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Topic: Bikes on the Pacific Crest Trail?, Proponents Are Pushing For It< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 2:00 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is a lot of discussion about this topic over on a local hiker board of which I am a member.  Just thought I would put this here and see what you all think.

There is a group Sharing the PCT pushing for opening up the non-Wilderness sections of the PCT to MTBs.  Currently there is a ban on MTBs on the entire length of the PCT.

What say ye?

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 2:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will go on record as being against it.  I know there are some here who are most likely in favor of allowing bikes on the PCT as well as in designated Wilderness.  While I respect many whom I have discussed this with in the past, I have not been swayed by their reasoning.

Rumi

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 2:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would be against it, even in the non-Wilderness areas.  Just looking at the trouble they have had with the Tahoe Rim Trail and policing the bikes there.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 2:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been an avid mountain biker since the mid 80's
There are currently plenty of trails open to mountain biking.  And as much as I hate to admit it, MTB's do a lot of damage to trails, (not mention, too many of my MTB brethren ride like jackasses).  

I don't see the need to make this change.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 3:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have hiked most SoCal sections of the PCT, as well as fair amount of the Sierra portion, which is wilderness, so not part of this conversation.
Trust me, they are not waiting for permission. I used to be nearly run over by MB'ers at least a dozen times a day. The worst sections were the ones near Big Bear.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 4:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a mountain biker, I'm against it.

But, I don't think that all mountain bikes do significant trail damage.
Because of that, I would like to see some wilderness area trails accomodate bikes, definately not all, and definately not national scenic trails or historical trails.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 4:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I say let the local land managers decide regarding trail access questions.  They are the ones with the on-the-ground knowledge about the trails themselves and about the sorts of use those trails get.  They are the ones who are going to have to deal with user groups if changes are to occur, so they should be the ones backing up those decisions.

I don't think these are the kinds of decisions that should be made one way or the other at the bureaucratic agency or congress levels.

One thing I do think should occur at the agency level or higher is a prohibition on blanket user bans.  Land managers should have the power to treat each user group on each trail individually.  That should also be a requirement to treat each user group on each trail individually.  

The trail damage argument is bogus.  There is no concrete evidence that bikes damage trails more than horses or hikers all else equal.

I won't deny that there are azzholes in the group.  That's as much of a problem internally (if not moreso) as it is regarding interactions with other user groups.  But there are azzholes in every user group.  That argument is bogus, too.

If a trail is busy, use needs to be limited.  All use.    Some trails are not well suited for certain types of use.  Trails with limited sight lines should not combine hikers and mountain bikes, or horses and mountain bikes.  Front country ADA trails should limit speeds and congestion.  Trails on particularly sensitive soils or vegetation should not have horses, or should have accommodations made so the horses don't damage the sensitive locations.  The list can go on and on.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 6:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

With all due respect the trail damage argument is FAR from bogus Nate. I don't believe that beyond few high traffic exceptions hikers are any kind of a real problem and your attempted qualification of "all things equal" is IMO ludicrous given the fact that there are exponentially more mountain bikers than equestrians. Anyone that's ridden trails around Crested Butte, CO or other high impact areas knows people on bikes in great numbers do significantly more damage than hikers and equestrians. If Mt. bikers stopped riding erosion prone trails, always  pulled over when it rained and waited however long it took for the trail to dry out I'd be far more agreeable. Unfortunately that doesn't happen.

I'm of the camp that when it comes to any wheeled vehicle there should be NO expansion of access whatsoever. There are plenty of miles for Mt. Bikers to ride now. To suggest there aren't bolsters the argument there are too many Mt. Bikers out there.

I in no way, shape, or form support the rewriting of the Wilderness Act to allow any Mt. Bike usage in Wilderness areas. If the millions of acres available to Mt. Bikers now aren't enough the simple conclusion is that there will never be enough in the minds of biking enthusiasts.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 6:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wildlifenate @ Nov. 15 2012, 1:58 pm)
QUOTE
The trail damage argument is bogus.  There is no concrete evidence that bikes damage trails more than horses or hikers all else equal.

I won't deny that there are azzholes in the group.  That's as much of a problem internally (if not moreso) as it is regarding interactions with other user groups.  But there are azzholes in every user group.  That argument is bogus, too.

