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  1. #1
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    American Hiking Society = OverreactingPanicFreakOut!

    Looks like the American Hiking Society is freaking out about us MTB'rs who would like to research sections of National Scenic Trails that would be suitable for Mountain Biking.

    They are requesting donations of $50,000 specifically to keep MTBr's from even evaluating if multi-use would work on sections of thousands and thousands of miles of underutilized public trails.

    weird huh?

    Hiking Experience at Risk on National Scenic Trails

    American Hiking Society (AHS) believes that National Scenic Trails, and/or sections of these trails, where mountain bikes are currently prohibited, should remain closed to bicycles...

    ...To effectively meet this threat, AHS needs your support!...

    ...particular segments of National Scenic Trails such as the Continental Divide Trail (where mountain bikers want to create a "megaEpic" ride), North Country Trail, and others, have been directly and publicly targeted for a concerted effort aimed at gaining access for mountain bikes...

    ...To ensure that we can respond rapidly to this latest threat AHS is seeking to raise $50,000 - to be used solely in these protection efforts....
    All this stems from IMBA announcing they would like to check out underutilized and suitable sections of National Scenic Trails that could easily accommodate MTB's....and the American Hiking Association decides to lose it's marbles by running a campaign like this...

    Why do these aging hiker groups hate our youth?
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  2. #2
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    They fear change and that is the only thing they cannot fight. Change is ever constant and they see the handwriting on the wall thus the extra ordinary measures, the "Hail Mary" so to speak. Change is coming, keep up the good work.

  3. #3
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    This is a sad waste of people's money
    The cake is a lie.

  4. #4
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    I blame Strava douches.

  5. #5
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    Let's get a counter-donation going! I'll take one for the team and act as treasurer
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  6. #6
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    Unbelievable. It really makes me appreciate what we have here. All of the trails here have been put in by our organization, or resurrected and maintained by our organization so the hikers have to use our trails. You won't meet a hiker with an attitude here, because they know the trails exist because of Mt bikers.
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  7. #7
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    That is very low of AHS, particularly since I am currently sitting at work staring at the IMBA sticker I have on my Nalgene bottle. What does the slogan say.., "Better Trails For All".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    Unbelievable. It really makes me appreciate what we have here. All of the trails here have been put in by our organization, or resurrected and maintained by our organization so the hikers have to use our trails. You won't meet a hiker with an attitude here, because they know the trails exist because of Mt bikers.

    We have the same thing going on in many parts of Santa Cruz County - trails that are built/maintained by Mountain Bikers are equally utilized by hikers, dog walkers, trail runners - no conflict, no problem...
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  9. #9
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Here's a list of the American Hiking Society's sponsors that may have a problem with this....It's Facebook, so if you are a user sending comments is super duper easy:

    https://www.facebook.com/adventureme...rofile_browser

    https://www.facebook.com/Ospreypacks...rofile_browser

    https://www.facebook.com/REI?fref=pb

    https://www.facebook.com/GrandAmeric...rofile_browser

    https://www.facebook.com/thenorthface

    https://www.facebook.com/GerberLegendaryBlades

    https://www.facebook.com/LedLenserUSA

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grego...s/109561876758

    https://www.facebook.com/TwoKnobbyTi...ocation=stream

    https://www.facebook.com/GoLite?hc_location=stream

    there's more....you can get to them via here:
    Corporate Sponsors | American Hiking SocietyAmerican Hiking Society


    if each one of these companies get 15 or 20 inquiries...well, that will put substantial pressure on the AHS and their anti-MTB policies.
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  10. #10
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    Here in Indiana, a lot of the "general public" find that the trails that the mtb group builds and maintains turn out to be better than the old school ridgeline trails that use the fall line to go from one ridge to another and get nasty rutted.

    I have heard some of the crabby types upset by this process of change criticize the trails that mtb riders design and build, saying "it seems like the mountain bikers build trails around every tree in the forest" because they don't understand the concept of grade reversals in minimizing or eliminating erosion. There are a couple hiker groups here that are still building trail, and they're doing it the exact same way it's been done for 100 years. It's sad, really, because good trailbuilding techniques are not exclusively the property of any one user group and the parameters of the design can be modified to accommodate different types of users. The core concepts do not differ.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Here in Indiana, a lot of the "general public" find that the trails that the mtb group builds and maintains turn out to be better than the old school ridgeline trails that use the fall line to go from one ridge to another and get nasty rutted.

    I have heard some of the crabby types upset by this process of change criticize the trails that mtb riders design and build, saying "it seems like the mountain bikers build trails around every tree in the forest" because they don't understand the concept of grade reversals in minimizing or eliminating erosion. There are a couple hiker groups here that are still building trail, and they're doing it the exact same way it's been done for 100 years. It's sad, really, because good trailbuilding techniques are not exclusively the property of any one user group and the parameters of the design can be modified to accommodate different types of users. The core concepts do not differ.
    exactly - in a recent USFS decision regarding MTB access to a new re-route on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the USFS flat out stated that MTBr's not only are the ones that actually build and maintain the trails...but the design class is virtually identical to that of hiking/equestrian trails.

    Many hiking groups are not enthused about that decision.

    Hey Nate, aren't you a fairly experienced backpacker? If so, what's your honest take on re-evaluating sections of underused trails opening up to MTB use?

    thanks!
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  12. #12
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    I've done a bit of backbacking, but honestly most of my experience outdoors has been through work. I've had a few jobs (as well as a number of years of my education) where I'd work outside daily and cover sometimes 15-20mi in a day. On foot.

    My personal opinion on the matter is to make trails multiuse by default unless there are strong specific and documentable reasons not to. My primary reason for taking that position is that the more you spread users out, the less wear and tear you have in specific locations and the lower your chances for conflicts. A lot of hikers like to cite overuse as a reason not to allow mt bikes in a place. Many areas that have overuse problems have a permitting system in place and restrict the number of people on the trails in those areas already. I do not see why bikes cannot be included in said permitting system without increasing overall use. If concerns are "this trail was not designed to accommodate bikes" then the trail was also not designed to accommodate hikers.

    The biggest reason I see that most hikers do not want to share trails with bikes is because they cannot mentally handle sharing. They want to think that they're the only person on a given trail at a given time. I've hiked past these people at times, and they can be just as grumpy about other hikers on the trail. Also, add to the fact that many are old and crotchety, anyway, and oftentimes hard of hearing (announcing yourself with a polite "Excuse me" from a good distance back doesn't work) and you have a recipe for many hikers not wanting to share.

    When it comes to federal land and other large open spaces (like state forests) where off-trail hiking is permitted, I think multiuse trails should be the rule rather than the exception, because hikers (and sometimes horses) are permitted to go just about wherever they want by rule. Bikes are not afforded the same considerations.

    On a personal level, I don't mind stepping off the trail to allow someone on a mountain bike to pass. Even when I'm carrying a pack. The pack doesn't cripple me, as some hikers seem to try to make you believe. As long as the person on the bike slows and politely asks to pass. It doesn't ruin my day, or my hike. I'm just not going to jump into a cactus or down a ravine to let that happen.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I've done a bit of backbacking, but honestly most of my experience outdoors has been through work. I've had a few jobs (as well as a number of years of my education) where I'd work outside daily and cover sometimes 15-20mi in a day. On foot.

    My personal opinion on the matter is to make trails multiuse by default unless there are strong specific and documentable reasons not to. My primary reason for taking that position is that the more you spread users out, the less wear and tear you have in specific locations and the lower your chances for conflicts. A lot of hikers like to cite overuse as a reason not to allow mt bikes in a place. Many areas that have overuse problems have a permitting system in place and restrict the number of people on the trails in those areas already. I do not see why bikes cannot be included in said permitting system without increasing overall use. If concerns are "this trail was not designed to accommodate bikes" then the trail was also not designed to accommodate hikers.

