Bikes in the wilderness

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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CAMERONM
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by CAMERONM » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:59 pm

Call your congressperson info:
https://callyourrep.co/
https://contactingcongress.org/

Some claim that calling is more effective.








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Tom_H
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Tom_H » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:47 am

Harlen wrote:Mountain bikers call these incursions "first descents," and they are a big deal to many cyclists, who are all keen to have a first descent to their name.
Maybe their right to do these incursions should be based on a test. Do a successful incursion of the south face of El Cap and we'll give you a permit to continue elsewhere.

(Ropes and parachutes not allowed.)

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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Randyhol » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:06 pm

I’ll join in the chorus of those here who voice opposition to Mr. McClintock’s efforts. An interesting article sent to me recently by another opponent. Dont know if it’s been linked here previously.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2165406/f ... wilderness
Randy Holliday

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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by dave54 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:46 pm

Randyhol wrote:I’ll join in the chorus of those here who voice opposition to Mr. McClintock’s efforts. An interesting article sent to me recently by another opponent. Dont know if it’s been linked here previously.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2165406/f ... wilderness
LOL -- no bias or emotional diatribe by that blogger!
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Randyhol » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:08 pm

dave54 wrote:
Randyhol wrote:I’ll join in the chorus of those here who voice opposition to Mr. McClintock’s efforts. An interesting article sent to me recently by another opponent. Dont know if it’s been linked here previously.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2165406/f ... wilderness
LOL -- no bias or emotional diatribe by that blogger!
I know. I should have read it more closely before I posted the link. While I agree with the final conclusions, I did not mean or want to insert political diatribe here. Way too much ranting in the article for my taste.
Randy Holliday

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dave54
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by dave54 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:56 pm

Randyhol wrote:
dave54 wrote:
Randyhol wrote:I’ll join in the chorus of those here who voice opposition to Mr. McClintock’s efforts. An interesting article sent to me recently by another opponent. Dont know if it’s been linked here previously.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2165406/f ... wilderness
LOL -- no bias or emotional diatribe by that blogger!
I know. I should have read it more closely before I posted the link. While I agree with the final conclusions, I did not mean or want to insert political diatribe here. Way too much ranting in the article for my taste.
Agree. The accompanying link to an opposite view is a much better written and coherent argument. You may disagree with the conclusion, but is still a better written piece.
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:01 pm

I am neither all "for" or all "against". I think each trail needs to be considered individually. Until the resources are dedicated for this kind of study (how can they do it with all the funding cuts?), I would error on the conservative side, and not allow bikes on trails, but consider opening all old roads in wilderness to bikes. To me it is a matter of safety. I have hiked on trails that allow bikes and it is downright scary! Some kinds of biking are all about speed, and not compatible with backpacking. I do not know how you can control biker's speeds. What I would allow, is human powered wheeled haulers (that you pull while walking). I areas where two different trails go to the same place, you could designate one as "multiple" method and the other as walking only.

I do not see the fact that a bicycle can go in 20+ miles in one day an issue. UL thru-hikers do 20-30 miles a day. I also do not see that "Wilderness" requires only one "mindset". As much as I think the speed hikers are missing out on the wilderness experience, I would not say they should be not allowed in the wilderness, as long as they follow the LNT and other wilderness rules.

Another possibility is to have a "biking season", just like there is a hunting season. Mid to late September would be ideal, because there would be less chance of trail damage and the trails are less crowded.

But I do not trust the pro-bike politicians! I fear they would use allowing bicycles as a wedge to also allow other commercial exploitations that are truly not compatible with wilderness.

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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by rlown » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:21 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Another possibility is to have a "biking season", just like there is a hunting season. Mid to late September would be ideal, because there would be less chance of trail damage and the trails are less crowded.
Umm. You put them right in the middle of my favorite time Sierra. If a "biking season" ever happens during that time, they should be required to wear fur and 3 point or better horns on their helmet. Otherwise, move your biking season to January.

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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Harlen » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:40 pm

First, where is "the accompanying link" Dave? I'd like to read a well-reasoned defense of Bill 1349.

Second, where do you guys find unjustified "ranting" in the outsideonline article? I've read it twice through carefully, and I don't find the piece unduly biased, or a "rant" at all. When you get past a couple of lame metaphors, and a few weak attempts at humor, mostly found in the second paragraph, you find that the author presents some hard facts that clarify the real direction, and impact of Bill 1349. He also points out the original intent of the Wilderness Act, and cites how the authors of Bill 1349 use false rhetoric and obfuscation to spuriously uphold their argument. When facts are cited, and the significant examples of the opposing position are included. e.g., the admission that 275,000 acres were in fact taken out of mountain biking use, then I don't see it fair to describe the piece as biased.

The quote below is the real crux of this, and other environmental issues:
In creating wilderness, our grasping country showed its most restraint. “Here, man doesn’t rule,” we said to one another. “Here, nature rules.”

Wilderness is not a recreation designation.

Wilderness is not for our entertainment.

Wilderness has other goals.

Wilderness is solitude. It is water quality. It is remaining grizzly habitat, as we squeeze down on bears and most other species.

Wilderness is not supposed to be easy. In wilderness, we abandon even the wheel, and we set out on foot. We come to wilderness to meet the earth as it is, as it was, as it yet might be—if we can hold the line.
If we choose to enter it at all! We don't need to hike all through a wilderness gem such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska to deeply enjoy the presence of such a place.

The highest political actions are certainly not those taken in ones own personal interest.

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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by jefe » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:21 pm

Mountain bikes in wilderness areas? I have mixed feelings about it. I love cycling road, trails.... I also love hiking and the solitude and relatively unspoiled aspect of remote areas in the wilderness areas. It's mostly a case of respect for these places. Those who respect (reverence?) these places are naturally defensive of any intrusion into these spaces. Frankly, many of these remote areas are not going to be very bike friendly anyway and except for the most determined there would likely be too much "hike a bike" (HAB) terrain and trails to get a lot of traffic from bikes. There may be some obvious exceptions to this ( such as sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail) where the access is quite convenient and trails are well developed. The Mt Rose meadow area for example has biking permitted only on even days. But the Mt Rose Wilderness is off-limits. I must admit it would be a sweeeeet experience to pedal through some of these areas and glide through rather than pound feet on the downhill. I personally would have the utmost respect for hikers, trails, switchbacks, plant-life, and noise; if only all felt the same way. Yes, there will be some who just want the thrill of the ride and will not have respect for the wilderness, like the more crowded areas of our national parks with graffitti on rocks and trees. This is where the hiker in me wants to say no. In a way this issue may somewhat parallel the firearms issue: it's not so much the bike, but the rider.

I would welcome opening up SOME areas to mountain bikes. I live near the southern sierra and frankly, there's not a lot of good open land available for mountain biking before you run into a seemingly arbitrary line that designates the same land as wilderness while on the other side of the line you have free reign. These are not areas that are highly sought after by hikers/ packers, and most of the other land suitable for mountain biking is private property (and the cattle are the only ones to "enjoy" it). In some areas, there really is a very narrow limit on suitable mountain bike terrain. Now I would certainly oppose motorcycles tearing up the land and i will admit that mountain bikes can be a much lighter version of a motorcycle if cutting down steep trails or switchbacks. But human legs simply can't rip up a trail like an engine, so comparing bikes to motorcycles is not realistic. On similar mountain biking forums there is talk about cyclists needing to respect the land and other users of the trail. There can be a reasonable approach to this controversy. Local consideration rather than a blanket all or nothing is reasonable from the perspective of one who loves the outdoors on foot and on wheel.

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