Bogus?  Well I respectfully disagree based on my own experiences.  

One popular local hiking trail that I began hiking on years ago (before MTB's) used to be in pristine condition.  Once MTB's became popular, this trail became a popular place to ride as well, (myself included).  After less than a decade of MTB use the trail was heavily damaged with ruts, and silt.  It's so bad in fact that I stopped riding there years ago, let lone hiking there.  There are other similar examples in my area.  

There are similar stories in the MTB mecca of Crested Butte, Co.  I just visited there this past summer having not ridden there since the mid 80's.  The several trails I rode were significantly more damaged in comparison to my previous visit years ago.

My own experiences are "concrete evidence" enough for me.  Perhaps damage isn't so obvious in less populated regions.

I will agree with you that there are a-holes in every group.  
But not all a-holes are an equal threat.  I would much rather run in to an a-hole hiker at walking pace than an a-hole MTB'r at 20mph.    

And you mentioned horses.......don't get me started on horses, I have ranted long enough for one post.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 6:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hbfa @ Nov. 15 2012, 11:09 am)
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There are currently plenty of trails open to mountain biking.  And as much as I hate to admit it, MTB's do a lot of damage to trails, (not mention, too many of my MTB brethren ride like jackasses).  

I don't see the need to make this change.

I agree.  I feel like there is enough to go around already.  Here in WA, there is real;ly no shortage of places for MTBs to play.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 6:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(buzzards @ Nov. 15 2012, 12:20 pm)
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Trust me, they are not waiting for permission. I used to be nearly run over by MB'ers at least a dozen times a day. The worst sections were the ones near Big Bear.

My understanding is this is especially true in CA.  Additionally, some MTBer brag about poaching the PCT.  Kinda sad

Given the difference in relative speed between a bike and a hiker, it is not enjoyable for me as a hiker to share the trail with MBTs.  And with my loss of hearing, I just don't hear them coming, barely escaping collisions several times.  Thus I avoid trails which are frequented by MTBs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 6:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

all things being equal means same trail, same traffic (1 hiker, 1 horse, 1 mt bike), same weather conditions.

maybe in your part of the country there are more bikers than horses or hikers, but such is not the case everywhere.

the research shows that 1 hiker is roughly equal to 1 mt bike in overall impact, though the types of that impact differ somewhat, and both generate less impact than 1 horse.

the problem with the arguments that start with "when mountain bikers started using xx existing trail system..." is that those anecdotes fail to account for the fact that the overall use increased, for one.  and they also fail to account for the fact that the trails were doubtfully well designed in the first place and couldn't handle the increase in use regardless of what user group(s) it came from.  most trails, especially old trails, are poorly designed, IME.  

I've seen plenty of foot-only and foot-horse trail that was in deplorable shape because there was too much use or the trails were insufficiently designed for the permitted use (Mammoth Cave NP backcountry trails, especially.  creek crossings destroyed by horses.  crossings were not built to handle heavy horse traffic.  the bike trails that prohibited horses were the ones in pristine shape.  horses there outnumber all other users by a huge margin).  where I live now there are barely any trail users at all.  the local trails that were designed for mountain bikes get more trail runner traffic.  there are few hiking trails, and the ones that are there don't get a ton of traffic.  but the horse trails get quite a lot more traffic...so there are a lot more horse trails.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 6:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wildlifenate @ Nov. 15 2012, 3:43 pm)
QUOTE
the problem with the arguments that start with "when mountain bikers started using xx existing trail system..." is that those anecdotes fail to account for the fact that the overall use increased, for one.  and they also fail to account for the fact that the trails were doubtfully well designed in the first place and couldn't handle the increase in use regardless of what user group(s) it came from.  most trails, especially old trails, are poorly designed, IME.  

And I have heard this same argument for years now.  In fact I used to say similar things myself because I loved riding so much that I didn't want to admit what was obvious.  But the bottom line is that many of the trails that are regularly used by MTB's show significant damage.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 7:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wildlifenate @ Nov. 15 2012, 3:43 pm)
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and they also fail to account for the fact that the trails were doubtfully well designed in the first place and couldn't handle the increase in use regardless of what user group(s) it came from.  most trails, especially old trails, are poorly designed, IME.

