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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT

    For the last two to three years a small group of us has been working to get mountain bike access to non-Wilderness sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. (About 60% of the PCT lies outside Wilderness.)

    We have convinced the Forest Service that its 1988 closure order requires reconsideration.

    As a result, the Forest Service is going to begin a rulemaking procedure, probably in March of 2013, to consider making the non-Wilderness parts of the PCT multiuse. This will involve public notice and comment.

    When something similar happened with the Continental Divide Trail about four years ago, the Forest Service received about 8000 comments. The PCT reconsideration can be expected to generate even more controversy.

    If the Forest Service decides to keep bikes off the Pacific Crest Trail, we can expect that closure to stay in place for the rest of our lives and maybe those of our children. If the Forest Service decides to open it, it will be revolutionary.

    Stay tuned. We'll be looking for your help in coming months.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    For the last two to three years a small group of us has been working to get mountain bike access to non-Wilderness sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. (About 60% of the PCT lies outside Wilderness.)
    Thank you for your efforts!!!!

    Stay tuned. We'll be looking for your help in coming months.
    Please keep us posted on anything new. This is very exciting news!!.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  3. #3
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    Since 1988 the mountain biking community has grown not just in sheer numbers, which is considerable, but broadened in the age group it represents. As such, the potential for a mass of commentary is huge. However, getting those participants to act is hardly a slam dunk.

    Do what you can to develop awareness of this issue and maintain it. Make participation as easy as possible. I guarantee at least 1 letter.
    I don't rattle.

  4. #4
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    Glad to see the project coming to fruition. 2013 is going to be exciting. Looking forward to reading the hateful comments on the pct-l.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  5. #5
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    That'll be like reading Proust or Tolstoy. Long.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, Berkeley Mike. Yes, getting people enthusiastic on mtbr is one thing; getting them to submit a comment to the Forest Service is another. It'll take some organizing work.

    Here's what you can do now if you're interested. If you belong to any mountain bike organization other than your own (obviously you belong to one already!), let it know that you support this initiative and ask it to support it as well. Much political maneuvering tends to occur when something of this magnitude appears, and some mtb groups might be hesitant about supporting PCT access (because of a relationship with a particular Forest Service office or employee, for example). There's nothing to worry about. If this goes through, it'll mean that the Forest Service wanted to do it. But change can make people nervous.

  7. #7
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    Links? Copy?
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for spreading the word. I took a quick look and it appears that there is no actual federal regulation prohibiting bikes on the PCT, but rather two orders by USDA Foresters and BLM managers (exercising authority under federal regs) to close the PCT to bikes in the 1980s. They are available here. http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5311127.pdf

    I'm not an expert in forest management rules, but assume this simply means that the appropriate USDA official can issue a new order modifying/rescinding the old ones. We would need BLM action too in order to open portions of the PCT not in national forests. I don't see any notice or request for comments that this might be coming. How did you find out about this? Does anyone know whether they will follow a normal rulemaking-type process with a proposal followed by 30 days for public comment?

    Question: Should we lobby someone now? Please post links if you are aware of the officials to whom comments should be addressed.

    I am a member of the PCTA and enjoy hiking along many of the high Sierra stretches. Note that most of those would areas not be affected by this potential change because they are in Wilderness Areas that are off-limits to anything mechanical. And I think that is as it should be. Much of the PCT in the Sierras is above 10,000 feet and on truly sensitive land. Up there the world feels both billions of years old and brand new at the same time, and it is extremely easy to damage the land, even for a hiker. Horses rip it up but they don't commonly go so far above treeline. (And there isn't enough air up there for most bikers, anyhow.)

    But if we are going to succeed in obtaining mountain bike access to parts of the PCT, it seems to me that some outreach to the PCTA and other constituencies will be necessary. The through-hikers and their friends are likely to be hostile to the idea at first, and we can blunt or avoid much opposition by showing them that (a) access is inevitable; (b) it can be limited to keep certain areas bike-free (compromise, anyone?); and (c) bikers are a mostly responsible group, just as hikers are.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    I am a member of the PCTA and enjoy hiking along many of the high Sierra stretches. Note that most of those would areas not be affected by this potential change because they are in Wilderness Areas that are off-limits to anything mechanical. And I think that is as it should be.
    The ban on wheels in Wilderness is completely idiotic. Apparently, carbon fiber poles, pedal powered kayaks are somehow non mechanical and perfectly legal in Wilderness. The bicycle ban in Wilderness has little to do with whether the wheel is incompatible with Wilderness (hint: it's not, especially in areas where we used to ride for years and suddenly became inaccessible because of Wilderness status) and everything to do with politics. With 50 million of acres of designated Wilderness in the lower 48 and plenty more under consideration, accepting the status quo is definitely short sighted. We'll see how you feel about the Wilderness ban next time your favorite trail gets closed.


    Much of the PCT in the Sierras is above 10,000 feet and on truly sensitive land. Up there the world feels both billions of years old and brand new at the same time, and it is extremely easy to damage the land, even for a hiker. Horses rip it up but they don't commonly go so far above treeline. (And there isn't enough air up there for most bikers, anyhow.)

    But if we are going to succeed in obtaining mountain bike access to parts of the PCT, it seems to me that some outreach to the PCTA and other constituencies will be necessary. The through-hikers and their friends are likely to be hostile to the idea at first, and we can blunt or avoid much opposition by showing them that (a) access is inevitable; (b) it can be limited to keep certain areas bike-free (compromise, anyone?); and (c) bikers are a mostly responsible group, just as hikers are.
    Good luck reaching out to the PCTA lunatics (especially the people in charge). But since you're a member, you should definitely try and see what happens. My educated guess is that there is zero interest in sharing.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  10. #10
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    I wonder how Mike V feels about this???

    The Forest Service is not uniform in enforcing the ban. Bikes openly use the PCT in many Norcal stretches (Perfect Cycling Trail?) and are ignored by local Forest Service LEOs. still, it would be nice to open the trail.

  11. #11
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    I'm ready to write my letter(s). PCT from Carson to Echo would open many legal connectors.

  12. #12
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    PCT is closed to bike
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    For the last two to three years a small group of us has been working to get mountain bike access to non-Wilderness sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. (About 60% of the PCT lies outside Wilderness.)

    We have convinced the Forest Service that its 1988 closure order requires reconsideration.

    As a result, the Forest Service is going to begin a rulemaking procedure, probably in March of 2013, to consider making the non-Wilderness parts of the PCT multiuse. This will involve public notice and comment.

    When something similar happened with the Continental Divide Trail about four years ago, the Forest Service received about 8000 comments. The PCT reconsideration can be expected to generate even more controversy.

    If the Forest Service decides to keep bikes off the Pacific Crest Trail, we can expect that closure to stay in place for the rest of our lives and maybe those of our children. If the Forest Service decides to open it, it will be revolutionary.

    Stay tuned. We'll be looking for your help in coming months.
    Thank you for your post! I have also heard some grumblings about non wilderness sections of the PCT becoming truly the official Perfect Cycling Trail. Not that it stops us from riding it now but it would be nice to make it official!
    Always respect rangers, they are doing their job-Everyone else has no authority, so get out of the way of the of the ATrain!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post

    But if we are going to succeed in obtaining mountain bike access to parts of the PCT, it seems to me that some outreach to the PCTA and other constituencies will be necessary. The through-hikers and their friends are likely to be hostile to the idea at first, and we can blunt or avoid much opposition by showing them that (a) access is inevitable; (b) it can be limited to keep certain areas bike-free (compromise, anyone?); and (c) bikers are a mostly responsible group, just as hikers are.
    Good luck! The folks at the national level will do everything they can to fight bikes on "their trail", they are haters and see bikes as the enemy.
    Always respect rangers, they are doing their job-Everyone else has no authority, so get out of the way of the of the ATrain!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    PCT is closed to bike
    HA-HA LOL Good one TBC!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-dscf3054.jpg  

    Banned for showing Boobies.

