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.
- 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.