Much of the PCT was simply designed for foot traffic and a little horse traffic.  There are still not many equestrian thru-riders.  The over all trail can handle those few.  Horse traffic is for the most part concentrated on particular sections and the trail construction there reflects that concentration.

It isn't a matter of poor design, it is a matter of not being designed for bikes.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 7:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Only if I can run straight pipes.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 8:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RumiDude @ Nov. 15 2012, 12:00 pm)
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What say ye?

No... BIG NO.

Trails were made for walking... bikes miss the spirit of the wild, not to mention they're dangerous and tear-up trails more readily (1-1 ratio) than foot traffic.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 8:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I thought there already was one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Crest_Bicycle_Trail
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 10:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is some info about hiker/MTB interactions.

From the linked page: "Rangers report an uptick in visitor complaints regarding cyclists who are riding too fast or in restricted areas.Particularly on busy weekends, the effects can be dangerous.In the past year, accidents at Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon resulted in several helicopter extractions, though the problem is not limited to that site."

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 10:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mmmm.  Cheeseboro…

As a hiker, I will selfishly vote no because I don't want to share the trail with MTB's.  On the other hand, I'd hate to regulate public lands to favor one reasonable group over another.  If bikes were allowed, there would have to be a carefully limited number of permits, with increased maintenance costs reflected in the fees.  I say MTB users buy a permit, and wear a unique bib number for accountability like a bike messenger.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 10:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 10:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2012, 8:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My opinion is that bikes have really only begun damaging trails within the last 10 years, with the introduction of affordable "down-hill" & "free-ride" bikes.  These more aggressively styled bikes can take corners at higher speeds, have a much wider footprint, and are generally about 10 lbs heavier than their traditional "cross country" counterparts.

Here's my bike:


This is the new breed of bike (and this is one of the more tame models):


Just to re-clarify my opinion on the OP before the verbal beat down begins:
QUOTE
As a mountain biker, I'm against it.

But, I don't think that all mountain bikes do significant trail damage.
Because of that, I would like to see some wilderness area trails accomodate bikes, definately not all, and definately not national scenic trails or historical trails.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2012, 11:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I doubt they are ever going to change the status of bikes in designated Wilderness.  I just don't see that happening.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2012, 12:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ulight,

We just respectfully disagree on the wilderness issue. Gawd knows I've got my own biases, and you're straightforward honesty is greatly appreciated. I simply feel the Wilderness Act cannot be diluted at all because that would give just about everyone a license to contest the act on just about every level. I agree with Rumi, I think any attemtp to dilute the act would bring a whole lot of people to the polls that would otherwise be apathetic.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2012, 3:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree with DC, wilderness act is just fine the way it is.  Plenty of single-track for the mountain bikers in non-wilderness areas.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2012, 3:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think I'd be against it.   IMO, the less mechanization on the trails the better.  As someone said earlier, trails are for walking.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2012, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After thinking more about this....
Y'all are right.  No bikes in the wilderness.
I enjoy hiking in the wilderness without the hassle of jumping off the trail when a speeding, halfway out of control, bicycle comes flying down the mountain.

I guess the selfish side of me kicks in and gets me thinking....man I would love to ride here too.  I've always been against bikes on the PCT, AT, & other national scenic trails.

Good, civil, discussion here though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2012, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't care if bikers want to hike on the PCT. I just don't want them to ride their choppers on it. Dang those things are loud...

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(Tigger @ Nov. 16 2012, 4:32 pm)
QUOTE
I just don't want them to ride their choppers on it. Dang those things are loud...

Didn't we have an ealier discussion on a topic similar to this?

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2012, 1:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Then there is this ... Wilderness B = Wilderness with Bikes.  This is an odd one for me because on the face of it they are nt asking for access to designated Wilderness areas onder the Wilderness Act, but are looking for a new designation of Wilderness areas which would be identical to the Wilderness Act areas with the addition of bikes.  It is interesting to me because they want to cut off the other users like 4WD, motorbikes, ATVs, etc

Of course the immediate thought I have is is this simply an incrimental move to getting bikes included under the Wilderness Act?  Rather than asking directly for bikes in designated Wilderness, is this a backdoor move towards the same goal?

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