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  1. #1
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    Hikers Oppose Allowing MTBing in Catkills

    Hikers Oppose Allowing MTBing in Catkills

    The local hiking club is mounting opposition towards a NY State DEC plan that will allow mountain biking in the Catskill Mountains Wilderness areas.

    Please help NY MTBers by sending in your comments.

    Deadline has been extended to June 3rd.

    Do it today!
    ----------------------------


    Catskill Park State Land Master Plan, revised draft 2008

    DEC has released its revised draft master plan for state lands in the Catskills. Among its provisions, the plan proposes to:

    Expand the West Kill Wilderness Area to include most of the Hunter Mountain Wild Forest; create Windham Blackhead Range Wilderness Area by combining the former Blackhead Range and North Mountain Wild Forests with portions of the Windham High Peak and Black Dome Wild Forests.

    The DEC is facing strong pressure to open up some Wilderness trails for mountain bike use, including on Windham High Peak and portions of the Long Path along the Escarpment Trail. There is also an innovative plan to allow mountain bicycling within "primitive bicycle corridors" within wilderness areas that could connect mountain bike trail systems with other trails in non-wilderness areas.

    Public comments are due by June 3 and should be sent to:

    Peter J. Frank
    Bureau Chief
    Forest Preserve Management
    NYSDEC
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4254

    Comments may also be sent to him via email at lfcat@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

    Sample comments should include: sharing of trails in remote areas should be encouraged. Mountain bikers deserve the same access rights as any other user group. The upstate economies can benefit from the tourism generated by mountain bike adventures. It's a low impact positive recreational activity that should be promoted to increase the health and well being of state residents.

    Talking Points:

    -Please improve trail maps and signage to better show trails specifically marked and designed for mountain biking.

    -Please improve bicycle access at my favorite parks. (Provide specific locations.)

    -Parks around the country know mountain biking can help improve visitation, volunteer stewardship and tourism-based local economies.

    -Scientific studies have shown the environmental impacts of bicycling are similar to hiking and far less than other uses.

    -Please promote broad trails communities by implementing equitable trail access policies for all user groups. State Parks are public lands that should be enjoyed by all non-motorized users, including bicyclists.

    Send your comments first, then if you want to read more go to this X-post:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...48210#poststop

    And if you missed it, here's the IMBA action alert:

    http://www.imba.com/news/action_aler..._york_mtb.html


    Thanx!
    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB President
    www.CLIMBonline.org
    www.IMBA.com
    NY State Trails Council Member

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    damn hippies
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

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    Bikers should be opposing hikers from the trails.

  4. #4
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    Is this federal or state wilderness?

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    My question too.

    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    Is this federal or state wilderness?
    I notice this is a state land issue, but I was wondering about that definition of "wilderness". When you see that term in anything regarding federal land considerations, saddle up and get ready for a fight, because you might not even be able to bring a wheelchair in there if it gets wilderness status.

    Wilderness designation is the warm, fuzzy method of getting many uninformed, non-outdoor folk to roll over and go back to watching their reruns of Seinfeld. "Wilderness"...it sounds so wholesome and righteous. What could possibly be wrong with that?...stated in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omega301
    Bikers should be opposing hikers from the trails.
    way wrong, live and let live it's the only way, all i ever get is encouragement and mutual respect from walkers and equestrians over here, there's an atmosphere of, the trails are for everyone, and it works great imo, did this the other week as well as plenty other walkers routes, there's an air of admiration and a knowing nod of are you off yer rocker? but it's all good natured, you should all be campaigning for something like this instead of drawing battle lines, which will get you nowhere bar closed routes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by omega301
    Bikers should be opposing hikers from the trails.
    That's a very sad statement, and I hope it was meant in jest. Lets face it, humans accessed most areas on foot long before bikes came around. There is room to share, but I think some areas should be left to hikers only. If you only bike, you are truly missing the finer details of natural ecosystems that are much more appreciated on foot. Mountain bikes shouldn't be allowed everywhere in my opinion. I absolutely love to mountain bike, but I also enjoy hiking and backpacking. I don't want bikers flying by me when I am on a several day trip into the wilderness with all my gear on my back heading to a remote lake, forest, stream, peak, whatever.

    I am not familiar with the particular area in question on this thread and, therefore, haven't formulated an opinion pertaining to the appropriateness of mountain biking there. But it may be that I would side with the hikers. Small connector trails that hug wilderness boundaries would seem to be more appropriate than biking into the heart of the wilderness.

    Flame away.

