Well, I’ll be damned.

It was six years ago today when AHTBM had its debut post.

August 2009? Is that six years?

Not only do I not give a shit about anyone but myself, but I’m super terrible at math.

W.S.A.T.U has been going on since 2011, which I guess is five years, I’ve been in business for six, and Underbike has been happening for seven.

Or nine if you include the first two Blue Collar parties.

Well, Shiite… Isn’t that something else? I guess in that case, happy birthday to me. Whoda thunk I’d have made it this far? Not me, that’s the most for sure.

Certainly while we’re on the topic of Underbike and all things related, Ruben from The Backstage just sent me an email with a link to a Facebook page he assembled for the event.

If that doesn’t mean this dumb thing is finally legit, I don’t know what does. I’m not entirely sure what purpose this serves… I guess to give them some vague notion of how many people to expect. Or rather, how many people to expect who use Facebook, which seems pretty worthless.

Either way, we’re set to have the party just the same;
I’m especially excited for this thing to happen, because I very much like the band, and I like seeing people who I don’t get to but a few times a year.

Not that an invitation is necessary, but If you who is reading these words have an interest in attending the party, please feel free to attend. The only rules are to arrive wearing white and black, and to not be a dick. Pretty easy stuff, if you’re most people.

Now then, let’s get down to business.

As I said at the conclusion of Friday’s post, I attended a public hearing regarding the potential inclusion of bikes on East Bay Watershed land, at which people sat inside and wore helmets;
IMG_3973 (1)
From the opposite corner where I was sitting, it looked like this;
I positioned myself near the door, which I liked, because I had to make my escape after about an hour and a half of proceedings.

It was interesting to hear both sides on the matter, and truthfully, out of the gate, the Sierra Club member and equistrians made far more compelling points than the initial cyclists who spoke did. When I’ve been to meetings like these in the past, the bike riders present generally seem inarticulate, unorganized, and incapable of looking at the big picture. The first few who spoke at this meeting were no exception. However, as time passed, a more well rounded selection of individuals spoke, and I felt secure in making an Irish goodbye.

Now then- My opinion of bicyclists in general, as unpopular as this may be, is not a very high one. The same goes for dog walkers, and equestrians. Until we all prove that we can work together, and peacefully co-exist, and put in equal effort in taking care of the trail networks and open spaces that are available to us, then opening more, and certainly land that’s pristine and in some cases as ecologically fragile as this is, is just probably not such a good idea.

We’re all guilty of acting like assholes on the trail, but none of us think so because we’re all a bunch of entitled dickbags. Anytime you see rutted out, and pock marked trails covered in road apples- That’s equestrians. Any time to see blown out corners, breaker bumps, ever-widening singletrack, cut switchbacks, etc, that’s cyclists. Any time you see a pile of bagged or unbagged shit, that’s dog walkers. None of us are policing ourselves, because we’re too busy policing each other. It’s a profoundly elemental lesson that we first learned as children. Until we take care of the toys we have, we don’t get more.

Secondly, as one commenter pointed out, in the East Bay Regional Park network there are over a thousand miles of trails available to Bay Area cyclists. Opening the watershed only ads an additional eighty.

Certainly, opening the remaining stretches that would complete the Bay Trail I think would be great, as would be lifting restrictions on fire roads, but that’s just my opinion, and like assholes, I have two.

Ultimately, and as was impressed upon our group over and over, the primary goal of the watershed is to maintain the health and wellbeing of the water system, as well as the ecosystem. Human beings in mass tend to do nothing but screw stuff like that up.

If that’s what the eventual outcome would be, and we can’t prove that we can take care of what we have, then I say we just continue to keep the additional space closed.

Like I said- I figured my perspectives wouldn’t be very popular ones.

There will be more meetings, and as one board member pointed out, most likely nothing will come of this until the new year at least. If this is a matter that is of concern to you, or you’d like to throw your two cents into the discussion, feel free to send an email to watershedmasterplan(at)ebmud(dot)com.

You know that sometimes it’s not all good times over here, and getting political is part of what we do. Well, obviously today is no exception, and I’ll continue with the rhetoric by declaring my support for an individual who has just as much business being president as any of the other ‘candidates’. (Stein and Sanders being excluded in that statement.);
Care to declare your support for Deez Nuts?

No seriously- We as a country are doomed.
With that cheery thought rattling around in our brains, let’s move on to a remaining topic or two.

It was during the Pro Challenge two years ago when I took a glam photo of Michael Bussman getting sexy along side of the USA Pro Challenge just outside of Ft. Collins (check this week’s header photo). In the time since, a few others have joined in and contributed their own.

Strangely I’ve not seen evidence of such antics this year. That is until a couple days ago when until Dave tagged me in his Instagram feed;
It’s so ridiculous, and so stupid, but most of all, it’s so sexy.

And while we’re on the topic of doing dumb stuff, I should remind you that there’s just one week left in the hot dog Photoshop contest;
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Take this image of a hot dog (or a different one if you prefer) and patch it into the scenario of your choice like so;
lukeandmasterdog copy
These took me all of about four minutes to complete, and though I’m not eligible to participate in the contest, if I was, I’d already be in the running.

