Giant City State Park Trails…..We gotta open them!

 

Please sign the petition to open Giant City and Trail of Tears State Parks’ trails to Cycling!

So Ill locals have long known that the best trails down here are off limits to cyclists. Part of the reason is the political domination of horseback riders, but that’s not really all there is to it. Horses are not allowed from October 31 to May 1, which is the prime period when people would want to ride mountain bikes down here in So. Ill. The real reason  is that the IDNR officials don’t want to generate tourism and park use, because it would mean maybe just a bit more work for them. Of course, that’s largely bogus since mountain bikes don’t hurt the trails (horses do….), and mountain bikers are famous for HELPING the trails.

I got busted enflagrante by the IDNR supervisor at Giant City last week. He told me that we can’t ride, and that he’s opposed to changing the policy. And, since some governor who is now in prison appointed him, I guess he can do that—even though he also could change that policy and help to stimulate tourism to our economically devastated region. But the IDNR good old boys are only interested in tourism related to hunting and fishing. They plant fields, build trails, and turn on the lights for the few weekends a year that a dwindling handful of heavy guys drink beer in the woods and shoot at each other. Then, they close the park. That’s a dying strategy. My analyses of General social Survey data show that the proportion of American households with a hunter in them has declined from 30% in 1977 to 17% in 2010….Hunting is a losing game. Our principle tourist draw down here is the Wine Trail, and Southern Illinois Vinters are getting more numerous, better at production, and more successful. When I mentioned this to IDNR-boy, he said “I don’t care what a bunch of business people want.” Across the border in Missouri it’s easy to see the symbiosis of wine and bikes, and I know several of the owners of So Ill wineries quite well, and they’ve even allowed us to have cross races on their property. They get it. The good old boys don’t give a fuck.

Sign the petition!

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4 Responses to “Giant City State Park Trails…..We gotta open them!”

  1. john Ehrhardt Says:

    Jeezus, Sherkat, I think you should hire a campaign consultant for this project. Of course anyone who can appreciate the sublime experience of riding trails at Giant City knows that the people who run the place are first cousins to the hillbillies in _Deliverance_. You will not, however, secure their cooperation by telling them that!

  2. sherkat Says:

    John!!! Where the hell are you?!!!!

    Yeah, bunch of typical Illinois, inbred, political appointees. They firmly believe that the park is there to sell fried chicken, and that the main goal of park staff is to minimize the number of taxpayers who use the park, unless they are buying fried chicken and heavily sweetened iced tea. I’m trying to go over their heads, however, since the State if ILL is broke, and mountain bike trails don’t cost shit…

    • john Ehrhardt Says:

      I am living in Oklahoma City. Speaking of inbred, looks like Santorum is going to take the GOP primary in the Sooner State. I wish the Prez would put this state under marshal law and suspend voting here. It could be sorta like a New Reconstruction. Ah, but that is another fight. Good luck with IDNR. Some of us in the Alton area (back when I lived there) tried to get trails at Pere Marquette SP opened to bikes, but the pigs wouldn’t budge one bit! I still ride those trails illegally every chance I get. The park authorities down here aren’t nearly as hostile to cyclists as IDNR. Wife is out of town, so I was killing time web surfing, after a three hour group ride. That kind of freedom comes rarely, my friend, and happily my surfing paid off with my discovery of your blog. I moss The Dale.

  3. john Ehrhardt Says:

    I am living in Oklahoma City. Speaking of inbred, looks like Santorum is going to take the GOP primary in the Sooner State. I wish the Prez would put this state under marshal law and suspend voting here. It could be sorta like a New Reconstruction. Ah, but that is another fight. Good luck with IDNR. Some of us in the Alton area (back when I lived there) tried to get trails at Pere Marquette SP opened to bikes, but the pigs wouldn’t budge one bit! I still ride those trails illegally every chance I get. The park authorities down here aren’t nearly as hostile to cyclists as IDNR. Wife is out of town, so I was killing time web surfing, after a three hour group ride. That kind of freedom comes rarely, my friend, and happily my surfing paid off with my discovery of your blog. I miss The Dale. Your chatter on the rattlers on Hickory Ridge Rd. And the Big Muddy Lever brought back fond memories! In the future I will check out the blog when I need C’dale fix.

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