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  1. #101
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    whoot

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

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

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

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

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

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

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    I was just thinking about my experiences with cycling The Arizona Trail. The AZ trail is around 700 miles long, I believe, and traverses Arizona from the Mexican border all the way up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Over the years, I've ridden most of it. It's very similar to the PCT in many ways.....it crosses all kinds of terrain, and for the most part it is singletrack. It's much shorter than the PCT, but aside from that, lots of similarities, and traffic on it, whether foot, hoof, or soft-rubber air-filled tire traffic, is very low in general. Just like the PCT in that respect.

    The major way it DOES differ from the PCT is that right from the get-go, the AZ trail has always been open to ALL non-motorized users. And I gotta say, that for all of Arizona's boneheaded politics (IMO) I have never encountered a hiker on this trail, or a horse person, who acted like they didn't approve of me being there. In fact, everybody I encountered seemed to be quite friendly to me. One day, the only person I saw for an entire stretch of the trail , from Lake Mary down past Mormon Lake, was a guy who kinda looked like Osama bin Laden! He turned out to be a Sikh, not a Muslim, but he also turned out to be a real friendly guy. He was hiking north, I was riding south. He gave me all kinds of useful info on the trail, and on different segments of the trail....he's hiked the whole route at least once.

    In all, my experience with other kinds of trail users on the AZ trail was completely, 100%, positive.
    Only here, in CA, do I encounter this highly divisive, possessive attitude towards a public trail on public land used by members of the .....Public.

    If anything, people I encountered on the AZ trail were concerned about MY safety, telling me about upcoming obstacles, the size of their mountain lions, etc.... Imagine that!

    So, I think that the attitudes of those opposing cycling on the PCT are to a large extent supported by ideological-fueled agendas, which is sad, because when I talk to these people, I find that I share a love for the land, and for nature, and also have a shared value for solitude and the benefit of communing with nature via a solo ride on the trail, that matches their love of hiking the same surface.

    It's a damn shame that the 'anti's' are so entrenched in their beliefs, their ideological line in the sand, that they feel entirely comfortable with what amounts to denying me the equal right to enjoy the trail, in my way. I sense that in so many ways, these hiker folk are otherwise entirely decent, reasonable people, and most of the horse-folk are, as well.

    So, I'm optimistic about this issue. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I think that, like Rodney King, (God bless that poor tortured soul) we CAN all get along. It's just gonna take some work, and a bit of 'Tough Love', on our part, both towards the haters and also towards our own kind who are bent on bullying other users.

    Sorry for the run-on, rantlike statement. I'll try not to let it happen again!

    Oh yeah, and I wanted to mention, that my bikes all have a really nice-sounding, 'mellifluous' two-tone brass bell. Coming up behind a hiker or equestrian, it never fails to deraw a smile, even from the 'haters'. Although in their case the smile is a fleeting one, quickly suppressed, and replaced with the requisite, dissaproving frown.

    Oh yeah....one other thing. Bells are USELESS in the face of an I-pod wearer. They couldn't hear a rattler if they were about to step on it this their ear buds firmly in place!
    most of those people opposing cycling do nothing but walk around the trailhead.

  3. #103
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    Nice article just published:
    Advocates hope for reversal of Pacific Crest Trail bike ban

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

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

    click here to read more

    Sharing the Pacific Crest TrailHome » Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail
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  4. #104
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    Here's a legal way to hike and "ride" the PCT No pedals or drivetrain = not a bike!


  5. #105
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    I know your just joking around, but a foldable gravity bike just seems kinda silly in most cases.

    But I have looked into packing a bike on a light weight military Alice frame some what disassembled as a possible tool to create larger loops on the PCT. But as I researched it I discovered that you cannot even possess a bike (even disassembled and not rideable) in wilderness or the pct. So why bother, just ride it, if your gonna get a ticket either way.

    I have recently after ignoring this little project for a few years got the rig ready for my first adventure to combine some non rid-able peak bagging and unconnected trail's for some interesting adventure riding/off trail hiking that I hope to try out as soon as the snow melts next year.

    Here is a photo someone posted that got me interested in the ideal in the first place, this fellow did the whole Tahoe Rim, hiking the non-bike legal sections and even this could have gotten him a ticket



    And the thread I started a few years ago on this.
    Bike Backpack - Non Poach alternative
    Last edited by TahoeBC; 11-13-2012 at 08:22 AM.
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  6. #106
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    Good luck

    I'm not from your country, so I don't really have anything to offer but my best wishes that you not only gain access to this and other trails that fall under the odd 'no motorized vehicles - that includes mountain bikes' rule, but that you also manage to achieve some kind of harmony with the other user groups that seem so threatened by your potential presence.

    The small amount of time I've spent being (albeit minimally) involved with trail advocacy, I've noticed it was beneficial to form the approach that we as MTB users were all about making the trails better and more sustainable for ALL users, whereas other user groups were all about making the trails better just for themselves. This distinction proved to make a difference in at least one 'battle' I knew of. But we're still a very young sport in Australia, and there's a long way to go.

    Best of luck. I hope I find myself back there one day riding some of your amazing trails.

  7. #107
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    Thanks, Nuclear Powered. A lot of this dispute can be attributed to the unique influence of the 17th century Puritan tradition in the United States, which continues to exert a powerful pull even on issues like this. That influence turns what should be a land management issue into a moral panic.

    See this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/op...l-puritan.html

  8. #108
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    One of the best ways to get bicycles included is to let hikers know you're coming towards them. You really don't hear a mountain bike approaching till it's very close and often startles whoever you are approaching, the very thing they don't like. They feel like they're being stalked.
    Say hello, use a bike bell. Whatever it takes to get the surprise out of the encounter. I ring my bell and inform walkers that I have dogs with me, off leash. The only surprise is they are informed.
    Also offer water when I see people not carrying any.
    agmtb

  9. #109
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    I don't have the patience to read this thread in it's entirety, but having submitted a "Mountain Biker Survey" a few days ago, and afterwards I found this whole other thread was bumped-up, I'm not sure if this point has already been included in the argument "for" MTB's to be allowed on PCT... I am an individual "off-road" cyclist. I am lumped in to a much larger group of "Mountain Bikers", and of course as any other group that is seen from the outside, we are subject to generalizations. i.e. the Mountain Dew Downhiller Extreme dudes that we are perceived as by "naturalist" hikers. This is as always an unfortunate reality. I am a 48 year old asthmatic, I started riding again 3-4 years ago. I enjoy the challenge of a back country singletrack, but, I'm slow as hell! I stop to rest often, I walk my bike often, I occasionally get passed by hikers, (and don't feel the need to catch up and "put them in their place!") I'm of course faster on the declines, but I still ride within my capabilities, and try to be considerate of other trail users AND the resident critters. To "CHUM" and the other advocates that are working to get the PCT access for us, please let me know if there is anything else that we as individuals can do to help.

  10. #110
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    Subscribed! As a Forest Service employee, I know first hand how difficult and slow change can be, hopefully this initiative doesn't fall on def ears. Keep up the good fight!

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    For the last two to three years a small group of us has been working to get mountain bike access to non-Wilderness sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. (About 60% of the PCT lies outside Wilderness.)

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

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

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

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

    Stay tuned. We'll be looking for your help in coming months.
    It's about time. I lived in Tahoe for a few years, and there was NOTHING else for me to ride there
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  12. #112
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    NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

    From an IMBA blog

    If you live in the Pacific Northwest and love mountain biking, you have probably thought about how great it would be to ride your bike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which runs from California to British Columbia and is currently closed to bikes. Each time I hike a portion of the 2,600-mile National Scenic Trail, I find myself wishing that I could also access the stunning scenery, backcountry setting and phenomenal singetrack on my mountain bike. I also think about what a great resource mountain bikers could be in the efforts to maintain the PCT and other long-distance, remote trails.

    The U.S. Forest Service recently indicated that it might consider a process to review the current ban on bicycle access to the PCT. Some bicycle advocates have actively challenged the legal basis for the current bike ban, but IMBA has not joined these efforts. We are instead focusing on communicating with both the Forest Service and other key stakeholders in the recreation community to assess current trail-use issues and identify potential opportunities.

    IMBA believes that mountain bike access to long-distance backcountry trails is extremely valuable, though that does not necessitate opening the entire PCT to bikes (we will not pursue bike access in designated Wilderness areas, and some sections might not be conducive to riding). As the discussions evolve, IMBA will provide updates about which trail segments of the PCT are best-suited for bicycle access, and we will advocate for access to those sections.
    Click on the above link for more info.
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  13. #113
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    Doubt it will happen.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unkown View Post
    Doubt it will happen.
    Please elaborate

  15. #115
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Jolly jolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Unkown View Post
    Doubt it will happen.
    And a very merry Christmas to you too.

  16. #116
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    After accidentally "discovering" the PCT in my search for new MTB trails, in my "new" neighborhood in the High Desert of So. Cal. (all I will say is a very short portion of the trail is great for mountain biking) I was disapointed(sp?) that it is off-limits to us, disapointed that it is so well marked as off-limits to MTB's, and VERY disapointed that it is hardly ever used by ANYONE in this area (please post if you disagree, because only once have I actually seen any other hikers on the trail, and they were as glad to see me as I was to see them!) I actually have submitted a survey to "CHUM" and the "Share the PCT" group. AS I used Google Earth to investigate the different pieces of PCT in my area, I found it to be very diverse (a portion of the trail goes from the south end of Hesperia, Ca. to a "hot springs" and is frequented by "naturalists") the trail goes (in only a few miles) from desert, to "Chapparal"(where there are cactii and small trees and brushies that would require equestrians to wear chaps) to our typical So. Cal. mountain "sage and manzanita" environment zones. I have started to break up my riding schedule to include hikes so I can survey different areas of the trail for future bike rides.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimwg View Post
    After accidentally "discovering" the PCT in my search for new MTB trails, in my "new" neighborhood in the High Desert of So. Cal. (all I will say is a very short portion of the trail is great for mountain biking) I was disapointed(sp?) that it is off-limits to us, disapointed that it is so well marked as off-limits to MTB's, and VERY disapointed that it is hardly ever used by ANYONE in this area (please post if you disagree, because only once have I actually seen any other hikers on the trail, and they were as glad to see me as I was to see them!) I actually have submitted a survey to "CHUM" and the "Share the PCT" group. AS I used Google Earth to investigate the different pieces of PCT in my area, I found it to be very diverse (a portion of the trail goes from the south end of Hesperia, Ca. to a "hot springs" and is frequented by "naturalists") the trail goes (in only a few miles) from desert, to "Chapparal"(where there are cactii and small trees and brushies that would require equestrians to wear chaps) to our typical So. Cal. mountain "sage and manzanita" environment zones. I have started to break up my riding schedule to include hikes so I can survey different areas of the trail for future bike rides.
    Thanks jimwg

    Your knowledge, along with many others, has proven invaluable in outlining and defining sections of the PCT that are PERFECT for riding.

