started riding dirt. I’m a noisy upstart, an outspoken firebrand, and I rail against the machine. I’m good at rallying the troops and making noise, and with a name like The Ümabomber, it’s easy to see why people would expect me to ride rogue.

But I’m also possessed of some weird conscience that feels horribly guilty if I go against the law. Partly, it’s that I didn’t want my actions to negatively impact the work others are doing to create positive change. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

But there’s a problem with that problem.

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The problem is “the problem” is manufactured. The problem is a matter of perception. Mountain bikers (and cyclists in general) are perceived as threats to most non-bike riding humans in the United States. People—especially conservative people—love to hate what they don’t understand; gays, people of other nationalities, other belief systems, other social classes.

When we ride bikes, we are perceived as less human. We are perceived as earth-raping, road-sucking monsters whose only purpose is to create havoc and ruin other people’s lives. We are in the way. We are obstacles to other people’s enjoyment of reality—or their escape from it.

After the recent Portland Parks & Recreation decision to ban bikes from a trail system where bikes had not been identified as threats to the preservation of a large city park, it was clear that railing against the machine would no longer be enough. It was time to ride against the machine.

So, today I rode my bike on single track trail in one of the largest public parks in the country, on trails that are closed to anyone except Nature Conservancy hikers, their (illegally) off-lease dogs, and uber-fit long distance runners in safety orange day-glo running shoes.

umavince2

From last night’s protest ride.
(Photo by Vince Rodarte)
umawalkingfree-forest-park-1-1024x678

From last night’s protest ride.

I took about 55 friends with me. My deflowering was public: the loss of my poaching virginity made the evening news. Even more poignant, the trail is named Wild Cherry.

We were courteous. We made way for people to pass. We said hello. We didn’t descend upon them—wheeled hellions from the sky—screaming blood curdling death cries, snatching up their soft, furry canines in our talons to rip to shreds and feed to your young. We didn’t hate. I can’t say we met the same courtesy in everyone we encountered. And don’t look now, but according to the comments left on the news channels who covered our ride, there are many people who feel they can and should run us over with their cars and trucks.

You’d think we were pedophiles or rapists instead of people who ride bikes, that’s how much mainstream America has in their hearts for us.

As rides go, it was anti-climatic. Short and sweet-ish. The purpose was to show our numbers and to take the trails with the same unapologetic ownership other user groups take for granted. As we headed out for the trail, I climbed up on a garbage can and delivered our message:

Dear Portland: We’re here. Our numbers are growing. We are not terrorists. We are people who ride bikes. We live here. We work, and pay taxes, and volunteer in our communities. We vote. We probably do more trail work than you do. And we build better, more sustainable and environmentally beneficial trails than you do. You need to stop treating us like we are some kind of criminal class. We are going to ride. Get used to it.

As [Bike Magazine reporter] Vernon Felton mentioned in his recent article, Portland does not deserve to be awarded any kudos for being “bike-friendly”. The truth is, Portland is “bike-friendly” if you are a commuter, sort of. Certainly, Portland does not deserve the League of American Bicyclist’s “Platinum Status” for Bike-Friendly Cities when she systematically and repeatedly refuse to accommodate or include an entire user group.

I propose a new designation: Prohibition Status.

In the 20s, prohibition supporters were referred to as “Drys” and anti-prohibition adherents were “Wets”. Here in Portland, as mountain bikers, we are under siege by a new breed of “dry crusaders”; conservative NIMBYs who reject reason and logic and refuse to share what isn’t even theirs to give.

So while I applaud my local trail advocacy groups for their letter writing campaigns and ongoing conversations with city policy makers (and especially for filing suit against the city) I think my days of playing nicey-nice with the Drys are over. I simply refuse to be part of “the problem” any longer. I refuse to play into the expectations forced upon me by other, more entitled user groups, these new prohibitionists.

See, I’ve had my trail poaching cherry popped, now. Amanda Fritz made me do it. And now there’s no going back. I’m going to ride more… wet and dirty.

I asked The Ümabomber to clarify whether or not she and the 60 or so other riders who showed up to the protest ride last night actually rode bikes on illegal singletrack in Forest Park. Here’s how she responded:

“I can neither confirm nor deny ‘reports of riding on illegal trails’.

I can tell you this:

While some of the hikers we passed were courteous and friendly, others were not amused and downright pissed off. It doesn’t matter if we ride or walk from a user conflict point of view. People who don’t ride bikes do not want to share with people who do. Now now. Not ever. Not anywhere.”

Check out the TV news coverage of the ride via KATU and KPTV.

Publisher’s note: This story was originally posted with a different title. It was changed after it became a distraction and many readers contacted me to say it was offensive to them. — Jonathan

UPDATE, 4/10 at 3:30 pm: Check out this video from the ride which features organizer Üma Kleppinger explaining its impetus and why she decided to protest:


NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Rob Chapman
Guest
Rob Chapman

Discarded dog poop bag, check.

Unleashed dog, check.

Confrontational hiker with bad attitude, check.

All types of happy and friendly people on all sorts of bikes, check.

Thanks for organizing a great event Üma! I’m convinced that direct action is the only way forward in this city. The process is broken. #freeforestpark

tedder
Guest

Yes, the trail is “cherry”, but .. that title is still skeevy.

eli bishop
Guest
eli bishop

THIS.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

OMG, so easily offended….

Eric H
Guest
Eric H

Just curious as to why you singled out The Nature Conservancy in this? I’m pretty sure they have no interest (financial or other) in Forest Park. And I’m fairly comfortable in saying that at least one, if not more, person who works for The Nature Conservancy is an avid mountain biker.

meh
Guest
meh

Lead picture is terrible, no one dismounting to avoid riding through an obviously wet and muddy trail. One of the things we are so often accused of, abusing the trail.

geezer
Guest
geezer

I wasn’t there, but to me that looks like Lief Erikson Dr. In the actual trail pics, they are dismounted.

Pabstslut
Guest
Pabstslut

I’m pretty sure that cover picture is Leif Erikson, which is a road, albeit an unpaved one.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

You realize that “trail” is hard pack, essentially paved and is merely wet, not muddy, right?

