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  1. #26
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    "I know a section moto guys thrash often."

    If you don't mind saying, which section is that, how often do motorcycles use it, and what damage (if any) do they do?

    We're trying to gather all the information we can about the actual conditions on the PCT, as opposed to people's mental image of the trail, which may not jibe with reality. Everyone's personal knowledge is most helpful.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by imtnbke; 10-02-2012 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Add quote

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    There are two other things that you can and others can do now if you have time and motivation:

    The first is to contact the sports editor of your local newspaper and ask him/her to write a story about this. There's been some great sports coverage about mountain biking access in the past:

    Sandsberry: Mountain bikers belong in the Wilderness : Sports Yakima

    The second very helpful thing would be to contact one board member (assuming that's all you have time for) of the Pacific Crest Trail Association (Pacific Crest Trail Association - Home) and talk with him/her about the value of including mountain bikers in the PCT trail community. The PCTA is conservative; the staff are opposed to bicycles on the trail, and that is the group's official policy. But it's the PCTA board that sets the policy. Some of the board members might be willing to change the policy. Here's a link to the board members:

    Pacific Crest Trail Association
    So we just hop on this web site and email as many board of directors as we can? Is there a formal online petition? I will help in ANY way I can!!

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by abegold View Post
    Horse impact around 10x that of a mountain bike and a hiker as equal to a mountain bike.
    Too bad statistics like that are usually twisted in favor of certain parties or against a certain party. I like how that guy believed that horses have no more impact than a mtn biker... wonder about the origins of the statistics he found.

    I'm sure some will target the heavier, aggressive, adrenaline junky mtn bikers when "making up" their statistics. For example, if you got a 225+ lbs biker on a 35+ lbs bike on 26x2.0 mud tires (widely spaced spiky knobs), going 15-25 MPH in not the smoothest manner, anti-mtn bikers can claim they have 10x more impact on the trail than a hiker, specifically some lightfooted 60 lbs 9 year old hiker with boots with wide stable footprint and a very low profile tread (and since some other statistics say horses do 10x more impact than a hiker...). On the other hand, a skilled 120 lbs biker on a 22 lbs bike riding at a steady and controlled cruising speed, with big 29x2.2 tires with a tightly spaced low profile tire, may do 1/2 as much impact than a 225 lbs hiker with small feet and boots with an aggressive lug pattern. Or you can look at a beginner rider that drags his brakes and skids down descents or tries to go fast and winds up doing heavy late braking causing erosion or look at the heavy clumsy footed hiker sliding down the descent and not blaming the poor design of the trail...

    It's all about weight/forces and how big of a footprint that weight is spread out to the ground and also the strength of the impacts (footsteps and acceleration, including deceleration, direction changes, etc.) in the end. A light riding horse weighs about 1000 lbs and... just look at race courses and general habitats, horse racing courses get obliterated and ranches tend to be powdered up a bit too, and trails show clear identifiable damage. CX bikes cut up CX race courses pretty badly. XC races tend to widen out what used to be singletrack, creating all sorts of sissy lines, and while the dirt tends to be smoothened and hardpacked (many consider this a benefit), depressions form that can turn into puddles. Lots of riding over time tends to "move the trails", as people take more favorable lines and unused lines get taken over by the growth. DH oriented trails tend to transform to look like nothing a hiker or horse belong on.

    It's fortunate to have IMBA being associated with mtn bikers, who's particularly influential on trail use as a whole. Interesting how they're "sterilizing" multi-use trails, redesigning them to be sustainable, and trying to prove that sustainable can be fun and encouraging the creation of bike specific "bike park" or "flow" style trails for the aggressive adrenadline junky mtn bikers, to try and lure them away from abusing the multi-use trails, so the other trail users don't consider mtn bikers as inconsiderate and unwelcome as a whole.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddblood View Post
    So we just hop on this web site and email as many board of directors as we can? Is there a formal online petition? I will help in ANY way I can!!
    It would be better to call one of them (or send them an e-mail with your phone number and ask them to call you). It's not necessary to call all of them—pick one who you think might be interested in what you have to say. What's needed is dialogue. Some of these people may have minimal knowledge of mountain biking and reflexively fear the idea of bicycles on trails.

    For now, that would be great. Later we'll be asking you to submit a comment to the Forest Service. That might not happen for several months, though. And we'll be drawing up a petition for you to consider signing too.

    Thanks.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Too bad statistics like that are usually twisted in favor of certain parties or against a certain party. I like how that guy believed that horses have no more impact than a mtn biker... wonder about the origins of the statistics he found.

    I'm sure some will target the heavier, aggressive, adrenaline junky mtn bikers when "making up" their statistics. For example, if you got a 225+ lbs biker on a 35+ lbs bike on 26x2.0 mud tires (widely spaced spiky knobs), going 15-25 MPH in not the smoothest manner, anti-mtn bikers can claim they have 10x more impact on the trail than a hiker, specifically some lightfooted 60 lbs 9 year old hiker with boots with wide stable footprint and a very low profile tread (and since some other statistics say horses do 10x more impact than a hiker...). On the other hand, a skilled 120 lbs biker on a 22 lbs bike riding at a steady and controlled cruising speed, with big 29x2.2 tires with a tightly spaced low profile tire, may do 1/2 as much impact than a 225 lbs hiker with small feet and boots with an aggressive lug pattern. Or you can look at a beginner rider that drags his brakes and skids down descents or tries to go fast and winds up doing heavy late braking causing erosion or look at the heavy clumsy footed hiker sliding down the descent and not blaming the poor design of the trail...

    It's all about weight/forces and how big of a footprint that weight is spread out to the ground and also the strength of the impacts (footsteps and acceleration, including deceleration, direction changes, etc.) in the end. A light riding horse weighs about 1000 lbs and... just look at race courses and general habitats, horse racing courses get obliterated and ranches tend to be powdered up a bit too, and trails show clear identifiable damage. CX bikes cut up CX race courses pretty badly. XC races tend to widen out what used to be singletrack, creating all sorts of sissy lines, and while the dirt tends to be smoothened and hardpacked (many consider this a benefit), depressions form that can turn into puddles. Lots of riding over time tends to "move the trails", as people take more favorable lines and unused lines get taken over by the growth. DH oriented trails tend to transform to look like nothing a hiker or horse belong on.

    It's fortunate to have IMBA being associated with mtn bikers, who's particularly influential on trail use as a whole. Interesting how they're "sterilizing" multi-use trails, redesigning them to be sustainable, and trying to prove that sustainable can be fun and encouraging the creation of bike specific "bike park" or "flow" style trails for the aggressive adrenadline junky mtn bikers, to try and lure them away from abusing the multi-use trails, so the other trail users don't consider mtn bikers as inconsiderate and unwelcome as a whole.
    I certainly agree with you, but I'd love to see this conversation take part outside of this thread. I don't want to see this thread derailed from the primary point, which is gaining community support for greater access to the PCT.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  6. #31
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    Honestly, I don't want to see mountain bikers when I'm out on the PCT. I've considered how great of a trail it would be to bike, but still, I like to backpack on backpacking trails. Keeping it continuous would be great. Sorry to rain on the parade of those interested, I know some people would love it. This is just a conflict of interest. Because of past conflicts with cyclists while hiking multi use trails, I usually don't hike multi use. It seems like another deterrent for the PCT to me.

  7. #32
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    It brings up the point that you need more points that better support your message, than something unreliable like that, when delivered in a concise manner. You can't give someone like that a 3 paragraph message and expect them to read it all, considering how busy they are. Most people wouldn't know what to say when they try to contact...

    You got to have plenty of reliable support for your statement in order to convince someone, yet keep it concise. Best if you cite a reputable source (pref non-biased) and use their credentials to enhance your claims.

    I've also hiked trails and find it disturbing how inconsiderate how a vast majority of mtn bikers were to hikers, especially those in groups. Hikers on the trails can feel like cyclists on a road. On a narrow road with plenty of traffic, a cyclist can feel unwelcome and prefer a road where there's no cars. The more bikers on a trail, a hiker can feel unwelcome and may prefer a trail with no bikers. I don't hike much since they seem too much of a minority and minorities in these kinds of cases tend to lose. I don't think opening trails in general to mtn bikers is a bad thing though. Still plenty of places to hike where bikers can't ride (up at least), which are true gems.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    Honestly, I don't want to see mountain bikers when I'm out on the PCT. I've considered how great of a trail it would be to bike, but still, I like to backpack on backpacking trails. Keeping it continuous would be great. Sorry to rain on the parade of those interested, I know some people would love it. This is just a conflict of interest. Because of past conflicts with cyclists while hiking multi use trails, I usually don't hike multi use. It seems like another deterrent for the PCT to me.
    How would seeing a mt. biker while you're on the PCT negatively affect your experience? What do you feel when you see other hikers? How do you feel when you see equestrians?

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czar Chasm View Post
    How would seeing a mt. biker while you're on the PCT negatively affect your experience? What do you feel when you see other hikers? How do you feel when you see equestrians?
    It's happened to me, and it's happened to friends:

    I ride a lot of multi use trails.
    Just recently, I was hiking a trail I've ridden well over a hundred times. I was walking along when I spotted a group of cyclists coming downhill. I yielded, even though I had the right of way, and one cussed at me, "these are biker trails, **** off!"