    We have amassed a considerable amount of data from all 3 states from short sections to tie in longer loops, to some pretty epic stretches...

    Keep the suggestions coming everyone - all really GREAT stuff!
    Last edited by CHUM; 12-27-2012 at 09:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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  18. #118
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    Good job!!!!!

  19. #119
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    Thanks! We'll let everyone know when we hear something from the Forest Service.

  20. #120
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    Think that restricting mountain bikers from certain trails is more due to a concern of speed and surprise rather than trail erosion. We as mountain bikers know that horses do much more trail damage than a mountain bike, yet claims are made that mountain bikers harm trails by erosion. In my opinion hiker's aversion to mountain biking is due mostly to the surprise of a rider sneaking up on them and scaring them around a corner or blind spot. I think we can help our cause by being polite to hikers by taking a few seconds to pull over for them and show them courtesy. Wearing a bear bell is also a big help. Just my 2 copper Lincolns.
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

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    I agree with that, except for the part about bear bells. I've heard that some hikers find other hikers' use of them annoying, so maybe they wouldn't appreciate them on handlebars or CamelBaks either. The main thing is that we should be scrupulously honest with ourselves about our impact, always assessing it to see how it affects others, and then, to the extent there is a real problem (as opposed to a perceived or invented problem) in a particular area, fix it.

  22. #122
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    On that topic about using bells to warn people on foot, see video clip below*.

    * not in English, but you shouldn't have a prob understanding it.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/rtv2_-2mHck" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribune View Post
    Think that restricting mountain bikers from certain trails is more due to a concern of speed and surprise rather than trail erosion. We as mountain bikers know that horses do much more trail damage than a mountain bike, yet claims are made that mountain bikers harm trails by erosion. In my opinion hiker's aversion to mountain biking is due mostly to the surprise of a rider sneaking up on them and scaring them around a corner or blind spot. I think we can help our cause by being polite to hikers by taking a few seconds to pull over for them and show them courtesy. Wearing a bear bell is also a big help. Just my 2 copper Lincolns.
    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    I agree with that, except for the part about bear bells. I've heard that some hikers find other hikers' use of them annoying, so maybe they wouldn't appreciate them on handlebars or CamelBaks either. The main thing is that we should be scrupulously honest with ourselves about our impact, always assessing it to see how it affects others, and then, to the extent there is a real problem (as opposed to a perceived or invented problem) in a particular area, fix it.
    One alternative to the constantly ringing bear bell (which I also find incredibly annoying) is an activated bell. I ride with one on my bars and I ring it any time I'm approaching a blind turn.

    I also agree with imtnbke that we need to be honest with ourselves about what we do to the trails . . . both environmentally and socially. It's the best and only way we are going to increase our access broadly, beyond just the PCT.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  24. #124
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    So the rules of the trail....



    I'm coolio with the concept and adhere to them. Question: How do you "yield" to a hiker going the same direction? When you catch up to them and they let you pass, do you then immediately yield to them, then pass them again, then yield... and so on and so forth?



  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    I agree with that, except for the part about bear bells. I've heard that some hikers find other hikers' use of them annoying, so maybe they wouldn't appreciate them on handlebars or CamelBaks either.
    Hope hubs. Just spin back a few turns, you can hear them quite well. Some other good hubs work too.

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribune View Post
    Think that restricting mountain bikers from certain trails is more due to a concern of speed and surprise rather than trail erosion. We as mountain bikers know that horses do much more trail damage than a mountain bike, yet claims are made that mountain bikers harm trails by erosion. In my opinion hiker's aversion to mountain biking is due mostly to the surprise of a rider sneaking up on them and scaring them around a corner or blind spot. I think we can help our cause by being polite to hikers by taking a few seconds to pull over for them and show them courtesy. Wearing a bear bell is also a big help. Just my 2 copper Lincolns.
    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    I agree with that, except for the part about bear bells. I've heard that some hikers find other hikers' use of them annoying, so maybe they wouldn't appreciate them on handlebars or CamelBaks either. The main thing is that we should be scrupulously honest with ourselves about our impact, always assessing it to see how it affects others, and then, to the extent there is a real problem (as opposed to a perceived or invented problem) in a particular area, fix it.
    Skipping the bell aspect ... I gotta agree with both of you.

    Impact isn't just about erosion ... It's also about perception.

    Almost running walking) into someone, as you both make a turn in a hallway comes to mind ... Startle effect.

    If I were cresting a hill, and someone came barreling over it on the downhill, at other than a walking pace ... I'd probaby be wondering WTF is wrong with that person.
    Although I gotta admit, if it was a horse rider, I'd be more than pi$$ed.

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    Skipping the bell aspect ... I gotta agree with both of you.

    Impact isn't just about erosion ... It's also about perception.

    Almost running walking) into someone, as you both make a turn in a hallway comes to mind ... Startle effect.

    If I were cresting a hill, and someone came barreling over it on the downhill, at other than a walking pace ... I'd probaby be wondering WTF is wrong with that person.
    Although I gotta admit, if it was a horse rider, I'd be more than pi$$ed.
    I for one found a very nice-sounding 2-tone brass bell that I have on all my bikes, now.
    Just have to remember to use it.

    The other problem with alerting hikers is the earbud phenomenon. If a hiker has gone onto the trail with their i-pod or mp3 player, they are not gonna hear you if their volume is turned up, and it often is, in my experience. Hence, they create their OWN 'startle effect'.

    I never did understand why people would go to a nature preserve place and then proceed to seal themselves off acoustically from the natural sounds all around them, but that's just my opinion.
    It does present some safety hazards by not being able to hear certain warning sounds, like bike bells, rattlesnakes, various growls, etc....

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    I for one found a very nice-sounding 2-tone brass bell that I have on all my bikes, now.
    Just have to remember to use it.

    The other problem with alerting hikers is the earbud phenomenon. If a hiker has gone onto the trail with their i-pod or mp3 player, they are not gonna hear you if their volume is turned up, and it often is, in my experience. Hence, they create their OWN 'startle effect'.

    I never did understand why people would go to a nature preserve place and then proceed to seal themselves off acoustically from the natural sounds all around them, but that's just my opinion.
    It does present some safety hazards by not being able to hear certain warning sounds, like bike bells, rattlesnakes, various growls, etc....
    I too ride with a bell, and I ring it regularly. Basically any time line of sight is obscured and traffic could be around the turn, I'll send out a couple rings.

    Now, if someone has their headphones in and that is the reason they didn't hear me, then that is something beyond my control, and if it causes them to startle when they see me, I can't be held responsible for that.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  29. #129
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    I'm glad earbuds aggravate my tinnitus. I love music, but I don't ride with 'em, and get spared being looked down upon.

    Bells are super useful for getting people to let you pass (see vid above, of Japanese guy getting it to work indoors). Most of them make a pleasant sound too, opposed to the other "noise makers" and yelling/shouting/hollerin'.

  30. #130
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    When they're within earshot, announce you're approaching. Practically speaking, if you're going faster, whether downhill or uphill, they have to make way for you, the physical laws of space, time, and velocity being what they are. But you have to give them time to do this comfortably, even if it means dismounting for a minute. That's even more true with skittish horses, and in that case, you may have to walk around them as they stand by the side of the trail. That's all that "yield" means in this situation; nothing more is required, nor can it be.

  31. #131
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    There's many ways to interpret it, but the bottom line is that it's a trail meant to be shared.

    The way I interpret it is that there's no hierarchy of who belongs out there more, despite what the equestrians and hikers say. I see the yield to horses and hikers thing is mainly for safety, to get bikers to slow down; if it were the other way around, with them yielding to us, I imagine at least a few riders would try to continue on at high speeds, expecting others to yield or move out the way. The trail dictates what kind of etiquette you should use. You should make your presence known, in a friendly manner, and pass where it's safe to. You don't need to stop, you don't need dismount, you don't need to chat the others up... you should simply be considerate of others in a mannerly fashion. If it's undesirable to ride/step off to the side of trail, due to danger or slop, don't try to squeeze by anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    I too ride with a bell, and I ring it regularly. Basically any time line of sight is obscured and traffic could be around the turn, I'll send out a couple rings.

    Now, if someone has their headphones in and that is the reason they didn't hear me, then that is something beyond my control, and if it causes them to startle when they see me, I can't be held responsible for that.
    Your opinion is reasonable, just like my opinion that people we encounter on trails that sit on Public Lands should be responsible for the actions and behavior of their animals is reasonable.

    Yet, it's clear that my reasoned opinion is WRONG. It's correct, if the animal in question is a dog, but it's wrong, if the animal in question is a horse.

    The only way I can see this making sense is by viewing our rules through the lens of Social Class.

    But this is a discussion for a different thread. For the sake of access to the PCT, I am willing to make all kinds of extra concessions to reason!

  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    Although I gotta admit, if it was a horse rider, I'd be more than pi$$ed.
    I am more then pissed when local poorly trained slave toy animals clog singletrack, destroy trails, and poop all over the place, while their smug and lazy owners lie to land managers.

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    ...It does present some safety hazards by not being able to hear certain warning sounds, like bike bells, rattlesnakes, various growls, etc....
    This is actually a potentially serious issue. A buddy of ours was rummaging around in a wild local drainage when he suddenly heard something 'grunt like a pig' out of the brush close by. He started talking loud and backed out of there with his bike and never did see what it was (wasn't about to go look!) but we're all assuming it was a bear.

    I keep telling folks to imagine how this would have been perceived by the bear if ear buds had been involved:
    - Bear is probably surprised by human but decides to hide and hang tight hoping it will just go away
    - Human inadvertently gets closer
    - Bear for whatever reason doesn't run like they usually do around here. Is it injured? Does it have cubs? Who knows, but for whatever reason it's now feeling cornered and panicked and issues a 'verbal warning'.
    - At this point if the human doesn't shoo off- or worse yet, just gets closer- the bear is now probably going to assume this is a potentially aggressive encounter and up the ante accordingly. After all, she's playing by some fairly well-understood cross-species rules: 'I gave you a clear and fair warning, and you ignored it.'

    Needless to say, it all goes downhill from there.

    tl;dr: there may be things urgently attempting to communicate with you that don't grok earbuds.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

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    From what I've read, the die-hard hiking, anti-bike folks have no fear of bears, mt. lions, rattlesnakes or other natural element... but if they see a bicycle, their life is in danger. So pathetic.