  16. #16
    J-Flo
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    The ban on wheels in Wilderness is completely idiotic. Apparently, carbon fiber poles, pedal powered kayaks are somehow non mechanical and perfectly legal in Wilderness. The bicycle ban in Wilderness has little to do with whether the wheel is incompatible with Wilderness (hint: it's not, especially in areas where we used to ride for years and suddenly became inaccessible because of Wilderness status) and everything to do with politics. With 50 million of acres of designated Wilderness in the lower 48 and plenty more under consideration, accepting the status quo is definitely short sighted. We'll see how you feel about the Wilderness ban next time your favorite trail gets closed.

    Good luck reaching out to the PCTA lunatics (especially the people in charge). But since you're a member, you should definitely try and see what happens. My educated guess is that there is zero interest in sharing.
    Zorg, we share the same goal of expanding trail access. Respectfully, broad-brush negative characterizations of PCTA and other groups that have done a great deal of good work to build and preserve the PCT and other trails is unproductive, and can only alienate others who might be neutral or open-minded to mountain bikers. I'm sure you have good reason for your harsh view of some other trail user groups, but that is not a good excuse to paint them all as enemies. The PCTA, for example, is not a "lunatic" organization -- much of the PCT has been opened and preserved due to its work, and many of its members love mountain biking.

    Taking a step back, you might see that just as there are some "idiotic" and "lunatic" environmentalists, the same term could be justifiably applied to some mountain bikers -- the "bad apples" who ride without respect for the trail and its other users and have provided much ammunition to those who would ban us from the mountains. Polarization of the debate cannot make things better.

    Whether the Wilderness areas should be banned to bikes is a separate issue from whether we will be able to open the non-Wilderness portions of the PCT to mountain biking. I agree that the outright ban of wheels from all Wilderness areas was misguided (I would not say "idiotic"), but that is a topic for another day.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    Zorg, we share the same goal of expanding trail access. Respectfully, broad-brush negative characterizations of PCTA and other groups that have done a great deal of good work to build and preserve the PCT and other trails is unproductive, and can only alienate others who might be neutral or open-minded to mountain bikers. I'm sure you have good reason for your harsh view of some other trail user groups, but that is not a good excuse to paint them all as enemies. The PCTA, for example, is not a "lunatic" organization -- much of the PCT has been opened and preserved due to its work, and many of its members love mountain biking.

    Taking a step back, you might see that just as there are some "idiotic" and "lunatic" environmentalists, the same term could be justifiably applied to some mountain bikers -- the "bad apples" who ride without respect for the trail and its other users and have provided much ammunition to those who would ban us from the mountains. Polarization of the debate cannot make things better.

    Whether the Wilderness areas should be banned to bikes is a separate issue from whether we will be able to open the non-Wilderness portions of the PCT to mountain biking. I agree that the outright ban of wheels from all Wilderness areas was misguided (I would not say "idiotic"), but that is a topic for another day.
    By lunatics, I meant to refer to the people in charge of the PCTA. I encourage you to reach out to the people in charge at the PCTA and report back to us to see the level of acceptance to sharing. Please feel free to prove me wrong, that'd be great.

    As for the PCTA members, I'm sure they're all great people who love the outdoors. Based on my perusal of the PCT-L board, few of them seem to support bikes on the PCT.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    By lunatics, I meant to refer to the people in charge of the PCTA. I encourage you to reach out to the people in charge at the PCTA and report back to us to see the level of acceptance to sharing. Please feel free to prove me wrong, that'd be great.

    As for the PCTA members, I'm sure they're all great people who love the outdoors. Based on my perusal of the PCT-L board, few of them seem to support bikes on the PCT.
    I will see what I can do. I've not attended any of the PCTA leadership dinners or meetings, but have had some communications with the leadership and given the organization a lot of support. I don't think they are of the rabid anti-bike variety.

  19. #19
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    Positive news...wondering....can someone list the non-wilderness sections of the PCT in Nor-Cal?....thanx for your efforts..

  20. #20
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    Spin Oblivion — What we should do is create a website for our group, which we call the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative. We could then show the Wilderness and non-Wilderness portions of the PCT on it, along with sections that aren't owned by the federal government and in some cases aren't even on public land. (Yes, these are little-known aspects of the PCT. It's on land ranging from the Warm Springs Indian tribe in Oregon to California State Parks at Castle Crags, at Castella, a few miles south of Dunsmuir.)

    Does anyone have the expertise to create a website for this effort, and would there be any way to obtain free or reduced-cost hosting?

    Jfloren — As for the PCTA, I am informed that the senior staff are aware of our effort and remain opposed to bikes on the trail. We are working to do what we can to change the organization's views and policy position. Anything you can do would be great. I think it would be more helpful to contact one or two PCTA board members (who appear on the Pacific Crest Trail Association - Home website) and try to educate them. The staff is likely to say, "The board sets policy, and we can't alter it; the current policy is to oppose bikes." The board members are the people to change that policy. Some may be willing.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Spin Oblivion — What we should do is create a website for our group, which we call the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative. We could then show the Wilderness and non-Wilderness portions of the PCT on it, along with sections that aren't owned by the federal government and in some cases aren't even on public land. (Yes, these are little-known aspects of the PCT. It's on land ranging from the Warm Springs Indian tribe in Oregon to California State Parks at Castle Crags, at Castella, a few miles south of Dunsmuir.)

    Does anyone have the expertise to create a website for this effort, and would there be any way to obtain free or reduced-cost hosting?
    Facebook page would be an easy start to get the word out.

  22. #22
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    Thanks, nutballchamp. You're right. A Facebook page is the way to do it. That's what we'll do. It'll be a lot easier than creating our own website, maintaining it, paying to have it hosted, etc. Great suggestion.

  23. #23
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    Imtnbike thanks for your efforts. Many of he elitist need to change with the times, but our own fellow riders can also make it tough when they are rude, cut trails etc. but in the same token the resistance to open up trails means many ride where ever due to feelings of we'll never get approval anyway.......

    If a trail is open to the public then all forms of us"public" should be able to use it. Exclusionary planning is something the progressives fought to eliminate. Why exclude anyone from the trail we all should have access or no one one should period.

  24. #24
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    Dreaming of the legal possiblilties between Donner Summit to US 70. Is there a connector around Bucks Lake Wilderness?

    I actually think this may stir the hornets' nest and the Hiker Elite may double-down and go militant for more Wilderness areas...but we gotta try though regardless, it's our land too.
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    Not everybody's waiting for a change in policy...

    Mountain Biking the Pacific Crest Trail - YouTube
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    Good luck! I've been involved in land use issues in Eldorado Forest and throughout Northern and Central California for 35 years. It will never happen until the political winds in Sacramento shift dramatically. In other words you have to marginalize the liberal treehuggers who have been exploiting the sedentary suburban/urban voter bloc with feel good nonsense and playing on emotions. Same as they do with race and abortion. Cali is for the most part a lost cause in the land battles going on in the US. But I applaud the effort to get involved. Your eyes will be opened by the pettiness and outright ugliness you will observe.
    BTW-Those comments the USFS/BLM will solicite are tossed in the trash. They do what they feel they can get away with and it is always against shared use.

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    Well aren't you full of sunshine and rainbows! So I guess we don't do anything but mope?.... or should we at least try to blow the political winds in another direction? Care to share specific examples of how you got your spirit this broken?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Czar Chasm View Post
    Well aren't you full of sunshine and rainbows! So I guess we don't do anything but mope?.... or should we at least try to blow the political winds in another direction? Care to share specific examples of how you got your spirit this broken?
    Czar-35 years of seeing the door shut by the same people and the year to year continuous effort to shut down non Wilderness areas for recreational uses by the same people with no intention of ever collaborating might have done it. I choose to do it through other means now. It is so much larger an issue than getting MTB's on PCT. But I encourage you to go through the process. You will see.

