Banned in the USA: Part 1

Mar 18, 2016
by Vernon Felton  





If you’re a mountain biker, you’ve been banned from nearly 110 million acres of America’s wildest and most pristine public lands. The trail in the photo above? It's called Castle Divide and it was one of the best mountain bike trails in Idaho. "Was" being the operative word since it was just closed to mountain biking.

If you don’t live in the States, you might wonder why you should give a damn about that fact at all. I get it. I also understand that you might simply shrug your shoulders at the notion of unrest in America because, let’s be blunt, America is always in a state of unrest. Same-sex, gun weddings, whether or not Jesus rode a dinosaur to school, the right to burn a flag in a public restroom…. If it’s something that can be fought over, we will be the first person in the bar attempting to tactfully convey our position with a broken bottle and a punch to the throat. America has trails, so, of course, we’re brawling over them too. How predictable.

Still, I’m going to suggest that you keep reading because this fight over whether or not bikes belong in wild places, is a fight that all mountain bikers have a stake in. When mountain bikers are successively marginalized and kicked off trails in one corner of the world, it becomes a precedent to do the same in the next corner. On the other hand, when we successfully band together and maintain access to our trails, it builds momentum in our favor. We can all use some momentum right about now.

This Wilderness thing matters.

Rather than bite off the entire story in one chunk, I’m splitting this piece into a couple columns and interviews. Here we go….


Wilderness mountain biking Photo By Leslie Kehmeier Courtesy of IMBA


WHAT IS WILDERNESS...
AND WHY ARE WE BANNED FROM IT?

Let’s start with the basics—about 110 million acres—roughly five percent of the entire United States’ landscape—have been put aside as Wilderness. Voted into being by Congress and then approved by the President of the United States, these parcels (765 of them to date) are given the highest level of environmental protection by the law (the Wilderness Act of 1964).

The Wilderness Act is designed to keep these lands in their pristine state. No roads. No cars. No new buildings. No motorized vehicles of any kind… It’s a worthy goal. While the United States is a decent chunk of dirt, it is also increasingly criss-crossed and subdivided by highways, cities and suburban sprawl. The Wilderness Act is a modest stopgap measure.

Bikes were not initially banned by the Wilderness Act. No surprise—mountain biking wasn’t a “thing” in 1964. By 1984, however, the US Forest Service (one of five agencies that manages Wilderness areas) had gotten an earful from traditional environmental groups. The Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society, in particular, were clamoring for the agency to ban bikes from all Wilderness areas.

The Forest Service had always interpreted the Wilderness Act as only restricting mechanized transport powered by a non-living source (i.e., a motor). From 1984 on, their regulations restricted all mechanized transport. Or, to be more accurate, bikes. You can argue that horses, skis, snowshoes and kayaks all provide a mechanical advantage—but they weren’t the target here. 1984 marks the beginning of the end for mountain biking in Wilderness areas. The other agencies that manage Wilderness areas followed the Forest Service’s lead and that was that.


bigquotesThere is no environmental merit to banning bikes. None. Many opponents of bikes in Wilderness acknowledge this. Bikes, they argue instead, simply don't belong. This is less an environmental thing and more a social thing. Hikers and horseback riders don't like mountain bikers. It's as simple as that.


Wilderness mountain biking Photo By Leslie Kehmeier Courtesy of IMBA

BECAUSE WE DON’T LIKE YOU….
You might wonder what evidence was actually given for banning mountain bikes. After all, if the goal of the Wilderness Act is to preserve land, you’d logically assume that bikes were banned because they proved at odds with that goal. Nope, that wasn't the case here at all. In fact, when the ban first went into effect, no studies had been conducted into the matter at all. But that has long since changed.

Since 1984, several independent studies have shown that bikes have about the same amount of erosive impact as hiking and considerably less impact than equestrians. There is no environmental merit to banning bikes. None. Many opponents of bikes in Wilderness acknowledge this. Bikes, they argue instead, simply don’t “belong”. It’s less a science thing and more a social thing. Hikers and horseback riders don’t like mountain bikers.

The basic argument here is that seeing a mountain biker on the trails destroys the sense of peace and serenity enjoyed by equestrians and hikers. Our technologically-advanced bikes and the way we interact with the environment are said to be inconsistent with the larger goal of creating timeless places, unsullied by man and modern technology.

There’s no shortage of hypocrisy here as the same people who oppose bikes in Wilderness areas so often roam the same areas with carbon-fiber hiking poles, GPS devices, personal locator beacons, smart phones, 3-season tents and all manner of modern marvels. They are not actually against technology, per se. They're against our technology. Trail runners are also welcome, despite the fact that they move at a higher rate of speed than hikers and, like mountain bikers, generally aren’t stopping to smell the roses either. Why is that kind of Wilderness experience acceptable for a runner yet unacceptable for a mountain biker?

But here's a more fundamental question: Why should one group’s feelings trump another’s? To wit, if a hiker can get bikes banned by simply being offended by the sight of a mountain biker, why couldn’t a mountain biker make the same argument against hikers? If I were to say that the mere glimpse of a hiker ruined my mountain biking experience in wild places, would that be considered sufficient grounds for outlawing hiking in Wilderness areas? Of course not. At best, it’d only be proof that I am intolerant and operating under a grandiose sense of entitlement. And yet that very ludicrous rationale is the very root of why you will never ride some of the best trails in North America.

Public policy is supposed to be objective and rational. Science and fact are supposed to dictate matters of law. That, however, is not the case here. Instead, we have a public policy affecting millions of people that is founded purely on one group’s intolerance of another. That's not good enough.


Wilderness mountain biking Photo By Leslie Kehmeier Courtesy of IMBA

DEMOCRACY IS A NUMBERS GAME
Here’s the bottom line: Mountain bikes are banned from Wilderness areas because there were fewer mountain bikers than hikers in 1984. Back then, mountain biking was just getting off the ground. The first commercially available bikes were only beginning to appear in bike shops. The Sierra Club and Wilderness Society rallied early and in force—effectively beating us down before we gained any kind of critical mass.

Mountain bikers, frankly, were outnumbered by the haters, which is why the International Mountain Bicycling Association did not (and does not) oppose the ban on bikes in Wilderness Areas. Instead, mountain biking’s leading advocacy group works to preserve as much trail access as possible by lobbying for both adjustments to proposed Wilderness boundaries (to maintain access to trails already used by mountain bikers) and for alternative preservation designations (such as National Recreation Areas) that offer similar levels of environmental protection while still allowing for mountain biking.

For decades, it was hard to argue with IMBA’s position on the matter. Mountain bikers were vastly outnumbered by their critics—they were in no position to demand a change in policy. IMBA's approach to the ban on mountain biking absolutely preserved access to trails that would have been lost otherwise.

Wilderness mountain biking Photo By Leslie Kehmeier Courtesy of IMBA

THINGS ARE GETTING WORSE
In recent years, however, a growing number of mountain bikers have come to the conclusion that it’s time to fight the ban. There are, after all, several million more mountain bikers in the United States than back in 1984. Though still outnumbered by hikers, the demographics are shifting.

What’s more, an increasing number of trails are being closed to mountain bikers—in some cases, as much as a hundred miles of trail at a time—not because they are located in Wilderness areas, but because the Forest Service is merely recommending that the area one day become Wilderness.

This shift in policy has accelerated the rate at which mountain bikers in the United States are getting kicked to the curb. Ten years ago you could have shrugged off this whole Wilderness issue. It's rare for members of Congress to stop throwing poo at one another, vote a new Wilderness into being and then get the presidential sign-of. The Forest Service’s new, unwritten policy, however, has effectively widened the reach of the ban by bypassing Congress entirely and creating de facto Wilderness areas. You need look no further than Montana, where mountain bikers are on track to lose access to nearly 800 miles of singletrack within a decade's time. The loss of key backcountry singletrack routes outside of Sun Valley, Idaho, this past August, spread the pain further. At present, the Forest Service is considering Wilderness additions in North Carolina's famed Pisgah National Forest--there's hope that the Forest Service will consider an IMBA-backed plan that would preserve access to Pisgah's famed mountain bike trails, but nothing is guaranteed.

This doesn’t sit well with everyone.



Wilderness mountain biking Photo By Leslie Kehmeier Courtesy of IMBA

A NEW GROUP ENTERS THE FRAY
A new group, the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC), arose in 2015, intent on overturning the blanket ban on bikes in Wilderness Areas. In less than a year’s time, the group has drafted a legislative proposal (think of it as a “baby bill”), raised more than $100,000 and hired a lobbying firm out of Washington D.C. to represent them. Their aim is to bypass the US Forest Service (which has shown no interest in overturning the ban) and go straight to Congress. In truth, many members of Congress are actually unaware that mountain biking is even forbidden in Wilderness areas. STC hopes to change that and, more to the point, convince a few legislators to sponsor the bill and carry the fight through Congress.

The draft legislation would not open all trails in Wilderness areas to mountain biking. Instead, the current version of the legislation would require that the agencies managing Wilderness areas actually consider the pros and cons of allowing mountain biking on some trails. Land managers could still say no to bikes. What would change is that they’d have to give bikes a fair chance. That, in and of itself, would prove a monumental shift in policy.

Not everyone is throwing their weight behind STC’s initiative. IMBA, most notably, is not a fan of the proposed bill. IMBA contends that STC’s proposal would sour the relationships IMBA has forged with land managers and other environmental groups over the years. IMBA also maintains that many of its members are satisfied with the organization's current approach to working around the Wilderness Act and would not support STC's legislation. Other critics of the proposed law argue that STC's bill could be tweaked in Congress, so as to open Wilderness areas to motorized transportation and all manner of industrialized land raping. This, they contend, is hardly the time to go about mucking with the Wilderness Act.

For the first time, there is not only a divide between mountain bikers and hikers on the Wilderness issue—there’s true division within the mountain bike community itself over the ban. Why is that? What does it mean? What's next?

Stay tuned.

Must Read This Week

586 Comments

  • + 723
 Sad how oil and gas companies have lobbied to have access to over 30 million acres of public land in the US and mountain bikers are viewed as the ones wrecking the environment.
  • + 79
 This ^
  • + 90
 double that. Although I do sorta kinda agree at least based on the perception of outsiders who don't ride. If you didn't bike but when you saw images of mtb riders they were always enduro bros skidding the shit out of corners or risking their lives at the Rampage, you'd probably want them off limits too. I'm not saying it's right or accurate, but to those making the rules the perception of this sport can't make it seem like a positive addition to the natural environment. I've spent a teeny bit of time working for mtb advocacy around my city and people outside the bike community just don't care and have no love for highspeed riders. Our needs are always put on the back burner no matter what we propose in terms of volunteer efforts etc. The sport seems risky and detrimental to the natural environment.
  • + 51
 This is basically covered above - the decision is social and political, not environmental. Current users and the powers that be (the Sierra Club) don't like mountain bikers, so they aren't allowed. They don't like oil and gas either, but those massive companies provide huge chunks of funding... mountain bikers do not. It sucks, but it's reality.
  • + 20
 I don't know why JesseE and Catfood-Johnson got downvoted, they made some good points. Perception of mountain bikers by hikers and other environmentalists is a big part of this issue. I'm an environmentalist myself, but it's hard to support the Wilderness Act and the Sierra Club because of they're stance on mountain bikers.
  • + 12
 Its pretty easy math, (lobbyist + buckets of money) * greedy bag o ds = we're screwed.
  • + 36
 Environmentalism has almost always had more to do with ideology, group think and politics than it's ever had to do with actually improving the environment. If you want evidence look no further than Greenpeace's borderline terrorist-level tactics when it comes to GM crops in developing countries, or carbon free nuclear power. Look at California's decision to spend $80 billion on train that will have high visibility but little to no demonstrable impact on carbon emissions. The political right certainly deserves a lot of blame for denying there's a problem, but the left should be ashamed of failing to promote real solutions instead of dogma that fits their vision and agenda.
  • + 6
 If I were in hiking boots, I too would be worried of enduro bros building big berms and trail gaps
  • + 16
 DonkeyTeeth makes a very good point, but it's ultimately a different issue. I agree that MTB specific trail construction shouldn't be employed on shared use trails without consensus any more than those horse jump wall things (that's what they're called, right). When it comes to use, though, impact should be the only consideration.
  • + 112
 I am a mountain biker and like you a house dweller and car driver. Every time I am mountain biking I am doing it at a trailhead with a full parking lot. And all those cars and trucks were used to get smiles on the faces of mountain bikers. In the winter I like everyone else heat my home by the most efficient means possible, fossil fuel (gas). It is easy and ignorant to vilify the energy industry. It is a strange trend that we are chastising industry (nrg being at the top of our hit list) all the while ungratefully consuming their wares. Every house is made out of wood and yet we say don't cut down trees. Every bike is made of metal and yer we say you can't mine. Every trail head has a road to it and yet we say those evil bastards that got us our fuel to drive on the roads, must be stopped. The nrg industry is so bad and yet we complain to no end when gas prices increase by 5 cents. Simply labeling industry as the bad guys is ignorant and biting the hand that feeds us.
  • + 2
 That statement could be on a t-shirt. Actually, I expect to see that at Interbike this year.
  • + 11
 Gasket-Jeff- The truth is what you preach.Congrats.
  • + 28
 US politics. A disaster at every level.
  • + 4
 yesss Gaskey-jeff perfectly worded
  • + 18
 Living in Colorado, nothing makes me more frustrated that seeing how much of the beautiful high country we are not allowed to ride in. There are miles and miles of land that we are not allowed in- 1st world problems I know, but its still a shame to not be allowed in in some of the most remote places in and around areas like crested butte, aspen, vail, winter park etc. These articles expose the errancy of the division between groups.
  • - 26
flag Narro2 (Mar 18, 2016 at 8:48) (Below Threshold)
 you guys are not seeing it through time, Mountain biking is growing exponentially, just compare the prices this year to 2 or 3 years ago, high demand has increased the prices of a Mountain bike close to 30%, my local town in the last 2 years changed from having zero MTB shops to 3 and the 3 of them are always full. Today MTB might not be a danger to the wilderness, but as more and more people start biking and having access to such wilderness places, degradation will begin.
  • + 82
 We also need to remember that when we ride on trails that we are ambassadors for the mountain bike brand. Be courteous, slow down, take your goddamn headphones out, and say hello to your fellow trail user. Nobody cares about your strava time but you.
  • + 56
 you think its bad now?

wait till the e-bikes arrive.

NOBODY will be allowed to ride anywhere other than mtb parks and designated off road use areas.

the e-bikes will force the powers to be to lump ALL mtbs (electric or not) into the same group.
  • + 21
 It takes money to change governments mindset, u can carry a gun in a handbag but u can't ride a bike through a forest. Makes perfect sense!
  • + 3
 @Greg-D its cause we're on PB, haha. I'm all for riding my bike, I can just look past my own point of view and have a certain level of understanding for other peoples, even if I don't agree. Grandpa hiker, mom with 3 little kids, amongst others view mtb with the same lens as motocross. They aren't part of the sport and all we do is glorify the crazy shit and that's what they see.
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 18, 2016 at 9:32) (Below Threshold)
 Gaskett-Jeff, well put, it gets on my nerves to some point as well. At the same time this is my answer everytime someone asks me why am I riding in bike-banned trail: because I will not respect the authority which allows lots of crap for huge companies. What you presented is actual duality, very few are capable of seeing that, however that is just a first step. From that we need to synthesize singularity again, decide what is the right thing to do, what is the best compromise to suit the circumstances in order to move things forward and take full responsibility for it. Now what green-leftist facebook drama btches , are doing is that they seek some ultimate solution not seeing that it is the small things that matter. I've been asked lately on some dumb business sect motivational lecture, what is my ethical spine as an architect. What would I do if got a call from Tesco that they will pay me this and that for drawing a supermarket in the middle of nowhere. I said that A, this is a classic case of stupid extreme example, but I can take it in a way that well... they will be building it anyways and maybe I am the very guy to make the best of it for environment and society. B I think that it is small decisions in small projects that matter much more than taking a heroic stand. In only 7,5 years of professional work I came upon many design decisions where we could do a small good thing and we went "meh". So to get back to this specific case, I think it sucks that someone who allows sht like Tar Sands bans biking, with dumb excuse about care for environment, but as a gasoline user I am trying to use less and less of it. PS. We Europeans would like to nuke US for using gasoline for heating the household... how fkd up can that be?! A-to establish a government subsidizing fuel so hard, and B for individual to not see the consequences.

I had to get a crankset this year since my new frame has pressfit (and old frame cracked) I did take the pain of buying a Hope crankset since it is made locally (like 80% of components on my bike). I'd prefer a Shimano, cheaper and lighter. I went for Hope. I believe small decisions matter.
  • + 25
 Waki- you are seriously deranged to think we use gasoline for home heating. Overwhelmingly we use natural gas , not gasoline. It is relatively economical(compared to electricity) and heating oil and clean burning as well.Heating oil and propane . are only used where UG NG lines cannot be installed and the ancient systems installed are still functional.
Get your facts straight.
  • + 36
 In my opinion these back country trails will seldom be visited by "enduro bros" or "downhill" mountain bikers so presenting an image of Kurt Sorge at Rampage or some "Bros" blowing up berms is a bit far fetched. The fact that there is no road leading to the top or even base of these mountains will certainly deter the majority of the gravity fueled riders. My image of the antagonist in this story is the ultra fit, lycra wearing man or women riding a twenty seven speed bike, who actually enjoys going for 50 plus kilometre rides into the wilderness. This population often shares the same values as the Sierra club or any other environmental group and have a great respect for wilderness. Obviously a downhill section would have any rider pouncing at the opportunity to pick up his pace so long as he is not putting anyone else in harms way. In my experiences biking or hiking I have always been a little hesitant moving around someone on a horse, similar to avoiding shoulder contact with the large man in the bar with a Tap Out shirt on. Some equestrians are not experienced riders and do not have full control of the six hundred pounds of muscle below them which are easily spooked by hikers or even off camber ground. So from a hiking point of view which has the least impact if responsible, I would have to say equestrians have the greatest negative impact and put others at a higher risk of injury. Also I find it highly annoying to be be walking or pedaling along and right in the middle of the trail is big, hot steaming pile of horse shit.
  • + 3
 mess myth- But the legacy users (equestrians ) are the power brokers out there and they count for something in the access battle. You will have a tough time convincing the mass of the populace that horseback riders are somehow a destructive evil affront to their enviro ethos. You basically make the argument when you bring it up that the whole concept of Wilderness is a joke if you follow the logic to its end.
I would say that until you have them in your favor you are dead in the water. Which is why I find the constant parsing of users so laughable for whatever ideology separates them into user groups.
  • - 3
 messmyth is a bit out of touch with horse people and their horses. Horses are closer to 700-1000 pounds for one you would meet on a trail. Those horses you would meet out on a wilderness trail are very well trained. You don't go out into the middle of nowhere with a horse you cannot trust. Horse people are the nicest people you will meet if you take the time to talk to them. They go out on rescues and do not get reimbursed in any way. I have seen them drive fifty to a hundred miles to go help look for someone they have never met. As for the piles of stink they leave on the trail, think of it as fertilizer. It is digested grass, nothing more. I do agree that on BLM trails you will most likely never find the DH bombers. Most of them cannot ride up the trail so that they can then descend said trail. But I disagree about the Enduro crowd. They will go out and do the what ever it takes to get to the top so they can bomb down the trail. Most of the enduro racers are in better shape than road riders. But I don't see them stopping to make berms to rail or jumps to fly. They would be out to train for the next event. Most likely a natural venue. People need to learn not to be so self centered. Learn to share your world with others and appreciate what they share with you. Just because you have to slow down to pass a hiker or horse does not diminish your ride. It adds another aspect to the experience. You cannot do a PR each and every time you ride. Enjoy the fast spots and take in the others sharing the trail with you in different ways. What I am trying to say is we (mount bikers) and other trail users need to come together and learn to share. Our lives are only so long, we are frail creatures prone to disease and malady that will end us sooner than we normally would like. We need to work with other trail users and police our own. Those that you know that will blow past other trail users just make our task of getting back the land for bicycle use harder. School them! Without good will we will never get our lands back.
  • + 3
 1. I'm sorry but do we somehow take the dirt with us when we leave. If done right most trails can help reduce the erosion caused by rain...bonus. 2. If it gets more people to exercise our governments should endorse it. 3. Most access is granted to pay back the costs of any controlled area and to appease the people who would oppose control of the area in the first place, like recreation around a proposed Dam site. Sucks when the only access granted is for hiking and horses...even restricting dogs on leashes...politics.
  • + 6
 @waki who told you we heat our homes with gasoline? If you belive that you are truly WAKI, like crazy waki.
  • + 2
 I thought of a great solution to half of the problem, whenever you see a hiker just run them over...
  • - 2
 I'm with WAKI with this absolutely nobody can tell me where I can and can't ride a bike... Besides it's totally unenforceable anyway so who cares?
  • + 5
 Totally unenforceable? Maybe where you ride but I can tell you here they issue tickets and in one area I know of they have been confiscating bikes. The tickets are not cheap either. Also riding in closed trails to bikers does nothing more than give more fuel to people who want to close more trails. It does not help anything when hikers perceive us as ones who will not follow the rules anyway. So when groups go to bat for us the hikers bring up instances like this. While I agree that trails should be open to mountain bikers I feel this attitude of no one can tell me where to ride does not bode well for advocacy groups trying to open trails to everyone.
  • + 4
 Around here the bikers have waayyyy more respect for the environment. Areas closed because of nesting birds or wetness are filled with hikers, horses, bird watchers and disc golfers who, by the way, are NOT worried about being kicked out, fined or restricted. Well the disc golfers might worry a bit...they're the new guys on the block. Bikers don't want to deal with the ruts left so they mostly stay out.
  • + 3
 I meant oil not gasoline - my bad. Look - a few guys can feel better about themselves since there is a stupid guy ot there. Your self-confidence boost -It's on me Wink
  • + 3
 @USMC how could you possibly get caught halfway up a mountain in the woods riding a bike?
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 18, 2016 at 15:58) (Below Threshold)
 Thenotourismic - I think their cars get them in trouble. You leave a car at the parking lot, head out to the woods, return and cops are waiting for you. In areas with multiple access points it is impossible to hunt down a cycliste. . I spoke to guys riding in national park in Poland. They head out around 2-3 a.m. . They getto the top by 5-6 and are riding down already before first hikers get into the reserve. They avoid main entrance points when entering/leaving. Living in denser urbanized areas like Europe has it's good sides too...
  • + 7
 Money talks mountain bikers walk but poaching is an old school artform.
  • + 1
 You obviously wouldn't use a car park if you was illegally riding trails would you. You'd park somewhere where your not going to be seen unloading bikes.
  • + 1
 Illegal trial riding is the same as riding when it's muddy and rutting up the trails people worked on to keep in good shape.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic we have rangers up in the mountains watching for things like this. I was stopped once by a ranger on a mountain bike.
  • + 3
 In the Muir wilderness near where I live there are rangers that you will see while hiking and are generally making sure people follow rules, people report things also
  • + 1
 Skaggs has rangers with radar guns and they will write tickets for speeding.
  • + 4
 The Marines actually were out on the trails with guns- one would confront the rder with more marines and ATVs around the bend. It would have been pretty hard to dodge them. Interesting development tonight- looks like the Marines are going to return the bikes and reduce the fine if people agree not to sue. Seems they made a few little mistakes- like confiscating bikes off ot their property and in areas with no signage (contrary to their statements) . SDMBA and a laywer named Richard Duquette have put in tons of time to get this resolved.
  • - 1
 It's only illegal if you get caught.
  • + 7
 Easy there killer. Gasoline, heating oil, kerosene... it makes no difference. It's all derived from crude oil. Being high and mighty on natural gas may make you feel wam and fuzzy but hydro fracking shale deposits and leaving a slurry of poisonous chemicals below ground and contaminating drinking water isn't exactly something to pound ones chest over. I heat my house with the wood pellets, good bad or indifferent it keeps me warm in the winter months. Can we just stick to the story here? Mountain bikes are fun as hell and we want more places to ride them. It takes money and desire to make change. If we all joined an advocacy group to help the cause and showed why mountain bikers aren't the enemy maybe we could go further as a group. THEN maybe we can burn one another at the stake for how their house is heated. Cheers.
  • + 2
 @fecalmaster knows what's up, the best way to do things."
  • + 4
 @moonshadowmetals my poo is just a digested subway sandwich, nothing more. Is it ok for me to leave it on the trail as "fertilizer"?! On a more serious note, I occasionally ride in the U.S. (great riding, great hospitality) and I think you need members of congress to read Vernon's article. It really sums up the unfairness and hypocrisy of excluding us as a user group.
  • + 0
 Mikey, around here they pick the poo up and place it in a plastic bag and leave them on the side of the trail. Poo would turn into fertilizer alot better then the plastic bag will.
  • + 6
 AMERICANS BANNING OTHER AMERICANS FROM ACTIVITIES AND PLACES BASED ON POLITICS AND COMFORT IS A STEP AWAY FROM FREEDOM AND A STEP TOWARD DESPOTISM.

