Last Sunday on the Goodman Creek trail I had to jump off the trail to avoid a speeding mountain biker. As they went by without a “sorry” or “excuse us,” I said, “Excuse me.” The lead biker yelled back, “It’s a bike trail!”
Speaking of “bike trails,” Middle Fork District – Willamette National Forest has plans to build a 15-mile mountain bike-only “race track” literally above Oakridge inside a several-thousand-acre old growth reserve. Equally as bad, they’ve approved a new two-mile trail to expedite access for mountain bikes to some of the most beautiful lakes in the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area.
Currently one can bike five miles to these nearly pristine lakes. Apparently that’s too difficult, and these wild lakes need to become “more useful.” This new trail will also cross the Pacific Crest Trail, thus allowing mountain bikers to illegally ride the PCT to complete a “track lap” to a parking lot. The Forest Service made this decision using a Categorical Exclusion to avoid completing an environmental analysis and responding to public comments. Based on my 45 years enjoying public lands, our national forests have become unregulated “Disneyland” amusement parks.