  8. #8
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    That's a very sad statement, and I hope it was meant in jest. Lets face it, humans accessed most areas on foot long before bikes came around. There is room to share, but I think some areas should be left to hikers only. If you only bike, you are truly missing the finer details of natural ecosystems that are much more appreciated on foot. Mountain bikes shouldn't be allowed everywhere in my opinion. I absolutely love to mountain bike, but I also enjoy hiking and backpacking. I don't want bikers flying by me when I am on a several day trip into the wilderness with all my gear on my back heading to a remote lake, forest, stream, peak, whatever.

    I am not familiar with the particular area in question on this thread and, therefore, haven't formulated an opinion pertaining to the appropriateness of mountain biking there. But it may be that I would side with the hikers. Small connector trails that hug wilderness boundaries would seem to be more appropriate than biking into the heart of the wilderness.

    Flame away.
    Are there any areas that are designated hiker-only? Designated Wilderness areas allow horseback transport.

    If you were several days back into the backcountry I think the only bikes you'd see would be moving at a backcountry pace (i.e., pretty slowly) since speed-racer training type rides don't venture that far out, and backcountry riders are carrying as much or more gear as a backpacker. Seeing a backcountry biker wouldn't bother me if I were on a backpacking trip.

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    This is state wilderness land. Mountain bikers are looking for maybe .5% of the entire wilderness area for access. I agree that some areas should be off limits for bicycles but this is not one of them. The trails in question are not the type you will be able to ride fast, they are slow and technical in most places.

    Through trail design techniques, you can limit potential conflicts.

    The Catskills is a big access issue for NY mountain bikers. There are tens of thousands of acres of wilderness availible for hiking. If you want to get away from it all, there is plenty of room. Mountain bikers are only looking to enhance and lengthen the trails in adjacent forested areas. Currently, the trail segments are fragmented and these corridors will allow a longer trail to develop.

    The Catskills is dwarfed by the Adirondaks, which is a whole other issue. The Adirondacks, which is the largest wilderness area in NY state is mostly hiking only.
    Last edited by sick4surf; 05-27-2008 at 02:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Are there any areas that are designated hiker-only? Designated Wilderness areas allow horseback transport.

    If you were several days back into the backcountry I think the only bikes you'd see would be moving at a backcountry pace (i.e., pretty slowly) since speed-racer training type rides don't venture that far out, and backcountry riders are carrying as much or more gear as a backpacker. Seeing a backcountry biker wouldn't bother me if I were on a backpacking trip.
    My choice of "hikers only" was poor wording and figured this topic would come up. I have been in Designated Wilderness with minimal horse impacts and also very heavy impacts. Regardless, the "they are allowed so bikes should be allowed too" argument doesn't work for me. (not saying you are making that argument by the way, you were only pointing out that it's not "hikers only", I think) That just leads to more impacts than what we already have. Plus, allowing mechanized travel just opens up a whole can of worms. Mechanized isn't that far from motorized in a lot of motorized advocates minds and gives them even more leverage to push for motorcycles/atvs to be allowed. Mechanized just seems so far removed in my mind from transport that relies strictly on blood and muscle, even if horses are causing huge impacts in areas, which they are.

    I have been to wilderness areas where, due to the layout of the trails, I could forsee bikers setting up base camps to do loop rides and inadvertantly bothering the local denizens and other humans who hiked in to have some peace and quiet. I have hiked these same trails thinking "man, it would be awseome mountain biking here!" But that doesn't mean I would want it to be allowed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    That's a very sad statement, and I hope it was meant in jest. Lets face it, humans accessed most areas on foot long before bikes came around. There is room to share, but I think some areas should be left to hikers only. If you only bike, you are truly missing the finer details of natural ecosystems that are much more appreciated on foot. Mountain bikes shouldn't be allowed everywhere in my opinion. I absolutely love to mountain bike, but I also enjoy hiking and backpacking. I don't want bikers flying by me when I am on a several day trip into the wilderness with all my gear on my back heading to a remote lake, forest, stream, peak, whatever.

    I am not familiar with the particular area in question on this thread and, therefore, haven't formulated an opinion pertaining to the appropriateness of mountain biking there. But it may be that I would side with the hikers. Small connector trails that hug wilderness boundaries would seem to be more appropriate than biking into the heart of the wilderness.

    Flame away.

    Agree 1000%

    The entire world is NOT a trail, contrary to what many here believe. Leaving some trails to hikers only preserves the peace and tranquility which is lost when a biker flies through at 30 mph.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by sick4surf
    This is state wilderness land. Mountain bikers are looking for maybe 5% of the entire wilderness area for access. I agree that some areas should be off limits for bicycles but this is not one of them. The trails in question are not the type you will be able to ride fast, they are slow and technical in most places.

