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  1. #1
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    Banning bikes is simply a humane way of protecting our natural areas

    Didn't want to post this under trail advocacy since few people visit that forum. I got an email from a co-worker about a proposal he made to construct new mountain bike trails in California. He asked me not to divulge the location to anyone at this time. He was fired up after receiving a letter from a particular conservancy who insisted mountain bike trails were bad for the environment. She made arguments about snakes being run over and bikers bringing non-native plant seeds into areas they would ride. She was also concerned about all the bikers that might need to be rescued, after being lost or injured. Then she posted a link to the following article. I wondered if land managers take these type of studies serious. What do you think?


    The Effects of Mountain Biking on Wildlife and People --

    {{{{{MV drivel edited out by moderator, do we really need to read this stuff? }}}}

    Vandeman, Michael J., Ph.D. http://www.imaja.com/change/environment/mvarticles/,

    http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande.
    Last edited by formica; 11-07-2008 at 08:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Use the search function here for the author.

    Michael J. Vandeman

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    Ideally, we should be working to reduce all human access to wildlife habitat.
    That "idea" is ridiculous in my assessment and shows the extreme bias of the author. That study can be ripped to shreds as a legitimate academic work.

  4. #4
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    Please don't bring that Vandeman BS to this site. I like posting here because I don't have to put up with daily crap from that troll.

    His research methods are poor, his 'facts' are only his opinion and I believe the Sierra club dropped him because even they thought his ideas too extreme.

    No, I don't like him.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

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    well, he mixes and matches data at will , combines mtn bikes with dirt bikes and orvs and makes several missleading and outright false statements.
    1 how many mtn bikers ride on 30 ft wide trails, thats a road not single track
    2 he states that bikers made 4 1/2 miles of illegal trails and the result was they chased out elderly hikers , why were the elderly hikers walking on illegal mtn bike trails?
    3 mtn bikes go on existing trails, noboody takes their mtn bike bushwacking through the woods
    4 mtn bikes do no more harm than hikers and less damage than motorized vehicles or horses
    5 how many "seeds" get delivered by horse crap or hikers boots, plus very little trash is left by bikers, cant say the same about hikers

    I dont know how he got a Phd unless it was mail order

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    Didn't want to post this under trail advocacy since few people visit that forum. I got an email from a co-worker about a proposal he made to construct new mountain bike trails in California. He asked me not to divulge the location to anyone at this time. He was fired up after receiving a letter from a particular conservancy who insisted mountain bike trails were bad for the environment. She made arguments about snakes being run over and bikers bringing non-native plant seeds into areas they would ride. She was also concerned about all the bikers that might need to be rescued, after being lost or injured. Then she posted a link to the following article. I wondered if land managers take these type of studies serious. What do you think?


    The Effects of Mountain Biking on Wildlife and People --

    Why Off-Road Bicycling Should be Prohibited

    Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.

    May 31, 1997

    Mountain biking is a relatively new sport. According to a mountain biking (MTB) web page (http://www.mtb-bike.com), "The commercial Mountain Bike evolution didn't start until 1974 and its first production bikes didn't appear in stores until about 10 years later". (Lower gearing, fat, knobby tires, sturdier construction, but particularly the sealed bearing -- which could be ridden in dirt without getting destroyed -- are what made "mountain" (off-road) bicycling possible.) Partly for this reason, and partly because the MTB is, from one point of view, just a special case of an ORV (off-road vehicle), environmentalists and scientists have been slow to study and recognize the special threat that the mountain bike represents to wildlife. Although there are many studies of ORVs, I am not aware of any solid scientific studies specifically on MTBs and their effects on wildlife.

    First he lumps bikes with all orvs, then uses the negative orv studies against bikes

    To most environmentalists, bicycles have always been the epitome of good. We are so used to comparing bikes to cars, that it never occurred to us that the bicycle would be ever used for anything bad. Indeed, replacing motor vehicles with bicycles deserves our adoration. But anything can be used for good or evil, and using bikes to expand human domination of wildlife habitat is clearly harmful.

