Saturday, March 21, 2015

Platinum-Level Portland In Faceplant Mode With Mountainbiking

Illustration from link in text
I sent this out yesterday and subsequently edited it slightly out of embarrassment at some of its original flaws. For some background with additional links, go here.  Lucky we are that we have more trails than people, and that we live in a small enough place that life with the County is usually a little less jarring. It seems that even with the Portland mountainbike folks working with the City, brown stuff happened.

Andy Clarke
President, League of American Bicyclists


Dear Andy

 I live in a mountain biking mecca and know how devastating it would be for local government to restrict seriously, without due process, our trail facilities. I have to agree that putting Portland on notice, up to and including reconsidering its Platinum level status, is reasonable if the situation is as grim as you explain in your letter to the Mayor (readers should go to the LAB links above to read it).

Bicycling comprises transportation, recreation, and competition. Mountain biking provides a safe and wonderful off road opportunity for people of all abilities and especially for those who are not comfortable in traffic. In Los Alamos, mountainbiking is likely the major form of bicycling given our spectacular off road resources. So mountain biking is definitely part of our League of American Bicyclists mission, and we need to represent and advocate for the off road community. If LAB thinks that mountain biking is being mistreated, especially in a Bicycle Friendly Community, it is no different than if other parts of the cycling community are being mistreated, and we should act.

I have long advocated that LAB consider downgrading a Bicycle Friendly designation if an entity (state, city, business) deliberately fails to live up to the expectations of the ranking, whether it be bronze or platinum. I applaud the League for putting that potential response on the table. We don't want to lose influence with these cities, but neither do we want to be taken for granted and be trampled on. Thank you.

Khal Spencer

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