The real elitists
I think this ongoing discussion and letter writing regarding the Hidden Gems Wilderness designation is very interesting. In general, the mountain bikers that I know are people who favor more wilderness.
But the tone and statements made by mountain bike groups in these letters could be lifted from many of the letters written by off road vehicle (ORV) and snowmobile groups. In general, the cry is elitism, locking up our land so we can’t use it.
As mountain bikes, ORVs and snowmobiles can cost thousands of dollars, who is the elitist here? The last time I checked, all one needs to walk in our backcountry is a good sturdy pair of boots. You can use the land, it’s not locked up, you just have to walk or ride a horse to enjoy it. I happen to enjoy backpacking or walking in our wilderness.
When I am too old or sick to enjoy the backcountry in this manner; I will relax with the peace of mind knowing that these areas will remain quiet and undisturbed.
I don’t really feel sorry for those who complain that because of their physical condition or age they will not be able to enjoy these areas. There are still many beautiful places that the old or infirm can drive to and enjoy. To all of the ORVers and snowmobilers, you have plenty of places to ride your machines. We need places that are left alone. No more motors or vehicles or carbon monoxide. Don’t we have enough of these things in our daily lives? Just get out or off your vehicle and walk.
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Aspen’s dirty downtown alleys are enough of a blight that the city government is taking the initiative to clean them up this week.