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Anybody see this?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby dave54 » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:16 am

DAVELA wrote:Mt bikers approach their sport with total aggression.The sense of entitlement to bombing past you on the trail is a big f.u.I dont know if they get anything from being in nature other than getting an adrenaline fix.They d probably get the same thrill dodging rush hour traffic.Ive seen where they have discovered the thrill of damaging ,ruining fragile landscapes in s utah.
Im a bike lover and it is my main transport other than work.


Some stereotyping there. That does not describe all bike riders. In fact, only a minority. You are not rushing, jumping, or skidding down any trail when you have 20 - 25 pounds of gear and food on your bikepacking rig.

OTOH while hiking I have been pushed to the side by trail runners careening downhill half out of control.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby zacjust32 » Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:00 pm

dave54 wrote:
DAVELA wrote:Mt bikers approach their sport with total aggression.The sense of entitlement to bombing past you on the trail is a big f.u.I dont know if they get anything from being in nature other than getting an adrenaline fix.They d probably get the same thrill dodging rush hour traffic.Ive seen where they have discovered the thrill of damaging ,ruining fragile landscapes in s utah.
Im a bike lover and it is my main transport other than work.


Some stereotyping there. That does not describe all bike riders. In fact, only a minority. You are not rushing, jumping, or skidding down any trail when you have 20 - 25 pounds of gear and food on your bikepacking rig.


Or when the bike you ride is upwards of $1000, extremely lightweight, but not built to take extreme crashes.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby Eiprahs » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:33 pm

Image Mountain Bikers in the White Cloud Wilderness, Idaho, Aug 31, 2015.

I'm opposed to Mountain Bikers on pedestrian trails. I personally have had few encounters with mountain bikers and none were very negative. But that said, my general impression is that mountain bikers regard me as a trail obstacle.

As others have pointed out, bicyclists can and do travel at much higher speeds, and consequently can not stop very quickly. So I have safety concerns about mixing pedestrian and wheeled travelers on trails. I have had to step off trail when approached by fast moving mountain bikers who could not slow to a safe speed by the time they reached me.

While I don't think the number of highly proficient mountain bikers is large, I don't agree that current trail conditions serve as a deterrent or barrier to their entry. A good mountain biker would have no problem with any of the JMT, for example, and could jaunt off trail in many areas if he so chose.

With the advent of super fat tire mountain bikes, snow and mud aren't barriers to entry either.

Maybe down trees shouldn't be removed. But that would suck for everybody.

So yes, I am opposed to opening wilderness trails to mountain bikers.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby RichardCullip » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:42 am

Down here in San Diego County there are a lot of mixed-use trails shared by equestrians, hikers and cyclists. In spite of posted rules that set up a yielding priority (bikers yield to hikers and horses while hikers yield to horses) I have yet to meet a cyclist on the trail that has yielded to me, a hiker. The cyclists all seem to expect me to step out of the way to let them pass when it's supposed to be the reverse. I prefer to hike on trails that aren't shared with cyclists.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby oldranger » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:13 am

Dave54

On quota trails bikers going overnight will not be a significant issue as they will be subject to the constraints of the quota (of course that will make it harder for backpackers to to get a permit). No the big issue is day use where 30 to 40 mile days can bring remote places into range of day use. Now we all expect to meet lots of people within 6 miles of trail heads, but with mbs that range will extend to 15 miles and beyond. Maybe living in a mountain bike Mecca gives me over estimation of the skill of mountain bikers but from my experience few mountain bikers would be intimated by a mile or so of big step ups and even fewer would refrain from going balls to the wall down any mountain trail they were permitted to ride on.

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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:53 am

from my experience few mountain bikers would be intimated by a mile or so of big step ups and even fewer would refrain from going balls to the wall down any mountain trail they were permitted to ride on.


From living and hiking for 40 years in the place where mountain bikes originated, that is exactly my experience. Just yesterday, my wife and I were walking up the fire road above our house when 4 bikers came careening down a biker-built illegal single track, whooping and hollering all the way. To reach the top of this single track requires a 1,000 foot climb.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby cmon4day » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:14 pm

I see many of you have strong opinions regarding mtb's in the wilderness and that is your right. What I see is that your opinions are so strong that many of you can't see "the forest through the trees". Many of the stories here seem quite embellished. Such a "chicken little" attitude. As evidenced by the verbs and adjectives used to describe the story. Such as "careened" down the hill, had to "jump" out of the way, nearly "run" down, they are "rude" and are "bullies", it will be a "disaster", wilderness will be "degraded", bikes are a "menace", they ride with "total aggression", and even threatening with bodily harm by putting "trekking poles into the spokes". Many of you haven't ridden a mountain bike and so you really don't know what you are talking about. Give it a chance. The sky will not fall, the wilderness will go on, and we'll all get to enjoy our adventures. It's a great activity, very enjoyable, and would love to go on a wilderness bike packing trip on trails that were sanctioned by the managing agency.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:01 pm