    And to follow up my earlier question, I have a bell on my bar, but I feel like a d!ck ringing it when approaching people from behind. I tend to cough or nicely say "hellooo" when I'm within hearing distance. I mostly ring my bell when I'm about to go around a blind turn... or I just let out a "yoo-hoo" if I don't want to take my thumb off my grip on technical terrain. I ride very little fire road these days, so saying "on your left" to a person on foot is a rarity for me now.

    28 years of singletrack trail use. Zero collisions.

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    Who needs a bell OR ear buds?

    I like to sing while riding. Loudly and most likely off pitch. I can sometimes entice the people riding with me to back me up. Beat box, harmonies, mouth guitar.... w/e.

    It does get me odd looks from fellow trail users (and people riding with me for the first time. bellowing out a song while they gasp for breath is priceless) but they know im comin round the corner and its better than hollerin at them to get the ef out of my way.

    Would LOVE pct to be open to bikes. Im not about to ride the whole thing, but hitting a bit of the San Diego section would be lovely.

  37. #137
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    I have a couple of tonal things I do to signal any possibly approaching people on blind corners. One of them is a rendition of the telephone ring from the 1967 classic movie In Like Flint (which I know dates me terribly):

    Myxer - Zorkmaster - In Like Flint - Red Phone ring - Ringtone

  38. #138
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    no, no, no.

    just ride em

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Hi, nwbikur — Thanks! We don't have a website and we should. I hadn't thought of that and no one else in our group has mentioned it. Do you know of anyone with the expertise to create one? (Free hosting would also be great, but I don't know if that's feasible.)
    just start a facebook page for it. It's free and easy and a great way to spread the word.

  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdan View Post
    just start a facebook page for it. It's free and easy and a great way to spread the word.
    Oh, we've got one now!

    Sharing the Pacific Crest TrailHome » Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail

    Check it out!
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  41. #141
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    Well the USFS issued it's reply - standard BS.

    Summary version:
    Quote Originally Posted by USFS Summary by CHUM
    You have enough trails to ride and we don't care if we are violating our own policy...

    so there - neener, neener...
    Please read FULL version and steps on how to change their mind. The USFS clearly does not comprehend how 'aware' we are as user group to the issue at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by USFS
    This letter is in response to your October 22, 2012, email. I appreciate your interest in finding solutions that minimize conflict and the offer to work collaboratively on resolving and improving trail stewardship. My staff and I have a keen interest in improving mountain bicycle recreation experiences and increasing opportunities in appropriate places where shared use with bicycles already exists or is not prohibited. Both here and nationally, the Forest Service has partnered through a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and other organizations to collaborate on the development and maintenance of shared use trails that meet agency goals for resource protection while providing and improving high quality mountain biking experiences.

    Nation-wide the Forest Service provides the largest trail system in the nation with over 157,000 miles within the system. Outside of designated wilderness there are 125,962 miles of trail, of which 123,739 miles are open to mountain bicycling (98%) and 12,389 miles of trail managed specifically for mountain bicycling. We agree that there is much to be gained by selecting focal areas to work with communities and non-profits to improve mountain bicycling opportunities.

    National Scenic and Historic Trails are to be managed for the activities and uses for which they were established by Congress as set forth by law. The primary uses for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) were determined by the Comprehensive Management Plan and are also found in 36 C.F.R. § 212.21 as “primarily a footpath and horseback riding trail.” The Comprehensive Plan is explicit in its “Criteria for Location, Design, Signing and User Facilities” that the trail should “provide opportunities for hikers, horseman, and other non-mechanized travelers.” The bicycle closure for the PCT (1988) was developed with the unanimous support of the PCT Advisory Council after the Comprehensive Management Planning effort was completed. As you are likely aware, the Advisory Council, required by the National Trails System Act (NTSA) (Sec.5(d)), contained members from each state at the recommendation of the Governors, representatives from each federal or independent agency that the trail passes through, and members appointed to represent private organizations, including corporate and individual landowners and land users.

    Legislative direction for considering additional uses beyond the primary uses of foot and horse travel is found in NTSA Sec. 7(c): “Other uses along the trail, which will not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the trail, may be permitted by the Secretary charged with the administration of the trails.” The requirement to determine an identified carrying capacity of the trail and a plan for its implementation (Section 5(e)) would also need to be met. At this time, the Forest Service will not be pursuing a Comprehensive Management Plan Amendment and the rulemaking that would be required solely to consider adding “other uses” to the PCT. We will not be pursing “termination” of the bicycle closure order either for similar concerns. Our focus for management of the PCT continues to be ecological restoration and the backlog of maintenance resulting from wildfires, the Sierra Wind Event of 2011, and the flood events of 2006 and 2009 in Washington State.

    There are many places where shared use with bicycles already exists or is not prohibited, and we support working together to improve mountain bicycle access and opportunities to connect local communities to National Forest System lands. Our region is currently working with the IMBA to identify where these opportunities exist and we welcome your assistance to identify sites and work to leverage resources for planning and implementation. . . .

    Sincerely,

    /s/ [employee] (for)
    RANDY MOORE
    Regional Forester
    Facebook page - Sharing The PCT
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharing The PCT
    The Forest Service has rejected our request to rescind or reconsider the Pacific Crest Trail bicycle ban. Its letter to us, which we received two days ago, i.e., on Feb. 5, 2013, is posted below in the comments section.

    It is time for you to take action and here are instructions for exactly how to do it.

    We believe the Forest Service's decision is shortsighted, biased, and legally questionable. We are not going to stand by while the Forest Service ignores its own rules. The 1988 bicycle ban emerged from behind closed doors. Decisions made in 2013 cannot be made in similar secrecy.

    The Forest Service's decision is bad policy—bad for cyclists, bad for the trails community, and bad for the long-term preservation and success of a trail that needs all the public support it can get.

    While we work on the legalities, we ask you immediately to insist that the 1988 bicycle ban be rescinded. Here's how to do it in two simple steps:

    1) Contact your member of Congress. Tell them who you are and what you want. Make it reflect your personal views. A sample letter is shown below. Your member of Congress is HERE: Find Your Representative · House.gov.

    2) Contact Tom Tidwell, the Chief of the Forest Service, in Washington, D.C. Tell him who you are and what you want. Make it also reflect your personal views. His contact info is here: USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people. (direct e-mail address ttidwell@fs.fed.us).

    Beyond e-mailing your member of Congress and Mr. Tidwell, please spread the word among your friends and fellow trail users. Sign up on our contact list at Sharing the Pacific Crest TrailHome » Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail. And please let us know what you hear back from your elected officials and anyone else. Our e-mail address is pct.initiative@gmail.com.

    Your voice is important and will be heard by those you write to. Each one of you who writes directly impacts the small group of people charged with making broad, far-reaching decisions about how the PCT can be used. Ask for a direct response to your inquiry and don't hesitate to follow up until you get one.

    Re your letter to your Congressmember, here's a SAMPLE.

    Since your member of Congress likely won’t know much about the PCT, it’s probably best to start your request with an introductory paragraph along these lines:

    « Dear [name of Congressmember]:

    I am a cyclist who would like to bicycle at least some part of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs for 2,663 miles from Canada to Mexico along the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada. In 1988 the Forest Service closed the PCT to bicycles with no public input. The closure order was simply typed on a piece of paper and signed by three Forest Service employees. I would like that closure order to be rescinded.

    Today, the closure procedure is widely understood to be defective because the original decision was made behind closed doors. Also, the closure order is of a type that’s supposed to be temporary, as in the case of a safety problem with a campsite or a dock that needs repair. Such orders are not designed to put in place an enormously consequential blanket policy and keep it in place for a quarter of a century.

    Mountain bikers did not have a voice in this matter back in 1988, but we are keenly aware of it today. Since 2010, a citizens' group called the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative (PCTRI) has been working on getting the closure rescinded or at least reassessed so that responsible cyclists like me can enjoy at least some portions of the PCT by bicycle.

    But on February 5, 2013, the Forest Service announced that the behind-closed-doors approach remains in effect. It is refusing to hear from the public and plans to keep the entire trail closed to bicycles. I believe the rule to be capricious and baseless.

    I am writing to ask you to ask the Forest Service to rescind the 1988 order. It was summarily imposed, so it can and should be summarily canceled. Unlike in 1988, the Forest Service knows very well how to manage shared-use trails, and the PCT should be no exception. The PCT belongs to all of us and I want my voice to be heard.

    Sincerely,
    [Your name] »

    In addition to the foregoing and any points you think of yourself, you could mention these items to your member of Congress, the Chief of the Forest Service, and the PCTA (but keep it short!):

    1. According to the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative, most of the PCT is lightly used most of the year and parts of it grow over from lack of use by anyone.

    2. The Pacific Crest Trail Association admits that it cannot keep up with maintaining the entire trail. It is always seeking federal funding to do the work. Mountain bikers could quickly become an invaluable volunteer resource for maintaining the trail.

    3. The PCT runs through counties that are struggling economically. The few hikers and horseback riders who use the trail don't seem to be putting much of a dent in those economic problems. Mountain bikers would bring in new revenue to the thousands of local businesses, motels and restaurants along the trail's route.

    4. Mountain biking is quiet, environmentally friendly, and healthy. If everyone in the country who could ride a bike would do so, we’d have a much lower national health bill.

    5. This isn't about allowing motor vehicles on the PCT. Bicycling is human-powered, just like walking, jogging, and skiing.

    6. Please check out the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative's website for more information: Sharing the Pacific Crest TrailHome » Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail.

    Thank you for your support! The campaign is far from over. We remain optimistic for long-term success.

    PCTRI
    Letter Writing WILL make a difference - this is not a giant group of officials shutting off trail access....this is 1 or 2 people behind closed doors not doing their job because they want the easy way out. We have to make them get off their butts and do something....
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  42. #142
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    Get the ACLU involved.

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    Hey,

    Does anyone know the current status of this? The original post stated sometime near march 2013 and that is rapidly approaching.

    best regards

    ac

    Well I see I had the posts backwards and just saw it has been updated. New to the interface of this website!

  44. #144
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    see post #141
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  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traildogcharlton View Post
    Hey,

    Does anyone know the current status of this? The original post stated sometime near march 2013 and that is rapidly approaching.

    best regards

    ac

    Well I see I had the posts backwards and just saw it has been updated. New to the interface of this website!
    Yes, we politely held back from bombarding the Forest Service with e-mail because the staff lulled us into thinking that the agency was probably going to review the closure, and that would be the time to write in. Meanwhile, the PCT traditionalists had no such reservations and clogged the agency's mailbox with rants. And that seems to have scared the Forest Service off. Which leaves everything in the status quo, including varying opinions about the validity of the closure order, which was typed up in 1988 with no opportunity for public input.

  46. #146
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    we need to offer the spammers some sort of reward if they bombard USFS with pro-mtb comments that lead to them overturning the bike prohibition on pct.

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    we need to offer the spammers some sort of reward if they bombard USFS with pro-mtb comments that lead to them overturning the bike prohibition on pct.

