Wheels over Wilderness- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wheels over Wilderness

    AKA Bill H.R. 1349 made it over one hurdle thanks to the Sustainable Trails Coalition, which would give land managers the discretion to allow bikes in Wilderness where it is appropriate. If this were to pass, which trails in the Pisgah Wilderness would be of the most benefit in connecting existing bike trails or be the most appropriate for bike travel ?
    Additionally, I am also curious which current hiking only trails (non-wilderness) would be the most coveted to have open for bikes.

  2. #2
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    I do not think any trails within wilderness areas of Pisgah District itself should be considered for bikes. They are all not really suited for biking and, more importantly, provide a destination for hikers looking to be away from bikes in a very densely used area. This reduces user conflict and we (mtbers) have an abundance of trails that are open to us here.

    This does not apply in other areas. An example I personally am familiar with is the Colorado Trail- sections of it that are in wilderness should, IMO, be considered for bike traffic. This is not to say each section should immediately be opened- this should be carefully examined.

    For hiking only trails, in Pisgah District I'd look at the ones that people poach all the time anyway. The Shut-in section above Bent Creek is probably the best example of this.

    Grandfather district is a whole other story. All those hiking only trails that are in proposed wilderness upon which the main users are bikes? Open 'em up.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'm also curious if PAS members are on board with IMBA's opposition to this bill ? It's puzzling to see the mountain biking community all up in a lather about e-mtbs, but asleep at the wheel on potentially the most important piece of Wilderness legislation concerning mtbs since bikes were banned in 1984.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    Thanks. I'm also curious if PAS members are on board with IMBA's opposition to this bill ? It's puzzling to see the mountain biking community all up in a lather about e-mtbs, but asleep at the wheel on potentially the most important piece of Wilderness legislation concerning mtbs since bikes were banned in 1984.
    I think there is a lot of misunderstanding around the bill and what it will change, which results in some opposition around it among the mountain bike community. I've talked to a handful of folks that oppose the bill because they don't believe bikes belong in wilderness, but they also don't know the history behind the bill (massive closures out west) and the fact that openings are up to the land managers and it isn't a blanket opening. It seems like a lot of them just read articles from outdoor magazines or other biased sources rather than looking at what the bill actually does.

    It doesn't really effect us here right now, but IIRC a proposed wilderness expansion in Pisgah a few years ago included several hatchery area trails. I believe there was discussion about it here, in fact, so it very well could be an issue for us in the future. I'm sure someone could comment more on what that was about or if I'm remembering wrong.

    I don't think it'll change much for us here currently, I don't see any of the existing areas opening up especially given current discussions, but it is a play towards the future when it could become an issue. I'd rather know we have the option to locally lobby staff to keep the trails open, if the wilderness area is expanded, than have to lobby in Washington against creating more wilderness. We actually have a chance at coming out on top with the former.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Grandfather district is a whole other story. All those hiking only trails that are in proposed wilderness upon which the main users are bikes? Open 'em up.
    This is apparently already happening. My friend rides out there regularly (he lives near Charlotte) and he said last week the Carsonite markers on Persimmon and an additional section of MST had MTB decals on them now. Greentown to Raiders, IIRC.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    Thanks. I'm also curious if PAS members are on board with IMBA's opposition to this bill ? It's puzzling to see the mountain biking community all up in a lather about e-mtbs, but asleep at the wheel on potentially the most important piece of Wilderness legislation concerning mtbs since bikes were banned in 1984.
    I don't think anyone except IMBA is on board with this tactic. And it (and their eBike position) may be the proverbial nail in their coffin.

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  7. #7
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    It's counter-intuitive I know, but an e-mtb supporter is better off supporting IMBA directly, rather than trying to work with their affiliates, given all the animosity that exists.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, I don't think anything in Pisgah would be affected by the bill that would allow land managers to decide which trails to open for MTB use. I honestly don't think many trails east of the Mississippi would be affected, since not a ton of mtb trails have been closed due to Wilderness designation on this side of the country.

    That's happened a whole lot out west, though, so I expect most of the changes to occur out there. I do anticipate that it'll take awhile for it to happen. Because unless there are some strongly pro-bike land managers that preside over such areas, the law would really just create an opening for riders to start advocating for the re-opening of trails that were closed. Showing up at forest planning meetings and such would be where the real work for that would occur.