  29. #29
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    Just a couple of links to add:

    The actual order in .html format:
    Six Rivers National Forest - Alerts & Notices

    Ouch: "A violation of this prohibition is punishable by a fine of not more that $5,000.00 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. "

    The PCT-L doesn't seem to have heard about this reconsideration so far, but there are a few vigilantes openly posting about their malfeasance.

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=o...w=1380&bih=738

    BTW, IMBA got almost 4x the contributions of PCTA last year. There is a chance to make this happen.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy View Post
    Just a couple of links to add:

    The actual order in .html format:
    Six Rivers National Forest - Alerts & Notices

    Ouch: "A violation of this prohibition is punishable by a fine of not more that $5,000.00 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. "

    The PCT-L doesn't seem to have heard about this reconsideration so far, but there are a few vigilantes openly posting about their malfeasance.

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=o...w=1380&bih=738

    BTW, IMBA got almost 4x the contributions of PCTA last year. There is a chance to make this happen.
    Biggest topic on the PCT-L this month is whether it's okay or not to burn TP...
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy View Post
    IMBA got almost 4x the contributions of PCTA last year. There is a chance to make this happen.
    I agree with that. To get anything changed in the face of opposition is usually an uphill battle, and this one will be, but I think we have a decent chance.

  32. #32
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    So what went down in 1988 that resulted in the "Order" to ban bicycles on the PCT? Was there any sort of public comment, hearing, etc., or did some people freak out about these new things called "mountain bikes" and quickly write up the "Order" without due process?

    Based on this article I found from '88, it seems like recreation via bicycle fits in with their vision of the future... especially since their children's children are riding mountain bikes now
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-pct-article.jpg  


  33. #33
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    I'll write letters when the time comes, but I'm pretty much sure there is no way it will open up, just reading some of the PCT forum posts and the amount of vitrol spewed out towards cyclists, the HOHAs I'm sure will shut this down pretty quickly.

    You do find a post with a bit of fresh air occasionally, but it's rare... see example below I pulled from the forum:


    I've read with interest the various suggestions that we crack down on
    cyclists on
    the PCT with 1) more federal money and government agents patrolling the
    trail or 2) private, armed, bounty hunters gunning for mountain biker
    scalps and reward money or 3) cameras cameras cameras. None of those
    ideas is going to happen,
    none would work...and nor should they because they would be an
    indication of a society (and the PCT along with it) moving in precisely
    the wrong direction. We seem to be overlooking a fourth option, and
    this one would actually bring additional resources to the trail (rather than
    drain them) and potentially
    solve once and for all the problem of irresponsible, illegal bicycle
    use of the PCT. Wait for it...here it comes...pure heresy: share the
    trail.

    To rebut Edward Anderson's initial assertion, NO, we do NOT all agree that bikes are a
    serious safety hazard and that they cause more erosion than other uses.
    That's because some of us live in a world where - by some
    special magic - we successfully and peacefully share many hundreds of
    miles
    of public trails with our fellow outdoor enthusiasts who choose to
    enjoy the backcountry by bicycle. And, stranger still, we see many
    hundreds of miles of trail that appear to be sustainable, ecologically
    sound and perfectly manageable despite heavy bicycle use.



    How have we
    achieved the impossible? The answer has many elements, but every one of
    them sounds more attractive to me than 1) massing federal agents at
    trailheads, 2) paying private wackos (oh yes, they will be wackos) to
    chase down bicyclists, 3) wiring the trail to a high-tech video surveillance system and, all the while,
    continuing to spread fear and division in the trails and conservation
    community. Instead, good trail design and maintenance (made easier by
    the involvement of cyclists) and ongoing education and socialization of
    all trail users (made easier by
    the involvement of cyclists) seems to work rather well. In fact, those
    are
    the same tools we've always used successfully to reign in and reduce
    the numbers of
    uneducated and irresponsible hikers and equestrians that have created
    management challenges since the beginning of time. It hasn't been easy, but it beats the pants off of every "us vs. them" suggestion that I've seen.


    Safety and
    environmental impacts are always legitimate concerns when it comes to
    trail management, and since it's clear enough from many of the posts
    here that exclusion, division and vitriol aren't working so well, how
    about focusing on the tools and techniques that are actually effective
    at creating positive outcomes? Let's
    finally take those safety and impact issues seriously and work -
    together - towards a better future for the community and for the PCT. Or maybe we can pass the collection plate and buy some military drones equipped with powerful anti-cyclist lasers!



    I anticipate that the only replies I'll see to this post are from
    people who are completely convinced that there isn't one inch of the
    2,650 mile PCT that could possibly be shared with bicycles. But for
    those readers on the list who know, believe or even just hope that working with
    bicyclists could be productive - just as it has been elsewhere - I hope you'll chime in with whatever constructive thoughts or concerns you may have.

    -FPH


    [pct-l] Bikes on PCT- alternative enforcement idea
    Last edited by TahoeBC; 10-05-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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  34. #34
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    I agree with everything you stated in this post. But you are missing one important thing.

    The Liberal Democrats who have dominated Cali politics and all of the government beaurocracy have taken over the day to day mgmt of the USFS and BLM. To such an extent that the only remedy for change is supporting fiscal and public policy conservatives.

    In my 35 years I have never seen a conservative candidate (Republican mostly) flat out dismiss our and other recreationists concerns. If they do not endorse our concerns they at least get out of the way.
    In every case I have observed Democrats and Liberal Independants always side with radical enviro interests who's objective is lock out any recreation that does not meet their definition of acceptable use. There is NO give and take on this. If they get a judges ruling to use current law or precedence they will sue using ridiculous ESA claims to shut it down.

    Many MTBers I have met self identify as a liberal tree hugger. If you really are concerned for your access to riding in the future, you seriously need to become educated on this as you are on the wrong side.

  35. #35
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    We need to tell the PCTA, the Sierra Club, et al that we will not stand for their HATE!. They need to show TOLERANCE to all groups no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation or wilderness travel preference.

    We celebrate diversity in the city, why do they refuse to celebrate diversity on the trail? Their bigoted hate will not stand.

    That said, OMG(!) if the PCT opened to bikes that would be epic!
    Sometimes you eat the trail, sometimes the trail eats you.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasejj View Post

    Many MTBers I have met self identify as a liberal tree hugger. If you really are concerned for your access to riding in the future, you seriously need to become educated on this as you are on the wrong side.
    My guess is that calling many cyclists uneducated and on the wrong side of politics may not bring them to your side.

    That being said, I do agree with your overall premise that die hard liberals have taken over many governmental jobs in California and that's definitely working against our access.
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  37. #37
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    Question 1: How are we going to get anywhere on this, unless people stop poaching the trail?

    We need to police ourselves here. Friends don't let friends poach.

    Also, if you are on a legal single track and you see a hiker or horse, get off...let 'em pass and say "hello"
    Historically, a few bad bike interactions with hikers and horses have got back to legislators and land managers and then that's how this all ends (again)

    I'm trying not to be a hypocrite here, but I do admit strava makes me do dumb things. There is bigger goal/future to think about here, then a KOM.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmattcor View Post
    Question 1: How are we going to get anywhere on this, unless people stop poaching the trail?

    We need to police ourselves here. Friends don't let friends poach.

    Also, if you are on a legal single track and you see a hiker or horse, get off...let 'em pass and say "hello"
    Historically, a few bad bike interactions with hikers and horses have got back to legislators and land managers and then that's how this all ends (again)

    I'm trying not to be a hypocrite here, but I do admit strava makes me do dumb things. There is bigger goal/future to think about here, then a KOM.
    meh.

    in Downieville recently a group of us decided to not poach the PCT on our way to a trail - it was Saturday and busy with hikers so we thought we'd be considerate and climb a stupid fireroad.

    Every single damn hiker we ran into openly accused us of poaching the PCT to get to where we were going.

    every.
    single.
    one.

