To a certain extent, I have to disagree with Rep. Tom McClintock’s statement that mountain bikers have just as much right to use the public trails as hikers, etc. I believe that the bikers should have the ability to take in the great beauty which the wilderness offers but not via trails unsuited to safely handle foot and bike traffic.

Over several decades, I have taken many backpacking trips in the western states national parks and forests. It was very rare that I was on trails that were more than a few feet wide, certainly not trails that would allow hikers and bikers to easily share. I’ve also done many day hikes in the Southern California state parks where in some cases bikers are allowed to co-exist with hikers. The hiking trails and roads in some of the parks were wide enough to safely allow the two to share.

Unfortunately there were some bikers that must have felt that the conditions allowed them to ride in a reckless manner at unsafe speeds. I will say for the most part that these incidents were rare but it only took a few inconsiderate bikers to set my negative attitude toward sharing.

In closing, I would compare the idea of mountain bikers and hikers sharing the same trail similar to vehicles traveling in both directions on a single lane road.

Norman Roy