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  1. #1
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    Smile Outside Magazine Urges End to Wilderness Bicycle Ban!

    The March 2010 issue of Outside magazine contains a strong and emphatic endorsement of ending the no-bikes-in-Wilderness rules, which were mysteriously put into effect by the Forest Service around 1982, perhaps because the Wilderness Society or Sierra Club got to someone in the government bureaucracy. Before then, trail cyclists rode in Wilderness without any documented problem. See http://www.wildernessbicycling.org

    A few excerpts from this fine editorial . . . .

    It starts out, "The government's ban on bicycles in wilderness areas is dead wrong." A great opening!

    "At some point," it continues, "nearly every new mountain biker makes the same sad discovery: Bicycles are banned from . . . Wilderness. . . . And with every new Wilderness designation, someone else's favorite trail gets closed to bikes forever."

    "[T]he authors of the Wilderness Act never meant to ban" trail bicycling.

    Now, "Forest Service proposals in Montana could ban bikes from any areas that might theoretically be designated as Wilderness. Cyclists in that state might soon lose portions of four national forests based on some bureaucrat thinking those areas should one day become Wilderness."

    Buy the March issue of Outside and read the whole thing!

    If you feel like it, write a letter to the editor supporting the pro-bicycle editorial.

    Then, photocopy the article and send copies of it, with a cover note, to:

    1. Your U.S. senators and your representative (congressperson);

    2. Michelle Obama. She just began a drive to reduce obesity in young people. You could point out that the federal government is an impediment to kid-friendly means of attaining physical fitness because of its Wilderness bicycle ban.

    We don't have Debrett's Correct Form in this country (as far as I know) but I found a website that supplies an apparently correct form of envelope address and salutation for the First Lady:

    "Envelope, official:

    Mrs. Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20500


    Letter salutation:

    Dear Mrs. Obama:"

    Best investment of $1.76 (44˘ x 4 letters) ever!

  2. #2
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    Wow, thanks for bringing this to our attention. What an opportunity for us to siege them with some letters following this publicity. Could you imagine being able to ride the Colorado Trail from start to finish, no bike detours?! Giving me freakin goosebumps.

  3. #3
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    You're welcome! I've ridden parts of the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail that are legal to ride near Lake City and they're incredible. (Check out my reviews of Snow Mesa and Pole Creek Mountain on the Front Range trail reviews page.) To be able to ride more of these high-altitude wonders would be fabulous.

  4. #4
    friend of Apex
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    With Outside magazine on our side, nothing can stop us!
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  5. #5
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    Never gonna happen. The equestrian and Sierra Club lobby is WAY too strong.
    Personally I think some wilderness should be bike free. ( and horse free! )
    I doubt National Parks would be included. But... can you imagine RMN with all the Front Range traffic?
    pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain

  6. #6
    Living the High Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmosebar
    Never gonna happen. The equestrian and Sierra Club lobby is WAY too strong.
    Personally I think some wilderness should be bike free. ( and horse free! )
    I doubt National Parks would be included. But... can you imagine RMN with all the Front Range traffic?
    Can you imagine how trails would be better if bikes were spaced out over all trails?

    What about all the volunteer work cyclists do for current trails in Jeff Co, that would only extend to wilderness areas. Avid cyclists are very pro wilderness, lots of groups are and all should learn to share.

    Can you imagine the Front Range without horses? (Or at least horses with poop bags, come on!)

    Can you imagine a big spicy fajita burrito with a giant beer?

    All of these things can happen.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  7. #7
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    Thanks!!!

    I hope to look back one day at the wilderness act and chuckle like i do now when i buy beer on sunday. Stupid law and there is so much gray area in the definition that it should be redone and allow bicycles.

    I wanted to ride the colorado trail from waterton to durango and then found out i have to go out on the highway and ride my bike for sections because of some stupid law that was passed a long time ago????
    LAME!

    I am such a threat to equestrians and other hikers????????
    Come on!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke
    The March 2010 issue of Outside magazine contains a strong and emphatic endorsement of ending the no-bikes-in-Wilderness rules, which were mysteriously put into effect by the Forest Service around 1982, perhaps because the Wilderness Society or Sierra Club got to someone in the government bureaucracy. Before then, trail cyclists rode in Wilderness without any documented problem. See http://www.wildernessbicycling.org

    A few excerpts from this fine editorial . . . .

    It starts out, "The government's ban on bicycles in wilderness areas is dead wrong." A great opening!

