Time to Look at the Big Picture

From the Desk of Susie Murphy - Executive Director

"If we want to be treated like adults, we should start acting like it. Adults are patient. They work toward goals in a deliberate manner. They work at addressing problems or using the power of persuasion to convince others to help them change  the situation. They don't be like, 'Working with land managers is hard,'  go  ¯\_(?)_/¯ and head off to hack some trails out in the local park. " ? - CityMTB, Is it Time for Mountain Biking to Put On its Big Boy Pants.

The photo below was taken at a time when rogue riding and rogue building was all there was.  This was a long time ago.  Hate to break it to some folks, but things are not like this anymore.  

Over the past six weeks or so, I have been getting fairly regular reports from many of our agency and jurisdictional partners about illegal trail building and riding around the county. This activity is suddenly very widespread.  Some in North County, some central, some in East County and some in the South.  Blame it on springtime, blame it on new folks in town, blame it on kids, but mostly blame it on ignorance and selfishness.  

Each time we get one of these reports it breaks down the trust that SDMBA has worked to build with our partners since 1994.  This breakdown in trust makes current projects move more slowly and puts future projects, of which there are many,  in jeopardy. 
In certain areas it could lead to us all waking up one morning to have complete trail systems completely shut down to mountain bikes.  

I don't need to preach to the choir here as I know that most folks behaving badly probably aren't SDMBA members or Trail News subscribers.  But here is my ask: 
#1. Lead by example: Ride legal trails -Volunteer for legal build days - Be Nice and Say Hi.

#2. Spread the word and be an influencer among your riding and building friends, that the agencies and jurisdictional staff are watching us. They are watching closely. These actions will have negative effects on us all.  

Spreading the word from person to person is what is going to influence those who feel they can work outside the system.  We don't want to spend our valuable volunteer time out decommissioning illegal trails. We want to maintain what is legal and build new trails.  
Our community of mountain bikers needs to put the pressure on or we are all going to pay a very dear price for the actions of the few. 

Thank you for your efforts and energy in making sure that we can all #shredresponsibly.  

Ride on.
Susie Murphy