Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Mostly nonsense. Also riding bicycles inappropriate for off road terrain, off road; GIFs

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Rolf
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Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by Rolf » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:33 am

https://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/o ... 1.24048109

If you can wade through all the self-righteous indignation, this writer has a point. With the ground so soft and wet, it's better to stick to harder-surfaced trails, built with proper cover and foundation to withstand bikes...

...Trails like the the one in the picture the TC editors chose to include alongside this polemic! A sturdy-looking, hard packed gravel trail reinforced by large edged rock.

Shall we play guess that trail? Here's mine.

Image

schouten
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by schouten » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:15 am

Ugggh, the pompous tone made me vomit in my mouth and I couldn't read the entire "article".

I disagree with much of the assertions. First, why can't a meadow have a beautiful beaten path? Works for Scotland. Second, are cyclists really causing all the mud? Come on, give mother nature and the marauding walkers some credit. Those trail runners are the worst!! Really, does one path lead to more paths? Does a path chase away wildlife?

I think the writer needs to grow a garden in his/her backyard and chase away the neighbourhood kids when a ball comes over the fence.

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Ron

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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by Fozzy » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:22 am

Must be a really slow news week eh?
I do however agree with using common sense and would hope that we respect areas where cycling isn't sanctioned.

mashby
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by mashby » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:10 pm

The civil engineer has a valid point. Go figure! Every wet cx course demonstrates how rapidly lawn turns to mud-pit under knobs. I have felt less than awesome about grinding ruts in the recent wet weather. That foot traffic also churns-up wet, unstable soil doesn't change the fact that many of the trails crossed by bikes are restricted. It's one thing to slip in-and-out under cover of darkness. Less than stealthy when you leave a muddy rut and track from the scene of the crime to your front door.

schouten
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by schouten » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:07 pm

Just to be clear (So I am not perceived as the irresponsible villain), I see nothing wrong with biking down a sanctioned muddy trail and enjoying the already churned up and muddy ground (Thetis!). Not that I would aim to ride only muddy trails, but they come up. Needlessely destroying flower beds ain't cool (parts of Beacon Hill). There is a huge amount of grey area here. Any riding through meadows is almost certainly along a beaten path and not simply destroying an ecosystem.
Ron

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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by rduncan » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:08 am

I think is great that the article has generated so much conversation in the club. It was just an opinion piece but does represent the view of many people in the general public and I see it as a good reminder for why we need to continue to be ambassadors for cycling.

The author makes several claims that aren’t factually accurate and are clearly biased against cyclists. However the one part that is accurate is the impact of riding and for that matter walking and running on water-saturated soils. Riders tend to stick to trails and not widen them in muddy areas like walkers do but both have impact.

I used to work in caribou habitat protection and had my fair share of recreationists (particularly snowmobilers) lobbying for continued access to areas they deemed as theirs that also happened to be sensitive habitat. The take away for me is that people get blinded by their self-interest when pursuing their recreation goals and can forget (or be uncaring) about other uses of the land.

I’m not making a comparison between our riding urban trails and that of sensitive habitat but rather drawing out the point that objectivity can be useful when undertaking a recreational pursuit. Soccer fields aren’t played on when it’s real turf that’s rain saturated, hikers are asked to walk through the centre of muddy section rather than widening the trail by avoiding wet sections, mtn bikers are asked to not skid when slowing down due to erosion.

The cumulative impact from all recreationists will have an impact when soils are saturated. It’s incumbent on us to be aware of this and act appropriately. It easy to scapegoat a cyclist when you’re enjoyed walking on the same trail for years and suddenly see muddy bike tracks on the areas you cherish. I can’t say I’ve seen any area I’ve ridden by bike that is actually degraded but muddy tracks can certainly be perceived as damaging when perhaps the only impact is on the walker not accustomed to sharing trails.

In contrast, the mystic beach trail which is hiker-only has degraded substantially due to over use. As gravel riding grows we should be considering the need for both advocacy as well as trail work as a way to stake claim in a respectful way.
Rob Duncan


Claire
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by Claire » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:23 pm

Yes, Rob. Excellent points. I really appreciate your objective and empathetic point of view. It's quick to get angry and defensive but then we are no better than the cyclist-singling-out grumps like the letter writer.

Also, kudos to Alan for his level-headed sensibility in his letter published in today's TC!

rduncan
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by rduncan » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:16 pm

Nice one Alan!
Rob Duncan

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Rolf
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by Rolf » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:29 pm

rduncan wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:08 am
In contrast, the mystic beach trail which is hiker-only has degraded substantially due to over use.
Funny you should mention this, Rob. I hiked that trail two months ago and I felt bad stepping on all the poor trees' toes. I noticed quite a difference over the space of three years. This is the same spot...

...in November 2016:

Image

...and in November 2019:

Image

Also: you write good and make sense. (Just like Alan "Svalbard-Refrigerator-Salesperson-of-the-Year" Cassels.)

I particularly enjoy the term "recreationist" and plan to start self-identifying as such henceforth (despite the slim chance people may think it means I believe in some omnipotent and omniscient being who is prone to occasionally wiping out the entire Universe and starting all over again.)

JTyre
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by JTyre » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:37 pm

While we're all patting ourselves on the back with good intentions, let's remind ourselves what sixteen of us were doing this morning. Crashing about and through a bunch of mud-sucking, root-infested, multi-purpose, swamp trails - because that's what this particular recreation is all about in wintertime. Reality is, we seek this shit out.

Rob, what do you mean when you say "advocacy"? Are you suggesting we advocate for more, the same amount, or less of this kind of riding?  Or are you saying something else?  And trail work. Sounds good in principle, but where to start, if at all?
Last edited by JTyre on Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rolf
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by Rolf » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:07 pm

Hey, you guys may have ridden swamp trails this morning. Our group was much more responsible and largely eschewed the mud in favour of grass, gravel, and teeny tiny (I mean, seriously de minimis) slices of golf course.

For trail building opportunities, Daniel C. is usually working on good things (e.g. Hector Connector, Electric Avenue!) and looking for help. Just follow the South Vancouver Island Nature Trails Society on social media. Easy!

JTyre
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by JTyre » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:12 pm

Rolf wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:07 pm
Our group was much more responsible and largely eschewed the mud in favour of grass, gravel, and teeny tiny (I mean, seriously de minimis) slices of golf course.

Rolf wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:07 pm
For trail building opportunities, Daniel C. is usually working on good things (e.g. Hector Connector, Electric Avenue!) and looking for help. Just follow the South Vancouver Island Nature Trails Society on social media. Easy!
Fair enough, but I can't see how that's going to mollify Thomas M. Eberhardt, our angry (perhaps legitimately so) writer of the TC Op-ed, or anyone else like him for that matter.
Last edited by JTyre on Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul Chris
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Re: Angry TC opinion column on soft-ground damage by "Selfish, obtuse cyclists"

Post by Paul Chris » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:05 am

Could someone please post the famous clip from the movie NETWORK
(for the angry non cyclists and Anti CX activists)......
"Im mad as HELL and Im not going to take it anymore😫!! "

P.S. please keep posting LARRY DAVID quotes..
And of course more GIFS

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