This will become more then just banning mountain bikers from wilderness. Now that precedence is set, other groups may now be disallowed into wilderness areas on false pretense.

BTW: The US is not going to spend any money, NOT ONE DIME, to enforce the trail bans. Trail bans that were lobbied for by citizen environmentalist groups. Ride these trails without worry and be happy.

Rules, specially bad rules, were made to be broken. Rules that are nonsensical and made on false pretense, and are easy to break, were put in place by people with broken minds that believe supporting false pretenses to restrict people is okay.
  • + 8
 "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws" -mlk
  • + 1
 @thook...Thank you very much. If it's not fair, f*ck em.
  • + 2
 Can't we all just get along and shred????? If not not guard your head.
  • + 2
 I'm sure your neg props came from Americans who positively as a whole, hate any kind of criticism that could possibly indicate anything less than us being the light of the world. I'm also sure that the language barrier is what made you say gasoline rather than gas. Meaning natural gas. If not then yes you are mistaken. We do not use gasoline to heat our homes. However natural gas derived by fracking is revealing itself to have a lot of negative impacts on the environment. That being said... There is simply no way any one anywhere can justify not letting bikers into wilderness areas based on environmental impact. It's hatred of one group against another, and unfortunately that is one thing our culture does very well. It saddens me to no end to see how my fellow countrymen behave towards one another. But there it is.
  • + 1
 If someone stops riding because of this then they are an idiot. Just carry on as normal.
  • + 0
 fattyheadshok- Where's your flag? You're self loathing is so hipster.

As far as being the "light of the world" . It is quite true that we are and have been for the last 100 years anyway. I am certain we will have to save it (the world) again fairly soon. Too bad that fact escapes you. But there it is.
  • + 2
 Haha an American who thinks he's going to save the world... what a little cutie.
  • + 6
 America hate is so adorable. There is only one thing that stops Europeans from living the American dream of self made surplus of capital: Nr of Europeans per acre. God Give us more land and natural resources and we'll be crusing around the world in Nuclear aircraft carriers enjoying brown people safari with drones, while our wives will be
driving V12 Volksvagens. If anyone thinks that Europeans aspire to some higher moral or environmental standards from their own will, he's delusional. We keep it tight because we have to, not because wechose to
  • + 1
 I think this conversation had gotten way off track here. But Waki has spoken so we can all go to bed now.
  • - 3
 Bikes are getting increasingly aggressive (a.k.a. awesome) and in many areas, purpose built trails, where people can ride their bikes as they were intended to be ridden, don't exist. Efforts should be focused on creating purpose built bike trails, rather than allowing bikers to ride any hiking trail they please.
  • - 1
 @bbachmei sorry but that's absolute nonsense. Purpose built trails are cool but mountain Vikings about getting out there riding natural trails. Tracks were made for access hikers have no more claim over them than anyone else.
  • + 5
 MTB LEGALIZE IT!
  • - 2
 I'm not sure how related you all find this to be, but my country needs to get its head out of its ass.
www.nytimes.com/2006/04/16/books/review/16lievan.html?_r=0
  • + 2
 Coldspringer-More revisionist , simplistic drivel.I am so sick of the USA bad, Powerful Bad.Hey!Shit happened, deal with it without weakening your position in the geopolitical landscape and move on. If you are so disaffected then go and live in some other country. Looks like Scotland would fit that description.
  • + 1
 No matter what's being said about US I'd prefer to live in US than in Pakistan. It's always better to be the wife beater than the wife. We only sympathise with the beaten woman. It's that simple when world is black and white.

Red white blues in the sky, summer's in the air, heaven in your eyes. Sing your national anthem.

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,

You too can fix the world here on Pinkbike! Remember kids and lads, It's better here than going out and hitting someone with a book
  • + 0
 @moonshadowmetals I'm glad your first priorities are to address how much a horse actually weighs and third is to point out how nice people who ride horses are. Lets not play the " they are the nicest people in the world you just have to get to know them" card. The same goes for mountain bikers, and jaded defence lawyers.
  • + 0
 I always obey all signage,, never pooch a race track, always give the right of way to angry treehuggers and have never chased a park official with an axe.
  • + 1
 I know quite a few of both, horse people and mountain bikers. And by far the nicest are the horse people. I am a mountain biker as well as a roadie. I know the extent to which all involved parties will go out of their way to appease the other. By far the horse people win. This is mainly due to the lack of knowledge that us bikers posses concerning horses. Horse people have a lot to deal with. When you meet a horse on the trail little things like knowing the horse has to pass on the uphill side of the trail, or that horses are afraid of things that bikers take for granted. Did you know a horse will spook if you are holding an umbrella. Not something bikers will have on a trail, but hikers do. I know a lot of mountain bikers go out of their way to be courteous when sharing the trail. But we don't actually realize how far we have to go just to keep from spooking the horse. To be fair, to keep from spooking my mountain bike, just don't approach it with a running chain saw, it has issues with two stroke engines. The horse, a plastic bag will do, scares the crap out of them. Horses hate Wal-Mart parking lots, littered with free range bags of all sizes and colors.
  • - 1
 I would hope you never encounter a hiker with a umbrella, second that just makes my point more concrete in that horses put people at the higher risk of danger then anything else using the trail. Lets just keep in mind that a horse was a wild animal and doesn't need trails that hikers and mountain bikers use to walk on. Horse people are nicer because they have a greater knowledge of horses???
  • + 3
 Just my point, bikers are less tolerant and egocentric.
  • + 0
 Moonshadow- Well stated. Horse folks are typically older, smarter, more connected and financially stable. All those things generate envy and disdain by the mostly immature cyclists who somehow think they are entitled to everything and operate with an imagined moral superiority. e-Bikes, Equestrians are all somehow a threat and evil because they have a motor. wake up chumps. We're all the same in the big picture.
  • + 4
 I would not run into generalizations, idiots and bouffobs come in all sizes, skin colors, beliefs and means of transport. Then 80-20 ratio always come into play. 20% of total population of each group are a-holes and they ruin it for the rest. Then we have the position of power and which gives certain groups privilege to behave however they want and antagonize everyone else. Finally humanity as a whole is in a stage where we are mobbed into belief that nature is some harmonic entity which we humans destroy.

Yes we have went over the edge with our impact on nature, but it has never been harmonic or balanced. Our ancestors knew very well that nature doesn't give a tiniest fk about our attitude to it and it needs to be tamed or it will kill you. Being one with nature concepts have been completely distorted by comfort of living in civilization. Certain people fk ntaure shittin on it but that also creates those who behave as if Grizzly Bear would give them a hug if it saw them meditating or planting trees while reality looks more or less like Revenant movie. So nature has more to do with MMA fight than with Tai Chi session. They get those high-fly ideas on who destroys and who protects nature just because they have great clothing, food supply in the back pack, a car on parking lot 3 hours away and if something goes wrong they have cell phoe to call a helicopter. It's great to have National parks to protect the land from private pillage but it's time to start treating them for what they really are: as a common resource for recreation, nit some fkng church, or sanctuary of an uspecified God.

Whenever a group gets official access it can start regulating it's own members because it naturally takes responsibility for what it does, because it knows that this 20% of a-holes are fkng things up for everybody, while active 20% will seek ways of not only maintaining, but also improving the current infrastracture. Trails are not getting eroded only because bikers came in. They get eroded because hiking trails are rarely built to last. So bikers can improve quality of trails for everybody if they would be given a chance.

Why don't we let motos in then, some may say. Answer is simple: make an estimation of trail erosion caused by motorcycles and what kind of surface could take bare two wheeled machines. What surface would be sustainable. You come up with asphalt pretty quickly, and that makes it a no go. Then eventual generated noise and it's impact on wildlife can be easily measured, in dB. In many Natural reserves there are bans on even hiking and ski-touring to provide animals with peace during waking up from slumber or for shagging season. It's about management for fks sake, we can do this, no other creature can. When local MTB club posts info that some a-hole ruined this and that bit of the trail, then he is more likely to listen and adjust his behavior than when horse rider or politician says so.
  • + 0
 Waki-For the most part I agree with your nice little rant. Exception is, I have personally built many miles of Moto trails. They are built to last and drain properly. They can withstand tremendous traffic from all user groups and serve all of them well when done properly. One of the main issues is one of perception. The more densely you concentrate any groups activities the more trail erosion/damage you will see. In many cases I have seen this is the opposition groups intent as a sort of long term sabotage to the unwanted user group. Severely limit the area of trail access and sit back and wait for the fallout. As I state in every rant I write. Until ALL trail user groups organize together and fight for a new paradigm we are DOA on the access issue.
That may have to exclude hikers as they appear to be the one group who is not going to be reasonable.
  • + 1
 This might be the longest e-argument I've never had updates on.
  • + 1
 Alright guys this has been fun but I am out. Have a nice day.
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic mountain Vikings might be about riding natural trails but I'm trying to talk about Biking. ????
  • + 194
 I think I now understand why there is so much ebike hate from the US side of the fence. They would make an already tense relationship with the authorities and peer groups even worse.
  • + 123
 Spot on mate. Death to the Sierra Club!
  • + 96
 ^^^This dude, f*ck the sierra club. Bunch of rich hypocritical old bastards with too much time.
  • + 84
 GROW A PAIR IMBA!!! and randy- it has less to do with trail access because e-bikes are clearly motorized and will never be allowed in Wilderness areas. Its more of their use on regular trails but that's a whole other discussion. Great write up. I did a research paper on this subject about 6-7 years ago and you hit every nail on the head. Its sad after all this time nothing has really changed from suggested Wilderness, to even the massive issue of trail access in Montana. There's hope now that we have lobbyist groups and peer-reviewed studies showing mtb trail degradation vs. other users such as horseback riders. If anything those giant turd-stomping, smelly and disgusting creatures should be banned from trail use along with their horses.
  • + 50
 IMBA has all ways been gutless since day one.
  • + 77
 Land of the free home of the restricted land access
  • + 5
 @scott-townes I get your point on horses, I'm not a huge fan of them myself and they do quite a number on trails. That being said your mentality (whether tongue in cheek or not) is the exact same mentality that the Sierra Club and other groups advocating against Mountain Biking have (minus the turd-stomping part I assume). In an ideal world there should be more mountain bike specific trails in the U.S. and more of an understanding of the economic benefit of having a really strong network of trails that cater to mountain bikers.
  • + 30
 Been following Vernons writing on the issue from bikemag to here now and I'm glad he is able to bring to light what is going on. IMBA doesn't have our back, I fully support STC's commitment and drive to reverse something that should have never been there in the firstplace. Before you make the arguement that we don't need to have access to all these areas read the article again. Some places will probably never see a bike for many different reasons, but it's time we stopped this blanket ban based on "social differences". We live in america, you have to deal with people you may not like... time to get over it.
  • + 17
 Home of the restricted everything... We definitely don't have it as bad as a lot of places in the work but this country is far from what it was 100 years ago... I mean shit, all we want to do is ride some bikes!!!
  • + 11
 I feel so badly for the American brothers to the south. Who's political system, has been gripped in a death knell of terminal flatulence for some time now.
This issue is but one of many that plague the "average joe" that the political system was instituted to protect. And has now gone out of it way to disenfranchise itself from.
The Mercian gov't will be the end of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for the sake of the 1%er's "no don't ...Thats Mine".
  • + 36
 "the International Mountain Bicycling Association did not (and does not) oppose the ban on bikes in Wilderness Areas"

This is one reason why IMBA sucks.
  • + 24
 New argument: It has a seat, it has wheels, it's a wheelchair!
  • + 23
 Have you seen the bitch ass trails IMBA makes, they clearly are weak and feeble and unable to aggressively attack anything
  • + 8
 @scott-townes E-bikes are absolutely at issue here, because allowing them on trails could be used as leverage to "protect" trails from these new "abusive" users... by expanding wilderness areas based on that justification.
  • + 3
 @racerfacer I think you may be on to something. Wink Smile
  • + 1
 groghunter- True there's always an unknown with suggested Wilderness areas, but to become a full out protected Wilderness area takes so much more than just some e-bikes. So in regards to suggested wilderness, it may be an issue but I see other factors coming into play before e-bikes become a big enough problem. Hopefully anyways.
  • + 7
 IMBA, where every trail must be 3 feet (1 m) wide, and super smooth. No roots, rocks, bumps etc. etc.
  • + 6
 HAHA the state took our trails in maui and would only let an IMBA chapter put them back. thats how we got a pile of SHHIT- 2 ft. high speed bumps every 20 feet "so you can't go too fast", literally, direct quote.
  • + 7
 cant somebody or group get the American bike manufacturers to get together to help support the fight against the ban, I mean if they helped to fund or supply some of there own lawyers to win the battle, wouldn't that be in the bike industry's favour as the more trails there are to ride the more bikes they would ultimately sell to all the new bikers in the booming bike market
  • + 15
 @mark3 , great idea. We all know that Specialized has a really robust team of attorneys!
  • + 0
 Access100% by foot.

I want free and complete access with my tank. Who's fighting for that?
  • + 0
 You're a little strong on the horses dude but I agree with you. Why humans decided to "tame" a herd prey animal for transport is beyond me. They are so damn frightening. 1000 pounds of twitchy muscle with a brain the size of an orange fighting a million + years of prey animal instinct. Then shod their feet with steel clubs. I'm sorry those things are friggin scary. Of course they're twitchy and easily spooked on trails. They're nothing but overgrown deer.
  • + 107
 I'm not against banning bikes from some trails were there are ecological and erosion concerns, but allowing horses in places that do not allow cycling is incredibly hypocritical. Horses destroy trails, take up space, and they shit everywhere. Everywhere. There is nothing worse than accidentally riding through a big pile of horse shit.
  • + 60
 Horses. This is the issue for me. Where I live, Illinois, the equestrians account for less than 1% of the traffic, yet they cause 80% of the damage. It's usually a fat white chick riding with a parent/grandparent and often they ride in a light rain, they say it helps keep the bugs down, and they obliterate the trail. Horses shouldnt have access before bikes particularly in my area where bikes outnumber horses 5000/1.
  • + 16
 Agreed. When I was hiking in the States I would follow the map constantly to figure out where I was. On a hikers only trail I could always smell to confirm what the map shows: that I was about to join a trail that allowed horses. Once there, the trail would be unbelievably eroded, smelly, with either deep dust or mud. We learned to avoid horse trails while planning future hikes. Never seen the equivalent here in Australia. Only on a busy race weekend on DH trails in the height of wet or dry have I seen such trail damage, and nothing remotely similar on normal mtb trails.
  • + 16
 And one single large rain storm will do far more damage to a trail than a hundred mountain bikers. This issue is definitely not about trail damage.
  • + 10
 iamamodel- A truer statement has not been made here. Here in Norcal-USA we are having a bit
of El Nino rains. They have trashed every trail,road I ride. Almost to the point of unrideable. This could of course be largely avoided if the land managers would allow trail work to occur that would install proper drainage features (water bars) on said trails.
  • + 6
 @deadtime - this is my experience here too. We have a bunch of multi use trails outside the city, built by the mountain bike community, and maintained by the mountain bike community. I have never seen a hiker or an equestrian at a trail day. Yet when we're posting trail reports and warnings on Facebook about keeping bikes off the trails when it's wet or melting, there are horses out there postholing, and pugging up the trails so they're practically unrideable. Banning bikes, and allowing horses, is incredibly hypocritical.

I can actually see a hikers POV. I enjoy hiking, and it's nice to do it somewhere where there aren't mountain bikes coming down the trail at mach schnell, throwing up dust and dirt and clattering and clanging. There's generally no mountain biking allowed in any of the national parks here, and nobody much cares. But we're lucky enough here to have plenty of trails to go around. If that wasn't the case, then yes, I'd have an issue.
  • + 11
 @samsq yes. in montana there are trails for shared use that are just COVERED in horse shit. you have to dodge piles every 5 feet for the first mile of trail. i just LOVE being the one scowled at when riding my bike on a trail thats been covered in feces by horses...
  • + 6
 A horse ranch opened a few years ago near where I live and they started chartering rides on trails we mountain bikers built... Well one day I'm riding, the trail I helped build, dodging all the fresh horse shit, on our once beautiful trail, and I come across a train of horses with mostly fat women and their fat children getting pulled by a guide in front. So I pull over to let them go buy (IMBA rules are that horses have the right of way, we are always at the bottom of the right-of-way pole) and one of the fat bitches looks down at me from on top of one of the poor horses and says "What are you doing back here on that bike, are you allowed to ride on these trails!?" I turned to explain calmly to her that she's actually on trails that we bikers built and now share with the equestrians, but she didn't look like she heard a word I said. It just goes to show you that we on 2 wheels will always be hated by the general population! Mountain Bikers Lives Matters, start the movement!
  • + 5
 Got to love our "allemansrätt" were bikes are allowed out in the nature and we are free to hike and bike more or less wherever. Quite a rad law!!
  • - 2
 I just invented the first renewable energy divice that tranforms your bullshit into electricity. Basically its just a toilet hooked up to a generator.
  • + 0
 @fecalmaster if you are replying to me, I can assure you that is the case here.
  • - 5
flag fecalmaster (Mar 20, 2016 at 18:16) (Below Threshold)
 Hahahahah who tha fuck are you. Enough about you please talk about you its all about you.
  • + 1
 equestrians means horses ass in case you all didn't know
  • - 1
 Keep riding on then little buckleroo.
  • + 2
 One time a fine lady upon a white horse, with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, said to me, "talk to my horse, talk to my horse so she knows what you are." I was waiting patiently for the riders to pass. I had been climbing when she spotted me from her mount and yelled to the other riders, "MOUNTAIN BIKER!!!" Like I was a bear or mountain lion lying in wait. I was climbing. I am not a fast climber. Especially since I was dodging large hoof sized holes and piles of Horse $#!%. They all looked and talked down to me like I was a peasant and they were royalty. I thought it was a bunch of horses @sses on horses @sses. Anyway, she shall have music wherever she goes.
  • + 1
 @deadtime: Haha thats funny but true in NZ also, horses destroying MTB trails and should stay on there own tracks, horse riders spin out when they think MTBers have been on there trails.
Its a real pity that MTBers are losing trails to ride on, i did some wilderness trail hikes back in the late 80s when i was in the US, what an amazing country to hike and ride, hope to come back soon and ride some trails, good luck mtbers.
  • + 86
 This thing of having to hire a lobbying firm is such a strange idea to me. Politics should be based on common sense, not lobbying power and money...
  • + 58
 its almost as if politics is a sham, based on money rather than democratic choice.......

but yes i agree, reading through this it seems like these closures and bans have nothing to do with the reasoning they give and more to do with cash/influence etc........

Same in the UK.. shame...
  • + 24
 was it ever about common sense? you are funny Wink
  • + 2
 it is all about the votes.....
  • + 14
 The European Union is one of the worst offenders of the corporate lobbyist cause.
  • + 18
 Meanwhile here in southern Poland we are happy to see more and more trails open for bikers. STB (Super Trail Brothers), ABC (Arek Bike Camp) and many others have successfully managed to raise funds for building trails in the local mountains. For example there was a kickstarter-like campaing that aimed at raising roughly an equivalent of 5k USD to build a trail center at Sleza mountain near Wroclaw, and they raised four times as much - now they're already digging. Early last year the town of Bielsko Biala had a contest to distribute a grant to whomever came with the best plan. Trail center plan has won and half a year later we can enjoy some of the best single tracks in the country at the Kozia mountain right on the outskirts of Bielsko Biala. This is getting some serious momentum - life's getting good here Smile
  • + 3
 kopaczus, are those trails legal(approved by the government)?
  • + 21
 One of the huge reasons these bans took affect was because mtbers didn't have a lobby group but organizations that hate mtbers like the Sierra Club have the money for lobbyists therefor its only their voice people hear on capitol hill. Welcome to American politics.
  • + 13
 HAHAHAAH Politics and common sense. LM FAO Good one mate.
  • + 7
 Agreed, nothing about common sense - you know what I'd do, just go ride it! f*ck EM!