    The biggest reason I see that most hikers do not want to share trails with bikes is because they cannot mentally handle sharing. They want to think that they're the only person on a given trail at a given time. I've hiked past these people at times, and they can be just as grumpy about other hikers on the trail. Also, add to the fact that many are old and crotchety, anyway, and oftentimes hard of hearing (announcing yourself with a polite "Excuse me" from a good distance back doesn't work) and you have a recipe for many hikers not wanting to share.

    When it comes to federal land and other large open spaces (like state forests) where off-trail hiking is permitted, I think multiuse trails should be the rule rather than the exception, because hikers (and sometimes horses) are permitted to go just about wherever they want by rule. Bikes are not afforded the same considerations.

    On a personal level, I don't mind stepping off the trail to allow someone on a mountain bike to pass. Even when I'm carrying a pack. The pack doesn't cripple me, as some hikers seem to try to make you believe. As long as the person on the bike slows and politely asks to pass. It doesn't ruin my day, or my hike. I'm just not going to jump into a cactus or down a ravine to let that happen.
    how dare you clutter this forum with common sense and a well thought out easy solution!!!
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  14. #14
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    When I read their (AHS) posts I can't help but think its all about the money. They are probably trying to tap in to some disillusioned cash rich ex-Sierra Club members.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I've done a bit of backbacking, but honestly most of my experience outdoors has been through work. I've had a few jobs (as well as a number of years of my education) where I'd work outside daily and cover sometimes 15-20mi in a day. On foot.
    Nate, what was it that you did for work, and what did you study? Sounds awesome.

  16. #16
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    American Hiking Society = OverreactingPanicFreakOut!

    Worked for the USFS for a couple of seasons as a wildlife technician in a couple different states. This is where I spent most of my time outside for work.

    Also worked as an environmental consultant. Much less walking for that one.

    Studied biology and wildlife in school. I worked on a few research projects over the years with a lot of outside time in remote places.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    ...have been directly and publicly targeted...
    Yes. Yes they were.
    .
    .
    .


    Great answers, Nate! It's funny (not "ha ha" funny... peculiar and tragic funny) how such sound logic is somehow corrupted by these self-proclaimed "environmentalists" who want the world with a fence around it. Yours is the right message.

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  18. #18
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    A well built trail will hold up to lots of use. Most trail users don't understand that water run off is the most common degrading factor. That and stuff with motors.

  19. #19
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    A good example of Nates arguement about spreading users out is Marin. With the limited options available for legal riding places that are legal get hammered like China Camp. Then, hikers and Equestrians site the overcrowded legal areas as a reason to keep other areas off limits.

    All I can say is in response to the AHS thing I was reminded that my IMBA membership had expired. I renewed today, I also sent the following email to all 1700 members of my local MTB meetup group. Hopefully I can get a few newbies to sign up.

    "Good afternoon, I just wanted to drop everyone a quick note to recognize the great work done by our local chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). The San Diego Mountain Bike Association has worked with the Center For Natural Lands Management to create a great new trail behind La Costa Preserve called Copper Canyon. Rich Julien, Liason to La Costa Preserve worked diligently to get us access and lay out a sustainable fun trail design. It is really a great trail and a great effort in San Diegos ever dwindling trail riding locations. You can check out details and photos of the trail here: SDMBA - San Diego Mountain Biking Association
    Photos Here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6071171&type=1
    This is just another example of how IMBA and its local affiliates are expanding trail opportunities for all of us in addition to combating recent attempts to ban bikes from our local trails. If you have not already joined please consider joining. Our trail access is under constant threat. Your $30 dollar single membership helps support worthwhile trail projects, trailwork, and most importantly advocacy. Please go to SDMBA - San Diego Mountain Biking Association and click on Join Now!!! Membership gets you a subscription to bicyling magazine, a pair of cool socks and tons of discounts from sponsors like Stone Brewing, REI, Turner Bikes etc."
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Worked for the USFS for a couple of seasons as a wildlife technician in a couple different states. This is where I spent most of my time outside for work.