    Through trail design techniques, you can limit potential conflicts.

    The Catskills is a big access issue for NY mountain bikers. There are tens of thousands of acres of wilderness availible for hiking. If you want to get away from it all, there is plenty of room to share.

    The Catskills is dwarfed by the Adirondaks, which is a whole other issue. The Adirondacks, which is the largest wilderness area in NY state is mostly hiking only.
    And like I said, I am not aware of the local issues or where my opinion would fall without doing more homework. I am commenting based on what I know of large western U.S. designated Wilderness Areas, and because of that it probably doesn't apply here. I was bringing up the point, however, because I have been involved with local access issues in the past where bikers were unwilling to budge on not being allowed wherever hikers were allowed. I am generally of the attitude though, as far as Federal Wilderness, bikes shouldn't be allowed. In quickly perusing, it appears the hikers are willing to budge in some areas, but not others.

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    NY state is full of self-righteous roadies who don't like to see mountain bikes when they hike. They join forces with their granola friends who hate everything remotely fun and see themselves as stewards of the land and surprise.... no trail access.

    I'd like to say I'm being sarcastic but sadly, that's how things work around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    Agree 1000%

    The entire world is NOT a trail, contrary to what many here believe. Leaving some trails to hikers only preserves the peace and tranquility which is lost when a biker flies through at 30 mph.

    By the same token, I would not mind seeing some trails designated "Cyclists Only" so I don't have to worry about the bi-annual hikers w/o a clue (leafers and first-day-of-spring types) that we actually are on the trail. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've yet to see something like that all though I've seen plenty of hiker only trails. They don't want to be "interrupted" during their hikes, right? I hate going down a trail to lock up my brakes for a large group of hikers going by to "interrupt" me. That's what this pretty much boils down to.

    BTW: I like to know how the hell you hit an avg of 30mph?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    My choice of "hikers only" was poor wording and figured this topic would come up. I have been in Designated Wilderness with minimal horse impacts and also very heavy impacts. Regardless, the "they are allowed so bikes should be allowed too" argument doesn't work for me. (not saying you are making that argument by the way, you were only pointing out that it's not "hikers only", I think) That just leads to more impacts than what we already have. Plus, allowing mechanized travel just opens up a whole can of worms. Mechanized isn't that far from motorized in a lot of motorized advocates minds and gives them even more leverage to push for motorcycles/atvs to be allowed. Mechanized just seems so far removed in my mind from transport that relies strictly on blood and muscle, even if horses are causing huge impacts in areas, which they are.

    I have been to wilderness areas where, due to the layout of the trails, I could forsee bikers setting up base camps to do loop rides and inadvertantly bothering the local denizens and other humans who hiked in to have some peace and quiet. I have hiked these same trails thinking "man, it would be awseome mountain biking here!" But that doesn't mean I would want it to be allowed.
    that's like saying it's my ball and nobodies getting a game, pretty selfish really. america is a pretty massive country, more than enough space to allow non motorised free access to bikes, people and equestrians.

    If it's allowed, wilderness access will order itself, you'll get areas with mostly bikes, mostly hikers, mostly equestrians, and you'll also get them mixing sometimes realising each other group actually doesn't come from another planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    My choice of "hikers only" was poor wording and figured this topic would come up. I have been in Designated Wilderness with minimal horse impacts and also very heavy impacts. Regardless, the "they are allowed so bikes should be allowed too" argument doesn't work for me. (not saying you are making that argument by the way, you were only pointing out that it's not "hikers only", I think)
    No, I wasn't making that argument. I'm glad you distinguished that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    That just leads to more impacts than what we already have. Plus, allowing mechanized travel just opens up a whole can of worms. Mechanized isn't that far from motorized in a lot of motorized advocates minds and gives them even more leverage to push for motorcycles/atvs to be allowed. Mechanized just seems so far removed in my mind from transport that relies strictly on blood and muscle, even if horses are causing huge impacts in areas, which they are.
    Probably true. More potentially damaging than recreational mechanized transport would be mechanized transport for some industrial purpose (e.g., mining, drilling). Slippery slope, I guess. Depends on which knucklehead is in charge of the country.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    I have been to wilderness areas where, due to the layout of the trails, I could forsee bikers setting up base camps to do loop rides and inadvertantly bothering the local denizens and other humans who hiked in to have some peace and quiet. I have hiked these same trails thinking "man, it would be awseome mountain biking here!" But that doesn't mean I would want it to be allowed.
    I can appreciate having peace and quiet, but hikers and equestrians aren't necessarily quiet and peaceful just because they're using their own power (or the horses' power). I've come across some groups that were loud as hell with plenty of commotion. There should be a mandatory "No Yapping" zone.

    I think the best way to ensure peace and quiet is to lock yourself in your house alone, but for an outdoors experience I think you have to get wayyyy back out there. Quietly riding a bike 70 miles into the backcountry would just about do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I can appreciate having peace and quiet, but hikers and equestrians aren't necessarily quiet and peaceful just because they're using their own power (or the horses' power). I've come across some groups that were loud as hell with plenty of commotion. There should be a mandatory "No Yapping" zone.
    Very true, I have heard more than one late night group of hikers and horsemen making a huge amount of commotion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I think the best way to ensure peace and quiet is to lock yourself in your house alone, but for an outdoors experience I think you have to get wayyyy back out there. Quietly riding a bike 70 miles into the backcountry would just about do it.
    I don't disagree that backcountry bikers with the right mentality could be pretty low key and I would have no problem with those folks, in fact pedaling 70 miles into the backcountry sounds really nice. My concern is that it opens up the floodgate to lots of riders who don't necessarily give a crap about the habitat and flora/fauna, they just want some place pretty to pedal their bikes. And, I'm not saying all hikers and horse riders give a crap either, but I sure hate to see more impacts than there are now. And anyone who can bike is also capable of walking in order to see those places, so they are not off limits to those folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seosamh
    that's like saying it's my ball and nobodies getting a game, pretty selfish really. america is a pretty massive country, more than enough space to allow non motorised free access to bikes, people and equestrians.

    If it's allowed, wilderness access will order itself, you'll get areas with mostly bikes, mostly hikers, mostly equestrians, and you'll also get them mixing sometimes realising each other group actually doesn't come from another planet.
    Aren't bike riders already people? They DO have access, on foot.

    Wilderness access will order itself? If that's they case why are there so many conflicts now?

    The wilderness experience should be just that in my opinion. Experience the wilderness. That doesn't necessitate riding a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashedandburned
    By the same token, I would not mind seeing some trails designated "Cyclists Only" so I don't have to worry about the bi-annual hikers w/o a clue (leafers and first-day-of-spring types) that we actually are on the trail. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've yet to see something like that all though I've seen plenty of hiker only trails. They don't want to be "interrupted" during their hikes, right? I hate going down a trail to lock up my brakes for a large group of hikers going by to "interrupt" me. That's what this pretty much boils down to.

    BTW: I like to know how the hell you hit an avg of 30mph?
    This is a good point, and I don't disagree with having some bikers only trails that are well planned out.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Aren't bike riders already people? They DO have access, on foot.

    Wilderness access will order itself? If that's they case why are there so many conflicts now?

    The wilderness experience should be just that in my opinion. Experience the wilderness. That doesn't necessitate riding a bike.
    This comes up fairly often in a Seattle area listserv as well, and some have similar near religious views of what the 'wilderness experience' should be like. Personally, I think the uses should be what the law allows (meaning in Federal Wilderness, the meaning of mechanical transport as commonly used in the CFRs at the time of enactment - not sure about this state managed area). Excluding users because they're not 'experiencing' nature in the same manner as you isn't right, but seems to be a common hiker philosophy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seosamh
    that's like saying it's my ball and nobodies getting a game, pretty selfish really. america is a pretty massive country, more than enough space to allow non motorised free access to bikes, people and equestrians.

    If it's allowed, wilderness access will order itself, you'll get areas with mostly bikes, mostly hikers, mostly equestrians, and you'll also get them mixing sometimes realising each other group actually doesn't come from another planet.
    More then enough space, if one or two groups doesn't continually push the other groups into ever smaller areas. The problem is we're not gaining any more signifant public lands, but populations are growing, including hikers, mtn bikers, horses, motos, jeeps, etc. But with every Wilderness area added, it pushes the groups not allowed in W into smaller and smaller areas, concentrating their use and impact. Bottom line, with more people on the trails, all the users need to get along better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Aren't bike riders already people? They DO have access, on foot.
    You sure you're not Mike Vandeman? That's his exact argument for banning all cyclists on all trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Wilderness access will order itself? If that's they case why are there so many conflicts now?
    Selfishness. Because of this very issue of people trying to ban cyclists because of some perceived notion that we're going to destroy "their" trails or interrupt "their" hike. Not saying we don't have cyclists that are less than good representatives, but overall, it seems like we're the ones trying to bend over backwards to appease everyone else and this seems to be the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    The wilderness experience should be just that in my opinion. Experience the wilderness. That doesn't necessitate riding a bike.
    And who are you to say what my experience in the woods should be? Sorry, but when hiking, I considering it walking death. It's boring to me, but hey I don't want to judge others. If you want to hike it, all power to you. I prefer to bike. I'll take time to smell the roses.

