Impact of night & winter riding- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmurray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    405

    Impact of night & winter riding

    Here's a good one for you all.

    Does anyone know of any research on the impact of mountain biking at night, particularly on the nocturnal critters (that's a technical term). I'm also looking for impact information about information on winter riding, particularly on XC ski trails.

    A few of our local stewards are getting concerned about the percieved increase in night riding. I say percieved because we have no figures to know if it increasing in popularity or not. A few more of our local stewards are XC skiiers and the don't like bikers wrecking "their" trails.

    I got wind of the fact that a few of our local stewards want to put forward a motion to the land manager to ban both night riding and winter riding. This is a knee jerk reaction of course and it can be attacked on a number of fronts, not the least of which is enforcement problems. But I'd love to have something besides anecdotal evidence to counter their anecdotal arguments.

    I don't seriously think the bans will happen since I already attend the stewardship committee and I've made major brownie points with the land managers this year (a good build does wonders). But it does highlight a conflict issue arising that will have to be dealt with sooner or later.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  2. #2

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    34
    IMBA has a few resources on night riding:

    Success Story: Wakefield A Model for Night Mountain Bike Riding
    http://www.imba.com/resources/bike_m...ht_riding.html

    It contains a number of related articles:

    * Night Riding Pilot Program Staff Proposal
    * Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Night Riding Request
    * Night Riding Pros and Cons
    * What Other Jurisdictions Are Doing
    * Night Riding Revenue Opportunities
    * Night Riding One-Year Review Survey (pdf file format)
    * Final Evaluation and Recommendation to Continue

    Another:
    http://www.imba.com/news/trail_news/...ht_riding.html < mentions impacts on wildlife

    And a few more:
    http://www.imba.com/cgi-bin/search/s...s=night+riding

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JamR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    263
    I’ve tried to do research on the night-use subject, but have come up empty on any meaningful or in-depth research. There are quite a few articles that lightly touch on the subject, but even many of these admit a lack of research.

    One thing I’ve been frustrated with in my own research is the constant skewed slants on the subject depending on the source of the article. Bikers defend biking, hikers defend hiking, equestrians defend their recreation, etc…

    Here’s my personal take on the issue. I believe that all uses in wilderness areas have impact on the wildlife; (hikers, bikers, horses, dogs, ecologists, biologists, photographers, bird-watchers, the utility companies, fire departments, and even the Rangers). The only way to assure that wilderness areas are not subject to any impacts would be to keep everyone out. But this is not realistic and not necessary IMO.

    I believe that nighttime use should be limited, but this also depends heavily on the area where the use is happening. Night recreation taking place on a trail located directly adjacent to a heavily used highway probably has considerably less impact than the highway itself for example. Night recreation in a remote area where there is little or no light intrusion from developed areas would have a greater impact, but even this would depend on the level of use.

    A single group of 15 riders riding together IMO would have minimal impact, since their passing past each area would only take a few seconds, and then the wildlife would be back to normal. 15 riders all riding different routes and crossing the same area multiple times for several hours would have a greater impact.

    A single rider passing a particular intersection in a remote area at night has much less impact than a wildlife monitoring camera in the intersection that flashes every time a predator crosses in front of the camera. The biker may actually cross the intersection while no wildlife is nearby, while the camera flashes intentionally when wildlife is present.

    Not every acre is equal and each area should be managed according to its habitat value, sustainability, and recreation (with recreation having the lowest importance on the scale). If the wilderness areas we love to recreate in are not sustained by us, then they will not be there to enjoy in the future.

    When approaching various land managers about recreation use (daytime or nighttime), just come to the table with an open mind and some fruitful suggestions for managed recreation. The areas that I have personally seen that have experienced the most strife and controversy has happened when recreation enthusiasts (of all types) treat an area with the mentality that they can “go wherever they want, whenever they want”. This typically leads to both habitat and recreational disaster.

    Just some thoughts.


    I can't really comment on the winter riding since I basically enjoy year-round riding locally except for the very occasional heavy rains.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,126
    The only thing I can think of in regard to the night riding is to ask the question "Are nocturnal animals somehow more disturbed by the passage of humans than animals more commonly out in daytime"?

    Regarding the winter use of trails, just how do the skiers perceive cyclists to be ruining their trails? The only issue I've ever heard of, and it sounds like a legitimate gripe, did not involve cyclist / skier conflicts, but hiker and snowshoer versus XC skiers, where the former were postholing packed down ski trails.

  5. #5

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    829
    You have to be kidding!

    Riding at night, or winter riding harming anything?

    No more than the BEER DRINKING in the back woods, or the NEW MALL they built for all the girls to shop at!

    Do you IMBA guys ever rest?
    What next?
    Daylight riding causes tree to grow less?
    Bees are harmed by full suspension MTBs?

    I think it's you who are the harmful effect!

    Take it to the bank! It too was built on land we once had trails on!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmurray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    405

    Dude, we're the good guys

    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    Do you IMBA guys ever rest?
    What next?
    Daylight riding causes tree to grow less?
    Bees are harmed by full suspension MTBs?

    I think it's you who are the harmful effect!

