I was very disappointed to read Lexi Bainas’s one-sided attempt at journalism in regards to a perceived battle between hikers and mountain bikers. It reads as an opinion piece for Ian Milne, who obviously had an unfortunate and unusual encounter with a cyclist.
I would venture to guess that this incident had everything to do with the individual’s personality and nothing to do with the actual activities in question.
As someone who regularly enjoys both activities on our local mountains, I can honestly say that I have never had an unfriendly encounter with either a hiker or cyclist on the trails. I am met with smiles and as a general rule, both parties slow down or stop to yield in a polite manner.
I agree that there are some trails that should be designated as downhill cycling use for safety reasons, but they are few and were purpose-built by mountain bikers in the first place. On the flip side, there are definitely spots that should be off limits to biking. A well thought out plan and proper signage will take care of this.
One other thing that bothered me was Rob Douglas’s reference to the “degradation of parts of Mt. Tzouhalem” due to trail building.
While all activities have some impact on the ecosystem, pointing the finger at trail building on Tzouhalem while ignoring the epic destruction caused by development is mind numbing. An entire side of the mountain is a virtual wasteland.
Having been the party that failed to safeguard the mountain before approving the doomed golf resort and it’s resulting eco-apocalypse, North Cowichan council should choose its words very carefully in regards to this subject.