Yesterday I made my shop available for the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance (MMBA) to use for a meeting. Some of you may have read in the May issue of Bike that in Montana we have a lot of single track at risk. It’s an ongoing problem here and all over the country. Wilderness advocates want to shut us out of the riding areas that we hold dear. It’s not just about trail erosion, user conflict and other red herrings that are bandied about to divert the argument, it’s about fundamental dogma. The wilderness groups don’t want to share, and that’s the bottom line.
Montana is a pretty individualistic state. Lot’s of people come to Montana because there is lots a space and few people. You can do things your way and unless you are hurting someone else you’re typically left alone. The problem with that is that we haven’t organized a single voice to advocate for the rights of the MTB’s. As the population of the state has grown more and more organized groups are trying to take way our right to ride in our forests.
The MMBA is an effort to unite the population of riders and create a single voice with which we can lobby our interests. We hope that in demonstrating an organized and coherent group which includes a large constituency to the politicians and officials that are making decisions we’ll be able to protect our right to use our public lands to ride.
If you live in Montana, ride in Montana, hope to ride in Montana or support the right to ride in Montana, I hope you’ll take the time to visit the MMBA site and join the mailing list. There is also a group on Facebook called SoMMBA you can join to keep up to date on what is happening.