Monday, November 22, 2010

"You've Got to FIGHT--for Your RIGHT--to PAR-TAY!"

Fight for Your Rights.
Photo credit.
In the words of the Beastie Boys, "You've got to FIGHT--for your RIGHT--to PAR-TAY!" As mountain bikers, we all know that great singletrack is the most important part of our lifelong par-tay!

I have published a number of posts over the past couple of weeks detailing how you can make your voice heard and help advocate for mountain biking opportunities across the country.  Here's a short update on how things are going:

Blackburn Park, Dahlonega, Georgia
Blackburn Park just outside of Dahlonega, Georgia may be resurrected from its current abandoned state and transformed into a new public county park. I personally haven't heard any more information on the status of this proposal, but the survey, located herethat is being used to gauge public approval for the project and the proposed mountain bike trails is only open through the 27th of November. If you have not yet taken this survey and voiced your desire for some new mountain bike trails, please do so now!

Wilderness Proposition
When I first posted about the mountain bikes-in-wilderness proposition, we were losing by 49 votes. As of 8:52 AM on November 21 when this post was written, we are currently winning by 198 votes! The total number of votes against the proposal are 298, the total number of votes for are 496.  

The fact that such a remarkable swing of 250 votes took place in the course of about a week was pretty sweet, but I'm still amazed that there are only 496 votes on the mountain biking side of the issue.  How many hundreds of thousands of mountain bikers are there in the nation?  This vote could easily be swept away by a flood of pro-mountain bike votes if people would just be involved in the mountain bike scene.  Maybe that should be the new mission of Greg Rides Trails: help get people involved in the mountain bike scene and get them to actively advocate for their right to mountain bike. Of course, I'm not falsely accusing you of not getting involved, because I know that all of the readers of GRT are fighters! 

Fight for Your Right: Get Involved
To get started, here a few simple ways that you can get involved in advocacy for mountain bikes without leaving your computer:

1. Join the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance (MMBA)
Montana Mountain Bike Alliance LogoThe Montana Mountain Bike Alliance is the advocacy group that had been working tirelessly in an attempt to keep the Bozeman area from losing hundreds of miles of trails simply because the area had been proposed as a new Wilderness. Their initial efforts weren't enough, but they are working to reverse this horrible legislation. Learn about their organization, get involved, and join their Facebook Page here. 

2. Join Wilderness B
Wilderness B = Wilderness with Bikes. 

Wilderness B is a relatively new organization that is quickly gaining traction due to the nature of its mission and the catchiness of its name. The "about" section on their Facebook page was so well written, that I decided to include the entirety of it here:
Wilderness B - a movement to create awareness among elected officials of the need to update public land protection's acknowledged historical gold standard by creating a sister designation that provides ALL of Wilderness's protections, yet allows bicycles.

Why? Because mountain bikers are staunch preservationists and to date the Wilderness lobby has self-servingly lobbied against the inclusion of bicycles despite the fact that science and US Forest Service studies have repeatedly debunked their claim that bikes have more impact then hikers. The truth? Bikes have LESS impact.

Our protected public lands are at risk. From development, be it mining, timber or other commercial interests. The Wilderness movement asks us to support their efforts to protect more land, and in doing so forever restrict our own access.


It's time for the ranks of backcountry stewards to recognize the incredible body of work the mountain bike community has compiled over the past three decades. A collective voice in the service of public lands protection is exponentially more powerful than the fragmented and contentious dialogue characteristic of old guard Wilderness advocates portrayal of the mountain bike community.

Please join this page. Please ask your fellow mountain bikers to do the same. The power of numbers can and will give our elected officials pause to fully consider the issue rather than continuing to take their land preservation cues from an entrenched and well-funded hiking lobby.
Yeah, that's so well said!  Join the Wilderness B Facebook Page now!

3. Join People For Bikes .org
LogoLast but not least, please be sure to join People For Bikes is an interesting advocacy organization that is gathering cyclists from all disciplines together to advocate for bicycling rights and privileges.  We have just recently reached the milestone of 150,000 signatures on the online pledge, and we're aiming for many, many more! Millions of people in the United States ride bicycles, and it's my hope that we see every one of them sign this pledge! It's free, it's easy, and by becoming a part of this organization you can help influence policy makers in D.C.

Your Turn: If I haven't already given you enough homework in the above post, please feel free to share your thoughts on bicycle advocacy in the comments section below.


Post a Comment



Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

About This Blog

Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

Read More

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP