Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    life is a barrel o'fun
    Reputation: Christine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,515

    24-hr racing conundrum

    It's raining, which means no riding today, which means I'm getting some work done on the upcoming Newsletter. Banged out my Editor's Letter, and finished editing somebody's contribution- a story about his addiction to 24-hr racing.

    I wanted to add a few more details to the story, explaining what constitutes a 24-hr event. So I began a search, and up pops this website: http://www.dreamride.com/24hrrace.html which slams the idea due to its detrimental impact on the environment.

    Here in the northeast, we seem able to recover from any such damage with proper maintenance, but now I'm worried that these events are more harmful to the environment than we'd like to think.

    Are they in fact controversial? Or is that only a concern for certain areas of the country, where the impact is more permanent? I don't want to condone 24-hr racing if it's considered eco-unfriendly.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: never_was's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    It's raining, which means no riding today, which means I'm getting some work done on the upcoming Newsletter. Banged out my Editor's Letter, and finished editing somebody's contribution- a story about his addiction to 24-hr racing.

    I wanted to add a few more details to the story, explaining what constitutes a 24-hr event. So I began a search, and up pops this website: http://www.dreamride.com/24hrrace.html which slams the idea due to its detrimental impact on the environment.

    Here in the northeast, we seem able to recover from any such damage with proper maintenance, but now I'm worried that these events are more harmful to the environment than we'd like to think.

    Are they in fact controversial? Or is that only a concern for certain areas of the country, where the impact is more permanent? I don't want to condone 24-hr racing if it's considered eco-unfriendly.
    lee has a hate on for anyone that comes to Moab. unless your signing up to take one of his tours. then he loves you.

  3. #3
    DSR
    DSR is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,056
    Consider the source. Lee Bridges (Bridgers? whatever...) is kind of a nutjob. I'm just gonna throw that out there. I would say that HE is more controversial than 24 hour racing. I've done 24 Hours of Moab several time and yes, putting that many bikes on a trail in that short of a period of time year in, year out does impact the trails. It's getting more and more sandy. But most of these trails are open to motos, ATVs, etc (they got there first!) so it's not like they were starting with pristine singletrack. And yes, the camp area has a long-term impact, but in the grand scope of things and given the scale of everything out there, I think it's pretty limited. In terms of real environmental impact, I don't think that it's major. And this is all very specific to the Moab event. I'm not aware of any major environmental controversy involving an other 24 hour races. I'm pretty sensitive to environmental issues and I think that Lee is kinda out there (surprise) on this one. My guess is that he's just mad about all the folks from Denver, SLC and CA invading HIS town! My one big pet peave on the races (and probably true with any race - mtb, trailrunning, whatever) is the litter - mostly Gu packages. They're especially hard to clean up since they tend to bury under the sand and dust. I think there should be a serious time penalty if you're caught littering. Anyway, I'm sure people will weigh in on both sides, but either way I think you're quite safe printing an article on 24 hour racing. It's popular and very much within the mainstream. S

  4. #4
    life is a barrel o'fun
    Reputation: Christine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,515
    Based on his writing style, I did draw the conclusion that he was perhaps a bit "out there."

    Personally, I don't think it's the worst thing if a small portion of the environment is sacrificed for the sake of several forms of recreation- it helps keep people and damage restricted to one area, which spares the rest of the landscape.

    Thank you for the helpful feedback!
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  5. #5
    Rolling
    Reputation: lidarman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,120
    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    Based on his writing style, I did draw the conclusion that he was perhaps a bit "out there."

    Personally, I don't think it's the worst thing if a small portion of the environment is sacrificed for the sake of several forms of recreation- it helps keep people and damage restricted to one area, which spares the rest of the landscape.

    Thank you for the helpful feedback!
    Despite the Lee Bridgers "extreme" side, you do bring up a real issue...

    For the case of 24 hrs of Moab, the desert if a fragile place in that area, but BLM controls it and allows a lot of activity in Moab, including jeeping, grazing, oil, gas and mining projects. it's controlled and I'm sure impact studies are carried out. Permits are suppose to help offset this so-called damage and limit it. My understanding that the Burning Man even has expensive permits to offset the environment impact there as well. It's a whole interesting game of environmental economics.

    The 24 hrs of moab is run on the same course every year which is well established jeep trail. The real issue of impact is the camping and staging area since that is what is not established. The impact on the actual trail is minimal.

    When I showed up to camp in 2001, the area was fairly well re-grown. It's in a sandy wash so what does grow there are robust weeds. Sure, right after the race, the place looks awful and I hear Granny Gear could do a better job in cleaning up the trash after.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    388
    there is no doubt that racing is hard on the trails. certainly harder on the trails than just using them. just as riding on them is harder on them than hiking. just as being on them is harder on them than not using them. the real damage comes from the eyesore of littering and not staying on the established routes. imo.

  7. #7
    Preemptive Revenger
    Reputation: rapwithtom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    868
    it seems to me that racing is no harder on trails than other riding...the cause of the impact of a race is the number of racers. It seems to me that if us clowns weren't doing circles in the middle of nowhere near Moab, then we would be likely out riding somewhere else. Therefore it is just that the traffic is concentrated; a race course is "taking one for the team" by reducing traffic elsewhere.

    The average team at Moab does probably 12 laps...and there are what, 400 teams?...that means about 5000 rides over one trail. What would be the impact on your favorite trail if 5000 riders rode it?
    Friends don't let friends give their money to NORBA.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live. - Mark Twain

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    3,990
    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    It's raining, which means no riding today, which means I'm getting some work done on the upcoming Newsletter. Banged out my Editor's Letter, and finished editing somebody's contribution- a story about his addiction to 24-hr racing.

    I wanted to add a few more details to the story, explaining what constitutes a 24-hr event. So I began a search, and up pops this website: http://www.dreamride.com/24hrrace.html which slams the idea due to its detrimental impact on the environment.

    Here in the northeast, we seem able to recover from any such damage with proper maintenance, but now I'm worried that these events are more harmful to the environment than we'd like to think.

    Are they in fact controversial? Or is that only a concern for certain areas of the country, where the impact is more permanent? I don't want to condone 24-hr racing if it's considered eco-unfriendly.
    You bring up good points. Moab has a lot of cryptobiotic soil. It serves a valuable purpose in keeping the area from turning into sand dunes devoid of life, especially plant life. It's important to avoid damaging this soil. Bikes, quads, jeeps, any mechanism that leave tracks causes a lot of damage. Hikers cause damage,too, just not as much as the former devices.

    Having said that....If bikes and other track making devices are allowed in an area, then what is destroyed...is destroyed. It take years....even decades for this special soil to return...if ever. So if bikes and other mechanisms are allowed....does it really matter how many, as long as they adhere to the trails? Since it takes so long to recover, it doesn't seem to matter if you have 500 or 5000 bikes, or jeeps, or whatever. As long as the organizers don't create new trails, it shouldn't matter. I hope they're responsible enough to minimize additional impacts to the soil.

    I agree with others that some of the camping...especial the camp grounds that constantly change locations are a bigger problem.

    Support responsible racing in Moab. I do.

  9. #9
    Brass Nipples!
    Reputation: Bob the Wheelbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,008
    The camping area at the 24H of Moab has cattle on it a good portion of the year. There have been cowpies all over the camp every year I've been there and little or no criptobiotic soil.

    That said, we all should do what we can to lessen the impact we have on the environment, whether we race or just ride.
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    388
    Quote Originally Posted by rapwithtom
    it seems to me that racing is no harder on trails than other riding...the cause of the impact of a race is the number of racers. It seems to me that if us clowns weren't doing circles in the middle of nowhere near Moab, then we would be likely out riding somewhere else. Therefore it is just that the traffic is concentrated; a race course is "taking one for the team" by reducing traffic elsewhere.

    The average team at Moab does probably 12 laps...and there are what, 400 teams?...that means about 5000 rides over one trail. What would be the impact on your favorite trail if 5000 riders rode it?

    the reason racing (racing in general i'm talking about) is harder on the trails is because you've got a bunch of people riding at near 100%. alot more sliding into corners than you see on the average ride. but you are most certainly right that some of it is simply because of the number of people you're talking about. but that's still an effect of the race. the races i've done that involved more than one lap it kind of blew me away how much the trail was torn up by the time i hit lap two and beyond.

Similar Threads

  1. blast from the past, cut/paste from archived MTB DOC posts
    By ashwinearl in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-09-2005, 08:47 AM
  2. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 12-06-2004, 01:38 PM
  3. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-22-2004, 12:31 PM
  4. Racing Ralphs or Karma DTCs at 24 Hr of Moab
    By comac90 in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-31-2004, 09:15 PM
  5. 12 hr two weeks before a 24 solo?
    By Doughboy in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-26-2004, 09:06 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •