Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yet Another Study: Bikes Do No More Damage Than Hikers or Horses

Once again, a study intended to measure the relative impacts of different trail users has concluded that "certain impacts to mountain bike trails, especially width, are comparable or less than hiking or multiple-use trails, and significantly less than impacts to equestrian or off-highway vehicle trails."

Opponents of multiple use trails are quick to assert that bikes destroy the environment and natural terrain. But again and again, this is refuted by studies on the matter. In fact, such assertions on the evils of bicycles in the forest are just myths perpetuated by folks who cannot stand the idea of sharing trails with other user groups. I think these people would be happier if they just formed an exclusive country club with private trails on private land.

Fortunately, here in Nevada County, we have a great community ethic when it comes to trails. Cyclists work hand in hand with the equestrian community to build, share and enhance trail riding opportunities. And the vast majority of our trail inventory is designated as multiple use.

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