[cdt-l] Mountain Bike Use and Abuse

Bruce Ward bruce at cdtrail.org
Wed Jul 18 11:07:53 CDT 2007

Unfortunately Dick this is not a game and there are serious consequences
to thinking it is. With declining resources available to the land
managers for backcountry recreation purposes it is more important than
ever that we find ways to work with all Americans who love the
experiences that have meant so much to people like us. We will be
issuing our draft comments by the end of the month and would greatly
appreciate your thoughtful comments when they have been posted. Thank
you for caring about the CDT, as we like to say at the CDTA, "The Trail
Unites Us." 

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 RICHARD MALLERY
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 7:44 PM
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [cdt-l] Mountain Bike Use and Abuse

I have to disagree Paul--with everything! The first time I noticed
mountain bike damage was 18 years ago in the Adirondack Mountains in New
York State. I knew then that this was going to become a huge problem for
hiking corridors. After spending 30 glorious days hiking Canada's Great
Divide Trail from Waterton, I ended my hike in Jasper.
The last few miles were switch-backs down into town. The mountain side
was totally crisscrossed with mountain bike trails that went kamikaze
straight down the mountain. Much like off road vehicles many riders will
use the trail for access to more challenging terrain that offer thrills
beyond the trail. I live on the North American Vasa Trail. The woods I
have been hiking for 40 years near that trail is now crisscrossed with
mountain bike trails created by those bored with the VASA. Slowly this
web of tread torn trail erodes which make it even more interesting to
mountain bikers.
If you have done any trail maintenance you have seen mountain bike
damage. Many hikers are also mountain bikers. It has become a very
popular sport. I have many friends that work on trails and are avid
mountain bikers. That changes nothing on the impact side of the issue.
Just Google "Mountain Bike Damage" and you can read hundreds of accounts
and view large collections of the various off trail damage I am talking
If every mountain biker came equipped with a halo there might be some
hope in sharing trail. The problem is the very nature of the sport is
Balls-to-the-Wall riding in difficult terrain--trail or no trail.
You might be surprised how much political muscle smelly backpacker have.
I'm always more than willing to create some Bad JU-JU.
What is the difference between the AT and the CDT? What overhaul would
prepare a dirt trail to take constant abuse from knobby treaded tires.
I'm sure a lot of trail maintenance crews would love to have the recipe.
I consider most of the CDT a non-designated Wilderness Area.
What is going to keep the bikers at bay. I have already read articles
that questioned the off-limits of Wilderness Areas.
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
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