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Not allowing night use is a waste of trails

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I am pleased that New Times decided to publish an article (“Path less traveled,” May 18) regarding night riding and night trail use. However I am not pleased that the article was heavily weighted toward the cons. It would have been more representative to include additional input from the mountain biking and trail running community. After reading the article, about 70 percent of it seemed to highlight the negativity toward night use of the trails.

I have been a competitive athlete most of my life, and I have been competing in mountain bike races for the last seven years. When the sun sets before 5 p.m. it is impossible for anyone who is working to make it out for a ride. I am a member of Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers, a Land Conservancy of SLO County member, and Pismo Preserve bike docent. I take time to volunteer for these groups, and all my efforts go to waste in the fall and winter.

I live in the Five Cities area and work in Santa Maria, therefore it is a large burden and environmentally unsustainable to drive from Santa Maria after work for more than an hour to get to Montaña de Oro just to get in an hour of riding and then drive 45 minutes home. When racing is your life and mountain biking is what your daily routine consists of, being stripped away of the basic right to enjoy your hobby is wrong. I strongly oppose the dawn-to-dusk regulations on the trails I have worked hard to build and maintain. It’s a waste of a trail network that otherwise could be enjoyed by those as passionate about riding as I am.

-- Daniel Ramirez - Grover Beach

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