Is Mountain Biking the Biggest Threat to New Wilderness Designations?

#31
Sorry, didn't feel like diving headlong into this rabbit hole. Simply put, the access outcome of newly designated wilderness areas has to be assessed on a one-by-one basis. In many cases the new destinations don't alter access at all. In a few cases, it can even improve some facets of access, albeit not for wheels, obviously.

I think it's when everyone works in generalities this topic goes wonky. Just because the application of wilderness protections is detrimental in one area, that doesn't mean it's been a negative elsewhere and visa-versa. I've seen a few roads which really were best closed off, but others I was sad to see go. I'm part of a growing number of people that don't have a general pro/con view of designated wilderness or monuments, but rather want to see better individual management of those areas based on what best serves - the land first, the public second. That will invariably be different from one parcel to the next.
Agree that it is never one-size fits all. I just wish the alphabet groups in charge would more often take that approach.

I just hate hearing about 'new wilderness' because, in my mind that means for a weekend warrior with a handful of long weekends a year it probably makes getting out there and seeing a lot more variety of terrain more difficult. As we just lots some access roads.
 
#32
I am not a mountain biker but I know many due to owning a business that caters to this group. Before the mountain biking community began to build trails behind our place, dirt bikers and 4x4 riders were using the area plus locals dumped garbage. Slowly the ridership increased, the gates went in and the area is now non-motorized access only. Most of the former user groups were good people but tended to be more destructive.

Now, the area is the best trail system in the state and one of the best in the country. It is cleaner now than it has ever been. The mountain biking community are good stewards of the private parcel. The demographics range from wee ones to 70+ plus many ladies who ride in groups or singly.

I am relating this because I am an ardent supporter of wilderness. They aren't making any more of it and I would like to leave what was once a major part of our country to future generations. The mountain bikers who I know are good stewards and realize that they need to take care of what is open. Even the motorized crowd is policing its own because if they don't, they will lose more access. This is to be commended and we go off road so are especially careful to camp and drive where permitted.

I would like to see wilderness protected. If there needs to be access through a wilderness area to reach trails, then those trails need to have the least impact possible. My position is that the more people we get outside, the better for our planet. To love nature is to know it and vice versa.
I don't think it is the mode of transportation. What happened is you found a passionate user group, they come in all varieties. I've seen and met both good and bad mountain bike groups.

Disagree we don't need more people out in the wilderness. We don't need to more people thinking every blade of grass is sacred by them visiting the interpretative center at the whatever park or forest they visited. They need to stay in city.
Education doesn't seem to work with poverty, as it is both a cultural and education one. I believe it is the same issue with land access, ever blade of grass is sacred vs tear everything up and litter people.
 
#33
I don't see myself as a Mountain Biker, although I own two and I still ride them occasionally. I am, however, an OHV user and I enjoy getting out in the wilderness. It troubles me when I see anybody behaving in ways that are damaging to the environment, regardless of their mode of transportation. Target shooters, for example. I enjoy shooting as much as the next person, but FFS, pick up your brass and target remnants. I recently hiked a popular trail up on the Mogollon, foot traffic only - yet I could have taken out a trashbag full of refuse from just the first mile. I think the OP draws conclusions that simply are not fair or valid and he counts on public ignorance in just accepting his statements as fact without support.

Are there people such as he describes? Yes. Are they in the majority? I would argue not. It is up to us to police ourselves. I once drove five miles to report some idiots burning a huge fire when stage 1 was in place. I happen to like my forests with green, leafy trees, not black and barren, and I've put out my share of abandoned campfires, so yes, I will rat you out.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
#34
I don't see myself as a Mountain Biker, although I own two and I still ride them occasionally. I am, however, an OHV user and I enjoy getting out in the wilderness. It troubles me when I see anybody behaving in ways that are damaging to the environment, regardless of their mode of transportation. Target shooters, for example. I enjoy shooting as much as the next person, but FFS, pick up your brass and target remnants. I recently hiked a popular trail up on the Mogollon, foot traffic only - yet I could have taken out a trashbag full of refuse from just the first mile. I think the OP draws conclusions that simply are not fair or valid and he counts on public ignorance in just accepting his statements as fact without support.

Are there people such as he describes? Yes. Are they in the majority? I would argue not. It is up to us to police ourselves. I once drove five miles to report some idiots burning a huge fire when stage 1 was in place. I happen to like my forests with green, leafy trees, not black and barren, and I've put out my share of abandoned campfires, so yes, I will rat you out.
Couldn't have said it any better!
 

PirateMcGee

Expedition Leader
#37
It certainly is. I also ride mountain bike and road for my commute when I lived in a place that was possible. Treadlightly means the same thing to hikers, bikers, and the OHV community. Just a silly ad the same if Jeep had used the phrase.

Edit: I realize this is super pedantic and ridiculousness
 
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Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
#38
Edit: I realize this is super pedantic and ridiculousness
Two of my favorite things.