    Also worked as an environmental consultant. Much less walking for that one.

    Studied biology and wildlife in school. I worked on a few research projects over the years with a lot of outside time in remote places.
    Ah, thanks Nate. I've been mulling over changing direction for a while and your post really caught my attention. 'Preciate that!

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    Here in Aus that is a message that we push all the time. The various organisations work very hard to get access to the national parks. an area that was previously off limits to pushbikes. 3 years ago or so the National Parks service put out a proposal to open up national parks with sustainable trials built and maintained by the various mtb clubs. I went to one of the townhalls meetings and it was friggen hilarious watching the greenies screaming about damaging the plants. The clubs game back and said, we will only being going into areas deemed not enviromentally senitive and out trails will be better built than some of the current walking trails as we prefer trails that will last and not get damaged. The result places like glenrock were opened as an experiment, including a downhill track and seem to be a complete success with the trail fairys building and maintaining the tracks. MT Stromlo was out shining example, a multi use park proposed by the Canberra Off Road Club (CORC) that has an cross country track, firetrails for the walkers, a trial park, a crit track and a horse trail. and many km of sweeeeet single track for all levels and a DH track used for the wold champs a couple of years ago. the local gov stumped up half the funding, corc the other half witha permant pavillion with first aid room, showers and toilets and facilities to help run major events its proving to be a roaring success for all users.
    sadly some of the single track elsewhere in Canberra has been sabotaged by the same sorts of idiots that you where just taking about with bridges destroyed, wire strung between trees or logs dragged across trials. dangerous as hell.

  22. #22
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    This is the subject of the most recent IMBA blog post.

    (The trail in the photo is actually one of my local favorites.)
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  23. #23
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    So, I visited the AHS website. You can donate any some of money - Including $0.01 - kind of like a one penny tip at a restaurant. The donation is paid by your credit card.

    I did not complete the transaction. I am not sure what impact a $0.01 donation may have.

    On one hand, subversion. I have donated money to charitable things. They always end up sending me fliers, magazines, return address labels, etc. I often feel the money spent on sending me junk for five years would have been better spent on whatever charitable purpose the organization represents.

    With that in mind, a $0.01 donation will cost them money to process and paid credit card fees. Additionally, if I get on their mailing list for the next X years - they will have wasted a bunch of money on me instead of pursuing their goal of trials for hikers alone.

    On the other hand, my idea is a bit mean spirited - and I then get tossed into a bucket of X thousand of people support the AHS cause.

    What are your thoughts on a $0.01 donation?

  24. #24
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    Are they evil? Greedy?

    Maybe not. Maybe they're sick of "on yer left" as six bikers force them into the bushes to avoid collision. When the adrenaline from that sudden "on yer left" wears off, they like MTBers even less than when they started.

    Yes, there are some Mike Vandeman jerks out there that just hate anything that they don't do, but there are also a lot of inconsiderate ballistic jerks on MTBs that expect that the trail is theirs and you'd better hurry out of the way.

    Lots of the animus between hikers and horsey people and MTBers is well earned by inconsiderate reckless MTBers.

    The issue is complex and the ballistic jerks among us will ensure that we never get much more access than we have now and that we may even keep losing some access we have now.

    Thank goodness that MTBs don't leave MTB turds all over the trail! We'd really be in trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    Are they evil? Greedy?

    Maybe not. Maybe they're sick of "on yer left" as six bikers force them into the bushes to avoid collision. When the adrenaline from that sudden "on yer left" wears off, they like MTBers even less than when they started.

