Locally accessible mountain bike trails are a privilege. Fact. If you live in a place with quality riding right out your front door, then you have a good thing going. Now if you live in a city that has, for years, laid claim to the crown of the the nation’s best cycling city you would expect that with a number of hills and park lands within the city limits there would be a decent set of trails for the countless cyclists that call this city home. You’d expect, that to have the confidence, the audacity, the gall to wear such a crown, to print it on city walls and propagate the message in travel brochures and in-flight magazines you would have a infrastructure for all manner of cyclists. For the most part we do pretty damn well, heckfire we even have a special bike rack for our Zoo Bombers, but the one thing Portland doesn’t have is mountain bike trails, there are those who will try to convince you that Leif Erickson is a MTB track, it’s not, it’s hardly a dirt road. If you can push a stroller on it, its not a mountain bike trail.
Hey I like Portland, I am not going to say love because well Love is a heavy word, but I really like this city. There are so many good things about it, like tons of non-mountain bike things, food things, coffee things, drinking things, book reading things, movie watching things, dog walking things; and the rest of Oregon, fuuuuuuuuu*k, are you kidding me, it’s so good! If you are willing to drive the variety of terrain you can ride on is unreal.
But come ON. Wearing the kingly crown of the Nation’s Best Cycling City without having or supporting proper mountain bike trails, is like someone laying claim to the presidency without actually tallying all the votes because his brother (read snobish society, backwards officials, or obstinate land-use advocates) calls off the recount, the result of which is that you spend the majority of your 20s embarrassed by your president and horrified by the foreign and domestic policies that are being implemented under his watch that will effect world affairs for decades to come. It’s just not right.
Last Monday the last remnants of a semi-legal semi-illegal MTB trail in Portland became fully-illegal.
Ethan Fruniss has the story:
The Riverview Trails have been enjoyed by trail enthusiasts for years. On March 16th the trail system officially become illegal for bicycling.
Located on an embankment between the Willamette River and Lewis and Clark College this little natural refuge has seen light use by college students and vagrants over the years. The primitive trails seems to dead end into muddy ivy covered ravines.
That didn’t hold back Erik Tonkin, local Portland bicycle professional, super shredder, owner of Sellwood Cycles and stakeholder in the Riverview Trails. Erik started riding there on a rented MB-3, 22 years ago on a visit to the college. Since then he and his shop team have hosted a Wednesday Night mountain Bike school that makes frequent use of the trails. You can read more about his stake in Riverview on his blog: Sellwood Cycle
Professional rider and local Charlie Sponsel has been a major steward to the trails, regularly polishing and refining the trails for better flow and fun for the riding community. Charlie is huge part of keeping the trails proper riding condition.
Despite there efforts, efforts that included continued appeal to the local officials, the trails are now illegal to ride. You can read more about it on Charlie’s blog.