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  1. #1
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    Fighting the US Wilderness bicycle ban, is it possible?

    I've been reading up quite a bit about the US Wilderness Act of 1964, and the USFS's subsequent decision to officially ban bikes from wilderness lands in the 1980s. After reading numerous articles and portions of the 1964 act, there appear to be some pretty major flaws and inconsistencies on how portions of the act are interpreted- specifically those pertaining to mechanical forms of transport.

    I have a couple of questions if anyone could help me out:

    - Can you appeal a citation for biking in a wilderness designated area? Since the citation is handled in federal court, what is the next level it would move onto? Are there any instances of someone successfully appealing their citation (I found a few bikers who ended up paying their fine, but nothing beyond that)?

    - I'm trying to find further info on the USFS's defacto decision to reinterpret the 1964 Wilderness act as they saw fit to ban bicycles. I'm trying to find further information on this. Any additional references that can shed more light on the USFS's reinterpretation and banning of bicycles in 1984 would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Haus Boss; 07-04-2011 at 09:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    You're not the first to notice inconsistencies. But you've probably also wondered why nothing has changed regarding those inconsistencies.

    I think it is due in large part to the environmental lobby. It's because of an interpretation of a law...not the literal text of the law itself. So in effect, it would have to be challenged at the agency level (to change the interpretation) or at the legislative level (to update the law and clarify the text to specifically include/exclude things).

    If would be a huge uphill fight either way against an entrenched lobby with a lot of money who would take your efforts to mean a challenge to the core ideas of the Wilderness Act.

  3. #3
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    Seems pretty clear to me. NO Mechanized Transportation. Its easy to read something else into that when its for ones own benefit or liking. I'd suggest paying the ticket and next time you want to explore the wilderness leave the bike at the boundary and walk in. Ask yourself how you would feel if you were on a designated bike trail and some motos buzzed you after passing the "No Motorized Travel" signs. I bet you'd like to see them ticketed.

    Sure it would be fun to ride my bike on some of those trails but I also like the solitude after hiking in for a few miles.

    Think about it, you open it up to mountain bikes you essentially open it up to horses with trailers in tow as well as hunters/hikers using wheeled buggies.

  4. #4
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    I think it could be done, as biking does not fit the mechanized category any more than skiing does. It would take a concerted effort and ten years, but demographics are changing.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    I think it could be done, as biking does not fit the mechanized category.
    What do you call someone who works on bikes?

  6. #6
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    As Bsieb says, it will take concerted effort and time. It could be a long and bloody fight. Would the end result be worth it? If we overturn the ban (in at least selected areas), we NEED it to be defensible. If allowing bikes in is overturned quickly, or allows for development instead, then our short term win will be a much bigger loss.

    And yes it is possible. The important question is instead - Is it likely and realistically possible? Is it an effort that we want IMBA to lead and fight. Will it deplete their coffers from allowing them to do the work on the local level, pay for the trail care crews, and all the other things that they currently do?

    I don't have the answers to those questions. We will be on the opposite side of the usual suspects, and we may even have some new opponents that we considered (at least marginally) allies over there too.

    Look at REI as a prime example; they give money and time to both local trail groups, and to the Sierra Club. Would they take a stand? I think it unlikely. It would slight one, or both groups. I know they are a company and not a landholder or policy maker, but they illustrate the point.

    Then we have to look at our own members. There are more than a few who would argue against us. (I don't tend to agree, but that's a different discussion). Their reasons will be their own: from being a environmentalist first, and a cyclist second, or that they want their horses undisturbed when they are riding those instead of their bikes.

    Then we have to look at who could be our allies. I don't care if you agree or disagree with the Blue Ribbon Coalition. They will be very interested in our efforts. Some of us will see no problems with their stance, some of us will think limited use for motorized vehicles is fine, and some of us will think they have horns and long serpentine tails.

    If we are going to take on this fight, and we will, we want to make sure our timing is right and that we will win. Decisively.

    We are making progress. IMBA has developed expertise, and trust from those in government, local groups have managed to open and build areas once thought impossible. We are now getting politicians in office that are mountain bikers. All this is in our favor.

    With all this "I don't know" and "it depends" - I still think it a fight worth fighting. But we need to manage our resources and fight this on the local level too. Have the local groups keep working on local trails, and getting people riding and involved. I just see it as a march instead of a sprint.
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  7. #7
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    Trying to overturn the ban on bikes makes as much sense as starting a bonfire with $100 bills. With the environmental groups opposed and the law relatively clear (IMHO "mechanized travel" includes bikes, which are machines after all), plus a lot of caselaw, it won't happen in my lifetime. Much more realistic is a selective exemption for bikes in certain unique wilderness areas. I think this is what IMBA is pushing for. Others have floated the idea of another land status designation that is less restrictive that the current wilderness status.

    I don't want bikes in all wilderness areas. But I also feel that the tendency over the past 20-30 years to designate darn near everything as wilderness has gone way too far. Too much has been designated wilderness. An exemption may have a chance, but it will be a tough and expensive battle. Environmental groups are well funded and they like to sue the USFS or dept of interior as in intimidation tactic. It is a very effective strategy too. Legal defense is one of the largest items in the USFS's budget.

    If you have a specific wilderness area in mind and want to know more, just use the freedom of information act. The USFS is a federal agency. I have done this twice and the USFS was very helpful and responsive in both cases.
    R

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    Seems pretty clear to me. NO Mechanized Transportation. Its easy to read something else into that when its for ones own benefit or liking. I'd suggest paying the ticket and next time you want to explore the wilderness leave the bike at the boundary and walk in. Ask yourself how you would feel if you were on a designated bike trail and some motos buzzed you after passing the "No Motorized Travel" signs. I bet you'd like to see them ticketed.

    Sure it would be fun to ride my bike on some of those trails but I also like the solitude after hiking in for a few miles.

    Think about it, you open it up to mountain bikes you essentially open it up to horses with trailers in tow as well as hunters/hikers using wheeled buggies.
    Actually, it is not that clear. Why don't you try reading Theodore Stroll's legal analysis of the situation? Did I mention he was a staff attorney for the California State Supreme court and his article was published in a reputable legal journal. Oh yah, he's not an IMBA crony nor does he have any vested interest in the the mountain bike industry. I've never received any sort of citation while riding my bike, but I see you like to jump to conclusions. Once you start reading up on the history of Wilderness Act and what congress and the senate intended it to encompas- your mechanized transportation argument becomes rather feeble. Why are kayaks w/ pedal driven fins (extremely similar to a bicycle's drivetrain) allowed in Wilderness areas? What about cross country skies? Why was mountain biking explicitly mentioned and allowed in the 1980 wilderness designation of Rattlesnake Wilderness in Montana? Why was bicycling allowed in Wilderness areas until 1984, at which time the USFS decided to reinterpret the Wilderness act and ban bicycles and hang gliders?

    Stoll mentions litigation as one possible option of fighting the wilderness bicycle ban, but recommends against it. Out of my own curiousity, I am wondering what type of litigation options exists, how this would move through the courts, and if we so much as have a seasoned lawyer on the boards, any ideas why litigation would not be the preferred route to fight this?

    Ted Stoll's legal review of the Wilderness Act
    http://www.imba.com/sites/default/fi...eview%20TS.pdf

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss View Post
    Actually, it is not that clear. Why don't you try reading Theodore Stroll's legal analysis of the situation? Did I mention he was a staff attorney for the California State Supreme court and his article was published in a reputable legal journal. Oh yah, he's not an IMBA crony nor does he have any vested interest in the the mountain bike industry. I've never received any sort of citation while riding my bike, but I see you like to jump to conclusions. Once you start reading up on the history of Wilderness Act and what congress and the senate intended it to encompas- your mechanized transportation argument becomes rather feeble. Why are kayaks w/ pedal driven fins (extremely similar to a bicycle's drivetrain) allowed in Wilderness areas? What about cross country skies? Why was mountain biking explicitly mentioned and allowed in the 1980 wilderness designation of Rattlesnake Wilderness in Montana? Why was bicycling allowed in Wilderness areas until 1984, at which time the USFS decided to reinterpret the Wilderness act and ban bicycles and hang gliders?

    Stoll mentions litigation as one possible option of fighting the wilderness bicycle ban, but recommends against it. Out of my own curiousity, I am wondering what type of litigation options exists, how this would move through the courts, and if we so much as have a seasoned lawyer on the boards, any ideas why litigation would not be the preferred route to fight this?

    Ted Stoll's legal review of the Wilderness Act
    http://www.imba.com/sites/default/fi...eview%20TS.pdf
    As mentioned above, the environmental lobby is responsible for the subjective bias against mountain bikes.....and others. They pressure the USFS, sue often, and the USFS dutifully rolls over. Reasonable people will differ on this of course, but after many years of studying and working on land/access rights, that is solidly my view.

    That said, if the "mechanized travel" question really was a legal grey zone, I have to assume it would have been challenged in court. Has it been challenged, and if so, what was the court's decision?


    R

  10. #10
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    What do you call someone who works on bikes?
    Bike repair person

    from dictionary.com the branch of physics that deals with the action of forces on bodies and with motion, comprised of kinetics, statics, and kinematics.
    so you could apply this definition to horses and the human figure, hence all the dispute.
    me personally i hate all the laws and all that crap they impose on normal people staying out of trouble to make us criminals i will continue to ride my bike where ever i please and not care.
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    So could "mechanized travel/transportation" as I keep reading people refer to it also include those people with handicaps who want to see the forest, people with mechanical prosthesis, wheelchairs, crutches?

    If they're going to hold that against people, then physically handicapped people can not look at the forest from within.

    If they allow wheelchairs, they should allow bicycles.

    Change the law.

  12. #12
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    So could "mechanized travel/transportation" as I keep reading people refer to it also include those people with handicaps who want to see the forest, people with mechanical prosthesis, wheelchairs, crutches?
    never thought of that, so than means since my bro has no real legs and both of his are mechanical they won't allow him in the trails?! imma sue the **** outta someone!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMrider View Post
    Trying to overturn the ban on bikes makes as much sense as starting a bonfire with $100 bills. With the environmental groups opposed and the law relatively clear (IMHO "mechanized travel" includes bikes, which are machines after all), plus a lot of caselaw, it won't happen in my lifetime. Much more realistic is a selective exemption for bikes in certain unique wilderness areas. I think this is what IMBA is pushing for. Others have floated the idea of another land status designation that is less restrictive that the current wilderness status.

    I don't want bikes in all wilderness areas. But I also feel that the tendency over the past 20-30 years to designate darn near everything as wilderness has gone way too far. Too much has been designated wilderness. An exemption may have a chance, but it will be a tough and expensive battle. Environmental groups are well funded and they like to sue the USFS or dept of interior as in intimidation tactic. It is a very effective strategy too. Legal defense is one of the largest items in the USFS's budget.

    If you have a specific wilderness area in mind and want to know more, just use the freedom of information act. The USFS is a federal agency. I have done this twice and the USFS was very helpful and responsive in both cases.
    R
    This fellow knows what he/she is talking about.

    I have pretty mixed feelings on Wilderness as a land use policy, but I do see it as overwhelmingly good, just misapplied in a few cases, and flawed in some ways like all human endeavors. Allowing bicycles in existing Wilderness is about as low on my priority list as it comes, but working within the system and within collaborative groups to make sure land is used wisely and designated in ways that make the most sense is something we should all work towards.
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  14. #14
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    As an avid mtn biker, hiker and not so much backpacker anymore. There are areas that simply should only be explored on foot. Haul everything you need to sustain life on your back for a couple of weeks and sleep with nature. Perhaps then, one will understand.