The rule is: if you can see your track after you have ridden over a section, it’s too muddy.

meh
Guest
meh

You can see in the picture that the road has been avoided by even pedestrians because it is wet and muddy. Look at what would be the shoulder and you can see the foliage is already beaten down and turning muddy.

This is indicative of a”road” that is too wet to ride, everyone keeps riding further and further out from the mud and turns it into a multi-lane mess.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Couple yards of 1/4-. Fixed. I know a group who is willing to wheelbarrow gravel for free in order to create a more sustainable road ride to get to their trails.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

People don’t walk through water or mud because they don’t’ want to get their feet wet and/or dirty. Also, I see a person moving to the right to share a path courteously with other users. I guess your imagination is a bit different than mine.

jered bogli
Guest
jered bogli

You’ve never run the trail then – runners often trot on through… once the shoes are wet it doesn’t matter.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Fair enough.

Robert Burchett
Guest
Robert Burchett

Leif Ericson? That is, approximately, a road. Yes there are wet spots, but it’s graded and gravelled for several miles.

JR 'eh
Guest
JR 'eh

That’s not a trail, that is the primary road through Forest Park, Leif Erikson Drive. While it is multipurpose, it is not mountain biking and not subject to IMBA’s guidelines.
https://www.imba.com/about/rules-trail

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

You probably think having a blog with a name that sounds a lot like a domestic terrorist is cute. It is not.

You had to become divisive and attack conservative folks. How tolerant. A lot of those conservative folks also pay taxes and enjoy the outdoors just like you do.

Also, I seriously doubt anyone compares mountain bikers to vile monsters like pedophiles and rapists, but I understand first-world problems like this probably bring out the martyr in you.

onegearsnear
Guest
onegearsnear

Read the comments in the article posted on KPTV.com, they threaten to run over any cyclists on the road even which shows the disdain this town really has for any kind of cyclist.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

They call me The Ümabomber—a nod to my love of “bombing” downhill on my bike and my uncompromising view of pursuing what makes us tick.

Maybe try reading her blog with an open mind and unbound by bias and quick to judge reflex… it will make you a much better person!

Steve B
Guest
Steve B

Before adopting a nickname inspired by a serial murderer, even when done so with “good intentions”, I suggest reading up on the significance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

I’m pretty sure most people are intelligent enough to know the difference. Most, but not all.

Manville
Guest
Manville

Great event last night; I wish more had shown up. I do have two comments
1) There is room for off-leash dogs; lets team with as many of these groups as possible v. making it an us v. them argument. Forrest Park is huge and has room for all users.
2) I would point out all of the less bike friendly cities that have awesome trails within city limits. Richmond, Va; Salt Lake City, UT; Boise, ID; New York City (High Bridge Park), Pheonix and Tucson, AZ and many others. Lets get some statistics on volunteer hours spent, crime rate reductions, mountain bike patrols ect… Lets focus on the positives that a strong mountain bike community brings to the aforementioned parks.

The revolution needs a more unified message with statistics. Step up NWTA; get the facts and build a campaign off of them. Lets do this!!! Free Forrest Park!!!

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver BC reminds me a lot of Forest Park and it has shared trails, some allow offleash dogs, some allow bikes, some allow only walking. I think horses are even accommodated!

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

Hell Yes! keep it up Uma and company! Free Forest Park!

We should be doing “walk ins” every week in forest park on every illegal trail! the more in their faces we are, the less haters will show up and more people supporting equal rights to trail use will show up!

spencer
Guest
spencer

+ 1, be polite, be respectful, and ride,

spencer
Guest
spencer

. . .your bike!

Eric
Guest
Eric

For quick weekday dirt rides, my only choice is to poach singletrack (not in forest park, because I don’t live in NW). I wish I had a choice, but its either poach or not ride. And the trails I use I hardly every see anyone on them and the occasional hiker I do see, I slow down to a stop, make plenty of room and let them pass. Never had a bad encounter.
I think it is good to create pressure on the Forest Park complex. Nice work Uma.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Curious. Is that a wet trail in the lede photo? I thought responsible riders didn’t do wet trails. Or is it a wet but paved section? Seriously curious, not trying to be a rabble-rouser.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Saw the answer above from an earlier comment that didn’t show until a page reload. Thanks.

Brian
Guest
Brian

De nada.

Brian
Guest
Brian

See comments above.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Previous comments address this.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Unfortunately, for many it has come to this. Decision-makers have known for a long, long time about the need to address this user group adequately, and have decided that it is not a priority for them. In fact, in the last ten years riding opportunities have decreased. Two weekends ago as I drove my five year old to Hood River to ride his bike at Post Canyon he asked me, ‘Why do we have to drive so far?” I didn’t have an answer. I hope the decision-makers do.

jeff
Guest
jeff

awesome. more ‘uv vs. them’ crap. a winning strategy for sure.
the amount of people care were affected into changing their minds about MTB access in FP due to this ride. zero.
everyone feel better?

Manville
Guest
Manville

I changed my mind about not poaching the trails so I guess you could say that at least one person changed their mind about MTB access in Forrest Park.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

Consensus does not always work.

velograph
Guest

Way to go Üma! You make great points and I’m glad you are the voice that is ringing loud and clear. If people have a hard time with your title, or how you frame the argument, then you’re doing it right.

dweendaddy
Guest
dweendaddy

The article quotes the organizer as saying: “People who don’t ride bikes do not want to share with people who do. Not now. Not ever. Not anywhere. ”
I don’t really buy that.

Jeff TB
Guest
Jeff TB

Uma certainly painted with a broad brush there. But I have no doubt that its people who don’t ride that don’t want to share with cyclists. And those people also paint with broad brushes.

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

I could do without the “anyone who disagrees with me is a conservative nutjob” attitude of the post.

You will not change hearts and minds by hurling childish insults.
You will not persuade by lumping everyone who disagrees with you into one large bucket.

