Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mountain Bikers to Subsidize All Terrain Vehicles?

Deviating from the common path of prohibited substance abuse among the professional pack, a contagious plague that seems to have infected other sports with an unusual degree of virulence and which seems to have no vaccine to eradicate the plight (not that the anti-doping agencies are doing much to facilitate the cure) I will diverge from the path and talk a little about my other passion, mountain biking.

Now I like to mountain bike on the single track trails that exist in abundance around the Salt Lake City area, not only for the exercise, but to enjoy the clean air and the beauty that mother nature offers in abundance in the Wasatch mountain range.  Imagine my anger and disgust when listening by chance to an "outdoor radio program" that some Equal Access all terrain vehicle advocate was insisting that mountain bikers and cross country skiers pay fees to subsidize the upkeep and repair damage done to back country trails by all terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

First of all, let it be stated that all terrain vehicle and snowmobile users have access to back country trails as a  privilege and not as an constitutionally declared right.  Let it also be known that mountain bike rides cause as much damage to single track trails, "ATV trails," and "snowmobile trails" as hikers, an insignificant amount, and that cross country skiers cause even less damage than mountain bikes.  It should also be understood that if all terrain vehicles and snowmobiles cause all of the environmental damage in the forms of erosion, foul air with noxious exhaust, foul pristine streams with oil leaking from crankcases, destroy wildlife habitat, vegetation, ignite wildfires with hot exhaust manifolds and exhaust pipes, cause an infernal amount of noise pollution; that they should be responsible to pay fees to the government to repair all of the damage they have have caused, and they alone!

Indeed.  The purpose of mountain biking on single track trails, includes, enjoying nature!  Song birds calling their mates, the babble of  brooks and streams, the pleasure of enjoying breathing clean air, silence of the forests, viewing wildlife!  If one wished to experience the racket of an infernal internal combustion engine, breath disgusting foul polluted air, drink foul brackish water, or evade idiotic distracted or drunken drivers, then, of course, your choice would be to cruise the city streets, not the great outdoors!  But to the Equal Access group of "outdoor enthusiasts" all terrain and existing trails are fair game, environmental calamities notwithstanding.  Equal Access wants to control trail access like the gestapo, installing trail check points, demanding mountain bikers and cross country skiers pay fees and attach stickers to their bikes or skis, because ostensibly, if bikers and skiers want access they should  pay for the environmental damage that they are not responsible for!  A stupid, fantastic notion, absurd, but expected from a bunch of drunken raucous buffoons who think it is extremely entertaining to high track in mountain bowls with  pronounced cornices and unstable snow packs, who trigger fantastic avalanches, and get buried under nine feet of concrete hard snow.  Of course, search and rescue teams with their cadaver dogs have to be called in to remove the corpses of these infernal idiots, which costs even more money!  Foo! When the snow melts in the springtime there is also the added insult of the eyesore these infernal machines create, an ugly crisscross scar zigzag all the way to the summit!

 My mountain bike is a human powered machine that gets twenty eight thousand miles to the gallon, causes no environmental damage to streams and trails, does nothing to destroy wildlife habitat and vegetation, and does not create noise pollution! So there is no justifiable reason why I should pay any fees to access any trail.  And I will refuse to do so under penalty of death.  If others who mountain bike or ski think that it is reasonable to pay fees to access "snowmobile" or "ATV" trails, then in my opinion, you are delusional misguided people who have no justifiable excuse for your stupidity!