[Cdt-l] Mountain Bikes

hiker 317 hiker317 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 19 10:53:43 CST 2009

If the USFS insists on allowing mechanized vehicles to be on the CDT,
perhaps a compromise can be reached and the number of wheels can be limited
to 1....

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 10:48 PM, Brett <blisterfree at yahoo.com> wrote:

> In New Mexico, far and away the biggest threat to the CDT that I've seen is
> OHV abuse of singletrack-constructed trail sections. Use and impact by all
> other non-motorized user groups combined is so minimal as to be
> inconsequential, both to the trail and the individual user's experience. But
> the relative dearth of legitimate trail users, combined with a similar
> dearth of posted rules, trail identification, and physical barriers to
> vehicles, has made it unnecessarily easy for motorized users - hunters,
> ranchers, woodcutters, yahoos - to wander onto singletrack sections of the
> CDT, either out of ignorance or no fear of reprisal. Even at a rate of a few
> ATV's per season, the secondary tire track in short order widens the
> footpath into something resembling a road, and wet ground yields permanent
> ruts. At some point there's no turning back the damage, or the
> ever-expanding use by more vehicles, short of a major corridor
> rehabilitation or realignment.
> I'd imagine there are few better opportunities for mountain biking along
> the NM CDT than in the northern Black Range, on either side of NM Hwy 59.
> The highway to the trailhead is paved, the new trailhead is well-signed, and
> the recently-built singletrack trail is gentle and unrocky as it rolls among
> the pines for mile after mile. Yet the trail is receiving virtually no use
> by mountain bikers or in fact by any other users, no doubt because it's
> simply too remote and inconvenient for the sort of done-in-day (or weekend)
> use that most mountain biking (and hiking, and horseback riding) entails.
> But the trail IS falling prey to vehicle incursions, for precisely the
> reasons and in the exact way described above. I'd imagine I'm still among
> the few who have witnessed this particular example of 'vehicle creep' on an
> ongoing seasonal basis, having walked this stretch each year for the past 5
> years while scouting for the Grand Enchantment Trail project. It's a unique
> perspective that is personally somewhat anguishing for me.
> To the extent that the USFS, CDTA, CDTS and others are willing to engage
> one another, I would hope that headway could first be made on resolving
> standing, tangible threats to the trail - consensus issues like motorized
> vehicle incursions - than on murky and divisive issues which in some cases
> remain purely academic. That would be a stride down the path toward
> advocacy, in my book.
> - Brett
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