If anything, this post makes me less likely to support your cause. But, I’m sure it is a hit with people who already support mountain biking. So, if that’s what you were going for, good job!

davemess
Guest
davemess

Yeah, remember that George W Bush was an avid mountain biker.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Yep…and I seriously doubt either Amanda Fritz or Nick Fish are one those evil “conservative nut jobs”.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Yes, frankly I think in Portland it’s more of the “liberal nut jobs” that have been the impediment to increased mountain bike access.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

yeah, lose the ‘conservative’ and it’s spot-on.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

“I could do without the “anyone who disagrees with me is a conservative nutjob” attitude of the post.” Stretchy

Politicians do it for a living, political newspapers, radio personalities and satirists do it ever day!
John Stuart, rush Limbaugh, bill Maher, the majority of congress, the senate and the white house… all do it!

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Which seems to imply that you think this is acceptable.

I would say that anything done by such a consistently disreputable and unethical group should be considered “bad” as a default position.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

It Implies that it is acceptable to fight fire With fire.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Don’t pretend this is a fire vs fire fight. This is much more akin to a battlefield with biological weapons.

They are “gifting” us polio contaminated blankets so you are arguing that deploying weaponized smallpox is perfectly acceptable.
I’m not going to pretend I’m above such dirty tactics in war but understand the true dynamics of the impacts and collateral damage caused by the type of weapon used.

This guest article is causing metric $#it tons if collateral damage it is spreading, multiplying and mutating.

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

People seem to have not problem doing this with people who drive SUVs

Alex
Guest
Alex

Ironically, it is the liberal/environmentalist people that are quibbling amongst themselves. Mountain bikers are very environmentally concerned, but it seems that some “conservationists” (and I use that term loosely), don’t see it that way. They have been the biggest rivals/blockers of expanding mountain biking in Portland.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

.Good JOB, with the ride and the article. I do not ride like this as I would kill myself or someone else. I’m an uncoordinated clutz….just like I do not race or ride a tiny or tall bike, but I do Zoo Bomb with my trusty roadbike.

Yet, I see the idioicy of the city, the missed opportunities and the deadpan reaction. THEY ARE NOT LISTENING. So let the protest riding continue. When I am hiking I will give them support. When I pass one of you all muddy and tired on the greenwaqys, I will smile and nod. I will sign your petititions and work for a supporter for 2016 city council. I will NOT however ride down some scary mountain on a narrow trail…the trees will jump out in front of me And I will be flattened.

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

Weak protest, I am afraid. One could use Ms. Kleppinger’s argument to break a lot of laws. “I pay taxes- why can’t I drive on the sidewalk?” This kind of civil disobedience should be used for more important issues than someone’s recreation choice.

Also- Ms. Kleppinger’s characterization of the public’s response to cyclists is just too over-the-top.

Well, when you want to know why this cyclist finds little common ground with BP, and why bike use has stagnated- ask yourself how this temper tantrum plays out with the general public? Not well.

And who cares what label is attached? If you are an adult and you like to bike- grow up and bike where it is permitted.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

-One could use Ms. Kleppinger’s argument to break a lot of laws. “I pay taxes- why can’t I drive on the sidewalk?” OM

because traffic laws are a completely different set of rules in place for people and property safety. Also most people have enough common sense to know why it’s illegal to drive a car on the side walk!

-Well, when you want to know why this cyclist finds little common ground with BP, and why bike use has stagnated- ask yourself how this temper tantrum plays out with the general public? Not well. OM

Actually the truth is “bike Use” in Portland is not stagnated it’s on the rise. Bicycle access and infrastructure in Portland has stagnated, because what made Portland the most amazing bicycle city in the country was the passion and civil protests of its citizens that wanted this city to be a world class city with bicycle infrastructure, outstanding public transit and less car access.
This… is what Portland is stagnating on, we need more people to stand up for what they believe in and Fight for what is right and against the rich people who plague our city and it’s laws!

We need more people like Uma to lead these protests and show Oregon politicians what the people of this city and state really want.

A portland resident
Guest
A portland resident

“We need more people like Uma to lead these protests and show Oregon politicians what the people of this city and state really want.”

but I don’t want this type of mountain biking in Forest Park and I am part of this city. I would like my voice heard too

Dan
Guest
Dan

Hmm, not convinced. What type of mountain biking and why not?

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Which type of mountain biking are you talking about? Which type IS acceptable to you? Are you aware of the kinds of mountain biking that actually exist and which kind is being requested in Forest Park?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Cycling growth has stagnated because people are lazy and they think that driving is cheap.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I am an avid mountain bike rider, but I have to admit, this was a terribly divisive article that left me with a visceral reaction–No, I will not support you. I support the movement of gaining access, just not The Ümabomber.

Remember: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski

Have a little tact in deriving your alias.

caesar
Guest
caesar

Kleppinger implies that she poached the trail – i.e. that she actually rode her bike on a trail that is not open to bikes. Yet when asked to confirm this, she won’t. So no, Üma, you didn’t get your trail poaching cherry popped yesterday, sorry.

Fifty-plus people walking their bikes on a muddy trail might technically be legal, but I guara-damn-tee that knobby tread tracks were left behind by those pushed bikes. I just don’t see this sort of over-blustered “activism” accomplishing much of anything except stroking a few assorted egos and pissing off quite a few hikers. The last thing we need to do at this point in the controversy is to amplify a popular opinion that mtb-ers are (mostly) a bunch of self-entitled, spoiled, careless louts.

The River View protest ride was the way to do it, IMHO – staying off the muddy trails yet still being seen and heard.

Justin Carinci
Guest
Justin Carinci

You’re railing against being dehumanized for riding a bike while calling hikers conservative NIMBYs, neon-wearing distance runners and Nature Conservancy members who have broken dog-rental agreements.

Some of those hikers are also mountain bikers. Some would be your allies. They may oppose cycling on those trails for legitimate reasons.

It’s possible to disagree with those reasons while still being respectful.

Patrick Barber
Guest

I wish this many people would publicly show this much energy and enthusiasm about making our transportation network more useful to people on foot and bikes. I love mountain biking myself, but I’m a lot more concerned about being able to safely and easily move myself and my family around the city, than I am about having mountain bike access to whatever trail happens to be around.

