May 24, 2022

"[I]n 2019, the tensions between local landowners and [mountain] bikers came to a head.... [A] visiting biker yelled at a landowner for riding a horse on her own property...."

"[When] three landowners pulled their property out of the trail network... which was well within their rights, [it] bifurcated the trails on Darling Hill, and... Kingdom Trails immediately shifted all its marketing efforts into education. It adopted a maxim from a nearby trail network, 'Ride with Gratitude,' to encourage good behavior, and remind visitors that it’s a rare privilege to ride on pristine private land — one they shouldn’t screw up...."

From "In Northern Vermont, Trying to Smooth the Ride for Mountain Biking/The Kingdom Trails Association has built a popular network of biking paths using private land. Now it’s trying to make sure the community is happy, too" (NYT).

It's an interesting process: Old logging roads were connected by making trails across privately owned land. There was a tradition of owners allowing hunters and hikers to use their land, so it was easy, initially, to get permission to make these trails. By 1994, they had "100 miles of carefully built biking routes across 104 landowners’ properties," and it became a vacation destination. That led to tourist-oriented business — bars and caf├ęs and AirBnbs and so on — which caused inflation and didn't really benefit the landowners that the whole system depended on.

How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?

72 comments:

tim maguire said...

[A] visiting biker yelled at a landowner for riding a horse on her own property..."

Require everyone using the trials to pass an "are you an asshole" test first. Most can be identified by their clothing--any biker wearing riding gear that is designed to look like the rider has sponsorship can be immediately ejected as an asshole.

Amadeus 48 said...

Hey, it is Vermont, the state that gave us Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy. Next move: expropriation with minimal compensation. Property is theft, right? Who does that lady on horseback think she is?

Rollo said...

Internet agog over the weekend with the mountain bike murder.

Beasts of England said...

’How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?’

Charge them a trail fee.

Enigma said...

Urban people going to the countryside often treat "nature" as their personal property. Often rudely. Full stop.

I've seen repeated hiker violations for cutting across a private yard when they didn't see the actual trail (which was just a few yards away). Killed grass by the house from so many feet. Police. Threats of trail closure.

I've seen horse owners ride onto private roads and be rude to the owners.

I've seen a small entrepreneur create an unregulated commercial motocross park because of huge $$$ from city people on weekends. Lawsuits.

I've heard of conflicts in the UK about documenting ancient walking paths across private land, and battles to expose/hide the trails before a government deadline.

Human nature. Not a surprise. Always results in lots of signs and rules and lawsuits.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

That is an interesting dilemma, and one that speaks to me personally. We own a large lot that abuts public land and private land with a designated trail. The undeveloped portion of our land includes a well-worn game trail that is also used by hikers, but most often enjoyed by the wild donkeys that roam our hill and the adjacent Reche Canyon area. Our neighbor for unknown reasons started building a barrier to keep the donkeys (and hikers) off a tiny tip of their property that protrudes into a smaller trail connecting the designated hiking/biking/motorcycle trail with the shortcut to Blue Mountain that transects our property.

The wild donkeys were not impressed and kicked the crap out of their brush piles and sticks in the ground that were kind of a dorky version of a picket fence. The neighbor responded by using a rope and larger stick contraption to further discourage donkeys. So the donkeys changed pattern and started cutting through our developed property, walking through my yard stomping the sprinklers and moseying around to access the driveway to get to the other trail. Some linger at the fruit trees for a snack. They crap a whole lot along the way! I had to gently inform the neighbor that the hill they are making a makeshift fence on is not their property, and noted they had removed a survey marker that delineated the property line before they started "constructing" their weird barrier. But because I have trail cameras and they don't, I'm not sure they even understand how many animals and people use that trail.

Kevin said...

How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?

Well it would start with teaching them to be grateful in general.

Which goes against the whole entitlement mentality which is currently being taught.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

We have one trail on our land that leads down to an old logging road and eventually down to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Our neighbors are welcome to wall/bicycle down that trail.

The trail parallels our stream. The stream jumped its bank were the land is flat and now goes down the trail for about 50-ft. This occurs after the stream leaves our property and has reached the County Tokul Forest property.

There was another path on property that went from the road, over the stream and connects with the above path. That path went through the footprint of our house and is now history. There's a parallel path on the property just west of us that people are using instead.

Kevin said...

The 2022 solution is to determine who benefits more from patriarchal white privilege -- the land owners or the mountain bikers.

Once you know that, you know who needs to bow down to whom.

