October 6, 2019

Sorry Mountain Bikers. Thank You City of Newport Beach


Once in a while we all have to get our opinion out there. This is one of those times for me.

While I appreciate the sport of mountain biking (I have a bike of my own), I'm not a fan of the unregulated use of mountain bikes on all trails. While I'm sure this position won't be popular with my off-road (cycling) brethren, I've been a trail runner for the last 18 +/- years and I've seen the impact mountain bikes can have on our delicate trails.

The city of Newport Beach recently announced "one way bike traffic" at a popular trail near my home. This "one-way" happens to be uphill, which means the high speed mountain bike descents that have lead to collisions and emergency helivacs might be done. For the sake of everyone's safety, this is great news.

For the sake of trail sustainability, more rules like this are necessary. Again, while I appreciate the freedom mt. bikers have to ride to their hearts' content in the great wide open, we need to call out the damage that they can do to the trails. Yes, the Warrior Society has made strides to repair damaged trails, they simply can't keep up with the sheer volume of cyclist and the trails they are destroying.

Examples:

Upper Holy Jim - Cycling rut leads to water erosion. Bye bye runnable trail.



Famous ultra runner working on cycling damaged trail. No bueno.






       





1 comment:

Bill Ramsey said...

Couldn’t agree more Will. Having run trails regularly since 1994 (Baz Hawley’s original San Juan Trail 50), I’ve witnessed the damage wrought by MTBs. In 1994, you might see one MTB in Aliso-Wood Canyon Wilderness Park or El Moro during the course of a three hour run. Today, you see literally hundreds. And the trails have suffered hugely especially from downhillers. In 2002, while training for Western States, an out-of-control MTB collided with me on Mathis Canyon Trail. We almost came to blows. I’d support banning MTBs from certain trails and designate them hikers-runners only. Would make for much more relaxing, stress free trail runs or hikes.