[cdt-l] Mountain bikes on the CDT

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 17 16:53:02 CDT 2007

Ah...the mountain biking can of worms.

I will preface this post by saying I *DO NOT* mountain bike.

Most Eastern trails are not mountain biking friendly. Too steep, rocky and rooty.

However, most Western trails are built a bit wider, plenty of
switchbacks and tend to be graded nicely. Basically, I don't think mountain bikes have as much an impact on western trails as they would on (most) Eastern trails.

Out West, there is more of a tradition with multi-use trails. As such, there does not seem to be as much an impact.  

To be honest, with declining use of the backcountry, to keep mountain
bikers out of trails is going to be extremely difficult. The majority
of backcountry users are NOT backpackers at this point. Point blank: We
don't have the political muscle to keep mountain bikers out of most areas.

And to exclude people out of areas that they now legally enjoy is going to create some bad ju-ju.

Rather than fight the other users, we should concentrate our energies on preserving what is out there.

Do I want to see mountain bikers
on the AT? No, I don't. Too old of a trail that would require major
overhaul in many parts to accomodate mountain bikers. Like wise, I would not want to see them in Wilderness areas. There needs to be some areas that are foot traffic only. 

On the Colorado Trail, CDT et al? They are out there already. To
exclude them would also exclude people who could be allies. There are
not many people into non-motorized recreation. Hunters, mountain
bikers, anglers, equestrians and hikers also share a love for the
outdoors (in different ways). The division amongst us only hinders
everyone's ultimate goal: protecting the outdoors.  

I do not mountain bike. But I don't see how excluding potential allies on trails already open to them would help us either.

Just my .05 worth.


The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched

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