What do you do when the only trails around aren't legal? Ride them anyway? Ride fire roads and just pretend its fun? Why not just sit on your ass at home imagining that you're on premium trails cruising along with the wind in your hair? Because that's stupid, that why.
There is no reason that bikes in your area shouldn't have a place to ride that is in dirt and not a fire road. If even a meager amount of money were raised through a parking lot payment or a trail permit, money would be available to build and maintain the trails. Additionally, maybe the bikes would have fewer encounters with militant hikers causing tensions. Public land should be available for the public... all the public. Particularly when there are many users of the trails that are cyclists, why wouldn't they be represented in the use of the trails? No motors? Bene. No bikes? Disagree.
I can see how we wouldn't want to see concrete structures or huge Red Bull signs going up in the wild areas we ride and hike in. But to avoid bike trails is just BS. They look like hiking trails.
Equestrians and hikers [who talk shit to bikers and freak out about sharing the trails] are the worst! Lets consider the relative ridiculousness here... in my area the hikers are angry and love to remind you that you are not allowed on the trail with your bike. Sounds like a shit perspective to me. Equestrians, on the other hand, need not only be unhappy at your relative contentment, ut also require that you stay way away from them and their creatures, but also that you not make any noises or startle them in ANY way whilst you go about your business. You are supposed to, because it helps them [who can afford a horse and a place to keep that stinky fucker] to enjoy their ride better. Who in the fuck thinks that the rest of the world to learn shit about their hobby so that they can enjoy the trail? Additionally, there are 3 horses a year on my local trails, yet they maintain the right to be there any-fucking-time they want to ride a horse there. What the holy-shit? Think of the danger a horse brings to the trails. A bike has some danger, yes. Horses are, in my opinion, way worse. They are far more damaging to a trail as well. Think of the weight they put down!! But! Would I try to take away their right to ride? Nope! I would find a way to make it work. Its called the don't-be-a-dickhead rule. Don't let your good time fuck up someone else's good time.
This brings me to MTB guys/gals. We also have the same rule at play, but even more so. Because we need to show that not only can we be good on the trails by not crashing into dudes on foot and fuckin' horsefolk, but also also that we understand that don't-be-a-dickhead rule, and don't let our riding and associated rituals mess with he enjoyment of all others that happen upon the trail. If we can show our skills at being fair, maybe the folks in the know will speak their piece in such a way that we are invited to enjoy the public land that we all pay taxes for in the same way as the old rich folk on horseback and the granola munching vegans that love to hike. :)