    Click Here for Forum Rules

  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    we need to offer the spammers some sort of reward if they bombard USFS with pro-mtb comments that lead to them overturning the bike prohibition on pct.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  49. #149
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    The Pacific Crest Trail Association, which serves to "preserve, protect and promote" the PCT, just put out an on-line survey asking folks for input on their 2013 Strategic Plan. This is an excellent opportunity for mountain bikers to voice their opinions about how the MTB community can help the PCTA achieve their goals, which are:

    1) The PCT corridor is permanently protected.
    2) The entire PCT is designed, constructed and maintained through partnerships.
    3) The PCT is well-known nationally and internationally.
    4) The PCT Association has the financial resources needed to accomplish its mission.
    5) The PCT Association has the human resources needed to accomplish its mission.
    6) The PCT Association has the systems and infrastructure needed to accomplish its mission.

    The PCTA is currently opposed to bikes. As you can imagine, the positive effect the MTB community can have on these goals of trail construction & maintenance, funding (via memberships, donations and grants), and global marketing should be hard for them to ignore. Not to mention our ability to get youth involved with the trail, creating life-long stewards of this National treasure.

    Whether you have a personal interest in accessing the PCT, or live across the country and support equal access for mt. bikers on public trails, your brief input would be appreciated. There are only 3 questions.

    Survey: PCTA 2013 Strategic Plan Input

    For question #2, if you don't have any insight into a particular section in need, feel free to write: "All non-Wilderness portions should be available to bicycles."

    BTW, when you read "preserve & protect" the PCT, it has very little to do with bicycles (if any) and mostly everything to do with maintaining the trail while fending off development and logging encroachments that affect the character of the trail.

    Thank you for your support.

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle509 View Post
    Well, consider me subscribed.
    Ditto

  51. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta565 View Post
    Agreed on the website. I don't know the first thing about building a webpage so I'm useless in that regard.
    We have a website . . . Sharing the Pacific Crest TrailHome » Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail

    You should check it out!
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  52. #152
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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.
    As an ex-federally employed trail maintenance worker in Big Bend National Park I agree that horses do more damage on a per instance basis, BUT there are considerably more bikes than horses these days...considerably more. If every cyclist had skills and no one rode up on the sides of turns you would be right about hikers equaling mountain bikes...but that will never, ever happen.

    I thru hiked the PCT in 2000 (AT 1999 & 2002). I stood aside as a Big Bear local poached some trail with a couple lycra clad tourists. All the turns were slashed in that area.

    I haven't decided on this issue because I keep asking myself, "Is nothing sacred?"

    I think everyone on this thread has a noble image of a bearded man bike-packing this trail. Reality is the Big Bear local.

  53. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomethingRelatedToBiking View Post
    ... If every cyclist had skills and no one rode up on the sides of turns you would be right about hikers equaling mountain bikes...but that will never, ever happen....
    Do no go on believing you are are the only ex-fed that has ever done trail work posting on this forum.

    Have you ever seen a pile of human feces left in the middle of a trail? I doubt it was left by a mtn biker, it was a hiker. How about the amount of trash left by a hiker versus a mtn biker? I guarantee hikers leave more. How many abandoned campfires left burning by mtn bikers compared to hikers? The worst campsite I ever saw (fire left burning, trash and human feces everywhere) was left by a sierra club sponsored group. Most mountain bikepackers pride themselves on their LNT skills, far more so than hikers.

    There a few bad apple in every group, yes. Everyone here concedes that. I contend there are more bad apples amongst the hikers than the mtn bikers. My 32+ plus years in the Forest Service gives me plenty of anecdotal evidence bikes on trails is not a significant problem.

  54. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    Do no go on believing you are are the only ex-fed that has ever done trail work posting on this forum.

    Have you ever seen a pile of human feces left in the middle of a trail? I doubt it was left by a mtn biker, it was a hiker. How about the amount of trash left by a hiker versus a mtn biker? I guarantee hikers leave more. How many abandoned campfires left burning by mtn bikers compared to hikers? The worst campsite I ever saw (fire left burning, trash and human feces everywhere) was left by a sierra club sponsored group. Most mountain bikepackers pride themselves on their LNT skills, far more so than hikers.

    There a few bad apple in every group, yes. Everyone here concedes that. I contend there are more bad apples amongst the hikers than the mtn bikers. My 32+ plus years in the Forest Service gives me plenty of anecdotal evidence bikes on trails is not a significant problem.
    To further support your comments, Dave, I point out, again, that bicyclists, among the "3" user groups, are far less likely to actually leave the trail track or surface itself than hikers and horses. I guess it's a matter of perspective, the fellow above equates far more import to a bit of berming on a trail turn, terming it "slashing" (very destructive imagery there) to the post-holing caused frequently by horses as their owners /riders urge them to leave the trail and/or ride them on a trail surface before it has sufficiently dried after a rain to support their steel-shod 1000 lb. + weight .

    It's just not acceptable to me, to let people, former fed employees/servants or not, get away with this kind of duplicity, without at least calling them on it. I prefer to do so face to face, but I'll do it here, online, too, if I have to, and this one really calls for it.

    Shame on you, "Something Related to Biking". And yes, something here is "sacred". It's called the Truth. Let the ideology "go"....

  55. #155
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    "Is nothing sacred?"
    - To who? One person's ideal of non-motorized recreation, or the other person's? (Hint: premier trail in premier places is sacred to all.)

    Remember, the people that carved the trail into the Earth caused the most damage... everything after that, whether it be from boot, hoove, knobby tire, or rain is negligible.

    I've never heard of a day mountain biker causing a forest fire. A hiker caused forest fire trumps any evidence of bikes on dirt trails, ever.

  56. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    "Is nothing sacred?"
    - To who? One person's ideal of non-motorized recreation, or the other person's? (Hint: premier trail in premier places is sacred to all.)

    Remember, the people that carved the trail into the Earth caused the most damage... everything after that, whether it be from boot, hoove, knobby tire, or rain is negligible.

    I've never heard of a day mountain biker causing a forest fire. A hiker caused forest fire trumps any evidence of bikes on dirt trails, ever.
    True. Three miles of trail built to standard specs is a one acre cleacut.

    How many hikers have I seen smoking while hiking? I could not count. I have never seen a mountain biker smoke while riding.

    I also cannot recall a single forest fire started by a biker. There may be one, somewhere, sometime... I do not know of it.

  57. #157
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    One other reason to allow Bikes, It allows persons with disabilities to ride some of the trail.
    I am one of those. I am 40% disabled from my 20 years in the Navy. My knees are shot. I can't Hike but I can ride a bike.

    ADA where are you,
    Thanks.
    Last edited by tommignon; 03-06-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommignon View Post
    One other reason to allow Bikes, It allows persons with disabilities to rise some of the trail.
    I am one of those. I am 40% disabled from my 20 years in the Navy. My knees are shot. I can't Hike but I can ride a bike.

    ADA where are you,
    Thanks.
    This is a very valid point. I also have many disabilities and retained hardware that makes it difficult to hike for any length of time, but I can ride my well-adjusted bike for 20 miles or further with no pain penalty.
    I'll bet there are more than a few trail users out there in the same boat.

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    from the Sharing the PCT Facebook page.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    Last Thursday, PCTRI sent a letter to the Forest Service's regional forester in charge of the PCT, replying to the agency's initial rejection of our request to cancel or reconsider the no-bikes policy. The reply is long and has a lot of legal stuff in it, but perhaps a few people will be interested to read it. Those who are may want to copy it into a Word or pdf document; it'll be easier to read.

    Here's the text:

    We received your letter of February 6, 2013, declining to rescind or reconsider the 1988 order closing bicycle access to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

    We hereby request that you reconsider the decision. In addition, we would like to meet with you and your staff to discuss this controversy.

    We offer the following reasons for our request, which are in
    answer to items communicated in the letter.

    I. Federal statutes and regulations

    The letter notes the existence of 36 C.F.R. § 212.21, in which the Forest Service declared that the PCT is “primarily a footpath and horseback riding trail.” The regulation was, however, promulgated in 1978, when the only alternative to foot and horse travel was by motorcycle or other motor vehicle. In the context of its time, it is essentially a declaration that the PCT is off-limits to motorized travel.

    In addition, the regulation arguably was superseded by act of Congress, because in 1983 Congress amended the National Trails System Act, which governs the PCT, to declare that “bicycling,” including specifically “trail biking”—i.e., mountain biking—is a suitable “[p]otential” trail use on national trails. (16 U.S.C. § 1246(j).) In addition, as the letter observes, “[o]ther uses along the trail, which will not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the trail, may be permitted . . . .” (16 U.S.C. § 1246(c).) This is what allows bicycle use on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) despite a Forest Service declaration that the CDNST is primarily dedicated to foot and horse travel (see the next paragraph).

    Furthermore, primary (36 C.F.R. § 212.21) does not mean exclusive. The 2009 CDNST Comprehensive Plan declares that “[b]ackpacking, nature walking, day hiking, [and] horseback riding, . . . are compatible with the nature and purposes of the CDNST.” Mountain biking is not mentioned. Yet the same plan also declares that “[b]icycle use may be allowed on the CDNST (16 U.S.C. § 1246(c)) if the use is consistent is consistent with the applicable . . . management plan and will not substantially interfere with the nature and the purposes of the CDNST.” As is well known, lots of mountain biking takes place on the CDNST and there are few if any problems.

    Finally, we note the letter’s reference to 16 U.S.C. § 1244(e), which provides in relevant part that “within two complete fiscal years of November 10, 1978, for the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, the responsible Secretary shall . . . submit . . . a comprehensive plan for the . . . use of the trail, including but not limited to, the following items: [¶] “(1) specific objectives and practices to be observed in the management of the trail, including . . . an identified carrying capacity of the trail and a plan for its implementation.”

    Since the Forest Service believes the PCT Comprehensive Plan must be revised to allow for bicycle use, then, in fairness, it should also have revised it in 1988, when three employees signed the document closing the PCT to bicycles. We are not aware that any such effort was made, and we observe that the 1988 closure order does not appear in the appendices to the plan. In addition, the statute does not call for a plan revision each time there is a change in trail management practices. Finally, within the PCT Comprehensive Plan, language exists that allows for bicycle use. It is found on page 1 of the original version and consists of President Johnson’s embryonic 1965 statement that led to his signing the National Trails System Act of 1968: “The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride, horseback, or bicycle. For them, we must have trails . . . .”

