Letter: Re: There’s Hassle In Them There Hills
On Might 22, Tex Haines criticized the continued modifications by mountain bikers to native wilderness trails, notably the steep Telonics path from High of the World to the Large Bend space of Laguna Canyon, On Aug. 14, Billy Fried argued that present Laguna Wilderness Park prohibitions towards motorized autos needs to be waived for e-bikes.
E-bikes are nice. Many Laguna Seaside residents might use one to get round city or out the canyon. However I disagree with Mr. Fried. He dismisses the harm accomplished to the setting by mountain bikers chopping “unauthorized” trails, blaming as a substitute, horses, rangers, and path builders. Unlikely. He needs to draw “well-heeled customers” to spice up the native economic system. Full Disclosure: Mr. Fried rents e-bikes for $150 per day or $150 per particular person for a two-hour tour of the city.
There are three authorized lessons of e-bikes. Class 1 provides enhance whereas pedaling, as much as 20 MPH on the extent. Class 2 is like class 1 however may also run on pure electrical energy, no pedaling. Class 3 is like Class 1, however they’re usually heavier, they usually go as much as 28 MPH on the extent. All of them can go sooner on a steep downhill. The prohibitions towards motorized autos in wilderness areas exist for 2 causes: pedestrian security and habitat conservation. The parks had been all the time supposed for, and designed for pedestrians. Mountain bikers had been step by step accepted as quasi-pedestrians, fait accompli. Mountain bikes are a security hazard to pedestrians, and to the riders themselves. Crashing, usually on a rutted, rocky path or fireplace street, comes with the territory. Bikes can and do trigger erosion, compounded by the variety of bikers, the incline, and wet climate. Mountain bikers modify present single-track trails with banks, cuts, and brief picket bridges throughout gullies. In addition they minimize new trails, illegally. These are, arguably, affordable trade-offs to facilitate mountain biking.
At present, proponents search solely to confess Class 1 e-bikes, however Class 1, 2, and three look alike. E-bike designs will proceed to evolve. Permitting motorized autos within the parks is an irreversible paradigm shift. Sooner or later, heavier and extra highly effective e-bikes are successfully bikes, not appropriate with slender, steep, and treacherous mountaineering trails.
Laguna Seaside residents ought to respect what we’ve been given. James Dilley preserved the Greenbelt, and others preserved Major Seaside, Laguna Canyon, and Crystal Cove State Park. They are going to final so long as we defend them.
Joel Harrison, Laguna Seaside
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