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  1. #1
    mm9
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    Current State of Access Issues?

    I haven't been keeping up with the political and access side of mountain biking for quite a while. Last I heard a year or two ago, mountain bikes were being considered a possible acceptable mode of transportation by the wilderness groups.

    Here are a few questions:

    1) What is the current overall state of mountain bike access in our national forests? and in our wilderness areas?

    2) I have to imagine that mountain biking is now one of the largest activities in the forest by population participation numbers. Seems like I saw a while back that it's second only to day hiking?? does anyone know the numbers.

    3) Should mountain biking organizations align with other groups who are losing access, such as horseback riders, offroad motorcyclists etc., or should we stay independent - there are clearly pros and cons. Pros from greater numbers but potential cons from being aligned with less desirable groups in the eyes of the wilderness folks.

  2. #2
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    We, mountain bikers, are the undesirables. Although studies have shown that horse traffic does far more damage to trails than mountain bikes. I personally don't think aligning mountain bikers with any motorized user group would be in our best interest. To be able to work with hikers, horse riders, and any and all non-motorized trail users is the only way, in my opinion, that we, mountain bikers, have a chance of continuing to be able to access the trails we now have, and the possibility to have new trail privileges in the future.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  3. #3
    jake the snake
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    well forget the horse thing they CRAP EVERYWHERE.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm9
    Last I heard a year or two ago, mountain bikes were being considered a possible acceptable mode of transportation by the wilderness groups.
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by mm9

    1) What is the current overall state of mountain bike access in our national forests? and in our wilderness areas?
    Depends upon a few things. Ranger Districts will accommodate their users, but they are subject to the influence by local advocacy groups. Individual mountain bikers or mt. bike advocacy groups are key to maintaining access, especially so if there are groups working to kick you/us out.

    Quote Originally Posted by mm9
    2) I have to imagine that mountain biking is now one of the largest activities in the forest by population participation numbers. Seems like I saw a while back that it's second only to day hiking??
    Probably but horse people have money power and influence and are active in their advocacy. So even though their numbers are less it doesn't matter, they can ride just about anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by mm9
    3) Should mountain biking organizations align with other groups who are losing access, such as horseback riders, offroad motorcyclists etc., or should we stay independent - there are clearly pros and cons. Pros from greater numbers but potential cons from being aligned with less desirable groups in the eyes of the wilderness folks.
    i think mountain bike organizations should align themselves with other mountain bike orgs. It's an absolute mistake to think that any other user group has our best interests in line. Mountain bikes are allowed on just about every trail open to a motorcycle. They also clear local trails here of deadfall/blowdown timber. Without them and their work many trails would be impossible to ride. They can clear a 10 mile trail easily in a day.

    Want proof? Here's a link.
    http://threedouglass.com/orv_logout.html

    Now when it comes to ORV groups pushing for more trails for quads and turning good singletrack into huge freeway trails, i'm not for that.

    Also aligning yourself with hiker and equestrian groups, you better count on them offering knives to your back and advice that is equivalent to a hangmans noose, (they make such a comfortable necklace). i've heard and seen it.

    i also believe that we all recreate and enjoy the trails in so similar a manner. All of us. And when on the trail i appreciate seeing and talking with all other trail users. Obviously we're all people on the trail. And while i think their can and should be unique opportunities where groups can cooperate and work together. i think for the most part mountain bikers should represent their own interests, and if that means being cozy with the hikers, then so be it. But don't expect them to hold our interests especially if it conflicts with their agendas.
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  5. #5
    mm9
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    Thanks good points.

  6. #6
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm9
    I haven't been keeping up with the political and access side of mountain biking for quite a while. Last I heard a year or two ago, mountain bikes were being considered a possible acceptable mode of transportation by the wilderness groups.

    Here are a few questions:

    1) What is the current overall state of mountain bike access in our national forests? and in our wilderness areas?

    3) Should mountain biking organizations align with other groups who are losing access, such as horseback riders, offroad motorcyclists etc., or should we stay independent - there are clearly pros and cons. Pros from greater numbers but potential cons from being aligned with less desirable groups in the eyes of the wilderness folks.
    It seems like the access to National Forest is pretty good for MTBers. In some places better than others. In Virginia, we are allowed anywhere but wilderness or a few hiker only trails that weren't designed for multiple use.

    Wilderness - I don't really see that happening. It can be done but only if the user groups sit down at the table together and adjust boundaries to un-include our favorite trails and roads. Happened a year or so ago in VA, but it is not happening now in WV and I believe Montana.

    I believe we must stay independent of other motorized users, but out of necessity hook up with horseback and hiker groups when needed. An uneasy but necessary allignment. As one of the other posters noted - those horse folks have power and influence far beyond their numbers.

    In VA, the horse people recently came up with State funding to build 60 miles of trail loops on Forest Service land near Douthat State Park (a local MTB and hiker 40 mile network). We will be working together on that. The Forest Service wants us involved - probably because they know we will maintain more than our share of the trails.

    CCR

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