Also, what will "they" actually do if they (whoever they are) ever did see you riding a track, just shout, get my number plate a*shole and ride off!??? Surely!
  • + 5
 It takes lobbyists to get anything done in Washington. They're critical to our political system since few people have the skill and time to devote to getting Washington to change.
  • + 2
 Just econimic power has politic power. So Trump he can be president , not a worker of the ghetto...
  • + 20
 Politics is ONLY about money. Everything else is just a floor show. The baby-boomer asshats that made and make up the Sierra Club have dough and spend it to further their bullshit agendas. This hasn't changed since their inception. STC is right on point. F the Sierra Club and all the other entitled groups whose hypocritical prejudice is backed up with their kale. Fight fire with fire. Shame on IMBA for burying their heads in sand on this.
  • + 6
 Fight fire with fire and you'll just end up burning everything down... try using some reason instead.
  • + 6
 "try using some reason instead"

You know this is Washington we're talking about right? Pretty naive, IMO. I don't really see how pooling some money to hire a lobbyist to defend our interests is going to "burn everything down". Lobbyists are there to represent the interests of specific groups. The mtb community is dispersed all over the country and there's just not that many of us. We stand no chance of getting a congressman or senator to write us a bill and fight for us, because they generally have much more pressing issues to deal with that concern more of their constituents. So mtbers have a lobbyist write a proposal and try to get legislators on board. Hopefully, eventually, our lobbyists can get enough people on board to change the laws. It's how govt works.
  • + 2
 "We stand no chance of getting a congressman or senator to write us a bill and fight for us..."

Not true. The STC is already making great strides in this regard.
  • + 5
 @IamZOSO that's exactly what I mean. You as a citizen of Utah's 3rd congressional district (or whatever) have virtually zero chance of writing to your congressman and having him spend any significant time/energy representing mtb in washington; they won't listen to you because mtbers in your congressional district aren't a significant enough voting/fundraising block for them to put in the effort. That's exactly why we need a lobbyist (STC), because they go to Washington where the legislators are and represent our interests full-time. We pay them to lead the charge because we're too dispersed and too niche to get a specific congressman/woman to lead it. It's not really in their interests.
  • + 2
 Ah. Thanks for the clarification. My bad. And of course I agree.
  • + 1
 Wait. How do you know where I live. Stalker. Wink
  • + 4
 @amonas yes they are fully legal and backed by local governments
  • + 2
 They start setting booby traps. I try to ride farther in than the hikers usually get.
  • - 1
 I am going to put this out here: common sense presumes to predict what people or objects or systems will do given the least amount of information that could be obtained at a glance. Common sense rarely works and is actually really stupid. Please don't ask Congress to sink any lower than they already are by calling for common sense.
  • + 2
 bkm303, not to denigrate dingo-dave's post, but you are bang on in your reply. As Canadians we do not grasp or appreciate just how convoluted & complex the American political process is & the power that lobbies have. As with most political systems, money talks & reason flies out the window. To the above article & why it matters to non Americans? Simply put, most of the free world looks to America for example & leadership whether we want to admit it or not. How America manages it's public lands could be a template coming to a wilderness area near you.
  • + 5
 You're right... what do I know about American politics. The only reason I'm even commenting on this article is because of the hate I'm reading in the comments of others. Maybe my comments don't apply to Americans but I see some Canadians spewing hate and that's just sad. IMBA itself hasn't directly done a huge amount for us but it's given power to smaller groups and associations to lobby locally and provincially for more and better trail access. The whole argument of dumbing trails down is very debatable. I love steep, tricky or scary as much as the next person but let's be honest with ourselves and remember we're not the only ones using trail networks. NETWORKS. The vast majority of riders like easier trails and if you want power to lobby then you need numbers in Canada. Those numbers aren't dollars, they're members. I live in the Ottawa area where the NCC is reviled by many as being anti-moutainbiking and useless. People who felt entitled to do as they please in the wilderness areas around here gave them shit for not building trails or closing down existing trails. Long-story short, some of the riders banded together and formed an organization as an IMBA affiliate. The approached groups like the City and the NCC with an open mind and a calm demeanour instead of anger. It didn't happen overnight but we're now looking at having access to a number of previously illegal trails within the next 2-3 years. The City recognizes that group as being the primary stakeholder in an environmental protection zone. We have trail centres popping up all over the region. Things are moving in the right direction. IMBA didn't do this for us but it gave us the cred to approach and be heard by those groups.
  • + 2
 cunning linguist its America they will shoot you
  • + 5
 @wideload yeah to be honest the idea of lobbying/lobbyists in govt gets shit on constantly here in the states, largely because when people talk about them they're generally thinking of some super well-connected political player getting paid millions by oil companies or the NRA to push an agenda. But lobbying is perfect for situations like ours where we have a disparate group that's not locally focused enough to be part of someone's political platform, but still want to see issues addressed on a national level.

Second point is good too. USA had the original model for wildnerness conservation/preservation for the enjoyment of its citizens, and it's been emulated all over the world. In many ways our national parks/forests have been the world's test laboratory for conservation and management.
  • + 1
 @dingo-Dave, being from Ottawa you probably have a greater grasp of American politics than most, proximity & what I can only assume is a constant onslaught/reminder of living in Canada's seat of power. Rules & laws for trail usage vary from province to province, for the most part it is a non-issue here in BC, but the rumblings & warning signs are starting to show. What I see as a growing concern here is some bikers assuming that trails built on public lands by bikers are exclusively bike trails. Trails on public lands are for everyone, the approach that the riders in your area should be an example to all, I now understand your first post. We are just one group of users who should have the same rights as anyone who wants to enjoy getting out on trail systems.
  • + 4
 Don't be fooled into believing your goverment (no matter where your from) doesn't work any different.
  • - 1
 @nick1957 not if you ride fast enough ;-)

But really, if someone said, you can't ride this track in our local woods, we would just carry on regardless. Sorry if it is ignorant but you're not likely to erode a mountain range before your kids grow up!

My thoughts are, if everyone who always did it, still do it, how will they stop you all? I know for a fact my bothered scale wouldn't even register. The whole idea behind the mountain bike was to ride rad stuff that wasn't previously accessible. Do it!!!!!
  • + 1
 What we have is a government of unlimited and unchecked power, so we have people lobbying it to use that power to their advantage, this is human nature. This problem is caused by 4 things. First at the core of this issue is big government, then lobbyists, the elected officials in the pocket of the lobbyist and sometimes even the voters who vote for free shit. There is plenty of blame to go around at every level.
  • + 0
 Cheers for the heads up, but I already undersea perfectly as I studied politics. It's not about politics, it's about fresh air and doing what the f*ck you like on your bike. How can anyone say you can't use the land if nobody "owns it". The earth is all of ours, some parts for example inner cities are harder to ride as people have essentially purchased land and have a right to tell you to sling your hook, which is fair.

A massive landscape, that has been created equal for all shouldn't be dictated that someone with a horse can use it, but someone with a bike can't?

Bikes, made from metal, oil, loads of other stuff. Even if "man made" it all came from the earth in one way shape or form, as did a horse.

All I'm saying is:

YOU GOTTA FIGHT, FOR YOUR RIGHT, TO PARTY!!!!!!!!!
  • + 70
 Where I live hiking trails are always the most scenic, technical and well maintained trails to ride. If real good reason not to ride the trail (steps, man-made features, erosion etc.) then I will head on down the path. Not only because they offer a great challenge, but because its the only way I can really stick it to the man in this matter.

I know you are going to say "I'm the reason these bans are in place, and you're acting childish". I already know. But when I'm in the middle of nowhere, and I am conscious of not skidding around every corner, I am practicing my god given right to enjoy that little slice of my paradise. I am not one to let people in an office 500 miles away decide how I can enjoy my world.

I am a man of morals and character, I know when I am crossing the line. Pedaling my bicycle next to a creek is not crossing the line.
  • - 55
flag kpilar (Mar 18, 2016 at 3:35) (Below Threshold)
 lol "your god given right" hahahahahaha in your dreams buddy. just because you have a bike and are looking for a challenge doesnt mean you can go ride whatever the f*ck you want. f*ck you. you are the reason we keep getting banned from more and more trails.
  • - 10
flag stretchza (Mar 18, 2016 at 3:49) (Below Threshold)
 its not really about skidding.its about the impact that a bike has compared with hikers...even if you are careful. Protected areas are protected for a reason..because their ecosystem is a complex and in many cases threatened. all of our national wilderness areas are banned from any form of riding and only open to hiking and controlled horse-riding (you can ride in the national parks if you want...but i'd sooner not to do that in fear of being mauled by a lion or rhino) I am all for this and the protection of areas that hopefully my childrens children will appreciate too. A pathway to many may just be a pathway you can ride along..but in many instances that pathway has delicate alpine flora etc etc that as a cyclist you do not see, but as a hiker you do and avoid.
  • + 32
 I tried to convey that I understand my local areas well enough, and most have signs stating re-vegetation area, etc.
I'm not trying to contribute to the extinction of any organisms so I can ride my bike, I'm saying screw the hikers and their private boardwalk through my local mountains.

Maybe I'll go do some trail work on hiking only trails and post a sign that says "no dig no walk".
  • + 8
 LIBERTY OR DEATH!! @somismtb
  • + 12
 @stretchza "the impact that a bike has compared with hikers"

Specifically what impacts? Mtb has been shown to be no more detrimental than hiking in almost all environments, and far less destructive than horses. Sure, some a*shole could go skidding through a corner out in the wilderness somewhere, but how is that different in principle from an individual hiker or equestrian abusing their right to be there? We don't prevent hiker access just because someone decides to camp where they're not supposed to, or bushwacks off the trail. The potential to cause damage is not the same as inherent destructiveness... and as we alienate well-intentioned, respectful users from wilderness, fewer people will feel they share a stake in protecting it from more destructive forces.

Also.... if a "pathway" had delicate alpine flora on it, it wouldn't be a pathway. If it's meant for people and horses to walk on, how is crushing a plant with a tire any different than crushing it with your foot?

@somismtb I agree with you. I do believe we all have a god-given right to responsibly and respectfully enjoy natural areas, and that's absolutely the intent that Roosevelt, Muir, and Pinchot had in mind when they created the concept of preserved wilderness.
  • + 5
 My fellow countryman/woman has it a bit twisted. The science does not back up your views on the harm bikes do over hikers. Yes its not all about skidding, but thats really part and parcel of the same thing you describe - the alleged impact of bikes on trails. There are numerous factors at play - the number of bikes or hikers, the soil composition and the types of flora and fauna present. There are plenty of hikers who don't do what you say they do and plenty of mountain bikers who ride carefully. If you on a trail there should be little or no harm to nearby wild life. With a study or two, the potential impacts can be minimized. I have yet to see any conservation organization in SA back up their anti cycling stance with scientific studies. That's because all the studies actually say hikers and bikes have a similar impact, with some saying hikers are worse!
  • - 8
flag stretchza (Mar 18, 2016 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 lets leave the horses out of the equation for now...The primary impact that a cycle might have on the environment when compared with a hiker is the speed. Theoretically (and i dont think we need to back this up with science) a bike going with gravity will disturb that natural environment because the rider has zero time to make adjustments to avoid anything of environmental importance. I am in no way denying that hikers also do damage while walking and yes they also leave traces of their own waste littered around the envrionment, which arguably bikers dont (unless they find themselves candidates for fail of the month). At the end of the day, because you are going to get a*shole cyclists...you kind of have to exclude everyone because of them...which is unfortunate. On a side note..peaty released a video of them riding in Iceland a while back, and i was most put off with that as they were paying absolutely no consideration to the environment. I am by no means a bunny hugger....but there are parts of this world where I think you need to feel like you are alone..and restricting parts of the world to hikers only does enable you to get a inkling of that..as unfair as that might be
  • + 9
 "because you are going to get a*shole cyclists...you kind of have to exclude everyone because of them...which is unfortunate"

How does this make any sense? There are TONS of a*shole hikers, hunters, anglers, etc. We don't ban all of them based on the **possible** actions of a few of them.

"paying absolutely no consideration to the environment."

I think **that** was the problem.... not the fact that he had a bike with him. How is that any different than the people who would hike into Goblin Valley and destroy rock formations? (www.cnn.com/2014/01/31/us/utah-boulder-boy-scouts) Do we ban hikers and boy scouts?

"there are parts of this world where I think you need to feel like you are alone"

Then you can walk/climb/pedal farther, higher, and longer than anyone else is willing to. You'll find yourself alone. You shouldn't have the right to legally impose your aesthetic preference on other people. If I decide that seeing fly fishermen detracts from my wilderness experience (it doesn't, I love fly fishing), do I have a right to get them excluded from the area? Or should I learn to exercise some tolerance and let them appreciate nature in the way that pleases them?
  • + 2
 It was the same in Aggies movie - also looked like they were trashing the environment in Iceland. What you say re bikes on a fast dh may be true, but there is no real evidence to suggest that the odd off trail excursion has any long term environmental impact or effect on biodiversity. You may say your observations say otherwise, but I'd say, show me the real evidence of loss of biodiversity caused by bikes. There isn't any. The simple answer is - do not ban bikes but restrict them to less sensitive areas. This is what will be happening in Tokai, assuming there is actually anything worth protecting there after 100 years of plantation.
  • + 2
 Also the speed argument is silly; I could say the same for trail runners. The fact is, that too can be remedied by responsible, in-control riding. It's not justification for a ban.
  • + 8
 I did my thesis project at UC Berkeley on this EXACT issue and the literature (along with my own modest little experiment) out there regarding the differences in impact (trampling, trail widening, erosion, wildlife impacts...) between hiking and mountain biking is inconclusive at best. The highest environment impact from a user group? Horses. Go figure.
  • + 4
 Indeed, & unless the studies were uselessly contrived, I guarantee they considered skidding as part of the impact of MTB, because a non-zero percentage of the population locks up their brakes. It isn't so much that MTB has so little impact, as that hikers have much more impact than they are given credit for. But neither is so impactful that they should be banned wholesale from wilderness.
  • + 9
 How many wildfires have been started by a hiker flicking a lit cigarette off into the bushes, or having a campfire or lighting a stove in a high fire-risk area? How many teenagers and morons go out hiking with their friends to drink beers and smash bottles and spray paint the face of a cliff? Can we put these incidents under the impact hikers have on the environment? Cause I sure as shit have never heard of an instance like that coming from any mountain biker anywhere Ever. Seriously.
  • + 15
 A trail is a thin strip of dirt through a giant forest. There should be no delicate flora to avoid on the trail itself. I promise you that a strip of singletrack is the smallest of threats to any forest critters and plants. Environmental arguments are a red herring and are hypocritical in the grand scheme. This is, and always has been, a social issue. We micromanage a ribbon of dirt while we harvest timber right down the road.
  • - 3
 I think our interpretation of these areas might be different.....@AllMountin I think it is important to remember there are different levels of natural wildlands. In america you are extremely fortunate with amount and extent of your natural environment. a second point to however consider is that your vast expanse of pine plantations are not protected here as they are commercial plantations, and there is singletrack all over them. In SA we essentially have 2 types of protected areas. The first type is protected due to wildlife reserves, so you cant really go riding there, and the second type is protected because they are either important water catchments or because of the flora and fauna, or prehistoric rock art. This means vast areas of grassland, small plants and shrubs or alpine flora. In these areas hiking is even strictly monitored and the lighting of fires (as alluded to above) is strictly prohibited. If these areas were opened to cycling they would have an impact. @headshot i would not classify Tokai in my description of protected areas
  • + 5
 stretchza …So how do the horses avoid stomping on the alpine flora ??
  • + 3
 The argument that bikes damage trails is proven to be absolute bullshit and even if it wasn't we are talking about harsh alpine environments here with flooding, landslides, herds of animals, wind, rain forest fires glaciers etc mountain bikes are doing nowhere near as much damage as nature itself... No species of wild flowers going extinct no ground nesting birds being killed that nature isn't already going to work on.
  • - 7
flag SethStar (Mar 18, 2016 at 17:49) (Below Threshold)
 Bicycles are man given and have nothing to do with "god". Your only god given right is to be able to walk those trails. Talk about entitlement....
  • + 8
 Hiking boots are man given and have nothing to do with god. Your only god given right is to be able to walk those trails barefoot. So entitled.
  • + 0
 What is it with American's and still believing in God?
  • + 6
 @thenotoriousmic

It's less an American thing and more a world-wide thing.

People need their tchotchkes and totems.
  • + 45
 I'll say it again: IMBA is useless. Nothing they have ever done is as important as this issue, and if's obvious to anyone who's thought about it that they are on the wrong side. We've been sitting next to the table begging for scraps for 30 years; that's the "relationship" that IMBA has cultivated. We're never going to get a seat at the table unless we demand it, and IMBA is unwilling to even consider doing so.

IMBA won't get another dollar from me until they change their tune on this. My club is talking about ending our IMBA chapter status because of this.
  • + 18
 Well finally do it. This has been ongoing for the better part of a decade now.... What's the hold up? We stopped supporting IMBA a while ago because of how little they do to actually further the interests of mtbers. They don't care at all. "Maintain relationships", what a load of shit.
  • + 12
 My club was lobbied by IMBA for membership.... No thanks!
  • + 25
 IMBA wanted to come in on the coattails of a trail we were building here locally, after WE put all the effort in with the forest service. Before we made this possible, IMBA wouldnt extend the olive branch at all. IMBA is worthless. You nailed it. Not even sure what they advocate any longer.
  • - 11
flag dingo-dave (Mar 18, 2016 at 7:16) (Below Threshold)
 Being an IMBA member isn't about having IMBA do all the work for you... it's about being able to say you're part of a larger organization that is recognized when you're out doing your own advocacy work. Advocacy is based on relationships. You won't get anything if people don't like you.
  • + 5
 My understanding is IMBA rolled over on the wilderness issue. Its the path the Sierra Klub and other groups are now going to take. Just get the lands to become Wilderness. Problem solved for keeping bikes out. So if IMBA isnt going to tackle this issue, groups like the STC will.
  • + 3
 IMBA Trail Solutions is what they advocate for now.
  • + 4
 being part of a "large organisation" that doesnt cater for your views, how the hell does that improve anything?

Thats like being a Labour supporter, attempting to solve a matter by being a member of the (larger) Conservative party
  • - 4
flag dingo-dave (Mar 18, 2016 at 11:16) (Below Threshold)
 Their view is that trails are awesome and we should have access to more of them... you don't like trails?
  • + 4
 Actions speak louder than words.
  • + 1
 @owlie we have had the same experiences here. They came in, neutered the existing trails that existed for decades, then left the maintenance to the locals who they scold if they alter anything. They even added 'speed bumps' to slow people down...... Their rulebook is ridiculous and not exact sustainable over long term use. We are trying to keep our local loops away from them because they have dumbed down everything they touch while spewing 'growth' and 'new ridership' as a positive. Please start using the #imbasucks hashtag on social media.

The trails were also advocated by local groups. We don't need imba to advocate anything as local advocacy groups do a better job anyway.
  • + 4
 Local advocacy organizations are often WAY more successful than IMBA chapters. Look at Evergreen in WA for an awesome example.
  • + 2
 Evergreen actually gets shit done! I am really excited for the follow ups to this article. I think MTB actually is starting to get the cash flow behind it make a difference. Look at how big companies like Spec, Trek, and Giant are. If you could get their collective support behind stuff like this then things can really start to happen.
  • + 1
 Put your money where your mouth is. Donate to the STC. At least they have a spine and are willing to fight in D.C and not from behind some desk in Boulder, which has lost most of its MTB trails, right in IMBA's own back yard.
  • + 1
 IMBA's relationship with land managers must not be that great since mtn bikers are still loosing trail access.........IMBA is useless. I say we beat these environmental groups at their own game.......STC sounds like the perfect vehicle.
  • + 35
 Great article, valid points. One topic not covered "they don't like us" needs a bit of expansion from the mountain bike side. As much as I love my mountain bike brethren, I do consistently run into those riders that are quite rude on the trail and feel that they "own" the trail. Carrying speeds on the downhills that approach those of a downhill cup race with little regard for other trail users. Too many mountain bike riders have the attitude that "I am on the trail and YOU need to move". A little respect for all trail users goes a long way. It would also be nice to see photos and videos limit the amount of rear wheel slides that kick up a rooster tail of dirt. Not very well looked upon by those outside our sport. Next time you are out riding and pass a trail user (hiker, runner, etc) have a conversation with them and it won't take too long to realize that we as mountain bikers need to work on our level of respect for others.
  • + 5
 This is what I came to say, but you already said it. If we gain a reputation of being polite, pleasant people, that will go a long way. Stop for the horses. Say hi. Slow down for the hikers, shout a friendly hello when approaching them from behind. Say thank you when they move off the pass and let you pass. Stop for them when they're coming up hill. Treat them like they matter (they do) and they won't lobby to get you banned. If we all did it...
  • + 9
 @macroman exactly! I teach my boys and other people starting out in mountain biking to acknowledge everyone on the trails with a "hi, how are ya?" "three riders coming down," "last rider," "thank you!" every time. Mostly, we are greeted with hello's, smiles, and return "thank you's." I explain that doing this will likely keep our bikes on the trails for years, and it also is a good human thing to do.
  • + 2
 Nice to see others have the same thoughts. Thank you for spreading proper etiquette and kindness @TheR and @rrolly.
  • + 33
 I really don't understand all the hate we get from hikers. Some of the best trails here in Austin were made solely by mountain bikers in the late 80's/early 90's, and for years they were only used by mountain bikers and there were no problems. Fast forward to the last 10 years or so and with the crazy population growth here, there are WAAAY more hikers on those trails than MTBers, and I see posts on Reddit all the time about how they want the trails closed to mountain bikes. f*ck off!! We built the trails, we maintain the trails, and all of a sudden just because you start using them, you're entitled to take them over and kick us out?! And the ironic thing to me is that the hikers are the ones leaving trash in the woods, leaving their dog's shit bags lying in the middle of the trail, etc. while us MTBers generally clean up after ourselves out of respect for nature. So backwards.
  • + 3
 @atxgravity052, I used to live in Austin back in 06-07 and totally agree. Really cool bunch of trails around Austin and out in the hill country (and can't forget 9th Street). I worked on a few volunteer days and the MTB scene was really doing a lot of work. Haven't lived there in years, but I hear it is getting crazy down there.
  • + 2
 @bman33 It's definitely crazy here now! I'm planning a move to the mountains in late summer to get away from all the madness. It's too bad you left before Reveille Peak Ranch opened up. Some of the best riding I've done in Texas. If you ever end up back down this way let me know!
  • + 1
 Yeah, heard about The Ranch. Def let you know if I head that way
  • + 24
 "Their aim is to bypass the US Forest Service (which has shown no interest in overturning the ban) and go straight to Congress. In truth, many members of Congress are actually unaware that mountain biking is even forbidden in Wilderness areas."