    And after that, it hit me. About every time I'm hiking a multi use trail I experience some sort of trail user conflict with bikers that reflects some sort of aggressive mentality, albeit sometimes passive. It sucks because I mostly ride and I get hung up on the days I go on a hike by some jerk off. And really, I don't get it. I know I'm well tempered when it comes to conflict resolution. I do my best. But you know what, I would hate looking over my shoulder with a 30 pound pack on and having to stop for a cyclist just because I feel that "I should" like so many hikers do on multi use trails, regardless of the hikers having the right of way. Countless hikers pull over for cyclists on multi use trails when they shouldn't even think about it.
    It's a nuisance.

  10. #35
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    That's amazing. I don't know where you live, but I have to wonder if there's something in the air or the water there. I've ridden perhaps 30,000 miles on trails and dirt roads and have hiked and backpacked hundreds of miles, and I can barely remember any unpleasantnesses. Admittedly I hike much less than I used to, because I much prefer mountain biking; and when I backpacked in the 1970s and 1980s there were few if any trail cyclists around. But on recent hikes, the mountain bikers I've encountered have been just fine.

    I do hear stories like this from adamantly antibicycle old-school hikers, and they sometimes allege they were injured by a mountain biker, but no one has ever been able to document a bad encounter with a police report, a hospital record, or the like. Our local park statistics show a number of allegations of rude or dangerous mountain biker behavior but, according to official records, zero documentation of actual injury. I think they're making the injury claims up. I see it as being like claims of voter fraud in states that lack a photo ID requirement to vote: allegations of fraud all over the place but virtually no proof that any has occurred (maybe it's happened once or twice).
    Last edited by imtnbke; 10-03-2012 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Sentence too long

  11. #36
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    Well that's a bummer. The bad apples in every user group sure do some PR damage... but I think they'll always be the exception, not the norm. I personally feel that the PCT goes through some very remote areas that even when it opens, will see very little bicycle traffic. Not a lot of people (from any user group) typically go much more than 5-10 miles beyond any trailhead. If I was hiking the PCT for several weeks, and was 20 miles from nowhere, and I bumped into a mt. biker or bikers, I think I'd be thrilled to see/talk with another person(s), and possibly get info about what's ahead of me.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    It's happened to me, and it's happened to friends:

    I ride a lot of multi use trails.
    Just recently, I was hiking a trail I've ridden well over a hundred times. I was walking along when I spotted a group of cyclists coming downhill. I yielded, even though I had the right of way, and one cussed at me, "these are biker trails, **** off!"

    And after that, it hit me. About every time I'm hiking a multi use trail I experience some sort of trail user conflict with bikers that reflects some sort of aggressive mentality, albeit sometimes passive. It sucks because I mostly ride and I get hung up on the days I go on a hike by some jerk off. And really, I don't get it. I know I'm well tempered when it comes to conflict resolution. I do my best. But you know what, I would hate looking over my shoulder with a 30 pound pack on and having to stop for a cyclist just because I feel that "I should" like so many hikers do on multi use trails, regardless of the hikers having the right of way. Countless hikers pull over for cyclists on multi use trails when they shouldn't even think about it.
    It's a nuisance.
    For every biker being an a$$hole, there's a hiker, equestrian, or runner that's exactly the same. I've had bad run-ins with all types of users, and what they are doing (riding/hiking/running) has nothing to with how they act. I'd say 99 out of 100 people I come across are really friendly and we exchange greetings. And I think that's a pretty good percentage. I'm not sure anyone should expect 100% nice people everywhere...it's just not reasonable.

    I would be willing to bet that the people who encounter nasty people on a regular basis are actually themselves rude or at least socially inept. We have people around here that have already made up their minds that mountain bikers are all reckless and rude bastards. And I'd bet that gets reinforced each time they go out because they're ***** to MTB'ers and get it thrown right back in their face. You get out of life what you put in. And if you shoot negative energy at someone, it will likely be reflected right back at you. Thankfully the opposite is also true!
    "Got everything you need?"

  13. #38
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    You technically don't ever seen other hikers unless they're going the other way, and they're usually pretty cool and considerate. You can see the expressions on their face and body language and their gear and can get a basic story about them from that, making it cool to see them. I rarely catch up to other hikers nor have other hikers catching up to me, going in the same direction, unless in a group with young kids in it. On occasion, some pass along some gossip that there's some *******s or a large group on the trail that I should look out for and it's sad when they're identified as mtn bikers.

    When I see equestrians, I'm usually polite, and marvel at how healthy, strong, and good looking their horses look, but then when I see the gouges in the trail and the horse poo... I definitely yield, since I don't know how to really act around horses and know they're a bit faster than me. Amazing to see them go down hills.

