UCCF 9/29/16: Mountain Biking at Watchung Reservation

Pretty much a done deal. Only question is when….


16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by steve on September 30, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    It seems to me that the “me” generation has not matured one bit-bikers,skate boarders,walkers,baby stroller ,dog walkers,horse riders, motorized off roaders all want separate but equal access to public parks -and these so called self policing well meaning organizations can not control their members(or non members)-well documented by persons whom offer their services for free at two small parks nestled between union and kenilworth- bikers (those dressed like mercury) and vandalism are the two most biggest problems-joint use like joint parking does not work!


  2. Posted by Brian on September 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Shared use “does not work?” That’s funny. It works everywhere but Union County.

    Maybe the rest of the state knows something you might not.


  3. Posted by steve on October 1, 2016 at 6:31 am

    In union county most of us are grounded in reality, not la-la land————–good luck !


  4. Posted by Mike on October 1, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    It’s not a done deal. There is much opposition. They might get their own limited separate, unshared trails. Biking was banned in Watchung Reservation over 20 years ago because hundreds of bikers literally overtook the entire reservation and ruined it for everyone else. This time it would be far worse. Despite their hollow promises of trail etiquette, these are bullies on and off the trails. They have plenty of other places where they can and do ride.


  5. Posted by Brian on October 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    “Steve”: Reality — like the reality that almost every other county in NJ allows and recognizes mt. biking? Why do you think that is?


  6. Posted by Brian on October 3, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    “Mike” — you sound an awful lot like Mike Vandeman, the radical environmentalist anti-mt. biking advocate who allegedly attacked riders on one instance with a tree saw and on another with an ice pick. And sir, that is not a complement.


  7. Posted by Mike on October 3, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    “Brian” – You sound an awful lot like Brian Matula, who appears in the above video. Your Bike Stand Rant page reveals a deeply troubled middle-aged man with 20+ years of pent-up anger against Union County officials for curtailing and banning out-of-control biking in Watchung Reservation.


  8. Posted by Brian on October 4, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I think anyone would be troubled by bad or mistaken government policy, and Union County’s current “no biking” policy is certainly an outlier in relation to most other counties.


  9. Posted by Henry on October 5, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    This comment is directed to Steve. I am not part of the me generation, rather part of the boomers, a 40+ year resident of Union county. Would you be so kind as to explain your definition of a public park and why you consider some parts of the public exempt from using public spaces? Mike, I live one mile from the reservation, I clearly missed the time when hundreds of bikers overtook the reservation, perhaps I wasn’t paying attention. But given that, how will it be worse this time? To be clear the reservation encompasses 2200+ acres. On any given day there are fewer than 100 (more like 30 or less based on the small number of vehicles parked adjacent to the park) individuals using the trails. It seems to me there is more than sufficient room for everyone.


  10. Posted by Mike on October 5, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Brian – How disingenuous of you. You likened me to an attempted murderer here on October 3 at 7:16 p.m. And now you attack me on your web page for posting my opinion. I seriously question your emotional stability.



  11. Posted by Brian on October 5, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Point 1: I likened your denouncements of mountain bikers the the alleged attempted murderer’s similar words– for a reason. Vandeman, like you, thinks all bikers are villains — in fact you write so similar, I thought it might’ve been him. Better than even chance, anyway.

    Point 2: I did not “attack” you for posting your opinion,
    what I did was use your denouncement of me as “disturbed” to point out that many mountain bike opponents would rather call critics of the bike ban names than dispute anything they say… Ooop, there you go again, I took umbrage to you calling me nutso and used it as a teachable moment, so I must be “emotionally unstable”.
    I seriously doubt there is any point in arguing with you but thanks for showing us all how many mountain biking opponents think.


  12. Posted by Henry on October 6, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Mike, perhaps you could place your ongoing fight with Brian aside for a moment and explain to me how things are going to be worse in the reservation if individuals on a non motorized mechanical device appear in the reservation. You clearly have an opinion, I am interested in hearing the facts supporting that opinion.


  13. Posted by Mike on October 6, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Henry, it’s very simple. They will multiply in large numbers just like they did in the 1990s but the numbers will be much higher as reflected by the huge increase in the sport. The concept of bikes on trails in and of itself is fine; it’s mountain biking in Watchung Reservation that is not fine.

    Brian, I have not denounced mountain bikers. I and many others are opposed to mountain biking in Watchung Reservation. The intensity of your obsession is reflected in the reckless inaccuracy of your commentary.


  14. Posted by Henry on October 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Mike, I have to disagree, the numbers of individuals cycling has declined overall. All of the shops surrounding the reservation report steep decreases in business. Urban cycling ie citibike may have increased somewhat but overall recreational cycling volume and sales dollars are down. Depending on your starting point, the use of a broad term like large numbers is highly subjective. That it will only go up from there still provides no framework for what is enough or what is too much. I am not sure I understand the statement bikes on trails is fine but it isn’t fine on trails in the Watchung Reservation. I don’t expect to swing you over to my way of thinking but consider this, the reservation is a public space funded by public money. A mountain bike is a mechanical way of traversing this under utilized very public space. The assertion that these machines are destructive as indicated in a poorly constructed letter to the editor in today’s Scotch Plains Fanwood Times is unfounded. If one wishes to maintain this space in pristine condition then I would advocate banning equestrians as well. The hoof marks and fecal matter certainly do not help. What I read from you and a few others are fears unsupported by facts, only emotion. My position is I pay a great deal of money in taxes to the county to support this public space yet am denied use due to a fictional law. What if anything do you have to gain by denying others access? And for the record I don’t own and do not intend to purchase a mountain bike, I just don’t support the concept of others deciding for me what should or should not be done without sound justification.


  15. Posted by Brian on October 6, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    ” Despite their hollow promises of trail etiquette, these are bullies on and off the trails.” and then to say that challenging the ban makes one “troubled” or whatever?

    Yep sounds like denouncement to me.

    You still have not explained why Watchung, a park much larger than many of the other parks in other counties, where riders safely share the trail, cannot handle mt. biking.


  16. Posted by Mike on October 7, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Henry, Your ridiculous assertion that mountain biking has decreased is absurd on its face. And you as a taxpayer are not denied lawful use of the reservation. The law proscribing biking in the reservation is not fictional. It’s Union County Ordinance ยง 115-14 G. Operation in designated areas. No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway, except as a thoroughfare, and no person shall operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk, footpath, footbridge, or bridle path, except those that are specifically set aside and marked for bicycle use. No person shall operate a bicycle in such a manner as to impede vehicular traffic.



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