5.02.2010

mountain biking is a term that is often misunderstood

MOUNTAIN BIKING
mountain biking is a term that is misunderstood

mountain biking is a sport that is frequently misrepresented

mountain biking does not need to involve mountains
mountain biking usually refers to riding a bicycle on natural surfaces
mountain biking varies by the ecosystem that surrounds the trails

mountain biking can occur in the desert... in the woods... by the sea... and even in the city
well... if it is legal
there are urban mountain bike trails in Baltimore, Richmond, and Philadelphia

mountain biking in real life is not like it is in a Mountain Dew ad
sure there can be some steep sections.... and there are some people who catch air
but most of the time it is more akin to running than flying
and the mud? well... mud is not usually part of the sport
mountain bikers are an eco-responsible bunch who have a riding ethics
they understand the sustainability issues and respect the trails

the myths of erosion from archaic studies
the thought that the bicyclist... the hiker... the dog walker... and the horse can not share the same space
that idea is disproved on trails all over the country
head out to Patapsco State Park or Schaeffer Farms on the weekend... everyone gets all quite nicely
definitely more nice exchanges between people in the woods than on the streets

last week I spoke with my older son's Dean's class
they are working on a persuasive essay so I offer the topic and the task
I spoke with the children about Rock Creek Park and the thought of mountain biking on the natural surfaces in Rock Creek
there was talk about the the Michelle Obama LET'S MOVE initiative

there was all sorts of interest
it was a major Q&A session that involved a slide show of people on bikes
many of the photos were of me or my kids riding our bikes at various mountain bike races
some shots of Grant on the trail-a-bike at Schaeffer Farms, some shots from Rosaryville, and then some shots from Chesapeake BMX
all of which are more than a sixty minute drive from home

the center of the arguement is simple...
in Michelle Obama's LET'S MOVE initiative it is recommended that children not only eat healthy but that they also get 60 minutes of exercise a day

bicycling on natural surfaces away from the cars is a great way for children to get exercise
but this is not pratical to the kids in Washington DC
to ride a bike on natural surface the bike has to be loading into the car and driving an hour and fifteen minutes
with load and unload time and potential traffic that would be a three hour round trip
not exactly practical

so... why not open the trails of Rock Creek Park to bicycles
with advocacy groups like MORE and IMBA I am certain that we could fortify the trails so that they are more sustainable for all users


Let's Move
www.letsmove.gov

IMBA
http://www.imba.com/

MORE
www.more-mtb.org



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