    Your argument that cycling is just one step from allowing motorized traffic on the trail doesn't cut it. The human body is not going to put out that kinda power, noise or pollution of an atv.
    Last edited by crashedandburned; 05-28-2008 at 05:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Aren't bike riders already people? They DO have access, on foot.

    Wilderness access will order itself? If that's they case why are there so many conflicts now?

    The wilderness experience should be just that in my opinion. Experience the wilderness. That doesn't necessitate riding a bike.
    ment people as hikers/walkers obv.

    Also "Experience the wilderness" that doesn't exclude riding a bike either.

    There are conflicts becasue people are greedy and want it all to themselves, no other reason, history is full of people wanting land for themselves, it's an archiac tradition that really is about time it stopped.

    And i'm sorry but you don't have a monopoly on the wilderness experience, well as a walker you probably do in america..but it doesn't have to be that way, i'm allowed on about 99% of trails here it works well, granted it's a small country only with a population of 5million in an area of 30,414 square miles, but the government has been promoting a countryside code for the last few years that is enshrined in law and i can see the effect it has on everyone, people do follow it, if i go on a walkers path i'll wait till people pass, if i see horses i stop let them pass, 99% of people are friendly, i'm not ruining anyones experience simply because i'm on a bike, and tbh if you do get annoyed becasue i am then you are the one with issues...

    it's not as if all forest and mountain areas have suddenly been destoryed by an influx of bikes, on the contrary, there is more open space available to be used, so the impact is less as people generally go out to get away from it all so aren't using the same trails constanly, it's very easy to have your wilderness experience if you want to without try to ruin others fun, as i say, the wilderness if a vast place, even in this small country, i know places i could go and not see people for weeks, months even...If you want that kind of experience go and find it, don't ruin others experience in the process of finding it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree
    Bottom line, with more people on the trails, all the users need to get along better.
    pretty much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree
    Excluding users because they're not 'experiencing' nature in the same manner as you isn't right, but seems to be a common hiker philosophy.
    Using this logic we could then say that if someone prefers their wilderness experience to be via motorcycle, Hummer, or armored tank, they should all be allowed.

    Quote Originally Posted by ACree
    Bottom line, with more people on the trails, all the users need to get along better.
    I don't disagree with this at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by seosamh
    it's not as if all forest and mountain areas have suddenly been destoryed by an influx of bikes, ...
    Not all, certainly, but there are many instances of erosion and water quality impacts.

    Quote Originally Posted by crashed and burned
    Not saying we don't have cyclists that are less than good representatives, but overall, it seems like we're the ones trying to bend over backwards to appease everyone else and this seems to be the results.
    Maybe this is part of the difficulty for me. I have seen way too many bikers that have the aggro mentality that they are bad asses because they mountain bike. I have had encounters with macho guy bikers thinking everyone should move out of there way as they fly down the hill. I have NEVER had a bad encounter with another hiker, and have been hiking for 30+ years and biking for 15+. And you know what, I like to haul ass on the downhill too, but I give the folks coming up the hill (on foot, bike, horse, whatever) the pleasure of enjoying their trip by not blowing past them like a bat out of hell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump

    Not all, certainly, but there are many instances of erosion and water quality impacts.


    due to cycling? without evidence i'd guess hikers would probably be more likely to cause contamination as they spend longer in the one area than cyclists.

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    What's the real issue here?

    Seems similar to the root of all worldly conflicts.

    Can't we all coexist?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Using this logic we could then say that if someone prefers their wilderness experience to be via motorcycle, Hummer, or armored tank, they should all be allowed.
    Lets be fair here, we are talking about backcountry mountain biking, not DH shuttle runs right? I think its a big stretch to compare backcountry biking to riding a motorcycle or driving a Hummer.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Not all, certainly, but there are many instances of erosion and water quality impacts.
    Give some examples please. I agree this can be the case where the trails are easily accesible and especially when they are shuttleable (is that a word?), but this impact comes from all user groups mainly because of the sheer (or shear?) numbers. But give some examples of true back country trails where the environment suffers from mountain bikes more than from hikers.
    The Revolution will not be motorized...especially at $5 per gallon.

