They are the way to escape the motorized craziness of our society. It gives us the ability to get out and actively participate with nature in a way that hiking or jogging never could. A biker engaged on a singletrack trail is harnessing skills and gaining more with every revolution of the wheel. A bike extends the capabilities of the body, allowing fluid movement in every respect. The heart pounds as the blood pumps fast through every muscle of the body. The mind is focused and acutely aware of every movement, as the trail curves and dips to the shape of the land. The right to bike in nature becomes more precious with every passing year.
There is a bill being presented to congress called HR 6156 “Wilderness Heritage Act”. On the surface, it seems like a great idea to “preserve” public lands for “future generations”, until you dig a little deeper and figure out the implications of designating current multi-use lands “Wilderness”. Essentially, it closes all trails on current multi-use public lands to “mechanized” use. This includes many trails that are now enjoyed by mountain bikers everywhere. The wilderness advocates are trying to ban mountain bikers and other mechanized users from an ever decreasing area of public lands (see wilderness acts over the last 30 years).
The latest bill is being pitched as “Bipartisan” since it has Congressman Buck McKeon on board with Barbara Boxer. Unfortunately, their plan affects some trails in “Mountain Biking Mammoth”. We are sad to see Mr McKeon supporting a bill that will limit our use of public land. He says that he is looking out for the interests of the user groups who use these lands, but seems to only think that some dirt roads are important while ignoring multi-use trails. I wonder if he has ever ridden a mountain bike?
Maps of the proposed Wilderness areas can be found at; http://mckeon.house.gov/eastern_sierra_maps.aspx
Congressman McKeon can be contacted at:
Congressman Buck McKeon
26650 The Old Rd., Suite #203
Santa Clarita, CA 91381
Click here for further discussion on Wilderness and mountain bikes. The above pictures of Yost Meadow Trail and Coyote Flat Rides will both be affected by Wilderness closures.