  15. #15
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    I see the Wilderness advocates have already gotten the word out on this. Three posts in this thread already from people who have been registered for years and have a few hundred posts or less. I'm sure that if you looked at their post history, most would be along the same vein as the ones in this thread also.

    If you are wondering who these "environmental groups" are, start with the Sierra Club. While they officially state that they are not anti mountain bike, if you look at there practice over the years, you will see that they are one of the biggest advocates of the the Wilderness designation for just about every strip of dirt in the country. They are MUCH bigger than IMBA, they are well funded, and they are legally well represented. They are not alone, but they are the biggest.

    In my opinion, the Sierra Club does lots of good. But on the bike issue they are completely wrong. Unfortunately, I don't see any change coming from the organization any time soon.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss View Post
    - Can you appeal a citation for biking in a wilderness designated area?
    You would need extraordinarily deep pockets. You'd be fighting against a well-entrenched lobby. Probably it would be less expensive to just pay off tickets for the rest of your life.

  17. #17
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    You'll have to count me as someone who doesn't post much but supports wilderness. I don't want to see new wilderness without a bike proviso but firmly believe in the non mechanized travel doctrine of existing wilderness. Plenty of other places to build trails in Colorado.

  18. #18
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    Why is that the people defending the Wilderness act assume the opposition expects to bike wherever the hell they want to? I don't think anyone expects it to be any different than with state parks; there would be trails that allow bikes (multi-use), and trails that don't.

  19. #19
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    Remember these "environmentalists" and there "lobbies" are often mtbrs too.

    Even as a biker myself, I fully support the ban.

    Don't want to start a fight but actually try to prevent one by reminding everyone to continue this good civil discussion before it goes downhill (no pun intended) like it has in the past.

  20. #20
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    My biggest gripe with the wilderness ban is that it eliminates most of what would be the best point to point rides in the country. Sure there are some good ones open to us but I want more. I would particularly like to see the AT available to us.

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    wilderness. to each his own. I have been lucky enough to grow up doing the weeklong horse packin trip for elk, floated many wilderness rivers, backpacked for weeks. But personally we have enough wilderness in the us of a. We need another designation that allows the land to be protected but recreated on. no new wilderness.

    trying to figure out the whys of the no mechanical advantage overland thinking is hard. i guess that is why rafts and kayaks can go in wilderness as they don't go over land. but skis do. remeber fulcrums and levers are mechanical advatages. bikes, skis, paddles

  22. #22
    zrm
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    I'd suggest doing a better job of stewardship of the trails where mountain bikes are currently allowed before getting into fights to allow bikes where they currently are not.

    A question to ask is how much time people who post so passionately on this issue have spent doing the decidedly unglamorous work of trail maintenance or working with various agencies doing the long tedious work it takes to get new trail built in the areas where bikes are by law allowed?

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    I suggest joining the fight to stop further designations.
    Many of the targeted areas are NOT wilderness. True wilderness is needed, but seems to me, the designation is being used to shut out undesirables, such as mtbikes.
    There has to be sound science behind land management, not emotion.

  24. #24
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    Seems like a good battle to fight in the courts. First you need lots of money and a good lawyer. Put together a non-profit and I will send in check.

    I certainly don't want access to all wilderness trails just some which never should have been made wilderness in the first place. Since it take 3 times as much tax dollars to maintain wilderness trails it seems only right that those of us who actually pay taxes should have access to some of these trails.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    Why doesn't it make sense? What environmental groups are you referring to? (I am sure they are out there, but who are they?) And what "caselaw" are you referring to? I doubt there is any "caselaw" on this subject, as that would imply someone litigated it and had an appellate court review the issue.

    I don't necessarily disagree with you that seeking certain exemptions might be a more productive route, I just don't find the idea of challenging the application of the current regulation to be completely crazy.
    Based on my experience, waging a legal battle against the USFS and environmental groups on a subjective issue like "what does mechanized travel really mean" is expensive suicide.

    Land rights and land use policy has always been a busy legal area and my assumption is that the courts have heard hundreds, maybe thousands, of cases involving wilderness designations and the legal conflicts these designations create. A few hours spend searching the Lexis database could probably provide some facts, but I'm not going to invest my time in that effort.

    Again, it appears that MTB advocacy groups have figured this out years ago. None are going head-on to overturn the ban because they are realists. But some (IMBA, and perhaps others) are working on creating a legal option for selective exemptions to permit MTB use.

    All that said, I do think that new wilderness designations are coming under greater scrutiny and have therefore become more difficult to get approved. That is a sign of wilderness fatigue. A good thing IMHO since the bar had fallen too low in previous decades.

    R

  26. #26
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    In canada the use the phrase no motorized vehicles.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    It really isn't my intent to pick a thread-fight with you or anyone else, but as a lawyer, when I read your postings on this subject, I am always left with more questions than answers and I've got the big "bs alert" bell going off in the back of my head. Perhaps the whole point is to drop hints about your background, so that people will slowly draw out of you all the wonderous things you've done. I prefer that when you, a semi-anonymous message board user, reference your "experience" that you tell us what that is, and how it applies here.

    First of all "in your experience": Do you HAVE experience litigating against the USFS and other environmental groups on issues like this? Very few people do. I don't and don't claim to. What is "your experience?" Are you a lawyer? You write very well, so you might be.

    As to your second paragraph - "land use" is a busy legal area. Stipulated. But "land use" is a very broad term. I do "land use" litigation without having gone anywhere near a similar issue. And the fact that "land use" is a busy legal area doesn't mean that citations for mountain biking on federal lands have been litigated through appeal. You reference a "Lexis database" which of course refers to Lexis-Nexis, the second-most used legal research application after Westlaw (which I far prefer). But rarely do I hear people refer to it as a "database" though I guess that might be partly correct.

    And I'll tell you what, I will spend a few minutes to half an hour - no need to spend countless hours - to see what Westlaw pulls up.

    Your third paragraph starts again with "assuming", which is a very bad thing to do when discussing what the law may or may not be, as any lawyer who "assumed" without actually doing research has no doubt found out the hard way. You then state what might be a plausible inference, i.e., that advocacy groups have figured "this" out and taken a different approach. I agree there is a reason for the approach they've taken, but by the way you've worded this, it is clear you don't actually know. So there may be some key details missing from your analysis- without- analysis from afar.

    Is it really true that new wilderness areas are coming under greater scrutiny? And why do you say so? Have you sat in on meetings with the USFS or do you drink coffee at Starbucks with Smokey the Bear so you have some secret ninja voodoo insider stuff you can't tell us? Inquiring minds want to know! And just what are your long-held and deep-seated beliefs on the "bar being too low" for wilderness areas?

    Sorry to be so skeptical, but as I've said, I am left scratching my head at your post to the extent that it implies a whole lot, gives little foundation for the statements made, and when stripped of the "based on my experience"/"I assume"/and etc. it is just another opinion which is a bit over-dressed.
    So many questions. So much sarcasm.
    Just to be clear, I have zero interest in convincing you of anything. My intent is to express an opinion about the topics raised in this thread. And no, I'm not a lawyer. But I have been actively involved in land use advocacy for 15+ years. Usually on the losing end too! I have listened to and discussed this topic with "experts" and the USFS, and as you can probably guess, reasonable people are all over the map.

    I don't hold opinions that are detached from fact or experience. But I don't feel any obligation to skeptics like you to extensively footnote everything so that you can be comfortable or convinced. This is not a lab experiment and there is plenty of room for opinions to differ. If we could turn to the facts for truth, there would be no debate about MTB access in wilderness areas.

    If your opinions differ from mine, feel free to share as much as you like. As a lawyer, I'm sure you have no trouble expressing yourself clearly.
    R

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMrider View Post
    So many questions. So much sarcasm.
    Just to be clear, I have zero interest in convincing you of anything. My intent is to express an opinion about the topics raised in this thread. And no, I'm not a lawyer. But I have been actively involved in land use advocacy for 15+ years. Usually on the losing end too.

    I don't hold opinions that are detached from fact or experience. But I don't feel any obligation to skeptics like you to extensively footnote everything so that you can be comfortable or convinced. This is not a lab experiment and there is plenty of room for opinions to differ. If we could turn to the facts for truth, there would be no debate about MTB access in wilderness areas.

    If your opinions differ from mine, feel free to share as much as you like. As a lawyer, I'm sure you have no trouble expressing yourself clearly.
    R
    Sounds like you two need to get with George W Bush and start the process.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes View Post
    In my opinion, the Sierra Club does lots of good. But on the bike issue they are completely wrong. Unfortunately, I don't see any change coming from the organization any time soon.
    Well said. I used to be a member, but I figured why give money to both them and IMBA? Most mountain bikers and sierra club members, I think, want almost the same things. Rather than spending resources fighting bikers, they should treat them as allies. Same goes for hang gliders. Are they REALLY a problem. As long as you're quiet and don't cause any more damage than the equestrians, I don't see any rational reason to disallow bikers. "Mechanized" should be changed to "Motorized".

    As far as the guy saying some areas should only be seen on foot: I'm a backpacker too, and I think the areas that should only be seen on foot are the ones that are too rough to reach on bike. Besides- I assume that also means you think horses and pack animals should be banned, no?

    One more thing: Horses, obviously, are far more damaging to trails than bikes. I heard they're allowed while bikers are banned is in order to maintain "...a more primitive experience". Seems arbitrary, with all the high-tech backpacking gear availalbe now. Perhaps people shouldn't be allowed any backpacking or equestrian equipment that wasn't available before 1950.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMrider View Post
    A good thing IMHO since the bar had fallen too low in previous decades.
    I would have to agree with this statement. I have recently visited a nearby Wilderness Area designated in the 1980's for a hiking trip. I really cannot in good conscience say that I agree with the designation. I understand the reason for the designation. The area was designated as a Wilderness to protect an area of unlogged longleaf pine savanna, as well as some small bogs containing rare carnivorous plants.

    However, the designation wasn't done until AFTER people had built roads through the area and run cattle and dug water tanks and all that. It's obvious people have driven their cars through there in the past, and I even found old trash on the "trails" (which are really just old roads, and are still maintained at doubletrack width). I have seen evidence of old home sites.

    How this area is any kind of "wilderness" I don't know. That doesn't mean those plant communities shouldn't be protected from development, but there are ways to protect them from development without going to the Wilderness extreme. Really...if all the trails out there are just on old road beds in the first place, what is the harm of allowing people to ride bicycles there? If the trail crews are going to maintain the trails at doubletrack width anyway, why not let them use a chainsaw?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    ...

    There is no right or wrong answer, but I think that most here would like there to be more access to wilderness areas by mountain bikes, instead of a general presumption against it. That wouldn't preclude the agencies in charge from designating a trail to be hikers-only. It would mean that a special act or agency approval wouldn't need to be obtained to take a mountain bike onto an appropriate trail in federal wilderness areas. Which I think would be great. From the article by Stroll, it doesn't seem like an entirely losing proposition.