Maybe I’m biased. I’ve been using a bike for transportation for 35 years, and the way US transportation networks serve bicycles hasn’t improved very much at all in that time, which I find extremely distressing. Yet I’ve only used a bike recreationally for a few years, and I have seemingly endless amounts of unbelievable forest trail access within an hour or two of Portland.

And while every bike ride I take through the city inevitably leads to me composing angry letters to PBOT in my head about all of the terrible intersection designs, staccato bike lane appearances and ridiculous mish-mashes of confusing and ineffective signage meant to replace actual infrastructure, my mountain bike rides are pure bliss– the forest, the sounds, the smells, like hiking but faster and more exciting, and I get to explore parts of Tillamook State Forest and Mt Hood that I would never get to otherwise.

So I have no complaints about access to trails. I have friends with trails literally out their back doors, but they all live in tiny semi-rural communities in Colorado or New Mexico. Nice places to visit, but nowhere I’d want to live. And I don’t know of an urban area like Portland where trails have the kind of access that everyone wants (although I am sure some of you will enlighten me on that subject). But to me it seems that if Forest Park offered MTB access, it would be even more heavily used and the trails would suffer even more damage than they currently do from hikers and the occasional poacher.

Portland has an OK bike network for an American city, but on the world scale, we don’t even have a bike network. New York and (of all places) Seattle are laying down better infrastructure than we are. Our population is going to grow by a million in the next fifteen years. We desperately need to change the way we plan and build this city. Our kids need it, and our parents and grandparents do too. We need ways to get around freely and easily without cars, and without having our lives threatened by cars. We need politicians who understand that driver behavior and vehicle speed are hazards, not dark clothing. And because our resources are extremely limited, we need to prioritize transportation over recreation. I know that the two aren’t interchangeable, and that I’m comparing 650B apples to 29″ oranges, and so maybe this comparison is pointless and this comment is also pointless or at the least unhelpful.

But every time I read about all of the enthusiastic, ambitious work people are doing to increase recreational trail access, the ONLY thing I think, over and over again, is that I wish we could take that energy and add it to the struggle to create a livable city.

See you on the streets, and in the forest.

Patrick

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Salt Lake, Phoenix, etc, etc, etc.

Consider yourself semi-enlightened: http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/top-10-mountain-bike-cities-in-north-america/

Also, I’d say there are far and away more people working on equitable access for commuters than recreational trail access. You’re just seeing the passion because the issue has come to a head recently.

Dan
Guest
Dan

As best I can tell, the single most important thing we can do to make cycling safer in the long run is to get MORE PEOPLE CYCLING.

For many people (myself included), off-road cycling is a gateway to on-road cycling. Off-road cycling is a great way to keep kids interested in riding bikes once they have outgrown riding in front of their house, and gets them out in nature, where they can learn to appreciate it and respect it. And perhaps from those experiences they may develop some lifelong habits where they enjoy both.

MNBikeLuv
Guest
MNBikeLuv

“But every time I read about all of the enthusiastic, ambitious work people are doing to increase recreational trail access, the ONLY thing I think, over and over again, is that I wish we could take that energy and add it to the struggle to create a livable city.”

I would argue they go hand-in-hand.

Lets say, for instance, that you get 5 or 6 miles of awesome urban mountain biking trails 2 miles from your house. To get there you bike those 2 miles of streets. Now lets say the biking infrastructure between said trails and your home is craptastic. Suddenly you care a lot about fair and complete streets.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

Patrick, I have to admit I’m also having a similarly hard time throwing my emotional weight behind this cause. I guess I feel like a lot of people already tend to look at bicycles as toys or frivolities. (“Sure, they’re fun – but why can’t cyclists just find someplace else to have their fun instead of getting in everyone’s way on the street?”) It’s tough to feel incredibly fired up and inspired to fight for our right to ride off road when our freedom to ride ON road is still so tenuous.

Angela
Guest
Angela

Poor form guys & girls. Disruptive actions like this lessen your support and yes, 50 bikes even dismounted on a wet trail do considerable damage.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Please offer proof of damage.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

“50 bikes even dismounted on a wet trail do considerable damage.”

Not true, 50 people hiking (which that trail sees every day rain or shine!) will do much Much more damage than 50 bikes. Those bikes weigh less than 30 pounds where as most people weigh more than 100 lbs.
Do the math!

And your missing the point, most mountain bikers and bike advocates do more volunteer trail work in a year than 90% of “the hikers that frequent forest park” do in a life time.
Mountain biking has been more about trail stewardship and community involvement, upkeep and maintenance for over 25 years with strong groups like IMBA, NWTA, and NORBA (may it rest in peace) consistently being at the forefront of sustainable trail design and maintenance.

If the idiot politicians would wake up and see that allowing these groups access to Forest Park would help improve and catapult the trails into the 21st century of well designed, maintained and sustainable usage even the other idiot group (Forest Park conservancy and hateful hikers!) would see the error of their ways!

Just look at Sandy Ridge, Stub Stewart and Step Creek to name a few.. you’ll see extremely well maintained trail systems that can handle even higher numbers of trail users.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Don’t forget that the 50 bikes will have 50 riders hiking beside them.

Esther
Guest
Esther

I’m pretty sure those 30 lb bikes have 150 lb people ON them

invisiblebikes
“50 bikes even dismounted on a wet trail do considerable damage.”
Not true, 50 people hiking (which that trail sees every day rain or shine!) will do much Much more damage than 50 bikes. Those bikes weigh less than 30 pounds where as most people weigh more than 100 lbs.
Do the math!
And your missing the point, most mountain bikers and bike advocates do more volunteer trail work in a year than 90% of “the hikers that frequent forest park” do in a life time.
Mountain biking has been more about trail stewardship and community involvement, upkeep and maintenance for over 25 years with strong groups like IMBA, NWTA, and NORBA (may it rest in peace) consistently being at the forefront of sustainable trail design and maintenance.
If the idiot politicians would wake up and see that allowing these groups access to Forest Park would help improve and catapult the trails into the 21st century of well designed, maintained and sustainable usage even the other idiot group (Forest Park conservancy and hateful hikers!) would see the error of their ways!
Just look at Sandy Ridge, Stub Stewart and Step Creek to name a few.. you’ll see extremely well maintained trail systems that can handle even higher numbers of trail users.
Recommended 3

Amazing how those 30 lb bikes ride themselves without any humans on them 😉

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

Exactly… so what is the difference between 50 people walking with bikes where the bikes are not doing any damage because they weigh less than 30 pounds sans Riders (as I thought that was implied in my original statement)
There is no difference!

spencer
Guest
spencer

its the SAME damage that 50 walkers cause, and less poop also

SJ
Guest
SJ

Stupid, counterproductive. I’d sooner visit Mt. Hood or Moab than ride on prohibited trails in Forest Park–there are just too many other places to ride. Other, possibly more mature riders are looking down on this and sarcastically thanking you for more harm done than good. All those hikers, runners and dog-walkers? Also drivers who now have an even more negative view of people on two wheels.