    Yes, there are some Mike Vandeman jerks out there that just hate anything that they don't do, but there are also a lot of inconsiderate ballistic jerks on MTBs that expect that the trail is theirs and you'd better hurry out of the way.

    Lots of the animus between hikers and horsey people and MTBers is well earned by inconsiderate reckless MTBers.

    The issue is complex and the ballistic jerks among us will ensure that we never get much more access than we have now and that we may even keep losing some access we have now.

    Thank goodness that MTBs don't leave MTB turds all over the trail! We'd really be in trouble.
    This is one of the problems I have with stuff like Strava. Public, shared, multi-use trails should not be used for xc mtb race-training, especially in areas where there is already a tension between cyclists on trails and hikers, and equestrians. I wouldn't want to find a horse galloping full-tilt at me around a twisty section of singletrack.....

  26. #26
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    The membership guy over at AHS used to work for Thunderhead Alliance, a grassroots bicycle advocacy group that helped stand up a lot of small, local advocacy groups. I worked with him at the League of American Bicyclists office in DC when I was there. He was a solid guy. I have to imagine that he had to bite his tongue when this went out, knowing it would have a negative impact.

    We had a big event at a bunch of local trails last weekend. These trails were recently connected to form a huge loop among some previously unconnected segments. By mountain bikers... We got $$, volunteers and organized a ton of trail work days to get them built. Within 2 years, hikers have fallen in love with them and many give us a solid stink-eye when we roll by, smiling with friendly greetings. On trails built for them by mtn bikers...

    So yeah. They are the crappy people who drive their Prius in the left lane below the speed limit. I'm a hiker too and there are still crappy bike riders who can't control themselves when they ride by a family on the trails.

    Stay friendly people!

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    What are your thoughts on a $0.01 donation?
    Well, since it costs probably 0.39 per transaction plus a percentage, donating a penny would actually cost them a few cents! lol

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    Are they evil? Greedy?

    Maybe not. Maybe they're sick of "on yer left" as six bikers force them into the bushes to avoid collision. When the adrenaline from that sudden "on yer left" wears off, they like MTBers even less than when they started.

    Yes, there are some Mike Vandeman jerks out there that just hate anything that they don't do, but there are also a lot of inconsiderate ballistic jerks on MTBs that expect that the trail is theirs and you'd better hurry out of the way.

    Lots of the animus between hikers and horsey people and MTBers is well earned by inconsiderate reckless MTBers.

    The issue is complex and the ballistic jerks among us will ensure that we never get much more access than we have now and that we may even keep losing some access we have now.

    Thank goodness that MTBs don't leave MTB turds all over the trail! We'd really be in trouble.
    pfft. Sure, in highly congested population areas within 3 or 4 miles of a trailhead that may happen.

    But we are discussing true back country underutilized sections of NST's that are virtually abandoned throughout the year...and many of those sections are identified as 'connectors' to create mega-epic loops.

    The whole 'on your left' argument really doesn't not apply to this scenario....
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    The whole 'on your left' argument really doesn't not apply to this scenario....
    Oh but it does... To be sure most negative hiker/biker encounters occur in highly congested areas, but the impressions and opinions created on both sides are carried far and wide, even to the underutilized sections of trail in question. And, yes, even to AHS and Sierra Club meetings where trail use restrictions are discussed and donations are sought.

    I strongly support true multi-use trails, but I agree with telemike: just share the trails people, in way that ensures all will feel safe and enjoy their experience.
    The older I get the better I was...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloborealis View Post
    Oh but it does... To be sure most negative hiker/biker encounters occur in highly congested areas, but the impressions and opinions created on both sides are carried far and wide, even to the underutilized sections of trail in question. And, yes, even to AHS and Sierra Club meetings where trail use restrictions are discussed and donations are sought.