    Human beings think they own every square inch of the Earth, and that they therefore have the right to do what they want with it. This is, of course, absurd. It is also the reason that we are losing species at an unforgivable rate: we have crowded wildlife out of its habitat. Even in our parks, where we have vowed to protect wildlife, it is not protected from hikers, equestrians, park "managers", firefighters, mountain bikers, airplanes, helicopters, cars, roads, concessionaires, or biologists. Thus, the primary reason that mountain bikes are harmful to wildlife is that they, like other technological aids (cars, skis, rafts, rock-climbing equipment, etc.), make it much easier for people to get into wildlife habitat.

    so, its all the bad humans fault

    (Sadly, most people have forgotten that the only thing that makes parks worth visiting is the wildlife that live there: it is precisely the wildlife (and paucity of humans) that make a park a park. Without wildlife (i.e., all nonhuman, nondomesticated species -- plants as well as animals), the parks would be boring piles of bare rock.)

    his opinion, maybe i go to the park for the views or for exercise


    Biology


    First and most obvious, mountain bikes kill organisms that live on and under the soil: "When it comes to pure recreational destructiveness, ... off-road vehicles (ORVs) far surpass powerboats. ... It is a rare environment indeed where a vehicle can be taken off-road without damage. ... Standard ORVs with their knobby tires are almost ideal devices for smashing plant life and destroying soil. Even driven with extreme care, a dirt bike will degrade about an acre of land in a twenty-mile drive. ... Not only do the ORVs exterminate animals by exterminating plants, they attack them directly as well. Individual animals on the surface and in shallow burrows ... are crushed. ... One great problem with ORVs is that they supply easy access to wilderness areas for unsupervised people who have ... no conception of the damage they are doing" (Ehrlich and Ehrlich, pp.169-171; emphasis added). (Although mountain bikes were hardly known when this was written, it is obvious that the same applies to them.)

    starts off with a misleading statement , even walking will kill some organisms, then starts ranting about motorized vehicles again, lumping bikes in with orvs
    Recently, one of the largest Alameda whipsnakes (a California threatened species) ever found was killed by a mountain biker in Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve near here. Others have been killed on other East Bay regional parks. Kathryn Phillips in Tracking the Vanishing Frogs described how ORVs crossing creeks crush toads and their eggs (both buried in the sand). Bikes are generally ridden too fast to avoid killing small animals. Obviously, the animals didn't evolve in the presence of mountain bikes, and can't be expected to deal very effectively with such quiet, fast-moving objects. Even hikers can kill small animals, if they aren't careful. The one time I went to look for an Alameda whipsnake, I almost stepped on one, which was lying in grass growing in the trail, and didn't move until I had almost stepped on it.

    Soils are extremely complex communities of living organisms. They sometimes are very fragile and once destroyed take decades to be recreated (e.g. desert cryptogamic soil). Soil destruction is hastened by acceleration (braking, speeding up, climbing, and turning, which apply horizontal forces to the soil), by tire lugs, which break the surface, and by water, which softens the soil and makes it easier to demolish.

    In the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), "park officials noted serious erosion problems on certain steep narrow trails and determined that restricting bicycle use would slow such erosion. [They] noted that on narrow trails bicyclists passing other users would either leave the trail or force the other users off the trail to the detriment of off-trail vegetation and wildlife. ... Downhill bicycle travel on steep slopes is usually accompanied by braking and often by skidding which tends to push dislodged surface gravels into ditches, water bars, and drains. Heavy bicycle use on steep trails usually requires that these ditches, water bars, and drains be cleared more frequently than those used by hikers and equestrians only. ... Park staff and visitors reported that bicyclists on these ... trails often skidded to control their speed, slid off of trails on sharp turns, or cut across off-trail areas at certain 'switch-backs'" (Bicycle Trails Council of Marin v. Bruce Babbitt).

    Mud containing seeds and spores sticks to bike tires, thereby often carrying species of plants into areas where they had not existed (becoming "exotics"). This is worsened by the fact that bicycles travel long distances, and are often carried to distant locations (sometimes even foreign countries) by motor vehicle. It is well known that such exotic species can cause havoc when introduced into new habitats.

    as with hikers and horses & dogs, birds

    Most of us were raised to believe that "non-consumptive" recreation is harmless to wildlife. We are taught to enjoy ourselves in nature, guilt-free, as long as we don't directly harm wildlife. However, recent research, and the huge scale of current recreation activities, have discredited this idea. "Traditionally, observing, feeding, and photographing wildlife were considered to be 'nonconsumptive' activities because removal of animals from their natural habitats did not occur.... nonconsumptive wildlife recreation was considered relatively benign in terms of its effects on wildlife; today, however, there is a growing recognition that wildlife-viewing recreation can have serious negative impacts on wildlife" (Knight & Gutzwiller, p.257).

    In other words, the mere presence of people is often harmful to wildlife,
    this statement says it all

    and the more, the worse. "The notion that recreation has no environmental impacts is no longer tenable. Recreationists often degrade the land, water, and wildlife resources that support their activities by simplifying plant communities, increasing animal mortality, displacing and disturbing wildlife, and distributing refuse" (ibid, p.3) "Recreational disturbance has traditionally been viewed as most detrimental to wildlife during the breeding season. Recently, it has become apparent that disturbance outside of the animal's breeding season may have equally severe effects" (p.73) "People have an impact on wildlife habitat and all that depends on it, no matter what the activity" (p.157); "Perhaps the major way that people have influenced wildlife populations is through encroachment into wildlife areas" (p.160). "Outdoor recreation has been recognized as an important factor that can reduce biosphere sustainability.... Indeed, recreational activities, including many that may seem innocuous, can alter vertebrate behaviour, reproduction, distributions, and habitats" (p.169).