Take up politics. Get involved in legal ways. Your pseudo-vigilante posse doesn’t impress me or anyone else I know. Fighting to legally change things? I’d get behind that. A poacher is a poacher. Ugly.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Yea – I love those after work rides in Moab – they are pretty satisfying.

SJ
Guest
SJ

Thanks for your contribution. I didn’t know the health of a public park was subject to your convenience. Sorry you have to put any effort into riding elsewhere. Your entitlement totally trumps others’ concerns. My bad.

VTRC
Guest
VTRC

There’s a world of trail building mitigation that people would be thrilled to use to ensure the health of the park. No one is asking for anything less than an improved and healthier Forest Park.

davemess
Guest
davemess

If health of the park is the top priority, then it should be closed to all users. multiple studies have shown that hikers and cyclists inflict similar levels of damage to properly built trails.

TJ
Guest
TJ

Has anyone surveyed (within Forest Park or not) and developed a fully implementable proposal for a mountain bike park similar to Sandy or Post?

Letter writing is some-kind-of pro-active. Poaching trails is another-kind-of pro-active. Doing the city leaders a favor and bank rolling (via volunteers and led through non-profit sourcing) an everything up-front: studies, plans, project management, on-going management, etc is the more certain-kind-of pro-active.

I get the frustration, but Uma’s letter vibes-off every bit a level of entitlement as the “Nature Conservancy hikers” and “day-glow ultra runners” she mentions–to be fair: plenty use the park for fresh air, clear-minds, and losing a pound w/o every considering if cyclist are/would be a bother or if they would ever ride if award-winning-envy-quality access existed for all: the core, the curious, and, less-so, the plastic clad day-glow/nature conservancy equivalent of an MTBer. If the trails go in Forest Park–they’re for all for the betterment the city.

Are we just begging our parents for a new toy, justifying why through give-me-give-mes and the Jones a city or state over? All which does not express what we truly mean to express or soundly rationalize a need. We’re still a small group of stakeholders among many others–real and/or perceived.

In short: What’s really being pro-active: Letter writing and poaching or presenting an offer that can’t be refused? One that truly puts a burden on the city leaders and other stakeholders to not say NO, or otherwise be blatantly seen as selfish and entitled in the court of public opinion.

Paul Souders
Guest
Paul Souders

This brand of communication is not my style and it kind of turns me off.

But.

I’ve seen more — and more durable — interest in trail access in Portland in the past month than in the past 15 YEARS. Red meat keeps the lions hungry, and it works politically. There is now an actual public conversation about MTB access in Portland, something that has been lacking since I arrived here in the 90s.

For at least that long the Portland MTB community has been playing very nice and being exemplary citizens, and the reward has been to see singletrack shrink. The Official Line from the powers that be is that MTB advocates should play nice, seek public approval, and take a long view. This has been a successful tactic for pulling the wind out of MTBers’ sails. It dispirits MTB advocates, keeps potential allies (hikers and riders) arguing, and mutes the debate.

So, while this kind of protest and writing is not for ME, I’m not going to make blanket statements like “this will turn people off” or “it won’t work.” It is generating momentum and getting people talking.

VTRC
Guest
VTRC

I’m in the same boat. It’s not my style but years of working with the city has resulted in fewer miles of trails. Obviously it isn’t working.

mtb
Guest
mtb

I bet if the same group of illegal protesters would have protested legally we would see just as much interest in city trails but without the illegal poaching cherry poppin stygma…

Matti
Guest
Matti

I feel no sympathy for people who let their dogs roam off leash illegally. I feel no sympathy for skateboarders who grind on park benches and stair railings. I feel no sympathy for graffiti writers that tag walls without permission. I feel no sympathy for people who text while driving. I feel no sympathy for people who run red lights whether driving or riding a bike. And, I feel no sympathy for mountain bikers who ride on trails illegally.

These are selfish acts. Until you can convince the broader population that your cause is worth changing the rules for, obey the rules or risk being marginalized and dismissed. These kinds of actions don’t help your cause.

Nick
Guest
Nick

“I feel no sympathy for ___ (insert user group here).” This rings of arguments against any number groups who fought for greater acceptance and recognition by society at large. When viewed though a strict legal lens yes red-light runners, vandals and trail poachers are all equally culpable. However, trail poachers are not merely asking for access, they are asking for access with an eye toward stewardship, which seems to be consistently overlooked in these discussions.
Hikers, dog walkers and equestrians are measurably less engaged in trail maintenance than Mountain Bike riders. Stewardship and trail maintenance really are deeply embedded values in the MTB culture at large, and the trail resources in Forest Park are seriously in need of improvement and maintenance. Here is a group that is asking to be let in; a group which wants to repay that access with maintenance and improvement.
Back to the original comment above- the argument that the law is always correct is spurious at best when viewed through the larger lens of history. I believe that history will prove that cyclists and other user groups can in fact co-exist on trails and in areas set aside for recreation and enjoyment of some kind of “wildness” within city limits. (See prior comments about Phoenix, Los Angeles etc)

danny
Guest
danny

I constantly ride my various bikes for transportation, exercise, and enjoyment — including my mountain bike. Yes, I wish Portland had more mountain bike opportunities because I don’t always have the time to toss my bike in the car and drive to some of the (wonderful) trails more distant from the city.