    In sum, we doubt that the enormous undertaking of a PCT Comprehensive Plan revision is required in order to repeal or reconsider the informally created 1988 PCT bicycle closure.
    Although we have asked for rulemaking in the alternative to rescinding the closure order, we also disagree with the letter’s statement that rulemaking, along with a Comprehensive Plan amendment, is required. No rulemaking accompanied the order and none is required to rescind it. It is simply a typed declaration of what should have been a short-term, temporary policy as the Forest Service worked out mountain biking management on the PCT in 1988, as it has since done successfully on the tens of thousands of miles of other trail to which the letter refers.

    II. Public input following the described PCT Advisory Council decision

    The letter mentions that the closure was unanimously supported by the then-existing PCT Advisory Council. We are not aware that any mountain bikers were on that body. More to the point, we know of no evidence that mountain bikers or the public at large were informed about this drastic change in policy.

    The lack of public notice and of an opportunity for public comment are central to our position that the policy must be reconsidered to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as 36 C.F.R. § 261.70, the Forest Service regulation that provides:

    "(a) Pursuant to 7 CFR 2.60, the Chief, and each Regional Forester, to whom the Chief has delegated authority, may issue regulations prohibiting acts or omissions within all or any part of the area over which he has jurisdiction, for one or more of the following purposes:
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (3) Protection of property, roads, or trails.
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (7) Public safety.
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (9) Establishing reasonable rules of public conduct.
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (c) In issuing any regulations under paragraph (a) of this section, the issuing officer shall follow 5 U.S.C. 553.
    (d) In a situation when the issuing officer determines that a notice of proposed rule making and public participation thereon is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, he shall issue, with the concurrence of the Chief, an interim regulation containing an expiration date.
    (e) No interim regulation issued under paragraph (d) of this section will be effective for more than 90 days unless readopted as a permanent rule after a notice of proposed rule making under 5 U.S.C. 553 (b) and (c)."

    In other words, the 1988 bicycle closure became invalid 90 days after its promulgation, because there was no rulemaking pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Its effect may have been revived by the Forest Service’s decision of February 6, 2013. But in our view that decision will become ineffective on May 7, 2013, for want of the followup procedures required by 36 C.F.R. § 261.70. We understand that there may be an APA exception for so-called interpretative rules, but in our view a blanket ban on bicycles on the PCT cannot be merely interpretative given its far-reaching substantive nature and the requirement that the policy be harmonized with 16 U.S.C. § 1246(j)’s allowance for mountain biking.

    III. Questions of fairness and policy considerations

    The letter informs us that there are many miles of national forest trail managed specifically for mountain biking. Overall, however, Forest Service policy toward mountain biking is unfair and unjustifiably exclusionary. In California, Oregon, and Washington, the great majority of the most beautiful and remote Forest Service trails are off-limits to cyclists because they lie in Wilderness areas. The non-Wilderness PCT would be one of the few exceptions were it not for the separate closure order that forbids bicycle use on it too.

    The letter mentions the PCT’s problems with “ecological restoration and the backlog of maintenance.” (P. 2.) The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) has acknowledged that it cannot sustain the entirety of the trail. Presumably this is a PCTA appeal for yet more taxpayer funding. At the same time, the PCTA wants to preserve the restrictionist status quo. Mountain bikers have an established history of doing restoration and maintenance work on trails. It seems incongruous to us that the PCTA and the Forest Service would look askance at a source of volunteer labor, to be provided by a nonmotorized and environmentally benign user group, only to turn to the federal government for more money to fund the PCT for the relatively few people who currently use it. In this latter regard, our research has disclosed that much of the PCT sits virtually unused year-round except for a few weeks during which a smattering of through-hikers may walk a section.

    One continuing problem with the current policy is the manner in which it divides the trail community. On the Internet, PCT purists have been threatening to assault any mountain bikers they find on the PCT. The threats have been coming from hikers who, thanks to the 1988 closure order, regard the PCT as their taxpayer-funded private preserve and retreat. This is a management problem for the Forest Service that a fair policy will alleviate.

    IV. Unbalanced input from interest groups preceding this decision

    Finally, we wish to observe that after the Forest Service communicated to us that a review of the closure order might occur in March of 2013, we asked our supporters not to bother your staff or the PCTA before any review occurred. The PCT traditionalists were not so considerate, however, and bombarded both your office and the PCTA with hostile, pleading, and frantic e-mails. In addition, despite our request, your office has never been willing to meet with us, at the same time that we have the impression it was consulting with the PCTA regarding our request. This strikes us as unfair. Our offer to meet with you and your staff remains open.

    Again, we ask you to rescind or reconsider the 1988 order.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________

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    Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT

    Guess the spam problem isn't solved after all

  61. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Guess the spam problem isn't solved after all
    It will never be 100% 'solved' - but man-O-man is it better now!
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    Awesome

  63. #163
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    The Gov will only move if you take them to court. Otherwise you got nothin'.
    I don't rattle.

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    Sorry for all the words....but this is pretty BIG. A lot of official statements about the positives of Mountain Bikers on FS trails...specifically a National Scenic Trail...

    That and the HUGE statement that Mountain bikes are considered a "semi-primitive" mode of travel. Many of these statements directly contradict what the anti-sharing people claim...and debunks many of their arguments to keep us off trails.

    From the Sharing the PCT Facebook page: (edited to remove some content...very long )

    Forest Service made a major announcement in favor of mountain biking on National Scenic Trails. The PCT is one National Scenic Trail; the Continental Divide Trail (CDNST) is another.

    The Forest Service in Colorado has reversed course about mountain biking on a 31-mile planned CDNST reroute and will allow bicycles.

    They recognize that the CDNST's primary use is for hiking and horseback riding, and yet mountain biking should be allowed where it will not interfere with those primary uses. The documents conclude that in low-visitation areas no meaningful interference is likely and multiuse is beneficial.
    __________________________________________________ ________
    The full text of the documents below:
    Decision:
    http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...T3_1424409.pdf

    Environmental Assessment:
    http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...T3_1424408.pdf
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Some tasty nuggets from the decision (again from the Sharing the PCT FB page):
    [header: Biking [Is] Not Substantial Interference with Nature and Purposes of the Act]

    We believe the selection of Alternative 5 [allowing bicycling, horse use, and hiking on the proposed 31 miles of new CDNST trail to be constructed] meets the most objectives of both the CDNST and the CT [Colorado Trail] as detailed in our analysis below.

    We have thoroughly analyzed the laws, regulations and policy in order to determine that including mountain bikes on this segment is not a substantial interference with the nature and purposes of the Act. [“The Act” means the Trails System Act of 1968, 16 U.S.C. § 1241 et seq.]

    Our review of law, policy and direction together with the considerations specific to this segment indicates that bikes are an appropriate use of the CDNST. . . . [U]se of bikes on this segment does not cause a substantial interference with nature and purposes of The Act.

    We believe “Maximum outdoor recreation potential for conservation and enjoyment . . .” (16 U.S.C. 1242) is best met through the inclusion of bikes in these multiple-use management areas on both the GMUG [Gunnison] and RNF [Rio Grande] [national forests].

    Bikes are considered a semi-primitive non-motorized use.


    After reviewing the effects analysis presented in the EA, we have found no substantial interference from the inclusion of bikes with the nature and purposes of The Act.

    Our decision to include bikes on this segment supports multiple-use, non-motorized family recreation in a wide variety of unpopulated ecosystems consistent with the goals of the CT [Colorado Trail]. Selection of a hiker/horse only alternative would have undermined the duality of the non-motorized trail.

    more:
    Volunteer base consistent with The Act (16 U.S.C. 1250) is primarily mountain biking clubs in this area. Due to limited agency funding and staffing, the GMUG [Gunnison] and RGNF [Rio Grande] [national forests] would rely heavily on these groups for the sustainable construction and long-term maintenance of this trail. CTF [Colorado Trail Foundation] would be the likely continue to be coordinator/agency partner for this segment of coincident CDNST/CT who would network with other non-motorized groups if bike use were included.

    Many hikers have expressed a desire for trail design that avoids pointless ups and downs, moderate grades, grade control (switchbacks), and proper drainage (all features similar to Trail Class 3 with the designed use of Hiker); these nearly identical design features would also be accomplished though our recommendation of Trail Class 2 or 3 with use designed for Bicycle which has the added capacity for volunteer construction and maintenance that is not likely to be generated by hiking groups alone in this remote area of Colorado.

    While we understand CDNST thru-hiker desires for exclusive use of the trail, exclusion of bikes (and for that matter horses), would not be an environmentally or fiscally responsible decision on our part. We believe that if we considered only hiker/horse use, the trail would never be fully constructed and maintenance would rarely occur because of the lack of established hiker or backcountry horseman volunteer groups...

    Local communities rely on tourism generated by opportunities on federal lands. Rural communities would experience the largest economic benefit from the inclusion of all three user groups who would spend money on gas, food, lodging, supplies and equipment.

    and yes...MORE:
    Commenters expressed concern that the use of bikes on this segment of trail would encourage illegal use of the CDNST in the La Garita Wilderness. This segment joins the existing non-motorized alignment before the wilderness boundary where this had not previously been an over-arching concern. This trail junction further serves as an entry/exit point back to the road system for bikers wishing to make a loop. While illegal use may occasionally occur in the wilderness, it is not anticipated to be more of a concern on the new alignment than on the existing route.

    Many segments of the CDNST in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico (where not in designated wilderness) include mountain bikes as a valid use.

    II. Forest Service replies to comments in the EA:

    Policy (FSM 2353.44b(9)) directs that generally the CDNST should be designed for either Trail Class 2 or Trail Class 3 with a designed use of Pack and Saddlestock. Both of these trail classes and associated design features are very similar for either hikers or mountain bikes . . . . Allowing horse uses which is also compatible with the Act increases the footprint of the trail beyond what is needed for either hikers or mountain bikers. Slope (grade) is not expected to be a factor in the design as it is estimated at less than 10% for the proposed alignment.

    EA has considered whether or not a substantial interference with the nature and purposes of the Act would occur with the inclusion of bikes. EA has considered best available science regarding social and resource impacts. None of the readily available science suggests a relationship to clothing of bikers affecting horses. We would assume that a biker’s physiological response on a horse would be similar to that of other animals which we have discussed under wildlife comments below.

    While designated wilderness areas do preclude recreational “mechanized transport,” many other trails are open to mountain bikes in the vicinity even though the opportunity for specifically non-motorized trails appears to be limited.

    [Comment: Bicyclists search for wilderness quality experiences, just like the hiker and equestrian. Bicycling is entirely consistent with the nature and purposes of the CDNST. Bicycling is common in Roadless Areas nationwide.] Reply: User is correct. . . . EA has considered whether or not a substantial interference with the nature and purposes of the Act would occur with the inclusion of bikes.

    We believe proper trail design will minimize conflict potential. Commenter’s signing suggestions are valid. We will work with our partners to determine what works best for this remote and likely little used site.