    Knight & Gutzwiller's book contains numerous specific examples of how these negative effects are created. We may not know what the organisms are thinking, but the effect is that they die, are forced to expend extra energy that may be in short supply, become more susceptible to predation, or are forced to move to less suitable habitat, losing access to preferred foods, mates, nesting sites, etc. Since most of us live safely in the midst of plenty, it is hard for us to understand wildlife's predicament. We are flexible enough to survive almost anywhere; they are not. Often they have no other place to live. None of the existing "studies" on mountain biking evaluate its effects on wildlife. They are usually concerned only with visible effects on the trail. In Tilden Regional Park, there are three separate, heavily used mountain biking trails through the middle of supposedly protected Alameda whipsnake habitat areas!

    "Displaced animals are forced out of familiar habitat and must then survive and reproduce in areas where they are not familiar with the locations of food, shelter, and other vital resources.... Hammitt and Cole ... ranked displacement as being more detrimental to wildlife than harassment or recreation-induced habitat changes.... Densities ... of 13 breeding bird species were negatively associated with the intensity of recreation activity by park visitors, primarily pedestrians and cyclists" (ibid, pp.173-4); "off-road vehicles can collapse burrows of desert mammals and reptiles" (p.176).

    Sociology

    Hikers, especially the elderly, have been abandoning their favorite trails, due to bikers that scare them, hit them, harass them, and destroy the serenity of the parks. Parks are supposed to be a refuge from the crush of humanity and the noise, danger, and artificiality of urban areas. Why bring to our parks the very things that most people go there to escape?! There is absolutely nothing wrong with bicycling, in its proper setting (on a road).

    bikes were around when all roads were dirt paths,

    It is a wonderfully healthful activity. But wildlife is already in danger due to loss of habitat (worldwide, one quarter of all animals are threatend with extinction, according to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources)). It can't afford to lose any more. And people have very similar needs for being in nature. Our elderly are like wildlife, in that they have nowhere else to go for the experience of nature that they are accustomed to.

    By definition, hiking trails are the minimum size necessary for a person to hike (approx. 18 inches wide), since they are supposed to have a minimal impact on the environment. They aren't wide enough for a bicyclist to safely pass a hiker or another bicyclist. Mixing bikers and hikers is dangerous for both. In fact, mountain biking is also dangerous for lone riders, since hiking trails don't follow a predictable pattern and have very short sight distances (the distance that one can see ahead on the trail). Emergency room doctors report that a large percentage of mountain bikers incur serious accidents.

    "The record includes hundreds of letters from park users recounting stories of collisions or near misses with speeding or reckless bicyclists on all kinds of trails but particularly on steep and narrow trails. Hikers and bird watchers repeatedly told how they have been forced off of trails by speeding bicycles and how they have had their peace and solitude on the trails interrupted by bicycles that -- because they are quiet and fast -- seemed to appear out of nowhere and be immediately upon the hikers and other users. Equestrians told how their horses have been startled by speeding or oncoming bicycles and have become restless, on several occasions even throwing and injuring experienced riders. Though most users admitted that the great majority of bicyclists were polite and safety-conscious, letters from hikers, equestrians, bird watchers, joggers, and other users also repeatedly recounted incidents of rudeness, threats, and altercations when they have complained to an offending bicyclist about dangerous conduct. Park staff also reported having received such complaints. ... NPS's [National Park Service's] finding that user conflict and visitor danger would be reduced by limiting bicycle trail access in GGNRA was supported by ample evidence. ... Notwithstanding the responsible user, bicycles are often perceived by other users as a disruptive influence on park trails. Although most of the few reported bicycle accidents in the park involve only single individuals, letters and reports from hikers and equestrians tell of many close calls and confrontational and unsettling experiences". "No single-track trails [in the Marin Headlands] were found suitable for bicycle use" (Bicycle Trails Council v. Bruce Babbitt).

    Since bicycles require wider trails, parks now often use bulldozers to create and maintain those trails, vastly increasing their impacts. In Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve in Oakland, California, a new trail was created by means of a "small" (6 foot blade) bulldozer. But it rolled off the trail and had to be rescued by a much bigger bulldozer. The existence of bicyclists on trails also forces park rangers to police the trails using motor vehicles (cars or motorcycles), since it is the only way they can hope to catch them! This also increases negative impacts on wildlife.

    Children learn mostly nonverbally (by watching adults and other children). Mountain biking is bad role modeling for them, since it teaches them that human domination and destruction of wildlife habitat is normal and acceptable.

    Mountain bikers like to claim that excluding them from trails constitutes "discrimination". They say that other user groups (hikers and equestrians) receive better treatment from land managers. There is no basis for such a claim, since all users are subject to exactly the same rules. For example, on a trail closed to bikes, everyone is allowed on the trail -- only the bikes are excluded! In spite of what they claim, mountain bikers have never been excluded from any trail! Even if my way of "enjoying" the wilderness is to race my bulldozer there, I am not allowed to do that. And this is not because land managers like hikers more than bulldozer racers. I am not being excluded from the wilderness; I can go there whenever I want, as long as I don't try to bring my bulldozer with me. It is only the bulldozer that is excluded, which is due to its effects on wildlife and people.

    If mountain bikers were actually being discriminated against, they could sue park managers for access to every trail that others are allowed on. On the contrary, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Bicycle Trails Council v. Bruce Babbitt) concluded that the National Park Service has the right to ban bikes from trails. "All units of the National Parks [are] to be treated consistently, with resource protection the primary goal". "All bicycle use of off-road areas [is] prohibited unless local park superintendents [designate] particular trails to be open" (bicyclists were contesting this rule). "Routes may only be designated for bicycle use based on a written determination that such use is consistent with the protection of the park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations and management objectives and will not disturb wildlife or park resources". "The Park Service is empowered with the authority to determine what uses of park resources are proper and what proportion of the park's resources are available for each use". "The use of bicycles is allowed in park areas under the same basic conditions as are motor vehicles, i.e. on park roads, in parking areas, and on routes designated for their use. ... certain limitations on their use are necessary and appropriate in the interest of public safety, resource protection, and the avoidance of visitor conflict" [emphasis added].

    Clearly, bikes are not being banned from trails because land managers like hikers and equestrians more! As people, mountain bikers are indistinguishable from other park users. It is the bikes that we object to, and not even the bikes, but their presence in natural areas. Banning bikes is simply a humane way of protecting our natural areas, while allowing all users equal access to enjoy them. Thus, whether bikers or hikers or equestrians are more harmful to wildlife (they all are, of course) is irrelevant. Restricting bicycle access is a way of reducing human impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat.

    The Case of Brown's Woods

    Brown's Woods, one of the last stands of native forest in central Iowa (southwest of DesMoines), illustrates these issues. It was saved from logging and development in 1972 by the S. E. Polk (High School) Ecology Club and their sponsor, biology teacher, Kirk Brill, for which they won a national award. Motorized vehicles were banned, "because of the threat they posed to the environment and to persons walking there" (Wayne Bills, Polk County Conservation Board (PCCB) Executive Director, 1972). The students worked hard to earn money to build two miles of bike trails through the preserve.

    However mountain bikers illegally built 4 1/2 additional miles of trail ("bikers have gouged more than six miles of trail, up to 30 feet wide and a foot or more deep in spots" (Loren Lown, PCCB Natural Resources Specialist, 1996)). Wildlife were disappearing, elderly hikers were driven out, and vegetation was destroyed. "Already the bikers have caused permanent irreparable damage to this pristine area" (Ben Van Gundy, PCCB Director). It was called "ecological vandalism". Last year, once again, Brill and his students were forced to campaign to save the preserve, this time from mountain bikers, and won, getting a unanimous vote of the PCCB for a "total and permanent ban on the use of mountain bikes" in Brown's Woods.

    Millions of mountain bikes are being sold every year around the world. Let's not wait till "bikers have caused permanent irreparable damage" to our other natural areas! We can't eliminate all environmental damage, but we can eliminate frivolous, unnecessary damage. True civilization is characterized by restraint.

    "It is expected that outdoor recreational activity will continue to increase, while the amount of wild land where wildlife may seek refuge from disturbance will decrease" (Knight and Gutzwiller, p.327); "Recreationists are, ironically, destroying the very thing they love: the blooming buzzing confusion of nature.... The recreation industry deserves to be listed on the same page with interests that are cutting the last of the old-growth forests, washing fertile topsoils into the sea, and pouring billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere" (p.340; emphasis added); "Tom Birch ... argues that wilderness managers, charged with incarcerating wilderness, are more concerned with the advancement of their careers through achieving quantifiable goals (number of park visitors, total revenues) and developing park and forest amenities (roads, 'scenic' turnouts, restrooms, paved trails, maps, campgrounds) than with perpetuating the land community of which they are a part" (p.344).

    Ideally, we should be working to reduce all human access to wildlife habitat. But at the very least, we should eliminate mechanical access (with the exception of small compromises for wheelchairs).

