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Cycling is mostly replacing hiking in my life.

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Cycling is mostly replacing hiking in my life.

Old 09-11-17, 12:01 PM
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Cycling is mostly replacing hiking in my life.

I used to be a pretty avid hiker. Iíve walked across the North Cascades, over peaks and glaciers, one year I spent 45 nights sleeping outdoors.

Last weekend I got off the highway because of traffic and drove by an old favorite trailhead. There used to be room for a dozen cars. Now thereís a parking lot with room for 100 to 200, it was full, cars were parked along the side of the road for 2 to 3 miles. The road isnít really wide enough for people to park, it was chaos. I havenít been there in years and it wasnít a happy sight. This is happening all over the Northwest, itís getting harder and harder to find solitude on a hiking trail, and even at many off trail destinations. Most Starbucks are less crowded. Making things worse, meth users have learned that masses of hikers leave their cars (sometimes overnight) at trailheads, and break-ins are a common occurrence.

Iíve always loved cycling, too. Switching from a skinny tire road bike to a gravel road bike has opened a lot of options for me, there are a lot of forgotten forest service roads in the mountains here. I can ride for hours and only see a few people. I can leave my car in a pullout, which means I know Iíll find parking, and itís actually less of a target this way. I can cover more ground on a bike, which is great, even if the views and range are more limited. And I still feel outdoors, I have the sun and the wind on my skin, or dress up to protect myself from the cold. Yesterday, in the middle of nowhere, there was a red-tailed hawk sitting on a perch, looking down into a field, probably watching a mouse; it kept its eye on me as I went by but didnít move, then went back to looking for prey as soon as I passed. Iíve seen owls, bear, even mountain goats from the bike. Iím sad that hiking is largely forfeit to the crowds, but happy the bike can provide most of what I loved about the trail.

Anybody else feel this way?
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Old 09-11-17, 02:18 PM
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here in colorado springs, there are enough places to hike that none of them seem full, but i have heard that 14ers are getting pretty crowded. i'm not an avid hiker, but plan to hike pikes peak next year (after biking up it this year and being frustrated that i couldn't enjoy the views more on the way up since my brain wanted to focus on staying on the road). maybe with my city being smaller than seattle, and having so many places to hike in so many directions, we get less hiker glut?

either way, i find it hard to get too excited about most hikes, since i know my stigmata will take me on longer adventures in less time, so i agree with you fully on that point. there is so much to explore out here, and stiggy is one of the better ways to get there and enjoy it the most.
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Old 09-11-17, 04:43 PM
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I was a big hiker usually doing 10-15 mile hikes once or twice a weekend. However, the time it took hike, as well as knee and feet pain, got me cutting back. I took up commuting to work with a cheap used hybrid which snowballed into mountain, gravel and road biking. I still hike, but usually because I'm with my gf and can't bike the area.
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Old 09-11-17, 04:58 PM
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I hear Seattle real estate has been going up. Amazon hired and more than a few are from California. They sense a real estate boom.

Since I'm in Huntington Beach, its easy for me to walk along the sandy beach bare feet and let the salt water cool me down. The smell of the fresh sea air and the wet sand on the bottoms of my feet feel great.

That kind of hike, if I can actually call it that, is irreplaceable. Bike riding cannot do it.
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Old 09-11-17, 07:53 PM
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I hike less now that I am into cycling, but I definitely do not plan to give up hiking altogether - I think the two work together well, both physically, for fitness and health, and as great stress relief, for mental and emotional health.

Doing both - for me - is the best of both worlds!
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Old 09-11-17, 08:00 PM
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I was in the infantry for 24 years so I've done a little hiking. Still do it with my rucksack on my back that's been around the world more than once. But now it's with my dog Chubby.
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Old 09-11-17, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I used to be a pretty avid hiker. Iíve walked across the North Cascades, over peaks and glaciers, one year I spent 45 nights sleeping outdoors.

Last weekend I got off the highway because of traffic and drove by an old favorite trailhead. There used to be room for a dozen cars. Now thereís a parking lot with room for 100 to 200, it was full, cars were parked along the side of the road for 2 to 3 miles. The road isnít really wide enough for people to park, it was chaos. I havenít been there in years and it wasnít a happy sight. This is happening all over the Northwest, itís getting harder and harder to find solitude on a hiking trail, and even at many off trail destinations. Most Starbucks are less crowded. Making things worse, meth users have learned that masses of hikers leave their cars (sometimes overnight) at trailheads, and break-ins are a common occurrence.

Iíve always loved cycling, too. Switching from a skinny tire road bike to a gravel road bike has opened a lot of options for me, there are a lot of forgotten forest service roads in the mountains here. I can ride for hours and only see a few people. I can leave my car in a pullout, which means I know Iíll find parking, and itís actually less of a target this way. I can cover more ground on a bike, which is great, even if the views and range are more limited. And I still feel outdoors, I have the sun and the wind on my skin, or dress up to protect myself from the cold. Yesterday, in the middle of nowhere, there was a red-tailed hawk sitting on a perch, looking down into a field, probably watching a mouse; it kept its eye on me as I went by but didnít move, then went back to looking for prey as soon as I passed. Iíve seen owls, bear, even mountain goats from the bike. Iím sad that hiking is largely forfeit to the crowds, but happy the bike can provide most of what I loved about the trail.

Anybody else feel this way?
Even better, you can bike to remote trailheads, lock your bike to a tree up in the woods, hike for a few hours or whatever, and ride home.

