10.09.2012

Less than 100 yards from my house



I typed up a wordy rant on that explain the images above
those words got lost in the digital shuffle
regretfully... I will throw down a few words... but I lack the focus and ambition to try and script what was written before

across the street from my house there is the woods of Rock Creek Park
an amazing natural resource
a great place for people to escape the concrete jungle
the natural surface trails are a great place to hike, run, or walk a dog
but these natural surface trails are illegal to bikes

I had seen some activity across the street from my house
there had been some tires that seemed to be unearthed and then moved
there looked to be some sort of gathering of sticks... maybe a lean-to
it looked like someone may be building a temporary shelter
maybe a hobo hotel

when entering the woods with my dogs yesterday I glanced down "the holler" to see if there was any activity
sure enough... there were some people and there was some more changes
not wanting anyone setting up camp in the woods I started my way down the hill
as I got closers I got a better look at the people and their intentions

it was two boys... clearly brothers
their age is unknown to me... maybe teenagers
hard for an old man to guess the ages of the young
there were bikes leaned against a tree
being in a bit of a rush I did not have time to give a well thought out approach to things

what they were doing is this fantastic mix of TOTALLY COOL and TOTALLY UNCOOL!

I told the young men that I was in no position to tell them not to do what they were doing
but essentially... that they should not be doing what they are doing
that their actions were not only illegal... but detrimental to the cause
building trails... and structures on federal land is surely frowned upon
then ontop of that... cutting these trails in this "free ride- jump park" fashion
well... these lines are less than sustainable
their actions were already creating a bit of a mess

it was mainly me talking and them listening

after our discussion I tried to back things up
telling them that I was not only a mountain biker... but on the board of a local mountain bike advocacy group
that they were going about things the wrong way
that they should try to work with the system to have legal trails built
rather than build rogue trails that will blemish the reputation of mountain biking as a whole

we parted ways... I wished I had said more
I wished I had gotten their contact information... or maybe pointed them to my blog
the thought that if they just knew a little more about "sustainability" and then maybe something about trail building
well... that would make their efforts a little less offensive

also... I thought that there had to be a better place for them to build their jumps and bridges
Klingle Valley and other locations that are closer to a wasteland made more sense to me
they mentioned trying to avoid people
yet they build their jump lines within the shadows of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood

enough on this...
hopefully I will run into them again
maybe I will tag a note onto their structures
either way... I will have monitor their use and abuse of the land across the street from my house

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