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Write a Letter to the Editor

One key action that an individual can undertake to promote bike acces is to pen a letter to the editor for a local, regional or even a national publication. Whether there is an access crisis looming, a forest management plan under review or you just want to keep mountain bicyclists in the news, a letter to the editor is a great way to do it. These notes can be short, easy to write and are often printed.

Guidelines

  • Keep letters short. Newspapers rarely print more than 200 to 250 words.
  • Keep letters positive. No one likes reading negative letters. Instead, try to offer constructive ideas or be part of the solution.
  • Email your letters and follow with a paper copy. Newspapers appreciate a digital copy but may require a hard copy with your signature for identity verification.

General Pro-Mountain Biking Points

  • Mountain biking is a low-impact, human-powered, legitimate recreation group with more than 35 million annual U.S. participants (Outdoor Industry Association).
  • Cyclists give back to their local trail systems by volunteering on public land, protecting the environment and preserving open space.
  • The vast majority of cyclists are responsible, considerate riders.
  • Science shows that the environmental impact of bicyclists is similar to that of hikers.
  • The bicycle industry contributes more than $6 billion annually to the U.S. economy (Bicycle Retailer).
  • Off-road cycling is a great form of exercise and helps combat the societal trend toward obesity.
  • Bicycling helps reduce air pollution by getting people out of their cars and onto bikes.
  • Mountain bike tourism contributes to the economic vitality of a community by boosting retail, restaurant, hotel, gas and grocery sales.
  • A united trails community -- one that includes mountain bicyclists and other trail groups -- can be a powerful, effective voice for increased federal, state and local recreational trails funding.

Deflecting Anti Mountain Bike Arguments

  • It is important to judge all trail users by the collective group, not a few inconsiderate people.
  • Mountain bikers have a similar impact on the trail as hikers.
  • Trail damage typically stems from poorly constructed trails, regardless of user type.
  • Trails can be built for all user groups to enjoy.
  • Trails can be designed to control speed and support shared use.

 

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