    Also, I have the mindset that actively using any public trail system in a responsible and considerate fashion is fine and dandy....it goes towards opening doors and proves that true multi-use can coexist.

    it's working in my neck of the woods (State Parks)

    my .02


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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    meh.

    in Downieville recently a group of us decided to not poach the PCT on our way to a trail - it was Saturday and busy with hikers so we thought we'd be considerate and climb a stupid fireroad.

    Every single damn hiker we ran into openly accused us of poaching the PCT to get to where we were going.

    every.
    single.
    one.
    Next time you should reply: well, I did not, but since every single hiker accuses of riding the PCT, next time, I'll make sure to ride it.

    At any rate, believing that respecting the inane rules and hoping that it will get us access is misguided. That's what the antis want us to do so they can say that everything is fine and therefore no change is needed. Riding noncompliantly actually helps our cause by forcing the issue.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmattcor View Post
    Question 1: How are we going to get anywhere on this, unless people stop poaching the trail?

    We need to police ourselves here. Friends don't let friends poach.

    Also, if you are on a legal single track and you see a hiker or horse, get off...let 'em pass and say "hello"
    Historically, a few bad bike interactions with hikers and horses have got back to legislators and land managers and then that's how this all ends (again)

    I'm trying not to be a hypocrite here, but I do admit strava makes me do dumb things. There is bigger goal/future to think about here, then a KOM.
    You must be joking or not really care the trails your ride? Seriously, stop poaching trails? What planet do you live on my friend? It's only poaching if a ranger sees you, otherwise it's riding a trail.

    You can do that and not ride the PCT or other 'closed' trails but that is your decision. Just like how some choose to drive the speed limit. It's their decision. And if I and or others want to ride trails such as the PCT, which I do, I will.

    There is no advantage to not riding a trail that says it's not open to bikes except that you miss out on a great ride. Now that is your right to not ride a trail but don't force it on others...what's next, pulling over the guy in the car next to us for talking on the phone?

    Getting trails to open up does not happen over night, next month or in one year. It takes years, and I for one will support all efforts 100% but no way will I wait for that to happen b/c if I did, I just might be too old to even ride my bike on that trail when it finally does open.
    Always respect rangers, they are doing their job-Everyone else has no authority, so get out of the way of the of the ATrain!

  41. #41
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    Why not use the tactic so many of those I scorn on a daily basis use. Occupy.
    Organize and occupy the trail to make a point. Not really my style but it would actually force the issue if done correctly with proper media in attendance.
    Do it a bunch of times and the lame authorities enforcing unreasonable trail cosures will look like fools. What are they gonna do arrest a bunch of bikers riding down a trail? Ooooooh what an outlaw!! Is that a reasonable use of taxpayer dollars? Don't they have pot dealers to bust or something? The optics are powerful to consider.
    I guess the problem is the community as a whole is far to scattered. Unless you joined with other users also locked out.........

  42. #42
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    Just Saying

    I have been fighting for trial access and the loss of trails for years.. locally the BLM and FORA. But I have to disagree on allowing bikes on the PCT
    This trail is already getting over crowded and many sections have quotas on them for a good reason.
    We have plenty of trails in the country to ride and many other ones to fight for. Leave this one alone... grab a backpack and enjoy what John Muir and many others fought very hard for.
    Hike the PCT slowly and peacefully and you might re-think your stand on allowing bikes on the PCT.

    Pack it in Pack it out ...yes your TP

    RP

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    If the trail were opened, then it would then be maintained. Ironically, the current user group(s) are those who say they care, are adament against bikers, are the first to walk around the fallen tree and establish a re-route. Generally speaking the mountain biking community are trail stewards and care about the trails, the land/envioronment and stewardship.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sworksrider View Post
    I have been fighting for trial access and the loss of trails for years.. locally the BLM and FORA. But I have to disagree on allowing bikes on the PCT
    This trail is already getting over crowded and many sections have quotas on them for a good reason.
    We have plenty of trails in the country to ride and many other ones to fight for. Leave this one alone... grab a backpack and enjoy what John Muir and many others fought very hard for.
    Hike the PCT slowly and peacefully and you might re-think your stand on allowing bikes on the PCT.

    Pack it in Pack it out ...yes your TP

    RP
    Same argument all the anti bikers use all the time: you got plenty of trails to ride, so leave the PCT/Wilderness/"whatever trail they want to excludes us from" alone. Stats just don't support this. Cyclists have access to maybe 20%-30% of the trails that hikers do. And the PCT has used the best route in many spots. Do you know that the PCTA would not even let a new multi use trail cross the PCT? That's right! How amazing is that? When we have exclusive access to 2600 mile of bike only trail, then maybe we can consider leaving the PCT alone, but until then we should argue for sharing.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  45. #45
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    A good model on a small scale is the Tahoe Rim Trail. Sections of the trail are open to bikes, section of wilderness are not. This could be applied to the PCT. As for overcrowded areas that are not wilderness, keep thise closed as well. With that said, I-80 north has sections that will only see thru hikers, period. Such little use that the trail is being lost and not even close to maintained. These are areas that could be opened to riding. In the past the TRT had odd/even days, it could also be before July and after Labor Day.

    There is always the misinformed or confrontational hiker where legal trails cross the PCT. It is about education and information. As for bikers, this is a situation where trail etiquette and education goes a long ways. I see this lacking as a rider to other riders. Since the PCT is generally a XC trail, one would think the majority of the cyclists would be a bit more on the up and up and stewards of the trail and the sport.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasejj View Post
    I agree with everything you stated in this post. But you are missing one important thing.

    The Liberal Democrats who have dominated Cali politics and all of the government beaurocracy have taken over the day to day mgmt of the USFS and BLM. To such an extent that the only remedy for change is supporting fiscal and public policy conservatives.

    In my 35 years I have never seen a conservative candidate (Republican mostly) flat out dismiss our and other recreationists concerns. If they do not endorse our concerns they at least get out of the way.
    In every case I have observed Democrats and Liberal Independants always side with radical enviro interests who's objective is lock out any recreation that does not meet their definition of acceptable use. There is NO give and take on this. If they get a judges ruling to use current law or precedence they will sue using ridiculous ESA claims to shut it down.

    Many MTBers I have met self identify as a liberal tree hugger. If you really are concerned for your access to riding in the future, you seriously need to become educated on this as you are on the wrong side.
    You, sir, are a moron. You are so wrong on so many levels here I don't know where to begin. This has nothing to do with what "side" anyone is on. Both sides are a bunch of ******bags, and neither is looking out for the best interests of the vast majority of Americans, on any issue. Do you think ANY of the people making decisions regarding the PCT have ever even been on the trail?
    And FYI, being "liberal", in the sense of being an open minded, free thinking, generous person, does not equal Democrat. Just as being "conservative" should not equate to a Republican party that advocates people being allowed to do whatever the hell they want, so long as they don't have differing religious moral values.

  47. #47
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    Disclaimer #1 I work for a non-profit managing about 20K acres of land, and am our land manager
    Disclaimer #2 I'm a little cranky from having just had to fix a bunch of atv damage on one of our non-motorized singletracks (motorized trail less than 100 yards away); went from tight to blown in 1 day. arrrgghhh!

    reoaching
    IMO poach if you want, don't if you don't. But the whole "I'm poaching as a civil disobedient" thing... I wonder if that's what the dog walkers that bag their dog poo and don't pack it out leaving it for the 'trail janitor' (me), or the equestrian post-holing up a trail that is very clearly marked as no equestrians, or guy on the atv was doing when he blew up my nice new berms!!!

    Edit: I know for a fact that there are atv'ers (and motos, but they at least keep the trails tight still) that at least discuss roosting up berms to keep trails from becoming proprietary to mountain bikers on the trail network east of Truckee. That is not really poaching because they are all user-created though.

    rant over
    Last edited by John Svahn; 10-06-2012 at 12:04 PM.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sworksrider View Post
    I have been fighting for trial access and the loss of trails for years.. locally the BLM and FORA. But I have to disagree on allowing bikes on the PCT
    This trail is already getting over crowded and many sections have quotas on them for a good reason.
    We have plenty of trails in the country to ride and many other ones to fight for. Leave this one alone... grab a backpack and enjoy what John Muir and many others fought very hard for.
    Hike the PCT slowly and peacefully and you might re-think your stand on allowing bikes on the PCT.