This is exactly the way to approach the problem. There's no reason to bend to the breaking point to acquiesce to what is clearly a hiker/horse-centric ideology at the US Forest Service. The list of UFS outrages with respect to bikes is long and painful (even as a poorly informed Canadian I know this...thanks to Netflix) but none of us have to put up with incompetents operating within large bureaucracies. I know because I work for a large bureaucracy! The way to deal with these organizations isn't to try to play by their rules for much longer than it takes for them to say no, nor is it to poach trails that have bike bans. Go make your politicians work for you, and loudly and publicly fight/embarrass the UFS for its ignorant policy.

There's no value in a "relationship" with an organization that is immune to logic and reason. That's like being friends with a bully. Better to go down swinging than tugging a forelock.

TEMPLE
  • + 8
 After 30 years of offload advocacy I can assure you the USFS is a gutless assembly of bureaucrats. They only respond to the oldest,loudest and most litigious constituency. If that is hikers through Sierra Club or Timber or mining industries it doesn't matter. Whatever makes their life easier is all they really care about at the ground level.
The politics are fought in Washington and in the courts.
The problem is and will remain the same.
Who is going to fund this legal and lobbying effort to fight.?
It will be nonstop and expensive. I don't see how any MTB group who will sell their grandmother for a 20% shop discount are going to contribute the necessary funds to do it.
Until you abandon the silly environmental ideology that appears to dominate the discussion in every thread I read, and team up with the other stakeholders (i.e. off roaders, moto, hunters,etc.) you will continue to pound sand and eat shit as it is served to you. The truth hurts. .
  • + 0
 Who's going to pay? How about anybody who cares about biking in these places? Who pays for the IMBA? My money will go to the organization that gets the results. I'm unlikely to be alone in this. Or, I double down. Quadruple, actually, since I already pay to be part of several road and mountain bike groups. I would happily add another worthy organization in the name of advocacy. It's a tiny cost relative to the money I waste on other crap.

There's nothing silly about environmental "ideology" (I am not entirely sure what you mean by that). Either way, I don't like to ride in clearcuts or in lifeless forests. I am not even slightly interested in teaming up with the off-road/moto crew or hunters, because the way mountain bikers interact with the environment is on a whole different level (a better one) than what they do. The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.

TEMPLE
  • + 2
 Temple- You will never see the result you are looking for then. You simply refuse to "GET IT" . Oh well.Enjoy the small patch of land the faceless bureaucrats allow you to pedal your bike in.
  • + 0
 Yeah, I don't think so. Hikers and equestrians managed to get access to wilderness areas without teaming up with hunters and the off-road/moto sect. I hope mountain bikers are far more aligned with the former ethos than the later. There's no reason we can't get access on our own merits without having to team up with people who participate in wildly polarizing activities like hunting or moto.
  • + 4
 Temple-You forget one very important thing. THEY DON"T LIKE YOU. They never will. It is tough to accept but it is a fact. I know these people. They just want all the land to themselves. It will take a truly freedom loving liberty concerned government change to fix it. You will get access when the much larger offroad community gets access.
To the average hiker and to some extent equestrian. MTB riders and MOTO are the same thing.
The one opportunity is equestrians are closer to the liberty respecting contingent than hikers by their nature, they are an opportunity to bridge the divide.
In my offroad trail building, the only groups who worked side by side to construct trails were moto clubs and equestrians(individuals). Hikers are just users.
  • - 1
 How about we as MTBers pay? Donate what you can to the STC. I did.
  • + 25
 There is a lot of this going on in the UK, so its definitely not worth ignoring.....
  • + 22
 IMBA can go eatadik. They oppose STC because it could possibly usurp their power as the voice of "responsible" mountain bikers. Their sustainability mantra is "horsesh!t" (pun intended). Nearly every IMBA-supported/managed trail is a smooth dirt track. A snoozefest of a time, similar to just riding an indoor trainer. And any interesting features are neutered and watered down to cater to the lowest possible denominator, devoid of any progression.

I oppose IMBA.
  • - 5
flag dingo-dave (Mar 18, 2016 at 7:18) (Below Threshold)
 They oppose division because we gain strength in numbers
  • + 4
 I think it is interesting that you are speaking up for IMBA, without justifying their actions, whilst admonishing those who comment on this page AGAINST said group, and they ARE giving justifications for their views. Curious... :/

Im interested as to your solution, to the problem that exists, seeing as how everyone else seems to be wrong lol
  • + 3
 Maybe an article like this one will either wake up IMBA's leadership, or those in a position to challenge their leadership. There's been articles before, but a two-part article on one of, if not the biggest MTB website, should motivate anyone with their head not completely embedded in their rectum to rexamine their position.

As it is, they're heading towards irrelevancy, even if they don't realize it. Clubs are more & more recognizing IMBA chapter status as a liability, not a benefit.
  • + 1
 I've already justified my opinions a little further up on this page based on my experience. IMBA isn't perfect, but then again most things aren't. That doesn't mean it hasn't been useful.
  • + 24
 Fuck IMBA
  • + 3
 Wow, that's deep...
  • + 8
 This needs to be said more often: f*ck IMBA.
  • + 2
 Maybe we need to make a song and video... like F*ck the Police
  • - 3
 And what have you guys done to help mountain bikers gain/maintain access to trails? Have you ever helped build a legitimate trail? Let alone do any advocacy work?
  • + 2
 Yes, I am a volunteer, just not for IMBA. Don't confuse yourself with false dichotomies, Dave.
  • + 2
 dingo-dave is a shill for IMBA. anywhere in the comments someone has spoken against IMBA you can see this dingo trying to defend IMBA. IMO IMBA is like greenpeace. yes the intention is good. yes they have big numbers of members backing them. and yes they are the biggest lobbying force. But they have a soft stance. They arent actually standing up for the group as they claim. This is why STC is like SeaSheperd, a true group of badasses getting shit done.
  • + 1
 Yes I do many trail builds each year with my local club
  • + 1
 And it's for my club not IMBA
  • + 2
 I build lots of trail. One trail per year, adding to the local riding scene. I will however, never support IMBA. I have a nice "IMBA sucks" sticker on my truck.
  • + 1
 This should be a hashtag! #f*ckIMBA
  • + 2
 Ok... you guys are missing the point. IMBA is by no means perfect but it's far from being so bad that it deserves that kind of BS.

Hey Wayne or Shaun how about I just start saying "f#ck Wayner Parsons" or "shaun-ride-fast-michael" because you don't build trails that I like?
  • + 2
 Sounds good. I'll take two.
  • + 0
 Do you have kids?
  • + 2
 @speed10 I haven't been an IMBA member myself for the past 2-3 years. I just don't think they deserve all this hate.
  • + 15
 f*ck hikers and horseback riders. They're the outdoor equivalent of those pretensious douchebag yuppies that don't say hi back when you say hello when walking down the sidewalk or at the store. They just look at you with disdain, as if to say "How dare you. We are not in the same tax bracket!" GET OFF MY LAWN, a*sholeS.

Also, never heard of gun weddings. Shotgun weddings, sure, but not gun weddings. I suggest you google it, some pretty awesome photos out there!
  • + 33
 And for what it's worth, I like hiking, and I like horses. But those Sierra Club cocksuckers need to fuck right off.
  • + 6
 Had to google it haha - damn, didnt know bridesmaids and automatic weapons looked so good together
  • + 3
 Haven't had any problems with hikers.
  • + 2
 therealtyledurden-I can assure you, I am in the proper tax bracket as those DB yuppies. It is their cliquish way of separating you into your proper class (in their mind). I get the same treatment because I never gave a shit about conforming to their image. I take great pride in pushing it back at them every step. They eventually come around,but if they don't I still don't give a shit.
  • + 15
 Kill them with kindness. The "f*ck Hikers..." attitude will get us nowhere. I go out of my way to be polite on the trail and I expect the same form equestrians and hikers. I will say that I get more pleasure out of stopping and politely acknowledging an disgruntled other trail user than I do getting in an outright fight with them. It is hilarious to watch them get madder and madder wile you stay calm.
"Yes, lets get a ranger involved. I think that would be the best way to come to a resolution here... While we are at it, you can tell them about your out of control off leash dog." Then watch them try to explain to the authority how pissed they are that "this biker politely stopped and said hi to me! Give him a ticket and get him out of here." It is awesome.
  • + 2
 Why the hate for the unleashed dog? I ride with my dog every day. He sure as hell is not on a leash. Nothing is better than the love of an unleashed dog running free in the woods. Nothing. OK maybe something. But it is a good thing.
  • + 1
 @rowe538 *Most likely semi auto Wink Common misconception, but it's a huge can of worms and a lot of money to get fully auto firearms here.

@chasejj. Good man. Keep up the good fight! Razz

@ridedh1313 Definitely. "f*ck em" is my attitufe from a distance. Face to face, I'm all smiles and they always get right of way. I have no problem with them having right of way either, their steeds have no legit brakes and no killswitch haha. Just don't be douches on the political side, you equestrian bastards!
  • + 1
 @Ridedh1313 And I fully agree about staying calm and killing with kindness. I see the pinkbike comments section as a chance to let loose my passive aggressive anger with like minded people. Definitely don't act that way in actual life Smile
  • + 1
 I crashed into a dog or it crashed into me, not sure, it happened so fast. A dog bit me on my ankle, I wasn't going fast enough. A dog scared me, I thought it was a wolf charging from the bushes, it was a husky. Those little SOBs were having fun on the trail too though so it's all good.
  • + 12
 I have taken up skiing but have been a snowboarder most of my life. And either way I am always listening to people bitch about boarders or skiers. I wish people could just enjoy being outside and stop screwing things up for everyone else. Cross-country skiers vs Fatbikes, Horse owners vs Mountain bikes, Hikers with dogs vs MTB's, SUV's vs roadbikes when will this crap end.
  • + 5
 It's so refreshing to snowboard with the latest generation of riders. My 15 year old son and his friends don't see skiers vs. snowboarders....they just fuckin ride! I hope to see the same thing for you mtn biking yanks soon
  • + 4
 MTB's v/s equestrian
MTB's don't get along with hikers
MTB's v/s trail runners
MTB's v/s moto
MTB's hate e-bikers
DH MTB's v/s Enduro MTB's
f*cking mountain bikers they ruined mountain biking
  • + 1
 JoseBravo- You win the prize! Until they see the light. We are all just going to be trampled by the system.
  • + 15
 "Hikers see me rollin, they hatin, I'm riding dirty "
  • + 11
 Excellent primer outlining some of the major issues concerning MTB in the US. I may be vilified for saying it, but I think that IMBA has been a huge failure to the MTB community, especially in the last few decades. They become more and more a self serving bureaucracy every year. They've become too big to be able to adapt quickly enough to a changing political landscape, and in many cases are simply unwilling to rock the boack because they see themselves in a lofty position. They no longer feel a need to risk political relationships in order to fight for the things that members are asking for. We as mountain bikers have become too complacent in supporting IMBA without actually educating ourselves about what they stand for, or what our money is being spent on. We send them our money blindly, thinking that it's the best and only option to support the sport we love. It makes sense, IMBA has positioned itself as the defacto group for such a cause. I really hope that groups such as the STC can gain traction. We need more than IMBA is willing to provide. Seems as though the Forest Service is doing the dirty laundry for Sierra Club, and kicking us out from trails we've been riding for decades under the pretense of preserving wilderness. I wonder who's getting the kickbacks from that deal.
  • + 9
 Things that are allowed in Wilderness Areas: Mining, low level military flights, wildlife management (i.e. hunting and fishing, upon decision by the state it is located in), grazing of livestock. Somehow, I am unsure as to how ALL of that is okay but biking is not.


I will have to admit that we are our own worst enemies. All any representative who is considering a change in designation has to do is pick up a copy of Bike, MBA, Bike Review, whatever, and see scenes of people roosting, bar dragging, and being anything but low impact. You see scenes of the Rampage and people climbing around with shovels and pick axes rearranging things to create a line.

I am a mountain biker and someone who uses a 4wd truck to recreate. I know full well that a vast majority of bikers and drivers are responsible but that is undone by the one or two scenes of people doing dumb things.
  • + 9
 I ride a trail system in the Philadelphia metro area called the Wissahickon - or Wiss for short - that literally hosts hundreds, if not thousands, of hikers, bikers, and equestrians every weekend, especially in the spring, summer, and fall. The equestrian folks are constantly complaining about riders, but being as they make up only 2% at most of the population using the park, they aren't gaining that much traction. With that being said, I do know that they have been complaining. But talk to any of the hikers in the park (besides the particularly cantankerous ones) and people seem more amazed at the bikes flying down super techy sections and up steep climbs than psised off about it. Certain groups will always feel that they are superior to others. But the Wissahickon is a perfect example of how riders, hikers, and equestrians can, and should, get along. If you get a chance to ride it, you should. And to all of you horse riders out there who get peeved by bikers - my suggestion is you stick to the trails that aren't bike friendly. You are the minority, and yet we STILL make concessions for you. Take that to heart and enjoy your time outside, and we'll enjoy ours.
  • + 1
 Go Wissy!!! I'm right there with ya!
  • + 11
 Definitely makes me not take fro granted the Scottish access laws. We can ride any existing trail and for that its probably one of the best places in the world to ride.
  • + 1
 I was soo surprised when I saw mtb tyre tracks on Cairn Gorm. Unthinkable in the US of A!
  • + 9
 Wilderness "protection" is not about protecting anything, many/most wilderness areas have had substantial industrial operations (usually mining..) in the last hundred years and have completely recovered, that industry is the source of many trails. Miners cut badass single track as a path to get to the worksite. It IS about denial of access to as many people as possible and, if we don't win this battle, its going to continue. Next step will be horses, then finally hikers, because any human travel leaves a trail that can be called damage if you're looking hard enough and have that bias. What the end goal is, I have no clue.

The trails we leave behind us are very temporary, they disappear if not used/maintained constantly. The planet and its processes will eliminate our tracks in no time at all, even if those trails are made by tires. But the benefit to the souls that travel on those trails can last a lifetime.
  • + 8
 I wasn't going to comment on this, as a lot has been said already, but what the heck, it's my birthday...

First of all I support the idea of wilderness designation and would like to see more of it. If we lose some access for valid reasons, so be it. That being said I think that bicycles should be allowed in wilderness areas on a case by case basis and for this reason I support the basic plan of the STC.

I have been riding for 30+ years on the west coast mainly in The Sierra and Coastal ranges. Over this time I have held different views on trail access/poaching. In the late 80's I was young and we pretty much rode whatever we wanted. The lack of suspension was a definite factor in trail choice and speeds ridden. In the early 90's access started tightening up, but we had lights so we'd hit the goods at night. Again, I was still young and immature. We also had front suspension now and were pushing harder on trails and looking for more challenging terrain.

In the late 90's I had a few run ins with various rangers, who to their credit were cool, and let me off after we had surprisingly cordial conversations about trail usage and maintenance. At this time I also became active with various MTB organizations and decided I should stay off trails closed to bikes because it harmed our image and would limit the chances of us getting access to some single track. Depending on where I lived I would ride/drive to the few options we have for legal single track.

Fast forward to the present. In Marin County things have gotten slightly better. Slightly. I give a lot of credit to our local bike organizations and the battles they fight. Sadly I feel that access has happened too slowly. We are still a vilified user group. Some of the trails gained are of the new "multi use" standard.

A few years ago a trail that links our neighborhood to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area became the talk of the neighborhood because of a hiker vs. biker incident. The trail had no usage restriction signs so folks argued whether or not bikes were even allowed. It's a horribly built trail that most of us seldom ride. I often wondered why the National Park Service had ever even built it. As the drama escalated it came out that this trail was built illegally by a father and daughter who who wanted to hike from near their house into the park. This trail was later adopted by the NPS. Most of the hikers thought it was "cute" that it was a family built hiking trail. If it had been a biker built trail they would likely have been prosecuted as many have been.I was incredulous and went back to my renegade ways. I'm sorry but I can't take it anymore.

So here are my current beliefs/rules/selfishness. Bear with me, I'm almost finished.

As it is stupid to get in a car in the SF Bay Area any more, 90% of my rides start from my house. I ride everything in a ten mile radius, but I try to be smart about it. I stay off trails in sensitive areas or that really aren't appropriate for bikes. I stay off high use trails on the weekends. I am friendly and courteous to all trail users, yes even the equestrians who create postholes that take us hours to repair. I ride with respect to the wildlife. When the newts or salamanders (I forget what the are) are in full effect I don't ride. I let the trails dry out for a day or two during the wet season, and when it's pouring rain I get the tools out and fix the horribly maintained fire roads which turn into rivers.

I don't pick up the plastic bags of dog waste that line our trail systems but maybe in the future I'll rise above that too.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I'm going to go outside now and clear the fallen branches off the trail from our last storm cycle.

Peace.
  • + 7
 And the meek shall inherit the designated bike lane. By taking the approach of the eternal apologist and constantly playing defence, IMBA has succeeded only in emboldening the opposition and inviting more attacks. The best defence is to go on the offensive. Long live the STC. Good riddance IMBA.
  • + 7
 Something not mentioned in the article, different types of "wilderness" terrain create very different interactions between these types of users. The trails pictured are wide open and easy to see for long distances, where I live in the north east, a majority (well a lot anyway Smile ) of trails are in the woods and cannot be followed for more than 20 yards, if that. A rider, on forest land has to understand that ripping down a hill at 20MPH+ can have some serious consequences and cause some ill will from the other users. Not trying to be a self hater, but none of the other users are on the trails in this manner. I can certainly see where some problems, even those not as simple as "we don't like them" would come from.

I am stoked on the things that IMBA has been able to do and the trails we have, and disappointed in some others. IMBA is a good organization for a lot of mountain bikers, but may not be the best for "Mountain Biking". Ultimately I think that shouting "WE WANT ACCESS!" misses the fact that it is a larger issue and needs a bit of diplomacy
  • + 2
 Mmm... wisely! I agree with some of your points. +1 from me.
  • + 6
 This topic isn't new at all. It as been discussed on MTBR for the past 7 months already. I'm glad to see Pinkbike is finaly steping into it!

Here are the MTBR posts on the subject.

August 07, 2015 : reviews.mtbr.com/the-angry-singlespeeder-stop-the-bleeding-of-mountain-bike-access
December 11, 2015 : reviews.mtbr.com/guest-opinion-the-sustainable-trails-coalition-responds
December 18, 2015 : reviews.mtbr.com/the-angry-singlespeeders-take-on-the-wilderness-issue
February 12, 2016 : reviews.mtbr.com/interview-with-new-stc-board-member-john-bliss
February 25, 2016 : reviews.mtbr.com/letter-to-every-imba-member-from-the-angry-singlespeeder
February 25, 2016 : reviews.mtbr.com/imba-announces-new-plan-for-wilderness
  • + 8
 I know, I've been wondering why PB was so silent on this issue! Glad Vernon is writing for PB.
  • + 10
 In Slovenia MTB is illegal. That is reason why is it even more fun ! Big Grin
  • + 2
 Man, you are a MAN!))
  • + 1
 You guys need to vote that awful Buzz Killington out of office.
  • + 6
 Great article that frames the issues perfectly. While I'm happy to join STC and bail my IMBA membership I currently take a different tact. I'm 58 and fear that I will be at least 70 before any change can crawl to a conclusion. My solution is to ride any trail I want now and ask for forgiveness no matter whether it's open or closed to bikers. Since both the forest service and CA park service rarely if ever have rangers on the trails due to their budgets I'm willing to play russian roulette with a ticket over waiting to see if I'm finally allowed to ride the trails when I'm 80. Do I really have less of right to do this because I'm on a bike? I don't think so.
  • + 5
 People and easy/fast access to places that see very few people are the issue for me. With 2 bottles and a snack we can plow throughout 20 miles of wilderness in an afternoon while the horse or hiker have a very different experience. They have to plan for overnights, costs and food etc. This keeps traffic low. I want to ride wilderness but I'm afraid of the unintended consequences and the notion of wilderness being gone forever. I'm not taking a side but I have seen once pristine places become shit shows and that kind of sucks.
  • + 2
 This is my concern as well. A strong rider can visit in a day what a hiker would take days to reach. I've sometimes felt a little guilty coming across hikers (legal areas) knowing the time they've endured to get there. I wonder if trail runners get the same criticisms?

We're all out for the same reasons though, not like skiers and snowmobiles.

Perhaps the solution is a permit system to allow for solitude.
  • + 0
 Isn't seeing more of the back country what wilderness is all about? I see the ruthless efficiency of a bike as a plus. Some of my after work rides will encompass a backpacker's entire weekend. Also, if wilderness designations were to vaporize overnight, I don't think it would become a bike circus the day after. The technical nature of the trails coupled with the distance is a natural gateway already. At least, they are in Pisgah.
  • + 2
 Yeah, covering some ground is super fun for me too. I'm not biking for solitude though I don't mind it. Love being out in the mountains with that air.

But other users might be out there to really get away from it all and if that was your goal the spots that let you do it are pretty far between. I guess it is a dumb argument though because cyclists then just fall into the same camp as those pesky trail runners and rock climbers, who similarly cover a lot of remote ground with their goals elsewhere.

So normally all I wanna say is how horses shit on the trail and theyre stupid and scary and their owners are rich shits but I do have a point in favor of horses. I was on a lovely (legal) ride in the cascades, on my way back and maybe 10 miles and 3k descent from the forest road. Lovely high meadow in the afternoon and there were two "horsers" with the most beautiful horses I'd ever seen. Looked like the stylized horses on the side of ancient greek vases. Two people out in this remote valley with their horses. Looked really cool and I appreciate the effort it must have taken to make it happen. I was sorry to be out there, bustin' by and killing their buzz (though they did piss me off by making me wait 5 minutes before they found a spot wide enough that I could pass.)

Our two experiences of the place were very different and the uses kinda did seem at odds. I won't say their goals are wrong or bad.
  • + 5
 It's ridiculous that any Government would put up any obstacles to the population being active especially considering the obesity levels in both the UK and the US.
Scotland has the right idea, go where you like within reason as long as you don't damage the land.
There is a genuine animosity from a large proportion of ramblers here in the UK towards mountain bikers, mostly people 60+ who vote Liberal Democrats, wander around in herds, smell of wee and have nothing better to do than moan at other people having fun.
I've yet to have any run ins with Equestrian types but I have heard of others having arguments with them because of their apparent disgust at the very sight of a mountain bike on Bridlwways. I object to the long faced shit factories leaving manure all over the road near my house, especially after I've just polished my car - they should be banned on roads the same way were not allowed on foot paths and have to give way to Horses on Bridleways.
My Aluminium Horse doesn't get scared at anything faster than a hedgehog albeit it does throw me off occasionally.
And don't even get me started on the morons who walk their little yip yip mutts on trails clearly signed 'no walkers'!...
  • + 5
 We have even bigger issues in Austria...where it is generally forbidden to even enter the forest on a bike...organisations are now lobbying to open up the gravel roads for bikes and my guess is that the human race will not survive long enough for us to gain legit access to trails.
There are however a number of official MTB trails, of which there are more than enough according to the opposition...a little side note here, the majority of those designated MTB trails can be ridden on whatever bike.
Over 80% of the forest here is privately owned and due to some law, the owner is liable for what happens on his grounds..this probably doesn´t help our case.
Then there are the hunters who generally think they rule the forests and rather have no one at all to enter except themselves and their trigger happy kind. They also aren´t know as very progressively thinking people and combined with the money they throw at land owners...I see a sad sad future here. Stubborn Austrians...
  • + 8
 In Germany we have the "2m-Regel", the 2 meter law... you may not ride a bike on any path that is not a least 2 meters (roundabout 6.5 feet) wide.... there are states where this is actively enforced, others kind of tolerate it.
Hunters are the same here Frown
  • + 2
 So you don't have single tracks to ride your bikes ?
  • + 2
 I forgot to mention whether or not I was a law abiding citizen..

@raschaa, Chiemgau is very tolerant!
  • + 1
 This reminds me of some situations here, with skateboarders. We built a skatepark, you are now banned from riding anywhere else
  • + 5
 Vernon, thank you for this detailed and thought provoking lesson in US land use politics. I feel a bit of a fool for sitting idly by, making my annual donations to IMBA ejoying my free socks and discounted gear here and there without much perspective on the national land use bit. I read about the pending trail closures in Idaho last fall as the season was ending. I fancied a last minute road trip to the potatoe state, but it never happened. Truely my loss. This is big picture stuff and lets not forget to support our local trail maintenance and trail construction efforts and most importantly get out and ride your bike....and whilst doing so commit to taking one (non-mtb) friend out per year in an effort to grow our community. I look forward to the rest of this series to better understand the differences in the IMBA and STS positions.
  • + 1
 The Lady friend and I made the trip to Idaho from Toronto for the sole purpose of riding the Boulder/White Cloud trails. We got there a week after enforcement had started. Not wanting to poach, and aggravate a sensitive situation, we altered plans. Truly bummed that we didn't get to that epic ride before it was closed.
  • + 9
 Thanks. We'll go into much greater depth on both IMBA and STC's positions. I understand that a lot of people are genuinely frustrated with IMBA's position, but the organization does a tremendous amount of good for all of us. While I don't agree with their stance on the issue, they have their reasons for staking their position (we will definitely flesh that out). Mainly, I hope that people support both groups (STC and IMBA) and, more to the point, become active in campaigning for improved bike access wherever they live in the world. We can take a page out of the book of the people who oppose us: They are vocal, active and represented by multiple groups. We mountain bikers are just beginning to come around to the realization that a single advocacy group--no matter who they happen to be--probably can't fight all of our battles, all the time. We need more groups working in tandem and in the same direction. Cheers.
  • + 0
 Vernon- Agreed , but you have to get past the prejudices MTBers have for all the other user groups. Being a largely male, adrenalin driven sport. You need to align with the others in this fight.
The old bitter silvertails (hikers) don't give a shit about our concerns and NEVER will. We are pests, like moto users, equestrians, paraglider, 4WD, hunters, whatever.
Until ALL the backcountry user groups align the numbers will never drive a solution.
That is a reason I find it so curious when E-bikes get discussed. A more silly argument cannot be made than the ideological vitriol directed at such a benign vehicle.
  • + 7
 What they need to ban is the terrible trail building. I see people using mini excavators, chipping away at rock, disturbing prestige forest. Its a free for all out there.
  • + 6
 a little less conversation - a little more action...

donate - www.sustainabletrailscoalition.org/how-to-help

and since we clearly like to write - www.govtrack.us/congress/members
  • + 7
 Great article Vernon, I can't wait to read the next installment. Seems like real journalism. I like it.
  • + 4
 Perhaps we in the mountain bike community should take the approach that other historically small minority groups have taken. Continue fighting for what we think is right, thru organizations like the MBNA and STC and our local policticians. But at the same time join groups like the Sierra Club and force change in what they are pushing thru membership in numbers large enough to vote changes in their policy/agenda.
  • + 4
 I've ridden Ant's Basin in Idaho and those trails WOULDN'T BE THERE AT ALL without bikes on them. The track was literally 3" wide; no foot traffic at all.

This may be part of what Vernon will get into next, but without bikes, many trails will disappear entirely.

The end goal with The Sierra Club and the like (whether they see it or not) is to effectively close wilderness to EVERYONE. Without change, I'm thinking my grandkids will have hiking trails for 3-5 miles into wilderness and that's it. Of course maybe that generation will be content with an even more sedentary lifestyle. Cue the scene from Wally.
  • + 4
 This article infuriates me. I don't live in an area that has many or any protected wilderness areas so I don't think any of my trails are in danger of getting banned BUT...some of the trails listed above are on my list of places I would like to ride. Pisgah!?!? I mean come on! NC is gaining some real ground as of late with some epic trails systems now they may get closed?

This could be total ignorance and detrimental to the cause but...what happens if you ride in one of these wilderness areas? Are you chased down by a forest ranger on horseback? Does a helicopter follow you back to your vehicle? IF you do get caught, are you looking at jail time or a fine? Is anybody even policing it?

I guess what I am saying is...if a bunch of duches start denying us access to our trails simply because they don't like us...F THEM! Solution, get fast, ride the once legal now banned trails, and try and catch me you d!ck$! Because...I could be dead or unable to ride a bike by the time a bill leveraging for riders rights passes through our worthless congress.

Again, this could be ignorance on my part but...if someone started closing down my trails because they didn't like me? That is what I would be doing. Wouldn't stop me from riding on them...then I would just deal with the fallout after the fact...if I got caught.

Man this article has me pi$$ed!
  • + 3
 I'm curious about getting caught as well. It looks like things have gone full circle and back are the days of poaching trails in order to ride.
  • + 0
 Death by Drones.
  • + 4
 @vernonfelton I just want to say thanks for bringing this to light here on PB in the way that you did. As a supporter of the 'idea' behind wilderness areas its challenging to navigate the political BS that surrounds these issues which are all flogged with personal entitlement, greed and archaic ideas like those of the Sierra Club. Some studies show that mountain bikes are actually the LEAST disruptive recreational activity on the ecological landscape when all levels of impact are compared together. This being said, the current laws are simply unjust... potentially unconstitutional... Anyway, thanks for being an advocate and writing it up in a way I think anyone (even old crusty Sierra Club people) can understand from both sides. Cheers.
  • + 5
 Thanks, @atomasze. I'm also a supporter of Wilderness. A big supporter. Like you, I just want to see it managed fairly and within the spirit with which it was created by Congress. As we'll see, that 1984 change to the regulations is a perversion of the Wilderness Act's actual intent.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton This, in my humble opinion, is the crux of the issue. It's been said before, but because IMBA will only support efforts to amend proposed Wilderness boundaries and not challenge the 'mechanized transport' clause of the Act, it's effectively creating a constituency that is fundamentally opposed to Wilderness. This gives us as mountain bikers one less leg to stand on in dealing with other naturalist groups. I personally agree with the idea of Wilderness writ large, and would assume that most other outdoor loving mountain bikers do as well - it's just the unfortunate interpretation of 'mechanized transport' that we disagree with.
  • + 3
 Regarding the sport mainstreaming? I completely disagree. Almost every kid and adult male I know has a MTB. Other than myself and wife and 2 kids nobody I know uses them offload. Nobody. On any frequent basis. I live in bike crazy Norcal. Roadies are like locusts around here. But going offload? You might as well say you are going to Mongolia. They just are afraid of falling, getting lost, climbing effort. Name it and the excuses flow out easily.
In July they may go to Tahoe to ride lifts and go downhill for an afternoon. But the rigorous nature of this sport will always keep it on the fringes. Just a fact. MTB's sold does not equate to MTB's used as intended.
  • + 4
 VF for president! Make our trails great again!

Looking forward to the follow up articles. Hopefully we can all agree on a course of action to give this issue some traction, starting with supporting the STC.

One problem I see here locally in Utah is that many of my riding friends/acquaintances are not very concerned with what's happening elsewhere. I hope that's not true in general around here.
  • + 4
 Great read.... The equestrian access as a non issue, baffles me... my 30lb bike and fat butt doesn't do half the damage to the dirt... I was at Santiago Oaks in socal last weekend post rain, and it looked like a u-shaped rototiller went through the trails.... there are certain spots that will be damaged for the rest of the year.... happy trails....
  • + 4
 It's disappointing to find a well written and thoughtful article such as this generally elicits a response that make the republican debates look genteel. I agree that the blanket wilderness ban is unfair and agree with the work going on to change it, but let's not adopt a tone that portrays mountain bikers as a bunch of moronic hooligans and bullies. Work for political change, be polite and respectful on the trail, and stop the bellicose rhetoric and stereotyping of all who hold a different opinion. I think a friendly comment to a group of hikers or yielding to equestrians will advance our cause a lot more then this on line posturing.
  • + 4
 It seems that one of the point of the article is that mountain bikers have been trying to be friendly with hikers and yielding to equestrians yet we've gained nothing for it, and in fact are being further marginalized for no reason. Time for a change of tactics.
  • + 0
 Razo- Your method doesn't work. The only thing the government understands is force. Legal, protests, whatever it takes is valid. Your liberal politicians have taught us all that with their nonstop activist driven nonsense. Time for backcountry advocates to use their own form of force.
  • + 6
 Great read. Unfortunately a lot of people won't get motivated until it's their trails that are being closed. Then it's too late.
  • + 3
 I bet most of the people who are bitching about IMBA have never been members or shown up for a organized sanctioned trail maintenance day. I can't imagine the positive outcomes we as a group of users would have if we spent as much time working with IMBA as we do building illegal trails and features. Posting about trail access on a site that pretty much glorifies riding out of control, skidding and illegal building is incredibly ironic. Pinkbike is a massive part of the problem.
  • + 3
 Bike companies should step in!

Let's say Specialized, Sram etc : they have money and so they can have influence (and they could benefit from a better brand image). Plus they are already represented by competent people who can talk on behalf of the brand and the MTB community.
We go on these trails to have fun, bike companies need us to go on the trails or they wouldn't exist.

Everybody's concerned : without trails, there's no MTB.
  • + 3
 It is all about profit TODAY. Bike companies are pouring $$$ into IMBA, who in turn pushes their e-bikes agenda.
  • + 3
 Dear American cyclists... We Canadians feel deeply sorry for your loss of trails.

Please feel free to pack up your quiver and move to Canada! Here's why:

1) We welcome everyone... from Muslim refugees to wealthy equestrians. Come on over!
2) We are exceptionally polite and this is especially true in our natural abundant wilderness!
3) Trail systems are shared, not spared, and are growing each day!
4) We don't care if you are a hiker, trail runner, or equestrian leaving poop and hoof marks on the trails we built... We just smile and wave... have a great day!
5) Tomorrow we cyclists will be back to repair the trails we built. And hey! Let's build some rad singletrack (not the 6-foot wide highways) while we're at it!
  • + 1
 Sounds like biking shang-gri-la wow! What a utopian society you have
  • + 5
 So surely most riders just ignore the ban and ride anyway? Obviously sanctioned, legitimate trails are ideal, but if not what is really stopping you?
  • + 1
 This.
  • + 4
 Guilty. If a law is ridiculous, bending it is not a problem IMO. We've got hundreds of miles of epicness literally in our back yard where I live. Not all trails are appropriate, but there are some. We focus on riding them when we wouldn't "ruin the hikers experience" aka at night. Thank the baby Jesus for killer affordable lighting!!
  • + 2
 Enforcement and stiff fines, seizure of bicycles and possible imprisonment perhaps?

It's the US....they take enforcement pretty seriously. Not to mention, when one is working as a club rep and MTB advocate with a land manager trying to get trails opened it is generally anecdotes about poaching, cursing at hikers etc that works against us. No matter how much good work we do with trail maintenance and building, this always bites us in the a$$ when trying to work with others.

I'm working with my local IMBA affiliated club to gain access to more trails in our local park and at meetings with the land manager and other stakeholders this has been the common objection whenever we discuss giving more access to trails to bikes.
  • + 2
 I hear you. At least in the UK if we were to be caught on a footpath you won't be tazered and given a beating!
  • + 2
 You never see anyone at night with tasers. Part of me use to feel bad about calculated poaching (ie, only trails that are appropriate, at times that are appropriate), but given the lack of open-mindedness, I don't anymore. The Sierra Club is the enemy and they don't play on a level field, so what are you going to do?
  • + 3
 Like anything else in life... a small percentage of entitled users ruin it for all the rest... building jumps, altering the wilderness is muy malo, and makes us all look bad.
I used to ride parts of the PCT in norcal without any issues.. If I ran into to hikers and or backpackers, I would strike up a conversation. If I was asked about why I was riding my bike in a closed wilderness, I would mention Henry David Thoreau's ideas about civil dis-obedience which always seems to diffuse there anger at me.... You represent us all when you run into to angry hikers or other trail users be nice ! and see the big picture can't we all get along ?
  • + 1
 nice!
  • + 1
 Just read civil dis-obedience after reading this post. Good essay, a little difficult to get through with the grammar used, but seems valid in todays day and age.
  • + 2
 cheers for that... Most Yuppies WILL know what Thoreau was all about... it shuts em up, and, and blows holes in there anger and entitlement I am peacefully and non violently protesting the laws that do not allow me to ride here . We can all learn a lot by revisiting the works of authors like Thoreau, and thanks again for taking the time to read 'Civil dis-obedience
  • + 3
 Support your local trail advocacy organizations. The Montana Bicycle Guild is actively working and organizing concerned citizens to provide meaningful and professional comments to the proposed wilderness study in Montana. Visit their website at www.montanabicycleguild.org or on facebook at www.facebook.com/montanabicycleguild and donate! The MBG crew works hard to organize our collective voice here in Montana!
  • + 3
 Check out the STC website, they haven't reached their fund yet to start the process. It's a great cause worth sponsoring, and you can easily help them by transfering some money through PayPal (check out their website for more info)
  • + 3
 I'm only here to say this article was excetionally well written, I had intended to gloss over the main points but instead sat down and read every word. It caught my attention well even though I'm not the core audience. Well done Vernon
  • + 3
 the IMBA position is a disgrace to all MTB'ers. they are a toothless embarrassment rolling around in nice branded Subaru's with expense accounts preaching the holy to all who'll listen
  • + 2
 This is a great article, thanks. We have similar issues in South Africa. Our main local Cape Town trail used to be pine plantation. Now they are in a National Park, he pines are gone and the indigenous flora is returning. We live in one of the world's most biologically diverse floral kingdoms and conserving that biodiversity is the job of the national park. I doubt any wilderness in the USA comes close to the biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom. At face value it seems as if our parks board has good grounds to restrict bicycles, and they do to some extent. However, any conservation initiative requires funding and this is where visitors and tourists play a role. This being the case we are involved in a rewriting of the management plan for the park which will include far more extensive trails and access to greater areas. What counts in our favour is that Table Mountain has been a recreational area for decades before the park was declared. More visitors means more money for conservation. Also with proper scientific studies impacts can be determined and minimized with trails going around sensitive areas. I am therefore cautiously optimistic that we will enjoy extended trail access in a few years,despite the sensitive nature of the riding environment. It seems to me that the IMBA missed a good opportunity to take on law makers who banned bikes in Idaho. The bias of other user groups against bikes and the fact that they are more vociferous in their opposition than we are to fighting for access leads to incidents just like this.
  • + 2
 This is an excellent opportunity for the mountain biking community though. Might not seem like it, with all these trails getting closed and such but it is an opportunity to try to put an end to some old and unjustified hatreds. Some people hate it because they see us as feckless and irresponsible, others because we are unsafe or inconsiderate. If we take this opportunity to be civil, even more civil than they are being, then we can come out if this with something. We may lose trails but we could gain favour, and that is important.
  • + 2
 IMBA frustrates me and I refuse to give them my money. They have been involved with the closing down of hundreds of miles of natural trails in areas all over the US, only to replace them with a wide machine built trail loops as a concession. Most of their trails are dumbed down for risk management and made for all levels. I don't want to live in a world of only IMBA machine built trail loops.
  • + 2
 Great article, Vernon. Pinkbike gets a lot of views. Could you guys organize a series of raffles in partnership with the bike industry where the proceeds would go to STC and the election of people w/in IMBA who support MTB access?

Money talks.
  • + 1
 You lost me with IMBA. STC isn't going to help either until they combine with all the other stakeholder groups. There simply isn't enough users to get their attention until you do that. Until the MTB community realizes we are a super fringe group of very small relative numbers you are spinning your wheels.
  • + 2
 @chasejj I agree with your statement about the El Nino this just rode in Juaquin Miller park the past two days fallen down trees and landslides every where is the only damage I see besides a few spots that are always muddy. There also so many good trails that I see riding the West Ridge East Ridge loop that I think why aren't we aloud down there we don't do any damage to the trail. I also try avoiding the mud as much as possible after it rains/
  • + 4
 Anyone want to start the New International Mountain Bike Association with me? I actually feel like the IMBA is run by people who had never been on a bike before.
  • + 2
 spot on
  • + 2
 Nice!
  • + 0
 Get rid of "International" and use the word 'Global'.
  • + 2
 Great article Vernon. I really appreciate your efforts to delve into and explain this issue to the masses in the MTB community. There's strength in numbers and this movement to do something about the Wilderness ban is gaining traction.
  • + 2
 Don't get me wrong, I wish so badly to have access to ride my bike in wilderness areas. With that being said, mountain bikes (especially modern mountain bikes) can move down the mountain very fast. I grew up in a family with horses and I can assure you that a mountain biker ripping down a trail will scare the living daylights out of a horse which can be very hazardous to the rider. Here in Utah I know there are some trails where bikers can ride on odd days of the month and horses on even days. This is a good solution and I hope something like this can happen for all the wilderness we are banned from.
  • + 5
 I just do what I want. All ways have. All ways will. If it looks shred able I ride it and never look back.
  • + 3
 It's such a dumb, impulsive, mall-punk teenager response but I feel the exact same way. All nuances aside, nobody is going to tell me where I can and can't ride my bike.
  • - 1
 You keep on doing just that and hurt the rest of the riding community. Also, let us know who taught you that that attitude was okay. I am going to guess that it might have been an early English teacher based on your prose...
  • + 2
 I do this all day long. We cant afford to have rangers out there anyways, in three years I have yet to see a ranger on trail or near a trail head that was designated hiking only. Now all the old blue hairs who act like road blocks on single track is a different story, some of them need to be talked down before they beat you with their walker.
  • + 6
 It's a valid point. Poaching can be used as ammunition against the MTB community. But that’s an artificial reason to stay off of trails. If wilderness access was banned due to physical reasons (safety, ecological impact, user conflict, etc.) rather than the whim of old, rich, white people with a prejudice, then I would (and do) follow the rules. But when rules are unfounded and unjust, your choice to follow them is more of a political statement than one of reason. IMBA practices respectability politics to gain a place at the table, which is understandable, but from a purely philosophical standpoint I don’t want to be viewed as an inferior user group from the get-go. There is no original sin in mountain biking. We deserve equal access to our public lands, period.
  • + 4
 You Americans should com to Canada and spend your time on our trails and your Dollar goes along way here. I am sorry that politics ruins the American way of the free!
  • + 2
 I'm a 20 year mountain biker and I support the current laws in regards to mountain bikes and Wilderness. Anything that potentially weakens the Wilderness Act is a win for right wing conservatives and their big business, natural resource extracting, land destroying supporters. Anything that supports and grows Wilderness areas is a win for people who are disgusted with big money raping what's left of this country's wild places. One thing Vernon left out of this article is the incredible number of trails that mountain bikers currently have access to in non-wilderness and non-wilderness study areas. More miles of trails than at any point in the history of mountain biking - and growing every day. I'll gladly give up whatever trails are in Wilderness or study areas if it means these landscapes will be increased in size and protected.
  • + 2
 Maybe it is only my philosophy but how many police officers or Rangers patrol wildness at all? How big is probability that biker will meet them? And what is the amount of fine you need to pay if police officers or Rangers will catch you? Maybe the price is congruent quality with ticket to trail park? I am just asking don't forget that I am from another country and don't know your laws...
  • + 1
 There are usually rangers at checkpoints in areas that have recently been closed, as those are most likely to get poached. Some of the long closed wilderness areas are rarely patrolled. The fine, I believe is around $300.
  • + 5
 Sounds like IMBA is a bunch of sad pandas that someone else has entered the game and is actually pushing back a little.
  • + 2
 If a dog owner has to pick up after their pet, so too should equestrian riders have to pick up after their horse. They might be less inclined to use a trail if they need to pull a wagon for their shit. Whatever happened to "leave no trace" I thought this was common trail manners.

Ban horses on trails, not bikes.
  • + 2
 I've been following Vernons writing on this for awhile and it's spot on.

I've recently heard rumblings the Sierra Club is trying to get portions of the La Sals designated as wilderness to stop oil and gas which would effectively then the whole enchilada into 3/4s or 1/2 the enchilada. Anyone else have any info on this?
  • + 3
 Sh!T! Really? That would be absolutely criminal
  • + 3
 @sralph word of mouth so take it with a grain of salt. Some googling looks like the BLM is doing some sort of weird land lease to keep the oil interests out. I would think that the town of Moab would rise up against that hard because of how much tourism they get from the bike industry.
  • + 2
 I ride bikes, ride horseback, backcountry hike, backcountry ski, and explore Wilderness. I disagree with bikes in Wilderness. Think of all the bootleg trails we have in non Wilderness, we will surely get every bro bra biker out in Wilderness poaching lines. People that cry about wanting to ride in Wilderness have no respect. If 5% is Wilderness, that leaves 95% to shred.... get a grip people.
  • + 2
 IMBA is complicit with apathy for trail/land use for support mountain bikers in San Diego. That is WHY the top weather destination in our country is not the top destination for mountain bikers. SDMBA and smaller groups are doing more for San Diego than the mountain bike version of FIFA......
  • + 2
 Worked almost 10 years as a animal packer riding a horse leading a string of mules into the back country for trail crew employees in Yosemite ca. I know first hand the damage horse/mules and hikers do to trails hikers-cutting switch backs in Yosemite. My local mtb trails has it walkers,hikers,horse people and cyclists and I've always said us cyclist take better care of the trails then anyone when has a horse person got off there horse and did trail work? Hiker? I've yet to see it but myself and others maintain the trails so we can enjoy them. I've never been rude always giving the right away to others the kindest people have been cyclist hikers usually put out when they see me horse people are the worst. I don't see the harm in us riding but I don't think we should be building stuff in the back country just enjoying it like others do. Check out what's going on with 4x4 trails there getting kicked outta every where also its not just us. I really rattled on but my point being I see it from all side and if there's people willing to fight for us we should support there efforts how every we can. Ending with this when was the last time your bike left post holes in the trail or spooked at a horse? We all should be able to enjoy the land that so many people have and are fighting for
  • + 2
 I actually almost got trampled by a horse riding my bike. I think we should get rid of the horses. Horses spook, my bike doesn't. Horses also poop and the owners aren't required by law to pick it up, yet you're required to if you own a dog. I also don't get when hikers clean up their dogs poop by putting it into a plastic bag. Let's take a biodegradable item and put into a nonbiodegradeable container. That's smart. I'm saying that hikers and horse riders damage the environment in much worse ways than braking in a turn.
  • - 1
 While I agree with how lame some trail users are I'm sure they can create a list of things that aggravate them about bikers. We should all be able to use the trails and be polite to each other. No group should be excluded.
  • + 2
 Maybe I'm ignorant but aside from path/trail erosion what damage can mtb's actually do to these places?

Surely the benefit of allowing the mtbing community access to these places strongly outweighs the negatives. Limiting the number of people who visit these places is a shame and senseless - provided bikers act responsibly (don't drop litter etc.) and respect the environment they're in.

Separately, from riding in the UK - I've never encountered any animosity between hikers & bikers. The two coexist and when paths do cross there is usually a smile and a good morning/afternoon.
  • - 6
flag Small-Tales-Epic-Trails (Mar 18, 2016 at 7:33) (Below Threshold)
 Remind me please what are the benefits for the wilderness to allow biking? I totally get the benefits for us having access and ripping up the hills but were talking about protecting the wilderness not our rights to access. If you mean in terms of economic benefits for the area strongly outweighing the negatives of erosion then yes. But unfortautley the ecosystem doesn't understand politics and commerce. It only knows how to exist and we, all of us (bikers, horses, hikers) are threatening that. Do you think a Hazel dormouse cares if your helping the B and B in the nearest town?

I am personally of the view rather than concentrating our selfish efforts on "If horses can go there, then so should we" I would prefer to see our efforts lobbying for no access to horses. Otherwise we simply wont have any wilderness to enjoy in 100 years time.
  • + 4
 The benefit to allowing bikes is that conservationists will then have our sizable user group as an ally, rather than a foe. In the end, I think everybody wants the land to stay wild, bikers included. It's unreasonable to exclude us.
  • - 7
flag Small-Tales-Epic-Trails (Mar 18, 2016 at 9:18) (Below Threshold)
 Your missing the point. How are you an ally to the conservation of land by destroying it. Lets just for a second take the human equation of of it. Be it a conservationist, a politician, a biker, all with their own agenda. What is best for the environment???

By your logic, your employing a conservationist which is great for the economy, he/she has a job and paying taxes etc and helping the environment. But there wouldnt be any need for a conservationist if we didn't keep destroying the planet.
  • + 2
 You are both wrong- What is good for the environment is for ALL the user groups to have a stake in its preservation. Preservation will occur by more people (not less) getting access and use. Otherwise we all just go away, the communities and economic system surrounding the area dies and in the end nobody gives a shit about it. The idea that reasonable best practices of user groups using an area for recreational purposes will destroy it ,just shows a complete ignorance of facts. You are making the mistake of buying into the flawed Enviro logic.
  • - 5
flag Small-Tales-Epic-Trails (Mar 18, 2016 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 Like I said in another thread, I ride, I surf, I hike, I enjoy the outdoors in all its pursuits. But we're talking about just 5% of US landmass, there is more than enough land to ride your bike on. I made the point about a Hazel Dormouse previously because I have a local wood to me which is the Northern most limit of this creature in our country. You cant ride a bike there, you have to keep your dog on a leash etc. And as a bike rider and having a fondness for the environment I dont mind that I cant ride my bike there or have to keep my dog on a leash because I know that the sooner we open up the woods to such activities the Hazel Dormouse will soon be gone from this part of the world. If I want to ride my bike or walk my dog off leash I simply go to another wood. It's not the end of the world. I would rather sacrifice my own pleasures than that of a significant species. But hey I actually like the environment. Maybe you dont?
  • + 3
 One of the benefits to allowing MTB in wilderness in the US has to do with the declining volume of overall users on many of these trails, especially further out. More use helps keep these trails open for all to enjoy. The changes to the interpretation of the original act have more recently prevented use of many common mechanical trail maintenance tools like wheelbarrows and chainsaws for clearing blow down, etc. As some of these trails get more overgrown they will see lessuse entirely. Hard to preserve a trail experience for all users with hands tied and reduced budgets, and eventually many of these trails will no longer support the recreational experiences the WA was originally hoping to preserve. Heading to Pisgah this spring specifically to ride it before it becomes designated a wilderrness study area. Hundreds of miles of legendary trails there may soon become off limits with the stroke of a pen for no good reason other than to appease the Sierra Club and their ilk. If nothing else, IMBA and STC shine the light for many who have a romantic impression that the Wilderness designation preserves these areas for all non-motorized recreation when in fact the USFS interpretation goes further than originally intended.
  • + 0
 Wilderness study areas can allow bikes. The lower section of the whole Enchilada is a WSA. Local people need to be involved in the language of land decisions so biking stays allowed.
  • + 2
 Yes the can, but they most often don't. And it's BS.
  • + 4
 If mountain bikers are ever granted access to these pristine landscapes, all it will take is one E-bike sighting to shut us down again.
  • + 2
 Fuck horses. They do MORE damage to trails than anything else, and I'm not even talking about them shitting all over them either. Their owners don't give two shits about anything. After regularly giving two days after it rains so I don't do any damage, I'll ALWAYS see horse 'tracks' int the dried mud, but they're not 'tracks', but more like HOLES. Regarding the shit...of course they shit RIGHT in the middle of the trails, so you either gotta bunny-hop it, or ride right through the middle of it. It would seem to me that a smart lawyer with a camera could do a pretty good job of showing how BAD horses are for the trails, and how MTB's do VERY LITTLE damage at ALL
  • + 2
 interesting read now everyone knows how the moto guys feel.. Classic example of too much government from Washington not enough power with local governments that can understand what the people want.
  • + 2
 i dont see how anyone can tell people they cant ride anywhere be it in the middle of some wilderness to downtown in a city at night, we all have needs and uses for certain areas at different times
  • + 1
 random thoughts after reading the article:


"Public policy is supposed to be objective and rational. Science and fact are supposed to dictate matters of law. That, however, is not the case here. Instead, we have a public policy affecting millions of people that is founded purely on one group’s intolerance of another. That's not good enough."

Public Policy, Objectivity, rationality and in practice science and "fact" are never and have never been neutral. There are cultural and historical power biases built into the very structures of our institutions and ways of perceiving our world that inform how we act out our so called objectivity, rationalism etc. Ask any person of colour for example and you will very quickly understand how un-rational, un-objective and unscientific our Public Policies are.

Not hatin' Jus' sayin'.

That being said, I wonder what is meant by wilderness, disturbed and what the ultimate aim is supposed to be?

As far as I know, wilderness has something to do with not being molested by humans. This would include
hiking humans as well no?
Any human presence no matter how the human was moving, would alter the natural patterns of a forest.

I think wilderness-ness would also involve giving these portions of re-wildernessed land back to the First Nations people who were forcibly run out of the area and killed off. Most of what we call wilderness is actually Indigeonous 100,000 year old wide spread bio engineering, naturalized farming practices left to run amok due to the wide spread genocide of said peoples.

The whole idea or concept of environment and environmentalism is suspect. It is based on an assumption that the land is there to be exploited by white colonial people albeit in a less destructive manor than resource extraction.
Check the history of environmentalism. It's funny.

This whole argument is a fight by privileged groups over who has privilege to softly exploit land and nothing to do with the rights or whatever of the "wilderness". So it is a battle of special interest groups.

In America today, in our current post collective, post society neo-liberal paradigm, special interest groups get heard by creating money dripping powerful lobby groups that can buy off or otherwise influence corrupt polititians more than the other lobby groups.

IMBA may still have a place, but it may also have just become yet another established institution that has as much or more focus on self replication and existence for existence sake than it does on it's original reason for being created.
  • + 6
 Build illegal trials!!
  • + 2
 No. A thousand times no. Do not build illegal trails. This screws up mountain bike access to any area - wilderness or not - quicker than anything else in existence. If mountain bikers want to be taken seriously by the Forest Service, Congress and the rest of the trail user communities, and get these stupid laws changed, we all need to act like adults and play by the rules.
  • + 1
 This reminds me a little bit of the early days of snowboarding. All the two stick folks did not care for those weirdo's with their single stick. That changed for the better but this will be a bigger fight as discussed. Even with the lack of science, it is very difficult to fight people with power and the "better ban something to be safe" mantra.
  • + 1
 There are a lot of things that can be avoided by common courtesy, something that is profoundly lacking in our wonderful world of entitlement. It was not that long ago that I read an article here wondering what everyone felt about the old trail rule that dictates the descender should yield to the climber - www.pinkbike.com/news/pinkbike-poll-who-has-the-right-of-way-the-climber-or-the-descender.html
Looking through the comments I can't help but feel that it is this kind of happy crappy that gets bikes banned, mostly on account of other non bike riding people out for a hike and having to bail off the trail because Jo local hero racer doesn't want to slow down his flow or whatever it's called nowadays.
I myself personally hate running into anyone when I'm out for a ride, especially people who are quite not as smart as their dogs, but I digress.
If you stop expecting people to jump out of your way as a whole, I think you will find people far more likely to want to put up with keeping you around.
  • + 3
 If you're talking about that, there's groups around here that walk around in a ten pack barricade on both sides of the bike path. Usually they're polite, and eventually move, but it's hard not to envision them as cattle.
  • + 1
 I fully support STC including monetarily, but I have doubts about their effectiveness. How much DC lobbying does $100k buy, a 15 minute conversation?

How far have the legal options been explored? Can the Forest Service's made up rules that don't match the actual language in the Wilderness Act be challenged?

FS bends over and grabs their ankles when subsidizing ranchers to trash hundreds of thousands of square miles at rock-bottom prices, and the damage of letting people ride bikes is laughably miniscule in comparison.
  • + 1
 In the uk we have the forestry commission. They are the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands and increasing their value to society and the environment. They actively encourage mountain biking in their forests and support and invest in trail building all over the country. Guess we are lucky to have this setup
  • + 3
 This is totally an image thing as stated. What about automatic wheel chairs. No one in there right mind whould clammer about that, but still metal and wheels.
  • + 1
 This question may have already been answered, but even with the ban, do Mtn bikers actually obey it? As in, do lots of people say f-it and still mtn bike on those trails? What's the fine if caught (if any?)

It may be law, but if there are no substantial consequences, I'd still ride the trails!
  • + 1
 First and foremost I clicked on this as I thought to myself'' NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo!'' therefore you lot in America have my support for access to that 110m acres which is restricted.

Secondly, why on earth is it ok to frack and drill for oil and do all the other damage to the planet when we as a biking community are amongst those who highly respect the countryside and outdoor areas in which we entertain ourselves.

It's plain and simple in my eyes, the elite have spat out their dummies and are having a tantrum and by that they have spoilt a perfectly good opportunity to engage with the communities of folk who used to share that access that now feel ostracised.

We here in the UK are so lucky to have the Forestry Commission but on the other hand it's difficult to access land here in places especially where there's conservative (tory bastad voting scum) majority living.
Fortunately/Unfortunately I live in the countryside but with strict access to land or through land shall I say to get to the off road trails which even then dog walkers shout out you're not aloud to be cycling here.
NOT ONLY this but to be careful of barbed wire at neck height, nails on ground etc etc, Oh and not to mention the odd car battery leaking or fridge freezer dumped.

Getting off topic there a tad but it all coincides with this taking responsibility to conserve the environment around us not frown upon those doing something positive outdoors.
  • + 4
 Fucks sake I ride a bike in the woods to get AWAY from shit like this......
  • + 4
 Does it means no phone and gps in wilderness too? Only naked hikers without equipment?
  • + 1
 Only naked single women hikers))))
  • + 1
 Castle peak is awesome. You're lucky if you see 2 hikers on a 2-3 day trip there. It seems like a joke they took it away, but it's not. I almost think you could just ride it anyway, because it's so remote. Scary scramble too. Mountain goats and the whole enchilada.
  • + 1
 In Poland, we have some trail access, even in the National Parks. You can just go with a bike, and if you go through the gate and pay for the tickets- you can hop on your bike and ride. People, who sell tickets rarely know, is riding a bike allowed in such places, or not.
  • + 1
 No different in the UK. If the Ramblers Association had their way a lot of the Bridleway and By-way access we enjoy would be re-classified as footpaths and not open to cyclists. All that walking must make them miserable and hate to see others enjoy themselves. Walking W****rs.
  • + 1
 This is United Nations agenda 21. The Sierra club is a NGO or non governmental organization. Through these NGO's laws get passed by people aka rich people. I can go on and on but this is the reason we're losing access. If you care, than look it up for yourself. It's literally in black and white on the UN's website and believe me the "wilderness" aspect of agenda 21 just scratches the surface of how much more control the government will have and how much more restricted you are and where you are "allowed" to go
  • + 1
 but the demographic studies say not all MTB'ers are broke kids, and there is a huge affluent/yuppie slice of the market, so what are they doing to influence things?
  • + 4
 Gnarbar- In a word NOTHING. They don't really care. A few get involved locally to go to some meetings , but quickly lose interest when they realize the wall of BS they need to knock down. They have kids and families doing a bunch of other stuff. They get fat and out of shape and give it up. Look on Craigslist for one of their trick bikes. They are all there.
  • + 0
 "There have been five mass extinction events in Earth's history. In the worst one, 250 million years ago, 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land species died off. It took millions of years to recover. Nowadays, many scientists are predicting that we're on track for a sixth mass extinction."

99 percent of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution related degradation, introduction of exotic species and genetic introgression, and of course the big one: global warming.

40% of US land is publicly owned/60% private. Not including Alaska, only about 2% of US land is Wilderness.

Just sayin'
  • + 1
 The IMBA needs to step aside apparently. They seem to be too busy "coddling the opponents of mountainbiking". Hey IMBA.....Time to take a bit more 'assertive" stance instead of cowering to those who oppose mountainbiking.
  • + 0
 Well, maybe the people working for IMBA now are secret supporters of the Sierra Club and may even be donating supporters.
  • + 0
 It's perfectly okay that IMBA just concentrates on building great trails and not get caught up in controversial issues. Besides, IMBA knows that what STC is shoveling is a load of crap.
  • + 2
 @radarr this is why I was to use the word historically. I stand by that. Most wilderness acts and legislation is introduced by liberal agendas
  • - 1
 The whole notion of public lands and wilderness was introduced by Teddy Roosevelt, a conservative republican. Thank goodness for the old school conservatives who knew what the term, conservation, was about. Now "conservatives" want to use and exploit for financial gain without conservation in mind.
  • + 3
 Bike at night people! That's the only way to get trail access to restricted areas.
  • + 1
 The public view is a major issue, if someone not paying attention goes plowing into someone everyone will freak out, we have to pay more attention on not MTb specific trails as to avoid confrontation with people in power
  • + 1
 So much drama… i'm just going to continue to ride my mtb and drive my 4x4 wherever the f*ck I want. I don't leave garbage behind and I stay on existing trails. I also do way more trail maintenance than any hiker I've seen.
  • + 2
 Great article and I do agree that we need to come together on this issue if we want to keep access to some of the best trails in this country .
  • + 1
 Ya i'd probably get in trouble. Because i definitely wouldn't let some draconian laws stop me from enjoying the outdoors and getting out on my bike. But they would have to catch me first tho!!
  • + 0
 I definitely believe that there are some tracks which should be walking only some that should be shared and some that should be bike only. As someone who goes tramping and hunting as well as biking it definitely destroys the vibe when you a walking up a bush track and someone comes screeching down on their bike and you have to jump out of the way to avoid getting hit (no it's not everyone but there is a significant minority that ruin it). That being said a blanket rule doesn't really work as some tail are great for dual use and there also need to be single use single direction mountain bike tracks that you can shred without worrying about traffic coming the other way. Somehow there needs to be more considerations in the states to build more mountain bike specific tracks on public land
  • + 0
 This is all a part of U.N. agenda 21. What these hikers don't understand is that if the precedent is set that they can kick off the mountain bikers, than it makes it that much easier to kick them off. They have some time though because all those horseback riders are next!
  • + 2
 I feel like the people who want to ban mtb on nat. parks have never tried mtb and if they don't know how fun it is, they don't care. Frown
STUPID ENVIROMENTALISTS
  • + 2
 I have seen these people in Counsel meetings. They are not the type to have a gym membership and when they sit at a meeting their bellies bulge way out. These people who make these decisions go on photo shoots in nice clothing into muddy areas, because they are the biggest fucking hypocrites and idiots, but are willing to play ball with industry to cut us out... And they make good money doing so too.
  • + 1
 This article should inspire me to get involved and make a difference... But all I feel is a desire to go poach a trail and flip everyone off.

(I realize this is not productive - I'm just sayin')
  • + 3
 If we lived in a world without mountain bikers who else woulde CARVE the trails HIKERS enjoy?
  • - 1
 Hikers and Equestrians. As it were before mountain bikes.
  • + 0
 From political point of view it's all clear. Cyclist is a persona non grata. From moral and realistic stand point: Wilderness is one thing, behaving like a dick in it is another - no matter if you are on bike, on feet or on horse. Also, protecting areas of land against urbanization and industrialization is one thing, believing that nature is some balanced, fragile mother gaya, is another, and it is a bullcrap. Say it to a hungry bear or a guy in any survival situation. Natives lived in harmony with nature, fk yea, child mortality was sky high, and general life expectancy was deep low. That's how embracing nature really is - it's cool with a phine in your pocket, food in the back pack and shelter a few hours away. And it will kill you in the first occasion it gets, so that you can become a nutrient to animals, bugs and finally plants.

Great article Vernon
  • + 0
 here in north Wales bikes do cause damage to upland areas by skidding. due to the environmental factors at this altitude the foliage grows back very slowly. this can cause an almost motorway like scar on the landscape. tho walkers also play a part in widening the paths by walking on the verges.
  • + 0
 That "scar" would repair itself in short of a year and a half. I know this as a fact because I let a series of trails on my property grow over. And damn did it grow over fast.

When it comes to the environment, broken brained environmentalist just make shit up to get their way.
  • + 1
 not at altitude
  • + 1
 Around here there's a huge area in our community park that's been turned into a nature reserve. Nature please, if I could demolish a forest just by being in it, I would be super human.
  • + 5
 Ride it anyway.
  • + 3
 Yes
  • + 1
 i have been told many times by some a.h.
that i dont have the right to ride my bike at that(wherever)place.
i tell them,if you are right,you should call the police.
end of discussion.
no one ever did.
  • + 2
 I encourage everyone to make a sign for the front of their property that reads...

"SIERRA CLUB IS BANNED FROM THIS PROPERTY".
  • + 3
 If the trail is legal or illegal, its still going to be ridden. Death to the system! Anarchy!
  • + 1
 Which form of Anarchy?
  • + 1
 yeah, this is an endless argument for xc riders.
this type of riding is just too remote for me to care.
yur too far away from beer and services.
i get the whole idea of a "stealth wilderness experience" tho.
  • + 1
 Is the Rampage site concerned by the Wilderness Act ?
Despite that I'm not agree with bikes ban from trails, and that I'm bared with the Rampage, I think that this is a noticeable example of bike erosive impact... :/
  • + 2
 bored with rampage? Do you even shred, bro?
  • + 1
 The key to allowing access to wilderness areas is to lobby for a "corridor" so the wilderness areas can be enjoyed by those who are incapable of walking into these public lands.
  • + 2
 I will get arrested before I stop riding Pisgah!Pisgah is where I go to ride to punish myself and get my head right. ride bikes drink beer
  • + 0
 This article is interesting but lacks broad contexts. Wilderness areas in different areas of the country have different variables. Reasons for banning bikers are going to be different in each area of the country, yet a governing protective measure has to be applied to the National system of designated wilderness areas.

I think we riders also need to ask ourselves if we are responsible enough to be given access to these lands. Look at the very first picture. Are you seriously going to tell me that with all the pro riders slashing super sick turns above treeline on big mountain terrain that some imbecile isn't going to try and climb up there to do the same at some point?