    I did look up on Westlaw and at least in California and in the 9th district federally, there are no reported cases involving a mountain biker getting cited on federal land. I did find some interesting legislative information that indicated in certain federal lands where mountain biking was allowed on trial basis, the environmental effects were found to minimal and special use of the trails was allowed, but that required some kind of Agency or Legislative activity. Also found an interesting case, involving litigation that included both the Sierra Club and the IMBA organization, involving mountain bike trails in Marin County. (You can find it online at Bicycle Trails Council of Marin v. Babbitt, 82 F.3d 1445). This case demonstrates the difficulty of litigating such an issue when faced with a legislative scheme that presupposes that mountain bikes should not be permitted in wilderness areas.
    bottom line, that's some good info I'm Not Really A Lawyer, But I Play One On MTBR.
    but remember, no one cares who you are, only what you have to say.
    do we need to know you are a lawyer to validate your response to the thread?
    your quoted words add something of value to the discussion, but most of your post is laying into someone and adds nothing pertinent.
    and BTW, when you do that it makes you look unprofessional...as a lawyer, that is.
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    [QUOTE=@dam;8209615] "Mechanized" should be changed to "Motorized".

    QUOTE]

    Actually, the meaning we think of today with regard to these words was the actual intent of the framers of the original Wilderness Act.

    The definition of "Mechanized" was equated with " . . . other than human powered conveyance." Obviously, this would include rather than exclude MTBs.

    Furthermore, if you study the intent of the original act, in addition to preserving wild places, the framers were concerned that Americans were becoming a bunch of lard-asses spending too much time behind the wheel rather than using their own muscle to see beautiful places. Furthermore, seeing these places by auto required extensive infrastructure (roads, gas stations, etc) that detracted from the beauty the visitors sought. Again, the intent here would include, and actually encourage MTBs.

    If we actually used a hard definition of "Mechanized," cross-country skis, snowshoes and rafts with oarlocks would also be banned. If we're concerned with tech, then GPS would also be banned, as would freeze-dried foods, titanium framed backpacks and tents, and a whole lot more of the modern backpacker's quiver.

    Some places should only be seen on foot? Pretty subjective at best. Even if it is true, that doesn't need to be what amounts to half of all roadless areas in some of our Western states. We can grant plenty of foot-only trails without automatically blanketing all Wilderness with this most arbitrary, unfair distinction.

    The clear implication here is that the folks with the most political clout don't want to share. Even though I disagree, I can understand that. I just wish they would have the guts to accurately self-appraise their motives and the honesty to admit their bias rather than hide behind all the BS reasons they throw out there, every one of which can be effectively refuted with level-headed reason.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

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    The doctrine of traditional use is as important as "mechanized," just as a clarification.

    I like Wilderness, and I think the Wilderness Act has done good overall, but I do think it is sometimes used in place of a better, nonexistent land designation.

    Also, there is no reason mountain biking couldn't be grandfathered into/excepted to the bike ban in new Wilderness areas. Most Wilderness has some sort of non-wilderness aspect, such as helicopter landing sites or reservoirs. Politics is about compromise after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    Is it really true that new wilderness areas are coming under greater scrutiny? And why do you say so? Have you sat in on meetings with the USFS or do you drink coffee at Starbucks with Smokey the Bear so you have some secret ninja voodoo insider stuff you can't tell us? Inquiring minds want to know! And just what are your long-held and deep-seated beliefs on the "bar being too low" for wilderness areas?
    Anyone who lives in the West knows this is so. The reasons are complex, but one of the biggest is that pretty much all of the Wilderness Areas already designated are of the "rock and ice" variety: land of little commercial value (excepting, perhaps, mining) that is highly scenic. That's easy.

    Are you familiar with any of the fights over current Wilderness Study Areas, such as the ones around Bozeman, MT? And the now perhaps dead Forest Jobs and Recreation Act? These are examples local to me but not the only ones. The Act mentioned would have designated a lot of new Wilderness, among other things, but there was certainly a lot of debate about whether some of the lower elevation areas with a history of human use were appropriate. I had my own concerns about it, but they related more to a misapplication of the term "restoration" to include subsidized logging, but that's a different debate entirely.

    Anyways, this is what I'm pretty sure he/she was referring to with the "low bar" bit. There are only so many "untrammeled" areas in the United States, and there's a reason so much US Wilderness is in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Alaska. But even in these places there are lots of areas with preservation and conservation values which don't really have Wilderness (capital "w") characteristics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pentharian View Post
    So could "mechanized travel/transportation" as I keep reading people refer to it also include those people with handicaps who want to see the forest, people with mechanical prosthesis, wheelchairs, crutches?

    If they're going to hold that against people, then physically handicapped people can not look at the forest from within.

    If they allow wheelchairs, they should allow bicycles.

    Change the law.
    Not a well thought out argument. (I know, hard to believe on the interwebz)

    Following your logic, since that technical single track you like is unavailable to people on crutches, prosthetics and wheelchairs maybe we should widen and smooth them out and allow motor vehicles so they're available to all those folks. Millions and millions of acres of forest are available for people to travel on wheels via motorized allowed roads and yes, even wheelchair accessible trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Not a well thought out argument. (I know, hard to believe on the interwebz)

    Following your logic, since that technical single track you like is unavailable to people on crutches, prosthetics and wheelchairs maybe we should widen and smooth them out and allow motor vehicles so they're available to all those folks. Millions and millions of acres of forest are available for people to travel on wheels via motorized allowed roads and yes, even wheelchair accessible trails.
    :facepalm:
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    Fighting the US Wilderness bicycle ban, is it possible?

    Yes, of course it is possible. However you will lose and you will lose big.

    Rather than throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at attorneys and waste many years getting occasional bad news from them that will raise your blood presure and cause a great deal of stress, I suggest you pack your bags and depart Marin and head to some beautiful riding destination in central Oregon, or perhaps Colorado. The legal trails are plentiful and will keep you smiling for the rest of your life.

    Fighting the government is a sucker move and will take your eyes off the prize. Focus on maximizing your riding experience. That means fleeing Marin. Use your time and energy to accomplish the greater goal of finding a riders nirvana.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    The doctrine of traditional use is as important as "mechanized," just as a clarification.

    I like Wilderness, and I think the Wilderness Act has done good overall, but I do think it is sometimes used in place of a better, nonexistent land designation.

    Also, there is no reason mountain biking couldn't be grandfathered into/excepted to the bike ban in new Wilderness areas. Most Wilderness has some sort of non-wilderness aspect, such as helicopter landing sites or reservoirs. Politics is about compromise after all.
    Those infrastructures are not actually in the wilderness, they are in holdings of either private property or prior use authorizations. It isn't uncommon for roads and trails that aren't managed as wilderness to be "cherry stemmed in to wilderness boundaries.
    As to alternate designations, during talks with the Hidden Gems wilderness folks, the (Colorado) Summit Fat Tire Society has proposed "companion designations" as buffer areas around core designated wilderness that could allow mtn bikes and some other uses but otherwise be managed as wilderness. The concept is in its infancy but is gaining at least a little momentum within the agencies and Congressman Polis's office. If anything comes of it though, it will be years away

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    There is no right or wrong answer, but I think that most here would like there to be more access to wilderness areas by mountain bikes, instead of a general presumption against it. That wouldn't preclude the agencies in charge from designating a trail to be hikers-only. It would mean that a special act or agency approval wouldn't need to be obtained to take a mountain bike onto an appropriate trail in federal wilderness areas. Which I think would be great. From the article by Stroll, it doesn't seem like an entirely losing proposition.
    Unless I'm missing something, it seems we have the same view about realistic goals here. Selective access, maybe. Universal access, not a chance.

    That no individual or group has sued over MTB access to wilderness areas makes perfect sense. On this specific issue, you'd need a warped sense of reality, lots of time and lots of unwanted money to fight the rule.

    Isn't "turning to the facts for truth" what is always done? Where in the world did you learn to come up with these phrases - great stuff, really - but it also contradicts your other statement that "there is plenty of room for opinions to differ" and that "reasonable people are all over the map.
    No. In some aspects of life, facts settle the dispute. But in a majority of cases they don't because human judgment, emotion and biases are involved. The wilderness debate is one of the latter cases. Pretty obvious in my view....... The entire legal profession exists because we seldom agree on what "facts" and which 'truth" and much depends on one's point of view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    Anyone who lives in the West knows this is so. The reasons are complex, but one of the biggest is that pretty much all of the Wilderness Areas already designated are of the "rock and ice" variety: land of little commercial value (excepting, perhaps, mining) that is highly scenic. That's easy.

    Are you familiar with any of the fights over current Wilderness Study Areas, such as the ones around Bozeman, MT? And the now perhaps dead Forest Jobs and Recreation Act? These are examples local to me but not the only ones. The Act mentioned would have designated a lot of new Wilderness, among other things, but there was certainly a lot of debate about whether some of the lower elevation areas with a history of human use were appropriate. I had my own concerns about it, but they related more to a misapplication of the term "restoration" to include subsidized logging, but that's a different debate entirely.

    Anyways, this is what I'm pretty sure he/she was referring to with the "low bar" bit. There are only so many "untrammeled" areas in the United States, and there's a reason so much US Wilderness is in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Alaska. But even in these places there are lots of areas with preservation and conservation values which don't really have Wilderness (capital "w") characteristics.
    Yep, there are similar conflicts around proposed wilderness designations in the Sequoia NF (Piutes area) and in the eastern sierras. The local communities are opposed. Lots of conflict with private property owners in the proposed wilderness areas and worry about hurting local businesses that serve visitors to the area. Fun fact. Wilderness areas don't generate nearly as much biz for the local economy as national forests. Check the BRC website for many other examples.
    R

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    There is a small area of Montana where the locals simply tore out all gates used to close off Roads by the Forst Service, finally the forest service simply gave up. Just saying.

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    Sierra Club is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, bnent on Wildernessizing everything in sight. Unforuntately the IMBA thru the Park City agreement in 1994, basically agreed not to fight them on Wilderness designations(in fact quite the opposite, to help promote Wilderness designations). In addition, the Sierra Club works to eliminate mtbs from non-Wilderness areas seemingly whenever possible, from their own talking points.

    This page gets more regressive every year.

    http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/con...n/mtnbike.aspx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidmantis View Post
    What do you call someone who works on bikes?
    pretty much what you call anyone that works on any form of vehicle used for transportation. A Mechanic.

    If it's involves any form of transportation that includes wheels, bearings, grease, oil, plastic, teflon, gliding lubricant, be it dry or wet, wax, oil or any derivative of petroleum or synthetic hydrocarbon molecule chain lubrication based, metal on metal bearing points or pivot points, pins, axles screws or fasteners, some sort of inspection or recommended maintenance schedule, it's mechanized, as far as I am concerned. In short, any material used by it to reduce friction or increase efficiency of propulsion makes it mechanized.

    In short, if the item is made with any form of power tool that runs on electricity, where the labor to produce it is not all done by hand, or non powerized hand tools, then it's mechanized, because all of those tools basically were designed by Mechanical Engineers, then manufactured and produced.

    As I see it, the design would have had to been made sometime before the timeframe of the Industrial Revolution, and before the carriage was designed for horse and buggy or carriage operation. Non mechanized, pretty much means on foot, or swimming, without support of outside produced devices by mechanized production methods. All the steps of production must be done by hand, by hand tools, no power.
    Last edited by Boyonabyke; 07-06-2011 at 10:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    pretty much what you call anyone that works on any form of vehicle used for transportation. A Mechanic.

