President’s Message – Love in the Mountain Bike Community

Mountain bikers recently submitted public testimony to the Parks Board about the Off Road Cycling Master Plan (ORCMP). Many NWTA members shared their testimonies with NWTA’s advocacy committee. 56 members wrote 19,894 words worth of comments on the ORCMP.  Mountain bikers talked about community and family, about access and stewardship, about nature, and about opportunities to enjoy nature on their bikes. They also spoke of love for the city they live in, and love of the sport of mountain biking. Mothers wrote about trail building with their children. Fathers wrote about safe outdoor activities in nature for their families. Retired people wrote about nature opportunities for youth in the city of Portland. Overall, the message was supportive toward the ORCMP, but many had reservations about the fact that the plan called for the exclusion of mountain bikes from existing trails, and did so without justification or consultation. A common theme was that the ORCMP should be approved, but with the caveat that it should go even farther than it does to provide opportunities in Forest Park. Many of the testimonies called for the city to fully fund a comprehensive trail plan as part of the ORCMP.

Members also told stories of cities they lived in that provide off-road cycling opportunities and shared trail access to their residents – cities such as Vancouver BC, Christchurch New Zealand, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Tucson, Deluth, Boulder, Santa Monica, Bellingham, and Lincoln Nebraska !!! Portland is on the cusp of joining other cities that have found a way to create off-road cycling opportunities. Thank you to everyone who gave testimony, and to everyone who shows up on April 3rd at the Parks Board Public Testimony. Keep the pressure up.

 

Bob Lessard, President

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