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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balzaccom
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by balzaccom » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:42 pm

rlown wrote:I'm a little sensitive to cyclists being in the wrong place, now that vehicles have the 3' rule. I see many non-locals up here riding two-lane rural roads with no shoulders in unincorporated areas. It's flat out dangerous to both. We have at least 1 cyclist killed a month in Sonoma County by vehicle collision, esp in Spring and Summer. If the cyclists want bike lanes, fund them; If not, then cyclists shouldn't be on a dangerous road, especially with a 1 Ton hauling cattle to and fro their ranches.
I am going to take issue with this point, Russ. Cars should not drive so fast on rural roads that they run the risk of hitting cyclists--any more than they should drive so fast that they run the risk of hitting deer, cows, dogs, hay bales, tractors, and other likely and slow moving things on rural roads. That is unsafe driving for the conditions. Cyclists have the legal right to use any road that is not prohibited to them (think freeways) and should be encouraged to do so. The more people we get on bicycles, the better our carbon footprint is, the fewer people we have in cars creating traffic jams, etc. This is a particular issue when cyclists are NOT legally allowed to use major freeways---and then people in cars don't want them on rural roads either. Doesn't make sense.

Cyclists DO pay taxes, just like everyone else. And some of those taxes should be used to fund cycling friendly options. Current federal guidelines prohibit the use of federal funds for any transportation project that does not include consideration for both cyclist and pedestrians. For too long we have built our roads and our communities for the convenience of cars. We need to start building or roads and communities for the convenience of people, instead.

End of rant.


Balzaccom

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rlown
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by rlown » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:50 pm

Never said they didn't have a right to use the roads. One picks ones poison and sometimes it doesn't work out so well on narrow roads. I saw one cyclist blow through the 4 way stop, but the 4 behind him did stop. I waved them through. And the riding here doesn't lower the carbon footprint one bit because most of the cyclists are from out of town and tend to stay at the KOA on Stony Point Rd. Stony Point is a commute road off of 101 and has choke points with no shoulders. Heck, even my sister and her husband flew in from Florida to ride the local roads! I was in Yosemite luckily because they closed most of the roads for Limp Bisquits Gran Fondo.

Sonoma County has bad roads already and no budget to fix them; But we do have the SMART (read: dumb) train. There went the road money.

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Harlen
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Harlen » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:51 pm

... Cyclists have the legal right to use any road that is not prohibited to them (think freeways) and should be encouraged to do so. The more people we get on bicycles, the better our carbon footprint is, the fewer people we have in cars creating traffic jams, etc. This is a particular issue when cyclists are NOT legally allowed to use major freeways---and then people in cars don't want them on rural roads either. Doesn't make sense.

Cyclists DO pay taxes, just like everyone else....
Once again, not a rant in my book. Many good points made by Balzacom re. bikes on roadways, all of which we support wholeheartedly, but bikes in the wilderness?!
Getting back to that issue, a point that I think needs to be made is that none of our "wilderness" areas are pure anymore, at least by some definitions, (read The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben) but ANY area can be restored nearer to a state of true wilderness. Therefore the point that Oldranger and others make- that some lesser Wilderness areas might be suitable for bikes, is problematic. In the short view, it seemingly makes good sense, but taking a longer view, any area designated as Wilderness, if protected and restored (e.g., the removal of roads and machines; the eradication of invasive exotic plants and animals; the reintroduction of native species, the cleanup of toxic waste; ...) can be returned, in time, to a state of true wilderness.
There are so many humans, and more coming all the time! Isn't it more important than ever to try to save some of the last pieces of shattered nature? Learning to put nature first, even if it rules out some of our activities out, seems to be the ethical high road to take.