    If it's involves any form of transportation that includes wheels, bearings, grease, oil, plastic, teflon, gliding lubricant, be it dry or wet, wax, oil or any derivative of petroleum or synthetic hydrocarbon molecule chain lubrication based, metal on metal bearing points or pivot points, pins, axles screws or fasteners, some sort of inspection or recommended maintenance schedule, it's mechanized, as far as I am concerned. In short, any material used by it to reduce friction or increase efficiency of propulsion makes it mechanized.

    In short, if the item is made with any form of power tool that runs on electricity, where the labor to produce it is not all done by hand, or non powerized hand tools, then it's mechanized, because all of those tools basically were designed by Mechanical Engineers, then manufactured and produced.

    As I see it, the design would have had to been made sometime before the timeframe of the Industrial Revolution, and before the carriage was designed for horse and buggy or carriage operation. Non mechanized, pretty much means on foot, or swimming, without support of outside produced devices by mechanized production methods. All the steps of production must be done by hand, by hand tools, no power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes View Post
    I see the Wilderness advocates have already gotten the word out on this. Three posts in this thread already from people who have been registered for years and have a few hundred posts or less. I'm sure that if you looked at their post history, most would be along the same vein as the ones in this thread also.

    If you are wondering who these "environmental groups" are, start with the Sierra Club. While they officially state that they are not anti mountain bike, if you look at there practice over the years, you will see that they are one of the biggest advocates of the the Wilderness designation for just about every strip of dirt in the country. They are MUCH bigger than IMBA, they are well funded, and they are legally well represented. They are not alone, but they are the biggest.

    In my opinion, the Sierra Club does lots of good. But on the bike issue they are completely wrong. Unfortunately, I don't see any change coming from the organization any time soon.
    I think what it all gets down to is we all want to enjoy the outdoors. It's the fractions of Outdoor users that see differently as to what the Best Use policy is of our lands, and rule by majority and money. There are far more hikers and well monied ones at that, in the Sierra Club. The average Sierra Klubber is female, makes at or close to middle management money or more, and single, and enjoys hiking, and considers her non profit contributions/donations to Sierra Clb as practically tithing. They are passionate about their outdoors enjoyment, and they aren't cheap, like most mountain bikers are, about supporting the organization with huge charitable donations. Mountain bikers, on the other hand, tend to spend a large portion of their money on their bikes, leaving little for donations. At least that is my observation here out west in California.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    pretty much what you call anyone that works on any form of vehicle used for transportation. A Mechanic.

    If it's involves any form of transportation that includes wheels, bearings, grease, oil, plastic, teflon, gliding lubricant, be it dry or wet, wax, oil or any derivative of petroleum or synthetic hydrocarbon molecule chain lubrication based, metal on metal bearing points or pivot points, pins, axles screws or fasteners, some sort of inspection or recommended maintenance schedule, it's mechanized, as far as I am concerned. In short, any material used by it to reduce friction or increase efficiency of propulsion makes it mechanized.

    In short, if the item is made with any form of power tool that runs on electricity, where the labor to produce it is not all done by hand, or non powerized hand tools, then it's mechanized, because all of those tools basically were designed by Mechanical Engineers, then manufactured and produced.

    As I see it, the design would have had to been made sometime before the timeframe of the Industrial Revolution, and before the carriage was designed for horse and buggy or carriage operation. Non mechanized, pretty much means on foot, or swimming, without support of outside produced devices by mechanized production methods. All the steps of production must be done by hand, by hand tools, no power.
    The law (or interpretation thereof) does not only apply to transportation. Chainsaws are also not allowed in designated wilderness-even for trail crews.

    And again just since my side is being under-represented:

    I fully support the ban. Do we need to have sex with every single person we find attractive? No, that would be silly and disastrous. Your bike doesn't have to go everywhere.

    And noting about the "lowered bar"- often wilderness designation is to protect wildlife and sensitive flora. The ideal environment for most wildlife rarely looks good on a postcard-the purpose of wilderness is not just for human eye-candy and recreation. That's what National Parks and Monuments are for-easy access, developed infrastructure, and calender shots.

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    Wow, talk about a red herring . . .

    "Do we need to have sex with every single person we find attractive? No, that would be silly and disastrous."

    This is a ridiculous analogy. It's not even apple to oranges.

    Let's break this down a bit . . .

    First, nobody has advocated putting MTBs on "every single" trail

    Second, allowing MTBs on some trails currently in wilderness areas would not be "disastrous" (unless you have a really narrow definition of disastrous--i.e."My hike was ruined because I saw a bicycle!").

    Third, if an individual has the emotional maturity and takes the necessary precautions, all that sex needn't be disastrous. I have always been, currently am, and always be a monogamous guy, but that doesn't mean I feel the need to push my lifestyle on others or deprive others of their chosen lifestyle (unlike blind wilderness advocates).

    Fourth, even if I can't have sex with every attractive person, that doesn't mean I should be denied any opportunity of having sex with what I consider to be the most attractive one--so long as I can do so without bringing harm to either of us. (side note--I do not automatically all see off-limits trails as the most attractive just because they're unobtainable; but ya' gotta' admit, there's some killer scenery out there in those Wilderness areas!)

    Lastly, this thing is blown out of the water by the arbitrary bias against MTBs. If this was simply a matter of denying ourselves something we don't need anyway, then it should be equally applicable to all. Try denying hikers access to 40-50% (or more) of the roadless areas in our most beautiful Western states and see what kind of a reaction that provokes . . .
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    pretty much what you call anyone that works on any form of vehicle used for transportation. A Mechanic.

    If it's involves any form of transportation that includes wheels, bearings, grease, oil, plastic, teflon, gliding lubricant, be it dry or wet, wax, oil or any derivative of petroleum or synthetic hydrocarbon molecule chain lubrication based, metal on metal bearing points or pivot points, pins, axles screws or fasteners, some sort of inspection or recommended maintenance schedule, it's mechanized, as far as I am concerned. In short, any material used by it to reduce friction or increase efficiency of propulsion makes it mechanized.

    In short, if the item is made with any form of power tool that runs on electricity, where the labor to produce it is not all done by hand, or non powerized hand tools, then it's mechanized, because all of those tools basically were designed by Mechanical Engineers, then manufactured and produced.

    As I see it, the design would have had to been made sometime before the timeframe of the Industrial Revolution, and before the carriage was designed for horse and buggy or carriage operation. Non mechanized, pretty much means on foot, or swimming, without support of outside produced devices by mechanized production methods. All the steps of production must be done by hand, by hand tools, no power.
    Cool so I guess automobiles are in then after all
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    Probalby should throw away your clothing then since its made from automated machines, looks like you will be doing the wilderness thing nakedsssss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    Seems pretty clear to me. NO Mechanized Transportation.
    That's not what the original law said and intended. Anything human powered should be allowed. If anything, horse travel should be excluded as it is destructive and it is immoral to utilize slave animals for entertainment. Or, at least, it should be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    Sure it would be fun to ride my bike on some of those trails but I also like the solitude after hiking in for a few miles.
    Bikes do not ruin solitude. They are quite, non-destructive and they will be further away then you are, and it is only a question of proper trail design to avoid conflicts, as any objective study shows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    Think about it, you open it up to mountain bikes you essentially open it up to horses with trailers in tow as well as hunters/hikers using wheeled buggies.
    As long as they are not motorized, no harm is done. Better horse and a cart then a horse train carrying the supplies.

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    I can even understand the goal of allowing previously developed lands to revert to an increasingly wild condition (like my local Wilderness areas with much obvious human impact).

    I do think it's a problem, though, that Wilderness designations are used by many as a weapon to exclude bikes and other user groups (but primarily bikes) from the trails. I know a number of hikers who hold that specific opinion, that Wilderness designation should continue to be used to close more and more trails to bikes.

    I think there is a very solid argument for allowing case-by-case (trail-by-trail) allowances to grandfather mountain bike access onto specific trails that are part of a new Wilderness designation. I think such an allowance would add to the support for new Wilderness, because many mountain bikers are weary of new designations because their favorite trails often get included in these areas.

    It would make me even happier if some trails that formerly allowed mountain bike access (prior to designation) became permissible to ride again if the land manager decided that allowing bikes there would be okay (even if the feds mandated surveys to do so, it'd be better than the current environment).

    The original 1964 Act allowed for certain exemptions for air strips and motorboats to be grandfathered into new Wilderness designations, so I don't see why it would be a big problem to create a Wilderness around a mountain bike trail, allowing bikes to continue to access that particular trail (and do maintenance to said trail including reroutes when necessary within Wilderness regulations).

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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    If one were to take your definition, then what about cross-country skis, which have bindings that are worked on by mechanics? Wouldn't fixing a tent perhaps require some "mechanic" knowledge (ok., so not much, but still)? At what point does this argument stop? Do we have to consider whether mechanical tools were used to build the device? That rules out my hiking shoes! Isn't a compass mechanical? The test isn't whether it was invented prior to the industrial revolution. If the Act meant that it would say that.
    My hiking equipment is heavier and more technological then my bike(s). Space age metals, fabrics, and more electronics then in a cold war ear bomber. Satellite navigation and emergency beacons. Solid state light emitters with advanced batteries. Titanium cookware and compressed gas cylinders. Polarized eye protection. Kevlar and spectra ropes.

    My bike is essentially a hundred year old technology at its core. Welded tubes, rubber tires, chain and an air sprung shock absorbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    I disagree. The test isn't whether a "mechanic" works on the device being used. The actual intent and meaning of "mechanized" in the 1964 Act is discussed in Mr. Stroll's article which is excellent, and which seems to indicate the intended meaning of that term at that time was to prohibit motorized transport and not bicycles. Again, at the time, there was no mountain bike industry and this was not a serious concern, but it does seem like the idea was to allow bicycles. Way back then, that is, in whatever form they existed.

    If one were to take your definition, then what about cross-country skis, which have bindings that are worked on by mechanics? Wouldn't fixing a tent perhaps require some "mechanic" knowledge (ok., so not much, but still)? At what point does this argument stop? Do we have to consider whether mechanical tools were used to build the device? That rules out my hiking shoes! Isn't a compass mechanical? The test isn't whether it was invented prior to the industrial revolution. If the Act meant that it would say that.

    Unfortunately, we are in a system where the meaning of a law can be lost if the powers that be don't follow it for long enough. See our Constitution for an example.
    How long has the expression been for Wilderness area to "leave nothing behind but footprints" ? I think that is the guiding principle. Footprints are acceptable in Wilderness area, not much else can or should be left behind.

    Look up your state Vehicle code at the department of motor vehicles, and tell us if a bicycle is considered a vehicle in your state, and if it's held to the same operator standards as a licensed driver. Then take a look at your drivers license. Ask the DMV what standards it's possession implies when you are on public land operating any vehicle motorized or otherwise, including a bicycle on public lands. You are held to the same standards as stated in the Motor Vehicle Code handbook,while riding a bicycle,when in possession or owning a current drivers license. It is implied law that by possessing/owing a drivers license, you will obey all rules and laws applicable while on public or private roads, trails, or paths.
    Since the "mechanized" section applies to all vehicles, motorized or otherwise by state law, the mechanized clause, by your friends interpretation, effectively bans all vehicles, as all vehicles are mechanized, regardless of if they possess a motor or not. It goes back to the vehicle code. If you can operate said vehicle on public roads, and are held to the same standards as a car or motorcycle on public roads, and the intent of the law was to ban motorized vehicles, it in effect, bans all vehicles, as all vehicles are held to the motor vehicle code and motor vehicle laws here in CA.
    Last edited by Boyonabyke; 07-06-2011 at 04:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorath View Post
    The law (or interpretation thereof) does not only apply to transportation. Chainsaws are also not allowed in designated wilderness-even for trail crews.