Keeping to this thread: Several years ago I went out on a ride and found half a dozen beer cans at one of my favorite trailheads. I picked them up, stuffed them in the mesh pocket of my pack, and later posted an image to FB out of frustration. Three months later a local equestrian club, protesting the evils of mountain biking, said that mountain bikers often travel at high rates of speed––––while drunk. They posted my picture of the beer cans and outed me as the drunkard. It was actually hilarious and sad at the same time.

So, yes, just as I try not to paint all SxS users with the same brush, I see how others lump all mountain bikers into a nefarious group of yahoos.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
#39
Great advertisement and message from Continental Tire....
View attachment 403706
This is a peeve I have with Niner. Their videos since moving to Ft. Collins show d00ds ripping, railing and skidding. That's all great for dynamic ads but we're fighting with land managers who get constant complaints from hikers being run off trails by rude cyclists. There's a lot of newbie cyclists who don't just don't know the yield triangle or trail etiquette. You don't always have to yield but you have to acknowledge the hiker or horse and consider giving the option for them to yield back. Not to mention our trails are widening and getting really beat up (many are cut poorly so agro use isn't the sole reason) from people not willing to just pause a second and instead run off trail. It's maddening.
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
#40
Dave, here in Prescott about 15 years ago we had virtually no trails. By 2014 we had one of the most extensive trail systems in the Southwest and it's even bigger now. Today we have a massive number of riders in town including a couple pros and Olympians who moved here simply to ride. However, I'd wager at least 70% of our riders started riding in the last 3-5 years. As such, many of them are still learning how to ride delicately. They can cause significant damage when they ride over their abilities.

Fortunately....and this is a very important element relative to this thread, they are also enthusiastic about trail building AND maintenance. Just when I get annoyed to see some rookie blowing out the apex of a turn, or dragging off the shoulder, I see a group out the next week fixing that damage.

The regional nuance is really varied from one place to the next.
 
#41
This is such a load of bs. This also doesn't take into consideration the shear amount of land there is in this country. Granted I live in Idaho but if you add all the local trails up and all the land on the hillsides around them it is still a tiny drop in the bucket compared to all the land in our area. Sure there needs to be some responsible trail development but when did we get to the point that people should be ashamed and ridiculed for using the land in this world? You can call it entitlement if you want but yes, trails through the mountains are something that should be allowed and please feel free to tell all the deer, coyotes, turkeys, and even bears that I see that they shouldn't be on the the trail because I "took their habitat".
 
#42
The OP is delusional if he thinks majority of MTB riders are trail thrashing downhillers. I ride on a local trail that sees 100-200 riders per day. Yes, there are idiots that go way too fast. But by my observation, riding here over the years, makes up less than 1%. You just don't see a lot of crazy dudes just ripping it downhill, skidding at every corner, and generally being out of control.
_
Now, the trail system has a lot to do with it. There are DH only trails that people can rip down. Multi-direction trails are tame enough to not even pique the interest of DH guys. There are signs posted of trail etiquette. People are polite and 99% of the time, people headed downhill move over for the uphill folks. The uphill folks in turn shout out a Thanks, and typically tell the downhiller how many are behind him/her. Same with the hikers/runners. Local HS team practices often here, and they are also taught proper etiquette.
Education is key and should be pushed as much as possible. That includes bikers and non-riders (like the OP), as well.
 
#43
Quote from NMC_EXP

"Mountain bikers are, as a demographic group, fit the profile of off-road vehicle users. They are predominately male, between 20-40, and tend to have above average incomes and often have the same outlaw attitude and sense of entitlement."

You are very off target on that statement - I'd like to know what study or statistics you got that from? To it looks like an opinion you try to pass on as fact.

NMC_EXP did you know in the ORIGINAL Wilderness Act documents bicycles were specifically INCLUDED... and the wording was to prohibit MOTORIZED travel... but pressure from large groups like the Sierra Club took back that allowance. Did you know many, MANY studies confirm that Equestrians and hikers (especially with trekking poles) cause more impact on trails that MT bikes?

It is very obvious NMC_EXP yo have an axe to grind against MT bikers. There are many THOUSANDS of acres of wilderness and as a hiker, biker and equestrian there is plenty of areas for many different user groups. To disallow a particular group IS bias. There is no reasonable reason why the regional land managers of a wilderness area cannot decide what activities are allowed.

I feel you NMC_EXP are the one who needs to mature and be a bit more open minded.

All this aside, if ALL the outdoor user groups do not start working together we will lose it to oil, logging and industry given the current trend of the current Trump administration.
 

zb39

Adventurer
#44
How are people supposed to access wilderness land if there are no trails? Do they walk? What about someone in a wheel chair? They just don't get to go??????
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
#45
Everthing that is white, male and rich is under attack by the progressives. They can't even clean up their own cities. Look at Detroit or the hepatitis outbreaks in California form pooping on the sidewalk.