The local mountain bike lobby – an invasive species, as far as our county park trails are concerned – won a round in the County Legislature the other night. Not unexpected, of course: the Brooks Administration, like the Doyle and King admins. before it, views the public domain as a treasure chest of favors to dole out to private interests when nobody’s looking. Except now lots of us are looking, and we’ll keep fighting to preserve the parks’ walking trails for their highest and best use, which obviously doesn’t include knobbies and knuckleheads.
The off-roaders, who’ll now have access to two county parks on so-called “shared use” trails - walking paths where actual walkers and hikers are second-class users, condemned to looking over their shoulder for mountain bikes gone wild). In fact, these rolling trail abusers have already practically annexed Tryon Park, one of the two, for their preferred mode of biking (see various websites and videos attesting to this).
But oddly enough, one thing enviro-bicyclists can do right now is check out the Greater Rochester Off-road Cyclists webpage (mygroc.com). There you’ll find a link to list of the nine local bike shops (two of them from Ontario County – i.e. not exactly local) that support the off-roader invasion. GROC itself rightly points out that these shops are the “biggest advocates” for the so-far successful off-road campaign. Through a simple process of elimination you’ll discover which LBS’s are not explicit advocates. I don’t know about you, but I’m spending my money only at shops not on the GROC list.
In a related matter, I understand there’s a new chapter of Earth First! starting up in Rochester. This is not to be confused with the older macho, misanthropic manifestation of EF. I think there might be some possibilities for nonviolent direct action locally on behalf of nonpolluting transportation, including efforts to help preserve the sanctity of our remnant natural areas. Anybody out there interested?