    "At some point," it continues, "nearly every new mountain biker makes the same sad discovery: Bicycles are banned from . . . Wilderness. . . . And with every new Wilderness designation, someone else's favorite trail gets closed to bikes forever."

    "[T]he authors of the Wilderness Act never meant to ban" trail bicycling.

    Now, "Forest Service proposals in Montana could ban bikes from any areas that might theoretically be designated as Wilderness. Cyclists in that state might soon lose portions of four national forests based on some bureaucrat thinking those areas should one day become Wilderness."

    Buy the March issue of Outside and read the whole thing!

    If you feel like it, write a letter to the editor supporting the pro-bicycle editorial.

    Then, photocopy the article and send copies of it, with a cover note, to:

    1. Your U.S. senators and your representative (congressperson);

    2. Michelle Obama. She just began a drive to reduce obesity in young people. You could point out that the federal government is an impediment to kid-friendly means of attaining physical fitness because of its Wilderness bicycle ban.

    We don't have Debrett's Correct Form in this country (as far as I know) but I found a website that supplies an apparently correct form of envelope address and salutation for the First Lady:

    "Envelope, official:

    Mrs. Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20500


    Letter salutation:

    Dear Mrs. Obama:"

    Best investment of $1.76 (44˘ x 4 letters) ever!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    Can you imagine how trails would be better if bikes were spaced out over all trails?

    What about all the volunteer work cyclists do for current trails in Jeff Co, that would only extend to wilderness areas. Avid cyclists are very pro wilderness, lots of groups are and all should learn to share.

    Can you imagine the Front Range without horses? (Or at least horses with poop bags, come on!)

    Can you imagine a big spicy fajita burrito with a giant beer?

    All of these things can happen.
    Hope and Change, man! Hope and Change!

  9. #9
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    I think I'll raise a pint to the idea.

  10. #10
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    I've thought of Outside as the mag for yuppie outdoor wannabes for some time now. It seems strange they would run an article like this.

  11. #11
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka
    I've thought of Outside as the mag for yuppie outdoor wannabes for some time now. It seems strange they would run an article like this.
    In this it's like every other bike, ski, or outdoor magazine nowadays.

  12. #12
    Your retarded
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    Can you imagine how trails would be better if bikes were spaced out over all trails?
    Exactly. Can you imagine how much less frequently user conflicts, and even any encounters with other users, would occur?

    Can you imagine how much opposition would be lost and how much advocacy that would be gained by allowing bicycles? The majority of our user group would be pro-Wilderness, rather than opposing or being on the fence like it is currently.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  13. #13
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickle
    Exactly. Can you imagine how much less frequently user conflicts, and even any encounters with other users, would occur?

    Can you imagine how much opposition would be lost and how much advocacy that would be gained by allowing bicycles? The majority of our user group would be pro-Wilderness, rather than opposing or being on the fence like it is currently.
    Bingo. Apparently the hiker-only & equestrian user groups don't get this.

    I'm a hiker... and a biker... and I will OPPOSE all Wilderness designation until bikes are allowed.

  14. #14
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    I wouldn't worry too much about Wilderness Areas getting clogged with bikes... there are plenty of non-Wilderness trails easily accessed from the Front Range that get a tiny fraction of the traffic that trails like Apex get.

    And National Parks are different than Wilderness Areas, right? So I'd assume that the two would be handled separately.


    edit.. and I'll be buying a copy of this issue of Outside Magazine (I think the only place I've ever seen this mag is in doctor / dentist waiting rooms), maybe a bump in this month's circulation will motivate them towards more support for mountain biking.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter

    And National Parks are different than Wilderness Areas, right?
    Sometimes. Some National Park land IS designated Wilderness. Other is not. It's complicated.

  16. #16
    Living the High Life
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    I like Outside magazine, I've been getting it for a few years now. I like it to give me a perspective of how outsiders view my 2 favorite sports (bikes and boards) based on how they discuss them in their mag. I then apply this knowledge to the other sports they cover and can get a feel for them without having to buy multiple magazines.

    Their fitness/workout/diet articles are decent. I compare those to Decline Magazine and usually use something that's a bit of both.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  17. #17
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    I like Outside magazine
    Your standards are pretty low.

  18. #18
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    Being able to ride the whole CT without detours Where do I sign up?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    Can you imagine how trails would be better if bikes were spaced out over all trails?

    What about all the volunteer work cyclists do for current trails in Jeff Co, that would only extend to wilderness areas. Avid cyclists are very pro wilderness, lots of groups are and all should learn to share.

