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  1. #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.

  2. #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....
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  3. #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!

  4. #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'.

  5. #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.

  6. #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.

  7. #132
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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!
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  8. #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.

  9. #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..."

  10. #135
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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.

  11. #136
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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.

  12. #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

  13. #138
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    no, no, no.

    just ride em

  14. #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.

  15. #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!

  16. #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....
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  17. #142
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    Get the ACLU involved.

  18. #143
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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!

  19. #144
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    see post #141
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  20. #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.

  21. #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.

  22. #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.

    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  23. #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!

  24. #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.

  25. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle509 View Post
    Well, consider me subscribed.
    Ditto

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