Mr Wibble said...

You can't, because tourists are entitled assholes.

rcocean said...

While most mountain bikers are nice people, there seems to be a significant asshole minority. WHich is why they were banned on trails where I live. too many complaints about speeding bikers or bikers leaving trash or even running into people. They also seem to shout a lot. Whooo! as they go down the hill. "Wow, this sure is hard" as they pump up the hill. "man that was great Dude" - as they talk at the top their voices in the parking lot.

I don't miss them at all.

Goldenpause said...

"How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to 'ride with gratitude' and value the participation of the landowners?" Answer: You will not be able to. There always will be some "outsiders" who think they have a right to be boors on a "cute vacation" in the boonies. Add alcohol and perhaps drugs to the mix and things go even further off the rails. What made Vermonters think it would not wind up this way? It was inevitable. The only real question is whether the promoters of the trails can keep the abuse down to a dull roar so that landowners don't start to restrict of eliminate access.

Bob Boyd said...

Putin is the land owners who changed their minds and the bikers are NATO...

No, wait...the Ukrainians are the land owners and Putin is the bikers only with tanks and shit...

No wait...NATO is the Trail Association and Ukraine is an expensive Air B&B and Putin is the horse...

No...

Hang on, I gotta think about this some more.

Mark82 said...

We have a large biking thing here. Few years back homeowners were complaining about rude, threatening, urinating bikers. Cops set up a big sting, waiting in the bushes to catch a particular guy who would repeatedly urinate on someones front yard and threaten the owners if they said anything. They got thier man, he was a cop.
Its the biking community, probably everywhere. Entitled, holier than thou, virtuous, whatever. Seems like a more common than population percentage of jerks.

Flat Tire said...

For years I rode horseback up two miles of one lane dead-end county road to reach the upper areas of our ranch, sometimes for pleasure, sometimes to check cattle and fences. Traffic consisted of a few locals and caravans of vineyard workers driving at hellacious speeds. A generally decent bunch of guys from rural backgrounds, they'd slow way down and usually wave. The mountain bikers were entitled, indifferent and terrifying. I feel for these landowners.

Paul said...

The SOB hikers don't deserve it.... lock them out. Access only by Written Permission.

BTW.. that is the Texas way here.

Godot said...

So we've moved on from the 'Ugly American' angle, eh?
I smell white metropolitan privilege. On both sides.

J Scott said...

75 annual fee. 140,000 members. That's over 10 million in annual revenue. There's alot of money involved here. 100 a year family fee for residents isn't doing anyone any favors up there.

Michael K said...

Knowing the probable politics of mountain bikers in Vermont, I'm sure they believe that "property is theft."

Kate said...

Either donate or sell the land to some kind of charitable trust that owns the trails, on the understanding that the trail will be maintained for all usage. People will respect clear rules. A wishy washy honor system will fail.

gspencer said...

"How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?"

Can't be done if the droppers-in don't have skin in the game. But when you do have skin in the game, such as paying an admission fee or paying for a bond in the event of property destruction, the attitude changes. All of this is found in the file drawer called No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

Want an example of ingratitude despite all the favors done for her and her family = Ilhan Omar.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If it were me I'd set up a tollbooth. Just a nominal fee. Say 1% of the retail price of your mountain bike.

MikeR said...

Sounds like Disney in Florida. At first Orlando was all excited and eager to make various concessions to Disney to get awesome Disney World. Eventually the city was overwhelmed by underpaid Disney employees using city services for the indigent.

Levi Starks said...

I own a piece of heavily wooded mountain property in Iron county Missouri through which a portion of the Ozark Trail passes.
When I purchased the property 20 years ago I viewed this as a feature.
This last year I received an opt in letter requesting permission for another 10 year easement, and and after a short consideration I of course said yes. Being able to step outside my cabin, and have a virtually unlimited trail to hike in 2 directions offers amazing opportunity. I even leave the cabin unlocked with a a couple of cases of water and instructions to please be sure and shut the door tight. I’ve had hikers take water and leave money and notes, one person even wrote a poem and stuck it to the wall in gratitude.
I feel like it’s win win. The span of a human life is too short to be petty.

Iman said...

“How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?”

Institute a $10 “Gratitude” fee per bike schlepper…

Gravel said...

"How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?"

