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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Letters | Bikers and hikers
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Thursday, March 31,2011

Letters | Bikers and hikers

Bikers and hikers

Stewart Sallo’s editorial analysis of Boulder’s hiker vs. biker dispute (“Bikes and ‘boarders,” Stew’s Views, March 24) correctly puts the blame on narrow-minded elitists who think there is only one correct way to enjoy the outdoors. It reminded me of a time I crested a summit at a run, to which an older hiker remarked, “Slow down and enjoy it!” But Boulder mountain bikers aren’t innocent. For years they have been successfully waging a similarly disingenuous campaign of distortion and propaganda: against off-road motorcyclists. All through the region dirt bikers are getting kicked off of trails they originally created so that mountain bikers can have exclusive access. Their tactics are exactly the same as the hikers’: safety and environmentalism.

For the record, the carbon footprint of a lifetime of off-road motorcycling pales next to the per-seat impact of commercial air travel. So if you’ve ever flown anywhere on vacation, your moral basis for judgment approaches zero.

The safety argument is likewise hollow — and ironic. Dirt bikers still largely have access to wide forest roads, where they go fast. On single track, where the bans are taking place, speeds are closer to bicycles.

Although I have been a mountain/BMX biker far longer than I’ve been riding dirt bikes (30 years vs. nine months), I find it infuriating how mountain bikers have thrown dirt bikers to the wolves over access. Fortunately, our helpful Congressional representative, Jared Polis, is working to fix that. In the “Hidden Gems” legislation he advocates, mountain bikers and motorcycle riders are clustered in the same land use category. Also included in that category are strip-mining and clear-cutting. Naturally, we’re all getting kicked off of public land.

I’m not arguing for motorcycle access to the Mesa Trail (although good lord, would it be fun) but I hope Boulder mountain bikers can at least see the parallels between their attitude and that of the hikers.

David Rea/Boulder


Great article! As someone who started snowboarding in 1986 and mountain biking in 1988, I have felt discriminated against most of my adult life.

How can they say mountain bikers are selfish? We want to share. The people rallying against mountain bikers are the selfish ones.

Gene Hamilton/via Internet


Stewart, you’re off-base on this one. Your analogy doesn’t track. Skiing and ’boarding have a lot in common, including speed and sportiness. Hiking and biking have nothing in common beyond that they occur outdoors.

Wanna know why I project street experience to trails? Just yesterday my daughter and I were shopping on 29th Street. We happened to obtain an angled parking space across 29th from Sunglass Hut. We walked across the street and were angling through the bike lane about to make contact with our vehicle. A lycra-clad biker approached. Yield to pedestrians? No way, brother. Instead this dude snidely remarked, as he blasted by, “It’s a bike lane, stud.” So I replied, “We’re at our car, stud.”

Another example of bikers wanting it all. Pissed when cars don’t see or yield to them and pissy if peds don’t. Unwilling to yield to pedestrians like they ought.

No, I’m not characterizing all bikers all the time. But this is my predominant experience of bikers on routes around town, be I walking or driving, when our paths cross. By “paths cross” I mean in too-close proximity. Jeez Louise, I can’t win no matter on foot or four wheels. The biker always jeers.

This is the experience hikers fear.

And we do fear it, because we stand, so to speak, to be injured.

And, Stewart, upon reflection, OSMP is not at core a playground and cannot be compared to commercial ski areas. Methinks you’re biased on this one.

Bart Windrum/via Internet


Danish and unions

It’s pretty easy to see Paul Danish’s lack of empathy for the Wisconsin state unions. (“Revolution comes to the Midwest,” Danish Plan, Feb. 24.) Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but the article is simply a snarky swipe at these organizations as non-organized U.S. workers are being stripped of living wages, retirement and health care at an unprecedented rate.

To compare Wisconsin and other state public labor protest events to Thatcher’s fight with British coal miners over closing unprofitable mines is ludicrous, unless this writer actually considers teachers, firefighters and policemen (among others) unprofitable and unworthy. Labor unions collaborated with General Motors’ management to bring it back to profitability.

Labor unions in Wisconsin are willing to make sacrifices but will not give up their right to collective bargaining ... a point conspicuously missing from this article.

Michael Seeman/Littleton


Libya and Lockerbie

Dave Morton really had me for awhile there with his reasoned and impassioned argument against Paul Danish’s support for action against Libya. (“Show restraint in Libya,” Letters, March 24.) Then he had to go and invoke those timeless bugaboos of the Progressive Left: the CIA and heroin!

Level-headed organizations and individuals who have investigated Lockerbie have concluded that, yes, Libya did Lockerbie. Even Libya says Libya did Lockerbie. There is no more need to invoke the sad, bedraggled specter of CIA bribery and drugs here than there was in Nicaragua or Vietnam. The same amount of actual evidence is always forthcoming: none. We get a lot of good stories and implications, but no more real evidence than we get for Roswell or other UFO cases.

Let’s be painfully clear about this: Heroin smuggling is a dangerous and time-consuming undertaking for comparatively meager profits. Why would any organization undertake a risky operation that could realize maybe $50 million a year, when they already get a known, no-risk $3 billion a year (according to the Wall Street Journal) in black budget (and who knows how much more in unknown funds?) free, with no effort on their part, from us, the taxpayers? Even the CIA isn’t that crazy.

Peter Johnson/Longmont


Strung along

I enjoyed the article on the Stringdusters, but the author failed to tell us what the Grammy award was for. Was it “best new artist,” “best album” or something like that? I suspect it was for something technical if their award was at the early (non-televised) Grammys.

Some further description would have been appreciated if you want to persuade me to go see them at the Fox.

Jeremy McClain/via Internet


New food addiction

I just wanted to comment on your article, “Frozen yogurt trend descends on Boulder” (Cuisine, March 17).

I discovered Ripple shortly after they opened, and it quickly became my latest — and favorite — addiction. Getting my “fix” of tart frozen yogurt, topped with the pineapple flavor and a few strawberries and raspberries, gives me an instant smiley face. It’s healthier than ice cream, and the price is right. I love this place!

Good luck Jamie and David; looks like you already need a bigger store!

Terry Keatley/via Internet


You’ll love Zudaka

Thank you for recommending Zudaka Restaurant. (“Latin health food,” Cuisine Review, March 17). What an incredible place!

The food, ambience and owner ... fantastic. Just like traveling to South America! The food keeps all of the traditional Venezuelan and Colombian flavors without the unhealthy ingredients.

How wonderful to be able to walk into a restaurant and know that you can order anything on the menu and it will be both vegetarian and amazingly delicious.

I’ve never been compelled to write about a restaurant, but I want to shout to the hills about Zudaka, too. It is the truth: Everybody must try this food. You’ll love it. I hope Zudaka sticks around, because there isn’t anything like it in Boulder, and it’s great to have another vegetarian restaurant to go to.

Again, thank you Clay Fong and Boulder Weekly for recommending such a great place.

R. Jackson/via Internet


Nice Pinnacol article

Congratulations to Jefferson Dodge for writing a great article on the current situation at Pinnacol Assurance (“Teed off,” Cover story, March 10).

As a 13-year former employee of Pinnacol, I continue to be dismayed by the change in direction and attitude of the organization.

Several important points were reported by Mr. Dodge. I thought his writing did a great job of stating all sides of the arguments specifically for and against insurance agents’ incentives deemed by the Pinnacol board and executives as necessary for the continued success of the organization.

Thank you for the insightful reading into the situation at the insurer of last resort for many of Colorado businesses.

Hank Koehler/via Internet

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