The so-called “Environmentalist”
I’m sure most of you have read about a Texan by the name of David Knape by now. He’s the guy that considers himself an environmentalist. Apparently, that was his excuse for supposedly string wires across trails at neck level, and spreading nails and broken glass on the ground.
This is how you protect wildlife? I was not aware that bikers are a threat to wildlife. I’ve seen deer in the Santa Monica mountains stand a few yards from the trail and watch as a group of us rode by. I’ve come across a coyote in the Malibu hills that walked right down the trail to within 20 feet of me and a nervous friend. He looked at us warily, and lifted a leg to mark his territory (and let us know it was his) before disappearing into the brush. I’ve used my back wheel to carefully push more than one rattlesnake off the trail. Heck, I even nearly soiled my shorts when I came across my first kangaroo in the bush on an early morning ride in Australia. But like all the other cyclists I know, I’ve never shown anything but respect (and perhaps a tinge of fear on twilight rides) for wildlife. And I’ve always kept to designated trails.
Perhaps as his trial progresses, we will learn of Mr. Knape’s credentials as an environmentalist. I can only hope that it involves something other than terrorizing the cyclists and hikers that enjoyed the trails around the Lubbock area. I’m sure that true environmentalists are cringing right now, and trying to distance themselves from this sort of behavior.
Finally, a big cheers to Dewayne Wallace, for putting in the time and effort to catch this guy. His hard work and diligence paid off, and he should be a model for concerned cyclists everywhere. Well done.
It will be interesting to see if the government prosecutes this as vigorously as the guys responsible for the LED advertising devices in Boston. They didn’t hurt anyone, and apparently they never intended to do so. Mr. Knape, on the other hand, clearly intended harm.
If Earth First! claimed to be behind these acts, our government would be braying loudly about “terrorists”. Please, someone explain to me the difference between home-grown terrorists like Mr. Knape, and those foreigners who gladly kill Americans because of their religion or ideology.
I don’t mountain bike much, but I enjoy it. Nevertheless, I understand why many environmentalists oppose mountain bike access to wilderness areas. This in no way excuses Knapes’ actions, of course.
For more about this, Google for “Mike Vandeman.”
Mr. Knape is obviously disturbed and I seriously doubt he’s an environmentalist. Perhaps they should call him the Texas wire-saw massacrer, ouch – that was bad, I know.
Seriously, though, here is an interesting video about the issues surrounding MTB and the environment from Vancouver, Canada: http://www.pdxk.com/crankmychain/2006/12/trials-of-trails.html