Yesterday left me feeling a little William Foster.
In the morning I read about the latest wage cut California state workers are getting. This five percent cut, plus the two furlough days we are already enduring, makes for a total of 14.6% in lost wages since February. Since my spouse and I both work for the state, it's a bit much to swallow.
Following the online story I read the comments from readers. The vast majority of them think we are fat, lazy and deserve everything taken away from us and then some. Some even said we are OVERPAID. Most of the people in my field, Information Technology, know for a fact they can make more on the outside. Citrix administrators (one of my MANY responsibilities) routinely make six figures, and I assure you good citizens, I make nowhere near that. We chose state service for the stability over higher wages. Well, now we enjoy neither of those.
Later in the day I read about the proposal to withdraw funding from all 279 of California's state parks and the outright closure of 223 of them. Since many of these parks are prime mountain biking areas, this didn't leave me with a warm fuzzy.
On my ride home from work (since I can't afford gas anymore) I saw these shiny new signs all over my home riding area:
This area has technically been off-limits since about 1986, but signage was scarce and there was little enforcement (unless you count vigilante horse nuts). Now there are signs all over the place, and I have seen posts on the MTBR Norcal forum regarding citations being issued.
What absolutely pisses me off is how little these trails are used by horses. Most days I never see one. However, I do see plenty of mountain bikers.
The argument is that bikes and horses don't mix well, and the bikes present a danger to horses and riders. If that were the case, then why was FATRAC forced to make the neighboring Granite Bay trail multi-use when it was built?
Cars run over cyclists every day. Should we remove the cars from the roads? Oh, you say there are far more cars on the road, so that would be ridiculous? Well, there are far more mountain bikers than equestrians.
Regardless, the signs and potential fines will not stop me from riding these trails. I have been riding them for 25 years now, and I can only recall having one incident with a horse rider. All the other encounters with equestrians have been cordial if not downright friendly. It makes me wonder what all the fuss is about.
Anyway, the constant take, take, take at every turn lately has left me feeling a bit surly. I think tomorrow I'll go do some illegal trail riding and stick it to the man.