It only takes one irresponsible rider to ruin it all when some hiker in the area takes pictures of tracks on an untouched face, sparks a viral internet outrage, and now you have made riders appear evil once again. I hate believing in the worst in people but there will always have to be that one guy to be douche that makes us all look that way.
  • + 9
 Wilderness areas should be considered for bike access on a case by case basis. I agree with that. What we have, however, is a blanket ban against bikes. What STC is lobbying for is that bikes be considered on a case by case basis. In other words, STC is arguing for fair and objective assessments of where bikes do and don't belong in the Wilderness. It's about equal treatment for a user group that is entirely compatible with the Wilderness ethic.
  • + 7
 Why are cyclists the only user group that should be scrutinized by their worst examples? Yes, we are every bit as responsible as any other user group that already has access. Hikers have destroyed petroglyphs, horses have bomb-holed trails, and hunters have poached. Why is their access not up for debate?
  • + 3
 Every time you "post a shred/roost video", "the Man" kills a "rad trail access"...
  • + 1
 Well-written piece by Vernon. Mountain biking is fully mainstream now, just pay attention to commercials on tv or movie theaters and see how many times you can spot someone on a mountain bike.
  • + 1
 We need to get our advocates for people with disabilities to join this fight. Surely there are wilderness areas that are not accessible to them because their hand-cycles are banned... Discrimination maybe?
  • + 4
 While you ride...you're not consuming...and that is bad.
  • + 0
 What would happen if we all just rode wherever we wanted? Does the park service or BLM have enough rangers to patrol everywhere? Just ride where you like and be polite, carry some tools to maintain the trail and show all users Bikers are great stewards of the land. Simple!
  • + 2
 you can get a summons. And it could have fines with 3 zeros on the backend. you can go to jail. Riding in the wilderness is a serious offense. Imagine the same question a jeeper asked about driving up your favorite trail.
  • + 2
 From what I have heard (I moved away 20+ years ago), in Point Reyes National Seashore in California, in the Phillip Burton Wilderness part, which is just about all of it, nowadays the rangers will confiscate the wheels of your bike, write a citation, and make you walk all the way home in bike shoes, carrying your bike frame, even if you rode from your house 30 miles away. (It was legal to ride a bicycle there, in the designated Wilderness, until 1984.) You never EVER want to end up in federal court, unless you have a plan that includes the Supreme Court, expert lawyers, $ix figure$ or more, and friends in high places. Never f**k with federal rangers, or cops in general. Ever.
  • + 1
 call an uber
  • + 2
 Guess I've been dodging those bullets for 20+ years now and so far have only had a warning.
  • + 0
 Remember when the United States was about freedom? I do!

Though, what I've noticed over the last ten years is people will easily give up without much of a fight.

Two years ago they stripped us of every in-town MTB trail and said they would find us an area to build. Then a year after the city said they would find us a place, they are now saying the don't have the funds or the ability to make the issue a priority.

**If you are 20 years plus and have not figured out by now that Americans will lie through their teeth to get their way, you will never create a strategy to remove the damage done by the liar group. NEVER!
  • + 0
 These leftist a-holes "environmentalists" don't care about the earth, all they want is a nice place just for themselves to enjoy.
The problem with said a-holes is that they have way too much time on their hands, and the media is on their side. They will try to chip away your freedoms till they die.Too bad Europe has long fallen to these people, and mtb'ing is pretty much illegal everywhere. Every ride I take I am at risk of being fined. But F them, live free or die!
  • + 3
 Thanks Vernon. Glad you're still covering this!!
  • + 0
 Another example of big government infringing on personal liberties. Person "A" can do something but person "B" cannot. WTF has happened to this country. Land of the restricted and home of the blame.
  • - 1
 Most of this could be solved by if private land owners would allow trails. I work in Marin County and its amazing how many hundreds of acres of hills are just empty here. Its not government land, just empty land. I assume that liability is the real issue. If it wasn't I would buy a piece of property and just build a bike park.
  • + 2
 Government land IS the PEOPLES land! We own this government!
  • + 2
 Thank you for explaining 'unrest' to the rest of the world. No one else has that.
  • + 1
 If you can walk on a trail you should ride on it. No difference to the trail. Should be no difference to the users. Ignore useless signs and use common sense.
  • - 1
 Here is Vernon Felton spreading the same old misinformation. He writes "Bikes were not initially banned by the Wilderness Act." Well read the following passage from the original Wilderness Act:

"PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN USES
(c) Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area."

As you can plainly see the Act says "no other form of mechanical transport." Bicycles are mechanical transport, period. And the fact that the writers of the Act wrote "no other form of" also emphasizes the fact that all sorts of mechanical contraptions used for transportation are banned from the Wilderness.

Vernon, you really need to take a good look at what you're doing here. Advocating mountain biking out in the middle of nowhere really isn't helping the sport of mountain biking grow. Instead, more mountain biking trails are needed closer to the cities and suburbs.

You can read my blog on the "bikes in the wilderness" subject here: preservingthepct.blogspot.com It goes into detail on all the reasons this is a really bad idea
  • + 3
 Bicycles are not "mechanical transport period". In the 1040's, 50's and 60's. "Mechanical transport" and "mechanized recreation" meant motorized and the infrastructure that went with motorized, e.g., motels, roadside attractions, tourism traps. Read Paul Sutter's _Driven Wild: How the Fight Against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement_. In the Congressinal Hearnigs for the 1964 Wilderness Act there were discussions of what mechanical transport meant. It meant motors.
  • - 1
 Thanks for your post. I agree. Most of these PB kids probably have never spent real time a Wilderness and therefor have a misguided point of view.

Although, my telemark skis is have a frictionless pivot point, which is a mechanical lever. What's your thought on that?
  • + 2
 @SethStar

"skis is have a frictionless pivot point, which is a mechanical lever"

Is it equipped with a motor? If not, then the 1964 legislation does not apply.

THE REAL QUESTION I HAVE IS, if people are angry about this, why are we not showing up to the steps of our state buildings, in mass numbers of people, to protest this issue?
  • + 1
 speakeasy, Give it up. "Mechanized Transport" is not the same thing as "Mechanical Transport." Just read the sentence "there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport,.." It's obvious from that sentence that "mechanical transport" does not mean "motorized transport." They already used the word "motor" or "motorized" in the sentence 3 times. If "mechanical transport" is supposed to mean "motorized," then it would be totally redundant with the rest of the sentence.
  • + 1
 isawtman, Repeating your argument doesn't make it any stronger. Are you saying that the Forest Service is incapable of being redundant? And if redundancy is the issue, if bikes were banned by 1964 Wilderness Act, why would they need a specific, new regulation banning bikes in 1984?

BTW, I think "mechanized transport" is pretty darn synonymous with "mechanical transport". You seem to take language pretty literally. Wouldn't you agree?
  • + 1
 I would bet where Vernon Felton rides is mostly private land . . . . .
  • - 1
 Speakeasy, Mechanical and Mechanized do pretty much mean the same thing. The meaning of Mechanized still covers machines like bicycles, but it is better known for a military unit that has tanks, etc. But since the word "Mechanized" still covers Bicycles, I guess you're still out of luck.
  • + 1
 isawtman, What about the contextual definition at the time issue?

What about the redundancy issue?

Of course the bigger issue is irrespective of what was meant in 1964, is banning mountain bikes from all trails in designated Wilderness the best public policy in 2016? The argument "that's not how we used to do it" isn't very strong.
  • + 1
 It's even more important in 2016 to manage wildlands for proper functioning conditions than it was in 1964 due to urban expansion, need for clean and sustainable waters, and the exponential growth in recreation and accessibility. Build near cities, not in Wilderness.
  • + 2
 @isawtman is a troll, his real name is Todd McMahon and he is a proud HOHA member who lurks on all MTB sites to spread his hatred toward mountain bikers the way Mike "hacksaw" Vandeman does. Arguing with him is pointless and will only validate his narcissism. Best to just ignore any and all of his posts.
  • + 0
 ikswoldar, you can call me names and say all sorts of bad things about me. But the truth is that this whole Sustainable Trails Coalition effort is based on misinformation. Ted Stroll says the Wilderness Act never intended to ban Bikes. Well, the Wilderness Act Says "no other form of mechanical transport," that sounds like it bans bikes to me. I have no hatred of mountain bikers, in fact, I own two mountain bikes and go mountain biking from time to time. Besides that, I have been critical on some of the tactics that Mike Vandeman has used. The Wilderness Society has already sent a letter to every member of Congress pointing out how bad STC's Bill is. With the Wilderness Society against it, and the Sierra Club ready to take action if the Bill gets sponsored, well, the prospects for the bill are very low. But, I support STC's current efforts because I'm hoping they will waste the $100,000 that they have raised, then this whole stupid issue will be over with.
  • - 1
 Well as much as I agree that bikes should have freedom, ARE YOU REALLY FREE?
You really need to wake up to what is happening, it will soon be clear. but that will be a bit late to stop it happening
The American dream? you have to be asleep to dream, right?
  • + 1
 It's too bad that's too long to fit on a bumper sticker.
  • + 3
 Glad to see some coverage on this.
  • - 1
 just ride them there trails!! Who cares if it's not allowed. What are they gonna do? Shoot you???........oh yeah, I just remembered we are referring to 'merica here :-(
Maybe Donald Trump will back the bikers when he gets sworn in? Or perhaps he'll use the wilderness as designated "Hunger Games" territory! lol

On a serious note though, that is some truly stunning scenery. Shame it can't be enjoyed by all.
  • + 3
 I seriously will just "ride them trails". If I'm not hurting anyone or causing undue damage to the environment, and it's my tax dollars paying for that land then I don't see why I shouldn't. I'd think a Scot would be wholeheartedly in favor of a little healthy disdain for authority.

Also, the wilderness police won't actually shoot you unless you're occupying one of their cherished wilderness cabins. All the trigger happy cops here know to get jobs in the city.
  • + 1
 FREEDOM!!!
  • + 4
 Wasn't it great when Mel Gibson wasn't moonbat nuts?
  • + 4
 Actually trump and republicans are probably the best chance of getting Bikes in wilderness. Historically, its the liberals that pass legislation for wilderness. whowudathunk
  • + 0
 Trump aside, this kind of thing should have strong bipartisan support. The real issue is going to be the strength of the Sierra Club and the distinct lack of testicular fortitude on the part of IMBA.
  • + 3
 @owlie: The Castle Divide trail was made a part of wilderness because of a bill sponsored by Idaho Republican Senator Mike Simpson to form the Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness. That bill passed the Republican-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate.

This whole issue is about educating our elected officials in the US, not a political party.
  • - 1
 Go enjoy it on foot. Bring a fly rod and a spliff.

The only way you can enjoy Wilderness is on a bike?

Diversify
  • + 2
 spliffs are illegal too. sorweeee.
  • + 1
 True
  • + 0
 Ya i'd be getting trouble if i were living out there! Because i wouldn't let some ridiculous draconian laws stop me from enjoying the outdoors and getting out on my bike. although they would have to catch me first!!!! lol!
  • + 2
 Thanks Vernon for keeping this topic on the front burner. Was wondering how long till you did so. Keep it up!
  • - 1
 Even if they ban mountain bikes on my local trails, I will still ride them. Good thing I'm faster than a hiking park ranger. It's pure discrimination to say no mountain bikers. Fuck people who want to ban mountain biking in all wilderness areas.
  • + 1
 Which WILL invite more deadly trail sabotage. Like barbed wire strung across a trail.
  • + 2
 Can they arrest you for riding there tho? I doubt these are highly policed areas, ride it till you're caught
  • + 1
 tru dat
  • + 2
 This is sad. We should be able to ride our bikes were we want. Good information.
  • + 1
 You can ride where you want, only you can stop you. You just have to be aware of repercussions.
  • + 3
 STRAVA USERS DOING FAKE RACE RUNS. EVERYTHING IS GETTING BANNED
  • + 2
 My home. Land of the free....to be ruled. Great write up though. I wish it could get posted on the Sierra dork homepage.
  • - 1
 Soooo as someone who loves both mountain biking and backpacking.... I don't think bikes should be allowed in the wilderness. Bring out the pitchforks! I mountain bike WAY more than I hike. But when you're hiking or backpacking, the main purpose is usually to get away from civilization, people, technology, and go where your two feet can take you. If us mountain bikers are allowed on the same trails, it might take a 3 day backpacking trip into deep wilderness to get away from the traffic of bikers, because they can go so much farther.

Another big benefit of keeping them seperate, that people might not be thinking about: The more wilderness that is only available to hikers, means less hikers on our biking trails! In fact I would almost support all trails to be only biking and only hiking, but this couldn't really work because bikers would get the short end of the stick every time.
  • + 1
 great post
  • + 1
 @isawtman glad someone thinks so
  • + 2
 Don't listen to THE MAN. Ride your bike wherever you want and PUNCH OUT the YUPPIES while your at it!
  • - 1
 "PUNCH OUT the YUPPIES"

Good way to get a bullet in you!
  • + 1
 On the largest mountain in Marin County, the home of mountain biking, bikes are banned from single track. Its real.
  • + 1
 Just use it!
  • + 1
 Well written article, aren't you worried Specialized will sue you for using the term "demo-graphics"?
  • + 1
 Were is the freedom or sense of adventure going in this world, if your just riding through what's the harm
  • + 1
 Gorilla style, ride it anyway. Just be sure your bike can get places their truck can't! Razz
  • + 1
 I never seen an horse blasting full trottle next to hickers. The ban is bs, but a lot of people dont know how to ride bikes.
  • + 1
 Regardless of the bike issue, Americans have little respect for compromise.
  • + 1
 Nice way to say it. Or you can say they are selfish a-o.
  • + 0
 If you buy some petrol and some weapons to go biking..... maybe will you find a totally independent judge to say you can go on every trail you like
  • - 2
 The bigger, "umbrella" issue is the fact that the fed has robbed state land. This is anti ferderalism and unconstitutional.
The environment nazis(greens) are the old reds from the 60's, and now in power at epa, lobby firms, and ambulance chasing law firms. More tax $ wasted busting bike riders....but, the dummies will still vote for criminals like the clintons. Hope/change
  • + 3
 The feds have not "robbed" land. If it wasn't for the fed purchasing land and at war for it, there wouldn't be any western states. Fed precede western states. Public lands are the best thing in this nation. States sell off lands then claim to balance the budget. Very little open spaces are being set aside for recreation, they are being auctioned off for development. Embrace your public lands. Get off the right wing band wagon and read, don't listen.
  • + 1
 And have you read the federalist papers in entirety?
  • + 2
 jrocksdh gets it less federal government more state control. States should be treated like separate countries we almost didn't become a country because the states feared to much control from the federal government over the states. Tenth Amendment - Reserved Powers. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Obviously designed to give states power.
  • - 1
 Not obvious. Sounds vague and ambiguous to me. I agree the government is over reaching on social type issues and those should be left to states. But the scope of the Constitution was not broad enough at the time, nor were the western states even formed. Watersheds cross state lines and people, and states, downstream heavily depend on the management of natural resources upstream. California, Nevada, Arizona..... couldn't survive without the water that is sourced and managed from other states. I guess my point is that the constitution has limited scope to be interpreted as a blanket document to allow the states to do what ever they please, even if collectively it will negatively effect others outside the state lines. I bet if you would put it to the people of the state, we would lose the votes on that too. The constituency for pro mtb is limited I'm sure.
  • + 1
 As what Chris Berman would say "C'mon Man". Bikers...the world is a canvass, let's paint.
  • + 2
 Thank you Vernon for writing on this topic. It is appreciated.
  • + 1
 May have already been answered above, but what are the consequences if you ignore it and carry on as normal?
  • + 2
 You commit a federal crime and if you repeat, the judge can ruin a couple of months of your life. www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1863
  • + 1
 @StiHacka

Rebuttal: This is against my right to travel unmolested(.)

Then serve your month to show the rest of the nation that their rights are forfeit and we are merely production slaves. The rich used NAFTA to move most of out manufacturing out to save them a few dollars.

They spit in our eye by taking our work from us and giving it to other countries, now the rich are going to ban us from the land we pay maintenece fees for.

"This land is my land, this land is your land. Share it or I'll stick you up in a tree so you can see the sea!
  • + 3
 They took our jerbs!
  • + 2
 Absolutely perfect! Thank you for writing this.
  • + 2
 'Merica, land of the free...
  • + 1
 as the world drops bombs on entire eco systems! ironic that bikes do so much harm..
  • - 1
 got to love america, won't ban guns and has massacres serveral times a year but will ban bikes from the country side. The USA is one seriously fucked up country
  • + 4
 An almost total gun ban didn't prevent massacres in the UK, homie. In fact, last time I checked Northern Ireland has lower crime and murder rates than Scotland despite one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe. Weird.

But that's a totally logical and coherent point you made though. Speaking of which, if I can't ride my bike in certain places, why can gays get married?
  • - 2
 Actually it did in fact... After the Dunblane massacre, 20 years ago, there was a subsequent ban on hand guns Who needs a hand gun? What purpose does a hand gun serve? you cant hunt deer or birds with it. The purpose of a handgun is to murder another human being with great ease at short range and is very concealable, making the offender harder to identify. The only other massacre since was in Cumbria 14 years later by a nutter with a shot gun and a rifle. Yes there is still gangland crime in large cities such as London and Glasgow. But crickey it seems like theres a massacre in a US school/cinema every month. Thank god I dont live in the USA. Completely off topic though.

Ban everybody from wilderness areas otherwise where will it stop? There wont be any wilderness in 100 years time.
  • + 2
 So, just to be clear, you're saying it did, in fact, prevent massacres, but that a massacre did happen after the ban was passed. You literally contradicted yourself in the space of 4 sentences. My point remains: Cumbria wasn't prevented by an almost total gun ban, nor were Omagh or the 7 July attacks. A massacre is still a massacre even if a gun isn't involved.

Oh, while I know the wilderness is all but gone over there save for those glorious Highlands, ours is actually growing overall. We've got more trees than we had in 1900.
  • + 0
 both australia and the UK banned guns and no more massacres. Cumbria wasn't a massacre (only one person killed) while the July 7th attacks where not guns neither was Omagh. Yes the UK still has gun crime but its extremely limited and has significant punishments.
  • + 0
 12 people were murdered in the Cumbria massacre; the shooter died of a self inflicted gunshot wound. The fact that Omagh and 7 July were the result of explosives and not gunfire is irrelevant - a massacre is a massacre. For example, Australia had fewer mass shootings (not zero, as is often reported) after they passed similarly strict legislation after Port Arthur, they continued to have massacres. Childers Palace saw the loss of 15 lives, Quakers Hill 11, the Lin Family murders and as I said, several acts of mass murder using a firearm.

That's the first time I've ever heard anyone insinuate that the US doesn't have a strict justice system... possessing a gun illegally here can get you put away for decades.
  • + 0
 I think you missing some key points. 2 massacres 14 years apart! the second was with a shot gun.Imagine all the nutters out there been able to have access to legal small arms. Yes Cumbria was still a massacre but had any assailant been using a frying pan made a difference? Your bloody right it would of. What's the answer? Arm teachers.... there are no words for such stupidity. An attacker armed with a knife per se, could said teacher maybe have wrestled an attacker? Absolutely. Highly likely said teacher could be wounded but given the time frame of such an attack, children could escape a class room other teachers could over powered an attacker etc. But if a gun man wielding an automatic rifle (again designed purely to kill other people) it literally turns in to statistics such as this...

www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/oct/02/mass-shootings-america-gun-violence

But hey I don't live in the US so I dont have to worry about such things.Plus this is a bike website so thats the last I'll say.
  • + 1
 I think you're making the best point a gun control advocate can make: it's about controlling guns, not preventing death. To be clear, the UK has had three mass shooting type events in the modern era. Two before their gun ban was passed, one after. The rate of massacres, which was incredibly high in the last quarter of the 19th century, dropped largely due to an ease in tension between opposing political forces in the UK and Ireland, and all but the three I mentioned involved explosives, not guns. So I'll say it once again; gun control in the UK had exactly zero effect on murders or massacres there.

By the way, the link you shared is citing a laughably unreliable and inaccurate source. It's like suggesting a terrorist attack has occurred every time a Muslim gets a speeding ticket.
  • - 3
 Oh one more thing, more trees don't necessarily = more wilderness, where I live the natural habitat would be that of blanket bog, but due to peat extraction and afforestation this ecosystem has all but disappeared The fact you think you think the Highlands are wilderness just goes to show your limited knowledge of what wilderness is. The Highlands are actually HEAVILY managed for the shooting sport industry. Over populated with Deer and grouse. Subsequently the land is drained, burned and anything that survives is eaten by the deer.
  • + 4
 That was largely sarcasm... the Highlands are often referred to as 'the last wilderness in Britain' or something along those lines. Peat bogs are actually mostly protected in the US, and because of Urbanization and major shifts in industry the wilderness (general and not legal definition) actually is growing in many places here.

If you aren't going to be honest about where you live I can't really respond to anything else you said. I just assumed you were down at McMurdo Station getting ready for a bid on mining rights when the melt really takes off.
  • - 1
 Sorry just to clear this up. the bombings that you call massacres may indeed been the result of high death rates. But the IRA and Islamic fundamentalists were/are well financed and organised. I'm sure the security services do the best they can to prevent such deaths. What I'm talking about are the lone nutters of this world. The attacker at Roseburg, New Haven etc. What your saying is if you banned those weapons which were used, they would have some how fashioned their own explosives and carried out their attacks in the fashion of the IRA?. Don't be ridiculous. The only reason they could commit such atrocities is their ability to easily obtain weapons with no other purpose than to murder. Like I said I don't live in the US so couldnt care much if you got shot tomorrow, you'll be defending your own attackers right to bear arms as he puts 3 in your chest, more the stupidity of this world.
  • + 1
 Hey POAH- At least we don't stand by and allow mass rapes of our female population to occur unchecked. Until you get some balls in fucked up Sweden you may be worse off than any other country. Grow a pair and then pop off.
  • - 3
 A. I'm not from Sweden. B. You're actually condoning what happened in New Haven? Shame on you. Maybe you would like to tell the mother of one of those children how the nutter had every right to shoot their child. PRICK!
  • - 2
 Whatever EU country you are from is irrelevant , my mistake for thinking your flag emblem was swedish. I don't advocate anything other than individuals right to defend themselves. Banning guns does nothing to prevent any of the incidents you are incorrectly bringing into this discussion. The EU in total is a socialist pile of crap they will require the US to clean it up in future years no doubt.
Bottom line is more good people with guns=less bad guys doing horrible things. It is not a coincidence that all these incidents are in gun free countries and sadly in the US in gun free zones. They tried that shit in Texas and both terrorists got shot. That is a nice outcome and perfectly illustrates the point.
  • - 3
 Who are these good guys exactly? How do you determine who is good and who is not? Every single person with a gun is considered good until they shoot somebody else. Please enlighten us all. Who are the good guys? My god man you really are a muppet. Again, you'll no doubt be defending your own killers right to bear arms. Given your attitude, no doubt we'll see on CNN in the next couple of weeks "chasejj, seemed a normal guy, whew knew he could be so callas as to gun down a 5 year old". Your nutters are normal people until they hit the headlines. I find talking about your countries love of murder distasteful and I will no longer speak on the matter
  • - 1
 STET- Virtually every mass shooting has been either terrorists or mentally deranged idiots on serotonin uptake inhibitor drugs. I will always defend an individuals right to defend themselves. Period. No discussion needed. I would gladly be supportive of bringing back mental institutions since this the the real issue. Terrorists we can hunt down. mentally damaged people need to be put away to protect themselves and us. Liberals have been fighting to normalize mentally damaged people for 50 years. This is the result. Taking away guns will not fix it . Besides 300 million in the us have guns. Do the math. They are never going to disappear.
  • - 2
 It is very sad that they will never disappear. I feel very sorry for you. Lucky for me I can walk down the street and feel very safe. You just watch your back out there cowboy!
  • + 3
 There had to be that one idiot that tries to turn it into a gun issue.
  • - 3
 @Catfood-Johnson who were the 12 people killed by Raul moat? He killed the the new boy friend and himself while wounding several others.

