Recent voting by Boulder council members to disallow mountain biking on the proposed Anemone Hill Loop and the subsequent email from Councilman, Macon Cowles, has some people outraged. You can find the Daily Camera article here. The first paragraph sums it up:
“Boulder City Councilman Macon Cowles touched off a firestorm among the local mountain biking community today after sending a group of cyclists an e-mail in which he dismissed as “a bunch of s-t” their complaints over a recent vote to bar riders’ access to a new trail.”
I’m not opposed to potty speak. Having thrown my fair share of F-bombs and the like, I’m not in a position to cast stones. Having said that, I’m surprised that Councilman Macon was willing to put it in writing for all to see. The urge to document in a similar fashion has occasionally nearly crept into my dictations, but I’ve been fortunate enough to subdue those ill-advised comments from the dictaphone. But the man speaks his mind. You gotta give him that.
Edit: Just realized that Cowles voted FOR allowing bikes on trails. His remarks, as I think I understand it, are directed toward the hotheads who misrepresent the vast majority of us who ride trails.
Shamefully, I didn’t know who our mayor was, nor did I know anything about her until yesterday. But the first thing I’ve ever read about her is this excerpt from the article:
“Mayor Susan Osborne, who voted “no” on mountain bike access to an Anemone Hill loop, wrote an e-mail to Stokes earlier this week saying, “I am really done with the whiney and spoiled and, frankly, erroneous fiction you guys tell yourselves. You do not help your cause.”‘
She forgot stinky and poopy-headed. On many levels, this is a ridiculous statement. But I hate to say that in some ways, she is right. Our most memorable and visible representation on the trails are the A-holes who blow by old ladies and kids on the trail, and have no clue that it’s not only the rule that we should slow down and yield, but it’s just the polite thing to do anyway. These folks deserve scorn from hikers and bikers alike. There’s only one rule to be on Team Alchemist. Ride nice. That includes saying hello, smiling, slowing down, making room, leaving no trace. You might be able to ride Mach 4 on a bike, but if you aren’t a nice person, I don’t care. I’d rather you not ride in our kit.
Cyclists have great advocacy and vocal representation in the political forum (see post on Jenn Dice), but the few militant voices are often the ones heard or quoted. Y’all, this isn’t apartheid or fascism. It’s mountain biking. For a superb example of how to advocate for mountain biking, visit IMBA. They are non-confrontational and socially and environmentally responsible. The focus is on education and building relationships, rather than making enemies and carrying a big stick.