[Cdt-l] Mountain Bikes and ATVs on The CDT

david booth david.booth at internode.on.net
Wed Nov 18 16:35:32 CST 2009

During my CDT section hike hike this year in Colorado, there was a  
Mountain Bike Race along the Colorado Trail that is shared with the CDT.
About 50 riders completed the 500 mile ride non-stop with the winner  
doing it is about 5 days. These riders were impressive people who  
again and again returned to the trail above the tree line day and  
night even in storms and bad weather.
I understand this is a once a year event.

On another occasion at Marshall Pass near Salida I encountered a  
purpose built MTB trail. I was forced off the trail several times  
with near misses and the trail construction was undulating and twisty  
to excite the riders and had all protruding tree branches cut away.  
It was also annoyingly longer than the original trail on the map. The  
marking was clearly for both MTBs and Hikers. I would hike the road  
next time to avoid coming in conflict with the MTB riders.

While I don't begrudge the MTB race event which was very interesting  
to observe, I do worry that if special MTB trails are constructed in  
wilderness areas just to suit the artificial thrills apparently  
needed for the mountain bikers then the quality of hiking (and horse  
riding) experience will suffer.

ATVs on the trail (legal and illegal) are a bigger problem (for  
example near Mirror Lake). Their use is definitely not compatible  
with any kind of natural trail experience.

Aussie Dave
Canberra Australia

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