    Pack it in Pack it out ...yes your TP

    RP
    But the PCT is over 2,600 miles long. Most of the high-pressure sections you mention are in Wilderness or national parks and would not be considered for bike access anyhow.

    Those who believe that "liberal tree huggers" or enviro-wackos are the enemy and cause of the restricted access problem -- just because some of them are hostile and the hostile ones sometimes have a lot of power and influence -- are really showing small-minded thinking. It is the same kind of shallow reasoning and convenient use of broad-brush labels that leads some misguided hikers to think that mountain bikers are dangerous, trail-destroying maniacs.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasejj View Post
    I agree with everything you stated in this post. But you are missing one important thing.

    The Liberal Democrats who have dominated Cali politics and all of the government beaurocracy have taken over the day to day mgmt of the USFS and BLM. To such an extent that the only remedy for change is supporting fiscal and public policy conservatives.

    In my 35 years I have never seen a conservative candidate (Republican mostly) flat out dismiss our and other recreationists concerns. If they do not endorse our concerns they at least get out of the way.
    In every case I have observed Democrats and Liberal Independants always side with radical enviro interests who's objective is lock out any recreation that does not meet their definition of acceptable use. There is NO give and take on this. If they get a judges ruling to use current law or precedence they will sue using ridiculous ESA claims to shut it down.

    Many MTBers I have met self identify as a liberal tree hugger. If you really are concerned for your access to riding in the future, you seriously need to become educated on this as you are on the wrong side.
    If only it were so simple. The traditional "conservative" view seems to be heavy on blanket (non-selective) extraction. There are many parts of the PCT in NorCal and Oregon where the clear cutting has left the trail corridor looking like a war zone. Compare that to the surgical removal of timber in the Sierra City area, which demonstrates that issues are rarely so black and white.

    -D
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-diesel_pct_03_5888rs.jpg  

    Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-diesel_pct_03_5741rs.jpg  

    Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-diesel_pct_03_5858rs.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by fill the void View Post
    A good model on a small scale is the Tahoe Rim Trail. Sections of the trail are open to bikes, section of wilderness are not..... With that said, I-80 north has sections that will only see thru hikers, period. Such little use that the trail is being lost and not even close to maintained. These are areas that could be opened to riding....
    This is an important point that you and others are making. The area you are referring to is the notorious "Section O", in the PCT guidebook. It is overgrown and dying from lack of use and maintenance, and there are many places where additional trail use and the increased pool of volunteers that come along with it would be hugely beneficial.

    It is the blanket closure that needs to be lifted, and it does not mean that every foot of the trail would be open to bikes.

    Long live the PCT!

    -D
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-diesel_pct_03_5843rs.jpg  

    Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-diesel_pct_03_5902rs.jpg  


  51. #51
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    Found this blog: Going Long | Ryan's Cycling Blog

    Loved this piece:
    From a litigation standpoint, however, some knuckle-headed hikers adhere so completely to hiker-biker-horse-circle-of-life-on-the-trail signs that I could scream. The sign gives a stubborn hiker license to plod along in front of a biker at a walking pace instead of taking a quick step off the trail to let the biker pass. The vast majority of hikers travel sensibly, but a few follow the sign like a religion. I say, get rid of the signs and replace it with a disclaimer that says: “If you get hurt while acting like an a$$hole, it’s on you!”
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    So what went down in 1988 that resulted in the "Order" to ban bicycles on the PCT? Was there any sort of public comment, hearing, etc., or did some people freak out about these new things called "mountain bikes" and quickly write up the "Order" without due process?

    Based on this article I found from '88, it seems like recreation via bicycle fits in with their vision of the future... especially since their children's children are riding mountain bikes now
    Hi, Empty Beer — First, thanks for posting this article. This kind of material is valuable and could end up in our eventual comments to the Forest Service (or yours if you are inclined to submit one!)

    The 1988 closure order was the kind of thing that's usually issued when a campground facility is out of order or a wasp's nest makes it hazardous to use it. It is not meant for wholesale long-term policy decisions. No public notice or comment accompanied its issuance and, if I recall correctly, it was supposed to revisited every 90 days, but it hasn't been revisited since 1988. This is why the Forest Service has to undertake this rulemaking process now, which will include the notice and comment opportunity it did not offer before. It agrees that the closure order is defective.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Same argument all the anti bikers use all the time: you got plenty of trails to ride, so leave the PCT/Wilderness/"whatever trail they want to excludes us from" alone. Stats just don't support this. Cyclists have access to maybe 20%-30% of the trails that hikers do. And the PCT has used the best route in many spots. Do you know that the PCTA would not even let a new multi use trail cross the PCT? That's right! How amazing is that? When we have exclusive access to 2600 mile of bike only trail, then maybe we can consider leaving the PCT alone, but until then we should argue for sharing.

    Really.... Not a anti biker, in fact far from it .. sharing ? you can ride the road every day and ask that question.....it will not happen EVER but I deal with it.
    I enjoy hiking without my bike and most of the PCT trail I would be pushing my bike anyway. I will fight for better battles and leave the PCT alone. So many people have fought very hard for that route and I am OK with that.

    Cheers
    Richard
    Monterey Bay Cycling

  54. #54
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    That's fine, Richard. Let a hundred flowers bloom, as the saying goes. Not every mountain biker will support this effort, and not every PCT through-hiker will oppose it.

    One thought occurred to me, however. I can't remember when the PCT came into being, but I know it was by 1981, because I backpacked 125 miles of it in Oregon that year. The closure order came into being in 1988. I haven't heard of any complaints from the time that bicycles were allowed on the trail, which must have been the case for a decade or longer.

  55. #55
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    The bigger issue is the maintenance and upkeep of the trail, especially in remote areas. I come across sections that do not have any use at all and are being lost. Who will do the upkeep? Cyclists.

  56. #56
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    Fill the void, what section(s) are those? All information is useful for when the time comes to present an argument to the government.

    Diesel~ (previous page) mentioned that PCT section O in California is disappearing for lack of use. That's in and/or near Shasta County. Is that the same area you're mentioning?

  57. #57
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    I noticed that the Pacific Crest Trail Association's official stance is very anti-MTB. They claim that bikes are more damaging to trails than horses and talk about the damage done by illegal bike use. I checked their website recently and was unable to find the article. Unfortunately, the official nature of their organization gives some credibility to their claims.

  58. #58
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    We've created a Facebook page for this effort. I invite everyone to "like" it.

    Currently we have six mtbr.com pages going, and we'll continue to post information on them. The Facebook page, however, will make it possible to post information in one place that people will receive quickly.

    Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  59. #59
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    "Liked"

    Is the cover picture on the facebook page, a rider on the PCT, politically, that may be unwise? IMO

  60. #60
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    No, not the PCT. I think it's the fabled 401 trail near Crested Butte, Colo. But others have pointed this out too. Originally I thought about it and decided it wasn't worth worrying about—it's just a cyclist on a trail. But I wonder if I should change it to include a caption. FB doesn't allow a caption AFAIK, but I could edit the photo with a program like Microsoft Paint (yes, I know it's primitive, but it works) to point that out. Any suggestions welcome.

  61. #61
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    I grabbed shot from FB page, but it's probably not the original resolution that you submitted.
    If you want to send it to me in higher res, I can add the caption of your choice.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpressnall View Post
    I noticed that the Pacific Crest Trail Association's official stance is very anti-MTB. They claim that bikes are more damaging to trails than horses and talk about the damage done by illegal bike use. I checked their website recently and was unable to find the article. Unfortunately, the official nature of their organization gives some credibility to their claims.
    99% of "earth" damage was committed by those who built the trail. After that, it's pretty much negligible in terms of further impacts

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmattcor View Post
    I grabbed shot from FB page, but it's probably not the original resolution that you submitted.
    If you want to send it to me in higher res, I can add the caption of your choice.
    I can do it also. I'll attend to it. I appreciate your showing it as an example.

