Anemone Hill mountain biking? Not so much.

28 10 2011

Macon Cowles

Speaks his mind

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.



3 responses

28 10 2011

well said

28 10 2011

From Chris C.

“We are our own worst enemies, especially when we, as you say, run old ladies and kids off the trail. I find myself becoming an even bigger a-hole to those mtb’ers that don’t follow the rules of the trail – and, ask Jenn, that is saying something…

Sounds like we need, to borrow an overworked and underutilized phrase, some Hope and Change in Boulder. How does “Councilman Wu” sound to everyone? I can either be for you or against you, whichever is more helpful.

Wu the Day!”

28 10 2011

I would honestly not be all that upset about the Anemone decision if it had not initially been proposed *by city council members* as a compromise solution. Morzel and Appelbaum were consistently against bike access anywhere the entire time, and I respect their consistency, even if I don’t agree with their positions. Likewise Wilson, Becker, Cowles, and George K followed up their initial votes by continuing to support the proposal. The remaining CC members, including the mayor, apparently thought that the OSBT would say “no” and give them some nice political cover, but that didn’t work out, so they were forced to vote the way they actually felt.

Lame. We could have saved everyone months of pointless bickering and not dashed a lot of foolishly raised hopes by just having the council say “no” to begin with. Even worse, Gray, Ageton, and Osborne poisoned the debate to the point where people who are interested in recreation (I include dog folks, climbers, trail runners, etc, as well as cyclists) no longer believe that they can be negotiated with in good faith.

I despise hypocrisy and double-dealing like this, not people who honestly disagree with me about something as trivial as mountain biking. Because when a more important issue comes up, I want to know that the person representing me is going to deal with all parties honestly, not try to manipulate the system to do one thing while saying something else.

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