Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mountain bikers and their stunts

Recently the city went into Crothers' Woods along the trail frequented by mountain bikers and removed some trees that were potential hazards. Incidental to this, some stunts that were attached to these trees were also removed.

The mountain bikers complained loudly and at length about the travesty of it all. My complaint is not so much the about the city's initiative but about these whiners.

Let me illustrate this. Let's say you are a homeowner. Someone comes along and builds a swing on a tree in your backyard without your permission. Every so often someone comes along and uses the swing again without your permission. You decide you don't want anybody using this swing so you decide to remove it. Then to your surprise, the swing builders knock on your door and complain loudly that you destroyed their property. Most people would agree that the homeowner is well within their rights to choose what to do with their property.

The
same is true for Crothers' Woods. The city is the landowner and they are well within their rights as the property owner to control the uses put to their property. Granted the city is a public institution and is governed by slightly different rules but the analogy is largely intact.
What really bugs me is that the mountain bikers are whining yet refuse to organize properly to do anything about it. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

Fortunately the city is taking a longer view. There are still some forward thing bikers out there and with the city's help and training they are starting to make a difference. They are replacing badly made trails with sustainable use trails, trails that will last. While the new trails may not impress some extreme riders they are making them usable for the majority of the riders.

Some people complain that this process is taking too long but it might actually go faster if whiners turned into workers. Deeds, not words is a motto that they should learn.

If you are interested in joining one of the trail care crews send an email to Keri at kmcmaho1@toronto.ca. They meet once a week on Wednesdays to work on the trails.















Trail crew ponders piece of bad trail















Restored forest after trail reroute

3 comments:

kevin said...

I enjoy riding the Don trails on a regular basis and I think that as they can make some trails that are still good to ride I will be happy. I was almost sick when I read some of the more 'extreme' rumors that are going around.

Donwatcher said...

Kevin,

The irony is that all stunts on Crothers' Woods aka city property are, by definition, temporary. The city can decide unilaterally which stunts to remove. The biking community won't have a proper say unless they get involved.

JW

kevin said...

JW,

I believe that there is a comity that attends some city council meeting once in awhile to fight for our right to bike. I'd be very disappointed if someone were to remove the trails completely, it is a great way to spend the evening after a long day at the office. And I pretty sure that we aren't hurting anyone, just ourselves once in awhile!

:)