As to my posts on this, as a published writer I stand by my "careening" as exactly the right word. And, no, my story is not embellished. They were whooping and hollering as they came down. And the climb is 1,000 feet. And, yes, I've ridden a mountain bike. I prefer hiking since my knees don't like biking. My son spent his teens on a mountain bike exploring the fireroads of Fairfax/West Marin, sometimes with Jackie Phelan (I assume you know who she is) and Marla Streb (she was our neighbor at the time and helped him get his bike at a big discount). I've met and socialized with all the Marin mountain bike pioneers (and friends with a couple).

And in my opinion, it would be a "disaster" (my word I believe) if bikes are permitted in wilderness areas. It would completely change the experience for hikers. As a hiker who has been "run down" by illegal bikers in the Point Reyes wilderness, I have my personal experience to testify to that assertion. In the Sierra (the subject of this forum) it would be worse. That is why the people who wrote the Wilderness Act banned them.
Last edited by LMBSGV on Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby rlown » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:14 pm

:thumbsup:
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:40 pm

cmon4day wrote:I see many of you have strong opinions regarding mtb's in the wilderness and that is your right. What I see is that your opinions are so strong that many of you can't see "the forest through the trees". Many of the stories here seem quite embellished. Such a "chicken little" attitude. As evidenced by the verbs and adjectives used to describe the story. Such as "careened" down the hill, had to "jump" out of the way, nearly "run" down, they are "rude" and are "bullies", it will be a "disaster", wilderness will be "degraded", bikes are a "menace", they ride with "total aggression", and even threatening with bodily harm by putting "trekking poles into the spokes". Many of you haven't ridden a mountain bike and so you really don't know what you are talking about. Give it a chance. The sky will not fall, the wilderness will go on, and we'll all get to enjoy our adventures. It's a great activity, very enjoyable, and would love to go on a wilderness bike packing trip on trails that were sanctioned by the managing agency.

I guess dismissing the experiences and concerns of everybody else is one way to go. Another way to go would be to acknowledge that hikers have legitimate reason for anger and distrust toward mountain bikers, and to think about how mountain bikers (yourself included) might change their behavior to address that. IMO, the latter would be more constructive approach. YMMV.

In any case, what's the downside of not allowing mountain bikes in the wilderness? Nobody is keeping you out; you're perfectly free to enjoy the wilderness as a hiker. If you love the wilderness more than you love mountain biking, you'll go anyway; and if you love mountain biking more than you love the wilderness, you don't belong in the wilderness.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby maverick » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:13 pm

I guess dismissing the experiences and concerns of everybody else is one way to go. Another way to go would be to acknowledge that hikers have legitimate reason for anger and distrust toward mountain bikers, and to think about how mountain bikers (yourself included) might change their behavior to address that. IMO, the latter would be more constructive approach. YMMV.


Totally agree.

What I see is, that hikers are a group already allowed into the wilderness, so the the impact on them and especially on the the wilderness needs to be examined with an open mind. The question to mountain bikers is, why should they be allowed into the wilderness, how will they address the concerns of their impact on the wilderness, and on the groups already allowed into the wilderness, this includes the concerns voiced here.
Dismissing one of these "allowed groups" negative experiences, is definitely not the way to get them to support your cause, but exactly the opposite.
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Re: Anybody see this?

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:57 pm

I think the mindset of the people that like to get involved in these activities needs to be taken into account. Many of the mountain biking crowd that I have encountered seemed to be in it for the adrenaline or the "rush." They were going as fast as possible and even though the protocol was to yield for hikers, that has never been done, at least in my experience. That's not to say that all mt. bikers fall into this category, but many tend to ride for the thrill of it. Speed, baby!

Now I think your average backpacker/hiker is trying to escape a bit, to get on the trail, slow down and forget the stresses of our modern life and "commune with nature" a bit. The idea of someone coming along and creating stress in an environment that is expected to be as stress-free as possible, I would imagine rubs your average backpacker the wrong way. Again, this is a generalization, but I think it has some truth to it.

The conflict, as I see it, are two very different mindsets, wanting something very different from the same environment. Again, this is not to say that there might be people that don't have these respective views, but I can't ever see the two getting along very well, given their very different goals when wanting to go out into the wild spaces of our country.
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