Perhaps, "It was never really about the bicycle. The contraption was merely a
conveyance, a delivery system for a culture and a mind set and an
industry that, even twenty years ago, was inevitable. It was about the
never ending search to make money, from whatever means was available. It
was about the packaging and promotion and marketing and exploitation of
beauty and solitude and all the aspects of wild and open country that
we once valued, in the name of Greed."
~Jim Stiles, "Canyon Country Zephyr"
Mountain Biking Has
Not Left Its Rogue Roots ("Biting the hand that feeds them") It is the inherent nature of mountain biking's off-road "dirt biking" renegade roots that compels them to scoff at the rules and common civility. It is still happening on our own North Shore Mtns, even as the Districts of North and West Vancouver continue to reward MTBers more and more. Pure foolishness! It only gets worse, not better....This, along with ongoing ecological damage to the forest... There is nothing of merit to this callous MTB "sport" (but better to contain it, than to allow its present sprawl on the North Shore)
It’s September and we are in the process of getting onto all of our high traffic trails to give them some love after a dry summer of heavy use. The amount of trail to maintain and the traffic volume we see is staggering when you think about it. WMBP Trail Crew work hard daily to repair blown berms, remove braking bumps and reshape haggard jump lips so riders can experience the best of what is the Whistler Mountain Bike Park at any time of the season.
There are never enough hours in a day to get every task done and the crew work tirelessly to keep the momentum going. A frustrating new trend has surfaced which is eating away at our time and ability to work on our trails. Unsanctioned trail building and rogue lines have been growing in the Park like an insidious mold. These lines are not built to our standard for safety or environmental protection and need to be decommissioned, thereby using up our valuable Trail Crew resources.
We will be undertaking the task of decommissioning and reveg of these lines in the coming weeks. If you are responsible for these lines, have ridden them or know who is building in the Park, please give us a break and stop doing so. Pass along the request to your riding friends too. If we continue to find trails re-opened we will be tracking the riders responsible and offering them a holiday from riding in our Park and skiing our hills.
This problem needs to go away immediately and not come back. If you are a trail building enthusiast, we encourage you to do it via the proper channels, join WORCA, get permission, and do it right! Whistler has tons of room for “GOOD” trails but building your own lines in our Park is not an option.
On a positive note, the trails are in good shape with work this week complete on a new entrance into Funshine / Smoke & Mirrors. Afternoon Delight received a top to bottom overhaul and B-Line saw a bunch of machine time bringing back the flow to this classic trail. In Garbanzo the construction of more sections of Una Moss and retrofit of sections of Freight Train are still underway with the aim to complete a new link before end of season. It’s getting late, Top of the World only has a few weeks left so get up there before it disappears for another year under 8m of snow. See you on the trails, BF
Vancouver Tourist Suffers Broken Back After Stanley Park Cyclist Crashes Into Her
The Huffington Post B.C. | Posted: 07/26/2014
A woman visiting Vancouver has a broken back after a cyclist crashed into her as she was walking on the Stanley Park seawall last weekend.
Charmaine Mitchell, 43, told CTV News she was walking on July 19 when a speeding cyclist hit her, sending her tumbling 10 feet onto the rocks below.
"I'm lucky to be alive", she told CTV.
She's currently recovering in hospital with three fractured vertebrae, as well as a broken knee and toe, according to Global. She has already had surgery to have eight screws and two steel rods inserted in her back.
Mitchell's boyfriend told Vancity Buzz he was right beside her when the accident happened and that he saw three cyclists who looked like they were chasing each other. Two of the cyclists moved into the pedestrian lane, so he and Mitchell jumped out of the way, then the third hit her.
The man who hit Mitchell stayed and gave his information to the park ranger.
Police have so far not commented, but the Vancouver Sun reports that in the days before Mitchell was hit, officers could be seen on the seawall clocking cyclists' speeds with radar guns. The speed limit for cyclists riding along the wall is 15 km/h.
VANCOUVER -- Stanley Park needs to protect environmentally-sensitive areas from cyclists, says a West End resident who witnessed a group cycling in a prohibited area.
Alison Martin said she and her husband Leif Oddson were walking on Ravine Trail, which runs under Pipeline Road between Beaver Lake and the seawall, on Sunday around 3 p.m. when the incident occurred.