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    Could we get some more specifics?

    Sick4surf,

    Along with your initial post, could you offer us some more specifics about the contested trail corridors? We in Montana are looking at corridors as an important part of our access problems. I want to comment intelligently and don't have time for homework in the next couple of days. I venture a guess that these are not areas that bikers could fly around doing 30 mph. Maybe the trail characteristics could be explained (rocky, rooty, ridgeline, views). Also how the loops would be enhanced with the addition of these as corridors. Thanks, Greg
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

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    i know i keep mentioning how things are over here in scotland, but i think it's a good example that could be looked in to by countries who have access issues and would help to stem alot of fears groups looking to ban bikes have, hell the english should impliment it also... but they are stuck in a similar access position to yourselves.

    but in regards to fears that if you open up the countryside to bikes you will see a massive influx of riders all over the place; really about 85%(guestimate) of mtbers only want to ride at designated trail centres, people like myself who enjoy the exploring and the excitement of finding and seeing new trails are very much in the minority, as it takes a good bit of effort and study to find trails that aren't advertised anywhere. the majority simply aren't able to or willing to put the effort in, i have about 19 designated trail centre's i can go to in a 4 hr drive, most in 2 or under, these cater for the vast majority of riders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sick4surf
    What's the real issue here?

    Seems similar to the root of all worldly conflicts.

    Can't we all coexist?

    Sadly, I think the short answer to that is probably 'no'.

    Everyone wants the sandbox to themselves...

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    Quote Originally Posted by KONA_in_SB
    Lets be fair here, we are talking about backcountry mountain biking, not DH shuttle runs right? I think its a big stretch to compare backcountry biking to riding a motorcycle or driving a Hummer.



    Give some examples please. I agree this can be the case where the trails are easily accesible and especially when they are shuttleable (is that a word?), but this impact comes from all user groups mainly because of the sheer (or shear?) numbers. But give some examples of true back country trails where the environment suffers from mountain bikes more than from hikers.
    I wasn't comparing biking to motorcycles or hummers, I was comparing the logic uilized behind the statement made by Acree. His statement didn't limit which way user groups may choose to experience wilderness only that they should be allowed to choose the method as they see it. ATVers use this argument all the time. My statement may have pushed the drama button a bit but I don't think my analogy was incorrect.

    I base the comments on increased erosion and water quality impacts only on what I have seen over the years on the trails I am familiar with. Trails that used to see very few bikers that over the past 15 years have exploded with biker use show clear evidence of erosion on switchback corners from skidding, and on stream crossings that have a steep grade of loose material on the uphill side. It's not rocket science. I have been guilty at times just like any other rider. I started choosing to avoid more impacted trails on my bike, and walk across many stream crossing. Additionally I have seen many illegal trails being built that are very poorly laid out in silty loam ravines in arid regions. I will agree that these are easily accessible areas, but allowing access in other areas may certainly lead to increased usage.

    I did find a synopsis of the literature by one individual on the internet that is somewhat critical of some of the earlier research: http://www.wildlandscpr.org/ecologic...erature-review

    IMBA cites more recent counter research here: http://www.imba.com/news/news_releas...b_impacts.html

    They also make arguments here: http://www.imba.com/resources/scienc...t_summary.html

    A differing opinion is here: http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/scb7

    Feel free to sort through it all. All I know is what I have seen first hand over the years in the area that, until very recently, I spent 30 years traveling around the backcountry on foot, bike, skis, motorcycles, and a few occasions on horseback. I am not "anti" other users, but I have strong opinions on where I feel those uses should occur. I limit my own activity accordingly and am happy to do so. If others don't agree that's fine. I have stated my opinion, and that's what it is, my opinion.

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    (sigh)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    ure by one individual on the internet that is somewhat critical of some of the earlier research: http://www.wildlandscpr.org/ecologic...erature-review
    good read, cheers, leads to more question than answers tho. i'd agree lots more studies are needed. interesting point that trail users impact after the initial build may well be insignificant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashedandburned
    By the same token, I would not mind seeing some trails designated "Cyclists Only" so I don't have to worry about the bi-annual hikers w/o a clue (leafers and first-day-of-spring types) that we actually are on the trail. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've yet to see something like that all though I've seen plenty of hiker only trails. They don't want to be "interrupted" during their hikes, right? I hate going down a trail to lock up my brakes for a large group of hikers going by to "interrupt" me. That's what this pretty much boils down to.