But I find it absurd that a variety of riders (and a prominent Portland bike blog) have decided that they are simply entitled to more trails open to mountain bikes and, having hung a variety of pejorative labels on the “evil” city officials who refuse to recognize this “right,” have decided to take the law into their own hands (or other parts of their body given the unfortunate analogy employed by the headline of this post). And to top it off, these same folks now demean other trail users.

Count me as someone who otherwise may be an ally of calls for increased mountain bike access who has been completely alienated by the juvenile behavior and advocacy tactics typified by this post and many of the associated comments.

Michael Whitesel
Guest
Michael Whitesel

Yes, we are “entitled”. We are entitled to fair consideration in a transparent process performed in good faith. But, that’s not happening. Instead we are branded environmental wreckers, crazy adrenaline junkies who put hikers lives at risk when we should know better because there are more important problems in our city like starving children, so we just get strung along (20 years and counting) and nothing changes. Thanks Uma!

Mick O
Guest
Mick O

I am happy this happened and I support the effort to raise awareness about the shameful lack of trails for mountain bikers. Thank you for reporting on it. Any progress must push through the disapproval of those who are paralyzed by fear.

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.

The MTB community was winning the public relations battle over the closing of RiverView. There were sympathetic news stories and a critical letter from the Parks Citizens Committee.

And then this idiot gets involved, and Bike Portland enables the activity by promoting the protest ride on the website. Stupid move.

Forest Park is not RiverView. There is no history of MTB trail building or trail usage in ForestPark. Converting the single track in Forest Park to be compatible with MTB would be a difficult and complex process. The trails at present can barely handle the current running and hiking traffic, as anyone who has run the trails during wet weather can tell you.

COULD Forest Park be a good place for MTB? Of course, with a hell of a lot of work and partnership and trail building.

KEEP THE FOCUS! RiverView is the win. Everything else is a distraction.

Would I–as an avid mountain biker–been rude to a bunch of riders if I encountered them on one of the single track trails in Forest Park? You’re damn right–I would engage them AS A FELLOW CYCLIST and ask them WTF are you doing? This is PRECISELY the kind of behavior that is damaging.

The bloggers name is Umabomber, named after a terrorist, but oh, no, “we are not terrorists.” How cute and ironic!

She trashes conservatives as closed minded and then, irony of ironies, stereotypes everyone who is opposed to her point of view.

I suppose an activist community has to put up with this kind of stupidity. For BP to promote this is silly and counterproductive.

This is not helpful.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

As a FELLOW CYCLIST.. Ha! that is rich.

TJ
Guest
TJ

I’m with Paul on many of the points minus River View being the (only) win. Scappoose, as an example, is more accessible than River View for N/NE Portland where a rather large lump of cyclist (commuters, OBRAs, and mtbs) live. River View is what we had, but winning it back should only be a series win; not the season; not the legacy. Forest Park is the legacy. Or at least I think.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Agree, Riverview is just a small piece. I personally wasn’t even aware of that area until it was shut down.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

I’ll agree with you on the point that Forest Park is the legacy win.

But Paul’s points are narrow minded and borderline spineless. We have to fight for what we deserve. look at military plans… they don’t just win a battle by marching in and shooting straight lines at the enemy. they use multiple tactics, snipers, air strikes, ground assaults and spies.

using Gorilla warfare is a sound grass roots tactic, and that is how much of civil actions and protesters in our countries history got things done!

Also I can tell the majority of commenters on this subject are 3rd or 4th generation mountain bikers, how? because in the 80s and early 90s we (mountain bikers) struggled hard for trail access nationwide. We built tons of illegal trails and trespassed on private property to get to trails.

The majority of what most people think of as “destination Trails” like Moab, Colorado, Nantahala/TSALI and most of California were originally illegally built trail systems adopted by years of lobbying for trail access.

Hell the birth place of modern mountain biking (Mt Tamalpais in Marin) is still mostly not accessible to mountain bikers.

People in Portland need to wake up and smell the history, because its passed us by! the majority of the country is enjoying years of solid trail access with little to no resistance or push back… We live in some of the most beautiful wooded prime cycling terrain in the country… and we have to drive hours to get to it?
Get off your lazy butts and do something about it!

Caesar
Guest
Caesar

It’s ” guerrilla” warfare. Gorillas are big hairy beasts that are generally pretty peaceful.
Ok, carry on.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

yada yada yada auto correct yada yada yada

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

Gorillas are also known for infanticide.

TJ
Guest
TJ

Spineless is unfair to Paul. I’m not sure the Critical Mass days did a great deal more than fire-up the base’s momentum either (fun and fellowship too). These protest rides do the same. The press attention is somewhat helpful in recruiting like minds and awareness, but the negative attention factors into the net effect. To presume protest rides of this nature will equate to access is misguided. There’s a great deal of work to do. None of the current trails in Forest Park can match what’s currently within an hours drive. The legacy is not Forest Park mtb access to current trails. It’s bike capital status worthy mountain biking inside the city limits–likely in Forest Park.

tnash
Guest
tnash

I love Portlandia. Please continue heated discussions over this important topic. 🙂

davemess
Guest
davemess

Did you read the duck story?

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

With the caveat that I recognize Uma probably just meant to write a fun piece for her blog, I agree with others here that the whole ‘deflowering’ angle is off-putting and tired. It’s not cheeky or novel anymore to throw ‘cherry popping’ and ‘wet and dirty’ around; it unfortunately just comes off as pandering (to me). If you want to color it as newly acceptable colloquial language, then I’d hope you’d think hard for a minute about why that is and consider rejecting it. For some of us (again, me), it brings an icky vibe to this forum. I realize plenty’ll disagree with me about that and counsel me to scuttle back to Prude Manor. Just telling you how it struck me, and I very well may be in a very small minority. This piece seems more about asserting personal identity than anything else—again, fine for a blog, and really the function of a blog for most.

mike owens
Guest
mike owens

I gotta say, when a protest of only 60 people in PDX makes the news…you know you have struck a nerve!

