[cdt-l] Mountain bikes --> Backpacking stats

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 18 09:21:39 CDT 2007


Hey Dick! I am going to address the comments by quoting. Hope you don't mind I split the post up.

I will preface the post that while we may disagree, I hope we can keep the discussion agreeable. :D

>>Slowly this web of tread torn trail erodes which make it even
m>>ore interesting to mountain bikers.

As mentioned, older trails do not do well with mountain bikes. Trails buillt with multiuse in mind tend to do better. 
That's why the AT (and many other Eastern trails) are more susceptible to mountain bike use. Rocky, rooty, steep. Designed 
for a much different, non-multi use environment. 

As for studies..well, something about Mark Twain comes to mind. :D

See:

Trail Shock - Studies Weigh Mountain Biking and Hiking Impacts
New research suggests that mountain bikes and boots leave equal wear and tear on trails.
By Michael Lanza. AMC Outdoors Magazine, April 2001

Sustainable Mountain Biking: A Case Study from the Southwest of Western Australia
Journal Of Sustainable Tourism
Vol. 9, No. 3, 2001
0966-9582/ 01/ 03 0193-19 $16. 00/ 0
© 2001 U. Goeft & J. Alder

and so on...

>>If you have done any trail maintenance you have seen mountain bike
>>damage. 

Funny you should say that. I do trail maintenance and habitat restoration work.

It really is interesting. The projects are usually a cooperation between various groups.

The equestrians haul in the material, the trail workers usually do many activities (mountain bike, hike, fish, etc).
I really don't believe in this US vs. THEM mentality. We have to work together to protect the outdoors. 
We are ALL outdoors people. Why the division?

In my experience, I see the damage from ATVs and dirt bikes more so than anything else (As Jim O also noticed)


>>The problem is the very nature of the sport is
>>Balls-to-the-Wall riding in difficult terrain--trail or no trail.

Hmm..perhaps in the past. But more and more people mountain bike. It is like saying all backpackers
are these odd people called thru-hikers who quit jobs for months at a time. :) I am thinking
of my friend who is a mother of an adorable 1 yo child. She mountain bikes with her fellow moms.
I think it would be quite funny if you said she is a "balls to wall" rider.  She is NOT a-typical.

As more people mountain bike, I suspect that fewer and fewer people are going to be ball to the wall and just
enjoy the recreation.  Not everyone who road bikes is Lance Armstrong. Not everyone who climbs is Reinhold Messner.
Not everyone who mountainbikes is an extra from a Mountain Dew commercial.

But, we are both basing our views on perception and not hard stats. (Again, Mark Twain comes to mind! :D)

>>You might be surprised how much political muscle smelly backpacker
>>have. 

I would be. The future of outdoor activities is cooperation..not division. 

>>It truly is a Catch-22. Everyone wants a piece of the outdoor pie. You
>>multiple numbers and divide resources—conflict is inevitable. Let the
>>games begin. --Keep Smilin', Dick E. Bird

See..we do agree on something. ;-)

There are more outdoor users..most of them just aren't backpackers. How to keep the land managed and not abused? Like many of us..I have questions
and observations. Answers are another whole ball of wax.








 
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