Easy. One strike rule. Any biker that - ahem - garners a complaint from a landowner is immediately banned from the association and never allowed to return. No appeals. And you must sign an agreement to that effect in advance. They already sign a waiver to join. They pay a membership. There could be somewhat less stringent rules for groups - e.g., if someone in your party catches a complaint, everyone who is in that group catches a suspension. Maybe allow appeals for that.

They may not "value" the landowners in their hearts, but their behavior will improve markedly.

Danno said...

The Kingdom Trail organization should also share some of their fee income with the landowners besides covering other expenses. I see they charge $20 for and adult day membership, straight from their website.

Old and slow said...

"How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?"

Very simple: you charge them to use the trails. Paying for a thing tends to focus the mind on its value.

Karlito2000 said...

They never will appreciate the locals. We saw the same thing happen in the mountain town in Colorado where we lived for over 25 years. The sense of entitlement that they were doing your local economy a favor by being there blinded them to the reality of the destruction they were reeking on the local environment and economy. After 25 years, we left.

CWJ said...

"How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?"

You don't because it's not possible. But I suspect that's what Althouse is implying.

Mark said...

Why should ANYONE give a crap about what happens to people in Vermont?

Not our problem. Especially since it seems to be populated by self-centered jerks.

Owen said...

How do you inspire gratitude in the riders? It shouldn’t be that hard. Maybe some trail signs explaining how generous the landowners have been *and continue to be* in letting this trespass continue. Maybe a trail logbook and electronic surveillance at key points (with signs alerting riders) to remind them there is a latent system of accountability that could be activated to track down jackasses.

Achilles said...

How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?

You are aiming for a polite high trust society here.

Start with giving all socialists and progressives a choice between death or exile.

Then you can work out the details.

Anthony said...

Well, cyclists. . . . .

JAORE said...

Bikers? Gratitude?
LOL

Narayanan said...

How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?
============
charge a super premium for permitting their curated experience

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

It's strange to me that (apparently) there is a great deal of freedom to walk on trails on private property, all over England. There is a rule to leave things as one finds them; if there is a gate that closes with a spring, close the spring behind you. This might be for livestock, for example. One woman has written in the British Spec about her horses being bothered by the tourists.

Narayanan said...

How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?
============
charge a super premium for permitting their curated experience

mikee said...

How? Make the tourists pay to use trails. And give that money to the landowners directly for their land being used.

Temujin said...

Too many vacationers think the entire town, countryside, Inn, people, and animals in their desired vacation spot are all there for the vacationer's pleasure. It's as if it's all The Truman Show and all of us are just actors in a day of your pleasure.

People need to have more respect everywhere. From their own hometown on out. But it's weird watching vacationers trash, demean, snark, and scowl at the places they select to honor with their presence.

I say that as someone who lives in a touristy area and is currently visiting another touristy area. I'm about to toss my coffee cup at a native townie. Watch his reaction.

Ann Althouse said...

They do pay a fee, but the fee may make some people feel entitled to things … eg, no horses.

iowan2 said...

Micheal K, as usual gets to the real issue.

Attitude. A huge portion of the population has no concept of private property rights. The assumption is land out side the carefully plotted city landscape, is really greenspace the world owes them.

Something like, 'gee you have 300 acres of ground, so a strip 30 feet wide for a half mile, is no big deal, just leave us alone and tend to all your other land(you stole or were given to you by rich parents anyway)'

When I grew up we had lots of pheasants. Every pheasant season it was a chore to keep the out of state hunters from wondering on our ground. They just felt it was something they were owed, for some reason.
As a person that does a lot of field scouting, and consulting, I never consider going onto ground without permission. It is just something culturally ingrained in us.

JaimeRoberto said...

I do a fair amount of off road riding. There are tons of roads on private ranches around here that would be a blast to ride, and I often regret that we don't have the right to roam laws like they have in the UK and elsewhere. But if that were implemented, we'd have to change the endangered species laws, because no rancher wants an environmentalist snooping around and planting a rare animal on his land, and we'd have to change the liability laws. And of course we'd have to change the attitude of the bikers on the land. Personally, I'd be happy to pay a few bucks to ride on some of the land around here.

tim in vermont said...

Bass boats were similar for a while. They had this belief that their tournament trumped all other activities on the lake, ignored rules of navigation, sped around in their high speed boats without regard for others, on and on. I called them "Basscar." But organizers began to do some education, and make some new rules for tournaments, and the nonsense came to a stop pretty quickly. It's been years since I have run into a disrespectful bass boater, now it's the pontoon boats, which people drive around the lake like they are. in a van or something, driving around the lake at night with headlights on, etc. I have to remind myself that the pontoon boats are affordable for some people and real boats may not be.