    And again just since my side is being under-represented:

    I fully support the ban. Do we need to have sex with every single person we find attractive? No, that would be silly and disastrous. Your bike doesn't have to go everywhere.

    And noting about the "lowered bar"- often wilderness designation is to protect wildlife and sensitive flora. The ideal environment for most wildlife rarely looks good on a postcard-the purpose of wilderness is not just for human eye-candy and recreation. That's what National Parks and Monuments are for-easy access, developed infrastructure, and calender shots.
    Trail advocates and builders would never recommend destroying a pristine ecosystem to build some jumps.

    They would only suggest working with trails that already exist.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    How long has the expression been for Wilderness area to "leave nothing behind but footprints" ? I think that is the guiding principle. Footprints are acceptable in Wilderness area, not much else can or should be left behind.
    How about postholes from iron clad hoofs with some non-native seed containing manure on top?

    Cyclist with bike weights less then a fully loaded hiker, does not stray off trail, and it is a proven fact that it does not not impact trail any worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    There is a small area of Montana where the locals simply tore out all gates used to close off Roads by the Forst Service, finally the forest service simply gave up. Just saying.


    Yeah but where else but Montana are you going to find anyone with enough balls to do this? The American people need to make a stand and take back what is being taken away from us in the name of an elite few special interest groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    How about postholes from iron clad hoofs with some non-native seed containing manure on top?

    Cyclist with bike weights less then a fully loaded hiker, does not stray off trail, and it is a proven fact that it does not not impact trail any worse.
    I suggest you take some basic engineering courses to figure out how to do load calculations, before stating that as "fact".

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    I suggest you take some basic engineering courses to figure out how to do load calculations, before stating that as "fact".
    I suggest you shove your smug attitude where sun does not shine and enroll in some reading comprehension classes.

    Where there is anything said about load? How did you relate "weights less" with load? As far as impact on trail - read it up.

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    Convince them that they are missing out on revenue, and the trails will open tomorrow! Play their greed.
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss View Post

    - I'm trying to find further info on the USFS's defacto decision to reinterpret the 1964 Wilderness act as they saw fit to ban bicycles. I'm trying to find further information on this. Any additional references that can shed more light on the USFS's reinterpretation and banning of bicycles in 1984 would be greatly appreciated.
    http://www.wildernessbicycling.org/index.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidmantis View Post
    What do you call someone who works on bikes?
    Poor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    There is a small area of Montana where the locals simply tore out all gates used to close off Roads by the Forst Service, finally the forest service simply gave up. Just saying.
    Blurr is a real rebel. No way the man is gonna tell him where he can't ride. Even though the man did build the trails he thinks he has every right to ride.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    Blurr is a real rebel. No way the man is gonna tell him where he can't ride. Even though the man did build the trails he thinks he has every right to ride.
    Blurr's tax dollars paid for trails and land. The man did not do it for free. The man was hired by Blurr to manage his land, but screwed him over for no good reason whatsoever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Yeah but where else but Montana are you going to find anyone with enough balls to do this? The American people need to make a stand and take back what is being taken away from us in the name of an elite few special interest groups.
    I agree 100 percent, which is my point, we are sitting here arguing if we can have Access to our land, wtf this is AMERICA!!! we are not asking for anything unreasonable damn it.

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    I have spent a little time reviewing all these different posts and was wondering how many of the posters have ever had the opprotunity to ride in the Wilderness and what your experience was like?

    I know some individuals who have ridden in the Wildness for over three years, and I always told them what they were doing was immoral and they would probably go to Hell for doing so.

    They just laughed at me and told me that the trail they ride is very special and for all the hundreds of times they have ridden the trail it was a very special experience and if God was going to send them to Hell for doing so, so be it.

    Apparently some of their most memorable experiences have been riding in the Wildness during snowy periods when they can barely follow the trail due to it being covered with snow.

    When I tell them they are destroying a very special place they just laugh at me and indicate that the trail has been destroyed by horses and it is barely hikable by Sierra Club type hikers. According to the Wilderness riders they have never seen a hiker on the trail.

    They said they do see alot of low flying helicopters taking tourists out to enjoy the Wilderness experience, and I think that is kind of goofy. Seems like a Wilderness experience should be earned.

    I don't know how to respond when they tell me that, maybe some of you could help with a good response. Horses are a big part of our history and I believe any damage they do is OK with me.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Horses are a big part of our history and I believe any damage they do is OK with me.
    Horses are welcome to do their damage as long as they do it on their own, without horseshoes, and not traveling in pack trains over trails.

    As far as history with people - how many citizens have ridden a bike, and how many a horse? Exactly. There are ten time more cyclists among trail users. This is our history now. Slavery, wanton pollution, horse driven carriages for transportation. That is long gone, and good riddance.

    Welcoming excessive damage for some selfish nostalgic reasons - and denying wholesome, quite and non-destructive enjoyment of nature to your brothers? That's some serious hypocrisy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    No one, not even the Sierra club, has stated that if one leaves a tire print that is somehow a violation of the wilderness. You are taking a catchy phrase and treating it as if it is a part of a law, when it isn't. Sorry, but this is as much a fail as your "hand-made objects only" post, which would require us all to strip naked before we enter the backcountry. ('Although I hear the Germans are really into that - "Erotik Kamping")

    Really? More amateur lawyering, with the usual result. I don't need a drivers license to use a bicycle in a wilderness area. Fail.

    Not necessarily true. By your definition the Flintstone mobile could still operate. Please cite me the statute which says that mountain bikes in the Federal wilderness are governed by the California motor vehicle code.
    You are wasting your time arguing with a dimwit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Horses are welcome to do their damage as long as they do it on their own, without horseshoes, and not traveling in pack trains over trails.

    As far as history with people - how many citizens have ridden a bike, and how many a horse? Exactly. There are ten time more cyclists among trail users. This is our history now. Slavery, wanton pollution, horse driven carriages for transportation. That is long gone, and good riddance.

    Welcoming excessive damage for some selfish nostalgic reasons - and denying wholesome, quite and non-destructive enjoyment of nature to your brothers? That's some serious hypocrisy.
    Axe:

    Very well said, but what do I tell those selfish riders when they go out in the Wildness for one of those very special rides? Even though they are doing little or no damage then a horse with horse shoes, it just seems to be somewhat immoral.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I suggest you shove your smug attitude where sun does not shine and enroll in some reading comprehension classes.

    Where there is anything said about load? How did you relate "weights less" with load? As far as impact on trail - read it up.
    Are you capable of doing a load calculation for a 240 pound hikers boot in size 12 with a 5" x 13" sole, approximatley for a "footprint" pound per square inch, as well as a 2.25" tire footprint with a 5 inch length of "footprint" when inflated? I'll allow you to discount the 30 to 35 pounds of the bike too, which should also be added in for an all mountain bike.

    240# / 65 sq inches = 3.69 pounds per square inch for a hike on a trail.

    240# / 11.25 sq inches for the radiused foot print of a tire = 21.33 pounds per square inch for a biker with his tire on the trail . That a factor of about 5.75 times more psi on the trail surface. Now take the velocity of a hiker slowing down hiking from about 2.5 miles per hour on fat boots. Take the velocity of a mountain biker slowing down from 20 miles per hour on those tires above. Energy = mass x velocity squared. hiker = 5, mountain biker = 400. About 80 times more energy needing to be slowed down on that trail surface and thats not even including or calculating in the additional weight of the bicycle.

    I can tell you for certain that a tire rut in mud on an incline erodes and forms a drainage rivulate channel in the high clay and silt areas that I ride in, where as a foot print in the same mud basically forms a puddle at the low end and a period of high rain in a storm of about 1 to 2 inches will cause said soil and foot print to saturate, the soil collapsing in and filling the lowest portions of said foot print. In other words the mud when receiving enough moisture, will self level a foot print. A bike tire track in clay or silt based mud does not "self level" on an incline like a foot print from a hiker does, in one or two good storms. It turns into an eroding drainage ditch until it either reaches a drainage bar, or drains into and fills up a low spot, turning into a puddle, a pond, or a lake.

    You can debate and or argue all you want about "trail damage" but the science and the math will disprove you every time.. and that is fact. There is no comparison with hikers and mountain bikers in terms of trail erosion by the two users. A hiker needs a much less prepare/groomed surface to navigate than a mountain biker. They don't rely on a surface having to be relatively smooth to function as a tangent to a radius to roll over to maintain forward progress.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Axe:

    Very well said, but what do I tell those selfish riders when they go out in the Wildness for one of those very special rides? Even though they are doing little or no damage then a horse with horse shoes, it just seems to be somewhat immoral.

    TD
    Personally, I am not a fan of violating laws of the land, even those that I deem stupid and arbitrary. I do not do that. But I do not think that violation of a fairly arbitrary administrative statute with a vague history and no clear purpose is a moral turpitude question.

    I would tell them to take it easy and stay out of trouble.

    Added a first user to my ignore list.. Welcome and good-buy, RandyBoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    You are wasting your time arguing with a dimwit.
    And you, sir, lost the debate, when you started the name calling of me as a "dim wit" because you have nothing further to contribute to the debate. Like I care about your Phd from Stanford in Physics? It hasn't helped you prove your case, so why bother bringing it up when the calculations are so simple? The heat generated from slowing down a 20 mph bike at the disc rotors far exceeds the heat generated slowing down a hiking boot doing 2.5 miles per hour.
    Transfer that rotor rotational energy to friction at the point of contact between said tire and trail, as so often happens entering a turn like a switch back via drifting or skidding, and it becomes quite clear what is doing the trail damage. You don't get ruts or speed bumps from brake jack from hiker or equestrian only use trails. The conditions on horse trails didn't exist before mountain bikers showed up. Witness all the armor on trails at bike parks like Keystone, Mammoth Mountain and Northstar, to reduce and or stop the erosion problems, by paving or hardening up the trail surface. The mechanized efficiency of disc brakes and rotors is the number one cause of trail damage, slowing down for a turn. Again, it's that mechanical advantage, doing the damage, which is why I agree with keeping mechanical devices out of wilderness areas. All they do is increase the efficiency of destruction, rather than conserving or preserving.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    I am capable of doing a "load calculation" and I can tell you are a big one.
    He still refuses to accept that he failed at parsing a compound sentence, does not know the difference between weight, pressure and environmental impact and keeps arguing with himself? Good grief...

    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    As I refuse to use the ignore feature - stubbornly - I have decided that I have to be drinking when I read your posts.
    I do not think they will make any more sense that way, but you may try. Tell us how it goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Personally, I am not a fan of violating laws of the land, even those that I deem stupid and arbitrary. I do not do that. But I do not think that violation of a fairly arbitrary administrative statute with a vague history and no clear purpose is a moral turpitude question.

    I would tell them to take it easy and stay out of trouble.

    Added a first user to my ignore list.. Welcome and good-buy, RandyBoy.
    Axe:

    Good advice, I will let them know, I hope it works, but I am skeptical. They are pretty convinced that they aren't hurting anything and the fact that horses do more damage just makes it more difficult to convince them otherwise.

