Friday, March 18, 2016

no clue

Verdant Welkum misses the point here.

As a legal matter --interpretation of statutes applicable to wilderness designation in the USA-- mountain bikes are not expressly prohibited in wilderness.

The whole problem centers around "mechanized" prohibition, and not "mountain bike" prohibition.

If we are literal, "mechanized" means anything mechanical.

Does the legislative history prove "mechanized" meant "mountain bike"?


US Forest Service interprets the term "mechanized" as excluding MTBs.

That's why we are in this situation.

Strangely, mechanical ski bindings, mechanical horse saddle/bit/bridle fastening, mechanical cooking stoves, mechanical backpack fasteners/cinches, zippers on clothing (which are mechanical), shoelaces, belts and suspenders -- these are not seen as "mechanical" such that they enable "mechanized" transportation within wilderness.

Why do you think that is?


We might hope Ted Stroll & Co at STC are on top of this, but I'm not convinced. I see STC functioning like Sierra Club did in its early days, and just as likely to end up shilling for the ideas and values originally meant as targets for dissection and redefining.

I'm not persuaded they'll follow the right path, Stroll is a CA state employee who works as a deferential-to-govt-authority research attorney for CA Supreme Court.

I believe STC will preserve the status quo while pretending to work to change it, just like IMBA has done.


Chet Redweld said...

The comments following Welkum's ramble are amusing, praising him for his thoroughness even though he's not the least bit thorough. Why would a non-lawyer like Welkum need a lawyer's input/insights anyway? He's a writer for fatBIKE, so he must know all there is to know, right?

So unbelievably smug, these progressives in the "industry."

I'm the expert here!, bellowed Welkum, shouting down everyone but offering deference to Ted Stroll as the only person who might know a wee bit more than Verdant on the subject. What if Stroll's not seeing everything because of his own prejudices, Verdant? Ever consider that?

Who cares. It's all about the clicks anyway. Ask Levy, Kazimer, Cunningham.

Chet Redweld said...

Maybe it's because Welkum's a progressive and so he can't see that it's Mountain Lifestyle Progressives who are turning MTBs into the DEMONS OF THE WILDERNESS because Mountain Lifestyle Progressives want a Lion Country Safari/Thomas Kincaid/Walt Disney "wilderness" that is perfectly framed and untouched by the uncouth tires of horrid, unpleasant and very likely blue collar MTB riders.

This is what happens when you work to "grow the sport" to include people who have no freakin' clue about the history of things relevant to where MTBs are ridden.

You think people want to see "flow trails" built in wilderness? Because truly, Verdant, that's the crap you've peddled regarding pedaling.

Chet Redweld said...

"Now that we've grown the sport to include morons who don't give a fig about access and who will turn to some other activity in 18 mos max, we can't really see how we are blameworthy here,"

said the editorial staff of every MTB-related publication, website, etc.

Chet Redweld said...

Easy to confuse "the sport" and "my income related to MTB'ing since I'm in the industry," isn't it Verdant?

Chet Redweld said...

Anyone know Vernon Felton's handles on TGR, vitalmtb and ridemonkey?

Chet Redweld said...

Perhaps the most insightful comment in the PB thread is this:

This thing of having to hire a lobbying firm is such a strange idea to me. Politics should be based on common sense, not lobbying power and money...

Ted Stroll thinks lobbyists are the way to change this, and that's where STC spent a puddle of cash -- on lobbyists.

Poor Ted. Lobbyists, lobbying, same old same old. This is not about legislative persuasion. A lobbyist isn't needed here. What this situation requires is a gutsy no-nonsense lawsuit conducted by someone who has played in the big leagues of white collar big power litigation, not some lowly staff attorney at CA Supreme Court whose whole career is deference oriented, seeking a "lobbyist" to tell him how things work.

Jesus K Riced on a popsicle stick, this situation is so fucked up, and it's baffling how there's praise for Welkum's essay or Stroll's efforts.

Chet Redweld said...

Stroll thinks a lobbyist is needed because Stroll's in CA (other side of country) with no clue how Fed Power works.

If he gave that $$ to me, I'd spend it on writing up the first draft of the position, the core of the argument, the points that must be made, the refutations of hollow authority used by USFS and other FedGov bureaucrats.

Lobbyists. Cripes. As a former lobbyist myself, I think I know what and when is the situation for lobbying success chances -- this clearly is not one of them. You don't lobby when you can sue. FedGov is whimsical on "mechanized" because it hasn't been sued on the Q. Sue, and watch the flexibility arise.

How in Hades can Ted Stroll be the skipper of this ship when he doesn't even know the route?

Chet Redweld said...