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Lumbergh21
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Lumbergh21 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:58 pm

balzaccom wrote:
rlown wrote:I'm a little sensitive to cyclists being in the wrong place, now that vehicles have the 3' rule. I see many non-locals up here riding two-lane rural roads with no shoulders in unincorporated areas. It's flat out dangerous to both. We have at least 1 cyclist killed a month in Sonoma County by vehicle collision, esp in Spring and Summer. If the cyclists want bike lanes, fund them; If not, then cyclists shouldn't be on a dangerous road, especially with a 1 Ton hauling cattle to and fro their ranches.
I am going to take issue with this point, Russ. Cars should not drive so fast on rural roads that they run the risk of hitting cyclists--any more than they should drive so fast that they run the risk of hitting deer, cows, dogs, hay bales, tractors, and other likely and slow moving things on rural roads. That is unsafe driving for the conditions. Cyclists have the legal right to use any road that is not prohibited to them (think freeways) and should be encouraged to do so. The more people we get on bicycles, the better our carbon footprint is, the fewer people we have in cars creating traffic jams, etc. This is a particular issue when cyclists are NOT legally allowed to use major freeways---and then people in cars don't want them on rural roads either. Doesn't make sense.

Cyclists DO pay taxes, just like everyone else. And some of those taxes should be used to fund cycling friendly options. Current federal guidelines prohibit the use of federal funds for any transportation project that does not include consideration for both cyclist and pedestrians. For too long we have built our roads and our communities for the convenience of cars. We need to start building or roads and communities for the convenience of people, instead.

End of rant.
+1

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oldranger
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by oldranger » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:31 am

Harlen wrote:
... Cyclists have the legal right to use any road that is not prohibited to them (think freeways) and should be encouraged to do so. The more people we get on bicycles, the better our carbon footprint is, the fewer people we have in cars creating traffic jams, etc. This is a particular issue when cyclists are NOT legally allowed to use major freeways---and then people in cars don't want them on rural roads either. Doesn't make sense.

Cyclists DO pay taxes, just like everyone else....
Once again, not a rant in my book. Many good points made by Balzacom re. bikes on roadways, all of which we support wholeheartedly, but bikes in the wilderness?!
Getting back to that issue, a point that I think needs to be made is that none of our "wilderness" areas are pure anymore, at least by some definitions, (read The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben) but ANY area can be restored nearer to a state of true wilderness. Therefore the point that Oldranger and others make- that some lesser Wilderness areas might be suitable for bikes, is problematic. In the short view, it seemingly makes good sense, but taking a longer view, any area designated as Wilderness, if protected and restored (e.g., the removal of roads and machines; the eradication of invasive exotic plants and animals; the reintroduction of native species, the cleanup of toxic waste; ...) can be returned, in time, to a state of true wilderness.
There are so many humans, and more coming all the time! Isn't it more important than ever to try to save some of the last pieces of shattered nature? Learning to put nature first, even if it rules out some of our activities out, seems to be the ethical high road to take.
From the mountain bikers and even motorized users points of view every time a new wilderness is created their opportunities for their recreational use is reduced. It is only logical that the more wilderness areas are created that were previously open to these uses the more opposition and attempts to dilute protections of already existing wilderness will occur. The last few wilderness created in Oregon are case in points. I don't want incursions into Eagle Cap, Sequoia, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Glacier Peak, Three sisters (which originally had a road or two) and many other wilderness areas now but cannot understand the need to restrict bikes from Badlands (which has virtually no overnight use) and some other newly designated wilderness areas, which to me dilute the concepts in the Wilderness Act.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Tom_H
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Re: Bikes in the wilderness

Post by Tom_H » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:02 pm

Not to go too far off topic, but this is related-I've sometimes thought there should be differing class categorization of wilderness areas based on how pristine each location is, has the potential to be restored, and its overall value. Class I might not even have trails and would require all waste to be packed out (Grand Canyon Rafting). Class II would be backpackers only and allow burial of waste. Class III allows pack animals. Class IV might allow bikes, but no motorized off-road vehicles. Class V-something like Canyonlands NP where off-roading is allowed, but no mining, etc. You get the idea.

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