    [Comment: User conflict will occur, including displacement and disruption of the hiking and quieter trail experiences. The look and feel of mountain bike riding, the speeds, sports gear, relationship to a machine and other aspects of the sport are incompatible with the contemplative, slower paced trail uses envisioned for the trail.] Reply: The Act did not prohibit biking or motorized uses. The Act (16 U.S.C. 1242) describes that National Scenic Trails “will be extended trails so located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas through which such trails may pass.” The 1976 Study Report further describes the purposes of the CDNST: “The primary purpose of this trail is to provide a continuous, appealing trail route, designed for the hiker and horseman, but compatible with other land uses. . . . One of the primary purposes for establishing the CDNST would be to provide hiking and horseback access to those lands where man's impact on the environment has not been adverse to a substantial degree and where the environment remains relatively unaltered. Therefore, the protection of the land resource must remain a paramount consideration in establishing and managing the trail. There must be sufficient environmental controls to assure that the values for which the trail is established are not jeopardized. . . . The basic goal of the CDNST is to provide hikers and horseback riders an opportunity to experience the diverse country along the Continental Divide in a manner that will assure a high quality recreation experience while maintaining a constant respect for the natural environment.
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  65. #165
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    ^^Wow -- huge! I'm completely flabbergasted at the reasonable and logically sound analysis from the USFS. It's almost as if someone decided to apply *science* to the evaluation process...

  66. #166
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    Yes, it's quite amazing. We're in a race against time. As younger people rise higher and higher in the ranks of the Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management, more decisions are going to go our way, and antiquated rules are going to be rescinded, including the blanket, no-exceptions bicycle ban in Wilderness. The question is whether we'll be (a) alive and (b) still able to ride when this happens. To repeat, it's a race against time.

    There was an outfit called the Continental Divide Trail Association that, just like the Pacific Crest Trail Association, despised the ideas of bikes on its pet trail. The CDTA went defunct a couple of years ago. It no longer had a big enough membership to keep going. It disappeared seemingly overnight, although it had been influential until the day of its demise. It's something that you'd think would be sobering to the PCTA, but PCTA board members and staff remain fixated against bicycles on the PCT and two board members have refused to even speak to a PCTRI volunteer. The CDTA has been replaced by a new antibicycle clan called the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, but it's a small group and the Forest Service rejected its stance that bikes be kept off of the new La Garita segment, which hopefully will be built next year.

    When it opens, La Garita is likely to be similar to Snow Mesa, which is one of the great unknown mountain bike rides in North America, especially if you continue off the east side of the mesa (you'll need a GPS) and down Miner Creek Trail to Creede. See these links:

    Snow Mesa (Colo. Tr.) Western Slope Trail Reviews

    Snow Mesa

    The Snow Mesa ride starts at 10,898 feet elevation (Spring Creek Pass) and goes up to about 12,420 feet on the mesa itself. Breathing is difficult unless you live in Leadville, Silverton, or Breckenridge.

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    Thanks again for starting this thread as a sticky in Passion, CHUM. I'd forgotten about it being here....I was focused more on the SoCal forum.
    But the significance of the PCT is much much more than simply a regional issue.

  68. #168
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    Wow that's fantastic. It sounds like they realized they need to allow mountain bikes mainly because they're the only ones who will do any construction or maintenance lol.

    Pretty consistent with what Ive seen locally here in Western PA. I have seen equestrians headed out with cutting tool on occasion, but only to cut off low hanging branches.

    Congratulation to you guys for your hard work. Well done
    No moss...

  69. #169
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    Don't think is a good idea but if they decide to open it to bikes anyway I'll be ready...
    A mountain, a lake, a trail, all waiting there...

  70. #170
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    IMBA threw their hat in



    yay!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT-1006236_10201064379484531_459371008_n.jpg  

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  71. #171
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    What would the implications regarding this be for the Appalachain Trail, given the USFS possibly opens up the PCT? Could this transfer over or would another hearing and exchange have to take place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Borgbox View Post
    What would the implications regarding this be for the Appalachain Trail, given the USFS possibly opens up the PCT? Could this transfer over or would another hearing and exchange have to take place?
    From the AT sections I hiked mostly in NH, VT,MA, and some in GA, TN I feel that trail is a different beast. Very little in the way of switch backs and some sections resembling more a pile of boulders then a trail. However there are some trails near the AT that i feel would be great to explore via bike but they are "wilderness area" like the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area in NH. Funny thing is a lot of the trails follow old logging rail road beds.

    There is also a hut system in Maine close to the AT that is being billed to hikers, x/c skiers and mt bikers.

  73. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borgbox View Post
    What would the implications regarding this be for the Appalachain Trail, given the USFS possibly opens up the PCT? Could this transfer over or would another hearing and exchange have to take place?
    It's unlikely that the Appalachian Trail would ever become mountain bike accessible. First, it is governed by a different law, which specifies that it is a "footpath." Second, much of it would be unappealing to ride -- too rocky, rooty, steep, and muddy. So it wouldn't be worth lobbying for a change in the law to gain access.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomethingRelatedToBiking View Post

    I keep asking myself, "Is nothing sacred?"

    I think everyone on this thread has a noble image of a bearded man bike-packing this trail. Reality is the Big Bear local.
    Agreed!

    As a mt biker, thru hiker, mountaineer, rock climber, etc. BS on allowing bikes on the PCT.

    Much of the central / southern Sierra section is too hard, rocky, etc to really ride anyway. Having to step aside while some bozo blasts down Foresters Pass would be just fantastic!

    "Is nothing sacred?"

    It's going to be weekend bozos shredding the trails where the PCT crosses a road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    Agreed!

    As a mt biker, thru hiker, mountaineer, rock climber, etc. BS on allowing bikes on the PCT.

    Much of the central / southern Sierra section is too hard, rocky, etc to really ride anyway. Having to step aside while some bozo blasts down Foresters Pass would be just fantastic!

    "Is nothing sacred?"

    It's going to be weekend bozos shredding the trails where the PCT crosses a road.
    The PCT isn't sacred, it's just exclusive use of a public trail. As such, it might be Un-American, but sacred, no. In my neck of the woods, SD county, the pluses for me would be tremendous. The stretch of trail that parallels Sunrise Hwy. has no attraction to any kind of cyclist other than the cross country type, and it would make multiple new loops possible when connecting with trails on the other side of the Hwy. that are bike accessible.
    There are a few sections where a shuttle might be possible, but their attractiveness to downhill shredders is negligible.

    I don't have any familiarity with the Big Bear situation, but I can imagine scenes where something could go awry, but there has got to be a way to increase access and prevent abuses other than continuing an unfair, arbitrary ban on cyclists for the entire trail.
    People who support that either don't like the idea of cyclists on trails in general, or have their own special interest in mind, which is fine. They need to acquire private land where they can indulge their special interest, not expect the taxpayers to pay for it on the public dime. Or public land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    People who support that either don't like the idea of cyclists on trails in general, or have their own special interest in mind, which is fine.
    Where does this logic stop? If bikes are allowed, why not motorcycles? Etc., etc, etc.

    I can respect your situation of wanting to ride the PCT near SD. What I fear is a Tahoe Rim Trail situation in the Sierra Crest Area (Tahoe south to Mt. Whitney or down to 178). You can walk over 300 miles down the crest without crossing a road (120 - 178). What a prime spot for mt. biking! Many world class meadows, wicked downhills, etc. This would be a hard core riders paradise. I have eyeballed many sections while hiking along.

    If riding is allowed, I can see this turned into a zoo of sorts. Horse packers carrying bikes to the top of Foresters pass for downhill trill rides, etc. Being 3 days from the nearest trail head and having to step aside while a group of bikers blast by would kind of take the adventure out of it, don't you think? There are very few places were you can get away from the BS of man and go on an adventure anymore and they need to be preserved.

    I'm 12 road miles from the Tahoe lake shore. The Tahoe Rim Trail might be a model of what you are asking for. In an attempt to provide mixed use you get a confusing set of rules:

    Tahoe Rim Trail Association

    Biking the 9.2 miles between Tahoe Meadows and Tunnel Creek Rd. is allowed only on even numbered days. From Tunnel Creek Rd. to North Canyon-Hobart Rd. biking is allowed every day, but not on the 1 mile Marlette Peak Trail segment on the west side of Marlette Peak. Bikes are not allowed between North Canyon-Hobart Rd. and Spooner Summit. One can ride 5 miles down the North Canyon road to the parking area and facilities at Spooner Lake.

    BTW - this a great area to ride - Recommended!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    They need to acquire private land where they can indulge their special interest, not expect the taxpayers to pay for it on the public dime. Or public land.
    Couldn't you make this argument with ANY land use group? It's my land and I want to do what I want! You don't like me driving my jeep up here -> to bad.....

    I spent 2 seasons of full time rock climbing in Yosemite Valley. You can free solo El Cap but you can't para-sail back down. The free solo is WAY MORE dangerous. Why the no para-sailing then?

    You need to draw a line somewhere....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    Where does this logic stop? If bikes are allowed, why not motorcycles? Etc., etc, etc.

    I can respect your situation of wanting to ride the PCT near SD. What I fear is a Tahoe Rim Trail situation in the Sierra Crest Area (Tahoe south to Mt. Whitney or down to 178). You can walk over 300 miles down the crest without crossing a road (120 - 178). What a prime spot for mt. biking! Many world class meadows, wicked downhills, etc. This would be a hard core riders paradise. I have eyeballed many sections while hiking along.

    If riding is allowed, I can see this turned into a zoo of sorts. Horse packers carrying bikes to the top of Foresters pass for downhill trill rides, etc. Being 3 days from the nearest trail head and having to step aside while a group of bikers blast by would kind of take the adventure out of it, don't you think? There are very few places were you can get away from the BS of man and go on an adventure anymore and they need to be preserved.

    I'm 12 road miles from the Tahoe lake shore. The Tahoe Rim Trail might be a model of what you are asking for. In an attempt to provide mixed use you get a confusing set of rules:

    Tahoe Rim Trail Association

    Biking the 9.2 miles between Tahoe Meadows and Tunnel Creek Rd. is allowed only on even numbered days. From Tunnel Creek Rd. to North Canyon-Hobart Rd. biking is allowed every day, but not on the 1 mile Marlette Peak Trail segment on the west side of Marlette Peak. Bikes are not allowed between North Canyon-Hobart Rd. and Spooner Summit. One can ride 5 miles down the North Canyon road to the parking area and facilities at Spooner Lake.

    BTW - this a great area to ride - Recommended!



    Couldn't you make this argument with ANY land use group? It's my land and I want to do what I want! You don't like me driving my jeep up here -> to bad.....

    I spent 2 seasons of full time rock climbing in Yosemite Valley. You can free solo El Cap but you can't para-sail back down. The free solo is WAY MORE dangerous. Why the no para-sailing then?

