SCUBA Diving magazine and Underwater Mountain Biking

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Dr. Bill Bushing on April 13, 2006 at 12:15:35:

I have subscribed to SCUBA Diving magazine for years. Although many are critical of it for its presumed linkage between advertisers and articles, there are parts of the magazine I find useful (including the ads). However, the current issue really bothered me and I've posted several places on the issues already.

First, and most important, I was deeply concerned that a magazine that purports to emphasis good diving practices would feature a photo and brief article on mountain biking underwater (see the Currents section). The diver in the photo says he only rides the mountain bike on sandy bottoms where there is little danger of harming marine life. IMHO this shows an ignorance of soft bottom marine ecosystems (as opposed to "soft bottoms" in general).

The life "on" (or more usually "in") soft bottom habitats is often very abundant and diverse. Although soft bottoms do tend to be more dynamic than coral or rocky reefs in terms of disturbance, the critters that live there are still susceptible to human stupidity. Riding a bike on top of them qualifies in this category IMHO.

I still find it hard to believe that a "responsible" dive magazine would even feature such an activity, much less seem to condone it. I wrote an e-mail to the editors on this as have others who have read my postings (and probably a number who haven't).

I hope others will find this offensive (or at least mildly irritating) and write tyo the Editors at: edit@scubadiving.com.

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