    I strongly support true multi-use trails, but I agree with telemike: just share the trails people, in way that ensures all will feel safe and enjoy their experience.
    Those 'impressions' are nothing more than another tired excuse to keep MTB'rs from more access. It falls directly in line with the whole safety/erosion arguments (which have been debunked over and over and over again).

    Now these groups are grasping at straws citing words in National Acts like 'Primary', 'traditional use'...etc..etc..There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that a 2600 mile trail cannot be evaluated to see if some sections are appropriate for MTB's....considering that hikers have access to well over 200,000 miles of trails on public land to themselves.

    That's what the AHS is doing - trying to block even questioning if some of these trails sections are OK to share - it's elitist and myopic and goes against what the National Trails Act outlines...


    Of course I agree entirely that sharing politely is paramount - but the access on these trails is so remote you'd be lucky to see 1 person, let alone lines of hikers/bikers.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    That's what the AHS is doing - trying to block even questioning if some of these trails sections are OK to share - it's elitist and myopic and goes against what the National Trails Act outlines...
    I get, I get it... but there is a perception among many hikers that mtb users will bring adrenaline charged, bike-park, shuttled downhill type riding practices to wilderness areas, which they view as incompatible with wilderness values. WE might know these impressions are not representative, but the average hiker may not. Think Mountain Dew commercials and the like. These images are used to alarm people and raise funds for their goals.

    Must of the riders I know are seeking wilderness experiences, too, and go out of their way to politely share trails with other user groups, even equestrians, when most of us probably would agree horses do the most harm to trails. But I see plenty of mtb'ers riding irresponsibly, and if we don't acknowledge this, address it, and police it among ourselves, this hurts our goal of opening trails to all. I see this as a no brainer.

    I'm glad you started this thread, Chum... it's an important issue, but I think how we ride around other user groups is important no matter where we ride.
    The older I get the better I was...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloborealis View Post
    I get, I get it... but there is a perception among many hikers that mtb users will bring adrenaline charged, bike-park, shuttled downhill type riding practices to wilderness areas, which they view as incompatible with wilderness values. WE might know these impressions are not representative, but the average hiker may not. Think Mountain Dew commercials and the like. These images are used to alarm people and raise funds for their goals.

    Must of the riders I know are seeking wilderness experiences, too, and go out of their way to politely share trails with other user groups, even equestrians, when most of us probably would agree horses do the most harm to trails. But I see plenty of mtb'ers riding irresponsibly, and if we don't acknowledge this, address it, and police it among ourselves, this hurts our goal of opening trails to all. I see this as a no brainer.

    I'm glad you started this thread, Chum... it's an important issue, but I think how we ride around other user groups is important no matter where we ride.
    I agree 100%. The marketing that draws in the youth, which has a direct correlation to the growth of popularity of MTB'ing, is now used against us.

    Much of what anyone sees is the redbull rampage freeeriding gonzo mountain biking - when in reality, there's like 2 dozen people on the planet that can ride like that

    Showing posters/pics/ads of middle-aged white dudes in spandex sweating up hills would not really help our industry's growth though....but would help us with access...

    It took me 3 years to get a Pump track approved by my towns City Council because they all thought of 'extreme jump park' instead of small dirt mounds and berms..It took inundating them (and the public) with images of small children on striders gently rolling up and down dirt bumps to get the point across.

    The AHS leadership knows that MTB'rs are NOT primarily hardcore DH extreme riders (and that type of riding is virtually impossible in the WAY back-country) - they simply use that common perception in an attempt to keep the status-quo of exclusivity...even if those trails are so underused they fall into semi-abandonment...and goes directly against the National Trails Act.

