Mountain bikes’ impact like a disease
March 20, 2013 12:24 AM | 2194 views | 10 10 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

The MDJ article on new mountain bike trails left the impression that the use of mountain bikes in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area was a positive thing while in fact they are a disease of the forest.

The mechanical effects of mountain bikes on a park include trampling, destruction and mortality of ground-level vegetation on undeveloped off-trail land, and erosion and disruption of animal ecosystems, leading to added stress and consequent affects on wildlife.

Bikers tear up the floor of the forest because mountain bikes are more studded than regular bikes. They turn the ground into a muddy mess. Like a virus, the mountain bikers do not realize the damage they do to the forest as an organism, they are just out trying to have some fun and they go too fast to notice what they are doing. But the sellers and renters of mountain bikes who profit from it are aware of the damage and are just abusing the public resources by lobbing for more of the activity.

It would be better to just set up some mud hills on pasture land where the damage could be minimized. God made nature and feet but He didn’t invent the bicycle.

Johnny Plunkett

Smyrna

Comments
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toomnebks
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April 16, 2013
I'm new to this---an acquaintance has become an obsessed mtn biker, and when most recently he was telling me about a 'pump' run and how they dug out the trail, rode it several times, and then the rains came and flooded the trail much more than it would have been had it been left natural.

Are the trails that bikers do already walking trails/existing?

I have to agree with the writer...fun is all well and good but destruction in the process is unacceptable. As much as I despise the continuous cutting and not replanting of our forests, it can't be equated with something that people are doing for fun. In my neck of the woods, the sport is 4-wheeling to tear up nature---hypocrites any who profess to love nature and have such a 'hobby.' What a spoiled generation we have become, caring about no one but ourselves...and the u.s. shows it!
HahaWhat
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March 25, 2013
What a nut job.
YaBuddy
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March 24, 2013
You ever see a game trail?

get out in the woods some more buddy...and im not talkin anywhere around atlanta

after that go see a south GA farmer and talk to him about wild hogs

what color is your prius?
Rhondo
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March 22, 2013
Mr. Plunketts letter is typical of those uneducated to mountain biking.
Robin Allen, SORBA
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March 22, 2013
Mountain bikers are not a disease. They are your neighbors. They are in the cubicle next to yours, they are your bosses, they are your hardest worker. They attend your Rotary Club meetings, your church, your synagogue. They're next to you in the grocery store produce section. They're the boys and girls sitting in Ms. Smith's 2nd grade class. They're the Mayor of your City and your City Councilman. They are dedicated volunteers who care about their families and their communities.

Treed Murray
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March 20, 2013
Yes, I agree. Mountain bikers are a disease. They are like a plague of Wheeled Locusts devouring the forests with their incessant riding and trail building habits. Mountain biking is very consumptive wreckreation. No better than the motorized dirt bikers who abuse the land around them. Wheels belong on the road, boys and girls.
stayinside
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March 22, 2013
Yes so too are runners. With their knobby shoes. digging into the ground. destroying the world one trail at a time. Does it matter that the erosion is less. No destruction is destruction. No more leaving paved roads and sidewalks. View nature from afar, we do not belong there.
mk- oh please-
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March 20, 2013
The bikers care very much about the outdoors & eco systems. Many bike groups take great care of the environment when mapping out trails in the woods.

Bikers enjoy nature & are active environmentalists!

Where were you when Smyrna city allowed Glock to clear cut the beautiful , pristine 13 acres destroying any and all wildlife in its way?

And how 'bout the 5 or more 80 year old oaks Smyrna killed at Brawner, to pour cement for the treeless, overly lighted sidewalks?

Do you know the bright lights all of Smyrna parks roads and city buildings that are on all night, affect & harm the eco system?

Have you encouraged Smyrna to use NIGHT lighting?

And , you are aware, there is no effort in Smyrna to keep waste out of the landfills?

Smyrna doesn't even have curbside, single stream recycling!

Smyrna also has ZERO bike lanes, to encourage biking as a transportation alternative.

So. do you really have concern for the environment, or do you just not like bikers?

Mellow John
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March 20, 2013
Anyone that has seen a mountain bike trail knows that the path is between six inches and about two feet wide.

Vegetation in that strip is killed, but mountain bikers don't get on a piece of land and ride over all the natural vegetation. They stay on the designed path.

An abandoned mountain bike path would take only a few years to recover to its original condition.

Responsibly built mountain bike trails are an asset to any community.

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