    Take it to the bank! It too was built on land we once had trails on!
    Did you even read the original post? A group of OTHER users wants to ban us riding at night because they feel it causes harm. So I am doing some research so that I can tear their arguments to shreads and not have it happen. If we don't do something to keep our trails, who will?
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  7. #7
    Log off and go ride!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,691
    A night impact argument is grasping at straws. I did a quickie search thru a subscription library service and came up empty. A phone call to a friend, a wildlife biologist with the FS, said he did not think mtn bikes would disturb wildlife any more at night than day, and daytime disturbance is negligible compared to motorized use. He asserts, based on his personal anecdotal experience, is mtn biking and hiking have similar wildlife disturbance impacts, with size of group the main determining factor (i.e. 2 mtn bikers have less impact than 4 hikers, all other conditions equal).

    Winter is different. Most wildlife is stressed during winter and any disturbance, wheel,snowshoes, skis, etc, is an impact.

  8. #8
    Double-metric mtb man
    Reputation: Psycho Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,482
    I'll agree with the night riding items...I can't see any larger impacts that outpace daytime riding...other than a different group of animals will see human activity.

    Winter riding....hmmm.... If you're riding on the XC ski trails, you're going to cause user conflicts...XC skiiers are very upset if people walk/ride/whatever on their tracks as it makes it that much tougher for them. If you're not on their tracks, I don't see it as an issue.

    With the ground frozen (at least up here in the Great White North), there is actually less potential for erosion and trail damage...the trails are solid and can better withstand the forces applied by all trail users. OTOH, care needs to be exercised in areas of tree roots (don't want to damage those with or even without studded tires).
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  9. #9
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,300
    I do not know what sort of trails the XC skiers have in your area. Where I live, the groomed trails are too packed with skiers, and they are too boring to ride on a mountain bike. Depending on the ski trail, again, a bike might or might not cause enough damage to upset people.

    Luckily, I have enough trails that are mainly kept open by people walking with, or without, dogs.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gopherhockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    You have to be kidding!

    Do you IMBA guys ever rest?
    What next?
    This is the kind of attitude that closes mtb trails... then people wonder why and complain even more.

    Keep up the good work on this type or research. We face these types of questions from time to time as well. The more well informed and educated our group can be the more success we will have with the land managers.. and the more night/winter type riding we will have to enjoy!

    Here's to IMBA and its affiliate clubs and reps...

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,126

    dave54, another question for your biologist friend

    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    A night impact argument is grasping at straws. I did a quickie search thru a subscription library service and came up empty. A phone call to a friend, a wildlife biologist with the FS, said he did not think mtn bikes would disturb wildlife any more at night than day, and daytime disturbance is negligible compared to motorized use. He asserts, based on his personal anecdotal experience, is mtn biking and hiking have similar wildlife disturbance impacts, with size of group the main determining factor (i.e. 2 mtn bikers have less impact than 4 hikers, all other conditions equal).

    Winter is different. Most wildlife is stressed during winter and any disturbance, wheel,snowshoes, skis, etc, is an impact.

    Great question and answer. I would think closeness and duration of contact would also be important. 2 or 4 people at a distance just passing through have less impact than a single person who hangs out or tries to get close, I would think.

    Here's the followup. An argument I've heard against night riding is that it is a continuation of the daytime stress of human disturbances, so the animals need "nights off" so to speak.

  12. #12
    Log off and go ride!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,691
    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Great question and answer. I would think closeness and duration of contact would also be important. 2 or 4 people at a distance just passing through have less impact than a single person who hangs out or tries to get close, I would think...
    That's very true. Several peer reviewed and published papers have put to lie the old wive's tale that forest roads stress wildlife. The roads do not impact wildlife. Roads benefit wildlife several ways. The stress comes from traffic on the roads, not the roads themselves. Deer will often browse just a few feet from a road as traffic flows by. But if a car stops the deer flee. Many here have observed the same phenomenom.

    Several years ago an unpublished white paper made by an FS and a BLM wildife biologist suggested that mtn bikes may have less of a wildlife impact than hikers. Cardboard silhouettes of various recreationists (hikers, bikers, hunters, etc) were placed along a known deer migration trail with motion sensitive cameras. In the photos the passing deer appeared less leery of the mtn bikes than any other silhouette.

    This study was not conducted according to any protocols or following standard procedures for this type of project, and it was not peer reviewed or even submitted for publication. It was just circulated in-house of the agencies. Nonetheless, it was illuminating.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: upstatesspdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    140
    If the xc ski trails are groomed I can see it, the machine sets a track for the skiis.
    The ski trails in this area are not open to walkers or snowshoes.
    As far as the day/night thing, I am sure critters are way more disturbed when they get their a$$ run over crossing the highway at night then by a few night rides!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmurray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    405

    Where can I get these studies?

    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    That's very true. Several peer reviewed and published papers have put to lie the old wive's tale that forest roads stress wildlife.
    These studies, peer reviewed or not, would be very helpful. Do you know where I can get a copy of them? Would you be willing to scan them in and email them to me?
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  15. #15
    Elsievo
    Reputation: elsievo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    57
    Just my $0.02 worth. Many creatures of the wood seem to be nocturnal. If you want to give them a break, stay out of the woods during the day when they're sleeping, chewing the cud or whatever. At night they're up foraging, hunting (remember that if you live in an area with large predators) and participating in other life continuing activities.

    I would also think that by staying on established trails the animals would adapt to such activities. But that is my opinion and it and a $0.75 can buy a cup of coffee locally.

    Marc

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.