My work at Mountain Bike magazine

Hank Barlow created Mountain Bike magazine in 1985. It was the second-ever magazine devoted to mountain bicycling, the first in color with glossy paper. He and I lived in Crested Butte, Colorado, the secondary birthplace of mountain biking. (Marin County, California, was THE birthplace.) Before his first edition, Hank asked me to come to his office for a chat. He knew that I was already a mountain biker, and that I also was working to protect public lands and Planet Earth. He told me, “I want a real environmentalist on my staff” and invited me to write a column. I think it was very prescient of him. Not many people knew there was any sort of conflict between bicycling and public lands preservation.

My first article addressed the most central issue, bicycling in Wilderness. A year earlier, the U.S. Forest Service had banned bicycling in areas designated by Congress as Wilderness. I disagree with this blanket ban and you can read all about that here. My work on that started with this 1985 article.

I continued with Mountain Bike for 10 years, earning the title Environment Editor. As a devoted environmentalist and active mountain bicyclist, I was perhaps more in the middle of the bicycling-wilderness conflict than anyone else. I don’t like it! The environmental movement should embrace bicyclists, but instead has for 30+ years pushed us away. We could be an enormous source of political support, fresh talent, and money. But instead, the average mountain biker does not even know who John Muir was.

For more, see my website Wilderness Bicycling. Below are links to some of my articles published in Mountain Bike magazine.

Gary Sprung writing and Gnurps photography in Mountain Bike magazine

Wilderness Areas: Conflict”, June-July 1985, Vol.1, Number 1

Mt Bikes & Haute Cuisine”, August-September 1985, Vol. 1, Number 2

Northern California Travels”, January-February 1986, Vol.1, Number 4

Another one bites the dust”, May-June 1986, Vol.1, No.6

Adventure Trails: Mountain Bikes As Tools of Therapy”, March-April, 1986; Vol.1, No.5

MBM explores more on The Sierra Club”, March-April 1986, Vol.1, No.5

table of contents photograph by Gnurps, January-February 1987, Vol. II, No.4

The Rails to Trails Conservancy”, May-June 1997, Vol. II, No. 6

Trails” and “How to Build a Trail”, July-August, 1987; Vol. III, No. 1

two-page photo spread for article “Crested Butte”, Sept.-Oct. 1987, Vol. III, No.2

How To Build a Trail, Part II: The Details”, Sept.-Oct. 1987, Vol. III, No.2

Enlightened Land Managers,” Nov.-Dec. 1987, Vol. III, No.3

A Tale of Two Cities”, Jan.-Feb. 1987, Vol. IV, No.1

Polo to the People”, April 1988, Vol. IV, No.2

Your Land Or My Land? An Overview of Public Land Access”, March-April, 1988;

“Your Portable Hospital”, June 1988, Vol. IV, No.3

“On the Right Track: A National Network is Recycling Old Railroads”, Dec. 1988, Vol. IV, No.6

Weather Awareness: Look to the Sky and Airwaves to Avoid the Elemental Dangers”, July-August 1989, Vol. V, Number 4

From Bikes to Buck$: All Across America Small Towns Are Doing Big Business With Mountain Bikers”, 

The Path To Excitement: Read All About It With the Right Map”, November-December, 1989, Vol. V, Number 6

Soil Sense: A Practical Guide to Low-Impact Riding”, January- February 1991; Vol. VII, Number 1

Be a Mountain Bike Activist: 10 Ways to Protect Your Trails and Keep Land Managers on Your Side”, April 1991, Vol. VII, Number 3

Motorcycles and Mountain Bikes: One Cycling Advocates Perspective on a Controversial Alliance”, March 1991, Vol. VII, Number 2

City Singletrack: In Search of Fair Metropolitan Park Policies”, May 1991; Vol. VII, Number 4

Salida: High and Dry”, June 1991; Vol. VII, Number 5

Trail Standards: The Challenges of Rating Trails for Cycling Suitability and Difficulty”, November ___;

The Art of Pathfinding: Pursuing Side Trails Reveals the Land and It’s History”, June, ___; 

The Science of Dirt: Soil Studies Are Useful and More Are Needed

Howdy, Partner!

Kokopelli’s Trail: It’s What Volunteers With a Vision Can Accomplish”, January-February ____;

A Million Miles of Mountain Biking: The Bureau of Land Management Oversees One-eight of the U.S. and It’s Preparing To Welcome Us“, January-February, 1991

Friends In the Forest: How the U.S. Forest Service Backs Mountain Biking”, December __;

Manufacturing Goodwill: How the Bike Industry is Boosting Our Sport’s Image

IMBA Update: The Leading Off-Road Cycling Advocacy Group is Growing, But Some Problems Won’t Go Away”, July __; 

Bike Belong in Washington: Model Mountain Bike Policies Are Developing in the Pacific Northwest“, July __;

Call of the Wild: A Different Look at Mountain Biking in Designated Wilderness”, June __;

Hansen’s Bill: A Congressman Would Open Millions of Acres of Wilderness to Mountain Bikes. The Question ls Why?“; March __

“Passages”, a monthly column on Rocky Mountain bike happenings and issues
Washington & Florida, Rocky Mtns pdf#1, Rocky Mtns pdf#2

Signs of the Times: Strategies for the Job of Communicating Rules of the Trail”, September/October __

Your Land Or My Land? An Overview of Public Land Access”, Mar.-Apr. 1988