Banned in the USA: Part 2

Mar 28, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
Photo by Josh Woodward/Coffee House Media

Jim Hasenauer is more than a little familiar with the International Mountain Bicycling Association's policy on mountain biking in Wilderness areas. As a co-founder of IMBA, he helped shape IMBA's strategy of working around the Wilderness Act's ban on bikes, rather than outright challenging it. Today, however, Hasenauer is breaking publicly with the past: He’s still a supporter of IMBA, but Hasenauer now also supports the Sustainable Trails Coalition, which unlike IMBA, is pushing hard to directly contest the ban on bikes.

You can scroll down and check out Hasenauer’s letter to the world. It’s a good read. Still, I wanted to know more: Why, after nearly 30 years, has Hasenauer had a change of heart? Here’s his answer.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what this whole ban on bikes in Wilderness is all about, this story will bring you up to speed.

One Of Many - Colorado Trail Reunion
Photo by by Adrian Marcoux

It’s 1985 and Jim Hasenauer is road tripping with some friends. There are bikes in the back of the car, a tent, some sleeping bags and a dog-eared copy of The Fat Tire Flyer—the first magazine dedicated to mountain biking. At this point in the game, if you are even riding a mountain bike, you are sort of surfing a whole lot of “firsts”. The first mass-produced, knobby-tired machines are just now hitting bike shops in force. Mainstream America is just now waking up to this mountain biking thing and if you actually own one, it’s like you know the secret handshake to a club that most people have only heard about.

Hasenauer, for his part, has heard a lot about Point Reyes, “There were stories about it in Fat Tire Flyer. It was supposed to be this amazing place to ride. Besides,” recalls Hasenauer, “it was in Marin. We had to go.”

So there’s Hasenauer and a few buddies, heading for the holy land—Northern California. “We spent the night in Muir Woods, got up in the morning and drove over to Point Reyes,” here Hasenauer drifts off for a moment. “One of the first things we see is this sign reading 'No Bikes'. We were in a Wilderness area.”

Shawn Neer shreds a rare foggy day at Buffalo Creek on Colorado s Front Range
Photo by Dave Trumpore

Less than a year before Hasenauer’s road trip, the Forest Service—under pressure from groups such as the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society—changed their own Wilderness regulations, effectively outlawing mountain biking in Wilderness areas. The boom had come down and caught early mountain bikers entirely unaware.

“There were essentially no more mountain bike legal trails around there. And it really pissed me off,” says Hasenauer. “That was my first real awareness of the personal impact of the Wilderness ban. Right from the start, I ran up against the ban on bikes and, in a way, it feels like I’ve been running up against it ever since.”

That day in Point Reyes and the subsequent closure of some of Hasenauer’s favorite Southern California trails profoundly impacted Jim Hasenauer. He became an advocate—co-founding IMBA and helping lead the advocacy group in its early years; that’s one reason you’ll find his name on the lists of inductees to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

Which makes today’s announcement all the more interesting.

bigquotesI have pushed IMBA to take up the fight against the Wilderness ban on bikes in a more direct and systematic way. But IMBA continues to choose a different path and I have grown more frustrated. I think it is time for us to do something here. There is enough national attention to make a change. The time is right for staking out a new campaign and trying a new approach.

Wilderness mountain biking
Photo courtesy of Jim Hasenauer

An Interview with Jim Hasenauer

Vernon Felton So why did you write this open letter to the mountain bike community?

Jim Hasenauer The ban on bikes in Wilderness areas is something I’ve been working on since I started riding. I’ve seen so many trails that I either rode on a frequent basis, or had the dream of one day riding, just be taken away from all of us mountain bikers. We were screwed back in 1984 and we’re still being screwed today. Bikes should be able to ride on some trails in some Wilderness areas.

Vernon Felton Okay, let’s play devil’s advocate here. You feel the ban is wrong, but you’re a mountain biker. You want to selfishly ride your bike wherever you want to ride it. Maybe you’re not supposed to be able to ride there in the first place because you’re devastating to the environment. What do you have to say that argument?

Jim Hasenauer People who oppose mountain bikes in Wilderness areas publicly hang their hat on one sentence in the Wilderness Act that says “In the Wilderness there shall be no mechanical transport.” Their argument is that bikes are machines and since there is not supposed to be any mechanical transport, bikes should clearly not be allowed in Wilderness.

But to really understand what Congress meant by “mechanical transport” you have to go back in the legislative history and see how that term was being used at the time. What they meant by mechanized transport was actually motorized transport. The legislative record is full of congressmen talking about their concern about the development of roads and roadside attractions like gas stations and motels...big infrastructure things that put a permanent, ugly stamp on the outdoors. That was the issue.

Congress was not concerned in the least about something like a bicycle. That’s why the Forest Sevice’s initial regulations explicitly defined mechanical transport as any conveyance propelled by a non-living power source. Once again, they were taking about motors here.

The ban on mechanical transport never had anything to do with bikes.

NODES Searching for Corridors of Flow
Photo by Sven Martin

Vernon Felton If Congress never intended to ban bikes in Wilderness areas, why did bikes get the boot in the first place?

Jim Hasenauer Look, there were legitimate concerns when mountain bikes first came on the scene. Nobody knew what our environmental or social impacts were going to be. I can understand people and policy makers exercising the cautious option back then. But now? Here we are 30 to 40 years later and there is tons of research showing that bike impacts are not significantly different than hiker impacts.

And we’ve proven ourselves. We've shown—whenever we’ve been given the chance—that bikers and hikers can co-exist on trails without conflict. And that’s why, to a large degree, the tides have changed on trail access in so many non-Wilderness areas. IMBA has been absolutely instrumental in making that happen and they deserve a lot of credit here. Trails have re-opened to us and land managers have realized those early bans weren’t actually good public policy. The stance on bikes in Wilderness areas, on the other hand, has just stayed frozen in time. It wasn’t right then and it certainly isn’t right now.

Scott House is a driving force behind getting our mtb scene in front of the world. He s a great guy and just loves to ride he s one of many awesome locals that help make all of this possible
Photo by Tim Zimmerman

Vernon Felton So, what's your position now?

Jim Hasenauer What the Sustainable Trails Coalition is trying to do, and what I wish IMBA was trying to do, is go after that definition and bring it back to its original meaning—that “mechanical transport” in the Wilderness Act means things powered by a non-living source. A motor.

Vernon Felton The problem seems so cut and dry. So simple. Just change the wording of the regulations back to how they read before 1984. But if it’s so simple, why has it proved so impossible to make that happen?

Jim Hasenauer There are definitely a lot of mountain bikers in America now, but there are a lot more people loosely associated with this Wilderness Society and Sierra Club. Those are both gigantic organizations and when they ask their members to write letters or go to a meeting, they turn out in force. There are at least another eight big, traditional environmental organizations that work together and lobby in Washington DC, and have a strong influence on Forest Service planning. They are politically powerful. The mountain bike community has made great strides in advocacy and extending our influence, but in any kind of a head-to-head confrontation with large environmental groups, the history is that we get creamed.

Vernon Felton Wait, are you saying that we are getting beat up because we just can’t match their numbers or are we getting beat because we mountain bikers don’t band together and make better use of the numbers we actually have?

Jim Hasenauer Both. We are outnumbered, but more importantly, we aren’t politically active enough. People just want to go for a ride. I totally understand that. We ride to escape things like politics. And as long as people’s own trails aren’t threatened, people just kind of shrug their shoulders and move on with their lives. But if we aren’t being active on big-picture issues like Wilderness, those trail closures will come your way. Count on it.

Trail Hunter - Alaska images by Harookz
Photo by Harookz

Vernon Felton Part of being outnumbered, it seems to me, is that we have traditionally relied on one organization—IMBA—to do everything for us. IMBA is somehow supposed to fight every fight for us, yet it has to prevail against dozens of groups that philosophically oppose mountain bikes. Isn’t that, fundamentally, too much to expect of IMBA or any single organization?

Jim Hasenauer IMBA has done a great job of sticking to its mission of creating and enhancing trail opportunities for riders. But IMBA has been neglecting this issue and I know we have because I was on the IMBA board for 16 years and we were always afraid of taking on the environmental organizations head on in any kind of a political fight. For starters, we were environmentalists ourselves. We wanted to protect and preserve these places too; we didn’t want to fight with people that we generally agreed with. Second, we just didn’t want to get creamed. So we were very, very cautious.

We took a different approach, by working with these same organizations. We wanted to be valuable to them as they pushed for environmental protections and if we could come to agreements with them—agree to change a Wilderness boundary and preserve access to a trail that was important to riders, then that was a victory for everyone.

We came up with lots of creative solutions to the Wilderness ban, but we came up with them all because we were fundamentally afraid to say, Hey, we’re bicyclists. We are low impact and we should be able to ride in the Wilderness.

We were afraid to lose that bigger fight.

Mike Levy
Photo by Paris Gore

Vernon Felton It seems to me that we’re still afraid of losing that fight. IMBA has made several statements reaffirming their commitment to that approach. So why have you changed your mind about that strategy now?