    BTW: I like to know how the hell you hit an avg of 30mph?
    There are some cyclist only trails in my area, but that isn't respected at all. You get all these people that want to go for a walk in a park and choose to go on bike only trails instead of the myriad of foot traffic only and designated multi use trails. I try and let this slide most of the time, it's not a big deal to slow down or stop to let some people walk by, and at least they're getting outside and doing something. My view is totally different when it comes to horses on bike only, rider maintained trails. Riding over hoofprints for a couple hundred yards because some ******* took their glue sticks out in the mud is infuriating, and a common occurrence in Texas. I'd love to see one of them on the trails to ask them why they think they have the right to come ruin trails that riders maintain and they do nothing for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Owler
    Do not dispute right of way with a tree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Using this logic we could then say that if someone prefers their wilderness experience to be via motorcycle, Hummer, or armored tank, they should all be allowed.
    No Mike, but using this logic, activities with similar impact, i.e., mtn biking and hiking, would be afforded similar trail access. And in the perfect world, trail use management would be done in an unbiased manner on the basis of impact. Then we wouldn't have so many ridiculous situations where horses are allowed and bikes aren't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree
    No Mike, but using this logic, activities with similar impact, i.e., mtn biking and hiking, would be afforded similar trail access. And in the perfect world, trail use management would be done in an unbiased manner on the basis of impact. Then we wouldn't have so many ridiculous situations where horses are allowed and bikes aren't.
    I have been called a lot of things, but never Mike.

    I don't disagree with with the similar impact comment. But you have to consider aesthetic impacts as well as physical IMO. I'm not convinced bikes do less physical damage than hikers (depending on trail and user density) and, based on personal experience, bikers seem to have a larger percentage of obnoxious types. It seems, from comments I have read, other countries are more ready to offer common trail courtesy across user groups. I love my country, but it's unfortunate that it is so full of idiots that ruin the outdoor experience for others. And yes, the horse thing has gotten way out of hand.

    And I still contend allowing mechanized travel gives the motorized group more leverage. A fire in the belly to keep fighting for access that much harder, if nothing else.

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    That sounds great! I'm not aware of any "cyclists only" trails here. DC, Pa, WV area's. I know of a few that horses are banned from and one is labeled "mountain bike trail", but no restrictions for foot traffic.

    So you're saying that even though the trail is marked for cyclists, you have "poaching" issues. Interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    I have been called a lot of things, but never Mike.

    I don't disagree with with the similar impact comment. But you have to consider aesthetic impacts as well as physical IMO. I'm not convinced bikes do less physical damage than hikers (depending on trail and user density) and, based on personal experience, bikers seem to have a larger percentage of obnoxious types. It seems, from comments I have read, other countries are more ready to offer common trail courtesy across user groups. I love my country, but it's unfortunate that it is so full of idiots that ruin the outdoor experience for others. And yes, the horse thing has gotten way out of hand.

    And I still contend allowing mechanized travel gives the motorized group more leverage. A fire in the belly to keep fighting for access that much harder, if nothing else.
    I don't think aesthetics have any place in the consideration of what trails can be utilized by whom. Saying that bikes should not be allowed in a certain area because they "detract from the view" or because they are obnoxious is ridiculous. Perhaps you should only be allowed to hike on a trail if you are wearing certain colors, because black is, you know, not aesthetically pleasing (to me) and detracts from my enjoyment of the view of the expansive countryside.

    Your paranoid delusion about opening trails to bicycles because they are "mechanized" leading to the infiltration of the H2 army is absurd if for no other reason than we all know H2 drivers never take their vehicles off road . Seriously though, there should be a distinction between "mechanized travel" and "motorized travel". A human powered bicycle will never, ever be able to put out the damaging power of a motorcycle or ATV. Most cyclists are at least somewhat concerned with the environment and longevity of the trail systems they enjoy. Most of them understand that skidding causes erosion issues and should be avoided if at all possible, not to mention it is the sign of an inferior rider with weak cornering/descending skills . Now, certainly, there are many that don't understand this concept, as there are certainly some within the hiking community that lack trail stewardship at times as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregB406
    Sick4surf,

    Along with your initial post, could you offer us some more specifics about the contested trail corridors? We in Montana are looking at corridors as an important part of our access problems. I want to comment intelligently and don't have time for homework in the next couple of days. I venture a guess that these are not areas that bikers could fly around doing 30 mph. Maybe the trail characteristics could be explained (rocky, rooty, ridgeline, views). Also how the loops would be enhanced with the addition of these as corridors. Thanks, Greg
    I think the bottom line in any access issue boils down to one word: Respect.