    References:

    Bicycle Trails Council of Marin v. Bruce Babbitt, No.C-93-0009,slip op. (N. Dist. Cal., Sept. 1, 1994) (see also Third Circuit Case 94-16920, http://www.law.vill.edu/Fed-Ct/Circu.../9416920o.htm).

    Ehrlich, Paul and Anne, Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species. c.1981.

    Knight, Richard L. and Kevin J. Gutzwiller, eds. Wildlife and Recreationists. Covelo, California: Island Press, c.1995.

    Liddle, Michael, Recreation Ecology. Chapman & Hall: London, c.1997.

    Phillips, Kathryn, Tracking the Vanishing Frogs: An Ecological Mystery. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.

    Stebbins, Robert, personal communication.

    Vandeman, Michael J., Ph.D. http://www.imaja.com/change/environment/mvarticles/,

    http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande.
    this guys an idiot,Ive highlighted some obvious gaffs, but I couldnt read it anymore he basicly wants the parks people free to save the snakes he allmost stepped on, and apparently once was scarred by a mtn biker

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    let this thread die. This troll posts on another board I read as well, no need to fuel his fire.

  8. #8
    Never trust a fart
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    My head hurts now

  9. #9
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    just tell her that this guy got kick off the board of the California Sierra Club for being too whacked. He's also been voted "Kook of the Year on the Internet" numerous times. Google this guy, not too many take him seriously and PLEASE don't quote his BS on this board.
    Last edited by formica; 11-08-2008 at 04:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    11 year old article from some crazy guy. holy dead horse beating!

  11. #11
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    Yeah, Vandeman is to trail advocacy what Scientology is to religion. Pay him no mind.

    BTW - nobody's really sure if he's actually a PhD. He just started putting it after his name on everything but nobody can find any documentation, including him.
    Bike good, work bad.

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    There's a reason why we have zoos. It was so we could ride wherever we wanted with out caring. If you get in our way, you WILL be exterminated. You have been warned.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchman83
    Yeah, Vandeman is to trail advocacy what Scientology is to religion. Pay him no mind.

    BTW - nobody's really sure if he's actually a PhD. He just started putting it after his name on everything but nobody can find any documentation, including him.
    Vandy is a kook, but his credentials are true. He does have a degree, and a PhD. But his fields of study did not have anything to do with Biology, Environmental Science, or the like... my failing memory wants to say Math and Psychology or the like.

    He's been repudiated by several governments (he sent comments to a Michigan Trails plan years ago), scientists (look on usenet), and supposedly the Sierra Club. If you disagree with him you are a liar, and advocate bulldozer racing. Then if you were persistant, it was time to try and get you fired. Never mind he'd cherry pick your argument for the 1/4 or 1/2 line that might support part of what he'd say.

    I verbally sparred with him waaaay back, and seeing how entrenched he was in the early '90's... I started working for trail advocacy. Because of Mike's rantings - I was able to help open at least of six miles of trail, and helped maintain dozens, nay, scores more.

    I do wonder if he's likewise inspired others. What effect have his butterfly wings had?

    JmZ
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  14. #14
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    bulldozer racing sounds like good fun...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    this guys an idiot,Ive highlighted some obvious gaffs, but I couldnt read it anymore he basicly wants the parks people free to save the snakes he allmost stepped on, and apparently once was scarred by a mtn biker
    You noted a portion of his study about him basically stating that human presence was a danger to wildlife, well his a protion of his own little bio...

    Passions:

    Art (especially Winslow Homer, Jose Orozco, Diego Rivera, Albert P. Ryder, Utamaro, A. Paul Weber), bicycling, biology (especially frogs and snakes), bookstores (especially Black Oak and Kinokuniya), English Literature (especially Emerson, John Steinbeck, and Walt Whitman), ham radio, hiking and camping, judo, languages (especially German, Japanese, and Spanish), libraries, mathematics (especially calculus, point-set topology, and trigonometry), music (especially Bach, Crystal Gayle, John Seed, "Keep on the Sunny Side of Life", "Across the Great Divide" (Kate Wolf), Ravi Shankar, Red Gum, Sharon Burch, Stephanie Davis, Tammy Wynette, Wagner (especially "Tristan and Isolde" and "The Flying Dutchman"), and Yothu Yindi), nurses, organic food, plants (especially trees), picking up trash (get a picker-upper like the "Park Patrol" from Pikes Peak Industries, PO Box 9422, Colorado Springs, CO 80909), programming (especially assembler and PL/I), reference librarians, Synanon, teachers, the U.S. Southwest, water (especially streams), wilderness
    Hypocritical?

  16. #16
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    Prodigal Son,
    I didn't read your entire diatribe, the title was enough for me. One question, banning bikes is more humane than what? Executing bike riders?