Martin said they were passed by about 25 cyclists despite the fact that there are bike gates and signs saying bikes are prohibited at both ends of the environmentally-sensitive trail.
“My husband said nicely, ‘This is a no-cycling-trail, it’s posted.’ The guy said something like, ‘We don’t care’ or ‘I know.’ The third cyclist basically told us to take a hike,” Martin said.
Oddson informed every cyclist that passed that it wasn’t a cycling trail and that the ravine is an environmentally-protected area but “they just kept ignoring us”, Martin said.
The trail is protected because it is a riparian area with a high diversity of plant species, and is used extensively by park wildlife.
Martin said as the group passed she called 311 — the city’s non-emergency phone number in Vancouver to find out information and connect with the right department to make a complaint.
“It was so shocking to see,” she said.
Daria Wojnarski, a Vancouver park board official, said park rangers responded to Martin’s call.
“It is now on their priority list to monitor the area,” she said.
Trouble with cyclists is nothing new in the park, in July a collision between a pedestrian visitor and a cyclist on the seawall sent the 43-year-old tourist to hospital with three broken vertebrae, a broken knee and a broken toe.
Wojnarski said the board doesn’t keep statistics on the number of conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians on either the seawall or trails in the park.
A West End resident for 14 years, Martin said she and her husband walk Ravine Trail and around Lost Lagoon almost every weekend in spring, summer and fall and that they regularly see bikes on both trails.
“I think there needs to be better policing of these eco trails. I think there needs to be cameras. I think there needs to be big, big signs saying ‘We will fine you. What you’re doing is illegal.’”
Constance Barnes, park board vice chair, said what happened to Martin and her husband is unacceptable.
“I’m angry,” said Barnes. “ ... I’m a cyclist. I’m angry that this has happened. It’s incredibly disrespectful.”
But Barnes said she didn’t have an answer to deal with the problem.
“We need to figure out what we can do better,” she said. “We will follow it up.”
Robyn Worcester, conservation programs manager, Stanley Park Ecology Society, said while she’s noticed a big increase in the number of cyclists in the park this summer, she said it was “unusual” to see a group on Ravine Trail.
She said she had seen large groups of cyclists in the park but they walked their bikes in areas where riding is prohibited.
While Ravine Trail is already clearly marked as off limits to cyclists, other areas need better signs, Worcester said.
“There are still lots of bikes on trails that aren’t designed as bike trails,” she said.
that’s because there isn’t very good signage. I’ve seen even maps
created by tour companies that show all the trails are the same.
There is a problem with a lack of awareness among tourists. There are also residents who do use the park with their bike — they don’t care which trails are cycling and which are not. And there are cyclists who respect the rules.”
Worcester did caution members of the public about informing others in the park about trail rules.
“When members of the public tell other members of the public what to do in the park, that often results in conflict,” she said.
Worcester said she would like to see better protection on the North Creek Trail, which follows the inflow into Beaver Lake; Ravine Trail is along the lake’s outflow.
“I’d like to see gates on North Creek trail which is heavily impacted by cyclists because it is one of the steeper areas of the park,” she said.
“I see mountain bikers going down there. We’ve found increasing erosion. It’s a really valuable little stream that’s rare.”
Please investigate how mountain biking does damage habitat.
Illegal and legal trails are created by digging up what they call gold dirt around tree routes, which eventually kills the tree.
Important and valuable wetlands are built over, damaging habitat for amphibians.
The organic top duff layer of soil is an essential component to a healthy forest.
It contains everything from the rooting network of surrounding trees to important fungal networks and hundreds of invertebrates, so important to the food chain of birds and other wildlife.
Once removed, it can be detrimental to the health of the forest. It is being removed in cubic meters.
This is where salamanders and reptiles live and lay their eggs.
Also, rotting nurse logs contain thousands of micro-organisms that we don;t see that are essential to a health forest.
Trail builders chainsaw right through them.
Mineral soil is now exposed and is being leached out.
Minerals are an essential component for trees and any plant for food.
Roots need to go into the organic layer, the rotting compost and the system of fungus, to gain nutrients such as calcium, phosphates and carbon, and then they get minerals from soil deeper down - so trees need both layers to continue to grow.
Please represent all sides of this topic!