  9. #9
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    So the gist of what I'm reading is;if it doesn't directly benefit the Pisgah District right this minute, then no one cares ?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    So the gist of what I'm reading is;if it doesn't directly benefit the Pisgah District right this minute, then no one cares ?
    How did you come to that? You asked a question, and it was answered. I think most here care, I do. Locally, we just won’t see much. And I think imba has seriously lost its way, and no longer advocates for mountain biking. I would think it best for PAS to distance themselves as much as possible.


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  11. #11
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    I read the responses and that was my conclusion. As far as IMBA, I agree with you.
    Their softened approach to e-bikes in no way makes up for their opposition of 1349 for someone like myself who is not opposed to ebikes.

  12. #12
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    What 1349 really underscores for me is how fragmented the mtb community is, compared to the equestrian and hiking advocacy groups. We can not even celebrate a win together without injecting another, bigger concern (ebikes). Keeping ebikes out of the Pisgah District is a bigger concern than gaining Wilderness access nation-wide. Sad.

  13. #13
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    What 1349 really underscores for me is how fragmented the mtb community is, compared to the equestrian and hiking advocacy groups. We can not even celebrate a win together without injecting another, bigger concern (ebikes). Keeping ebikes out of the Pisgah District is a bigger concern than gaining Wilderness access nation-wide. Sad.
    Wilderness access nation wide has not, should not, and will not happen. Some wilderness areas west of here, could potentially see access, should the boots on the ground see fit. Ebikes in the pisgah will most definitely impact the locals. There is a difference. What did you win? As an ebiker, what changed?


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    What 1349 really underscores for me is how fragmented the mtb community is, compared to the equestrian and hiking advocacy groups. We can not even celebrate a win together without injecting another, bigger concern (ebikes). Keeping ebikes out of the Pisgah District is a bigger concern than gaining Wilderness access nation-wide. Sad.
    Those other groups are not as united as you think.

    All user groups are pretty fragmented with opinions that differ on various issues. This is not unique to mtb riders.

    Yes, the Wilderness access question has long been one of those issues about which many mtb riders disagree. It probably always will.

    Of course ebikes are probably always going to be another.

    And they won't be the only issues where mtb riders disagree.

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  15. #15
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    Don't forget, ebikes will probably never see Wilderness access anywhere, either.
    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Wilderness access nation wide has not, should not, and will not happen. Some wilderness areas west of here, could potentially see access, should the boots on the ground see fit. Ebikes in the pisgah will most definitely impact the locals. There is a difference. What did you win? As an ebiker, what changed?


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Ebikes in the pisgah will most definitely impact the locals.


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    In what way ?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    In what way ?
    It takes a lot of energy and creativity to come up with an endless barrage of insults to hurl at pansy ass, ebike riding whiners. Might even have to push some over.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    It takes a lot of energy and creativity to come up with an endless barrage of insults to hurl at pansy ass, ebike riding whiners. Might even have to push some over.


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    Ha. Good one. I'm beginning to like you. Maybe we can watch Anger Management someday and sing along with adam sandler..."i feel pretty...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    What 1349 really underscores for me is how fragmented the mtb community is, compared to the equestrian and hiking advocacy groups. We can not even celebrate a win together without injecting another, bigger concern (ebikes). Keeping ebikes out of the Pisgah District is a bigger concern than gaining Wilderness access nation-wide. Sad.
    Oh, I see. You had a hidden agenda with your original post

    Congratulations, usually I'm pretty difficult to troll. I will take your obfuscation here into account when I see any future posts.

  20. #20
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    Yes Mike, 1-track-mind actually has a one track mind. Its getting old already.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Oh, I see. You had a hidden agenda with your original post

    Congratulations, usually I'm pretty difficult to troll. I will take your obfuscation here into account when I see any future posts.
    You are jumping to conclusions, i had zero intention of bringing ebikes into this. 1349 is a hot enough topic, for folks that truly care about the future of mountain biking access outside of their backyard. Tim brought ebikes into the discussion, not me. Why are you so uptight, my level-headed friend ?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy G. Parrish View Post
    I don't think anyone except IMBA is on board with this tactic. And it (and their eBike position) may be the proverbial nail in their coffin.

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    Not my fault ebikes were mentioned...

  23. #23
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    I'm kind of going to answer your private message to me here. You ask for my "level-headed" input in a private message and then insult me- calling me uptight is an insult- on the public forum.

    Buh-bye.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I'm kind of going to answer your private message to me here.
    You got one too!? I didn't bother replying.

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