  64. #64
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    Done, thanks, using your image. It's not great, but it'll do for now. I have discovered that every single photo editing program I have (all rather basic except for Microsoft Picture Manager) either won't allow me to add text in white (I can only do it in black) or won't allow me to add text at all! Ridiculous. Were it otherwise, I have a ton of photos from my own mountain biking in Colorado that I could use. But again, I think this will do for now.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    99% of "earth" damage was committed by those who built the trail. After that, it's pretty much negligible in terms of further impacts
    Great Statement Those who Built the Trail. Not worth the fight for us Mtn bikers to ride the PCT..
    The PCT Association for the most part has always been anti-bikes...anti a lot of things but this trail is one of the best hiking trails in the country for that reason.

    RP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    But the PCT is over 2,600 miles long. Most of the high-pressure sections you mention are in Wilderness or national parks and would not be considered for bike access anyhow.

    Those who believe that "liberal tree huggers" or enviro-wackos are the enemy and cause of the restricted access problem -- just because some of them are hostile and the hostile ones sometimes have a lot of power and influence -- are really showing small-minded thinking. It is the same kind of shallow reasoning and convenient use of broad-brush labels that leads some misguided hikers to think that mountain bikers are dangerous, trail-destroying maniacs.

    Well, so far the reaction from members on the PCT-L is less than enthusiastic!
    The level of hysteria is pretty funny. It ranges from bikers tear the trail, mow us down, assault your mom (okay I made that one up) to "I own a road bike, so why should they be on trails?".

    This is going to be quite interesting.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sworksrider View Post
    Great Statement Those who Built the Trail. Not worth the fight for us Mtn bikers to ride the PCT..
    The PCT Association for the most part has always been anti-bikes...anti a lot of things but this trail is one of the best hiking trails in the country for that reason.

    RP
    Hmmmm...perhaps the point is, rather, one of the best trails thus far reserved for hikers.
    I don't rattle.

  68. #68
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    Some interesting tid-bits on the origin of the PCT and the original plan...

    President Lyndon Johnson's original quote from a speech in 1965, that ultimately gave "birth" to the PCT, as part of the National Trails System Act of 1968:

    "TRAILS: The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride horseback or bicycle. For them we must have trails as well as highways. Nor should motor vehicles be permitted to tyrannize the more leisurely human traffic.

    Old and young alike can participate. Our doctors recommend and encourage such activity for fitness and fun.

    I am requesting, therefore, that the Secretary of the Interior work with his colleagues in the federal government and with state and local leaders and recommend to me a cooperative program to encourage a national system of trails, building up the more than hundred thousand miles of trails in our National Forests and Parks.

    As with so much of our quest for beauty and quality, each community has opportunities for action. We can and should have an abundance of trails for walking, cycling and horseback riding, in and close to our cities. In the back country we need to copy the great Appalachian Trail in all parts of America, and to make full use of rights of way and other public paths."
    -LBJ - 2/8/1965



    The original PCT plan: Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail - Comprehensive Plan

    While mt. biking as we know it didn't exist when all this work was being done, I have to believe the overall vision of the PCT (and President LBJ) supports enjoying the trail on a human powered bicycle.


    Overview: "-Provides for a diversity of appropriate outdoor recreation opportunities limited principally by the carrying capacity of the area and the Congressional restriction on motorized use. - 5/16/80"
    -- "diversity"... not "limited". And "motorized"... not "mechanized".

    Page 2:"Each National Scenic Trail should stand out, in its own right, as a recreation resource of superlative quality and physical challenge."

    Page 2: "The Pacific Crest Trail traditionally has served horseback and foot traveler. This use pattern, accepted by most visitors to the trail, should be continued."
    -- this was 1982. Many, many visitors to the trail today do not accept these as the only 2 means of recreation, fitness and fun.

    Page 3: "The routes of national scenic trails should be so located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas through which such trails may pass."
    -- "maximum"... not "limited"

    Page 12 (regarding Management of the trail, circa late '70's-early '80's): "Complaints were received from users regarding conflicts between equestrian and foot traffic."
    -- before hikers had mountain bikers to whine about, they whined about equestrians

    Page 18 (regarding the more remote/primitive portions of the PCT): "The user will enjoy maximum opportunity for solitude and testing of outdoor skills. Feelings of regulation will be minimized to the greatest extent possible. Feelings of physical achievement will be an important part of the experience offered."
    -- sounds like an ideal bike ride to me!

  69. #69
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    Nice Empty Beer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Hmmmm...perhaps the point is, rather, one of the best trails thus far reserved for hikers.
    YES... Great Point
    We as Mtn Bikers need to work on other solutions then try to battle the PCT and its politics. The population growth and overcrowding has caused many conflicts on the trails,roads, etc. with no answers.
    We could try to build and maintain trails in heavy hiking areas that are BIKE only trails. Sounds impossible but with some time and great community support it can be done. There is a perfect example of a great trail locally in a County Park that is dedicated to MTN Bikes Only..

    Cheers
    RP

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    Hopefully the outcome in the end will be left to the individual land mangers which are many to decide if sections should be opened up or not. I do not think the PCTA has any authority what so ever to decide if the trail is closed or opened to bikes, although there opinion may weigh heavily with the feds.

    Of course Wilderness areas will be off limit, but there are many sections of trail that just opening short section to bike use opens up amazing links for larger rides (These happen to be the most poached sections because of this).

    Saying that the trail was not built to sustain bike traffic is ridiculous, if it was built to sustain horse traffic it fine for bikes. A buddy of mine who builds lots of trails was explaining how much longer it takes to build trails to support horse traffic, not only the trail bed, but clearing a large swath both horizontally & vertically allow a horse with panniers to pass.

    Getting bikers involvement with the trail will only improve the trail as MUCH more maintenance will occur on sections being overgrown and with tree removal. Not to mention the monetary effect of people joining the PCTA.

    Some how 1000 of miles of trails are shared between Hikers / Horses / Bikers, for the most part without indecent, and guess what the trails seem to hold up ok.

    Ideally some sections will open up. Possibly with an odd/even day thing, or something seasonal, like Sept 1st till the first snowfall when the though hikers are done.

    There's one example of a 1/4 miles section of PCT blocks the connection of 100's of miles of trails, do we really need to create another parallel trial in the forest, just because this 1/4 mile section that runs next to a major freeway cannot be shared? pretty unbelievable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    You, sir, are a moron. You are so wrong on so many levels here I don't know where to begin. This has nothing to do with what "side" anyone is on. Both sides are a bunch of ******bags, and neither is looking out for the best interests of the vast majority of Americans, on any issue. Do you think ANY of the people making decisions regarding the PCT have ever even been on the trail?
    And FYI, being "liberal", in the sense of being an open minded, free thinking, generous person, does not equal Democrat. Just as being "conservative" should not equate to a Republican party that advocates people being allowed to do whatever the hell they want, so long as they don't have differing religious moral values.
    You are simply wrong and calling me silly names does not prove your argument. I will stand by my statement as a citizen who has been involved intimately with this issue in this state for longer than many on this board have been alive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel~ View Post
    If only it were so simple. The traditional "conservative" view seems to be heavy on blanket (non-selective) extraction. There are many parts of the PCT in NorCal and Oregon where the clear cutting has left the trail corridor looking like a war zone. Compare that to the surgical removal of timber in the Sierra City area, which demonstrates that issues are rarely so black and white.

