View Full Version : a guy with a view
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this has just been brought to my attention, I wonderd what you thought about it since on the whole you aren't mountain bikers but will see the affects of people using the great outdoors
Some of us are too old to look good on a mountain bike,We erode the countryside in landrovers :cry:
Have to say I feel similar.
I personally dislike mountain bikes (in the forest) for several reason,
1. They damage the forest floor and increase erosion. (Epping forest has been badly damaged in this manor)
2. Most riders are inconsiderate of other people using the forest and tear around screaming and shouting. You wouldn't believe the amount of close calls I have had - more so my dog who now is very irritated by them to say the least!
3. Most riders arent into the enviroment they are riding through - to them it is just a play ground to be used, abused, littered and trashed.
Of course not all mountain bikers fall into these catagories but that is what I generally find over Epping forest most weekends in summer (when they like the mosi's come out in force).
Always struck me as odd the name - Mountain Bike, never can understand why they ride them in a forest not on a mountain somewhere.
Is it me?
I love my mountain bike and enjoy the odd forest trail. Care has to be taken where to ride to avoid too much disruption to other forest users.
Down here in Sussex most bikers are a pain in the back side. Have nearly come to blows with several that have almost killed my dog. Not all bikers are the same but the majority are weekenders with little respect for walkers and the enviroment.
We finally enacted several laws about the things. Bikes have to stay on trails, yield to hikers and equestrians. I think that one came after I encountered one idiot while riding a retired Grand Canyon mule. Ever get sidekicked by a 1000 lb. animal that proceeds to lean down snapping her teeth with those huge ears twitching? He got religon right quick. A recent mountain lion attack resulted in a woman hiker badly injured and the discovery of a partially consumed mountain biker. There are things faster than these obnoxious toys and they bite.Another reason to go slow and quiet.
I'm generally a roady/triathlete but I have a mountain bike for winter and for off-road events.
There is a fine line between enjoying yourself on a mountain bike and respecting the environment and destroying paths/tracks, etc. Mountain biking is a huge sport and I suspect brings a lot of money into tourist areas. The problem is making sure that there are interesting enough trails for bikers to use - ones that are managed and checked - to make sure that they don't stray into the wrong areas where they can do a lot of damage. Unfortunately, there is a big group of mountan bikers who go out at the weekends and have no idea what they're doing or what damage they may cause to the land and to people. When I go out, I usually follow the routes from magazines, assuming - rightly or wrongly - that they have chosen legal bridalways, etc.
I like to think that I am courteous to other trail users but I get annoyed at the dirty looks I get from walkers, even when I stop to let them pass. The pathways do not belong to any one particular group of users and, if only everyone is sensible, we can all enjoy ourselves without upsetting others.
I take the point above about upsetting dogs and I hope you have a word with these idiots - and I don't want to start a big argument here between dog owners and bikers/runners, especially as we're about to get a dog! - but I have also come across a lot of irresponsible dog owners who don't seem to mind their pets attacking/leaping at/barking at cyclists, walkers and runners. And, no, saying that 'He's only playing, he won't hurt you' does not help, especially when a terrified small child is involved.
Oh, and believe me, mountain bikers certainly do not have the exclusive right to be complete ar**holes - I bike to work from Kingston to Central London 2 or 3 times a week and I am dismayed by the number of cyclists without lights, helmets, common-sense, respect for other road users and the knowledge that red lights apply to everyone.
Wow! I'm really ranting now! Sorry - just had to get that off my chest....
what got me most about the article was the way he siad all mountain bikers are like this. dogs couse a lot of trouble if they are jumping up at people. I have hit dogs in the past and nearly fallen off because of it. whilst I' ranting horse riders that span the whole path when there is no need really get to me as well. 6 horses abreast is too much, there was even a line marking which side of that path horses should be on
Andy, I wouldn't take it too hard :wink:
He sounds like a bit of a crank having a great time getting a lot of bottled angst off his chest. I don't cycle all that much, I wish I did, but not in the fashion he talks about. Anyway, I know some mountain bikers and I know for sure that, when younger, they would have behaved in the antisocial manner he refers to. His ranting though is far too general, and obviously a personal rant, to be taken too seriously. It is one sided, packed with hyperbole and, I don't doubt, with inaccuracy.
For me his remark that the only thing worse to the environment than bikers are hunters shows what a nincompoop he is (he is in the US refering to US hunters).
Dogs dashing about off the leash are more disturbing to wild life than a biker going past, if riding horses was as popular as riding bikes I bet that he would be compalining about the horses erroding the trails.
Everyone likes to think they are resonable. No one group has a monopoly on idiots. All you can do is, do what you want to do as ethically and as considerately as you can and try to ignore the people that enjoy ranting.
Unfortunately this is an argument that has been going on for a very long time. Walkers blame the mountain bikers, the mountain bikers blame the horses and everybody blames MX Bikes.
Most mountain bikers don't ride because there to idol after all I at least find it a lot easier to walk up a steep hill or in fact any hill than it is to ride up them.