Kevin said...

The span of a human life is too short to be petty.

The Disinformation Police strongly disagree.

tim in vermont said...

"Especially since it seems to be populated by self-centered jerks."

Tell us how you really feel. Lol.

gahrie said...

It's strange to me that (apparently) there is a great deal of freedom to walk on trails on private property, all over England.

It's common in many countries in Europe.

Quaestor said...

How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?

How indeed? Before pondering the question of inspiration, defining the goal is vital. What does "ride with gratitude" mean, and how does anyone, particularly the landowners, decern whether the bikers are complying? Flowery Hallmark thank you cards in the mail?

The problem isn't gratitude or the lack of the same, it's basic economics. The hoteliers and restauranteurs are getting paid by the trail bikers. The trail bikers are getting their pleasure in exchange for their money. The landowners are getting hundreds, perhaps thousands, of whooping two-wheeled yahoos yelling obscenities while damaging the ground without tangible compensation. Pay them enough MONEY, and all is well. Gratitude, howsoever sincere, isn't bankable.

Tim said...

Won't work. My favorite trail, from Black Mouontain to Brady Bluff Overlook to Hwy 68 around Grassy Cove is now two trails, one from Black mountain out and back and one from Hwy 68 to Brady Bluff Overlook, with no connection, but even hikers cannot be trusted to clean up after themselves and respect the private property that had given permission to maintain a trail to the Cumberland Trail Association. So now they built a fence and posted no trespassing signs....and the sheriff of Cumberland County does believe in property rights so unless you know the owner and have permission you best turn around at the fence. Some people are assholes, and ruin it for others. Just keep the trail closed. Give it 5 or 10 years, then you will be able to reopen it for a while.

minnesota farm guy said...

The way you inspire good behavior is by charging for the use of the trails so people have some ownership. It would also provide funds for cleanup and maintenance on private lands. We own acres next to public lands and there is absolutely no way we would allow the public to trespass on our land. It happens, and the reason we know it happens is because we find trash on our land.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

“75 annual fee. 140,000 members. That's over 10 million in annual revenue. There's alot of money involved here.”

No. The Form 990 this organization filed for 2018 indicates they took in only $426,000 for regular memberships and $637,000 for day memberships. It looks like a fun place to ride, but no ebikes except for the disabled. Personally, I prefer a well-maintained rail trail.

farmgirl said...

https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/sleepy-burke-home-to-kingdom-trails-plans-for-its-busier-future/Content?oid=33005703&media=AMP+HTML

Don’t blame Bernie on VT- he adopted us. Not reciprocated by me, that’s for sure.
Seven Days is a cool freebie newspaper w/the finer things of VT featured. There are personals!!! My favorite is the “I spy” segment b/c I’m a foolish romantic.

I lived over there for a while- old stomping grounds: the Packing House. Where have all the good bars and dancehalls gone?

Aggie said...

I don't know about anyone else, but if it was my land, I'd be paving that bike trail with fresh horseshit and posting a sign telling them why their future access is on probation.

Howard said...

In the grand scheme of things on mixed use recreational trails, horse people (usually wealthy white women) are more arrogant and entitled than mountain bikers. They also tear up the trails more, create more mud and dust and leave their road apples to feed the horse flies.

Rory said...

"It's strange to me that (apparently) there is a great deal of freedom to walk on trails on private property, all over England."

I believe that if a trail crosses through a cow pasture, the farmer cannot put a bull in the pasture unless there are also cows there to assure the bull is calm.

farmgirl said...

They aren’t just vacationers- a lot of seasonal people own 2nd homes: to ski, to Summerstay, to weekend.
So, they add value/revenue; but, they also cost locals. It’s not like country folk are super wealthy. House values are astronomical, taxes- hamburgers!!

Also, to be fair- locals are shitty to landowners, too. Dumping garbage, couches(couches!!)- driving in our meadows and stealing our calves( true story).

Michael said...

Mountain bikes do considerable damage to trails and mountain bikers skidding on the downhills create ruts that deepen in rain. They expect walkers and hikers to hop out of the way and delight in nearly brushing them. On challenging terrain many lack the skill to navigate. In general they are a horrible lot especially the urban types with expensive rides that have previously been in the wilds of Prospect park. They are dangerous.

stephen cooper said...

