Mountain biking only causes erosion if riders are not cautious or considerate of the trail. There is a method called “soft-cycling” which reduces the impact of mountain biking on trails. Staying on well established trails, going over rather than around obstacles (keeps the trail from widening), not riding the brakes downhill (kicks up more dirt), and riding corners cleanly without sliding help to limit the damage you do to a trail. Wet ground is most vulnerable to erosion so saving your ride for a drier day helps to keep the trail maintained.
What damage caused isn’t particularly significant, especially if the riders are using trails. While some erosion may occur, there is an argument to be made the it is good for the environment as it promotes a connection with nature. Being outside and doing activities in nature has a positve effect on a human’s mind and spirit, and develops an appreciate for the environment. We can’t be afraid to go outside for fear of having a negative effect–instead, we should all spend more time with nature and developing a strong connection.
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