    Again - it's selfish, myopic and elitist. (IMO)
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    If enough MTBers join the AHS, they could be defeated from inside their own organization. Just a random thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Well, since it costs probably 0.39 per transaction plus a percentage, donating a penny would actually cost them a few cents! lol
    You'd also add to their donor numbers, so I think they'd consider it a win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    The AHS leadership knows that MTB'rs are NOT primarily hardcore DH extreme riders (and that type of riding is virtually impossible in the WAY back-country) - they simply use that common perception in an attempt to keep the status-quo of exclusivity...even if those trails are so underused they fall into semi-abandonment...and goes directly against the National Trails Act.
    We've seen this in Montana from some of our local organizations. I can think of a few social media campaigns that sought to create the impression that mountain bikers were trying to create an "extreme freeride destination" (I remember the phrase) in one of the more remote areas in SW Montana. What's actually there are big, challenging backcountry epics. We've lost a number of those already, some of which has been chronicled in Bike magazine and other outlets. Maybe we need to re-create those real estate brochure images of cyclists in those places - happy looking fit people in their early 40s with mushroom cap helmets, brightly colored T-shirts and huge smiles.

    I backpack as well, and there are plenty of places I don't want to take my bike. But it's a much shorter list of places and trails than the hiking advocacy groups would draw up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    I agree 100%. The marketing that draws in the youth, which has a direct correlation to the growth of popularity of MTB'ing, is now used against us.

    Much of what anyone sees is the redbull rampage freeeriding gonzo mountain biking - when in reality, there's like 2 dozen people on the planet that can ride like that

    Showing posters/pics/ads of middle-aged white dudes in spandex sweating up hills would not really help our industry's growth though....but would help us with access...

    It took me 3 years to get a Pump track approved by my towns City Council because they all thought of 'extreme jump park' instead of small dirt mounds and berms..It took inundating them (and the public) with images of small children on striders gently rolling up and down dirt bumps to get the point across.

    The AHS leadership knows that MTB'rs are NOT primarily hardcore DH extreme riders (and that type of riding is virtually impossible in the WAY back-country) - they simply use that common perception in an attempt to keep the status-quo of exclusivity...even if those trails are so underused they fall into semi-abandonment...and goes directly against the National Trails Act.

    Again - it's selfish, myopic and elitist. (IMO)
    Yes, you have been right-on with virtually all your points in this thread lately, Chum....more rep your way if it would let me. As to the back-country trail encounters with the occasional hiker(s), virtually every one I have is easily mitigated by the use of my mellifluous, two-tone "brass bell", which I have mounted on all my trailbikes. That bell creates more smiles than one might imagine, and at about 12 bucks, I consider them to be one of the most bang-for-buck accessories out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    exactly - in a recent USFS decision regarding MTB access to a new re-route on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the USFS flat out stated that MTBr's not only are the ones that actually build and maintain the trails...but the design class is virtually identical to that of hiking/equestrian trails.
    Aaaaaand guess what? Hikers/equestrians got that decision tossed:

    IMPORTANT! Public comment period, proposed changes to Colorado Trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Aaaaaand guess what? Hikers/equestrians got that decision tossed:

    IMPORTANT! Public comment period, proposed changes to Colorado Trail.
    I know

    It was the Magna Carta of USFS documents that outlined all positive aspects of MTB'ing, and dismissed virtually all of the BS nonsense that HOHA's rely on to keep us off trails. The Ranger who had to pull the decision is sympathetic....because he knows MTB's are a positive contributor to the conservancy of the backcountry..and the ones who actually get out and know how to build/maintain trails (much thanks to IMBA).

    The people who apealed this decision have a long history starting at the Appalachian trail...and have moved onto the CDTC (Martinez), the PCTA (Dawson) and a few others. It is not hundreds of people causing this commotion - it's literally a small handful who are experienced at obstructing the process.

    Here's a snippet from the Executive Director of IMBA that was released recently that is/will cause many waves:
    LONG LIVE LONG RIDES!
    The National Trails System offers unrealized opportunities for non-motorized recreation, (with the exception of the Appalachian Trail — see the sidebar below). The Pacific Crest Trail currently offers no bicycle access. IMBA has already begun advocating for a change in this policy. Not for sections of the PCT that are protected as Wilderness, but in places where mountain biking would be compatible with other uses.

