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[RC] horrible story/sharing the trails - education is the answer - Mary Maynard

I grew up in Santa Barbara and rode all the front country and back country trails frequently. I know the ruggedness of the trails first hand. I moved away about 10 years ago and at that time bicycles and horse safety issues were already a hot topic with both groups. I had similar experiences with bikes flying down the trails around blind corners directly towards me. It is by sheer luck that I did not lose my horse's life or my own. At that time I wrote a letter to the S.B. news press and sent copies to all the bike stores. I am a avid cycling enthusiast ( I have worked building racing bikes, toured the U.S. on bikes, was a bicycle courier, and a spinning instructor ). I know and feel myself to be a part of their group too.
I think education is the answer. We have to share the trails, it can work but it takes education of cyclist on the proper etiquette. There is a large cycling community in Santa Barbara most are extremely polite and most put in many hours making and maintaining trails. However there are always going to be some out there who don't know the rules or behave without regard of the rules. We need to continue to take every oppertunity to educate people. I really believe that it has improved and will continue to improve. Working together is the only way to ensure continued progress. So take some time from your busy lives and write a letter to your local newspaper, send copies to bicycle shops in your area or join a group of cyclist who are building trails and spend the day talking with them about the issues of saftey.
My heart goes out to the woman who experienced the loss of her beloved horse, but her letter to us is a step in correcting a wrong. Now we as a group can take it upon ourselves to help educate the public that share our trails. Our goal should be to see this loss of life never occurs again.
Mary Anne Maynard


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