    You need to draw a line somewhere....
    Well, the absurdity of equating bicycle impact on a trail with jeeps or motorcycles is just that. I will make a note of the trail you suggested, but there are basically no more evidence-based arguments left for the anti-bike crowd in terms of trail impact.

    I can see how certain sections of any trail can be (and have been ) abused by the shuttle-crowd, but I'm of course speaking for the majority of cyclists, who, like myself, respect the equal rights of other trail users to access the same trail. Even equestrians, who tear the crap out of trails and never contribute to their repair or maintenance.

    I concede the point you make about how there are gonna be some....complications. I just don't see those as being an excuse to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Here in SD county, the examples of exclusivity and environmental impact claims are carried out to the extreme, the result being very little trail space allowed to cyclists, one of the major trail user groups, if not the major use group, here.

    But it wasn't the cyclists who voted to allow the land to be sold an developed, eradicating the decades-old 'social trails the everybody used. Developers have put the pinch on everything here from basic water access to channeling traffic. Trails mitigation gets thrown under the bus by the issue of open space mitigation, and all of the trails on the mitigation land are then criminalized.
    So when an opportunity to open up an Xc-friendly section of PCT pops up in this county, I jump at the prospect. More trails are desparately needed.

  78. #178
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    I understand your concerns (referring to 2 posts above), but that's what lawyers dismissively call a "parade of horribles," i.e., imagining the worst even though it's improbable. (The modern term, I suppose, is FUD.) If something like that started happening, the Forest Service and IMBA would jointly come up with a management tool to address it. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles of the PCT are growing over for lack of use and hikers are having to bushwhack and dodge poison oak. The PCTA admits it can't maintain the entire trail, and obviously the Forest Service can't either, although some national forests have to devote 20% of their entire trail maintenance budget to the PCT even if hardly anyone is using it. That's the current reality. Reform is desperately needed and multiuse will be a necessary component of it.

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    Sorry if I didn't make this more clear...

    Absolutely let people ride on 'certain' sections of the PCT.

    Other sections need to be preserved for the wilderness experience it can only provide. Not many places left in the US where you can hike along side 14k' mountains for 300 miles with out crossing a road. As an avid rider, I say bikes on those sections would be a major buzz kill for back packers. Leave the no bike, no hang glider, no one wheel deer cart status in place....

    ETA -

    Disclaimer - never rode a horse in the back country or had a food drop from a pack train.

    Why the hate for horses on the trail?

    I don't particularly like hiking thru the sandy slog and piles of crap but historically they are the reason some trails exist. The JMT was built primarily for horse packing. Gear was to heavy then for people to carry.

    Yes - they create more wear and tear than people but it isn't that bad....

  80. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    Sorry if I didn't make this more clear...

    Absolutely let people ride on 'certain' sections of the PCT.

    Other sections need to be preserved for the wilderness experience it can only provide. Not many places left in the US where you can hike along side 14k' mountains for 300 miles with out crossing a road. As an avid rider, I say bikes on those sections would be a major buzz kill for back packers. Leave the no bike, no hang glider, no one wheel deer cart status in place....

    ETA -

    Disclaimer - never rode a horse in the back country or had a food drop from a pack train.

    Why the hate for horses on the trail?

    I don't particularly like hiking thru the sandy slog and piles of crap but historically they are the reason some trails exist. The JMT was built primarily for horse packing. Gear was to heavy then for people to carry.

    Yes - they create more wear and tear than people but it isn't that bad....
    For some reason people easily overlook that we are not seeking access to the designated Wilderness sections of the PCT - only the non wilderness areas.

    That leaves roughly 60% of the PCT off limits to bikes at a minimum.
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    CHUM -

    That point point didn't escape me at all. I can see the mt. bike, hang glider, etc. sneaking it's way in with a change of management at the USDA...

    This is the area I'm concerned with:


    The problem is overlapping jurisdictions and confusing rules that are subject to change. A week long trip can easily take you into a forest, a wilderness area and a NP.

    The bear can is a classic example. First you needed one in some areas, then you didn't, then you did, etc. The Ursack (kevlar food sack) was OK in some areas and then not..... Back and forth.... Week long trip -> your screwed...

  82. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    CHUM -

    That point point didn't escape me at all. I can see the mt. bike, hang glider, etc. sneaking it's way in with a change of management at the USDA...

    ...

    The problem is overlapping jurisdictions and confusing rules that are subject to change. A week long trip can easily take you into a forest, a wilderness area and a NP.

    The bear can is a classic example. First you needed one in some areas, then you didn't, then you did, etc. The Ursack (kevlar food sack) was OK in some areas and then not..... Back and forth.... Week long trip -> your screwed...
    are you trying to say bikepackers are too dumb to plan out a route?

    I know I'm not going to change your mind...not even going to try. But a bikepacker would have to follow the same guidelines as a backpacker concerning bells, canisters, stove types, etc...

    All those green areas in your pretty map show exactly where we are not advocating riding/legalizing....and that's a lot a of pretty green blobs for the sole use of pack/equestrian/hikers.
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    Dead Dog - wouldn't you enjoy being able to ride up Xmas Valley Trail, hit the TRT to go up past Round Lake, hit the PCT for 2 miles to the top of Sayles Canyon, drop Sayles, hit Pony Express to the .2 mile section of PCT/Pony XP that gets you to the snow park, then hit Hawley Grade back to the bottom of Xmas Valley? It'd be a really nice, hard, beautiful, challenging loop, no?

    Would you like to ride from Boreal to Sierra City? 40 miles of non-Wilderness singletrack? Maybe do that once a year or so?

  84. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    But a bikepacker would have to follow the same guidelines as a backpacker concerning bells, canisters, stove types, etc...
    And if we were ever to get access to Wilderness like in the Sierras, we would be subject to permits and/or quotas too. So if a trio of MTBers got an overnight permit in the backcountry then it would mean 3 less hikers would be allowed.

    A lot of people make the point that many trails in the Sierras would be completely unsuitable for MTB. So why not let the terrain dictate where people can or cannot go. Can you imagine pushing a bike up Whitney? I was pretty much destroyed hiking it. I think it would be a small percentage of people willing to pay the price to access Wilderness areas in the Sierras. A bit of regulation could solve most if not all of the problems.

    A lot of anti's quote things like dead-dog about how being passed by MTBers ruins their wilderness experience. Well how about having 250 other people per day on Whitney in a never ending day and night conga line? Same with a lot of other popular trails. Truth is a lot of the hard core anti's don't like seeing other hikers either. If you truly want isolation, go off trail 50-100 yards. You are not going to find it on the trails regardless of whether bikes are there or not. If a bike passes you it will be out of sight in a minute or two. You are going to be stuck with those other hikers in front of you for ages.

    Its all moot though as we're not going to get access to Wilderness. But we should definitely have access outside of Wilderness. It makes way too much sense. Despite all the doom and gloom from anti's a lot of PCT sections would not see much bike traffic just as they do not see much hiker traffic. Most MTBers are weekend warriors who only want their typical 2 hr Saturday am or after work loop. Many PCT sections would be a difficult and remote backcountry ride requiring a full day and a lot of commitment. Some sections would see more traffic like Big Bear or Mt Laguna. But hikers and bikes have coexisted nicely on multi use trails for decades. I really don't forsee allowing bikes on PCT will be any different.

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    "Why the hate for horses on the trail?

    I don't particularly like hiking thru the sandy slog and piles of crap but historically they are the reason some trails exist. The JMT was built primarily for horse packing. Gear was to heavy then for people to carry.

    Yes - they create more wear and tear than people but it isn't that bad.... "

    Personally it is because the horsepackers are the cause of the worst campsite destruction and trashing in the deep wilderness areas. I remember a campsite south of Kearsarge pass with burlap bags and #10 cans scattered about as well as a multitude of tree boughs that had been cut in order to provide bedding - and this in a National Park wilderness. You can guarantee that it wasn't backpackers who brought in those #10 cans...

  86. #186
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    I met a guy a few days ago who was telling me about a guided MTB trip he did back in the late 80s. The guide co had supplies and camp gear carried in by pack horses for each nights camp. The riders just had to ride from camp to camp. He got on the trip because he had heard it was the last year this sort of thing would be allowed.

    Their ride went around 75 miles on the PCT ending at Kennedy Meadows. He couldn't recall their starting point but this would have taken them through some of the John Muir, Golden Trout and South Sierra Wilderness. He said to this day the trip is still one of his favorite memories.

    Lucky guy to experience that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post

    Personally it is because the horsepackers are the cause of the worst campsite destruction and trashing in the deep wilderness areas. I remember a campsite south of Kearsarge pass with burlap bags and #10 cans scattered about as well as a multitude of tree boughs that had been cut in order to provide bedding - and this in a National Park wilderness. You can guarantee that it wasn't backpackers who brought in those #10 cans...
    Yea - I remember Bull Frog Lake, (just over Kearsage), being COMPLETELY trashed by the horse packers. The FS has shut that stuff down now with grazing restrictions, etc.

    I just got back from doing a loop around the Matterhorn:
    Twin Lks -> Mule Pass - Burro Pass -> Matterhorn Pass -> Horse Pass -> Twin Lks.

    We crossed horse packers twice and other than some poop in the trail you couldn't even tell they had been there. No sandy slogs, tore up dusty trail, etc. I didn't see any grazed meadows either. I think the horse packers are getting better at what they do....

    Matterhorn Pass (trailess) -
    I stopped reading about routes a while back because it takes some of the fun away. Figuring out how to down climb the class 3 was 'interesting'! Finally got it to go after 2 failed attempts. Twice we had to the lower packs on ropes. Check it out if you are in the area but I recommend climbing it east to west instead...

  88. #188
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    Quick update - IMBA expands on gaining access to appropriate sections on National Scenic Trails
    Long Live Long Rides! | International Mountain Bicycling Association


    LONG LIVE LONG RIDES!
    ...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....

    It was interesting to watch the reaction when a hiking group recently stated, “Some trails aren’t meant to be shared,” and launched an online petition claiming that mountain biking is not an appropriate activity for National Scenic Trails. They were reacting to an IMBA fundraising appeal that pointed to the work I’ve described above. Many of the resulting comments — perhaps even the majority of them — were supportive of increased access for mountain bikers, though plenty of people spoke up for the notion that mountain bikers should not be granted any new access.

    IMBA is committed to the idea that trails can be shared. Mountain bikers do not need access to every inch of every long-distance trail, but there are good opportunities to expand IMBA's shared-use agreements with land managers, and with other stakeholder groups. We are also eager to help, and have much to offer, with volunteer stewardship efforts on these trails. I am utterly convinced that trail experiences are enriched when a diversity of outdoor enthusiasts work together to enjoy and protect common resources....
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    ^^^Good News!

