Lynn Valley B&B Receives Email from Anti-MTB Activist

Normally I wouldn’t give a guy like this more press since that’s exactly what he wants, however the response to the email is so well written I had to post it. So I’m going to mention the activist’s name as little as possible so the search engines favour Lynn Valley Bed & Breakfast instead

Before I post the letter, I thought I’d share a few links so you have a better idea of who this activist is. He is notorious in California and was recently charged with assaulting a mountain biker with a handsaw. You can read all about it here.

He is also big on the email campaigns and trolling different mountain bike forums. One site went as far as posting a FAQ section on the guy. It gives some more insight which you can read here.

Now that you know who I’m talking about, here is the letter he sent to Lynn Valley Bed and Breakfast. It is also the same letter he emails and posts everywhere.

From Mike Vandeman, Ph,D

Frankly, I think that your support for mountain biking is disgusting.
How can you have so little concern for the health of the land,
environment, wildlife, and other trail users???

Is this the legacy you want to leave your children and later generations?

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are
inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to
mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1994: . 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 on mountain biking impacts (see ). I found that of the seven
studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2)
in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to
come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously
avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did
not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et
al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently
incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain
biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them,
but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills
small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife
and other trail users out of the
area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of
nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s good about THAT?

For more information: .


I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to
humans (“pure habitat”). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8
years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)

Please don’t put a cell phone next to any part of your body that you
are fond of!

And here is the response:

Dear Mike,
Many thanks for your uplifting letter, whilst in no way in agreement with you I applaud the amount of research and passion you have put into your fight to end mountain biking; a sport clearly invented by the devil to bring the planet to an end. I must point out that, whilst I support mountain bikers totally, I am providing a paid service for them and must remind you that any advertising is good advertising. In your desire to chastise me you can only be adding to my positive promotion, as I intend to post this on my blog and as many others as I can.
I would not dream of even laying down a counter argument, having read your biography I am in awe of your astonishing list of scholastic achievements, I cannot boast of any myself, having instead spent the time providing for my family, and trying to build a business which I can leave, as a legacy, if you will, for my children.
I hope you have found the time to research our local trails and biking fraternity, coming from California you may not be aware that we Canadians actually give a damn about our country, and changes to nature are done with respect and forethought. As you are keen on hiking and camping I am interested in your ability to enter the wilderness with no “inanimate object” - naturally you leave your tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment and toilet roll behind then?
I notice your comment that mountain bikers are capable of walking, I am not sure the Canadian Paraplegic Association would agree with you but by all means please deny the thousands of para and quad mountain bikers the pleasure of those trails, how dare they have the same rights as us!
We are sorry to hear of your alleged recent arrest for assault with a deadly weapon, hitting a mountain biker with a handsaw was a little extreme, perhaps you should have used something with less teeth, like a raccoon or a bear - something animate at least. Hope that works out ok for you, don’t put it on your resume though, you don’t want to teach kids about the rough treatment of people do you?

So thanks again for your support, and thanks for your P.S. about my health and cell phone technology - if you are ever in Vancouver, BC, Canada (although with a criminal charge you not only are not welcome but may not get in) you can stay at the Lynn Valley Bed and Breakfast free of charge; I have a couple of old cell phones here, I will show you which parts of your body they best belong in.


If you’re heading to the North Shore to do a bit of riding and need a place to stay, please check out Lynn Valley Bed and Breakfast at They are mountain bike friendly! They even got a great write up in the North Shore News lately.

6 comments for “Lynn Valley B&B Receives Email from Anti-MTB Activist

  1. Stewart Gunyon
    October 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Brilliantly crafted letter, well done! Thanks for posting this, T!

  2. October 4, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Looks like the email war has only just begun! I just received a heads up that there is more… Keep going back to this link to see the latest:

  3. Katie Drechsel
    October 4, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Brilliant! I hope this guy is NEVER allowed entry into our country - what a whack job.

    Love the reply from Lynn Valley B&B understated, educated and brilliant.

  4. @PhillConnell
    October 5, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Excellent response! It’s possible to ignore many nut jobs, but not this one. I wonder how people get themselves such a distorted view of reality, I really do.

  5. Steve
    October 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Great! Very little point in arguing sensibly when someone is that full of hatred, but just maybe he might get bored of it eventually.

    I reckon I know what the order is in terms of what does most damage to the trails, but who cares? A trail is already ‘damage’ to the environment if you want to get pedantic, so what does it matter who uses the trails. In the UK we can measure trail damage by walkers, MTBs aren’t allowed on footpaths & although there is a small amount of disregard to this, 99% of traffic on a footpath will be feet. I’ve seen steep trails that used to be 6 feet wide turned into 30 feet wide by boots scrabbling for grip. Riding a bike down the same trails would only compress the trail & prevent erosion. This isn’t for Mike, he’s past arguing with, but if any bikers were tempted to feel guilty there’s no more need than for any other type of trail user.

    In the UK, in 20 years of MTBing I’ve met 1 angry walker, that’s all. And it seemed like they were against anything that looked like fun…

    Oh, and I’ve not lost the ability to walk quite yet, but I’m working on it…

  6. AZ Rider
    October 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Excellent response. I doubt Vandeman will spend any time in jail, unfortunately. I can guarantee you that the next time my family visits BC, we’ll be staying at the Lynn Valley B&B. I want to thank Vandeman for bringing this fine establishment to my knowledge.

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