Thursday, May 10, 2018

Should Mountain Bikers Be Muzzled?

 From "Dirt Rag" magazine - Issue #67, August 15, 1998 

Well, we need to get this blog jump-started again.  And what usually gets things going is the ever-timely topic of the “out of sight, out of mind” off-road mountain (dirt) biking activities on our North Shore mountains, specifically... This is a new one...

Seems some mountain bikers are now taking aim at the commercial dog walkers, threatening them with violence, because a commercial dog walker or two found themselves on a heavily used mountain bike only/primary trails. Whether in jest, or not, from experience, I know that sometimes the forum dialogue spills onto the trails, in result.

There are so many rogue, hidden, and braided trails everywhere on our North Shore mtns. carved out by the mountain bikers (and “rubber-stamped” by the fine NSMBA on Trailforks.com) – it is very easy for someone to find themselves off the legit, main trail and end up somewhere they do not want to be, or should not be. Even mountain bikers may find themselves off-trail, accidentally – and on purpose...

If the following joked about violence on the NSMB.com forum actually happened, it would not be the first time a mountain biker on Fromme Mtn. trails has bitten a “walker” in violent rage (2015) – and this was a mountain biker who initially lied to the police about the incident, and got away with it! Other mountain bikers started to bully and harass the bitten hiker! Some known from the NSMBA! No arrests, no charges. Go figure? What happened? 

You have to wonder about our law enforcement officers always seeming to coddle these mountain bikers with white kid gloves (in a few more instances I know about.). A clear double-standard at work here. The trails are not a safe place to be for those on foot -- or dog walking, for that matter, in light of these facts. Now back on topic:

One mountain biker goes as far as to post this nasty meme on the topic of "Commercial dog walkers" found on mountain bike only/primary trails : “You never bite a walker. You gotta shoot em in the head.”  https://nsmb.com/forum/forum/the-shore-3/topic/commercial-dog-walkers-130233/?post=2419752#post-2419752 * (I don’t  really care where the reference to this meme comes from. I see this as a threat to overall public safety on the trails!) It pretty much spells out the over-entitled mentality of the mountain bikers who have been given far too much political clout and ill-deserved support and funding. 

The mountain bikers joke on this forum thread post:
“Its not the dogs fault for being brought by a walker onto a biking trail either. Bite the walker!”

 “Well, I guess I'll get a full-face helmet......then I won't be able to bite dogs or walkers!!!!”

You have to wonder at why so many politicians, government agencies, corporations, developers (such as MOSAIC and Polygon), etc. want to support and fund such a rogue lot in the first place? Maybe, it is because they actually admire these “amoral” dirt bikers in the woods? When you consider the lack of ethics in politics and corporations these days, is it any wonder they would choose to support and fund the wily NSMBA? I can't even begin to count all the things the NSMBA and other mountain bikers keep getting away, these days, as the general public continues to be asleep at the wheel.

With electric motorized mountain bikes on forest trails on the near horizon, I expect that the conflicts on the trails will become worse. Grouse Mountain plans to start renting those motor bikes, next month (innocuously calling them "pedal-assist bikes".) The BC gov't is considering allowing electric motorized mountain bikes on Crown land/park land trails, also. Vroom! Vroom!

I still feel that mountain biking needs to be strictly contained, properly managed, and well-enforced. For everyone's safety, including the wildlife being squeezed out of their habitat with the NSMBA's ever-growing trail network. Yes, more NEW trails being built on Fromme Mtn. and beyond, this year. It's insanity. 

Do you believe that mountain bikers and the NSMBA need to be “muzzled” in more ways than one? Let the fur fly, folks... Let's get this worthy blog jump-started again!

(Note: I expect that this incriminating forum thread link on NSMB.com will soon “disappear”, like many other evidences, I have collected from the local mtb rag over the years. That is why I have a hard copy of it, scanned and saved for future reference.)

1 comment:

Hazen Colbert said...

Interesting issue.

I read the thread on nsmb.com (the associated message board supplier for the NSMBA).

There is no question the meme is a clear threat and a clear violation of the criminal code. Commercial dog walkers are a distinct identifiable group of people. They are very finite as they must have a commercial license issued by the municipality. The RCMP take their marching (goose stepping?) orders from city hall and municipal hall. The NSMBA is one of Richard Walton's preferiti so the word will come down from 355 W Queens that nothing be done. While the relationship between the DNV's Mayor's office and the "white shirts" of the North Shore Detachment of the RCMP is not incestuous (to the best of my knowledge but I stand corrected) it is symbiotic, albeit parasitic to the residents of the North Shore. It is a crying shame that the rank-and-file in municipal hall, on Crown Street and in the detachment do such darn good work, but are obstructed by their own organizations at the highest levels.

The sponsorship of the NSMBA by Mosaic and Polygon is not a contribution to the community. It is buying influence by the developer and influence pedaling (no pun intended) by the NSMBA promising access to Mayor Richard Walton (NSMBA Patron) and Councillor Mathew Bond (NSMBA member, Past President and recent official representative to CMHC)

As a mountain biker of 30 years I know that people and animals have the right of way going up a hill or crossing a path. The NSMBA is the only organization on the planet that does not follow that rule.

Will anything change? No. Why not? There is a phrase "there is no whore like an old whore", and in mountain biking, the NSMBA is the proverbial "old whore" but the organization certainly has no monopoly on the label in the context of this thread.