(and for the record, I support Uma in this instance where after publicly embracing the process of engaging interested parties for a recognized need the city very much shat on those parties. Sometimes, you need to get some attention to the issue whether you agree with all or just some of the thorny and well discussed details or not.)

danny
Guest
danny

So if you want attention, go ahead and break the law.

Good recipe for a civil and functional society.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Duh, that’s how America came to be.

Taco
Guest
Taco

Yeah, someone needs to sit in the front of the bus sometimes.

Carl
Guest
Carl

…and then neither confirm nor deny having done so. So brave. So edgy!

mtb
Guest
mtb

why is bikeportland promoting sterotyping and bashing conservatives? She really just created more resistance with her article and bikeportland.org really needs to take it down. Her actions she wrote about, admitted to, and now encouraging illegal riding are not helping and identify her and her protesters as extremists.

way to go bikeportland… nice advocacy work for the other side.

Dwaine Dibbly
Guest
Dwaine Dibbly

Maybe this will start a conversation…. (Sorry. I had to.)

whatyahmacallit@it.org
Guest
whatyahmacallit@it.org

Isn’t this the same type of over the top, labelling language that Maus keeps speaking against?

spencer
Guest
spencer

I couldn’t agree more with the frustration expressed in Uma’s prose. I’ve lived here 10 years, and in those years, I’ve seen access to trails diminish to almost nothing.
The long process for legal MTB trail riding in Portland has produced countless reiterations of the same tired, old, and fear mongering arguments. Review the Forest Park document published in 2010
for reference.
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/312553

We HAVE studied it, we HAVE built consensus, we HAVE participated in good faith, we HAVE a working frame work and precedent, and now we have NOTHING.

Now is the time to make noise. Now is the time to turn the heat up, now is the time to stand up to the silent minority that is controlling our open spaces. We are citizens, tax payers, and people also.

I can share responsibly, the real question is, can you?

TJ
Guest
TJ

This quote has long irked me: “Forest Park is too special a place, cherished more than sixty years by thousands of Oregonians, to warrant anything less than setting a high bar for any new precedent that could impact its future for generations to come.”

Still, coming back to the table with only demands and not a project ready proposal that can’t be tellingly denied for any reason other than an entitled selfish mindset seems pointless to me.

One 22 page excuse deserve at least a 23 page well positioned argument.

Barney
Guest
Barney

davemess
Yeah, remember that George W Bush was an avid mountain biker.
Recommended 10

I guess you can count me as another “conservative nut job” mountain biker. Who knew that you can be not liberal and a biker too!

Big Knobby Ones
Guest
Big Knobby Ones

Leif Erikson Drive in first picture above, and discussed in the comments above, is a great place to ride a mountain bike – it’s wide enough that bike/pedestrian encounters are not too big of an issue and it is hard packed (paved near Thurman) so mud is not an issue. 11 miles from Thurman to Germantown – take a side trip up Saltzman or Springville roads for some elevation gain/loss – lot of fun coming down and you just whiz safely by the pedestrians.
.
Too bad the liberal czars in Portland have pissed off Uma and the mountain bikers. Reminds me of Sonny Bono who wanted to open a restaurant and got a bunch of crap from local goobermint – it pissed him off so much that he became a Republican and was elected to political office. Here’s a little education for Uma on conservatives and liberals:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwqhoVIh65k
.
1 more for Uma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KHdhrNhh88
.
Single track riding is fun, but I’d think that in Forest Park there might be so many pedestrians that it could be dangerous for both bikes and peds. Who wants to bike where you are constantly in danger of rounding a corner and hitting a kid or some other hiker?
.
I’d recommend the mtn bikers take a hike on the same trail they want to ride on and see if they like walking the trail. Just a thought.

MNBikeLuv
Guest
MNBikeLuv

One thing to consider as to MTBing at any urban setting (including Forest Park). Most places that do urban mountain biking have methodologies to prevent negative hiker-biker interaction.

Some, like trails in MSP Metro go full segregated if the user counts of MTBers and hikers will be high enough. Some, like Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness have a system of rotating access. Others, like Indianapolis set access by trail width. There are tons of pre-existing strategies to handle those situations.

I often sound like a broken record in this regard, but its true, the NWTA could do everyone a huge favor if they would realize the way to talk about and do urban mountain biking is have people a place with tones of urban MTBing come and talk to officials, the public and reporters about how to do urban MTBing, start to finish. If they had the funds, send city officials to a place like MSP and learn first hand that urban MTBing isn’t the devil.

caesar
Guest
caesar

Leif Erikson Drive in first picture above, and discussed in the comments above, is a great place to ride a mountain bike – it’s wide enough that bike/pedestrian encounters are not too big of an issue and it is hard packed (paved near Thurman) so mud is not an issue. 11 miles from Thurman to Germantown – take a side trip up Saltzman or Springville roads for some elevation gain/loss – lot of fun coming down and you just whiz safely by the pedestrians.

Clearly you’ve never actually ridden a mountain bike on a proper mountain bike trail. Or you wouldn’t be writing this.

spencer
Guest
spencer

I do hike on those trails, it becomes an exercise in frustration between all the off leash ill controlled dogs, bags of poop left on the trailside, and cut-arounds around muddy sections. The park is POORLY maintained, and its illogical to continue to prohibit use due to fear mongering. Mountain bikers are people and they perform a tremendous amount of trail work and maintenance. I cringe every time I’m on the inner wildwood, as it could be drained and contoured to avoid the mud, even in winter. The NWTA could do that.

Jeff M
Guest
Jeff M

Yeah, the language is inflammatory and the charges leveled at conservatives may be slightly misplaced. (Although, honestly, who can look at the climate change deniers, the law-protected discrimination promoters, and any number of other head scratching hate and hysteria and say there isn’t a tendancy toward nut jobs with that group?). And the part about the Nature Conservancy is irrelevant, but I’m assuming she meant the Forest Park Conservancy. Either way, back up your accusations with some supporting information.

However, I say good job. I won’t call it insanity, but doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is shameful. So, go be disobedient and piss off some people. What is there to lose, a seat at the table? Ha! Hahahaha….