    -D
    Trail access and logging are separate issues entirely. I have had 50 yo legacy trails that had mega hours of volunteer work destroyed by USFS allowing the logging activities you show there. Hey it sucks, but logging is a necessary and essential activity for the forest as important as any other for economic survival in the areas we like to ride. Until you stop living or using anything made of wood, your argument against has little validity. As it will be done here or in other areas any way you look at it.
    I will take the pro resource extraction conservative and argue the USFS logging policy any day over a "lock it all up and patrol it " Liberal Democrat any day of the week.

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    I see that the thread is moving away a bit from the narrower question of comments about the PCT (and what we all can do to facilitate gaining access to it when the public comment process starts), and toward a general debate about people's stubborn views on the left and the right, broadly speaking.

    I'd like to say, to reassure any skeptic who thinks we're in for a big surprise when we find out how stubborn and unyielding our opponents are, that we know what we are doing. We have, collectively, many years of mountain bike access advocacy experience. We are aware that people and groups often do filter this issue through ideological lenses that inform their views on a wide range of issues.

    So there's a kernel of truth to the stereotypes about people and groups who are firmly embedded with the "left" or the "right," to oversimplify, and who approach this narrow issue of increased mountain bike access to trails from that perspective. There are people who sincerely feel the U.S. is far too restrained in extracting its resources—they would prefer we be more like Australia or Canada—and support increased mtb access because they wish to bring us into their fold or use us to disadvantage their conservation-minded opponents. And there are other people for whom any mode of transport in the wild, even the most environmentally benign human-powered travel, that wasn't available to John Muir is sinful, and who adhere to their purist vision with a kind of religiosity that mirrors the intensity of religious fundamentalism in the Bible Belt. Or, on a more practical level, there are hikers and equestrians who are selfish and who believe the roadless public lands belong only to them; and there are commercial dude ranch interests who want to keep bicycles off trails so they can continue to sell as many luxury packstock and horse "expeditions" as possible, without complaints from nervous clients about bicycles.

    Our task, as we work to get the PCT made available to cyclists, is to worm our way through these ideological and financial-interest currents and try to get to the finish line with something to show for it. We welcome everyone's help, as I've said before.

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    Imtnbike, I think we met in my office a few weeks ago...

    So hopefully this is an addition to the discussion rather than just prattling on, but most of what I hear about the Bikes on the PCT discussion from "the other side" has nothing to do with bikes on the PCT. There is concern that with the limited management tools in the public land manager's toolbox, opening the door to allow bikes on the PCT (or wilderness for that matter) could only be done by removing the door from it's hinges basically, removing the ability for land managers to make decisions regarding land management. I.E. once the horses head is in the barn, the whole horse is coming in.

    I don't know to what extent this is the case, but addressing it up front might be helpful in mitigating these concerns, if they are real and are mitigate-able.

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    Hi, John — Yes, we did, along with a third person who's posting on this thread. Thanks for giving us your time and perspective.

    We're sensitive to the need to do what you propose. The concerns you mention should be unfounded, because if the Forest Service allows mountain biking and a problem crops up on any particular stretch of the PCT, the Forest Service can issue another closure order for that area and then, as it's supposed to do, review it again in a year. By which time, of course, I hope we'd have worked out any problem; there'd be a huge incentive for the local mountain bikers to do so. I bet no problem would arise that cannot be resolved.

    Frankly, I would be worried if anything in our initiative caused the Forest Service to lose authority to manage the PCT as fully as it does now. We haven't asked for anything of the kind. In fact, I hear that in the past the Forest Service has deferred rather extensively to the Pacific Crest Trail Association and allowed it to govern the PCT de facto. We'd prefer that a public agency assume full authority over the trail rather than delegating de facto authority to any interest group, be it us, the PCTA, or any other entity.

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    x-posted to the FB page.

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    A true believer wishing to teach others how to save the planet has one choice:...kill yourself.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

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    The PCTl forum is getting interesting, as expected it's hit a raw nerve

    The Pct-L October 2012 Archive by thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    The PCTl forum is getting interesting, as expected it's hit a raw nerve

    The Pct-L October 2012 Archive by thread
    Even better (and easier to read): https://www.facebook.com/SavethePCT

  81. #81
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    The Official stance of the PCTA (as of today):

    The PCTA has issued this response:

    Pacific Crest Trail Association

    Response to inquiries about mountain bikes and the PCT

    10/11/12

    To our members and supporters:

    ...
    We are receiving many inquiries from you about information being posted online about mountain bikes and the PCT. We want to assure you that we are well aware of this growing campaign to open the PCT to bicycles. We are monitoring the decision-making process and we are working on a strategy to thoughtfully address this issue.

    The US Forest Service has been contacted by a group of citizens requesting a review of the bicycle prohibition but has not made a decision regarding a review process. Public notification and an environmental analysis would have to take place before any change in the bicycle prohibition would be considered.

    The Pacific Crest Trail Association opposes bicycle use on the trail. We will be reaching out to all of you when we know more about the process and what influence we, as hikers and equestrians, can have. We will keep you informed of our progress and your potential role in this important matter for the PCT.

    Thank you for your support of the PCTA and for all you do for the trail.

    - Liz Bergeron, PCTA Executive Director and CEO
    LBergeron@pcta.org
    Phone: 916-285-1846

    If you do contact please be civil/nice. Many of these people have it deeply ingrained that MTB'rs are bad, and riding is bad....based on nothing more than anecdotes and 'feelings'.

    If it is possible to change their views it would benefit all involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    The Official stance of the PCTA (as of today):


    LBergeron@pcta.org
    Phone: 916-285-1846

    If you do contact please be civil/nice. Many of these people have it deeply ingrained that MTB'rs are bad, and riding is bad....based on nothing more than anecdotes and 'feelings'.

    If it is possible to change their views it would benefit all involved.

    OK....one more time.. then it's time for me to move on from this !
    Not worth the BATTLE.. OH and my "feelings" got hurt.

    Richard

    AKA MTB'r,Roadie,Off Roader,Car Driver,Thru Hiker,MX,Golfer,Dog Owner, etc ,etc,
    Really ! I just don't have time to do any except take care of the dog poop.


    p.s. Also I'm joining the PCTA this w.e. You never know ?


    Cheers

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    Regarding both bikepacking and day rides: one thing that would be very helpful would be for people to post the opportunities in their area that would open up if access were legalized. What good rides would become available that weren't before? What out-and-back rides could become loops? And, if you feel like being candid, what problems could arise from mountain bike use on those trail miles, and how could any such problems be solved?

  84. #84
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    Quick followup to some recent posts:

    1. Sworksrider: I think you mentioned earlier that you lack the skills to ride the PCT, which is one reason you don't want anyone else legally riding it either. If you got off the road bike for a while and practiced more challenging trails (not that most of the PCT would be technically challenging), you might find that you're changing your mind! Just a thought.

    2. Someone mentioned a fear that the exclusion-minded might react by trying to get more Wilderness or more of the PCT included in Wilderness. That's conceivably true, but it is difficult to get Congress to create new Wilderness areas—something only Congress can do, and not the NPS, BLM or FS. That's because Wilderness is right up there with affirmative action, same-sex marriage, attacking Iran, abortion, and prayer in schools as a hot-button issue. IIRC, Yellowstone NP has no Wilderness, because it can't get through Congress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Quick followup to some recent posts:

    1. Sworksrider: I think you mentioned earlier that you lack the skills to ride the PCT, which is one reason you don't want anyone else legally riding it either. If you got off the road bike for a while and practiced more challenging trails (not that most of the PCT would be technically challenging), you might find that you're changing your mind! Just a thought.

    2. Someone mentioned a fear that the exclusion-minded might react by trying to get more Wilderness or more of the PCT included in Wilderness. That's conceivably true, but it is difficult to get Congress to create new Wilderness areas—something only Congress can do, and not the NPS, BLM or FS. That's because Wilderness is right up there with affirmative action, same-sex marriage, attacking Iran, abortion, and prayer in schools as a hot-button issue. IIRC, Yellowstone NP has no Wilderness, because it can't get through Congress.
    imtnbike
    I. I think your missing my bigger picture.. maybe try hiking the entire PCT in Calif and you might change your mind. Just a thought, also there are way to many people that don't what us riding any part of it. Lack of skills it has nothing to do with my skills on a MTB. I feel very confident I can hold my myself upright on any trail after 25 years of riding.... just slowing down a bit.

