Mountain bike protest in Forest Park: 'They have a place up here'
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Mountain bikers fed up with being pushed out of city parks, pedaled their way to a protest in Forest Park Monday.
"I feel like a second class citizen, only because they shake our hands," said Charlie Sponsel, a mountain biker at the protest, " They smile at us when they come to meeting. They write down the notes. And they take those notes and then they put them directly in the shredder, and make the decision they were going to make in the first place."
Mountain bikers have been banned from Forest Park for about five years.
Forest Park has 70 miles of trails for hikers, walkers, and runners. For bikers - a tiny fraction of that is available.
"I don't see private ownership out here," said protest organizer Uma Kleppinger. "I pay my taxes, everybody who rides here pay taxes. We want fair and equal access."
One of the arguments against giving the bikers access to Forest Park is they'd overcrowd trails for runners.
Jeff Fairchild runs in the park every day, and doesn't think they should be banned.
"I think they have a place up here," Fairchild said. "I just think that it needs to be segregated and made as a safe place for them to be."