Any bozos on this bus?
Congressman Scoots Popoff of Colorado wants fairness.
In December he expressed concern over Forest Service plans to exclude mountain bikes from a new segment of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, despite allowing hikers and horses there.
"How long will we, the American public, be forced to put up with this leftist recreational regime?" Mr Popoff thundered in a recent speech.
He likened the National Scenic Trails to the Interstate Highway system - both built and maintained with federal dollars, but only one of them allowing tractor-trailer units and speeds over 70 miles per hour (115 kph for you foreigners).
In addition, the Congressman labeled backpackers a public nuisance and a possible health hazard to both those living along the Trail and law-abiding citizens who just want to tear up a little turf every now and then, and shoot at signs along the way.
First, he said, backpackers are too slow, and pose a risk to more normal trail users. "Those scruffy idtiots just can't move fast enough to get out of the damn way," he snorted.
And, he asserted, hikers are "elitists who have all the time and money in the world to wander around aimlessly while the rest of us working poor have jobs to go to, and can only take our Hummers and Husqvarnas out on weekends, and then guess who's clogging all the trails?"
Grudgingly conceding that mountain bikes are honorary machines, the Congressman nevertheless hoped to ban not only hikers and horses from the entire National Scenic Trail system, but any vehicle not capable of sustained speeds of at least 40 miles per hour (65 kph) on level ground.
Next week he plans to introduce legislation to grade, pave, and stripe all trails, upgrading them to meet FHWA Functional Classification (Section IIB) Channelization Guidelines.
With that level of improvement, the Congressman said, trails will no longer be embarassing vestiges of pre-civilization, but they will become national emergency military transport routes, so funding can be provided by the Department of Defense, which has all the money needed to do anything, anyway.
Tipton Urges Forest Service to Allow Mountain Bikes on New Trail Segment near Gunnison and Crested Butte