    People should respect others they met. It's the bad eggs that give everyone in the group a negative image.

    Think about politicians...most of them are doing good things for us but it's the bad apples that get all the press and makes us formulate opinions on the whole group.

    To answer Greg's question, the trail characteristics can be best described as rooty and rocky with some views and open sections with good sight lines, they are technical XC trails by Long Island standards. The loops would be enhanced because several small fragmented (stand alone) trail systems would be able to be connected through these wilderness corridors (rocky fire roads) to create an area that would be good for at least more than a few hours of trail riding. These are not areas where one could downhill or bomb.

    Here is a link to a trail segment pic posted by pedaler345:

    https://www.fatsinthecats.com/photos...10007/929a.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieXCRacer
    I don't think aesthetics have any place in the consideration of what trails can be utilized by whom. Saying that bikes should not be allowed in a certain area because they "detract from the view" or because they are obnoxious is ridiculous. Perhaps you should only be allowed to hike on a trail if you are wearing certain colors, because black is, you know, not aesthetically pleasing (to me) and detracts from my enjoyment of the view of the expansive countryside.
    I also don't think we can exclude a group based on aesthetics since aesthetics is personal and subjective. Based on my past experiences, it's middle-aged white male hikers with beards and nylon shirts that are the most irritable and annoying. I would love to exclude that group because they completely foul up the outdoor experience for me, but that wouldn't be fair to the shrews who married them and want them out of the house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieXCRacer
    Your paranoid delusion about opening trails to bicycles because they are "mechanized" leading to the infiltration of the H2 army is absurd if for no other reason than we all know H2 drivers never take their vehicles off road .
    Sit in a few meetings with groups like the Blue Ribbon Coalition and I think you will change your tune whether "if bikes are allowed, then motorized should be allowed too" is delusional. I'm not talking Hummers, I am referring to ATVs and motorcycles. It's based on past experience, not delusion. They align themselves with other users now, because it gives them credibility and leverage. They started as a group of motorized advocates.

    Quote Originally Posted by AggieXCRacer
    I don't think aesthetics have any place in the consideration of what trails can be utilized by whom.
    Maybe aesthetics is the wrong word. With motorized it would be noise/air pollution. I think bikes barreling down the hills would not be as bad, but it would be worse than the guy in the Hawaiin shirt with the tourist get up IMO. And it is subjective, so maybe it does get back to physical impacts. I think the research isn't definitive enough to allow bikes. I have seen increased impacts by bikes in certain watersheds. And again, I feel that people that bike can get there on foot anyway, so they are not being excluded personally, only in the method they get there. The whole goddam world doesn't have to be pedaled on to be enjoyed. .
    Last edited by BumpityBump; 05-29-2008 at 03:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I also don't think we can exclude a group based on aesthetics since aesthetics is personal and subjective. Based on my past experiences, it's middle-aged white male hikers with beards and nylon shirts that are the most irritable and annoying. I would love to exclude that group because they completely foul up the outdoor experience for me, but that wouldn't be fair to the shrews who married them and want them out of the house.
    Now that's pretty funny.

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    sent my comments

    Just sent my comments, thanks for the urging. It's a precedent setting plan.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    I have been called a lot of things, but never Mike.
    Funny, there's another guy named Mike that makes similar arguments to yours. I must have confused you with him.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    I don't disagree with with the similar impact comment. But you have to consider aesthetic impacts as well as physical IMO. I'm not convinced bikes do less physical damage than hikers (depending on trail and user density) and, based on personal experience, bikers seem to have a larger percentage of obnoxious types. It seems, from comments I have read, other countries are more ready to offer common trail courtesy across user groups. I love my country, but it's unfortunate that it is so full of idiots that ruin the outdoor experience for others. And yes, the horse thing has gotten way out of hand.

    And I still contend allowing mechanized travel gives the motorized group more leverage. A fire in the belly to keep fighting for access that much harder, if nothing else.
    No, you don't have to consider aesthetic impacts. Remember, we have separation of church and state.

    I wouldn't necessarily argue bikes do less damage then hikers in general, but I disagree with those who say bikes are worse then hikers. In terms of longer loops, I think the impact of bikes is less then hikers, since bikes can be in and out in a day, where hikers will spend multiple days on the same loop, camping, building fires, and crapping in the woods. Which group has more impact on the trail, wildlife and environment?

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