    Once again it's to big a battle to waste all my energy. I'm OK with hiking it.


    Cheers

    RP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sworksrider View Post
    imtnbike
    I. I think your missing my bigger picture.. maybe try hiking the entire PCT in Calif and you might change your mind.


    Cheers

    RP
    I have backpacked about 125 miles of it. It was great, but a different experience from riding a bike through a beautiful forest. Both types of human-powered travel can be fabulous

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    I still think the bigger picture is the actual trail itself and the lack of management to maintain it. Sections are being lost due to lack of use and lack of interest by the current user groups to maintain the trail. Some may argue that this is not true, well come to rural sections of the trail that only see the thru hikers.

    The mtb community has a devout following that truly cares about trails, advocay and stewardship. As mentioned before, it is a plausible scenario to open sections of the trail, perhaps only in the remote areas. At least these sections of trail will be maintained and tread not lost.

  88. #88
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    Great discussion happening on the Facebook page - Sharing the PCT
    Always respect rangers, they are doing their job-Everyone else has no authority, so get out of the way of the of the ATrain!

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  90. #90
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    Things are currently moving nicely

    There is a very vocal extremist type minority that continuously posts insane-O rhetoric...like bounty hunters, physically colliding with cyclists until death and sabotage...

    You can review updates on the Sharing the PCT FB page:
    https://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

    or go straight to the source:
    The Pct-L October 2012 Archive by date


    Again this is a very unique opportunity that will not happen again - It really is the Perfect Cycling trail.
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    Good work everyone. I will do whatever I can to help.

    It seems that the extreme reactions could be easily dismissed by logical people, at least I hope so.

    I just read on the PCT-L archive about a "separate but equal" trail for bikes. That sounds great, and we should also have separate drinking fountains, bathrooms, and we should sit at the back of the bus too. Hopefully these people treat other human beings better than some of their comments about mountain bikers may indicate.
    "It's just that nobody likes Cornfish." francois

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    Just hiked PCT from Echo Lake to Aloha Lake and couldn't help but think that it would've been such a beautiful ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cornfish View Post
    Good work everyone. I will do whatever I can to help.

    It seems that the extreme reactions could be easily dismissed by logical people, at least I hope so.

    I just read on the PCT-L archive about a "separate but equal" trail for bikes. That sounds great, and we should also have separate drinking fountains, bathrooms, and we should sit at the back of the bus too. Hopefully these people treat other human beings better than some of their comments about mountain bikers may indicate.
    The PCT-L is a joke...an entertaining one at that...The 'Sharing the PCT' facebook page has a lot of back and forth with PCT-L extremists...which can make for a good read

    The powers that be do not take into considerations groups like the PCT-L, or Facebook, or MTBR for that matter..

    Now the guy who runs PCT-L (Brick Robbins) removes pretty much any and all differing opinions so that the 15 or so fundamentalist types can participate in type of self fulfilling hate circle jerk...

    There's been discussion of hiring bounty hunters, not yielding until death, sabotage, intentionally injuring cyclists, etc..etc..etc...

    The only real problem I have with the guy is that he's the PCTA's webmaster (AFAIK)...and the PCTA has been a very strong and positive driving force behind the PCT. They are well deserving of respect...

    It would be sad if Brick played some muckity-muck with content/communications thru that site to twist his own views in. He has the PCT-L as the only forum link discussion area on the PCTA.

    I have little faith in his integrity and ethics....
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    The powers that be do not take into considerations groups like the PCT-L, or Facebook, or MTBR for that matter..
    Hopefully this(^^^) is true. In past dealings with the USFS and the BLM (not California) I have found the people in charge to be more or less reasonable. The issue that I have encountered in the past was confusion over how many users backed a particular idea in regards to trail management. Sort of like "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" the people in the USFS, etc. get bombarded by the opinions of a very small minority until they believe the minority speaks for the majority.

    If the idea is to get more people to use and experience the PCT, many of which have never set foot there, the last people you want to listen to are the handful of hardcore PCT hikers. Clearly that group is already familiar with the trail, using it frequently and closed minded to anything other than the status quo.
    "It's just that nobody likes Cornfish." francois

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    Latest from PCT public relation

    Latest News

    PCTA issues statement regarding mountain bikes

    10/11/12

    To our members and supporters:

    We are receiving many inquiries from you about information being posted online about mountain bikes and the PCT. We want to assure you that we are well aware of this growing campaign to open the PCT to bicycles. We are monitoring the decision-making process and we are working on a strategy to thoughtfully address this issue.

    The U.S. Forest Service has been contacted by a group of citizens requesting a review of the bicycle prohibition but has not made a decision regarding a review process. Public notification and an environmental analysis would have to take place before any change in the bicycle prohibition would be considered.

    The Pacific Crest Trail Association opposes bicycle use on the trail. We will be reaching out to all of you when we know more about the process and what influence we, as hikers and equestrians, can have. We will keep you informed of our progress and your potential role in this important matter for the PCT.

    Thank you for your support of the PCTA and for all you do for the trail.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuba man View Post
    Latest News

    PCTA issues statement regarding mountain bikes

    10/11/12

    To our members and supporters:

    We are receiving many inquiries from you about information being posted online about mountain bikes and the PCT. We want to assure you that we are well aware of this growing campaign to open the PCT to bicycles. We are monitoring the decision-making process and we are working on a strategy to thoughtfully address this issue.

    The U.S. Forest Service has been contacted by a group of citizens requesting a review of the bicycle prohibition but has not made a decision regarding a review process. Public notification and an environmental analysis would have to take place before any change in the bicycle prohibition would be considered.

    The Pacific Crest Trail Association opposes bicycle use on the trail. We will be reaching out to all of you when we know more about the process and what influence we, as hikers and equestrians, can have. We will keep you informed of our progress and your potential role in this important matter for the PCT.

    Thank you for your support of the PCTA and for all you do for the trail.
    Yup - we are well aware of the PCTA's official stance.

    for more info you should check out:
    Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail

    and a lively discussion:
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

    and for some serious WTF!?!?!:
    The Pct-L October 2012 Archive by subject


    it is all very, very interesting
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  98. #98
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    Nice article just published:
    Advocates hope for reversal of Pacific Crest Trail bike ban

    Bike advocates say the 1988 ban was done too abruptly, without public comment or opportunity to appeal. The Oregon-based group, Disciples of Dirt, who fully supports the mission of Sharing the PCT, wrote on their website that the ban was "just fear and misunderstanding, mixed with a lot of well funded ignorance."

    In 2010, a group of citizen activists decided to probe further into the 1988 decision. They wrote a letter to the USFS on November 12, 2010 asking them to "put in place a process to examine the continuing usefulness of the 1988 closure order."

    click here to read more

    Sharing the Pacific Crest TrailHome » Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail
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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    I am a member of the PCTA and enjoy hiking along many of the high Sierra stretches. Note that most of those would areas not be affected by this potential change because they are in Wilderness Areas that are off-limits to anything mechanical. And I think that is as it should be.
    Bollocks. I assume you hike naked on the trail? Do you take your gas stove with you? Backpack? GPS? Tent?

    Ban on bike travel in Wilderness is utterly idiotic. There is NO justification, but the exclusionary ideas of misguided people like you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Bollocks. I assume you hike naked on the trail? Do you take your gas stove with you? Backpack? GPS? Tent?

    Ban on bike travel in Wilderness is utterly idiotic. There is NO justification, but the exclusionary ideas of misguided people like you.
    Maybe if mountain bikers as a group acted more like backpackers with bikes and no backpacks it would work - the problem is too often they act like motocrossers without engines. This is utterly incompatible with the idea of wilderness.

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