  90. #190
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    Update from the Sharing the PCT FB page:

    We're way behind in updating our loyal audience, for which we apologize.

    The lack of a recent update prompted Maxwell Baker to ask yesterday if PCTRI is dead.

    Not at all. But we're at a stalemate.

    We had a meeting with the Forest Service on April 17 that was attended by top FS brass and IMBA's Tom Ward. We're still waiting for the formal response to that meeting, which will come in the form of a letter. But although obviously we haven't seen it, we understand that it's going to be another "no."

    So, as said, it's a stalemate. We have discredited the moral basis for the no-bikes closure order. We've raised serious questions about the legality of the closure. It appears to be no longer much respected among mountain bikers. But the FS shows no inclination to budge. PCTA remains hostile. We have no idea whether the FS will continue to enforce the closure order in non-Wilderness areas. Maybe it will, if only to prod a mountain biker to go to court and try to get the closure order overturned so that the FS can get this monkey off its back. There's no way to tell. (This comment, by the way, should not be construed as an invitation to ride the PCT against the FS's policy or as a statement that fighting a ticket in court would be likely to succeed. The courts are unpredictable and the consequences of a citation could be unpleasant, so don't chance it.)

    Stay tuned.
    What we plan to do is wait for the Forest Service's letter, give you a fuller update on what's been going on, and ask for your advice on what we should do next. This page now has about 1200 or 1300 followers. Your collective wisdom is greater than that of our group, by dint of sheer numbers. (That's why we have the jury system in the U.S.: 12 people chosen at random tend to make better decisions than a judge with 25 years' experience.)
    The above in Red is very true - all suggestions are appreciated, considered and discussed in the overall strategy.

    Bottom line is the PCT (sections) will be opened to Mountain Bikes....its inevitable IMO.

    What we are dealing with is the vestigial thrashings of a vocal minority acting as obstructionists...most hikers (outdoor lovers like ourselves) are happy to share trails in the back country. We all know once you get a few miles from the trailhead it's virtually abandoned...

    my .02
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    Update from the Sharing the PCT FB page:





    The above in Red is very true - all suggestions are appreciated, considered and discussed in the overall strategy.

    Bottom line is the PCT (sections) will be opened to Mountain Bikes....its inevitable IMO.

    What we are dealing with is the vestigial thrashings of a vocal minority acting as obstructionists...most hikers (outdoor lovers like ourselves) are happy to share trails in the back country. We all know once you get a few miles from the trailhead it's virtually abandoned...

    my .02
    Hopefully, you are correct. I'd like to legally ride some of the Laguna mountain sections....make for some really fine long loops that way.
    It would be nice if it happens before I die, and while I can still ride a bike.

  92. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    Hopefully, you are correct. I'd like to legally ride some of the Laguna mountain sections....make for some really fine long loops that way.
    It would be nice if it happens before I die, and while I can still ride a bike.
    Yah - it's phenomenally ridiculous that MTB's are banned from short sections of PCT that tie in longer loops. No one cares except a very small number of fanatics...

    We did a poll a ways back to find out who (if anyone) has ever received a ticket for MTB'ing the PCT - I think it was less than 10....with fines never going above $100. And even some of those were rumored...

    If anyone here has received a citation for riding the PCT please let me know
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  93. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    Yah - it's phenomenally ridiculous that MTB's are banned from short sections of PCT that tie in longer loops. No one cares except a very small number of fanatics...

    We did a poll a ways back to find out who (if anyone) has ever received a ticket for MTB'ing the PCT - I think it was less than 10....with fines never going above $100. And even some of those were rumored...

    If anyone here has received a citation for riding the PCT please let me know
    As a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, I, of course, would never dream of violating a law, no matter how specious and ridiculous it is. But I've heard of mtb riders along that section encountering hikers who actually greeted them with friendly salutations.

    I like to believe that most PCT hikers are like this. If not, when the law is changed to reflect a reason-based foundation, they will learn to be like this.

  94. #194
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    I'll just pipe in that opening the PCT in my local are would at least get more people on the trail other than motorcyclists poaching it.

  95. #195
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    Latest update - We finaly received the letter from the USFS....and it was as we expected

    THE LETTER HAS ARRIVED

    As expected, we have received a letter from the USFS, which can be effectively summed up in two letters: “NO”

    Although not what we were hoping for, none of us here at the PCTRI are even remotely surprised by this, as it has been the anticipated response since our initial meeting with them. Let us be clear, that we are not by any means considering this a defeat. Quite the contrary actually, as our movement is gaining momentum. We are currently in the process of planning our subsequent actions and will be updating our site as we march forward.

    We’re still in the process of digesting the information contained within the letter, but one thing is clear: the PCTRI and the USFS continue to disagree on several fundamental points, and it may take a much higher authority to formally sort out our differences. Whether or not we want to pursue such avenues remains to be seen.

    At this point, we’re still in the planning phases and are continuing to add supporters of our cause with each passing day. We hope that you all continue to spread the word about the PCTRI and as always, we welcome your thoughts, suggestions and ideas. A copy of the letter has been posted to our history page, and can be found there or by clicking here: USFS November 2013 Reply
    bottom line...this is a stalemate.

    USFS has no interest in changing, nor do they have any real interest in enforcement (my opinion only).

    from the Sharing the PCT FB page Moderator:
    The issue may be decided, for a fraction of the cost, if a Forest Service employee encounters a mountain biker on the PCT and cites her or him, and she or he decides to bring the citation to court and challenge the legality of the closure. This page has hypothesized before that the FS might even be looking to cite a mountain biker so as to get to court and have a court put an end to this morass, one way or the other. Judging by its recent letter to PCTRI, the FS appears not to be happy about those Unabomber-style threats on PCT-L (the PCTA-affiliated discussion group) to sabotage the PCT and/or assault mountain bikers.

    As this page has stated before, however, don't make yourself a guinea pig for a citation. With modern computerization of criminal record systems, even a misdemeanor conviction can present problems, such as not being eligible for a job you want or being unable to visit the United Kingdom or Canada. The closure could be legally valid—the FS says it is, anyway—so people should not defy it.
    For more up to date discussion you can visit the Facebook page on this subject:
    https://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct
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  96. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    ... There are very few places were you can get away from the BS of man and go on an adventure anymore and they need to be preserved...
    This is why I want to ride the PCT, to go on an adventure. As much as I'd like to hike the PCT, I just do not have the time, so riding allows me to cover bigger sections of the PCT.

    I've ridden some of the TRT, behind Tahoe City, and it was amazing. I imagine sections of the PCT to be like this, but longer.

  97. #197
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    Update:

    response letter from the PCTRI quoted below from the "Sharing the PCT" Facebook page

    Mr. Randy Moore
    Regional Forester
    U.S. Forest Service
    1323 Club Drive
    Vallejo, California 94592-1110

    Re: Nonmotorized multiuse on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)—reply to your letter of Nov. 25.

    Dear Mr. Moore:

    Thank you for your letter of November 25.

    We were disappointed, but not surprised, to read that you are not rescinding Regional Order 88-4 at this time. Still we are asking that USFS engage in a public process to consider an order or regulation that is consistent with current best practices and compliant with the Administrative Procedure Act. The 1988 closure order was created and signed by three Forest Service employees only after the Forest Service Chief declined to issue a regulation. We continue to believe that the Administrative Procedure Act calls for a public process to consider the regulation of trail use on the PCT.

    The 1978 Code of Federal Regulations declaration, which provides that the PCT is primarily intended for foot and horse use, is not an impediment to reassessing the current use regime. We have no problem stipulating that the PCT is primarily intended for those historically established uses. As is the case with the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, mountain biking can coexist alongside those primary uses. Mountain biking exists alongside horse and hiker use almost everywhere else, including on those tens of thousands of Forest Service trail and road miles to which your November 25 letter adverts.

    Additionally, and beyond the questions of Administrative Procedure Act requirements and the application of the 1978 CFR provision, the Forest Service rightfully prides itself on its own participatory rulemaking processes. In the case of the PCT bicycle closure, there was not, nor has there ever been, a process that would meet Forest Service standards of practice. A cautionary, temporary rule has become established, but because of the lack of an adequate promulgation process, its legitimacy is tenuous.

    We, like you, are saddened by the acrimony that has emerged over this issue. It continues unabated and no end to it seems in sight, judging by posts on the Internet. We pledge to you that for our part we will continue to conduct ourselves civilly and with a commitment to the community’s good as we continue our advocacy.

    We welcome the Forest Service’s generous offer to "organize a professionally facilitated discussion in the coming year, with the goal of finding common ground for resolving disagreements" and your invitation to us to help locate a qualified facilitator. We are trying to find a facilitator that we can recommend, and we look forward to participating in the eventual conference or workshop. We will help create meaningful and productive dialogue at any meeting that does take place.

    We feel very strongly that any such process should have clear goals, milestones and criteria toward planning and creating a national trails system that fairly and transparently reflects conservation and societal needs that have evolved since the current system and management practices were put in place.

    Per your invitation, we will be in contact with [the] Regional Trails Program Manager, and/or [the] Pacific Crest Trail Program Manager, on these matters.

    Sincerely yours,

    PCTRI
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  98. #198
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    Open for MTBers and closed for horses, I hope...
    A mountain, a lake, a trail, all waiting there...

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    What's the latest on this?

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    Thanks for asking. As described above, the US Forest Service said "no" again in November 2013. But it said it would offer, as an alternative, to sponsor a conference or workshop with various interest groups to discuss the management of the National Scenic Trails System overall. The PCT is one of those trails (the Continental Divide Trail is another).

    Such a public forum might lead to what we asked the Forest Service to do on its own (we also believe the law requires it): reconsider the no-bicycles rule on the non-Wilderness portion of the PCT that federal agencies manage. (There are reportedly about 300 miles of PCT not on federal land, and we don't know what rule or policy operates on them.)

    The Forest Service invited us to propose a facilitator or moderator for the conference or workshop. We're working on finding suitable candidates. We're also gearing up to ask our fan base of some 1350 people on Facebook to tell us about portions of the PCT, not in Wilderness, that might work for a pilot program that we're going to press for despite the latest negative decision.

    You can follow developments at two sites:

    www.facebook.com/SharingThePCT

    Sharing the Pacific Crest TrailHome » Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail

    We must be doing something right, by the way, because the occasional threat of violence continues to emerge from the ranks of the this-is-mine PCT diehards, and the American Hiking Society is trying to raise $50,000 to counter our work. Here's just one forum among a bunch of them where you can see the roiling intensity of the continuing debate over mountain biking on the PCT (the title refers to Wilderness, but much of the talk is about the PCT, 60% of which is not in any Wilderness area):

    NWHikers.net - View topic - Bikes in Wilderness - Let's Get Touchy Feely

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