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Old 12-21-08, 02:27 PM   #1
jboyd
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Biking in National Parks

Ran across this on an Arkansas Whitewater forum I frequent. This is politics I can get into.

Maybe Change is coming

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/us/19bikes.html



I dig riding on Fed Land


Enjoy
Jay

Last edited by jboyd; 12-21-08 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 12-21-08, 03:00 PM   #2
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That's a Registration Required site (NYT), and I don't like to do that. Do you have any links to another copy of the article?
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Old 12-21-08, 03:42 PM   #3
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That's a Registration Required site (NYT), and I don't like to do that. Do you have any links to another copy of the article?
I changed the link a little. Maybe this will work. I actually just copied it from another site and was able to open it myself without registration. Not for sure why you are unable. If someone else is able or unable to open, let me know.

Jay
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Old 12-21-08, 03:49 PM   #4
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as long as the deep thread of mtn bike tires don't tear up the fauna off trail; it seems like a fair idea.
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Old 12-21-08, 04:25 PM   #5
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as long as the deep thread of mtn bike tires don't tear up the fauna off trail; it seems like a fair idea.
I think that one of the big issues has always been that of allowing horses on the hiking trails, but not bicycles. The US Forest Service designates "Wilderness" areas as not allowing any "Mechanized" means of transportation, but then allows, because of it's natural status, horses that weigh over 1000# to utilize.

I am not looking for an argument here, as I really do not know much more then this about how the rules are structured. I do find it interesting that the possible shift is due to need for usage in an area, as the economics of the current structure is not working in the financial favor of the program, and therefore they are considering changing the rules in an effort to boost the use. Which begs the question, was the original rules correct or incorrect?

I do agree that it should be on a case by case basis. The argument of hikers, bikers and horses sharing trails has been going on for a long time, and is legitimate. But, if you look at an area like Tsali in NC, you can easily see how that can be worked out. Alternate days for different uses.
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Old 12-21-08, 05:15 PM   #6
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this has been a source of much heated debate. i can ask one of my mtb buddies what park it is but i have heard of a park in conn that banned mountain biking because the hikers and horse back riders complaining the trails are being ruined by bikers. many mtb riders including myself help keep the trails clean and do maintenance. so after the ban the trails fell into disrepair and many of the horseback riders began complaining about that. so the new debate is who is going to maintain the trails and who is going to pay for it. since there is not any extra state money available to pay, nobody knows where the money is going to come from. it is unknown if the ban will be lifted but it could be a possibility. after all, these particular people dont want to do the maintence but dont want to pay for it and of course are too stuck up to admit they were potentially wrong about mtb'ers.

in my area we still co exist at least for now. the big problem is with the mass leash law. many people dont follow it in the parks and a friend of mine and i have been attacked. i blame the owners of course. but what is rediculous is when the owner doesnt control the dog and gets pissed when you defend yourself.

i totally understand this is a different issue than above. but it is a constant issue on other forums.
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Old 12-21-08, 06:28 PM   #7
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so after the ban the trails fell into disrepair
In my experience, MTBers are among the most responsible of trail users... roll my eyeswhen I see a multi-use trail strewn with garbage for the first mile or so - almost always cigarette butts* and packages, coffee cups, pop bottles, and other things that are very rare to find in a bikers camelback. The most remote 10 miles of a 12 mile traiil wll almost always be pristine, and that is often beyond the range of most non-mechanised trail users.

*bikers do leave buts on the ground if you look, but they tend to be smaller and of the hand-rolled biodegradable type
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Old 12-21-08, 06:55 PM   #8
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*bikers do leave buts on the ground if you look, but they tend to be smaller and of the hand-rolled biodegradable type
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Old 12-21-08, 07:51 PM   #9
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Well, my experience is different: I've seen many a trail turned into a hog-wallow by mountain bikers. The reason for a lot of the outright bans in MA is that mountain bikers would not respect lesser restrictions (for example, sorry guys, but no biking in winter and early spring, because that's when you'll do maximum damage). Rules created to minimize mtb impact were ignored, and so more restrictive rules took their place. And yeah, I've heard all about the "trail maintenance" that mountain bikers supposedly do, but I've never seen any of these ruts repaired. Who cares if you pick up a little litter if you rip up the trail surface?
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Old 12-22-08, 12:26 PM   #10
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This conflict between mechanized and non-mechanized outdoor recreation users is as old as the hills. ATV riders are always pressuring the Feds for more access, for example. And "personal watercraft" and powerboats are banned from some areas. The Forest Service is likely to be more receptive to mechanized use than the Park Service in most cases due to their traditional sympathies toward "practical" and economic natural resource use (grazing, cutting timber etc.).

-But a "National Park" is a very special and unique place where preservation, i.e. keeping things in native state, has the priority. For example, there are few places in Yellowstone where off-road biking is allowed... though one can imagine the excitement of zipping around a curve in a Yellowstone trail to surprise a grizzy....
http://www.nps.gov/

-A "National Forest" is not the same as a NP and does not generally have a strict a priority on preservation. There, (in a NF) these decisions about what is allowed will tend to be made on the more practical grounds of which user groups are largest and noisiest, as opposed to a strict preservation principle.
http://www.fs.fed.us/index.shtml

-A "wilderness area" may be under the jourisdiction of several different federal agencies and, as noted by one poster, mechanized access is a no-no due to the priorities on primitive recreation and solitude.
http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=NWPS
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Old 12-24-08, 02:17 AM   #11
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I've never seen any of these ruts repaired. Who cares if you pick up a little litter if you rip up the trail surface?
i understand the lack of rut repairs. but im my experience its usually keeping the trails clear of things like fallen trees. keeping the small bridges that cross small rivers in one piece. i am generally less concerned with rubbish. a big tree isnt doing anybody any good with it in the way.
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