The MDJ article on new mountain bike trails left the impression that the use of mountain bikes in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area was a positive thing while in fact they are a disease of the forest.
The mechanical effects of mountain bikes on a park include trampling, destruction and mortality of ground-level vegetation on undeveloped off-trail land, and erosion and disruption of animal ecosystems, leading to added stress and consequent affects on wildlife.
Bikers tear up the floor of the forest because mountain bikes are more studded than regular bikes. They turn the ground into a muddy mess. Like a virus, the mountain bikers do not realize the damage they do to the forest as an organism, they are just out trying to have some fun and they go too fast to notice what they are doing. But the sellers and renters of mountain bikes who profit from it are aware of the damage and are just abusing the public resources by lobbing for more of the activity.
It would be better to just set up some mud hills on pasture land where the damage could be minimized. God made nature and feet but He didn’t invent the bicycle.