I live in New England and I love hiking. We have our crowds like everyone else, but peace and quiet on the trail is still possible if you know where to go. But I feel your pain...goddamn crowds of people with obnoxious children or worse, off-leash dogs, everywhere. But on the shoulder seasons, you can get all the quiet you could ever want in the wilderness across northern NE and the Adirondacks.
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Old 09-11-17, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by motorthings
...but i have heard that 14ers are getting pretty crowded...
Who needs 14ers???
This weekends high 13er peak hike.
We saw no one else.



I'm probly 90/10 bike/hike. I'd like to change it to 80/20.
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Old 09-12-17, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dgodave
Who needs 14ers???
This weekends high 13er peak hike.
We saw no one else.
that's exactly the advice a few friends have given me...i've now got a list of 13'ers!
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Old 09-12-17, 08:45 AM
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Wifey & I sometimes have to discuss whether we want to walk or ride together. riding is easier on the knees but with hiking we get to see a view from altitude. did a family hike last year, what a rare pleasure that was! hiked my whole life as a kid & young adult thanks to my Dad dragging us out every weekend & for vacations. one of my favorite sounds is any loose gear slapping against my body such as camera bag or canteen etc. anybody remember canteens? here's Dad, Sis & me on Katahdin. if I remember correctly, all three of us were wearing corduroy hiking knickers with knee socks


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Old 09-12-17, 09:10 AM
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A few years ago I accidentally moved next to a national recreation area that features a few dozen miles of trail - much of it hilly and rocky. I started mountain biking and then fell into hiking when it was too icy to ride and I decided to see how the trails were on foot. Since then cycling and hiking have been very complimentary activities for me. This sounds odd but I hike to get in shape and cross-train for both racing and long-distance recreational riding.

Couple weeks of trudging up and down hills and balancing on river rocks sharpens my fitness and seems to alleviate the tiny aches and pains from the lazy habits I get into when all that's on my plate is working and riding. Much of it looks like this:



Although my little corner of the Atlanta metro has seen a huge amount of growth in the 4 years I've been here the trails are still reasonably uncrowded. The hills and rocks keep most people toward the outer fringes and I rarely see more than a few people on any given hike. It's a nice alternative, if I ever want to have some quality alone time I'm just a 10-15 minute walk into the woods. Sometimes I prefer that to getting on the road or path and having to interact with other people while riding.
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Old 09-12-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rje58
I hike less now that I am into cycling, but I definitely do not plan to give up hiking altogether - I think the two work together well, both physically, for fitness and health, and as great stress relief, for mental and emotional health.
I didn't plan on it, either. It just sort of happened, it unfolded slowly over time, and I noticed it recently. I've only been on a few hikes this year.

I don't find that hiking does anything at all for fitness. Just makes me sore if it's a long day or I'm carrying a full pack.

But the mental health benefits from spending time immersed in nature make it not just worth while but one of the best things you can do.

Cycling (even on gravel roads) doesn't get you the best seat in the house like hiking does, but I'm getting a lot of what I need.

Since other people started posting photos, here are two from the Cascade Pass area. I rode a bike from Marblemount to this trailhead, one of the hardest rides I've done, but very satisfying to connect cycling with hiking this way.



You can just see my tent in the center of this picture. I was on my way up the Sahale Glacier to Boston Peak, but didn't make it because of a nasty crevasse.



A bike can't get you quite the same view, but it can get close.

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Old 09-13-17, 09:02 AM
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No wonder it's crowded with such beautiful country.

I think a lot of the hikers I see in the mountains further North are either devoted hobbyists or first-timers expecting scenery like you posted. When the latter gets here and realizes the view is mostly blocked by trees and what can be seen isn't so impressive they head back to the city and don't return. Keeps the crowds down I suppose.
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Old 09-16-17, 06:28 PM
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Just to add another element, there's also paddling. Plenty of creeks and ponds in my neck of the woods and this time of year is prime for getting out. Trailheads in the Adirondacks will have plenty of car/hikers untill the leaves fall so cycling and paddling are my activities for now. I tend to hike mid October through early December, will throw some cramps on for an occasional icy walk through winter but when the snow starts to fall its on to xcountry.
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Old 02-15-18, 12:00 AM
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Digging up an old thread.

I think itís mostly to do with social media and the Instagram effect. People want to take photos of themselves doing ďstrenuousĒ activities and humblebrag about it, take their pictures, and get outta dodge. Itís only going to get worse.

I used to go to rattlesnake ledge as a kid, maybe a full day was 20 cars. This past year? 100+ At 9am.
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Old 02-15-18, 12:20 AM
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I love to do long day hiking up to 15 miles return to base camp with cold beer and a Coleman stove and I always have a bike there. Many trips to Big Bend NP always becomes a bike and hike trip. One day road or mountain biking then another day hiking the mountain trails. Big Bend doesn’t allow bikes on the trails but has 160 miles of Jeep roads some not maintained so a MTB is required.
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Old 02-15-18, 12:29 AM
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Oh and Lajita Texas is just outside Big Bend and has some great MTB trails. They have a big MTB event there every February and Big Bend Ranch is near and has an extensive MTB trail system. Numerous gravel roads perfect for gravel grinding and the semi ghost town of Terlingua is there to get a cold one and something to eat. Desert Sports is there that provide river rafting trips and guided bike tours has a well stocked competent bike shop. I recommend giving this area a go if the chance for you arises.
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