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    Never heard such bs in my life. I dont want to know what Id do to someone who said all this crap to me on the street. Im not normally violent but thats taking it too far. THIS is the problem with our society. When people who believe in the same thing start fighting. Destroy the environment... BAH!!! I guess we should also all pack up in a rocket ship and leave to mars (I bet sir prodigal here would agree). This is coming from a total advocate for environmentalism, electric cars, solar power, conservation of forests, and all things that are good for nature. Sad to see such morons in these well meaning organizations, but I guess you will always get the extremist retard. Pardon my rant, I cant take much more of this BS.

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    WIlderness Coalition crap.

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    Thanks for the replys and low down on the author

    I'll be in contact with the director of the conservation corps (my boss) wanting to build new trails. I'll ask him to read all of your replies and to gather more info on this man so he can send it to the land managers. They are being bombarded by a woman running a conservancy who actually used this guys article as evidence they should not allow mountain bike trails out in...nuts, I promised I wouldn't say where in California this is being considered. Not yet.

    Again, thanks for your comments. Sorry to open old wounds. He who shall not be named again, is forgotten forever.

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    You showed a lot of respect to this site

    by testing these ideas here to discover some context for understanding. Yes, Land Managers can take this stuff seriously and are abused constantly by hystrionic conservancy types. The challenge is that V almost sounds smart but the more one listens to him the more twisted, vicious, and sanctimonious he appears. It is important to educate Land Managers to the broader and more reasonable view. Bring IMBA to the table for starters:

    http://www.imba.com/

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    I'm partial to Caterpillars.


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]

    but particularly the sealed bearing -- which could be ridden in dirt without getting destroyed -- are what made "mountain" (off-road) bicycling possible.)

    wow, i guess nobody sent this article to SHI*MANO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobretti
    Prodigal Son,
    I didn't read your entire diatribe, the title was enough for me. One question, banning bikes is more humane than what? Executing bike riders?
    Perhaps you should've at least read the first paragraph before attacking the OP... It is not "his" diatribe...

    Next time read before you post...

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    I wonder if Vandejerkoff could name the "Olympic hopeful" who trained in Brown's Woods?

    What a pile of BS.

  25. #25
    glassphisheye
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    Mountain biking actually helps to preserve wildlife and their habitats. Biking is just another reason to keep lands wild. One more reason to defend against development. Some people just like to biotch.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    I'll be in contact with the director of the conservation corps (my boss) wanting to build new trails. I'll ask him to read all of your replies and to gather more info on this man so he can send it to the land managers. They are being bombarded by a woman running a conservancy who actually used this guys article as evidence they should not allow mountain bike trails out in...nuts, I promised I wouldn't say where in California this is being considered. Not yet.

    Again, thanks for your comments. Sorry to open old wounds. He who shall not be named again, is forgotten forever.
    I actually reviewed his "literature review" on the effects of mountain biking....I'd call it an opinion paper rather than a literature review. Too many things taken out of context, incomplete quotes, unsubstantiated claims and generalizations. Great on the emotions, but short on fact...if you want a copy of my critical review, PM me.

    Vandeman's never done any actual research (just "literature reviews") on mountain biking, but yet has claimed on usenet that he "wrote the book" on mountain bike impacts and that he's the world's only expert (i.e. he has no peers, so no one is qualified to review his work for publishing in a related journal).

    As others have said...if the lady you're dealing with is using Vandeman's work to support her claims, then her position is not very strong.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    I'll be in contact with the director of the conservation corps (my boss) wanting to build new trails. I'll ask him to read all of your replies and to gather more info on this man so he can send it to the land managers. They are being bombarded by a woman running a conservancy who actually used this guys article as evidence they should not allow mountain bike trails out in...nuts, I promised I wouldn't say where in California this is being considered. Not yet.

    Again, thanks for your comments. Sorry to open old wounds. He who shall not be named again, is forgotten forever.
    This is a growing trend and I can tell you the from first-hand experience what I am witnessing from my perspective as a mountain biker and land manager.

    Bottom line........there are extreme views and anecdotal statements that land managers are bombarded with from both sides.......the environmental end and from the user groups.

    A perfect example was listed in an earlier thread here and is a common anecdotal comment that bikers use far too often and it makes them look silly to the land managers. Far too often the example is used that hikers have more impact on trails than bikers....and it is stated that scientific evidence shows that a rolling tire has much less impact than the point-load of a hiking boot. Very true.....but that's not how we ride, and we need to be willing to admit that, otherwise we do not gain credibility.

    We do create accelerated errosion because of over-braking and there is no denying the amount of rutting that takes place on many trails because of it.....and it is a constant educational battle. Also drifting is becoming a common practice on many trails and there are many videos and instructional threads on the art of drifting.