Fivefrud
Guest
Fivefrud

Jonathan — I can’t for the life of me figure out what motivated you to repost Uma’s blog post on BP. Care to enlighten us?

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

This and the dead mallard article. Slow news days?

Big Knobby Ones
Guest
Big Knobby Ones

Quote: “(Although, honestly, who can look at the climate change deniers, the law-protected discrimination promoters, and any number of other head scratching hate and hysteria and say there isn’t a tendancy toward nut jobs with that group?).”

Who? Ask and ye shall receive:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Uod_KmZRkoBFXy3voYToA

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=liberal+hate+speech

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=liberal+idiots

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=global+warming+proven+false

Brian
Guest
Brian

Seems to me this was writing with a purpose, and if I’m correct, it served its purpose well.

Dors D
Guest
Dors D

“rachel b” had good insight.

The mix of terrorist’s name, sexual innuendo, unnecessary insults, and hyperbolic comparisons shows immaturity, not leadership.

When asked if she actually rode an off limit trail? She didn’t say yes or no, just farted like a politician. That’s not taking a stand.

It is a good thing Uma is fired up about an issue and community organizing, but this post isn’t helpful to gaining more mountain biking trails in Forrest Park.

Esther
Guest
Esther

Yeah, now that you say it – I know what previous guest poster it reminds me of. Sigh….

Christophe
Guest
Christophe

Bad title. Exaggerated. I support more single track in the Park, and elsewhere, close in. I’ve run in the park for twenty-five years. The trails become impassable to pedestrians in the winter when they also carry bike traffic.

Anna M
Guest
Anna M

As an avid mt biker and also “neon-shoe wearing” trail runner I wasn’t inspired by this diatribe and found it to be yet another rant without offering any solutions. The fact is that our trails are great and so yes, many people want to use them. What we need is to find a solution to provide access to all (or most). Mill Creek Canyon in Salt Lake City has one such solution that works. While it’s seemingly a little complicated and does restrict what days you can do what, it’s the reality of our world today. There are just so many people that want to play in one space that we need to create some guidelines. It provides days for dogs to run off-leash, days for hikers to walk in peace away from bikers and days for mt bikers to ride with ferocity. And yes it also offers trails open to all, everyday.

http://www.parks.slco.org/millcreekcanyon/index.html

Let’s put our energy into solution building and uniting everyone, not calling names and looking down upon others just because they have a different idea on how to participate in the outdoors.

Ruthie
Guest
Ruthie

Car-free commuter, MTBer and trail runner here with my $0.02 that not all trails are for you.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Nobody is saying all trails. So we agree with you.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Some hikers are saying that all trails in Forest Park should be for them, however. What’s your take on that?

Ruthie
Guest
Ruthie

Hikers and pedestrians in general should have priority over bikes. They have less of an impact on the trail. These trails in question weren’t intended for multi-use. They were designed for people to use them by foot.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

You’re saying that sharing is impossible? Is that the kind of civilized society we’re dealing with here in progressive Portland?

The International Mountain Bike Association guidelines are very clear: everyone yields to hikers, mountain bikers yield to hikers and equestrians.

Sharing: It’s so simple that most of us learned it as toddlers.

VTRC
Guest
VTRC

I want everyone to have a great time in Forest Park, I want the park to be healthy, and I want the trails to last a long time.

The last time we(users, and the city) had the conversation about Forest Park there was a plan on the table to facilitate sharing and improvements to trails. The low hanging fruit would have let us revamp a lot of the firelanes to make them singletrack and help with erosion. Vetoed.

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/312553

Dan
Guest
Dan

No reason given either. This letter from Nick Fish and Zari Santner is ridiculous.

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/428949

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Ruthie, we have no trails. I guess no trails are for us?

Ruthie
Guest
Ruthie

No trails? Leif Erikson, Springville Road, Saltzman + all Fire Lanes are open to bikes. There’s also Powell Butte.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

All the “trails” you’re naming in Forest Park are roads. There is one section of Firelane 5 that is 3/10ths of a mile long that is an actual singletrack trail.

There used to be trsils at Powell Butte until the city turned them into crushed gravel paths.

There are essentially no actual trails for mountain biking within the city limits.

Brian
Guest
Brian

This is one of the tasks that mountain bikers/off-road cyclists needs to take on here in Portland. People who do not ride trails do not understand what we are talking about. We need to do a better job “showing” non-mtb’ers what we mean when we talk about trails. If not, people will continue to say that Leif Erickson “Drive,” fire “lanes,” and gravel “paths” are trails. In our world, those are not trails.

DZ
Guest
DZ

It seems like a lot of the negative comments are coming from people who aren’t versed in the history of discrimination against mountain bikers by the City. Basically, we’ve been jumping through hoops just to get shot down and start over each time.

Also, trails in FP can handle a lot of users if they are designed properly to shed water or if they are fortified with rock. There are a lot of Advanced Trail Builders in the MTB community here that would love to help out with FP, even if they only got to legally ride the trails one day of the week.

Share Forest Park!

Big Knobby Ones
Guest
Big Knobby Ones

Quote: “Clearly you’ve never actually ridden a mountain bike on a proper mountain bike trail. Or you wouldn’t be writing this.”

You’ve made the anti-mountain bikers point for them. Many trails in FP are not “proper mountain bike trails”. Many trails in FP are sloppy mud holes in the winter – you can literally barely walk them in hiking boots they are so sloppy. And yes, Leif Erikson is a proper mountain bike trail (even though it’s a road) – and it is safe enough for bikers and pedestrians to use it simultaneously.

I used to be pissed that I could not ride my bike in designated wilderness areas. So, I tried hiking the trails I wanted to bike and discovered that hiking the trails was even better because many of the trails were too steep or rough for bikes any way; plus you would not get taken to jail and that’s a plus.

If you want nice single track go where it exists. I think there is some in central Oregon – but it’s best if you haul your bike to the trailhead in your car – but many on this website claim that they don’t believe in cars so maybe they will never see decent single track.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Dream small.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

So the city should turn down the opportunity for MTB volunteers to help fix and rebuild a poorly designed trail system because that’s just how it’s always been, and mud pits are more contemplative somehow on foot?