Letters 5/18-5/25 | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters 5/18-5/25


Single Track Trail Riding Etiquette

It seems to me that trail riding etiquette needs to be emphasized, now that single track bikers are out in number. This issue becomes all the more important as the lower trails become seasonally crowded, but the same issues apply to the upper trails.

I ride at an intermediate plus level: not ragingly fast, but decently competent. On one occasion, while recently climbing up Peterson Ridge, a guy came flying downhill and did not slow at all. We barely missed colliding. Again on lower Mrazek, the same thing occurred with a rider in a group ride. Then on lower Phil's, just before returning to the parking lot, a guy comes flying up behind me, yells "on your left" and immediately goes off trail, almost losing it in the bushes, and then immediately passes as I slow down, while looking for a suitable passing spot on the downhill (right) side.  He verbally chastised me to "move over next time." I responded with "give me a chance to find a safe spot, Mr. Speedo."

He roared off, with me catching him before he reached the lot. Clearly, he was not a fast, skilled biker; just an out of control ill-mannered biker, with an elevated sense of his own trail entitlement. I mean, it's not a race, and all riders have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a safe, alert manner. One can still ride aggressively and be safe.

On other recent occasions, while again climbing, I had four or five people politely make room for my climbing efforts, and I thanked them. Again, on Lower Whoops, I heard a "coming up behind, brother" from a faster biker, and I immediately found a safe pull-out. He passed and expressed thanks. I appreciated his calm, polite and connected tone.

All riders know there is a right way and a wrong way to manage two-way trail passes. The right way works very well when executed properly, and is generally observed by most riders. The wrong way is dangerous, disrespectful, and just plain rude, and can lead to injury or confrontation. And if you are the slow rider holding things up, find a safe spot to pull off and let other faster riders pass, both uphill and downhill.

Please, enjoy the trail systems.  Ride as fast as you can.  But be aware that you do not own the trail; it's a shared resource. Be polite and safe. Mountain biking is just too much fun, for all age groups, to ruin it by riding like a clown.

~Geoff Hance

In response to "Dear Tenant," (5/12)

Thank you for Sherron Lumley's Dear Tenant, You Must Vacate the Premises. THIS is the story of our town for the foreseeable future and must be ferreted out by journalists in just this manner. The backstory and the naming names matter (SunDog LLC), as well as galling details such as the listing having used the tenant's beautiful art to help sell the whole place for mega-bucks.  

This was just the article I've been waiting to read, and, not surprisingly, read on the same day of The Bulletin's front page story about the affordable units being built off Reed Market being delayed due to the disingenuous, squeaky wheel-developer who owns the adjacent property. It's just so much NIMBY-ism that I see, and a weak City Council that doesn't have the stomach to upset some people in order to zone and build with Bend's future health in mind.  

People other than millionaires gotta live someplace if this town is to have servers, small business owners, baristas, grocery checkers, hell, "teachers and firefighters" even, to use a hackneyed phrase.  

And no, sharing a house when you're in your 40s with 3 other people doesn't count, and isn't sustainable. And no, don't even get me started on tiny houses.  

Let's do something before whole cities and regions are off-limits to all but the one-percenters.  

~Susan Zimmerman

Skaters' Skatepark Wanted

True skaters need a skatepark that is designed by skaters, and that is Dreamland, not something that is thought up by the park district to "fill the need" for skate parks.

The Redmond skatepark was created by Dreamland. It has been the location of countless competitions and it is visited by professional skaters.

Bend has many extremely talented skaters, some have gone on to become pros, some of them are on Mt. Bachelor with their snowboards. It is time for the skaters to be listened to and not brushed aside while the Park District comes up with their own ideas and decisions. The only thing the Park District heard from the skaters is --that skaters would like another skatepark- so the District came up with the new, ridiculous, skateparks that are being planned.

The new Ponderosa Skatepark was definitely a step in the right direction, but still a creation of what the Park District thought it should be. They asked for input but already had their own ideas and their own plans.

The skaters in Bend need a Dreamland Skate Park, and they need to be able to work directly with Dreamland to create a real skate park.

The money that is being wasted on these new skate parks, that will be built by fall, is $1.3 million. The skaters will, as usual, go to Redmond or Portland, if they want a real skate park.

Hopefully one day the Park District will get over themselves and stop thinking that is all about the number of skateparks. All skaters want is one true skatepark; bowls are so important to skaters. Dreamland is created by skaters for skaters.

~Julia Ohlson

COTA Elections

As voting for Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) board positions begins, it's time to thank those retiring from the board for their tireless efforts over the past several years. They helped COTA continue on a remarkable run of mountain bike rider volunteering that was hoped for years ago when a dozen or so of Bend's then small mountain bike community gathered at the old Park and Rec headquarters on Pacific Lane to form the group.

That noted, I am concerned that some of those seeking a board position are single-issue candidates. They want more technical/extreme trails and that's it.

COTA's objective (as stated in its mission statement) is to build and maintain: "trails for riders at all ability levels". Trails that have to meet standards set forth by the land managers at the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. It's a collaborative effort not something that the COTA board decides on arbitrarily and executes at their discretion.

~Bob Woodward

Speaking of...

Add a comment