The whole flippin' thing reminds me of how, in Missoula, the vast majority of people think MTB is represented by Jen Bardsley/Ride for Tanner, and MTB Missoula.

They think MTB is described and encircled completely by people who just started riding bikes in Missoula during the past 2-3 years. Flatlander transplants who are largely responsible for the trail conditions going south, they're the ones who represent the history of MTB riding in the region. Exactly.

If you self-promote as the regional authority, then you are that authority. Case closed.

Chet Redweld said...

Therefore, Verdant Welkum, fatBIKE magazine, fuchsiabike website, Jen Bardsley, Ted Stroll, Ride for Tanner, various facebook self-promoters: these are the experts on MTB riding in the region!

Good of Verdant to talk to people who live near and ride (or used to) regularly in Boulder-White Clouds.

I'm sure if he tried, Verdant could have found a Mountain Lifestyle Progressive who recently moved to Stanley ID to create a "grow the sport" outlet near the B-WCs, so Verdant wouldn't have had to deal with filthy Idahoans who probably support Republican politicians. I'd wonder if Verdant even knows how to talk to people who aren't progressive.

Chet Redweld said...

He's probably just like Walt Wehner, Wendell Stam, Kevin Bazar, Cory Blackwood: unless you're a progressive like them, you're just an idiot.

Such wise people, "the industry" -- eh?

Chet Redweld said...

We couldn't be bothered to examine the end-point of our grow the sport! mantra and practice. Too much public profile boosting and personal income growing involved. We need MTBs to be more mainstream, and that's what will reverse the whimsical stance on mechanized meaning MTBs and little else.

...said the editorial staff of every MTB-related publication, website, etc.

Chet Redweld said...

If I write for fatBIKE, that means I know political power struggles.

If I work for Kona, that means I know political power struggles.

If I'm a custom frame maker, that means I know political power struggles.

If I'm a trustafarian in Tahoe, that means I know political power struggles.

If I'm a trustafarian in the Tetons, that means I know political power struggles.

...said the idiots who allege that it's everyone else who's an "idiot" on these matters.

dirtspanker@pinkbike said...

It takes lobbyists to get anything done in Washington. They're critical to our political system since few people have the skill and time to devote to getting Washington to change.

Chet Redweld said...


But please feel free to state untruths as if they are cast in stone. Please, do that.

I'm sure you know as much about this subject as Verdant Welkum and Ted Stroll, which suggests you should keep prattling on as if you're the font of wisdom here.

Do you moonlight for AIPAC?

Chet Redweld said...

And here: why WRONG.

Because the solution is not found in what STC is trying to do.

The solution is in litigation, and if Ted Stroll were anything but a staff researcher for a state governmental entity, he'd realize this. Instead, as a StateGov employee, Ted is used to following Polite Process, a/k/a the process that protects the status quo ante.

"No way can you win such litigation," comes the voice of people who believe what STC's chosen strategy suggests is Ted Stroll's belief.

This is why STC will fail: they think it's about lobbying and legislation. We don't need more laws, we need truth about the one that FedGov is relying on -- because it doesn't prohibit MTBs, at all.

bkm303@pinkbike said...

You know this is Washington we're talking about right? Pretty naive, IMO. I don't really see how pooling some money to hire a lobbyist to defend our interests is going to "burn everything down". Lobbyists are there to represent the interests of specific groups. The mtb community is dispersed all over the country and there's just not that many of us. We stand no chance of getting a congressman or senator to write us a bill and fight for us, because they generally have much more pressing issues to deal with that concern more of their constituents. So mtbers have a lobbyist write a proposal and try to get legislators on board. Hopefully, eventually, our lobbyists can get enough people on board to change the laws. It's how govt works.

Chet Redweld said...

I don't know where people like you get your notions on "how government works," but you should shut up while you're on this present tack. You show you know nothing about this issue of MTBs in wilderness, and even less about how FedGov works. You don't need a lobbyist to clarify that "mechanized" is not the same as "mountain bikes, and only mountain bikes." In fact, a lobbyist will make a shitty advocate in this situation. A lobbyist will work the matter to death while achieving nothing, since there's no line of repeat business at stake from STC. "Bill, bill, bill and thanks for the cash, STC!"

Chet Redweld said...

You don't get clarity on, and correction of, the interpretation of "mechanized" by lobbying anyone. Lobbying can't fix that.

Suing USFS for misinterpreting the law is the path. Not paying some smoothies in DC who don't know anything about B-WCs or anywhere else.

thought TV was reality@pinkbike said...


TV is reality for said...

Yeah, I watched The West Wing, there's no way this can happen without a lobbyist in DC arguing for MTBs at the same time he/she is arguing for development of national parks and relaxation of controls on medical devices.