    The offset to this is the fact that there is no such thing as a completely sustainable trail(even if it is solely a hiking trail), and all trails require maintenance......and the bottom line is that a years worth of bike errosion on many trails is easily repaired in a couple of hours of volunteer maintenance annually (for the major part performed in my local area by bikers).

    My point is that if bikers want to break the mold.....then they need to not resort to the extreme anecdotal comments that put them in the exact same category as the people they are complaining about.

    The reality that I am seeing locally however is that there is a trend in conservation areas that have been won by hard battles to protect them from development and have them permanently protected as open space areas. The trend seems to be that now that the battle is over with the threat of development.......the current percieved threats that the land managers are talking about are 1)climate change, 2)fire frequency, and 3)user over-use and mis-use. The first two are tough items, but the third is ironic; because the very people who fought to get the areas protected from development have in some manner become one of the current threats.

    Unfortunately bikers do get lumped into a bad reputation......much of it unjustified, but also some of it justified. Locally, the largest impact being discussed by land managers is the amount of unauthorized trails and trail use by the user groups.....and also unfortunately, mountain bikers do make up the largest population of this group (verified by credible studies, and ongoing monitoring).

    So it is definitely a reality that land managers are discussing the various user groups and the over-use of protected areas; and discussions of bike restrictions or eliminations in some areas is taking place.

    However, there is also clear understanding from the other land managers I work and network with that the percentage of "bad apples" in any user group is typically a relatively small number, and closures are typically the last resort.......with education and necessary enforcement being the first logical steps.

    I would just suggest that in any of your conversations with the land managers, be open to constructive criticism, and be prepared to admit some culpability on the part of our sport. If we approach this subject like we are innocent lambs and victims, and make statements that our sport has no negative impact on the habitat.....we will not have any credibility.

    One undeniable fact to remember............all uses and user groups have some negative impact on these areas (even the land managers presence in the areas in the process of managing and protecting the areas has some negative short-term impact).

    Come to the table with an open mind and you will gain more respect from the managers.....and from my experience; most managers are smart enough to glean out the extreme anecdotal comments from all users (environmentalists and the mountain bike community).

    There are definitely challenges ahead for the sport of mountain biking, but I still see positive movement.....but the bike community also has to step up to the plate in many areas and get involved in a fruitful and positive manner.

    I've seen too many good things take place and see more coming down the line....but bikers do need to get involved and stay involved.

    Just some thoughts.
    Last edited by JamR; 11-07-2008 at 10:10 PM.

  28. #28
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    Can you tell us the name of the "Lady" using the garbage constantly regurgitated by the VandiKook, there are several with a history of their own.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamR
    Just some thoughts.
    Agree with most you said, though it's been said a hundred times already. My one beef. True "drifting" as in scrubbing both tires under a heavy cornering load that is inertia induced, not braking induced really isn't that damaging to the trail. It can redistribute soil and form berms if you call that destructive but it doesn't rut or induce erosion like braking induced slides.

    Other than that rage on brother.
    Bike good, work bad.

  30. #30
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    When i recieved a letter from the guy, people in the bikey community told me to think of it as an honor that you have elevated yourself in mountain bike advocacy status.

    So tell your pal to feel lucky he's arrived?....
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  31. #31
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    Many of you said this guys stuff shouldn't on this forum, I beg to differ. I am new to mtb advocacy and found this thread very informative. I had heard some of his stuff before, and now I know where it's comming from. If nothing else this should cut down on the amount of times I use the phrase," Where the heck did you get that from?"

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright
    Can you tell us the name of the "Lady" using the garbage constantly regurgitated by the VandiKook, there are several with a history of their own.
    Let me guess -- Santa Barbara?

    There was (maybe still is) a sierra club sock puppet organization operating there called 'Save the Trails' or similar. Their entire website, and the basis for their arguments, was nothing but MV links.

    She claimed she was not affilated with the sierra club, but someone with the identical name was listed on the Santa Barbara chapter officeholder list, and her website was hosted on the same server as the SC's... Must've just been a series of coincidences...



    Back to the OP -- land managers do not take MV seriously. They listen politely to his immature ramblings, thank him for his input, and then ignore him. Even his own peers in the left-wing eco-extremist cabal no longer take him seriously. He has become something of an embarassment to the environmental industry.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchman83
    Agree with most you said, though it's been said a hundred times already. My one beef. True "drifting" as in scrubbing both tires under a heavy cornering load that is inertia induced, not braking induced really isn't that damaging to the trail. It can redistribute soil and form berms if you call that destructive but it doesn't rut or induce erosion like braking induced slides.