If you are a "landowner in Vermont" you have won a lottery in life.
If you are a biker who wants to commit violence because, on this earth, there are places where people, some of whom have worked hard their whole lives, don't want you destroying the plants that would grow on the bike paths you, in your selfish coolness, destroy, then you have lost the lottery in life ---- you are the bad person, just as bad as the people you, in your coolness, cooly despise. Worse, actually. Have fun on your little trail bikes, you selfish creatures. Repent.

Quaestor said...

They... leave their road apples to feed the horse flies.

Horseflies feed only on blood.

Bunkypotatohead said...

"How do you inspire all the outsiders who are dropping in for a cute vacation to "ride with gratitude" and value the participation of the landowners?"

when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

takirks said...

I live in a tourist-attractive area. Some people are great; some are utter and incomprehensible a**holes that you have to look at and wonder how the hell they got the way they are without someone else having visited massive and egregious violence upon them.

I don't think there's a good way to ensure "proper behavior". Some of the worst a**holes I deal with on the trails are... Locals. Entitled, idiotic, impolite fellow residents who've seemingly never learned trail etiquette to any degree whatsoever. Some of the obvious "tourist" types are really polite, really nice people by comparison.

Root of the whole thing is that there are a lot of people who're just angry, entitled, and arrogant a**holes. Locals and tourists alike, they're there. Only way to deal with them is to just smile grimly and bypass their BS as best you can. The ones I really love are the people who just moved up here a few years back, and start acting like they're somehow proprietors of the whole thing--Few years back, a clot of these jackasses were blocking access into a parking lot where I was trying to turn in off the highway, standing there chatting with each other as though that were the most natural thing to do, in the parking lot entrance. What with oncoming traffic, I was a little PO'ed that they were so damn stupid, so I honked at them to get them moving... Which triggered one of them, who started going off on me about how I was an entitled tourist, and he was going to kick my ass. Apparently, I needed to learn some manners as a guest, in his mind. I'm kinda incredulous, since we've lived in this town since the 1970s, and I've never met this jackass once.

So... Yeah. Locals, tourists, whatever--They're all humans, and that automatically implies a certain percentage are going to be jackasses. Can't live with 'em, can't legally beat sense into them, either. So, do what you can, and keep 911 on speed-dial.

Some individuals just give entire swaths of their fellow community members a bad name. Can't be helped, you just have to deal with them as they are. If y'all think mountain bikers are bad, try rafters... Nothing like finding naked dumbassery on the pristine shore of your riverfront property, wherein you're informed by some drunken snot that they have a right to pull in and crap on your carefully-maintained property. Having witnessed stuff like that at several riverfront properties we've built on for clients, I don't blame any of them for the "No Trespassing" signs or the electric fences along the riverbanks...

deckhand_dreams said...

"[A] visiting biker yelled at a landowner for riding a horse on her own property..."

I suspect there's more to this part of the story. Mountain bikers don't normally yell at people riding horses for no reason. Perhaps it was an overly enthusiastic "good afternoon!". Regardless, let's hope the landowning horseback rider has recovered from her yelling injuries.

deckhand_dreams said...

And for those mentioning trail damage from mountain biking, the most serious damage is caused by riding (or any other use) when the trail is too wet (which does happen).

Monk said...

The Green Mountain State became Blue only after the Big Apple Libs invaded our land. They raped our mountaintops and built recreative expansives of frolic...they stole our cows as a means to line their greedy pockets with their hippy ice cream profits...they brainwashed our children in their silver spooned colleges of woke-mindedness.
They've moved our cheese...they've sapped our spirit.
The Great Spirit of 'Silent Cal' Coolidge has been beaten hollow. Sigh.

TRISTRAM said...

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus, concerning you."

The bikers, association, businesses and land owners all have reason to be thankful. But, being people, they don't share it. Thus is the condition of Man.

Gratitude is a choice, and, hard to generate when you 'pay' for something (vacation, access, time, equipment). Being denied the 'right' is hard.

I blame bad schooling that teach a lot about rights, and little about responsibilities and manners. We are becoming a rude, disrespectful country, and interactions with strangers is faltering and all to adversarial.

You can't make other people act right, but each of us chooses our own actions.

Brian said...

It's been years since I have run into a disrespectful bass boater, now it's the pontoon boats, which people drive around the lake like they are. in a van or something, driving around the lake at night with headlights on, etc.

The headlights are definitely a pontoon boat thing on our lake. It's illegal, but Water Patrol doesn't seem to hand out enough tickets so it continues. My anecdotal evidence is that it's usually a rental, so the owner doesn't know better.

