Mountain biking is another outdoor activity that we love to do in Bend. And we have some of the best trails in the country. However, mountain biking can have negative environmental impacts if we don’t recreate responsibly.
Trail Erosion: One of the primary concerns surrounding mountain biking is the potential for trail erosion. Repeated use of trails by bikes, especially during wet or muddy conditions, can lead to the erosion of soil, loss of vegetation, and degradation of the natural habitat. The accelerated wear and tear can result in widened trails, increased sedimentation in nearby water bodies, and disturbance to sensitive ecosystems.
Wildlife Disturbance: Mountain biking can inadvertently disturb wildlife, especially in areas where riders share trails with diverse animal species. The noise and speed of mountain bikes may startle or disrupt animals, causing them stress and potentially altering their behavior. This disturbance can have long-term consequences for both wildlife populations and the delicate balance of ecosystems.
Vegetation Damage: As mountain biking gains popularity, the risk of vegetation damage also increases. Uncontrolled riding off-trail or through sensitive vegetation can trample or uproot plants, disrupt fragile ecosystems, and hinder natural regeneration processes. This damage can impact the biodiversity and aesthetic value of the surrounding environment.
Waste Management: Mountain biking involves the use of equipment, supplies, and energy sources that can contribute to waste generation. Disposable water bottles, energy bar wrappers, and discarded bike parts can find their way into natural areas, polluting the environment and disrupting local ecosystems. Furthermore, the carbon emissions associated with transportation to and from trailheads can also contribute to climate change.
There are many things to consider when mountain biking and recreating outdoors. One way to mitigate damage is to stay on the trail. This prevents further damage to the environment including vegetation and wildlife disturbance. Furthermore, remember to take all trash that you may have back out with you and dispose of it responsibly. Pack out what you pack in!
Phil’s TrailNow that you know some of the basics of being environmentally friendly while mountain biking, where should you go in Bend? Phil’s Trail is a great place to start with trails that vary in difficulty, making it accessible and fun for everyone. It’s also available to hikers, runners, and is dog friendly so you can bring everyone along for some fun. The best part about Phil’s Trail? It’s close to Mountain Burger to relax and enjoy Après Bike after a day on the trails!