The current rules regarding bike access to the narrow trails of Marin were constructed and implemented in the 1980s and 1990s when mountain biking was in it’s infancy. Since that time the demographics have changed.
- There are now 50 million mountain bikers in the United States.
- Mountain biking is an Olympic sport.
- Between 2005 and 2012, over 24 million mountain bikes were sold in the United States.
- There are 6.9 million horses in the United States.
- 23% of Marin’s Open Space visitors are now on mountain bikes.
- 11 of the high schools in Marin have a mountain biking team.
The simple fact is that the demographics of mountain biking have changed, but the rules regarding mountain bikes in Marin have not changed to reflect these changing demographics.
To quote the International Mountain Biking Association:
In a democracy, the allocation of trails based on users’ differing interests is a normal, appropriate course of action. Land managers must consider the opinions and concerns of the people who use their trails. But when individuals make unsubstantiated allegations regarding natural resource damage to justify the prioritization of their type of trail use, land managers should be wary.
Access4Bikes is committed to trying to help make the rules reflect the fact that people like to enjoy our open spaces on bikes as well as foot and horse.