    The revamped “Long live long rides” campaign does not focus solely on National Scenic Trails. We are interested in developing possibilities for multi-hour and multi-day rides wherever we find them. North Dakota’s Maah Daah Hey trail (an IMBA Epic) is a good example of a multi-day ride....

    ...IMBA and its chapters’ efforts to create and protect bike access on these trails will undoubtedly draw attention, and not all of it will be positive. Earlier this fall, a U.S. Forest Service office in Colorado withdrew a decision that would have allowed mountain biking on a yet-to-be-built segment on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. National groups filed appeals protesting the plans for shared-use status — the Forest Service office pulled its pro-bike decision and has yet to publish its revised version....
    And a commentary on his meeting wit the AHS President:
    After the deadline for this essay, which was written for IMBA's print newsletter, I met with the President of the American Hiking Society at their offices outside Washington D.C. It was a civil, respectful, nearly two-hour meeting in which we dug into the policy aspects of our organization's respective interests and positions. I understand the AHS position advocating for places that are hiking only. However, I do not accept the AHS thinking regarding shared-use trails. Their rationale is based on the idea that a person on a bicycle will inevitably "hinder the hiking experience." There are simply too many examples of trails where hikers and mountain bikers (and trail runners, backpakers, equestrians and others) all get along to accept this argument. And, the notion that some trails may not be safe when shared has more to do with assumptions about speed of travel than a basis in fact....
    Please visit for the full context:
    Long Live Long Rides! | International Mountain Bicycling Association

    IMBA is all over this...
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    AHS Coloring Contest

    Let's have some fun with AHS

    They are running a coloring contest for kids: Kids' Corner | American Hiking Society

    How about getting your kids to enter the contest and have them color a scene that shows hikers and mt. bikers sharing the trail Make sure to post your kid's entry here (MTBR) and on the AHS FB page. Contest ends Nov. 25th.



    Here's my kid's contribution. My kid isn't a very good artist, but I like the message :
    American Hiking Society = OverreactingPanicFreakOut!-1390603_10201832410564828_160755032_n.jpg

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    That's an awesome idea, emptybeer. Only, I don't have kids. Maybe I could get one of my cats to make a drawing....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    That's an awesome idea, emptybeer. Only, I don't have kids. Maybe I could get one of my cats to make a drawing....
    I don't have a human kid either ;-) My "dog" colored the one I posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    I don't have a human kid either ;-) My "dog" colored the one I posted.
    I have kids....all trail users will either have claws, teeth, cape, fire, skulls, more fire...and the word wolverine somewhere....

    and maybe a chicken...with fangs...and hulk muscles..

    kids are weird.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    I don't have a human kid either ;-) My "dog" colored the one I posted.
    Good idea! I have one cat named "Zooie", and one named "Junior".....they could pass for kids, eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    Those 'impressions' are nothing more than another tired excuse to keep MTB'rs from more access. It falls directly in line with the whole safety/erosion arguments (which have been debunked over and over and over again).

    Now these groups are grasping at straws citing words in National Acts like 'Primary', 'traditional use'...etc..etc..There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that a 2600 mile trail cannot be evaluated to see if some sections are appropriate for MTB's....considering that hikers have access to well over 200,000 miles of trails on public land to themselves.

    That's what the AHS is doing - trying to block even questioning if some of these trails sections are OK to share - it's elitist and myopic and goes against what the National Trails Act outlines...


    Of course I agree entirely that sharing politely is paramount - but the access on these trails is so remote you'd be lucky to see 1 person, let alone lines of hikers/bikers.
    It might be best to NOT submit some of your kid's drawings, Chum...... a pic of a clawed, hulk-muscled mountain biker with buzz-saw wheels chopping hikers up into little chunks might go over the wrong way with the Hiking Society!

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