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

Bruce Ward bruce at cdtrail.org
Wed Jul 18 10:55:11 CDT 2007

On a personal note I feel Mags has done a very good job of articulating
the need for cooperation not confrontation. We need all the help we can
get building, maintaining, and protecting this national treasure. Thanks
you for the input, we would appreciate more discussion here before we
issue our comments on the Proposed Directive.

Bruce Ward
Executive Director
Continental Divide Trail Alliance
PO Box 628 
Pine, CO 80470
Tel.  303  838 3760
Cell: 303 917 1476
Fax: 303 838 3960
Shipping Address:
13700 Highway 285
Pine CO 80470

-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net
[mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of Paul Magnanti
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:22 AM
To: CDT MailingList
Subject: Re: [cdt-l] Mountain bikes --> Backpacking stats

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


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 (c) 2001 U. Goeft & J. Alder

and so on...

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

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
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

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 

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

>>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.

The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust caught,
a portion of the rainbow I have clutched --Thoreau http://www.pmags.com

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