600 mile extension to the Vt. bike path

Mountain bikers across Vermont have unified as a statewide group to open biking trails throughout the state to group members.

This plan was coordinated by the Vermont Mountain Bike Association.

The association is a nonprofit membership organization that advocates for expanding mountain biking opportunities in Vermont.

Their expansion plan will provide access to over 600 miles of mountain bike trails.

ÒThe new membership platform means all riders will pay the same for membership and have access to the full range of legal trails throughout in Vermont,Ó said Tom Steussy, the associationÕs executive director.

It also means that there will be significantly more and better riding opportunities for riders, Steussy said.

ÒMy parents never drove me to activities or friends houses; they expected me to bike places,Ó first-year Elizabeth Rummel said.

Rummel said she would describe herself as an avid mountain biker.

She said there are those who feel as though mountain biking accelerates erosion, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, and is ultimately, Òunnatural.Ó

In response to this argument, Rummel said, ÒI think that mountain biking is no different than hiking.

ÒPeople are enjoying nature in both activities,Ó she said. ÒMountain bikers enjoy the outdoors and nature, we have no reason to destroy it.Ó

Statewide membership for the trails will be $49 for the riding season.

To sign up for membership or to get more information visit www.vmba.org.