    It's kind of like your seventeen year old daughter who is about to turn eighteen in a couple days having sex with some old experienced single dude and really enjoying it. Is it really worth getting upset about.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    That's not what the original law said and intended. Anything human powered should be allowed. If anything, horse travel should be excluded as it is destructive and it is immoral to utilize slave animals for entertainment. Or, at least, it should be.



    Bikes do not ruin solitude. They are quite, non-destructive and they will be further away then you are, and it is only a question of proper trail design to avoid conflicts, as any objective study shows.



    As long as they are not motorized, no harm is done. Better horse and a cart then a horse train carrying the supplies.
    I've seen what permanent damage bash guards from mountain bike cranks have done to sandstone based rocks and boulders in the Santa Monica Mountains National Park area. I've seen it in Moab too, as well as Gooseberry Mesa. It goes directly against leaving no permanent marks or trace of travel in Wilderness areas. The same can be said for pedal strikes on rocks leaving permanent scars and metal deposits. Then there will be the need to add structure like bridges for larger drainages / water crossings for creeks and rivers. Then, of course, someone will add skinnies, and teeter totters and launch ramps for jumps. Then the slobs among us will leave empty Gu packages and shot block wrappers and Clif bar wrappers trailside. I see this everywhere mountain bikers ride. Or they leave flatted tubes on the trail. Then the "sanitizers" will get in there and modify things so everything is nice, smooth and buff enough for their rigid single speeds to climb. No thank you, that's human progress. Let's not even begin to think about all the new "social" trails that will suddenly appear once access is granted.


    .
    Sorry, but that dog of yours don't hunt.

    I've also been disgusted with riding on trails where fellow riders have bear bells constantly ringing going both up and down trails. It's about as appreciated as the motorhome camper that fires up their generator at 5 am in the morning so they can electrically brew a cup of expresso before they start their 6 AM roll call for a mountain bike ride. In the mean time, I get stunk out by the exhaust of a not so quiet generator.

    Sorry, I don't think mountain bikers belong in wilderness areas, and I'm glad they aren't allowed to ride in Wilderness areas.

    That's not solitude. Nor are the group social rides that assemble at the bike shops or the trail heads representative of "solitude". Solitude means the situation of being alone, all by ones self. Not the buddy system, not a group, or a gaggle or you riding with your best buddy. It means you riding by yourself.

    Perhaps you see now, why mountain bikes don't conveniently fit in Wilderness areas, despites your special interest desires to make it so. The definitions by Congress are quite clear what the intended purpose of Wilderness was for.

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    Wow!! Being a machine builder, im here to tell ya, a bike is a machine. It has NOTHING to do with how it was built, hand or power tools. If you use a 2x4 to move a big rock, you used MECHANICAL ADVANTAGE, hence a machine.
    So to clarify; shovels, pry bars, beerbottle openers, wheels, hand tools and BICYCLES are machines.

    Saying that hand tools can't build machines makes you the biggest powertool around.
    Go for a bike ride, then sign up for Mech-1 and quit talking like blathering fools.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro View Post
    Trail advocates and builders would never recommend destroying a pristine ecosystem to build some jumps.

    They would only suggest working with trails that already exist.
    All trails require regular maintenance especially in forests where after every winter there will be deadfall across trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman View Post
    "Do we need to have sex with every single person we find attractive? No, that would be silly and disastrous."

    This is a ridiculous analogy. It's not even apple to oranges.

    Let's break this down a bit . . .

    First, nobody has advocated putting MTBs on "every single" trail

    Second, allowing MTBs on some trails currently in wilderness areas would not be "disastrous" (unless you have a really narrow definition of disastrous--i.e."My hike was ruined because I saw a bicycle!").

    Third, if an individual has the emotional maturity and takes the necessary precautions, all that sex needn't be disastrous. I have always been, currently am, and always be a monogamous guy, but that doesn't mean I feel the need to push my lifestyle on others or deprive others of their chosen lifestyle (unlike blind wilderness advocates).

    Fourth, even if I can't have sex with every attractive person, that doesn't mean I should be denied any opportunity of having sex with what I consider to be the most attractive one--so long as I can do so without bringing harm to either of us. (side note--I do not automatically all see off-limits trails as the most attractive just because they're unobtainable; but ya' gotta' admit, there's some killer scenery out there in those Wilderness areas!)

    Lastly, this thing is blown out of the water by the arbitrary bias against MTBs. If this was simply a matter of denying ourselves something we don't need anyway, then it should be equally applicable to all. Try denying hikers access to 40-50% (or more) of the roadless areas in our most beautiful Western states and see what kind of a reaction that provokes . . .
    I would call it more of a weak analogy than a red herring. But yes of course it was a hyperbole-intended for some well needed comic relief.

    I feel that there is a implied value in wilderness of isolation and solitude. That one works there butt off to get to a place no one else will be. Mountain bikes go faster than kayaks, horses, hikers so can move into the wilderness faster making isolation less likely.

    Also with bikes being allowed into wilderness, the number of people would grow greatly again cutting down one's chance of solitude.

    We do prevent most hikers from getting many places by not building too many trails-and by regulating trails. "Social" or "illegal" trails made by hikers are treated the same way as ones made by bikes.

    I do of course support solutions when bikes are historically popular there. In my neck of the woods, Hermosa Creek in SW Colorado, we are having his issue. Hermosa Creek is a popular bike trail that is straddled by WSA that is old growth that people want to protect form logging and land swaps. So they are working towards a cherry stem, or easement of some sort.

    But to complain about a new wilderness designation because you *just, might, maybe* want to ride your bike in there one day...well that sounds like a spoiled kid that needs to clean out their toy box.

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    So how many of you have even been in a wilderness area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    I've seen what permanent damage bash guards from mountain bike cranks have done to sandstone based rocks and boulders in the Santa Monica Mountains National Park area. I've seen it in Moab too, as well as Gooseberry Mesa. It goes directly against leaving no permanent marks or trace of travel in Wilderness areas. The same can be said for pedal strikes on rocks leaving permanent scars and metal deposits. Then there will be the need to add structure like bridges for larger drainages / water crossings for creeks and rivers. Then, of course, someone will add skinnies, and teeter totters and launch ramps for jumps. Then the slobs among us will leave empty Gu packages and shot block wrappers and Clif bar wrappers trailside. I see this everywhere mountain bikers ride. Or they leave flatted tubes on the trail. Then the "sanitizers" will get in there and modify things so everything is nice, smooth and buff enough for their rigid single speeds to climb. No thank you, that's human progress. Let's not even begin to think about all the new "social" trails that will suddenly appear once access is granted.


    .
    Sorry, but that dog of yours don't hunt.

    I've also been disgusted with riding on trails where fellow riders have bear bells constantly ringing going both up and down trails. It's about as appreciated as the motorhome camper that fires up their generator at 5 am in the morning so they can electrically brew a cup of expresso before they start their 6 AM roll call for a mountain bike ride. In the mean time, I get stunk out by the exhaust of a not so quiet generator.

    Sorry, I don't think mountain bikers belong in wilderness areas, and I'm glad they aren't allowed to ride in Wilderness areas.

    That's not solitude. Nor are the group social rides that assemble at the bike shops or the trail heads representative of "solitude". Solitude means the situation of being alone, all by ones self. Not the buddy system, not a group, or a gaggle or you riding with your best buddy. It means you riding by yourself.

    Perhaps you see now, why mountain bikes don't conveniently fit in Wilderness areas, despites your special interest desires to make it so. The definitions by Congress are quite clear what the intended purpose of Wilderness was for.
    You make some good and valid points.

    But you typically do so in a stunningly preachy, tangential and finger-wagging manner. Unfortunately, the result is always a spike in use of the "ignore user" feature instead of an improved signal to noise ratio on the thread. If you want people to actually focus on your arguments, a change in style would be helpful.........assuming you want to be taken more seriously, which may not be the case.

    Most who have expressed a view here don't want to threaten the beauty/solitude that you enjoy in the wilderness. Or at least not in 95%+ of the current wilderness areas.

    R

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    Are you capable of doing a load calculation for a 240 pound hikers boot in size 12 with a 5" x 13" sole, approximatley for a "footprint" pound per square inch, as well as a 2.25" tire footprint with a 5 inch length of "footprint" when inflated?.......
    you may be correct in your computations for a person's weight displacement who is standing motionless in one spot, or likewise a horse, but as soon as either one begins to move forward, the dynamics of their footprint begins to change dramatically...from heel-strike to lift-off.

    with forward motion, your computations no longer hold true.

    the true displacement of weight is much greater at the end of a step, with not only the weight of the individual concentrated in a much smaller area, but now you also have to figure in the force of the stride as the foot pushes against the ground in it's final push-off, multiplying the force to as much as twice the persons weight....

    all in all, a silly argument against bicycles, but none-the-less, a physical factor in what could be used to determine impact for the various trail users that are being discussed here.
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    Ya'll have special needs to even sit here and argue about the negiligable damage of a Mtn bike, horse, and human walking in a specific area surrounded by thousands of Acres of wilderness, jesus, get a life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudflap View Post
    you may be correct in your computations for a person's weight displacement who is standing motionless in one spot, or likewise a horse, but as soon as either one begins to move forward, the dynamics of their footprint begins to change dramatically...from heel-strike to lift-off.

    with forward motion, your computations no longer hold true.

    the true displacement of weight is much greater at the end of a step, with not only the weight of the individual concentrated in a much smaller area, but now you also have to figure in the force of the stride as the foot pushes against the ground in it's final push-off, multiplying the force to as much as twice the persons weight....

    all in all, a silly argument against bicycles, but none-the-less, a physical factor in what could be used to determine impact for the various trail users that are being discussed here.
    Get a grip here guys...

    Depending upon the terrain any one of the 3 transportation modes can tear up a trail worse than the others....horses are by far the worst.....bikes and feet about equal (they just tear up different areas of the trail).

    Secondly while special interest groups often think only they should be allowed in the wilderness area.....fundmentally anyone should be able top get access on an equally basis.

    So in the end the damage is limited by limiting access and the number of people allowed....this can be by quota and lotteries or arbiltarily excluding classes of people...

    The concept of never seeing anyone in a wilderness has never been a goal of the governement. The concept of having some wilderness left as been the goal.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    So how many of you have even been in a wilderness area?
    I backpacked in one over the 4th of July for 3 days...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Blurr's tax dollars paid for trails and land. The man did not do it for free. The man was hired by Blurr to manage his land, but screwed him over for no good reason whatsoever.
    Maybe bikes should be allowed in wilderness, but suggesting that we tear down gates and fences doesn't do our cause any favors. That's just dumb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    Ya'll have special needs to even sit here and argue about the negiligable damage of a Mtn bike, horse, and human walking in a specific area surrounded by thousands of Acres of wilderness, jesus, get a life.
    Blurr thinks about individual footprints or tire tracks and gets all huffy because he can't see any damage there. He may be right. But multiply that by thousands of people, and ever expanding suburbs and trophy homes, and the loss of wildlife migration corridors everywhere, and you can (unless you're blinded by anger or some anti-government paranoia) see that there is a BIGGER PICTURE to keep in mind.

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    That said, Blurr lives in Montana, where there are few people (less than a million in the whole big state) and gigantic chunks of protected wilderness. He probably feels that there is nobody around to affect the giant empty Montana wilderness, and in Montana, he's probably right.

