Without opportunities for non-motorized recreation, many people will never gain an appreciation for nature that turns them into exactly the kind of environmental advocates, donors and voters that groups like the Sierra Club and Mazamas depend on.
BikePortland has a great article that y’all should read. Bottom line, mountain bikers need a place to ride and we’ll take care of those places. Local Eugene group Disciples of Dirt do tons of environmental trail work, and yet we are denied places to ride like the Ribbon Trail by hiker groups like The Obsidians and Friends of Hendricks Park who don’t understand the environmental benefits of mt. biking and their advocacy groups.
As a backpacker, environmentalist, and biologist (sort of), I understand why groups like Friends of Mt. Hood, Bark, Mazamas, Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club might initially be wary of a mt. bike area on Mt. Hood. But, as a mt. unicycler and occasional mt. biker, I know those fears are exaggerated, unfounded, and uneducated. It’s time that outdoors and environmental groups stop hating on mt. bikers . Mt. bikers like Disciples of Dirt are stewards of the environment, not crazy ruffians trampling a pristine wilderness.
Furthermore, if we don’t have a condoned place to ride, renegade riders will make their own trails and those rarely are environmentally safe. I don’t condone this, but it happens. Having sanctioned places to ride keeps new riders riding on trails that are maintained by groups like Disciples of Dirt, rather than making their own trails wherever they want and leaving them to erosion.
Anyway, it’s rare that internet comments are useful, but you should read the following quoted comments from the BikePortland article. They succinctly explain why YOU should support mountain bike trails, which are currently very rare.