@chasejj I'm confused, when did this happen in scotland?

edit - now I see how you talk so much shite, you're a moron - swedish flag LMFAO, your schooling is shit ha ha ha ha
  • + 3
 Did they not teach you how to teach you to use Google during the course of your schooling? I would t be calling anyone else a moron.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbria_shootings
  • - 3
 not the same shooting I was talking about - wires crossed there
  • + 1
 It's not wires crossed; it's your failure to perform a Google search before exposing your own ignorance while calling someone else a moron for failing to recognize a European flag. If I weren't so fond of your nations finest export I may not have recognized it without clicking on it or Googling it myself.

That export, by the way, it's way deadlier than guns. Both in your country and mine. Funny how you folks aren't working on banning it.
  • + 2
 @small-tale . . . Etc. are you really that dumb or you just trolling ? Because you know nothing about USA!
Oh and Good luck with not being able to defend yourself!
  • - 1
 I'm sorry I don't understand which part of the conversation is dumb? Because you know nothing about the UK. Are you just trolling? It must be hard to type with a white hood on your head.
  • - 1
 what do we need to defend ourselves from?
  • - 1
 @poah. I dunno, maybe getting decapitated in the streets.......
  • - 1
 This actually proves the point... If somebody decapitates you, how are you going to shoot them back? Meanwhile all the other bystanders have a chance to flee and alert the police. In an American scenario, many other bystanders WILL be shot. Whereas an attacker wielding a knife will have to chase after another victim, stab that one, chase another victim etc etc. a gun allows someone to shoot multiple targets in a very short space of time. There will always be a first victim no matter if they have a gun, knife or frying pan. Which is what I was trying to say before. You don't know who the 'good' guys are or the 'bad' until they do something despicable. But if you limit their arsenal the less damage they can do. There is absolutely no need for anybody except armed forces whose job it is to kill or law enforcement to have a handgun. Next you will say 'how do I protect my family, when the police arrive late'? If a gunman doesn't have a gun there will be less of a threat to your family in the first place. But me and POAH don't live in third world murder ravaged places like South Africa, Colombia or the U.S, so we don't give a shit if you want too kill each other. We'll just happily ride our bikes in one of the safest countries in the world where I'm proud to say our cops (except specialists) don't have a need to carry guns. It's not that were pussies, it's just we don't feel the need to imitate Dirty Harry. If you put a gun in someone's hand they will always feel the need to use it one day. If any of your family are unlucky enough to go through an experience like New Haven it's your own bloody fault.
  • + 0
 you fail to understand logic. Your crime rates also betray your beliefs. Here in Canada the rate of ownership is almost 1:1 (ignore the stats, the actual numbers were provided by the importers and brings it to 1:1, 30m in canada) and wheres the crime? So your entire belief is not supported by evidence. It's multifaceted and more involved but instead of reviewing it impartially and with multiple case studies you apply cognitive dissonance to maintain a narrowminded and erroneous belief that the problem is of one thing. It's not. The more you research this with impartial evidence (CNN stories don't count) the more you'll understand.

Also, judging by the actions in France where hundreds of unarmed lives were destroyed and Belgium just last night, your belief holds no water. Great timing. classy.
  • - 1
 Belgium and France??? That's a ridiculous comparison and you know it. It's a completely different scenario. It's like saying what good did a hand gun do when the planes went into the two towers? Why bother even having a hand gun? Maybe every US citizen should own an F-18 warplane to combat such threats. They are terrorists well financed and well organised. I'm talking about average joe nutters. Also I'm not sure what the hell your stats are on about? I presume your on about gun ownership ratios? I'm sure your aware being Canadian yourself, the majority of those guns are hunting rifles. Which I might add are also available in the UK, but the veting process means it's far more difficult to obtain. In the U.S. Anybody can get there hands on a gun, that's the scary part. Hand guns!!! Surely you can see the difference?
  • - 1
 your comment that bystanders "WILL" also show how you cant form an argument without basing it on make belief assumptions. Trust me, you have no idea what you are talking about. Have you even been to the USA?

Again, there had to be that "one ____" and of course you're choosing to be that one. Take the time to research more than just what your media reports. The statistics are actually quite telling when you expand into socioeconomic issues, health care, poverty, etc. Brazil has an all out ban, hows that going for them? Mexico does too, and hows that going for them? Right.... the evidence shows your position is one of utter ignorance and a narrow minded, cherry picked view of a highly multifaceted topic.

Pandoras box is open in the US. Has been since the 18th century. One could argue that if all methods of consumption ceased to exist we could end global warming, but you don't hear scientists discussing this, because it would be stupid to do so. How does that differ? You think things just 'disappear' when the government waves a wand? The US isn't cucked like you are. It wouldn't go over well. Use your head. Step away from the koolaid.
  • - 1
 Yes I've been to the U.S. 4 times whilst serving in the British forces. Make belief assumptions? Are you kidding me dude? 27 killed at Sandy Hook.... 27. Or do you think those people didn't exist? Would you rather forget about them to make yourself feel less guilty?

And here is just how easy it is to get the same weapon used.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21712820

Moron. That's the last I'll say on the matter. Just watch your back out there, you don't know who the next bad guy is.
  • - 1
 the majority arent, actually. you have no idea what you're talking about. Anyone? No, try again, you have no idea. you haven't actually read into the research you just spout what BBC reports. Typical.

27? how about 130.... in france. it applies because it was only a handfull of people who could do this to over a hundred.

The moron here is you. Clearly. Anyone who blames issues like this on one thing is always running a fools errand. Now bugger off untill you can present a well founded argument that isn't narrow minded trying to run a point off assumptions and lack of evidence and addresses the root causes behind such actions vs blaming the object used.

forces eh? lmao. did you ever spend time in the sandbox?
  • - 1
 Luckily Im not French nor do I live in France, so piss off.
  • - 1
 no you made it clear you live in England. Where crime is rampant and you had riots lasting a week where thugs burned down homes and your fellow soldiers get beheaded in the streets while people stand around and film instead of doing something about it like we did here. I guess you don't care about French lives, but it's pretty obvious your cuck'ed culture doesn't care about its own lives either. Oh the iron knee.
  • - 1
 And you would rather arm all the rioters? f*cking idiot. That would have ended well. Ah yes crime is so rampant I'm so scared I should buy an automatic rifle. You know just in case when I go to the post office to buy stamps the other guy with an automatic rifle starts shooting everybody. Twat.
  • - 1
 here's a hint for you.

Millionaire Harris Rosen adopts a town in Florida (where floridaman lives, keep this in mind, it's important), Sets up free college tuition to any Florida college for any student who graduates high school. Sets up a life skill training center and a workshop center for parents.

Graduation rate goes to 100%. Crime drops to nearly zero.

In Florida. Where ownership of such devices is extremely high and remains high.

Florida.... ever read up on floridaman?

Seeing the picture here? What's the denominator that precipitates change? What makes Canada and the US different?

Education, and health care are the two items that make the difference. arguing about the device is a fools errand, especially since blunt or edges objects are used more. Pandoras box is open, since 1771.

Fix the root causes and the crime drops. Period. Stop arguing about the object. It's silly.
  • - 2
 what happened in france was terrorism by suicide bombers. The same thing could happen in the US, its not the same as sandy hook or columbine, the many people killed by their own guns or even worse by their own kids.
  • - 1
 They couldn't get them under our laws. Neither under the laws in the US.

illegal is another story.

You do realize the most damage done was in the music venue with AKs.... I guess you don't realise this fact because it proves you wrong.

you really have no point here eh? On a bike forum arguing with people.

you REALLY are that one guy. I'd be embarrassed to serve with you.
  • - 2
 But in general the U.S. Couldn't care about healthcare. They would rather fight for the rights of nutters to own guns than to help heal another brother of theirs. Like you said its priorities. f*cked up!!! I'm not saying you shouldn't own a gun. But what is the purpose of the specific gun? A hunting rifle to shoot deer. A shotgun to shoot partridge. What is the purpose of an automatic AR-15? What is the purpose of a hand gun? Why does a baker, a butcher, a bookseller need such a weapon?
  • + 0
 We have a good system here. We allow ownership and there is barely any crime involving them and when there is it's 96% illegally imported. PAL holders are statistically 3x safer than the average citizen and 3x less likely to commit a fellony offence. I agree the US is mired in trouble but it really is mostly gang related and mostly down to poverty and mental health. We also have safe storage laws that prevent the kids getting ahold of them.

Brazil and Mexico have outright bans are are extremely dangerous.

The point is it's not the object. It's the surrounding factors. Pandora's box is open and the best way to fix it isn't bans. it makes criminals out of law abiding people. you have to fix it by improving education and healthcare. Bans won't do anything. This is proven. The more you research this the more this become glaringly evident.

auto AR15s arent legal in most states and require a massive amount of money and red tape to acquire. the AR is also a very good platofrm and is the most sold sporting rifle in the US. it also accounts for LESS than 1% of crime. Something like 0.02 or something that low.

Its worth looking into that actual document on mass shooters in the US. Look at the names and how many instances the assailant isn't found. Places like Chicago, etc.
  • - 2
 There is no point trying to reason with the unreasonable. You completely ignore my questions. Laters.
  • + 0
 I actually did answer you. I stated that the AR is the least likely to be used. By such a significant margin it's not even at 1%.
  • - 2
 What's the purpose of a hand gun? Right, I'm off for a ride. I'll try not to get shot. Oh wait, thankfully I don't have to worry about that
  • + 0
 Dont get decapitated. stay out of the zones where you're kuffar and you'll be fine. Thank god you're not a women being groomed either.... must be nice to have that privilege.

(if you lived in one of these low income areas in the US you'd prob go buy one to protect yourself as well. think about it....).

Geography is a big factor in how your life plays out. Don't judge others until you understand their situation.
  • - 2
 Hahahaha, you're too much bro. Go back to watching FOX news.
  • + 0
 You do realize I live in Canada, eh? Where we laugh at Fox news and americans while also laughing at the brits castrating themselves whilst loosing their heritage and identity.
  • - 2
 Well if you do indeed laugh at Fox News you wouldn't believe your own bull shit statement. We're not loosing anything dude, trust me, I enjoy a curry on a Friday night. I love picking up a Chinese when I can't be bothered to cook and I still enjoy cricket from time to time if I'm not out riding. I know who I am. Don't worry you'll feel a lot safer when trump gets in. You might even want to move to the states.
  • + 0
 ah the old strawman argument. I've seen your laws, your crime rate, your average education, and your economic situation. Pull them up some time and compare the information to Canada. Try it. Its called research, something you clearly haven't done. This has nothing to do with curry or food. lmao.
  • - 2
 Really you studied English law? Where did you go? Durham? Oxford? There's quite a lot of laws to be seen. Also I love your steadfast identity under attack crisis. Only racists use such arguments. Which is hilarious as both the U.S. And Canada (albeit under the empire) virtually wiped out an entire race of people so you could live there. Don't forget to shoot the next person who isn't white the next time you see them. This is all getting very distasteful. We'll end it here bro.
  • - 1
 The information is on line pertaining to your crime laws and private ownership of arms.

You guys going to start a knife registry soon?


I think it's pretty cool that they allow suppressors for hunting there. They don't here. Pretty daft law, but we also have a lot of daft laws too. At least we can own arms though, makes for fun weekend camping trips.
  • + 1
 your accusations expose your utter ignorance and stupidity. I'm from a multicultural family. I lived in Asia for a decade and regularly enjoy time with my multicultural friends. I'm from Canada, remember? anyone reading through this would be able to objectively see your ignorance.

the only distasteful thing here is you, your ignorance, straw man and ad homeien arguments, and your inability to form a cognative argument without relating it back to the 15th century. brilliant.
  • - 2
 Hahaha, but your suggesting I should defend my culture and heritage! Dude your messed up. You must find day to day living quite hard always fighting one side of yourself with the other. Me personally, I couldn't care where people are from. Live and let live. Your the one trying to defend your own argument. Anyone reading that will see your stupidity.
  • + 1
 actually I said you're cucked and disarmed, and have issues with certain areas. This is irrefutable. Sorry it hurts bro. Too bad you're trying to create a strawman argument in order to direct a false narrative that anyone can clearly see I didn't write.

You're also very good at mental gymnastics, jumping through all those logical hoops and fallacies in order to generate an argument about the policies you know nothing about in another country. Remember where you brought up AR's and how I stated the fact that it's less than 1% then you changed it to something else? Must be blissful being a mental midget.
  • - 2
 It's been good bro, but the car is loaded (with a bike, not a gun) and I'm off.
  • - 2
 @atrokz "your average education" you're taking the piss right?
  • + 1
 arguing about this topic on a bike forum is all of us taking the piss, isn't it? Wink
  • - 3
 so you're just making things up to suit yourself then.
  • + 2
 Literally everything I've stated is searchable on the internet and can be found via various non-partisan sources.

Your average education level is lower than ours and is also stated as being overestimated with some reports saying less than 38% when we are at over 51% including the First Nations. Not surprising given your responses......

"Among Canada's adult population aged 25 to 64, 51% had completed post-secondary education in 2010, the highest percentage among OECD member countries, and well above the OECD average of 31%"

So yea, might want to wake up. your average education levels are LOW.

well-being.esdc.gc.ca/misme-iowb/auto/diagramme-chart/stg2/c_5_29_5_1_eng.png?2016022913170444
  • + 3
 @poah you ever spent time in American? I know @small tales . . . . Was here 4 times with his British forces (guns?) and that makes him an expert on America? @atrokz actually understands the facts. You don't hear me committing on stuff in England because I don't know what it is like over there. . . . . . You EU guys cement my beliefs that there is no reason to leave North America! If we are so f#ked up then stay home and stay off pink bike too !
  • - 1
 To be fair, the UK is still above average at 38%, so I would re-consider your definition of low. Plus it's quality over quantity, It's not like Canadas higher education is amazing. Top uni ranked 19th and only 6 other Universities in the world top 200. C'mon anybody can pay for a couple of letters after their name. Over here we have to actually study for it Wink I had a good ride, trails are running dry. Cheers for asking
  • + 0
 There are tons of students from Europe who come to take part in our Engineering Programs like the one at Waterloo. We excel in that, which is what I do for work.

I say low because ours includes First Nations which brings it down significantly (another topic) and is still at over 51%. Anything under 40% is pretty low all things considered. I agree with quality however, you guys have some awesome universities if I was to study law or medicine. Engineering, we are some of the best.
  • + 0
 Ah that fine institution ranked 179th? Never heard of you bro. Haha just taking the piss, I got my MSc at MMU, I hate to think where we are in the world rankings. Funnily enough back on topic (the real topic) my MSc is in countryside management and I don't support riding in wilderness areas, even though I'm far more qualified to speak on the subject than most pinkbike users. All I got was idiots telling me I don't know shit. I do however, I know a lot more shit than most when it comes to this. But haters gonna hate.
  • - 3
 @atrokz education is different in scotland to that of E&W. I studied at the University of Glasgow which is in the top 1% of world universities and a member of the russell group. Scotland does not have an average education certainly not at university level. Our education is also free
  • - 1
 @poah I'll look into it. Free would be awesome. I spent tens of thousands and it took years to pay. They are talking about free college but only to those with low incomes. We are taxed quite a bit here (my bracket is about 50% when considering purchases) so it would be nice to see.

@Small-Tales-Epic-Trails it ranked pretty good some years. Its not ivy league by any stretch and there are tons of really bad programs but their engineering program is considered one of the best in the world. I think it's rad that you studied that and someone like you could be a large player in advocacy there. Heck apparently the US needs you! haha. Don't forget to pick up your 1911 at the border!
  • - 2
 My view as a conservationist as well as a bike rider is that wilderness should be protected because it is just that... wilderness. We dont have any left in the UK, even the romanticised highlands are heavily managed by sporting estates and farmers. It is only 5% of the US landmass, there are plenty of places for folks to ride their bikes. But where will it stop if one user group is allowed, another follows, first its us, then e-bikes, then motor bikes, then 4x4 you get the picture. There are woods just across from my house where you cant ride your bike and cant even let your dog off the leash because the woods are inhabited by the Hazel Dormouse which is under threat. So I obey these rules knowing I'm helping protect the little fellas. I'll just ride my bike somewhere else. It's not a big deal. We should be helping the authorities condemn horses insead of the selfish attitude bike riders have of "if they can, so should we". As I said, no doubt someone with little intelligence other than wanting to ride their bike everywhere will give me shit. But there we go. And now we have come full circle from guns, terrorists, racism, education and back to wilderness, it's time to put the kettle on and enjoy my evening. I bid you farewell. Happy riding folks.
  • + 0
 cheers. enjoy the eve.
  • + 0
 Not sure where on earth this came from, the troll atrokz above but I had to comment.

@atrokz

Do you have any idea what comes out of your gob/hand as you type. Actually you sound like you should be on bitchnet.coont

You clearly have no kind of good manner required on a forum like this joking about decapitations in the street

If I say LEE RIGBY, does that ring any bells!?

RIP Lee Rigby.
  • + 2
 @titaniumtit

It's pretty clear that was the point.
  • + 3
 @poah - props for staying off topic and wrong this long. Even in the Pinkbike comments section you're a real standout troll.
  • + 1
 Wheelchairs are also banned because they are "mechanized".
  • + 1
 This comment section made my day.
  • + 1
 Whoah,......i'll stay out of this, Peace.
  • + 1
 are there petitions being sent anywhere? letters to congress? if so who?
  • + 1
 mountain bikers are people too
  • - 3
 Ain't America great! Thanks Government, everyday you seem to make (un)America become a bigger joke than the last dumb thing you did! Sorry grandpa, you( your generation) left us a great and wonderful place only to be run down into ashes by a bunch of political douchbags. (And that's an insult to d-bags, at least they provide a positive service to society!)
  • - 3
 What can I say people, I'm so disappointed with the selfish attitude of the bike community. It's Wilderness, you know those places where Flora and Fauna can live without the constant destruction mankind bestows upon in. We literally don't have any wilderness left in the UK. For all the people ho are going to say what about the beautiful Highlands? Desolate Dartmoor? These areas are heavily managed and don't look anything like they should Anybody saying any different is kidding themselves. Look at the Dales, A so called National Park... Its nothing but green hills with sheep on them. What a joke. Its a giant farm! Dissected up by drystone dykes, God forbid a stone should fall out of place but wildlife? KILL IT!!!

Those in North America should be proud to have such places left. But where will the access stop? We shouldn't be condoning more access just because a horse can, we should be stopping all but limited access by hikers. The ability for a mtb to cover far more ground with ease is nothing more than a dangerous precedent to open up the areas further.

I ride, I surf, I climb, I hike, I also endulge in city lifestyle on the occasional weekend. But Wilderness, protected or not is the planets last slice of land without folk destroying it. Those areas that are protected are for a reason. Use the power to stop horses causing damage. If we cant use them then neither should they. That should be the argument. Not our selfish want to ride everywhere we please.

Americans, be proud you have a little slice of Wilderness left and long may it stay that way.
  • + 10
 How do bikes destroy Wilderness in a way that hiking does not? If an area is too sensitive for humans to be present in, then by all means, ban everyone. The point is that hikers shouldn't have rights that supersede any other user groups.
  • - 6
flag Small-Tales-Epic-Trails (Mar 18, 2016 at 8:58) (Below Threshold)
 Because using your own two legs is the very most basic form of human transportation. Anything else be it a car, train, horse or bike is our way of inventing a quicker form of getting from A to B. The quicker you get somewhere the more ground you cover, the more ground you cover the more human interaction has adverse effects on an ecosystem. It's not rocket science.
  • + 8
 So, by your logic, running should be outlawed because they are covering more ground?
  • - 6
flag Small-Tales-Epic-Trails (Mar 18, 2016 at 9:22) (Below Threshold)
 Sure you can run. You can sprint or crawl on all fours for all I care. How far can you run? Can you carry a heavy pack whilst running full of supplies? I bet you couldn't get very far.
  • + 5
 I didn't ask if I could run. Running is for people without bikes, but thankfully I have one.
I asked if running should be outlawed in wilderness because your only metric for damage was "ground covered". So, again, by that logic, should running be outlawed since runners cover more ground?
  • + 4
 I'm all for preserving wilderness - but if an area is so pristine so as to need to be protected from human interaction than surely it's too sensitive for hikers, runners, horseback riders, grazing livestock as well. Otherwise the ban on one human powered mode of travel while allowing the others is unsupportable. Full stop. The Wilderness designation goes further than many understand thanks to the lobbying efforts of the Sierrra Club inthe 80's, and further than the writers of the WA originally intended. For many communities where local lands with trails are being considered for a Wilderness designation this will crush local economies that count heavily on recreational tourism.
  • + 1
 I think small tails has a misconception of wilderness areas in the USA. They're not as pristine as one would think and some allow livestock grazing, pack horse hunting expeditions, large scale camping groups, and commercial guide services, as well as some resource extraction before wilderness designation. I know of one wilderness area in NorCal where law enforcement sets up a command center outpost in the yollla bolle wilderness area with large army tents and a helicopter landing zone. They camp there for several months while they bust pot patches in the surrounding area. they leave their trash behind and always return to the same place year after year.... but bikes are not allowed. I don't think people realize the hypocrisy of the way the wilderness act is applied and enforced.
  • + 1
 @Small-Tales-Epic-Trails

Before you make a comment, you should really think before you write.
  • + 2
 In all honesty, I'm just sitting back and enjoying the fact that Canadians are chiming in on an American issue to say more than just 'You guys are fucking morons' like usual! Love my neighbors.
  • + 2
 {deleted}
  • + 1
 Freedom
  • + 0
 GAWD DAMMIT
  • - 1
 Protect our watersheds. But wait, water just comes from the tap, right?
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.365059
Mobile Version of Website