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Re: “Stay Out of Forest Park, Bikers!

Having recently moved to Portland from Rochester, NY I am really disappointed at the lack of MTB access for a city that claims to be "America's Bicycle Capital" (although I guess that might be getting whitewashed...) Mountain Bike advocacy groups in Rochester like GROC (http://www.mygroc.com/) have worked with the city and county for years to improve trails and trail access. Mountain Biking volunteers in Rochester are the #1 reason the trails are so well maintained, well thought out, and well laid out. I'm sure Portlanders don't think they have anything to learn from an eastern rust belt city on the great lakes, but MTB advocacy here really seems to be stalled.

And I have to say that in my experience most mountain bikers are very mindful of hikers, dogs, and even horses (which do waaay more damage and leave waay more shit on the trails than dogs or mountain bikers). There are exceptions to every rule, but everyone I ride with is very aware of the fact that we are guests on trails that in most cases were off limits up until recently. Clashes are rare, and I did not hear anywhere near the uproar about mountain bikes as I've heard in just a couple months here.

And just FYI for all the dog walkers - there are a number of trails in Forest Park that are approved for bikers beside the "roads" (Leif Erickson, Springville, Newton etc). Many of the "firelanes" are a little narrower and bikes are allowed. See this map: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm?&polpdfsid=81&action=ViewFile

It depends on which "trail" the I, A was on when this incident occurred, but he doesn't even reference any bad behavior on the part of the rider, other than "getting off" which yes, mountain biking is how I get off too...

I'm just bummed that I have to put the bike on the back of the car and drive an hour to get to a decent trail network. In Rochester, there were four excellent trail networks with easily 50+ miles of MTB trail within 5 miles of downtown, the biggest being within city limits (All maintained by volunteer bikers - see the upcoming and past maintenance events on mygroc.com).

Portland mountain bikers it's time to unite and fight for access. We pay taxes too and we have just as much right to these public spaces as anyone.... As soon as we get settled I will be helping out in the fight for access in Forest Park and Riverview and Gateway Green and wherever else mountain bikes are unnecessarily banned... If these projects go through, in 10 years you'll see improved trails for everyone, even the author of this ridiculous I,A.

8 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Stanley Chad Velk on 05/10/2014 at 2:49 PM

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