    Most other states in the west have lots more people (5 million in Colorado, 6.5 million in Arizona, 37 million in California) and much less in the way of wilderness, which means that the potential for impact (to wildlife mainly, I'm not worried about the bogus "trail erosion") is much larger should bikes be allowed into wilderness in states more populous than Montana or Idaho. Imagine the Indian Peaks Wilderness just outside of Denver/Boulder should bikes suddenly be allowed in it. It's already the busiest wilderness in America. Just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMrider View Post
    You make some good and valid points.

    But you typically do so in a stunningly preachy, tangential and finger-wagging manner. Unfortunately, the result is always a spike in use of the "ignore user" feature instead of an improved signal to noise ratio on the thread. If you want people to actually focus on your arguments, a change in style would be helpful.........assuming you want to be taken more seriously, which may not be the case.

    Most who have expressed a view here don't want to threaten the beauty/solitude that you enjoy in the wilderness. Or at least not in 95%+ of the current wilderness areas.

    R
    The message is the same.... you don't shoot the messenger, regardless of whether or not you like or dislike the message, due to ones preconceived notions about implementing change.

    Unfortunately, there is so much denial going on about what mountain bikers do destruction wise, to the land they ride on, that becomes quite evident if you spend 10 days a year doing trail maintenance. Many many hikers climb up to Mount Whitney every year, the trail damage is minimal. The same can be said for all the hiking trails that locals and tourist visitors use around Mammoth Lakes. The trails that see mountain bikers up at Mammoth Lakes are another matter. The wear pattern of the tread of the trail is completely different and needs far more maintenance due to damage. Even on a beginners green circle trail like DownTown on the mountain proper, the erosion from bike tires and hard braking is evident. If you were to ride Off the Top up at Mammoth Mountain Bike Park 3 years ago, you would have seen huge bump braking whoopdees carved into the mountain before every switchback turn, no matter how many time the trail crew filled them back in. The mountain finally decided enough was enough, and put "armor" blocks in, to prevent the constant erosion problems of skid brakers going too fast, and braking too late into the switchbacks, chasing down their buddies. The competitiveness of an individual really comes out when the locals are so much better riders than the visitors that try to keep up with them, due to local knowledge and knowing all the good lines on the trails through memory and experience. I would say that mountain biking attracts a lot of strong, aggressive "A" type personalities that are very competitive. It just seems to be the nature of the beast, it's not a sport for the timid, it's a sport for those who like pain when they climb to earn their downhill rewards for effort exerted.

    Then look at the way some of them dress, wearing darth vader armor outfits. The hikers I hike with don't understand why one would need to use armor, like mountain biking is a contact sport like football. They don't see armor being worn in the Tour of California or the Tour de France races. It's a serious perception problem on the trails, horse back riders and hikers don't feel like "equals" on the trail, they feel like they are at a disadvantage, safety wise. Because they don't feel like equals is probably the main reason they want to keep mountain bikers out of the trails in Wilderness areas. They have to put up with them everywhere else on BLM and Forest Service multiuse trails already.

    When mountain bikers "blend in" with the rest of the trail users, instead of segregating themselves and "standing out" is when they will gain permission. I doubt that will ever happen, it's a mechanized equipment war of having the latest and greatest bike every two years. The younger adults seem to thrive on being seen on the trail in their "battle" uniforms with bright colors, bold graphics, and Troy Lee designed helmet paint jobs.

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    ^^^^ Did you really just turn this into a fashion argument?!! You, my sir, need to give up being a prick and go ride off some tension.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    But multiply that by thousands of people, and ever expanding suburbs and trophy homes, and the loss of wildlife migration corridors everywhere, and you can (unless you're blinded by anger or some anti-government paranoia) see that there is a BIGGER PICTURE to keep in mind.
    Good point. The issue is too many people, whether they be on foot, hoof, or knobby.

    So, tell me why one user group is discriminated against vice the others?
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    That said, Blurr lives in Montana, where there are few people (less than a million in the whole big state) and gigantic chunks of protected wilderness. He probably feels that there is nobody around to affect the giant empty Montana wilderness, and in Montana, he's probably right.

    Most other states in the west have lots more people (5 million in Colorado, 6.5 million in Arizona, 37 million in California) and much less in the way of wilderness, which means that the potential for impact (to wildlife mainly, I'm not worried about the bogus "trail erosion") is much larger should bikes be allowed into wilderness in states more populous than Montana or Idaho. Imagine the Indian Peaks Wilderness just outside of Denver/Boulder should bikes suddenly be allowed in it. It's already the busiest wilderness in America. Just saying.
    Is there something terrible going on in the Indian Peaks Wilderness right now with all the people hiking and riding their horse there. Seems like a great example of getting people out enjoying nature.

    What am I missing here? Is there some legitimate study showing the impact usage is having on mother nature? Out of 16 scholarships (http://indianpeakswilderness.org/ipwa_scholar.htm) issued to study the IPW only ONE dealt with recreational trails.

    As usual this points out that just because there is use of a natural resource by more people than someone wants to happen, that it is a terrible situation, rather than a success.

    Getting people out to recreate is a good thing IMHO, and since bikes do less damage to trails than horses, it is logical that someday they will be allowed.

    Does anyone have a link to the study done on the Colorado River creating a one mile deep scar in the earth's crust that can be seen from spacecraft tens of thousands of miles from the earth? I would think that environmental destruction would be a higher priority than mountain bikes in the Wilderness.

    Or how about how to reduce the potential of forest fires? Are the forest fires around the country a trillion ( OK maybe a billion ) times more destructive than any mountain biking in the Wilderness? How much wildlife has been killed by those fires and how much future erosion is going to occur due to the elimination of ground vegetation? I guess because it's a natural occurrence (like the Grand Canyon) some of the time, it's not up for comparison purposes.

    TD

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    ditto ... and then some . . .

    I've had the good fortune to live in both Colorado and Montana and spend time hiking in multiple wilderness areas in each state. I was also a backcountry hiker (and occasional equestrian) for decades before getting my first bike. So, I can comfortably assert that my desire to see MTBs allowed in wilderness areas is easily less biased than that of most blind wilderness advocates.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  92. #92
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    I agree that getting people out into the wilderness is a good thing. But we have to remember that wilderness, and all open lands, are not just for human recreation but for animal habitat, wildlife migration, biological diversity, and basically a place for evolution to unfold with minimal human interference. The only problem I see with thousands of folks in the Indian Peaks is a major disruption in the life of the animals there, especially the larger predators (mountain lions, bears) that need room to move.

    Other than that, I see no problem. "Trail erosion" is a big joke, especially since horses are so much more destructive.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    Blurr thinks about individual footprints or tire tracks and gets all huffy because he can't see any damage there. He may be right. But multiply that by thousands of people, and ever expanding suburbs and trophy homes, and the loss of wildlife migration corridors everywhere, and you can (unless you're blinded by anger or some anti-government paranoia) see that there is a BIGGER PICTURE to keep in mind.
    Yes let us look at the bigger picture, first I will throw around my background in the wilderness area's, Specifically The Pintler In Montana which Is only a handful of miles from where I grew up. (Born and Raised in Rural Montana) So I have Nearly a lifetime being spent in said area, mostly on horseback later more hiking. You can litterally hike for days and never see another person. Cutting Off trail is nearly impossible as the deadfall is so thick you will find yourself rarely ever touching the actual ground, its miserable, and the animals do not like it as well, they like humans are lazy and enjoy trails which are cut.
    The deadfall causes problems in many area's, First of course falling across trails, second they do not fall anyplace you want and of course change water flow themselves causing more Erosion. Small animals enjoy the deadfall but larger animals do not, again, its hard for them to travel in and they are unable to see predators. Log an area and watch the deer and elk flock, they absolutely love it. Next all that deadfall is a crazy huge fire hazard, now think of that, at a time when we truly could use all that timber, we simply let it rot and burn at some point. Since motorized vehicles are not allowed it is considered a "let burn" area thus causing more problems as the fires can get crazy out of control thus taking more manpower/ money to contain them once they leave said area.

    As for people visiting the area, as mentioned before, it is THE TAXPAYERS LAND they deserve reasonable access to said area, that does not mean limiting it to friggin hikers only, nor does it mean to limit said area to mtn bikers only. If you opened up said area several things would happen.
    1. pressure is then lifted off of already heavily traveled forest service area's
    2. reasonable access and trail managed system for all types of transportation allows people who possibly are not healthy via disease and or age access to the area. By allowing more people into more area's you now have more money for management, better economies in towns, and more conservation awareness. If you think people become aware of conservation by being jammed into crowded campgrounds you are seriously mistaken
    3. Allowing the recourses to be used again, takes the burdon off of several area's of logging, allows a cleaner environment for the animals and hell even people to use and enjoy. Lets face it, not a single person riding a MTN bike or using a computer can complain about mining and or logging, we depend on it for our very existance.

    Now I can go on and on, and IM sure I will later on, but this is all that time currently allows for me.

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    More red herrings . . .

    "I've seen what permanent damage bash guards from mountain bike cranks have done to sandstone based rocks"

    I can't and wont' try to deny that. You shouldn't try to deny that other trail users leave an impact as well, whether it be fire rings, actual fires, or permanent trail, or off trail, erosion from 1500lbs of horse and rider. The key lies in pursuing your chosen activity correctly. Furthermore, and I'll have to continue to beat what a should be a dead horse by now, is the fact that nobody is advocating a blanket allowance of bikes in Wilderness any more than we agree with a blanket ban against bikes in Wilderness. Areas that are particularly sensitive could still be off-limits.

    "Then there will be the need to add structure like bridges for larger drainages / water crossings for creeks and rivers."

    This one is the lead rational at all. Please! Anyplace a hiker can ford a stream, a biker can ride or carry his bike across the stream. Do trails go through these "larger drainages" you speak of? If so, then the bike can be ridden or carried on the designated trail just as easily as the hiker can walk it. No infrastructure will be needed for bikes. In fact, his statement shows a surprising level of ignorance of MTBers who would like access to these areas. These are folks who want a "pure" experience as much as hikers do. To them, artifical assistance is reviled, not revered. If you can't ride it correctly, then walk it or don't go there in the first place.

    " Then, of course, someone will add skinnies, and teeter totters and launch ramps for jumps."

    Please. Rogue stunt building goes on today. It's not right and most of the MTB community works hard to self-police this. Witness the recent event where a rogue DH trail was run from Rampart Range Road to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Within a week, a well organized clean-up was scheduled by the local MTB culb and dozens of MTBers showed up to erase any and all vestiges of the trail. Furthermore, the knuckleheads who do this aren't the type to travel deep into the backcountry to do it when they can sneak it into their local open space or park. Since they are already, by definition, breaking the law, how would making MTB legal in Wilderness make them more likely to build rogue stunts or trails in the Wilderness?

    "Then the slobs among us will leave empty Gu packages and shot block wrappers and Clif bar wrappers trailside. "

    Again, please don't try to pass off an assertion that MTBs are the only ones who litter. My personal experience has been to witness as much, or more disrespect to the land by hikers and equestrians than bikers. Bikes don't litter, people (of all stripes) litter.

    "Then the "sanitizers" will get in there and modify things so everything is nice, smooth and buff enough for their rigid single speeds to climb."