Bitter Clinger said...

Farmgirl said: "Also, to be fair- locals are shitty to landowners, too. Dumping garbage, couches(couches!!)- driving in our meadows and stealing our calves( true story)."

This is key - there are entitled people in every population. Mountain bikers who are rude and ride dangerously on mixed use trails; dog owners who think nothing of letting their dog off leash because everyone loves dogs, right?; tourists rude to locals; locals rude to tourists; etc.

We own property that was previously owned by a forestry/timber firm for decades. It is between two other quite large properties (by eastern standards) that have also been owned by timber firms for decades and still are. These properties also sit between two communities and the timber firms never really cared who hiked, rode, hunted and where they did it. We've kept the main trail open connecting the two larger properties but have tried to eliminate activity on side trails.

It has taken us more than 10 years to get the locals to understand and abide by the fact that this is our private property and they do not have the right to use it as they see fit. We even had to go to a town board meeting to make a public complaint about the local fire department. The FD held an atv "Dice Run" (a several dozen mile trail ride across public and private property) which crossed our property every year and we cooperated with to support the FD after we became owners. Well one year, the FD decided to change the route and used chainsaws to cut open a trail that we had blocked with logs. This was on top of the fact that 1,500 machines riding the same trail cause significant damage. We were effectively donating thousands of dollars per year to the FD in trail maintenance costs and that's how they treat us! No Dice Run on our property the following year!

At the meeting I expressed my frustration, which is likely a similar frustration as the landowners in the article. By the time we pay the mortgage, property taxes (which in NY is as much or more than a mortgage), and maintain the land, I (at the time of this problem) couldn't even own an ATV to ride our own trails myself! Yet the locals spend their money on fancy side-by-side machines (costing easily $16-20k pre-pandemic) rather than land and think they have the right to ride wherever they please.

In addition to all of this are the kinds of things farmgirl mentions - people driving into our property to dump trash and unwanted dogs; vandalism to machinery; trespassing to hunt; etc.

Bitter Clinger said...

deckhand_dreams said: "I suspect there's more to this part of the story. Mountain bikers don't normally yell at people riding horses for no reason. Perhaps it was an overly enthusiastic "good afternoon!". Regardless, let's hope the landowning horseback rider has recovered from her yelling injuries."

Aaannnd...there it is! The entitled mentality that we've been discussing. How about be polite (or STFU if you can't manage that) when someone is gracious enough to allow you access to their private property?

Bitter Clinger said...

deckhand_dreams said:"And for those mentioning trail damage from mountain biking, the most serious damage is caused by riding (or any other use) when the trail is too wet (which does happen)."

This is very true. I think the problem is that people who've never owned and maintained land with trails or dirt roads don't understand what it takes (time/money) and how it's done. They see a newly graded dirt road and think nothing of driving down it right after it has rained. Nice deep ruts and now the landowner has to live with a crappy road or spend several hours and $$ in diesel and machine maintenance to fix it. Some others know, but don't care.

farmgirl said...

In VT the new hot thing is side-by-sides. Like dune buggies, kinda. Idk what they are, but they have trails all over and ordinances to run a lot of the roads. I can’t stand them, but it’s a free country. Since it’s been a wettish Spring, the mud and ruts are visible where their trails meet the highways. What a mess.

Erosion.

Bitter Clinger said...

farmgirl said:"In VT the new hot thing is side-by-sides. Like dune buggies, kinda. Idk what they are, but they have trails all over and ordinances to run a lot of the roads. I can’t stand them, but it’s a free country. Since it’s been a wettish Spring, the mud and ruts are visible where their trails meet the highways. What a mess."

What you have to understand is that for some off-roaders the mess is a feature, not a bug. They will intentionally drive through the mudhole or the muddy part of the trail. Side-by-sides (or SxS) have been around for years but they are definitely getting more popular. They are more of a problem than ATVs because of their weight. They don't cause as much damage as a truck, but a lot more than an ATV. The other problem with them is they open up off-roading to people who otherwise couldn't/wouldn't do it. Some people aren't physically fit enough to ride an ATV and also can't afford or don't want to spend the $$$ on a Jeep. Sorry to sound ableist/elitist but anything that brings more trespassers is bad in my book. Also, SxS can get down trails that are too narrow for a truck/jeep.

Old and slow said...

Side by sides are menace. My kids and I call them shit buggies.