    Other than that rage on brother.
    Agreed......drifting was just an example of a mtb practice that is getting noticed by managers.

    What I really wanted to point out was that even accelerated erosion is pretty easy to repair and maintain on an annual basis by simple trail maintenance.....so it's not as serious of an issue as it would seem on the surface.

    Good points!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamR
    .and from my experience; most managers are smart enough to glean out the extreme anecdotal comments from all users (environmentalists and the mountain bike community).
    Unfortunately nearly all the land managers I deal with are senior bureaucrats that got there simply because other, often good people, became so frustrated with the system they leave... and we are left with those that are close to the extreme end of environmentalists. Getting past them is an exercise in futility, their eyes glaze over at the mere mention of MTB

    Often bird watching and bush walking are the only two activities that fall within acceptable use but that will help explain the constantly diminishing numbers using the facilities and the resultant reduced budgets... they are okay with the first but not the second

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    Many of you said this guys stuff shouldn't on this forum, I beg to differ. I am new to mtb advocacy and found this thread very informative. I had heard some of his stuff before, and now I know where it's coming from. If nothing else this should cut down on the amount of times I use the phrase," Where the heck did you get that from?"
    Glad you found it helpful. I've run across the guy's info more than a few times. He's pretty relentless / obsessive on the topic, and he spreads his stuff far and wide, not just in California. And in small doses, he can sound credible, and pull in gullible folks and those pre-disposed to a no bikes attitude.

    He's got the academic lingo down, so you have to push past his initial claims, as did Psycho Mike to see that he doesn't actually have the credentials to back up the claims he makes.

    What he is really good at is trolling and tying up discussion lists and online forums with increasingly angry feuds, then pulling quotes out of them that make cyclists look bad. This is particularly bad when it happens in the forum section of a local paper.

    There's a woman in Marin who is also very good at this, but I don't think she posts stuff to other states the way M.V. does

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    "And in small doses, he can sound credible..."
    That's a dangerous thing, especially with todays sound bite laden thumbnail news programs, a little mis-information can go a long, long way, and take years to debunk.

  37. #37
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    I remember back when MV himself would troll these very forums. Unfortunately, I wasn't into mtb's back in the usenet days to witness the massive flame wars that guy started there that have since become legendary.

    A year or so ago, he sent a letter into one of the papers in Pittsburgh about some trail somesuch going on there. I e-mailed a bit of a rant to the editor about the guy and his history...and made sure it was just foul enough that it wouldn't get published. Hopefully I managed to educate them about this nutjob.

    Discussions about him show up every few months or so, I'd guess. The topic definitely gets covered here ad infinitum.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Back to the OP -- land managers do not take MV seriously. They listen politely to his immature ramblings, thank him for his input, and then ignore him. Even his own peers in the left-wing eco-extremist cabal no longer take him seriously. He has become something of an embarassment to the environmental industry.
    Once the press release went out that NYC Parks were going to allow mountain biking, MV called the land managers to complain. I think he even sent the local botanical society against us. Either the land managers determined he was not playing with a full deck (after a lengthy phone conversation) or we did a very good job advocating for the trails and showing how we can be partners in caring for the park's resources. We were diligent in addressing their concerns as well as providing reams of the many science and research papers that exists.

    Your work is cut out for you.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    Didn't want to post this under trail advocacy since few people visit that forum. I got an email from a co-worker about a proposal he made to construct new mountain bike trails in California. He asked me not to divulge the location to anyone at this time. He was fired up after receiving a letter from a particular conservancy who insisted mountain bike trails were bad for the environment. She made arguments about snakes being run over and bikers bringing non-native plant seeds into areas they would ride. She was also concerned about all the bikers that might need to be rescued, after being lost or injured. Then she posted a link to the following article. I wondered if land managers take these type of studies serious. What do you think?


    The Effects of Mountain Biking on Wildlife and People --

    {{{{{MV drivel edited out by moderator, do we really need to read this stuff? }}}}

    Vandeman, Michael J., Ph.D. http://www.imaja.com/change/environment/mvarticles/,

    http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande.
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  40. #40
    NOT Team Sanchez
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    Well it seems there's only one choice................use the material for the border fence with Mexico to be put around any natural terrain, heaven forbid anyone enter! Shoot dude, nature is to be enjoyed...........some do it on bikes, some on their feet, etc. Motorized traffic sucks 'cause they've got the horsepower to shred anywhere they want, whereas I'm limited by interest and lung capacity. Bottom line is use your brains and be reasonable, I'm lucky enough to be from st.george utah where I build sweet fr singletrack without any trouble!
    I like bikes.

  41. #41
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    I really enjoyed his pictures of the destruction that mountain biking is causing...they were intense...



    OH GOD NOT THE CULVERT!

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