Letters to Editor: July 8, 2015

Get your bike out of there; Get your helmet on your head; Get your definitions straight

No Mountain Bikes

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area (“Fat Tire Temple,” July 1). They are inanimate objects and have
no rights. There is also no right to mountain-bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996 (see mjvande.nfshost.com/mtb10.htm). It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have exactly the same access as everyone else—on foot! Why isn’t that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking.

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course it’s not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited and wrote a review of the research. Of the seven studies they cited, all were written by mountain bikers, and in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning other scientific studies that did not favor mountain biking and which came to the opposite conclusions.

Via Bohemian.com

Bicycle Puffery

All this “puffery” for bikes and not a word about safety (“Let the Good Times Roll,” July 1). Every day I observe cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road, on the sidewalk, not making turn signals and riding with flip-flops and no helmet. Time for the police to crack down on the irresponsible cyclists.

Via Bohemian.com

Mental Health Myths

It was disheartening to see the June 17 cover of the Bohemian titled “NorCal Psycho.” The word “psycho” is a derogatory word used to describe those of us with mental-health challenges. I am sure that the Bohemian did not intend to promote prejudice toward people with mental-health disabilities by printing this cover. Our culture is full of myths surrounding mental health and derogatory language like “crazy” and “psycho.”

The Bohemian is not unique in pairing words like “psycho” with violence as it did on the cover. However, it is a myth that “people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses are dangerous.” According Eachmindmatters.com, “mental illness accounts for, at most,
3 percent of all violence committed in the U.S., and people with serious mental health challenges are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.”

I hope that our community will pay more attention to our language and to challenge the Bohemian to print some of the positive and heartwarming stories from our community about people who have experienced mental-health recovery, and programs in our community where people are receiving help.


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