The following article proves the benefits of Forest Bathing is over mountain biking and other extreme sports, for health and well being -- It is clear we must teach this to our children -- NOT mountain biking... Forest Bathing is proving to be far more beneficial for our stressed bodies and souls, as one writer discovers...
Katie Klingsporn, Cottonwoods | Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2015
According to the calendar, fall begins on Sept. 23. But for me, its official start is the day Ballard changes out of its summer greens into a tarnished copper cloak. It seems to happen overnight, the death of the false hellebore up high, and its message is irrefutable: summer is over.
Thus begins the loveliest time of the year in Telluride. The mornings grow cold, the shadows grow long and the season unfolds in golden perfection. And since that day in early September when Ballard changed, this fall has stacked up as among the best I’ve seen.
It’s heart-piercingly beautiful, this season. I don’t use the word splendiferous often, but it has perhaps no better application than a sunny day in September in the San Juans, and there were a lot of those. What began as scattered bits of gold and orange in the understory grew into a riot of color as the aspen trees transitioned. Explosions of gold in the canopy, the sky a concentrated hyper-blue and leaves like yellow coins littering the trails. It was hard to walk to the post office without falling over in wonder.
But this isn’t just me waxing on about the beauty of fall. It’s about something else. Something that makes my mountain biking buddies look at me funny and my parents pause as if I’ve gone off the New Age deep end.
It’s about forest bathing.
Bear with me.
Forest bathing is a tenet of preventative health in Japan that is gaining traction in America and beyond as more people learn of its physiological and mental benefits. The practice, also known as shinrin-yoku, is simple. Hang out in nature and experience it with all your senses. Walk slowly through the forest, take in the patterns of the leaves, the symmetry of flowers and the bizarre colors of lichens. Listen to the extraordinarily sweet chirp of songbirds, the rustle of animals in the underbrush, the melody of running water. Pick a bluebell and pop it in your mouth to taste the land, or crush sage between your hands to inhale the smell of high desert. Take a dip in the river.
And guess what? It’s good for you. Shinrin-yoku, coined by the Japanese government back in 1982, was inspired by ancient Eastern practices of Shinto and Buddhism. Today, Japan has designated forest trails, and doctors prescribe shinrin-yoku to overworked professionals and anxious children to relieve stress. Japan isn’t alone in touting nature as a healer. Growing research suggests that it improves cognition and can boost human empathy, and that it reduces depression along with heart rate, blood pressure and sympathetic nerve activity.
The first time I heard of forest bathing was in July. I was meandering through the forest in my favorite mushroom spot, picking chanterelles with four friends. “This is like forest bathing,” my friend Lexi said. “Huh?” the rest of us responded.
She explained, and I’ll admit I started out skeptical. It sounded a little too woo-woo for me. But when I thought about it, it lent reason to the deep satisfaction and peace I’ve long gotten from mushroom hunting. And the more I considered the way I interacted with the landscape, the more of a believer I became.
So I started taking forest baths. Turns out, fall is the ideal season for shinrin-yoku. Many hours were spent under aspen trees, watching the leaves flutter serenely to earth, feeling the final burst of the sun’s summer heat on my skin, inhaling the sweet smell of decaying leaves and dozing in the narcotic beauty of it all. I often wasn’t alone; forest bathing with friends only enhances the experience. Each time, it left me calm, alert and grateful.
The baths helped lead to an epiphany: In the last decade I had grown separate from nature without even realizing it. I often wore headphones while biking or snowboarding, drowning out any sounds. I moved quickly, stopped infrequently and was impatient with dawdlers. My priority was usually maximizing the workout. Gorgeous views and shared experiences were an added benefit, and I certainly appreciated them. But mostly, I was focused on moving through the landscape, not being part of it. With shinrin-yoku, the point is to steep yourself in the fragrant, burbling, chirping, swaying, yipping, serene or chaotic tableau of nature — be it shady aspen grove, exposed scree field or under a tree in your yard. And what you get in exchange is something I would argue is more beneficial than a workout.
Now that the colors have drained from the mountains and snow covers the peaks, I’m left to wonder how forest bathing will go in the winter. I don’t plan to stop, but I’ll have to get creative. One of those wearable sleeping bags may be in order.
Not a Nemophilist... (what is so fun about doing this?)
Off-road mountain bikers don't "love the forests"... They want to Dominate it!