Mountain bikers in Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
GARDEN OF THE GODS, COLORADO- Some bastards don’t give a shit about ecology, they’ll enjoy nature as they ruin it for everybody else. These mountain bikers were despoiling a completely off-limits terrain on Sunday, and fortunately we had cameras handy.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
Mountain bikes are allowed only on the bike trail system around the South Parking Lot, in the SE corner of Garden of the Gods. And there, bikes are to follow special rules, including never to go off the trail. When we encountered these five, they were descending the rock formations completely off-trail, well NW of the Palmer Trail.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
To be fair, we were straying from the trail ourselves, even from the permissible “social” trails which require added diligence to avoid stepping on plants and loose soil. We encountered these mountain bikers riding directly on the rocks.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
They moved in this order: Mr. Black, Mr. Blue, Mr. Grey, Mr. Orange, and Ms. White.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
The attitude was congenial, probably due to the surprise of the encounter, and their being preoccupied with negotiating the descent. But we were very deliberate about snapping incriminating evidence.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
Immediately after they passed us and disappeared over the ridge, they stopped in a concealed low area just before the Siamese Twins rocks. They looked concerned that we might have gone to seek the park authorities.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
Seeing that we’d caught up with them, as opposed to having gone the other direction, the bikers may have surmised that we didn’t pose an immediate risk. They resumed their ride along the rocks to the Siamese Twin Trail, and down to the Springs Canyon Trailhead.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
From the Spring Canyon parking lot, they could most inconspicuously join the paved traffic on Garden Drive.

Garden of the Gods mountain bikers
The question of course arises about what to do with these pictures. Deliver copies to the park administrators? Post them here? Search online for other pics with which to ID these mountain bikers from their attire and bikes? All three.

2 thoughts on “Mountain bikers in Garden of the Gods

  1. The mountain bikers were riding off limits. There’s no arguing that. I also don’t agree with riding off trail.

    However, if they were on the trail and weren’t skidding their tires there should have been little impact. Allowing mountain bikes in the Garden of the Gods would have a lot less impact than horses that are allowed on many of the trails.

  2. The trails themselves are fragile.

    Next time you do volunteer work there, note the large number of “floodstoppers” where gullies are being washed alongside the trail, and the park service is filling the heads of them with branches and leaves.

    Constantly. And it might be a losing battle.

    That’s from people taking short cuts, sometimes on horse or bike, a lot of times just on foot.

    The trails themselves started as deer and bear trails. Now the deer and bears and other large wildlife are diverting their normal traffic in deference to the human traffic on the marked and maintained trails.

    To see the beauty and commune with God and Nature you have to take it at regular walking pace.

    Pushing the limits on what you can do on the roads and trails and ESPECIALLY what’s forbidden on them, will make the Beauty and the nature go away.

    They weren’t there to enjoy nature, they were there to enjoy the ride.

    The difference is more than subtle.

    To cherish the mountain, really, you should ride the Rampart Range road from eco-zone to eco-zone, go no further out on vehicles than the circle roads marked for camping.

    Any further, dismount, lock your bike to a tree (What do you mean you can’t find a suitable tree for that **looks all crazy upside your head**?) and walk.

    It’s better for you better for the trails and better for the manitou.

    REALLY cherish the mountains. Don’t kill them. And if you’re doing something that you didn’t know could kill them, and somebody tells you, it’s a “Hey, brother, we’re all together on this, man, just try to dig it, yeah?” and not a generalized condemnation.

    It used to be thought that the rock and trees and skies and seas were simply too vast to be destroyed.

    About the time people woke up in shock and decided to save the few remaining tetonka (buffalo) there were three remaining Passenger Pigeons. Three…

    Out of several billion.

    Because people didn’t want to believe that merely “harvesting” a few dozen at a time to help put meat on the table could possibly drive them to extinction. “extinction” was a hotly debated term in the same level of discourse as Global Warming is now.

    A LOT of very influential thinkers didn’t believe that extinction of an entire species was even possible.

    …and then…

    They found out.

    The last two of the passenger pigeons were male.

    Now, the notion of building specifically bicycle trails through might have merit. How they’ll be maintained and enforced would be a difficult problem.

    One of the big problems is if we assume that we’re more responsible and take better care than others to keep our tires on the trail and our butts off the bushes.

    It works that way with a lot of things, “Responsible” gun owners in Pennsylvania (iirc) including a chief of police, and Certified Firearms Trainers, had a Machine Gun the Pumpkin promotion to demonstrate how safe assault weapons are in “Responsible” hands.

    They gave an Uzi to an eight-year old and the rest is tragic history.

    The lumber and oil and mineral extraction companies are now advertising that they’re responsible users of the land and They’ve Got a Plan, man…

    A lot of it involving the land just off the Garden of the Gods.

    A lot of it actually is ON the Garden of the Gods, like that stupid castle General Palmer built for himself, to defy the Indians.

    Cedar Heights is on the Garden of the Gods too, the developers boast much that they, too, are Responsible Builders, and they, to defy the mountains, have crews out regularly to repair the retaining walls they had to put in to keep the Modern Day Glen Eyries from sliding down the mountainside.

    And still babble about how Sustainable their abomination is.

    This is kind of a blunt force way of saying “Wake Up, brother” but if you want more information on what “The Deal” is on Garden of the Gods, the Ute Nation was given guardianship of it by treaty.

    The same treaty General Palmer is infamous for breaking.

    There’ll usually be a Ute medicine man or two up at the trading post.

    Sometimes a Cheyenne. These dudes (and dudettes) can give you more information about WHY? than I ever could.

    Peace out, my brothers.

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