So get your computificator warmed up and get cracking. If I were to ask for any kind of birthday present, it would involve nothing but hot dogs.

Spread this like it's sick

Leave a Reply

9 Responses to “Well, I’ll be damned.”

  1. Troy B. August 24, 2015 at 6:18 am #

    Have to agree with your perspective on watershed protection. The tragedy of the commons is in effect, in too many beautiful places.

  2. K August 24, 2015 at 6:18 am #

    don’t you need water to have a watershed?

    also typically cycling groups do more trail work than anyone else. maybe its time to just do trail work rather than bitch about it. also imba’s trail solutions are terrible and usually involve re-grading slightly eroded singletrack into a 3 foot wide trail. not helping anyone with that one, imba.

  3. David August 24, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    First off- congrats on making it 6 or 9years. That speaks volumes of your ability as a wordsmith to hold people’s short attention span. I do wish I could partake in your hotdog PS challenge, but I noticed just yesterday, that the battery in my computer has tried to escape the confines of its plastic prison.
    I wish you another 5 or 11 years with this endeavor. I know I have enjoyed it

  4. Davey Simon August 24, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    With friends like these you don’t really need enemies. I guess kudos for going to an advocacy meeting. High five. “Thousands of miles of trails available in the Bay Area are available to cyclists” is misinformation you shouldn’t be spreading around. Not only is is completely untrue it is incredibly damaging. In Marin narrow trail access is limited to 30 miles of 356 miles of trail. That is less than 10% and the East Bay has an even worse ratio of narrow trail access. Just tell me one thing? Where are these trails? It’s sad you aren’t able to get out on the bike, because you really need to clear your head. Maybe this will get some sunshine through the dark clouds: http://www.meetup.com/FATRAC/events/224561433/ Cyclists taking care of trails. Nearly every weekend. And yes, I’m still working on a website to centralize trail building, MX and advocacy issues.

    • Logan Sholar August 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

      Mr. Simon,

      You sound very passionate about your cause. You also sound angry. You are the last person I would want representing my interests (as an avid cyclist) in a room full of people that already think cyclists are a-holes. The quote that you put in your comment is not the words that Mr. Stevil used. He said “in the East Bay Regional Park network there are over a thousand miles of trails available to Bay Area cyclists.” The information at the link in that quote supports that statement. So now, you are the one that appears to be spreading misinformation which is what you accuse him of doing, and that is another reason I would not want you to represent my interests as a cyclist. Did you go to that public hearing? I’m hoping and assuming you didn’t, and if that’s the case, then Mr. Stevil is already doing more than you to further the availability of trails to cyclists. This blog is written by someone who regularly advocates for participating in trail work and has documented the trail building efforts in which he has participated. I think it would be a good idea if we all tried a little harder to understand one another before accusing people of wrong doing unless you’re just looking to start a fight. Good luck in your efforts, but please think hard about what you say and how you say it when you are in a position to be seen as speaking for others. Less is more is usually a good place to start.

      PS – if you’re trolling, you got me. Dang it.

      • Stevil August 24, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

        As Logan pointed out, I didn’t say thousands of miles of trails. In the 119,000 acres of East Bay Regional Park land, there are in fact over a thousand miles of roads and trails. 1,250 in fact, if you want to get into specifics. How many of those are rideable? That I’m not sure, but my statement was based on information presented at the meeting.

        • Davey Simon August 24, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

          Saying that there are over 1000 miles of trails “available to cyclists” is extremely misleading. I’m taking issue with the “available to cyclists” statement. There are simply not (and this is a direct quote): “as one commenter pointed out, in the East Bay Regional Park network there are over a thousand miles of trails available to Bay Area cyclists.”

          What I fail to understand is why someone would effectively take the same stand as the Marin Conservation League or Marin Horse Council on bike access on trails. Meaning, equating a fire road or paved bike path with a single track. These things are not equal as we all have experienced as cyclists.

          Off road cycling advocacy efforts have been damaged for years by statements like this. Little old ladies prattle of how many miles of fire roads there are and why open up the trails. However many of these fire roads are too steep to be ridden either direction by the majority of cyclists, many featuring grades above 30%. Nevermind the 15MPH speed limit, the baby heads or the wheel deep rain ruts.

          I think it would be a mischaracterization to say that I am angry. I’m just really disappointed. While I don’t know the exact trail milage of bike legal trail in East Bay Park lands I really doubt it would add up to more than 40 miles of single track. 40 miles would probably be a significant improvement.

          • Stevil August 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

            For the sake of full disclosure, (for anyone who cares) Davey and I have been in contact for a good bit of the afternoon regarding this topic, and we’ve discussed the matter in fair detail. The short version is I’m fully supportive of continuing the discussion and efforts regarding opening trails in East Bay Regional Parks, as opposed to starting at square one in discussions regarding opening EBMUD watershed land, and was the foundation of today’s offered perspective. I’ve summarized it a bit more in Wednesday’s follow up. (Again, for anyone who cares.)

  5. reverend dick August 25, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    Tangent: I’m sitting at the computer, reading this, and I notice my wife has switched the WSATU calendar page from August to September a week early…I guess the image was just too beautiful to see any longer.