    Can you imagine the Front Range without horses? (Or at least horses with poop bags, come on!)

    Can you imagine a big spicy fajita burrito with a giant beer?

    All of these things can happen.
    This is how I feel as an off-roader, 4WD's that is. There's plenty of a** holes in the 4wd group as well as in MTB'ing to ruin it for all. Hikers get all the sympathy so they are perfect to the city bound environmentalist with lots of $$ to donate. I wouldn't get too happy about this article as the Sierra club extremists will have it their way no matter what an article says.

    FWIW. I love taking my family off-road over passes in the summer, as well as the extreme trails in my rockcrawler. I do clean up after my self, and others who left behind trash whether I'm in our 4wd's or when I'm on bike.

    I picked up a couple pieces of trash out at the reservoir when riding my new bike Saturday at the South shore trails so there is no perfect whether it's hikers, bikers, or off-roaders. The off-roaders that piss me off are the ATVers because there is a huge amount of them that are not educated about proper trail etiquette, and clean up skills.

    As well there are 4WDrivers that are trashy people as well.

    Sorry about the rant, but I know how much Mountain bikers hate off-roaders, and I can't totally blame them. I do come from all backgrounds and have seen bad apples from every group.

    L8rz

    Chris

  20. #20
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    I fully support a summer of civil disobeadance with regards to the wilderness ban on bikes. Untill the USFS has examples of riders that want and DO ride on these banned trails will we be able to show how bikes can belong inside wilderness areas without causing damage and trail conflict.

    I've asked over on the building/advocacy forum what the FS would do if you are caught and noone seems to know what the penalty is for "tresspassing" onto closed trails or if/when cited for this enfringment if a legal appeal to the law could be pushed through the courts.

    It's time for us to move from the back of the bus, and someone will get a nightstick to the head for pushing the boundries of access, i'm willing, I just want some insight about how hard it'll hurt. Anyone know what'll hapen and what advice can you share to those willing to civililly disobey this outdated law and push this issue to the headlines?

  21. #21
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    Add a 3rd wheel to your bike and you're legal... the ban is specifically on "bicycles".

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter
    Add a 3rd wheel to your bike and you're legal... the ban is specifically on "bicycles".
    Good point! When I walk my bike, Its called a 'walker'... I can even put tennis balls on the handlebars.
    Golden Bike Park Group

    Peak Cycles Gravity Team & Bikeparts.com
    Trestle Bike Park

  23. #23
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    it's way more complicated than that (and than it should be)

    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter
    Add a 3rd wheel to your bike and you're legal... the ban is specifically on "bicycles".
    ...^ this statement ^ however, is false. the $million buzzword is "mechanized"...

    edit: fwiw, bikes were not specifically included in that category until some 20 years after the wilderness act was passed. that's the frustrating part of the argument-- was it the intention of the wilderness act to exclude bikes? of course not, there was no (thriving) MTB scene back in 1964...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker
    I've asked over on the building/advocacy forum what the FS would do if you are caught and noone seems to know what the penalty is for "tresspassing" onto closed trails or if/when cited for this enfringment if a legal appeal to the law could be pushed through the courts.
    Up to $5000 and or 6 months in jail.

    Changing the law would be up to Congress, not the FS. If you are setting out to change the wilderness act I really think you would be better off with the FS as your friend not enemy.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker
    I fully support a summer of civil disobeadance with regards to the wilderness ban on bikes. Untill the USFS has examples of riders that want and DO ride on these banned trails will we be able to show how bikes can belong inside wilderness areas without causing damage and trail conflict.

    I've asked over on the building/advocacy forum what the FS would do if you are caught and noone seems to know what the penalty is for "tresspassing" onto closed trails or if/when cited for this enfringment if a legal appeal to the law could be pushed through the courts.

    It's time for us to move from the back of the bus, and someone will get a nightstick to the head for pushing the boundries of access, i'm willing, I just want some insight about how hard it'll hurt. Anyone know what'll hapen and what advice can you share to those willing to civililly disobey this outdated law and push this issue to the headlines?

    Do a search for Vally Forge. When i lived in pa we had a lot of problems from this. We use to ride illegal trails all the time. The one time i got caught the Park Guard told me this time I get a warning. After that they would star confiscating bikes.

    I was really pissed at the encounter becasue the trails were technically off federal property. And we had been riding the trails for years. There was a story about some really stupid guys that got caught mountain biking below the rim of the Grand Canyon when the Federal Government shut down a bunch of years ago and they lost there bikes too.

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