In answer to questions about homelessness

Yes homelessness can be messy. But to question “if our homeless advocates are really interested in improving the lot of the homeless” and “if there were no homeless, what would these advocates do to justify themselves” is cavalier and absurd.

There are hundreds of advocates all over Central Oregon who dedicate their lives to helping those in need. They are amazing people. It is easy to throw stones from a distance. I would encourage you to volunteer at a local nonprofit and see up close these people in need and the people and staff that help them. I bet your attitude would change.

— Pete Sandgren, Bend

E-bike solution

Recent letters to The Bulletin about e-bikes contain an implicit solution to the problem of their access to mountain bike trails. The most vocal proponents of expanded e-bike access are elderly people looking to prolong their participation in the sport after losing fitness for it, presumably to bicycle uphill. The most eloquent letter in opposition to e-bikes was from a woman worried about them coming up behind her on steep uphill stretches of singletrack, thus forcing her to pull over and lose needed momentum.

Based on this we can identify uphill stretches of singletrack as a focal point of the e-bike controversy. This conclusion is further supported by the observation that on Ben’s Trail from Phil’s trailhead to the bottom of Whoops, over 90% of Strava users ride 10 mph or less. Ten mph is half the speed of an e-bike, which means that the threat of e-bikes hounding riders from behind is real. A simple solution is for aging enthusiasts to shuttle up in a car and ride downhill on a normal bicycle, which substitutes the assistance of gravity for the assistance of a motor and approaches the sport traditionally. As I near 60, the end of my mountain biking is closer than its beginning. When the time comes to call it quits, I will muster the grace and community mindedness to leave singletrack to the next generation under the same terms that I have enjoyed it, which is without e-bikes buzzing up from behind.

— Matt Orr, Bend

E-bikers will make others too slow

Reading the Nov. 9 guest column regarding e-bikes on local singletrack recalls several conversations I have had with friends, acquaintances, etc. recently. Here we go everybody; real bikes will be squeezed out of the trail system eventually. We will be too slow for the e-bikers and determined a nuisance. Of course, there will be those who will label me as paranoid, etc. but you know how things work: Money talks, just ask OJ.

As citizens grow softer and more effete the e-bike will eventually dominate the market as non-hackers will discover that they too can enjoy the trail systems without any real effort. Alas they will become annoyed as operators of conventionally powered (real) bicycles will be in their way as they effortlessly ascend the climbs that once prevented their enjoying Bend’s singletrack. The friction will begin imperceptibly at first and discussed within innocent articles in The Bulletin. KTVZ will cover the conflict that will develop on the trails, and finally it will come up at City Council meetings, where members of the capital class that rule any locality assert their influence.

It may be a bit down the road, but anyone who has lived in this country out of the education system for as long as they have lived within it knows that humans have the potential for all types of madness. After all, many of you want to give little children a jab of chemicals for something that prevents far less of a risk to them than riding in the family car, which they often do without a thought several times day. I might be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. Enjoy the singletrack now real riders, you’ll be on the other side of those trail signs soon enough.

— Kelly Thompson, Bend

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(2) comments

Thomas Who

“In answer to questions about homelessness” doesn’t really answer the question.

I’m sure there are are amazing people all over Central Oregon who dedicate their lives to helping those in need.

But the real question is, for all their effort, and all the funding receive, how many people have actually been helped OUT of homelessness.

Transitory Inflation

'I bet your attitude would change.'

Mr Sandgren, an optimist!

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