Cyclists, equestrians, others at Lord Hill Park getting along

In response to Scott Lee’s Dec. 9 letter to the editor regarding mountain biking at Lord Hill Park: I love Lord Hill Park for many reasons, and I spend a lot of time there. I enjoy hiking, running, mountain biking and working as a volunteer to maintain park trails.

The trails referred to are considered beginner to intermediate trails by the mountain bike community. They typically attract beginner bikers or families with children learning to mountain bike. A small group of volunteers do the drainage work, trail clearing and maintenance of the trail network. I believe that maintenance is what Mr. Lee refers to when he says the trails are “continually made more extreme.” Plus, park volunteers frequently spend time fixing dangerous hoof holes after horses go on trails built for bikes.

Interactions I have had personally with other park users (including equestrians), are overwhelmingly positive between all user groups. As a hiker and jogger, I enjoy using the bike trails occasionally, but I always watch and listen for bikers coming through, so I can move off the trail. When riding my bike, I always watch for hikers or equestrians to keep everyone safe. The mountain bike community does its best to educate bikers about proper trail etiquette such as stopping to ask a person on a horse if they need the bike to be walked and talking to the horse as we pass, so it is not spooked. Of course, there may be a few bikers who are unaware or unwilling to be polite. Just like there are apparently a few equestrians who have a bad impression of mountain bikers in the park.

Mr. Lee’s letter is inflammatory, filled with gross exaggerations and outright lies. Most users at Lord Hill interact without issues, and the Snohomish County Parks Department should not need to waste their time responding to Mr. Lee’s complaints when they could be focused on park improvements. Go to Lord Hill any day of the week, you will see a full parking lot for hikers and bikers while the equestrian lot sits mostly empty. Mr. Lee claims public opinion counts for nothing, but I think he just does not realize his opinion is in the minority.

Jennifer Buckley, Aaron Fulmer, Kurt Fykerud, Adam Lasky, Aaron Barstad and Jon Cowan

Snohomish

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