    I know hikers have the right of way on a trail, but I rather step off the trail to let any faster folks pass, no matter what they're riding or not riding, and in some areas, that's kind of inconvenient. I guess since I'm trying to be considerate. Bikers are typically the fastest, and I consider it an interruption every time a biker goes by. The most annoying type of biker is the one that quietly "sneaks up" from behind. I put a bell on my hardtail, since I didn't want to be that kind of rider.

    If I were a local to the PCT and hiked it, I simply would just switch to biking, since hiking would no longer be appealing due to the trail being used by a "bigger beast". If there are less hikers, would the wilderness areas of the trail get neglected? The portion close to me goes through Big Bear, which has all sorts of good riding nearby, but I can think of epic rides going north along the PCT.

    People say they feel unsafe riding their bikes on the road, while many others insist that it's safe. On the road, you can ride to the right and drivers can give ya room without much inconvenience, but roadies still prefer lightly traveled roads that feel safe, due to having space to ride without dealing with traffic going in the same direction. It's sort of the same feeling with hikers, except that it's hard to go nonstop with bikers passing by in the same direction and not all bikers actually yield to hikers going in the opposing direction. I know there are times where my companion has screamed out in fear as bikers skid to a stop (but laugh afterwards, embarrassed by their reaction). Just easier to give plenty of room to let people pass, since people look out of control when they slow down.

    What would you do as a biker if you saw a big animal on the trail, that wasn't hostile to humans? Hikers feel like the rabbits, deer, birds, etc. on the trail, and feel like it's best to prepare to flee. If hikers had the strength, size, and mass of a moose, it'd be a different story.

    I've been known to be rude to cyclists that don't yield. I might say something like "thanks a lot" in a sarcastic manner when they slow down, see that I am hanging on the edge of side of the trail with exposure, and then skid through. It's even more worrisome when it's a newb and he's shaking all the way down, maybe dabbing and waddling. Then there's the Strava guys... That's why I made an earlier comment that I found it interesting that IMBA was encouraging the creation of sustainable bike park and flow type trails (for bikers only) to help keep aggressive riders from abusing multiuse trails.

    Hikers do feel unwelcome on multi-use trails. Rather just stick to hiking up mountain peaks, where it's typically far too steep and rugged to ride unless you're a masochist or something. Figured I'd try trail running and bouldering again once it cools down or something.

  14. #39
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    I agree with a lot of you.. Both sides. I've come across angry MTBers who act like they are shooting a Mountain Dew commercial and I am in their way. I have also come across granola hikers who act like no one should be on "their trail." I always try to be sincere to anyone I see on the trail because I feel we are both out doing something a lot of folks don't even experience at all. Doesn't matter if I'm hiking or biking. I was hiking in the sierras in August and came across the rudest hiker/backpacker I have ever come into contact with. I can guarentee that he would have been just as rude, if not more of a jerk, to MTBers. A-holes are everywhere and I have to agree with someone's comment above, 99% of my trail interactions are positive.. It's the 1%ers (haha) that can ruin the experience. I am totally for opening the PCT to MTBing.
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCtrailMonkey View Post
    It's the 1%ers (haha) that can ruin the experience. I am totally for opening the PCT to MTBing.
    Yep.

  16. #41
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    Yep. I just adapt. I ain't calling myself mtb'er, hiker, or whatever. I just wanna enjoy the outdoors and if they let me ride my bike on the PCT, I'd explore more of it than I ever would just hiking. I think things like hiking the Sierras and maybe climbing Mt Whitney is something a hiker would enjoy more than PCT, but it's nice to have some nice trails to get experience on before trying something like that. I'm not a serious hiker, but if I wanted to challenge myself hiking, HTFU and accepting mtb'ers would be the easier part of the challenge.

  17. #42
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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

  18. #43
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    Thanks for your efforts imtnbke!

    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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  19. #44
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    Where is IMBA on this?

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    PCT biking would be amazing

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howley View Post
    Where is IMBA on this?
    They are aware of the situation and we are working on their involvement.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  22. #47
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    big thanks to you and people like you who take time out of their busy schedules to make the possibility of this and other things happen which benefit the rest of us who are either too lazy, too busy, to cynical so on and so forth.

  23. #48
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    You're welcome, slowmotion, TahoeBC, and everyone else. I can understand cynicism. However, I give us a fighting chance to gain some sort of access on the non-Wilderness PCT. We'll be asking for your help when the time comes.

  24. #49
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    There is lots of PCT within a few miles of the house. Years ago I remember fighting for this to happen.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by NailheadSS View Post
    There is lots of PCT within a few miles of the house. Years ago I remember fighting for this to happen.
    What happened when you did?

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