Mountain bikers are simply looking for more interesting things to ride. Cannock Chase now has some trails being purpose built for mountain bikes only. There one way and are fully signed and ask that people don't walk them. Yet I've lost count of the times I've come flying round a corner to be met by a group of walkers and there dogs, then having to put up with them saying how irresponsible I am.
The outdoors isn't there for just a select group of people and it's impossible for one group to try and say they have more right to be there than another.
The walking paths are there because people have eroded them so the walkers aren't blame free either.
If everyone is responsible and looks out for each over there shouldn't be a problem. When I ride I look out for walkers/horses. When I walk I watch out for the bikes and horses. I try to stay on the established paths unless the horses have churned the mud up to much.
Ok that's changed from a few sensible points about erosion to a big rant about off road users.... not what I intended. :shock:
I don't want to start a flame war I just want to enjoy the out doors without getting all the bad feeling from other users :hurra:
Re-reading my post, I think I might have got a bit agressive. I didn't mean to upset anyone and no offence was meant - I just have quite strong feelings on it all. There's a place for everyone - except the numpties, of course.
Mind you, on a completely unrelated subject, I read a story in the free London paper you get a the rail stations: apparently, a young foreign guy was killed after falling over a cliff in the UK (South coast?) as he was terrified of dogs. A dog ran at him (just wanting to play, I guess) and the guy just backed off until he fell over the edge! A bit extreme, really, but, if you've got a phobia or something, it must be pretty serious!
My view is there is good and bad everywhere. Aware people and ignorant wretches. I have 2 dogs (Whippets) which are well trained and listen to exactly what I say. If I see young children they go on their leads so the kids won't feel threatened although they have never and would never hurt a human (rabbits and squirrels are a different story!! :wink: ) I have had some experience of irresponsible dog owners. One occasion there was a woman walking a pack of dogs (I concluded she was a doing some kind of dog walking service) there must have been a dozen or so in the pack of all different sizes and breeds including big breeds like German Shepards and Red setters and none of them were on leads. They came charging up to me and my 2 dogs. One of my dogs was so frightened she ran away and I had to spend an hour looking for her in the woods. The older of my Dogs wanted to protect me and her Daughter (The younger whippet that ran away) and started fighting with these dogs as she must have felt threatened. I was absolutely livid with this woman and felt extremely angry as how she could be so irresponsible. If there had been a family walking with their dog and kids the kids would have been petrified by this huge pack. She was shouting back that she had every right to be there, I was shouting back that she should be responsible and keep such a large pack on leads or walk them early in the morning to avoid intimidating other people, and yes she did have every right to be there, but showing a bit of courtesy and thought for others would be nice Blah, Blah.
Another time Iwas having a family picnic and a couple came along, They could see we were eating but made no attempt to put their dog on the lead it charged towards us and trampled all over our food and started to stick it's fat slobbering gob in our potato salad !! . I can laugh about this now, but I can assure you at the time I was ready to lump someone very hard. The bloke skulked off as he abviously realised I was not a happy chappy and in my anger I threw the bowl of potato salad at the dog shouting that it may as well have it now it had slobered in it, and the woman instead of apologising said we should be eating on a picnic table and not sitting on the floor. This is a public place and you are perfectly entitled to sit where you like and eat where you like. If you know your dog is not well trained anyone with some common sense would surely take the precaution of putting the lead on to save any nasty moments such as these. I certainly would if I saw a family having lunch. As I said my dogs are well trained and will do as I say, but I would still take the precaution. Everybody needs to be understanding of other people and their hobby's and display some courtesy. Not everyone is into bushcraft and I appreciate horses riders and mountain bikers need there space too. I too have had some funny looks from people when peeling birch bark etc. They think I,m damaging the tree because they don't know any better. If they politely asked me what I was doing I would be happy to explain that this in no way harms the tree and in fact helps it. There will always be the ignorant representatives of all groups and people who don't give a damn about others. I'm not sure but I think it was Grey Owl who said 'The more I see of my fellow human beings, The more I love my dog' Sometimes I know exactly what he means.
Just about any activity on marked trails erodes them but in terms of worst damage mountain bikers and horse riders cause about the same amount of damage. The damage caused by motorbikes to woodland is the worst thing I have seen.
I have to get off point and stick my oar in here about badly trained dogs. My family had dogs from when I was extremely young and they were very carefully trained, even coming back to us of their own volition if they got out of sight and never had any problems in the woodland with them. Some people exercise absolutely no control over their dogs. Worse, I have seen people openly allowing their dogs to chase deer. Worse still my sister was riding her horse along a marked bridleway when it was chased by a badly trained dog whose owner had no control over it. It chased the horse until it fell - on top of my sister. Her pelvis was shattered into 6 pieces and 3 vertebrae were also smashed. She spent months on her back in hospital and is very lucky she can still walk. Please control your dog if out in the woods. :soapbox:
to that many would say shoot the dog, I say the owners are the problem