    Funny, I have seen plenty of predominantly bike trails "sanitized" by hikers who don't want to step over or around a rock. As for bikers who sanitize, a pox on them and their houses, but that doesn't mean the rest of us should be restricted. Please refer also back to my previous argument on rogue stunt building--same thought applies here, probably moreso. "Sanitizers" are by nature lazy and won't be carrying the tools necessary to sanitize miles into the backcountry. Your statement about "smooth enough for their rigid single speeds" also belies your ignorance about MTBers. Folks who ride rigid are into the most "pure" bike experience possible. Even though they have the least capabile bikes, they are often the most capable riders and they loathe trail sanitization!

    I've also been disgusted with riding on trails where fellow riders have bear bells constantly ringing going both up and down trails."

    Bear Bells? That's great! I've spent many days hiking the backcountry of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana--prime bear country. It seems every hiker I encountered had a bear bell attached to his walking stick (or super hi-tech, shock-absorbing hiking poles). I've only heard bike bells when a biker is passing a hiker from behind on a crowded multi-use trail, and then it's only a brief jingle. Those damn bells on sticks jingle-jangle with every friggin' step and can be heard for a mile--is that a wilderness experience? Thanks again for pointing out how hikers are as bad, or worse, than bikers.


    " I get stunk out by the exhaust of a not so quiet generator."

    Now you're really off the reservation. No exhause in the Wilderness under any circumstances. My experience with generators has been exclusively with hunters or RV campers who want all the comforts of home. They don't go into the wilderness and, if they do, they certainly don't take their generators. In fact, the only people who burn fossil fuels in the wilderness are the backpackers who set up camp and break out their propane or white gas stoves!

    "That's not solitude. Nor are the group social rides that assemble at the bike shops or the trail heads representative of "solitude". Solitude means the situation of being alone, all by ones self. Not the buddy system, not a group, or a gaggle or you riding with your best buddy. It means you riding by yourself."

    At least you've got one thing right--"Solitude means the situation of being alone." So how is it that encountering another hiker or an equestrian doesn't intrude on your solitude? The issue is people, not whether they are on foot or knobby. If anything, the encounter with a bike (when ridden politely) is far less intrusive on your solitude as it will pass by more quickly, coming or going, and be out of your field of vision/hearing sooner.

    "Perhaps you see now, why mountain bikes don't conveniently fit in Wilderness areas"

    Nope. don't see it as all your arguments are bogus.

    "despites your special interest"

    And your's isn't a "special interest?" That certainly shows your level of self-centeredness. desires to make it so.

    "The definitions by Congress are quite clear what the intended purpose of Wilderness was for."

    Only if you thoroughly research the history and intent behind the Wilderness Act of 1964, which you either haven't done are are blatantly misrepresenting.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  95. #95
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    Seems like a great example of getting people out enjoying nature.
    What the debate really comes down to is a debate over the nature of wilderness. The positions exist in a continuum. On one end, you'd have the pure environmentalists, who say that the environment exists for itself, and should be absolutely protected against human interference. On the other hand, you have, I dunno, Exxon Mobile? Anyway, those who think that the environment exists solely for its availability to humans, and to be exploited by them.

    Every single person who sets foot in the wilderness falls in the middle of those extremes.

    I have spent tons of time in the woods in a non-cyclist capacity - I worked at a camp in the Adirondak Mountains of NY, and spent two weeks leading a trip on the Long Trail in VT. I've hiked all over the place, and ridden my bike many more places.

    The biggest problem I have with the Sierra Club Nazi Facist Evil Wilderness Advocates is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. Hikers want to slog their chubby butts over badly-designed trails at their slow, dreamy pace and set up camp and eat out of their titanium bowls. That's cool, I've done that.

    Mountain bikers want to ride their bikes faster, and usually not for overnighters, and be back out to their cars (or homes).

    Both activities are recreational. Both cause roughly equivalent impacts. Environmentalists (who are mostly shants and khaki shirt wearing hikers) don't want to share their piece of the quiet, alone pie with EXTREME mountain bikers who do truly AWFUL things like wear bright clothing and helmets. (Ride Naked for Access?)

    Looking at the Sierra Club rationale reafirms this "Concerns have been raised about effects such as soil erosion, impacts on plants and animals, displacement of other trail users, and impacts on other users' safety and enjoyment. These concerns argue for special regulation, with effective enforcement, of off-road bicycling." Concerns about soil erosion, and impacts on plants and animals have been effectively answered by IMBA and other organizations. These Nazi's want "special regulation" because they don't like bikes, plain and simple.

    Now back to the subject that started this thread. Challenging the agency interpretation of the Wilderness Act would be practically impossible. Chevron deference makes judicial review of agency interpretation impossible if there is any "reasonable" rationale for the interpretation.

    So I think you're out of luck challenging the agency interpretation of the Wilderness Act.

    Do I think the interpretation is stupid? Yes. But government agencies and courts do things that are blatantly self-serving and stupid all of the time. Environmental law is rife with courts finding agency determinations "unreasonable." A recent decision found that mountain top removal mining didn't deserve Clean Water Act review because the rubble dumped by the mineral removal companies into the streams didn't impact a "navigable water," because the rubble made the streams unnavigable.

    Seriously crazy.

  96. #96
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    C'mon RandBoy. Taking Whistler, Northstar, or Mammoth Mountain as examples of normal erosion caused by MTB bikers is an extreme. The amount of traffic these trails see is insane. No one denies that mountain bikes cause erosion, some of our foes just like to completely blow out of proportion the amount of damage done- and in the process deny that their use group is responsible for a shred of environmental impact. Thousands of mountain bikers flying down a trail week after week is going to have a serious toll on any trail. Can you imagine the damage if you let that many horses run over a trail? There are plenty of hiking trails around Northern California that have been completely been destroyed by poor construction paired with rainfall, and many have experienced detrimental erosion from our furry hoofed friends. One of the biggest causes of erosion are fire roads- and they're everywhere!

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    I agree that getting people out into the wilderness is a good thing. But we have to remember that wilderness, and all open lands, are not just for human recreation but for animal habitat, wildlife migration, biological diversity, and basically a place for evolution to unfold with minimal human interference. The only problem I see with thousands of folks in the Indian Peaks is a major disruption in the life of the animals there, especially the larger predators (mountain lions, bears) that need room to move.

    Other than that, I see no problem. "Trail erosion" is a big joke, especially since horses are so much more destructive.
    "Evolution to unfold with minimal human interference" sounds good to me. It will be interesting as natural climate change takes place and the earth's mean temperature drops or increases by 20 degrees or so how man will adapt to those changes. Hopefully the law will have changed by then. If it will eventually happen I vote for sooner rather than latter.

    TD

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    if the point of Wilderness is to maintain an environment with minimal human influence, then wouldn't it just make sense to heavily limit access from all users with a permit system? I understand a permit system is used already in some cases, but from what I understand, it still doesn't keep use low enough to allow for solitude or "minimal human impact" in some of the busiest Wilderness areas.

    In the one I visited recently, I think it goes for long stretches without seeing a single human user of any kind. I saw one set of footprints in the trails that were not mine...and it had been weeks since the last rain so there's no telling how old they were.

    obviously land managers are not seeking to heavily limit access. I think access gets limited more in many popular National Parks with permit systems in place.

    where does that leave us? well, there's definitely a significant population that doesn't mind not having much solitude when they visit certain Wilderness areas. there is a group that does prefer that, though, and I understand and respect that.

    but what we can say about mountain bikers is this: the folks doing shuttle runs at the popular resort trails are highly unlikely to be the same ones seeking solitude (JUST LIKE many hikers) on Wilderness trails. they certainly won't be riding the same way and they're pretty likely not to be out there in big groups. they would be more likely to be carrying their camping gear (bikepacking is becoming increasingly popular, with few choices for long trails to visit). in short, different people doing different things. the mountain bikers you're likely to see seeking a Wilderness experience are likely to have more in common with a hiker seeking a Wilderness experience than they are with the storm trooper set at the resort trails.

    it's like comparing trail runners and parkour folks to backpackers. they're all traveling on foot, but they're not looking for the same experience, are they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    The message is the same.... you don't shoot the messenger, regardless of whether or not you like or dislike the message, due to ones preconceived notions about implementing change.

    Unfortunately, there is so much denial going on about what mountain bikers do destruction wise, to the land they ride on, that becomes quite evident if you spend 10 days a year doing trail maintenance. Many many hikers climb up to Mount Whitney every year, the trail damage is minimal. The same can be said for all the hiking trails that locals and tourist visitors use around Mammoth Lakes. The trails that see mountain bikers up at Mammoth Lakes are another matter. The wear pattern of the tread of the trail is completely different and needs far more maintenance due to damage. Even on a beginners green circle trail like DownTown on the mountain proper, the erosion from bike tires and hard braking is evident. If you were to ride Off the Top up at Mammoth Mountain Bike Park 3 years ago, you would have seen huge bump braking whoopdees carved into the mountain before every switchback turn, no matter how many time the trail crew filled them back in. The mountain finally decided enough was enough, and put "armor" blocks in, to prevent the constant erosion problems of skid brakers going too fast, and braking too late into the switchbacks, chasing down their buddies. The competitiveness of an individual really comes out when the locals are so much better riders than the visitors that try to keep up with them, due to local knowledge and knowing all the good lines on the trails through memory and experience. I would say that mountain biking attracts a lot of strong, aggressive "A" type personalities that are very competitive. It just seems to be the nature of the beast, it's not a sport for the timid, it's a sport for those who like pain when they climb to earn their downhill rewards for effort exerted.

    Then look at the way some of them dress, wearing darth vader armor outfits. The hikers I hike with don't understand why one would need to use armor, like mountain biking is a contact sport like football. They don't see armor being worn in the Tour of California or the Tour de France races. It's a serious perception problem on the trails, horse back riders and hikers don't feel like "equals" on the trail, they feel like they are at a disadvantage, safety wise. Because they don't feel like equals is probably the main reason they want to keep mountain bikers out of the trails in Wilderness areas. They have to put up with them everywhere else on BLM and Forest Service multiuse trails already.

    When mountain bikers "blend in" with the rest of the trail users, instead of segregating themselves and "standing out" is when they will gain permission. I doubt that will ever happen, it's a mechanized equipment war of having the latest and greatest bike every two years. The younger adults seem to thrive on being seen on the trail in their "battle" uniforms with bright colors, bold graphics, and Troy Lee designed helmet paint jobs.
    I ride all of those areas often and would tend to agree with you.

    The intensity of use on most good MTB trails within a reasonable distance of any population center has got to be a lot higher than comparable hiking only trails. For that reason alone the "impact" would be greater, even if it were provable that the impact of a single MTB rider is the same or less than a single hiker/equestrian.

    But IMHO, if a trail is somewhat remote and not accessible to shuttlers, then it won't end up looking line downtown or off the top in Mammoth. It will show minimal wear, but nothing that merits closure or restricted use.

    And now that I've thrown shuttlers under the bus, let the fun begin.

    R

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    Imagine the Indian Peaks Wilderness just outside of Denver/Boulder should bikes suddenly be allowed in it. It's already the busiest wilderness in America. Just saying.
    Bikes are allowed in many public lands around San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. Some 10 million people live here in a fairly small area. I drive 10 minute from my office for a trail run or a bike ride, and often I would not see more then a couple other people on trails as soon as I get away from the few most popular spots.

    Drive just a bit further, like to Coe park, and often you would not see anybody for miles and miles.

    Bike presence and impact can be effectively managed. Proper trail construction, maybe permit system for the most busy trails, just like with hiking.

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