Mountain Biking’s Future

The future of mountain biking is being born here: In the city, where our kids, and our neighbor’s kids, are being raised. And mountain biking’s next big evolution is not about the bike. It’s about outreach, inclusion, and community. Unconvinced? These pictures tell the story.

We have some work to do.

A few, following an ages-old storyline of privilege and exclusion are working to undermine whether our communities benefit from being able to mountain bike in our neighborhoods. Yes, we can shrug it off and set out for Stub, Sandy Ridge, or Duthie Hill, consuming gas, time, and the environment.

Not so, our kids. They’re at home, either inside on YouTube, or outside, sharing the street with cars. And wouldn’t we all love to sweep work from our minds with a good, weekday evening romp on dirt? It doesn’t have to be world class to be healthy and healing.

The only thing needed to be an advocate is your personal story about how our sport changes life, bringing joy, health, and a greater sense of well being. The best advocates are not Advocates.

And the opportunities are readily available: Attend an Off-Road Cycling Master Plan (ORCMP) open house. Provide input via the ORCMP Interactive Map. Speak up at the next ORCMP Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting. Engage in Metro’s Gabbert Butte Master Plan. Participate in the Dirt Lab’s opening at Gateway Green as a volunteer or rider.

Or just befriend everyone you meet on the trail, regardless of their mode of recreation.

We’ve been gifted with opportunity. Is it time to pay it forward? For urban mountain biking in Portland, it may be #nowornever.