By Ashley Korenblat
Editor’s note: In its August 15 issue, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News published a column by Ashley Korenblat on the topic of mountain biking in federal wilderness areas. In the September 1 issue, BRAIN will publish an opposing viewpoint, written by Ted Stroll, the board president of the Sustainable Trails Coalition. We are publishing both columns on the BRAIN website today. (Stroll’s column)
Mention wilderness to a serious mountain biker and the first thing you will see is fear, because bikes are not allowed in wilderness. The Wilderness Act of 1964 is the first time we as a species decided to put the needs of nature above the needs of man. Today, with climate change looming, there are hundreds of organizations with millions of members dedicated to land protection and maintaining the integrity of the Wilderness Act. Plus, corporate America is getting into the act as companies of all types work to improve their green credentials.
For many mountain bikers, the exclusion of bikes from wilderness is just not fair. Bikes do less damage than horses and horses are allowed. Hikers get the wilderness trails all to themselves, and in some cases trails maintained by local …read more