Jim Hasenauer I have pushed IMBA to take up the fight against the Wilderness ban on bikes in a more direct and systematic way. But IMBA continues to choose a different path and I have grown more frustrated. I think it is time for us to do something here. There is enough national attention to make a change.

Vernon Felton But what about losing? That’s still a very big risk.

Jim Hasenauer Look, we’ll never win if we never try. It’s time to try. Could we lose? Sure. And if we lose, then we need to re-organize, improve our approach and try again. That’s what mainstream environmental groups always do. They keep trying. That’s why they’ve made progress. We have to do the same.

Filipp Kozachuk descends Snyder Trail a.k.a. Knapp s in the backcountry of Santa Barbara California as the sun sets over the Santa Ynez Valley.
Photo by Mark Skovorodko

Vernon Felton So what do you want people to do after they read your letter?

Jim Hasenauer There are two things that I’m hoping for. Right now there are a lot of people siding with either STC or IMBA, but not both. They are casting one group as right and the other group as wrong. That’s a mistake.

I want people to support both organizations. We are all in this together. These internal fights—whether it’s roadies versus mountain bikers, downhillers versus cross-country racers or IMBA versus the STC—all we’re doing is wasting our energy by dividing ourselves.

I want to see us work together and move together towards the same goal. That’s why I wrote the letter. I also want people who might not have been paying attention to any of this, to get involved. Make a difference wherever you live.

North Shore winter.
Photo by Justa Jeskova

Dear Mountain Bikers,

The new Idaho Wilderness designation with its devastating loss of mountain bike trails; the emergence of the Sustainable Trails Coalition attempting to secure congressional legislation opening up access to some trails in some Wilderness; the increased activity from pro Wilderness groups around the country and IMBA's release of its 2016 Advocacy Position have generated a long overdue conversation about bicycles in Wilderness. Several people have asked me for my position.

I believe that mountain biking is compatible with the history and philosophy of Wilderness designation. We should be allowed on some trails in some Wilderness areas. We should certainly be allowed on trails we rode before they were designated Wilderness. We've lost far too many.

In the United States, designated Wilderness is the label we apply to the wildest, most natural, most undeveloped places and until 1984, early mountain bikers rode in the Wilderness. The very essence of mountain biking is to ride through places like this; to experience the sights, sounds, and smells; to feel the bike as it moves along the trail, to taste the air, the sweat and the dirt. The idea that mountain biking is or is not compatible with the wildest places spills over into all other access arguments. The facts are with us on this one and it's a battle we must win.

The Wilderness ban is bad public policy and it's clearly not what the authors of the iconic 1964 Wilderness Act intended.

When bikes were banned, 20 years later in 1984, anti-bike environmentalists and other trail users were applying pressures to land managers to ban us everywhere. NORBA, only one year old, was fighting the good fight for land access, but was not prepared for the pressure that the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society put on the Forest Service. The Sustainable Trail Coalition has well documented the policy history. Anyone who studies it will understand that the Wilderness bicycle ban was not rooted in the philosophy nor legislative history of Wilderness. It was an expression of early user conflict, at best an implementation of the cautionary principle and at worst of human selfishness, territoriality and bias. In the ensuing years, thanks to IMBA and local organizations, most land mangers have opened their trails to mountain biking, and welcomed the energy, sweat equity and support the mountain bike community brings. The Wilderness ban is a vestige of early fears and misunderstandings of what mountain biking is about.

Riding bikes on an island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake has to be one of the most surreal experiences i ve ever had. After a brutal climb you get miles of flowy singletrack with views like this. Not too shabby.

Photo by Andrew Meehan

I support the Sustainable Trails Coalition. They've taken on the difficult but focused task of making a law that ensures mountain bike use will be considered on Wilderness trails. That's an elegant solution to the Sisyphus like task of fighting dozens of individual battles over proposed Wilderness. I also support IMBA. Twenty eight years of advocacy have helped mountain bicyclists create an organization that has legitimacy, credibility and a proven record of creating and enhancing riding opportunities.

It's not unexpected that inside any movement advocates will argue about strategies and tactics. That's healthy. What's unhealthy is when these disagreements undermine each other's good works and the momentum of our movement. While I'm tremendously disappointed by IMBA's lack of support for the STC, I'm also troubled by the idea that riders would drop their support of IMBA. To gain and maintain access to riding in wild places, our community must pursue all approaches to secure access for bikes. We must support each other's efforts.

The STC has a single focus and is proposing a top down approach creating legislation that will eliminate the ban on bicycles and leave the decision to local Wilderness land mangers. Historically, IMBA's got a much broader focus, and takes a bottom up approach. It will not try to change the Wilderness ban directly. Instead it emphasizes being at the table when new Wilderness is proposed and negotiating to protect mountain bike trails by carefully drawing boundaries or finding other land protection designations that will still allow bikes. The goal is to provide the greatest amount of protected land while trying to ensure bike access to existing trails. IMBA's new 2016 advocacy plan promises to be more aggressive, to work to redraw some boundaries in existing Wilderness and to use the courts to challenge unjustified bike bans. Traditional environmental groups are going to oppose both the STC and IMBA. The agencies will resist change.

bigquotesRight now there are a lot of people siding with either STC or IMBA, but not both. They are casting one group as right and the other group as wrong. That is a mistake. We are all in this together..

Wilderness mountain biking
Photo courtesy of Jim Hasenauer

Our community needs both the STC and IMBA. As importantly, perhaps more importantly, it needs grassroots organizing and the ability to generate letters to decision makers and bodies at meetings. Our greatest vulnerability is our comparative weakness compared to the well honed mobilization abilities of the traditional environmental community. They bowl us over because they can. Both the STC and IMBA need to cultivate and share the phone trees, email lists and club networks that can quickly generate political pressure. We need to create a powerful political constituency that is pro-mountain bike.

The STC is initiating a political campaign that will likely take years to come to fruition, but if successful it will completely change the dialogue about Wilderness designation. I encourage all mountain bicyclists to dig deep, give what you can to the STC and be prepared for the grassroots political action that will become necessary when the bill is introduced. At the same time, renew your IMBA membership, monitor new Wilderness proposals and be at the table when they're being finalized. There' so much to do and we're all in this together.
--Jim Hasenauer

Hasenauer was a co-founder of IMBA, its early spokesman, on the Board from 1988-2004, and its president from 1991-1996. In 1998, he was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

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vernonfelton avatar

Member since Apr 11, 2014
202 articles

  • 441 7
 Meanwhile horses have unprecedented access to destroy trails and shit everywhere...
  • 20 3
 Thanks friend,you just made my day!Can't stop laughing! Big Grin
  • 53 5
 senseless people too. Like riding hours or a day after a huge rain and destroying every inch of the trail for miles.
  • 128 9
 as a hiker as well as a mountain biker, even if mountain bikes aren't let in; I would like to see a ban on horses in wilderness areas.
  • 13 80
flag Sycip69er (Mar 28, 2016 at 11:16) (Below Threshold)
 That is not true. Equestrian access gets removed from trails all the time.
  • 18 3
 @Sycip69er I don't know what trails you are on but everywhere in colorado that I go, I at least see signs saying that right of way goes to horses. the wilderness area in the san juans (the weminuche) has tie up spots for commercial horse tours.
  • 7 51
flag Sycip69er (Mar 28, 2016 at 11:31) (Below Threshold)
 I said they get removed from "trails". They lose access all the time. Their one safe haven is wilderness.
  • 45 1
 Its not "unprecedented access" Horses have always had access to the Wilderness Area trails.
They do a shitload of damage.
  • 54 8
 Bikers and Equestrians should band together for more trails. We are as annoying to them as they are to us. We are making good progress here in San Diego- this weekend there was an interaction training with horses and bikes. Please lets focus on more access and not try to ban other trail users.
  • 66 45
 @Sycip69er Are you intentionally misleading or naturally clueless?

Horses should be banned altogether. It is 21st century, slave animal ownership for entertainment should not be tolerated.
  • 8 5
 What do bikers do to annoy horse people?
  • 26 21
 You called me clueless and then you said horses shouldn't be owned? Are you mental? Do you have pets?
  • 27 6
 @steelpolish the big thing is not stopping and yielding to horses. horses can spook pretty easily and that is no bueno.
  • 14 1
 I have never heard of equestrians losing access to a trail.
  • 27 1
 Horses do make a mess of the trails. especially when wet, they leave huge ruts.
  • 25 2
 My park...One designated horse trail, one designated for bikes, three designated for multi-use but no horses. Every trail is full of horse shit. Rather ride on the road than breath all that piss and shit dust...valley fever anyone? Used to tell my boy to ride so close to the bikes in front or get in front just to avoid the I just avoid the trails or the section of park all together. Bikers seem to listen to the rules more than any other trail users.
  • 5 1
 @Sycip69er and that is fine if it is being done due to the impact on the trails.
  • 26 2
  • 5 3
 Fair enough. About 20 trails across the country; some restricted because of maintenance and access. Still very very few actually closed. Its a non issue, f*ck em!
  • 4 1
  • 5 2
 La mierda es abono Wink
  • 8 9
 Shit is fertilizer
  • 9 4
 Fertilize this...jk.
  • 10 53
flag SethStar (Mar 28, 2016 at 13:58) (Below Threshold)
 I've seen more trail damage done by bikers after rains, or getting out too early on high elevation trails than any other user group period.
  • 13 11
 I've seen enduro people take out hikers.
  • 86 5
 So an inspirational leader in our sport takes his time to call for us to band together for the greater good and what does the internet do? Start arguing about horses.......

  • 13 0
 Just having a little fun in the face of all the unjustified restrictions. Loosing trails you've ridden your whole life is pretty much devastating. So many more informed bikers nowadays...hopefully the outcome of all this will be positive for every trail user.
  • 12 4
 Wait a minute....
There are exceptions for "resource extraction and grazing" (two things WAY more destructive than even horses) that existed before the Wilderness act went into effect, but bicycles are banned?
That is ridiculous...
  • 10 0
 I have said this so many times but some how the 3 people on horse have more rights than the thousands on bikes. Meanwhile here in So Cal we cant even get one freeride DH trail
  • 21 3
 Horses spread invasive species with their droppings. Horses accelerate erosion due to their enormous weight. Horses allow more people to access remote wilderness areas and, in some but not all cases, leave their trash in the Wilderness. I've found piles of hundreds of cigarette butts near fire rings in Wilderness areas. Less then 2% of contiguous USA is designated Wilderness, and its less than 5% even when Alaska is included. Horses should be banned from Wilderness.

Who owns the land? How much of this ought to be designated as Wilderness? 60% of all land in the USA is privately owned, much of that share by corporations, which by some bizarre twist of politics and corporate influence have the same rights as individuals.

Mountain biking is a far cry from the most disruptive activity on the land, even horses are worse. But the fight for land protection and access is much broader than the tiny area currently designated as wilderness. We should be fighting for more Wilderness, then maybe we'd be in a better position to negotiate access to some of it by bike.
  • 10 0
This is the kind of bs that mountain bikers have to go up against. I love how the writer says mountain bikers aren't in control but he supports riding an animal with its own brain
  • 6 2
 @jonnycanfield Guilty, I've taken out a kid walking up a bike only trail before, Came around a blind corner on the downhill and... You know the rest.
  • 10 8
 @axxe that's hilarious. Seriously the best joke I've heard in a while... so... owning a horse is slavery... ohhh man. What a great discussion on pinkbike. Laughing my ass off over here. Let's pass a bill in congress to release all the horses--or at least pay them minimum wage hahaha!! What about the poor cows before we eat them? What a classic comment! I sure hope you were moking this stupid thread.
  • 11 4
 @roOne you are spot on! Trashing horses and hikers is NOT going to win this debate. Period. It just makes us sound like a bunch of 16 year olds on bikes our parents bought.
  • 5 14
flag Axxe (Mar 28, 2016 at 18:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Reignonme Your reading comprehension is lacking. Maybe that is because you are stuck in 19th century. With head up a horse's behind.

There is no reason to own a horse and ride trails for entertainment. If you are too weak to pedal, get an e-bike.
  • 8 7
 @roOne Arguing about horses is _absolutely_ appropriate. Their selfish, entitled, and unfortunately well connected owners are the number one reason, by far, that there are such restrictions on bike access. We will only win it back when we strike back at them.

Horse owners are too lazy to train their horses to coexist. They ain't cowboys anymore - more like housewives with latent pony fantasies.
  • 4 0
 Thats what i told a hiker when I was riding on a fire road. A fire road and he said I was making erosion!!!!! HOW
  • 5 2
 My local trails have separate horse and mtb trails with a few intersections and shared connecters. Bikes yield to horses because they are less intelligent. The horse trails are double track, rutted, full of shit and the mtb trails are fun technical singletrack so I stay where I belong. Often there are horse apples and deep huff prints on some mtb specific trails and it makes me mad. But then I see a bikini clad girl riding a horse mid trot and all is forgiven, while some self righteous hiker is yelling at me to get back on the road
  • 3 9
flag isawtman (Mar 28, 2016 at 19:55) (Below Threshold)
 Horses are not "mechanical transport" therefor they are not banned in Wilderness areas.
  • 7 5
 And that make no sense whatsoever. They are destructive and dangerous. Bikes are not. Blame horse lobby.
  • 4 3
 But mountain bikes shouldnt be either. And really, horses are sort of a mechanized transport because they're giving the rider a mechanical advantage. An equestrian has to work less than a mountain biker. Plus, they can be a danger to not only the rider but others. Horses have a mind of their own, they can get spooked, and they bite. A mountain bike is completely the rider.
  • 5 8
 Bollocks. Low impact human powered recreation is exactly the reason Wilderness bill was created. To protect and enjoy our land. Bikes belong before anybody. If horses are dangerous - they have no business being on public trails. Get in private park.
  • 2 0
 That was directed at isawtman, I agree with you @axxe
  • 4 0
 I remember a few years ago when I hit a horse shit while I was downhilling.It was like on the snowscoot,even Saints couldn't help me.
  • 3 0
 The important question here @johnnyprank is; Did you have a fender on?
  • 6 4
 As a westerner, I cry bulls hit on the man from Massachusetts. Sierra Club and Wilderness Society are always planning the NEXT wilderness addition and will NEVER say it is enough. What is needed is a whole new designation of public lands that prevents rampant exploitation but provides for a variety of public uses for access and recreation. IMBA has been a sellout for years because they more closely identify with the Sierra Club and other self righteous organizations funded by elitists than they do with their stated constituents. My money will go to Blue Ribbon, Quiet Warrior and maybe STC. Before I get new propped as though I were a Bundy, let me say I'll stack my personal environmental creds and support of reasonable preservation next to anyones.
  • 2 0
 @codypup So you are saying they are simply sectioning out MTB?
  • 1 0
 ? Siderealwall2
  • 5 0
 @siderealwall2 no fender at all,horse ass product everywhere.But on the other hand I have improved my shitty skills
  • 2 0
 Out of interest, how many mountain bikers are there in America? How does it compare with horse riders and hikers?
  • 1 0
This sorta shows the amount. There's a lot but communities are all different.
  • 2 2
 America springs up images of cowboys , not mountain bikers , of course horses have preference,
  • 2 2
 I know.... the truth hurts
  • 2 2
 I'd say we (mountain bikers) start to do the same. Just drop some timber on the trail when nature calls. If horses can do it, why can't we?
  • 7 0
 Those who walk their dogs carry a plastic bag for the owners should carry a trash bag for the same ...could you imagine, hilarious.
  • 12 7
 @Axxe You are so far off... First off, I was a mountain biker for 15 years before I met my wife. She had horses. Not fancy 5 or 6 digit fancy show horses, just your basic trail horse. I didn't care for horses at all. After being resistant to the idea of riding a 1300lbs animal the first year of dating, I gave it a shot. There is way more to horses than you will ever know. You sound like a knuckle dragging ape that only knows one thing. It takes weeks, months, even years to get them to the point where some irresponsible knuckle dragger can fly up behind you and not announce themselves and know my horse will NOT kick you in the face because you're thinking you are superior.

Next, horses do a hell of a lot of trail damage. Crazy trail damage. In our area in the state forest, we have 2 trail networks, one for bikes, one for horses and HIKERS can walk both trails. The bikes will never make it down a horse trail. I'm always amazed at how bad the horse trails can get. But they are rugged animals and handle it. But get this, horse groups come in and do trail maintenance all the time! They take responsibility. I desensitized my horses to bikes. I have made sure a bike rider and our horses get along, and they do! It took time and effort. Not sitting on couch or paying someone. But let me make this clear, by no means do horses, bikes or hikers have more rights than another. I've seen irresponsible actions from all 3 of those groups, but you need one before the other to stay on the trails. It's a triangle. Bikes need horses on board. Horses need hikers on board. Hikers need bikes to follow the rules. The horse groups are huge. The hiker groups are huge. The bike groups are small. Hell, I went to a meeting once about a trail network 15 minutes from my house, 2 mountain bikers came to the meeting asking to ride the horse/hiking trails in a room of 60!! The rest were an even mix of horse and hiker groups. Nope, no bikes. I even stood up and explained we can live together on the same trail, no luck.

The negativity is amazing. That thought process will get you nowhere in your argument.

BTW, about the horse shit. If you run it over, it is just a bit a bile and grass. Besides, the horse has no diseases you can catch. If it sits in the sun for a week, it becomes dried out grass. Dog shit stays in my tires for weeks, you know, probably from s slave dog owner's dog... Smile
  • 4 3
 I actually love seeing horses on the trail. Kind of a personal challenge to spot them coming, get off the bike, say hi or talk to the riders so the horse feels more comfortable, try not to break a stick or rustle too many leaves so as not to spook them, and wait till they're a ways down the trail before continuing. Never had a bad experience. Plus there are usually some cute girls riding, not all fat like some have commented. Generally they are super appreciative of the effort and all smiles. Some even say ride on...the horses don't mind. We can all get along and hopefully this will be a non issue someday. We all enjoy the outdoors period.
  • 4 7
 I am not far off. I am right on point - and sorry about your wife. Equestrians are the enemy. They are the reason behind most trail access issues. They are immoral duplicitous slave animal owners who trash the nature for their amusement. They are too lazy to train their horses to share trails with bikes and they keep lying about per owed conflicts to every land manager that would listen. They are the primary reason behind wilderness ban. The sooner they are gone the better. Hopefully most of them are getting older.
  • 6 3
 Horses came first ffs, you're like someone moving next to an airport and complaining about the noise.
  • 3 7
flag Axxe (Mar 29, 2016 at 17:01) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, and human sacrifices came even before horses. Want to volunteer?

It is 21st century. Horses are past and we should not care about them and their owners. As they sure are not caring about us.
  • 4 0
 oldschool43, it's all a matter of perspective. In our community, nearly ALL of the trail maintenance is done by mountain bikers. You can advance the argument that your horses stinking shit is just hay, but if it bothers other trail users, doesn't that matter in the same way that seeing a bicycle seems to offend the sensibilities of most horse riders?
  • 1 2
 Codypup, Well, we pay $100 a year for trail passes to have the poop cleaned up on an almost daily basis. Not sure when it is picked, but it never seems to be an issue. I don't notice it on my bike. It was brought up by bike riders at a meeting. The bikes? They pay zero to use the trails! Do the divits drive me nuts when I ride my bike on the multi-use trail? Yes. Sometimes I can see MY own horses hoof prints. But that's what I have to deal with if I want to ride that trail, it is what it is. Maybe my area of the country, everyone works together and no group is entitled.

They have meetings about the trails. Want to try to fix the poop issue? Go to a trail meeting with a group of concerned riders, old, young, men and women, be nice, don't yell or roll your eyes, prepare a speech and have a non-involved party proof read it, be thorough and pleasant (most of these horse heads are grumpy older women and one man) smile, say thank you for your time. I will guess there will be some sort of action, was in our case, hence the $100 trail pass for equestrians. Organize a trail maintence day for multiusers, so you work together. They have to cut tree limbs, buddy up with the leader, just talk, don't blame or acuse. You could even say,"I know a guy that rides mountain bikes and he said he worked with his horses to help them deal with bikes" Offer your time! Work with them! If one grumpy woman thinks, "We should help these guys out and get rid of poop", you not only fixed YOUR problem, but you got them on your side. Want your own trail on the downhills? With them on your side, done.

Pissing and moaning about it gets nothing done about it. Pissing and moaning at a meeting or to them when out on the trail gets you on the list of riff raff and will be remembered by those grumpy women every time there is an on trail issue. If bikes become an issue, there never seems to be enough concerned, level headed bikers to try to find a solution. I'm passing on this knowledge on to you because I am on both sides of this. If you do nothing, nothing will be done.
  • 3 1
 everyone should watch this video @vernonfelton made a while back when Idaho was in the midst of losing a large portion of trail. Kindof eye opening the responses from Sierra Club and IMBA etc.. kinda confirms for me why we need someone like STC to push the issue before we lose alot more trail.
  • 4 0
 Oldschool that's a lot of words about horseshit. I was raised around horses and rode a lot as a kid. Horseshit doesn't bother me near as much as the sanctimonious attitudes of horse riders.
  • 1 2
 @thook: thanks for the link. That was an opinionated piece that clearly attempted to vilify one group out of self interest. POS! People need to be more responsible in their trail use. Don't ride or hike mud. Do it in dirt. That is a truly unfortunate situation you face in the USA. A little different up here and we have the Sierra Club.
  • 3 1
 Horses can be bad especially when there is a lot of commercial ride volume, but cattle are *WAY* worse. Allowing grazing in wilderness doesn't just damage the trails, but entire drainages. It's an outdated holdover from the a bygone era where ranchers ruled the west. Unfortunately I don't see it changing in my lifetime. Frown I live in an place surrounded by no less than 5 different wilderness areas and the damage done by cows every year in these supposedly "protected" areas is sickening. Regardless of whether bikes or paragliders or xxx are ever allowed in Wilderness, someone should at least make an attempt to get rid of the grazing.
  • 2 1
 @jsharpe: But people needs their burgers!!! Seriously though, the same thing over here. Over grazing destroys the land, soils erode into watersheds, fish die, etc. etc. And then people complain about bikers ruining stuff by riding to fast and skidding. Do we have a Timberline bike park here? Nope. Riders are going to upset the delicate landscape with their bikes.
  • 3 2
 @mountaincross: So "Horses should be banned from Wilderness."
Do you have any idea of how daft that statement is? Where do you think horse came from? Oh wait, they originated in North America, long before humans appeared.
  • 3 0
 @imajez: Umm yah... Maybe you should brush up on your history. Horses did not originate in North America. They were introduced here in the 1500's by Spanish Conquistadors, long after humans appeared.
  • 1 1
 It is perfectly fine for horses to roam wilderness. Nobody should ban them.

It is the fat hags riding them and bitching about bikes who should be banned.

Jorse riding should be banned, not horses. Comprehend the difference?
  • 2 1

Banning things is very "un-American". Compromise is a significant part of a free and open society. If one group gets to have a ban against another group, it will grow out of control exponentially as opposing groups have each other banned from their loved places over opinionated reasoning... Banning things is also the road to Despotism.

I think most people are not aware of what Despotism is, and how it has slowly creeped up and destroyed several open-societies throughout history.
  • 3 3
 United States is the opposite of freedom. Never put freedom and the US in the same sentence. End of this thread.
  • 2 1

That's because many people are shitheads, many of them know it and are okay with being negative.

They probably don't realize either that a negativity(anger and stress) shortens your life span.
  • 2 2

That was stupid!
  • 132 2
 This is some top notch journalism right here. Color me impressed, Pinkbike has stepped up their game.
  • 58 0
 Vernon Felton is the man!
  • 22 0 bringing on Vernon Felton! Thank you good sir!
  • 36 0
 I agree. Adding VF was a major dose of journalistic credibility for PB.
  • 3 1
 This isn't journalism, it's an opinion-editorial.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. I've been waiting for part 3 for weeks.
  • 80 9
 I’ve been keeping up with this trail banning/Wilderness Act business for a while now. It’s a complete attack on what it is to be an American, to be a human, to be free. The fact that the government or state or anyone other than a person that owns land privately can come in and arbitrarily ban you from using it in a manner that is less of a nuisance than another’s manner (eh-hem...HORSES) is ridiculous. It’s this control that is armchair-legislated by people that don’t even use the land; they just like the idea of people staying where they belong, on the freeways and in their cubicles and that the ‘wilderness’ should remain used how THEY see fit in their own elitist minds.

Maybe the Native Americans should start issuing back-dated citations for illegal wagon usage on their ‘Wilderness’ trails.
  • 6 1
  • 3 2
 when is the bill going to be introduced?
  • 6 0
 That may have been a bit snarky, here is some information on the Wilderness Act:
  • 2 0
 well yeah i knew that, haha. he mentioned that the new bill was going to be introduced once lobbying had been done, and i was just wondering when that was going to be introduced.
  • 1 0
 I am concerned that this comment received so much positive rep. This is a really narrow argument that should not be made in public if you expect the discussion to be productive.
  • 1 1
 @ecologist: my argument should not be made public? Are you serious? Maybe we need another government agency to approve acceptable arguments now?
  • 54 0
 My goal is to become an environmental scientist to possibly come up with research to support us mountain bikers. These articles are amazing and only push me further to try and meet my goal. Thank you pinkbike
  • 12 0
 This is a huge issue here in the states and every mountain biker should advocate if we wish to see more "epic trails" in our own area !!
  • 14 1
 Being a scientist, I love to think that more research is all it takes to convince governments to make changes. But that's not how politics works.

To paraphrase Tom Mulclair during our last election: The Sierra Club et al. are not interested in fact-based decision making, they believe in decision-based fact making.

The cognitive dissonance by the opposition groups is outrageous. Twisting their brains around to maintain these positions is gonna block an artery and cause someone a stroke at some point...
  • 13 2
 I'm sorry jdb06, but that's not how science works. What you are suggesting is biased opinion and not science. To do an experiment, you have to ask a question, do experiments to answers the question, and let he data fall where it may. You cannot manipulate data to show your own biases, that is no longer science.
  • 6 0
 While I agree @valtra that your description is reminiscent of the way things currently are, research is an imperative tool to help combat the ungrounded arguments that mountain bikers cause damage to trail systems and the environment. Are their reasons for keeping us off the trails completely ridiculous, yes! But since we MTBers are currently on the banned side of things, we'll need several weapons at our disposal in order to bring about change; research being a powerful one upon which the few common-sensed people of America can agree and get on board with.
  • 5 0
 abzillah is spot on, and the data are often not what you expect in ecology and the environmental sciences. That being said, if you want to influence land managers with good data. Focus your career on GIS. Nothing is as compelling as a good map of priorities.
  • 4 1
 Both good points made above. One thing I've learned in science is that a) the best results are those that surprise you and challenge your current beliefs, and b) that "making science" is only a small part of the battle. You need to be able to communicate effectively to justify its value (and in the case of academia, your existence as a publically-funded scientist). In this case, there's a pretty big research gap that needs to be addressed, and the data will "fall where it may" when the analysis is complete. To be fair, there's a lot of research that results in seemingly unsurprising conclusions but you can't say for sure until the work is done.

When it comes to this particular debate, I think STC has it right by tackling the interpretation of the legislation. They shouldn't even need hard data to win something that can be logically deconstructed, but it certainly helps to strengthen the argument. When [emphasis] the ban on bikes gets overturned and the opposition wants to bring it back, then the burden of proof lies at their feet to demonstrate that bikes are damaging the trails and user experience.
  • 2 0
 @half-man-half-scab that's great advice! GIS is a great path to follow regardless. My area is precision agriculture and a minor in GIS would have made me way more valuable to employers since everything is getting automated and our technical know-how doesn't match our agronomy skills.

@jdb06 If you haven't started uni yet and really want to pursue this, maybe major in environmental sciences or engineering and minor in GIS.
  • 5 13
flag stacykohut (Mar 28, 2016 at 15:49) (Below Threshold)
 what part if this statement don't mtb ers understand...................

the Wilderness Act that says “In the Wilderness there shall be no mechanical transport.”


support mtb parks, like it or not, they are the future.
it lets our 'footprint' get deeper, not bigger.
  • 3 0
 'Bike parks are for kids'. Mountain biking is going the same way as snowboarding did. Leaving the resorts/parks for the backcountry as the sport matures. Many in our generation don't go hiking no more we go biking instead. In 30 years we will look back and find it funny we could not ride everywhere..
  • 2 0
 Yes Valtra! The Sierra Club has much in common with the right wing of our Republican party!
  • 42 2
 Fracking, cracking, driling, deforestation, chemtrails...guys riding bikes in wilderness... the greatest threat of them all...
  • 37 1
 When something becomes Illegal, you create criminals. Just like prohibition, drugs, prostitution, etc., give mtbers an option and they will respect off limit areas. Close it off completely and you just create poachers FACT.
  • 28 1
 Same old story. The people that have the power are usually sitting somewhere in a office, and they cant even see their own toes let alone what "wilderness" really is. I cant believe how naïve and ignorant most people are. We have an incredible amount of wild land in the US, and most people never see it. Yet they make all of the laws banning everything except shopping malls. I Hate politics! Time to ride my bike.
  • 4 19
flag torero (Mar 28, 2016 at 12:31) (Below Threshold)
 You do not hate politics, you hate capitalism. You're confused.
  • 10 16
flag steelpolish (Mar 28, 2016 at 12:56) (Below Threshold)
 No I am not confused. I hate capitalism also. :-)
  • 8 1
 I don't think you guys hate politics or capitalism.
I think you actually hate hoarding (greed) by a few people both in politics and in capitalism.
Democracy and capitalism are great, but when a few hold all the power and wealth and are hoarders, then they can manipulate the system for more hoarding. That's why we should attempt to do business with the smaller shops, and vote in our local elections, and donate to our local congressmen that we support. In the article above, wilderness access is being hoarded by the Sierra Club and Brokeback Mountain riders.
  • 7 1
 @abzillah - good point. I don't actually hate capitalism - I ride a bike that exists because of capitalism. But, there are a lot of stupid people out there that don't have a clue about wilderness, and they are usually the ones banning people from going into it. Same kindve of people that say buy a plastic xmas tree because you are ruining the forest.
  • 25 1
 The talk is very focused on local U.S residents, but i can't but wonder how international support from riders worldwide can also help fight this ban. In many ways, the policies in North America, and the infrastructure and lessons made by IMBA and the likes, eventually influance riders and trail networks worldwide - so, to a degree, this fight concerns us all... Very informative, quality articles- both parts! Kudos, PB !
  • 11 6
 AIPAC has our government by the balls. Maybe as an Israeli you can ask AIPAC to support mountain bike access in wilderness land.
  • 7 0
 @Foxinsocks, you're absolutely right--this issue affects everyone, regardless of where they live. Whenever mountain bikers are kicked out because policy makers have been sold on the falsehood that mountain biking is inherently destructive to the environment, it makes it that much easier to kick us out of the next trail system--regardless of where it is located. In addition, we are often outnumbered because we often see ourselves as belonging to isolated tribes--state by state, province by by province, country by country. If we begin to see mountain bike access as a truly universal issue deserving of universal support, we stand a fighting chance. Cheers.
  • 8 1
 Seriously, Abzillah, pulling the Jewish conspiracy card on this?! That's rich.
I know we're obviously responsible for 9/11, the black plague, global warming and dinosaur extinction - but i had no idea we're somehow also behind the wildreness ban on mountain bikes.

Hopefully i read your comment wrong, somehow missing out on the humor... Either way, dont get your hopes up on that- actual Israeli's dont really have any real connection with AIPAC.
  • 3 0
 @vernonfelton , Perhaps in one of you next articles about this issue you could address this issue, maybe try to get some international support from riders outside the U.S. Sometimes local petitions are disregarded, while outside pressure, mainly related to tourism, can actually influence and give the fight another angle (i know it has certainly been a factor in trail development here, and in places i've visited in Europe).
Strength is in numbers, indeed - and i think that finding a way to harness those numbers from outside the U.S can go a long way (and even tip the scale our way in terms of sheer numbers)
  • 2 2
 Nope, not pulling Jewish conspiracy theory.
AIPAC: American Israel Public Affairs Committee:

Maybe you don't know because you don't live here in the US, but AIPAC is the most powerful lobby in the US.
Support from AIPAC would make a huge difference, and likely overnight all wilderness would be open to us.
If we could get AIPAC's support, I would donate to AIPAC.
  • 2 0
 Also worth mentioning tourism if we're talking about international support against this ban. I'd love to come and ride in America but not if the best trails are banned!
  • 15 0
 As someone who lives in Marin County, the birthplace of mountain biking, and is not allowed to ride hardly any singletrack at all, this really hits me. I've had friends fined and chased by rangers, I've seen rangers stake out at the bottom of trails and wait for riders, there are rangers with radar guns that make sure your not going the slightest bit over the "legal" 15mph. I've been "pulled over" (a ranger driving a big pickup truck with sirens and lights and all), for hitting a tiny jump on the side of a fire road. They say that 20-30lb bikes destroy the enviroment and are dangerous.
Complete bullshit.
Half-ton horses have unrestricted acess, stomp over fresh trails, take dumps everywhere, and often times, are completly out of the equestrian's control.
  • 18 1
 How can you put up all these amazing photos and then not say where they were taken
  • 22 0
 Click on the photo. It will take you to the page of the photo itself and often it says a location.
  • 9 0
 Right on, thanks dude
  • 25 12
 I'm reposting this because it's below threshold because of who I replied to, and despite being less popular to the average pinkbike user I think it is hugely important. We need to have a dialog about trail access and not just a gimmie gimmie approach. Mountain Bikers should not feel entitled to any form of access because just a few short years ago we had none. I'm not suggesting that the work the STC is wrong, I actually think bikes should be allowed in sections of Wilderness Areas however too many riders are ill informed on issues of outdoor recreation planning and the complexities involved in making decisions that impact federal or state public lands.

The issue far more complex then building flow trails in Wilderness Areas, and I also do not believe this is what the STC is advocating for. I have to say I agree bikes do not belong in all outdoor settings, we as a group (mountain bikers) need to understand that there is a reason why we don't have trails on every patch of open land available. However with proper zoning and planning, tails that support bicycle and other forms of manual powered travel can fit into the vision of what "Wilderness" in the United States is. Backcountry trails should be just that, backcountry, this should inform the style of trail regardless of what the particular context of the outdoor space is designated. Different mountain biking experiences can exists as a apart and a part from one another, if we do not provide this variety of trail experience we risk alienating ourselves from one another.
  • 18 1
 I thought this was about re-gaining access to existing multi-use trails that were snatched from us? No one is talking about building new "flow" trails out in the backcountry that i've seen. That doesn't even sound like a good idea to be frank. There are 10's of the thousands for miles of multi use trails we're banned from using
  • 5 2
 The Flow Trails comment was in reference to what this comment was replying to originally which is now below threshold because too many users of this website do not approve of any suggestion that bikes leave an impact on the land just like any other form of outdoor recreation. The user who I was replying to was suggesting that allowing for bicycles in Wilderness Areas would lead to trail widening (sanitization) that is taking place at many riding areas. If you read my comment what I was saying is that the style and designation of a trail should influence what the trail looks like on the ground, for example "backcountry trails" would not wind up turning into widened bermed flow trails if the powers at be plan recreation appropriately.
  • 3 1
Another link posted below threshold that gets a lot further into the comments I made above.
  • 3 2
 Are you kidding me? The original post was below threshold? That's the epitome of alienating ourselves from one another.
  • 6 0
 Repost of my comments to the original below threshold post:

Innovative technology isn't necessarily to blame for trail widening, it's how that technology is used by the rider that has the real impact. Keeping singletrack single is a mantra all mountain bikers should ascribe to no matter what style riding you like to do. Plus-sized tires can still fit easily within an 18" tread or narrower. As a bike community wanting to ride in wild, back country places that are otherwise viewed as pristine to the larger outdoor rec world, we need to make sure that our riding and actions reflect a respect for these places. The public's image of mountain biking in general has a lot to do with access (obviously). Check this good read:

Image aside, respecting a designated trail and doing our best to avoid widening or damaging the rest of the area is something that should be taught by every riding club, trail association, bike park, whatever. We want to ride in wilderness, yet there are places where mountain biking is allowed in environmentally sensitive areas and the subsequent braiding now threatens mtb access (Bearclaw Poppy in St. George--luckily the local trail group stepped up to prevent the area from being closed). Like this article points out, the mountain bike demographic has changed, and is changing still. Where we once needed to pirate build trails in order to ride we no longer need to. Faster than going through the proper outlets? Sure. But a major step backward in getting more access, promoting public respect for our sport, and a potential a waste of time and energy when those trails get decommissioned.

I tend to agree that there some places that just need to be left alone. Living in eastern Nevada I'm surrounded by undeveloped open space, and the county I live in, Lincoln County, has 12 (!) wilderness areas in it alone, but I don't feel like I'm missing any riding opportunity that I couldn't get in the other 12 million acres that are available.
  • 1 1
 @slimjim4 are you aware of our work (IMBA) in Caliente, NV?
  • 3 15
flag isawtman (Mar 28, 2016 at 19:53) (Below Threshold)
 303, I hate to break it to you, but you will not be building any trails in Wilderness areas. I do agree with you that mountain bikes should not be in all settings. And the Wilderness is the perfect place for mountain bikes not to be in. You can read my blog about the mountain bikes in the wilderness issue here: Having mountain bikes in Federally Designated Wilderness Areas is just a bad idea.
  • 4 0
 Isawtman. How fortunate you are to know every bit of the millions of acres of wilderness in such a way that you can decide that bikes shall never tread on any of it, including the Hundreds (or thousands) of miles of wilderness trails formerly open to bikes. Pray tell, how did you become so wise?
  • 4 0
 @isawtman is a troll. His name is Todd McMahon and he is a proud HOHA who claims to "have no hatred of mountain bikers, in fact, I own two mountain bikes and go mountain biking from time to time." It is best to just ignore him and not respond to anything he posts on these sites.
  • 2 0
 @IMBA-south-west Sure am. I'm writing the EA for the project.
  • 12 0
 There is a relatively easy solution to creating mass numbers for both IMBA and STC in the USA. Make membership free (if its not already), make the form easy to fill out and most of all encourage every bike shop in America to have their customers fill out the simple and quick membership form with every new bike purchase or service.

You buy a bike and the shop person says "hey wanna join the mountain bike associations, its free and only requires your name and email, they advocate for better access for biking." Few people will say no to that.
  • 12 0
 I said it in the last one and I will say it again, we are our own worst enemies. Look through popular media, including the publication @vernonfelton works for. Look at Red Bull. Look through this site. What do you see? People running around with shovels, blasting through puddles and mud, bar dragging, etc... Now, think of the average elected official who might agree with this movement and decides to do a little independent research. What do you think they are going to come away with? It certainly is not the same as someone riding a horse at a walking pace through the woods.

Horses do FAR more damage than bikers do. The low level military flights, hunting, and fishing can do far more damage in wilderness areas than a biker does. Problem there is optics. They have that in their favor. We are portrayed as nothing but hooligans looking to pump, jump, 'send', whatever, off of anything we can possibly get to. Although not true, the optics are skewed to our disadvantage.
  • 10 0
 Thanks Pinkbike and Vernon Felton both for bringing added attention to STC and it's mission. I completely agree with the sentiments expressed in this article, and really look forward to more fantastic articles from Vernon F. Until then, I'll keep donating to STC (along with maintaining my IMBA membership).
  • 18 7
 The IMBA is not your friend
  • 8 0
 'Twas humor no doubt. I'm gonna look into the STC because of this article an lend my meager financial support if they pass my vetting process.
  • 7 0
  • 6 0
 I really think we should focus on getting as many people as possible out in the wilderness and enjoying our beautiful backcountry. That is what the wilderness act was supposed to be about. Lets be tolerant of other forms of travel and diverse ways of exploring the wilderness. Join your local trail advocacy group and try to make a difference.
  • 7 0
 Thanks for another great article! well said. Glad we have both STC and IMBA now at the table. Hopefully we can all learn to work together and stop pointing fingers.
  • 7 0
 @Vernon: I hope there is a part 3 to this story? So many more issues to edumucate the massess.
  • 16 0
 There will be a Part 3 and Part 4. Definitely. Cheers.
  • 3 0
 Awesome. Looking forward to it. Thanks again.
  • 4 0
 I think the point most of us are trying to get across is " If an equestrian is allowed access then we not a cyclist". I understand riding on a horses back has been around for centuries, but if a cyclist has less of an impact then why the resistance?
  • 2 2
 On multi-use trails around us, it's the lack of respect from bike riders to the horses. The original law may just be written in the wrong verbiage and that alone will stand up in any US court of law. Motorcycles, 3 wheelers and Jeeps were the biggest issue back then, that was one of the big reasons the mechanical part was written in. We went out west when I was a kid with motorcycles and Jeeps to open lands in western Colorado. The trails were pretty bad from use, like really bad. They closed in 1984. The horse lobby (includes trail groups, horse breed groups and hunting groups like RMEF) in the US is millions strong, mtb's are hundreds or maybe thousands strong. Horse's don't stand a chance of ever getting banned from trails, erosion or not.
  • 6 0
 I for one know a lot of mountain bikers that support both. I support both and I'm President of an SORBA / IMBA chapter.
  • 7 2
 Assault rifles?...sure, why not, it's our god given right......bikes in the wilderness?....what the hell, are you crazy!
  • 1 3
 This article is about all mtbers uniting for the benefit of more trails, so lets iinstead argue internally about b@3s&t.
Vote trump
  • 2 0
 If you really want to get fired up about Wilderness, have a look at this page. Look at the maps. If this thing ever passes, it will mean the death of back country mountain biking in these states. This is what mountain bikers are facing when dealing with Wilderness organizations, they want nearly every bit of back country inventoried roadless land designated as Wilderness.
  • 3 0
 The best way to show how nonsensical this ban is, and to bring the issue to the mainstream, would be to call for a ban on wheelchairs as well... Didn't John Muir use a walking stick to aid in his movement's?
  • 1 0
 Fully on board with this statement.

From the web:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

The ADA prohibits excluding wheelchairs from public places - i'm no lawyer, but I would say that a wheelchair meets the definition of mechanical by either the leverage provided in the wheel, or the fancy new transmission hub chairs and it doesn't take a huge creative leap to make that transition to bicycles.

For example: I have blown out my right knee (snowboarding) enough that hiking is intolerable (up is fine, but down.... ughh) so the only way I would get to experience some of these hikes would be to poach them with my camping bike.
  • 5 3
 While I am all for reopening wilderness area to bikes (especially since there are inbetween solutions like moving that decision to the local level and/or creating a more limited exception for trails that were open to bikes before the area was designated wilderness), and I am really happy that Vernon Felton has taken this on as a cause in the media, we're all failing to address what in my mind is the real issue with hikers/equestrians. That is just a straight up user conflict issue. Like it or not, it is very very difficult for bikes and hikers to coexist on the same trails especially where those trails are downhills. The real thing that hikers don't want is to share the trails, and they have a point in the sense that mountain bikers on the trails (especially downhill ones) fundamentally change the experience for other users. Hiking up a downhill trail requires constant vigilance especially on blind corners (and a lot of folks are scared) and you're a lot less likely to see wildlife. That being said, in the context of a more backcountry trail where you have to ride a ways to get back in there, you have fewer and further between bikers and the interaction with hikers is a lot more cordial. While it may be impossible to ever get hikers to want more trails opened to bikes, bikers need to at least address the conflict issue in their positions and arguments if they are ever going to get real traction with the management agencies.
  • 2 0
 This is true, but the people who wrote this bill recognize the problem and address it. STC's proposed bill will allow the local land managers to regulate mountain biking. It won't be a free-for-all. The manager can say "bikes on Mondays only," "no bikes between Memorial Day and Labour Day," "bikes uphill only," and so forth. The manager can also say, "no bikes at all on this trail." The one thing that the bill can't do is help the HOHAs who hate the idea of seeing a bike on a trail period, or who sit in an office in Manhattan or Toronto fuming that bikes can go on trails in the first place. They like the current U.S. Wilderness arrangement.
  • 3 1
 I have been thinking about this a lot lately turning the problem over in my head. The issue is around the term mechanical, but if you look up mechanical in Webster's Dictionary you get

Full Definition of mechanical
a (1) : of or relating to machinery or tools

Is a backpack not a tool? Does this tool allow hikers to go farther into these Wilderness areas? A bike is a tool as well that allows a person to journey farther into these Wilderness areas that we could unaided as well correct? A bike cannot be considered a machine by the simple definition either again according to Websters

Simple Definition of machine
: a piece of equipment with moving parts that does work when it is given power from electricity, gasoline, etc.

This definition makes an eBike a machine, but since a bicycle revolves around human power it does not fit. If you really want to get into the archaic definition of a machine again straight from Websters

a : a living organism or one of its functional systems

So if we go by this definition all humans and technically animals and plants are banned from Wilderness Areas as well. At best the Wilderness ban is incorrectly implemented and at worst you have a completely unenforceable law going by strict definitions. I do not support throwing out Wilderness designation by any means because as a cyclist I cannot be anything but and environmentalist. I do not think that mountain bikes belong everywhere, not because of impact, but just due to over crowding. I can't imagine what would happen if cyclists were allowed in Yosemite for example. The sheer number of hikers there would be an issue. Most other Wilderness is in fact empty by definition and there is no better way to see it than by bicycle.
  • 2 0
 Also we as bikers are hoping to see more political involvement from bike and biking equipment manufacturers. Let's not ignore the dirty fact that policy making sometimes all come down to money.
  • 1 0
 Did anyone else notice the time period Jim Hasenauer started advocating until today? 31 years he has worked to open up closed trails. That makes him at least 55. If we wait another 31 years for change Jim will be 86. Will he still be able to ride? I personally am not willing to wait for permission. Ride where you like now and be polite. Work in the background for change but enjoy every trail now because change may never come. As long as we fight among ourselves we lose. Great article well written THANKS! It is this kind of rational presentation of the current situation that helps me to have a better informed opinion. I can see the benefit now to IMBA and STC. I really applaud their efforts to make more trails accessible to all.
  • 1 0
 I have noticed that all of the pictures accompanying these stories show people out for a high-speed rip on a trail. Not one of them has pannier bags, or looks to be prepared to spend the night out. In other words, they behave differently from hikers and campers.

When I started mountain biking in 1984, we saw the bike as a more efficient way to hike into remote wilderness areas. Our bikes were loaded down gear, and we moved slowly and respectfully through the environment. We could ride most places, including most trails in Banff national Park here in Canada. But then came the athletes, more interested in seeing how much ground they could cover in a day than in moving slowly through the mountains and enjoying the surroundings. Incidents involving surprise encounters with grizzly bears increased to the point where Parks Canada had to step in. There was too much risk of an injury to a rider from an angry bear, which would then lead to the destruction of the bear. In other words, wildlife conservation had to trump recreation. Accordingly, it is unrealistic to expect access to all wilderness areas.

What I like about the initiative of the sustainable trails coalition is that they are not asking for blanket access. Rather, they propose access to some trails. But I would like to see is for them to work with other groups and government agencies to define what "some trails" could look like.
  • 1 0
 Two recent updates: IMBA and the Sustainable Trails Coalition have issued a joint statement of support.

The Utah Adventure Journal has published a well researched article on the bikes in Wilderness issue and two essays (one mine) on the pros and cons of allowing bikes on some trails in some Wilderness areas.
  • 3 0
 Not to advocate for poaching closed wilderness trails, but what is the penalty if you are caught biking in one of these areas?
  • 2 0
 Individually; fines I would imagine. Collectively though it could be devastating to any forward progress made.
  • 1 0
 Also they can take your bike
  • 2 1
 Multiuse trails that include bikes and horses suck in my opinion. Nothing like dodging horse turds and avoiding ruts they create. I don't mind slowing and stopping for horses, but hate all the dung and ruined riding surface. Make bike and horse trails separate.

As for the political issue in regards to wilderness access, its pretty simple in my eyes, change the one word from "mechanical" to "mechanized" and let us have our trails back that we were aloud to use. I'm not saying we need 100% unfettered access to all wilderness, but at the very least give us back what we once had that was taken away over one word.

Common sense would do alot here as the answer is brutally obvious, however as the old adage goes... Common sense ain't so common.

In the meantime, be a good rider on the trails to others not on bikes, don't trash the place, and help maintain the trails while we still can.
  • 5 3
 I backpack and mountain bike which appears to be a minority here. I can tell you backpacking me wouldn't be excited to see biking me hauling a** around a corner while wearing a ~50 lb pack.
  • 14 2
 Not all trails would be open to bikes. Dont hike up a trail if you start seeing 8ft doubles. We have a Bike specific and purpose built trail here, and it amazes me when the hikers look at you like your ruining their day. "You know this is a bike trail, says so on the sign. You passed 30 other trails where bikes arent allowed to get to this one."
  • 4 0
 I donated, and so should you! Alas, speaking with your wallet is a part of the system in which we live.
  • 1 0
 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!
  • 5 0
 Speaking as an Idaho rider who recently lost access to some of trails that sparked this whole discussion, some folks are willing to still ride them, but there's a concern that they'll disappear quickly from lack of use and maintenance.
  • 1 1
 Im with ya, maintain them off your bike-ok Ride them until there are consequences
  • 4 0
 The number of people who oppose bikes in "wilderness" is directly proportional to those who believe in homeopathy
  • 1 0
 Interesting....interesting that an economic approach has not been taken in terms of potential value that mtb can being to an area, the inclusion of horse groups / hiking groups and especially mtb would not only increase accessbility but much needed monetary growth in these for thought.
  • 1 0
 @manchvegas did you just have me watch a video of what I just read in this article? Sorry bud for my "spreading rumors of bad ass pirate trails". Generally when someone refers to trails that were built and maintained by mountain bikers that get taken away, they are talking about pirate trails. It may not be the case for what you were talking about but but generally that is the case. I wish you luck with your cause. I'll be advocating for building new sustainable bike trails.
  • 1 0
 @bbachmei sorry man we will have to agree to disagree. Trails that were approved and built by mtber's aren't called pirate trails unless they were built illegally without the permissions needed. What we have going on is existing trails where MTBers are allowed to ride all of a sudden being kicked out because an area is deemed "wilderness". Which is just wrong. I have no quams about building new purpose built trails and I am all for it.. I mean, who would be against new trails in the mtb community? But variety is the spice of life and just because it may not be a purpose built mtb trail doesn't mean we should be kicked out just because another user group doesn't want us there. There needs to be a mutual respect on multi-use trails... because they are multiuse.
  • 1 1
 Funny how all of this works. Groups like the Sierra club don't want us in the backcountry.The government funds their National Dept threw resources, that they preserve by dreaming land Wilderness Areas. This is a big mountain to climb. Then you have big companies that buy the land and close it if the government don't? If the two groups can't be stopped or we are allowed to ride in Wilderness areas, one day we will all be Paying to ride on private land.
  • 2 0
 We already do pay to ride on private land, bike parks ring a bell
  • 1 1
 I think if you ride a bicycle in British Columbia you should have to have insurance and reg
. This also goes for horses, dogs, and your self as a hiker . If they are making dirt bikes carry insurance and registration they should make every one that is on a trail or road. What is the difference , you run into me on a quad,dirt bike,mtn bike,bmx bike, gt snow racer or anything and hurt me. You will be held responsible , so why not be insured. They need to start with the horse people. Make them pay 1200$ a year for insurance. Then all this would end. It all comes down to horse people THEY f*ck EVERTHING UP
  • 4 0
 Well done Vernon. And I couldn't agree more with Hasenauer.
  • 4 0
 Just had to hide my half-chub I got from these pictures
  • 5 5
 Disclaimer: I ride the shit out of my bikes.

I guess I just don't understand what all the fuss is about. There's plenty of non-Wilderness to build trail and ride on. Anyone living in the western USA cannot deny that there are large and beautiful landscapes that are buildable within presently legal bounds. If all of this positive energy and resources were used to develop legal trails there would be so many epic systems out there.

The sustainability and impacts to the local environment are directly related to how the trail is built, not the specific user groups. With that said..... I still don't think it's appropriate to have mountain bikes in Wilderness, especially with the current conditions of most of the trails in them. We need to focus our energy and resources on smart and sustainable trail building without the self-inflicted hurdle.

If it's about freedom and principal, that's a philosophical discussion about literalism and intent, and I won't go there now.

I will say, be skeptical of new designations. Participate in the public scoping process because regular Americans can make a difference in the result of these types of decisions. Find out about the rationale and motivations for such designations. Once the issues are disclosed maybe there are other avenues to achieve the same outcome. If it's all about keeping oil and gas out of an area, then explore other designations that will achieve that and still allow mountain bikes, such as a National Monument or wilderness study area (example: lower porcupine rim). If the trail systems are sediment loading salmon spawning beds, then focus on trail design and grazing management. Certain designations are the easy way out for the land management agencies. Make them address the real issues and manage our public lands.

Be involved in the language of the land use policy for an area so that mountain biking is allowed. These decisions aren't made overnight. The world is run by people who participate.
  • 4 0
 Yes. This ^^. People and user groups tend to be rather apathetic until a final decision is made--at that point it's usually too late to make a difference. Whether or not the agency in charge has been transparent or proactive enough to effectively get the word out to the public regarding a new project or designation is another story, however, when the opportunity is there to speak up do it.

Yes, government agencies are slow, clunky, and sometimes out of touch. But it's also true that they actually do pay attention to public comments, especially when the same comment comes from a number of individuals or groups, and can be persuaded to make a change to a management plan while it's still being developed--they hold public scoping and comment periods for a reason.
  • 4 1
 Meanwhile the last time imba reps showed up in my town all the good trails got shut down.. WTF
  • 1 0
 Two notable errors in this story.

1) Point Reyes is not a wilderness area. Bikes are allowed on some trails.
2) There is no camping in Muir Woods. There is camping at Pantoll which is near Muir Woods.
  • 1 0
 And here I though that a Democratic Republic was about looking out for the minority against the majority?

Allowing the majority control without compromise will be the slow death of Democracy.
  • 6 7
 I do have to give props to Jim Hasenauer for denouncing people who have been critical of IMBA on this subject. To me it's perfectly alright if IMBA just concentrates on building great mountain biking trails systems and doesn't get caught up in distracting issues. And besides, IMBA already had a lawsuit way back in 2006 about this issue and they lost terribly. Unfortunately, Jim's support of STC is a little short sighted. It's obvious that bicycles are "mechanical transport" which is banned by the original Wilderness Act in 1964. If "mechanical transport" is supposed mean "motorized transport," well, they could have just written it that way.
  • 3 0
 The spirit of the law was not to ban human powered outdoor recreation. It was intended to ban things like bulldozers, ATVs, Snowmobiles, and trucks. In 1964 "mechanized" and "motorized" were more synonymous than they are today. If mountain bikes existed in 1964, they might have chosen a different word.
  • 1 4
 Thrasher, I have to disagree with you. The writers of the Wilderness Act could have just used the word "motorized" if they wanted to, if that's what it was supposed to mean. The they wrote "no other form of Mechanical Transport." To me, the phrase "no other form of" especially confirms they were talking about more than just motorized transport.
  • 3 0
 OK, so then back country ski gear and oar locks should be banned. Those are certainly mechanical transport.
  • 2 1
 The intention was not to shut down outdoor recreation that doesn't harm the environment... Clearly, otherwise they would have banned horses.
  • 2 2
 iam, XC skis are not mechanical transport because they were originally made out of wood with leather straps. They've been around since centuries before Christ. And Thrasher, horses are not mechanical transport. They are animals that can actually live wildly in Wilderness Areas. The impacts of horses are no greater than other animals such as Bison and Moose. In fact the Cedar Mountain Wilderness in Utah is known for its wild horse herd.
  • 2 1
 @isawtman: I have two simple questions for you. Can you show me the study that illustrated to the Reagan Administration the effects of mountain bikes that are in direct conflict with the stated purpose of the Wilderness Act, which is, " In order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness. For this purpose there is hereby established a National Wilderness Preservation System to be composed of federally owned areas designated by Congress as 'wilderness areas', and these shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use as wilderness, and so as to provide for the protection of these areas, the preservation of their wilderness character, and for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness..."

Note, I am not asking for your opinion on this, I've already read it, I want the facts that were used by the Reagan Administration to interpret the Wilderness Act as banning mountain bike use.

And secondly, can you show me the article of the Constitution of the United States that gives the Executive Branch the power to Interpret the laws and acts of Congress?
  • 3 0
 @isawtman: Bullshit! Horses are a non indigenous invasive species. They do an incredible amount of damage to the rangeland, and compete with native species you mentioned. The impacts of the mustangs are Much greater; which is why they are managed by the BLM and forest service. Hundreds of horses culled each year, but not nearly enough. Horses have no business in wilderness areas.
  • 2 0
 @SteveDekker: You are spot on with that comment. I would go so far as to call them feral horses.
  • 1 1
They shouldn't ban horses because they are mechanical; they should be banned for the destruction they cause.
Tents were originally made of bamboo and canvas, but we still allow gore-tex and aluminum....
What if I make a bike out of wood and leather?
I don't know why I am wasting my time pointing out the hypocrisy because you obviously have your mind made up.
  • 4 0
 @isawtman: I've seen this argument of your's before. Why would it matter that XC skis were ORIGINALLY made from wood? For something to be MECHANICAL it matters not what the material is, whether metal, wood, plastic, whatever. Also, why would it matter that skis/bindings were originally wood? They are not today and today's equipment is what is allowed in wilderness.

So...super dumb ass argument.
  • 1 1
 @isawtman: This also occurred to me: Rock climbing gear is certainly mechanical as well and it is allowed (except power drills). Don't tell me a cam isn't mechanical or that it was originally made from wood by Moses.
  • 2 1
Right. The "nothing mechanical" argument conveniently (inconvenient for us...) eliminates nothing that doesn't have a motor, except bicycles.
If the line was drawn at a motor it would include us as a user group. We would bring with us our passion for trail building/maintenance and our votes, but nope, we aren't welcome in "their" wilderness.
  • 1 4
 @taldfind: I can actually show you the document that bans bicycles in Wilderness areas. It's called the Wilderness Act. Read this "(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." There is no study needed. The Act clearly says "no other form of mechanical transport," the discussion should end right there.

And to that end, the mountain bikers supporting "bikes in the wilderness" have yet to produce one quote from the writers of the Wilderness Act that confirms that bikes should be in the Wilderness.
  • 1 4
 @IamZOSO: The reason it matters that they were originally made out of wood is that it proves that they were not mechanical. Also, they date back to centuries before Christ, before the mechanical age. Fragments of skis date back to 6000 years before Christ. The first commercially made mountain bike was made in 1981. Skis can have no moving parts and are simple devices. Mountain bikes have many moving parts and are not simple devices.

And thrasher, Moose and Bison made the same amount of damage as horses and they are allowed in Wilderness Areas. Also, horses live freely in some Wilderness Areas. And Steve Decker, horses were on the North American Continent over 11000 years ago. They died out and were reintroduced by the Spanish in the 1600's.
  • 3 0
 @isawtman: the first bikes were made from wood hundreds of years ago. So by your false definition, bikes are not mechanical. Machines can be made from wood. A lever is a machine, and more often than not is made from wood. All machines are mechanical devices, no mater how simple or complex, and no matter what material it is made from. That is fact, and I have known that since I was taught about simple machines as a child.

The fact that the ban on mechanical devices in the Wilderness Act is only used to ban bikes and not all mechanical devices shows how shortsighted, narrow minded, and discriminatory the law is. Hikers and equestrians don't want to share use of our public land, and they will use badly written articles of the laws (that they lobbied for) to enforce thier selfishness and hatred. It is wrong and should be amended with the same vigour that other shortsighted, narrow minded, selfish laws that are used to attack those who are different have been changed or aboloshed.
  • 3 0
That is plain bullsh@t.
Horses decimate trails and crap all over everything. Wild animals roam the woods...
Admit it, you just don't want bikes on trails.
  • 1 2
 @taldfind: "the first bikes were made from wood hundreds of years ago." Right? In fact, the first bike did have wooden parts, but it also had brass bushings and an iron shod wheel. It was made in 1817. So, I guess your whole rant is totally wrong.
  • 1 1
 @thrasher2: I'm perfectly okay with bikes being on trails, but I don't think they should be on every trail. Wilderness Areas are only 2.5% of the land area in the lower 48 States. Wilderness Areas have an element of preservation and wildlife sanctuary, so they are not totally for recreation. Other land designations like National Recreation Areas are for recreation. I think Wilderness Areas are the perfect spots not to have mountain bikes. Bikes have the other 97.5% of the land area that they can romp around on.
  • 1 0
 so if yur into this kind of riding, every time you poach a trail
you must extract some resource from the area? does that make it legal?
  • 1 0
 At the beginning of the road trip story part it mentions the "Flat Tire Flyer" - it should be "Fat Tire Flyer"
  • 4 0
 I don't know what was going on with my keyboard that morning. Yeah, definitely Fat Tire Flyer. Charlie Kelly would be pissed at me....
  • 1 0
 This is amazing. Thank you Mr. Hasenauer. And thanks to Vernon Felton for more press on this subject!
  • 2 0
 That picture with the snow covered mountain in the background is amazing.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the article Vernon and thanks Jim for all the hard work!
  • 1 0
 What trails are these photos taken from? Including that in photo comments would be great!
  • 1 0
 Any reason Sustainable Trails Coalition isn't listed as a charity you can support on Amazon Smile?
  • 4 0
 It's not a charity per se and it's not tax deductible. Don't let that deter you though.
  • 1 2
 This is the must fun article and problem in America I ever read jajaja, no mountain bikers on Wilderness areas but you can smoke pot everywhere hahahaha, dude this is really crazy hahahaha
  • 4 0
 You cant smoke pot in Wilderness areas either. But... yeah... Land of the Free, not, free land.
  • 1 2
 You can't LEAGLY smoke pot anywhere in the US it is outlawed under federal law so you can be busted in any state
  • 2 4
 I grew up snowmobiling, and from a very young age I was shown why I needed to support my local snowmobile club, the state organization and all the rest of the the organization that support access for my sled. Volunteers do so much for us we have no idea but can only get us so far.

The Blue Ribbion Coalition get dollars from me to help fight for access so I ride my sled and my MTB for that matter when visit the western U.S.

Membership should not free, we have to support these all that will fight for conservation not preservation?

These people Are fighting for us, watching land been taken away because we are fractured and fighting between ourselves and about who's mode of transport is better. I contend we are the true conservationist are doing the right thing, you don't have to be told how to carry or selves.

This is the blue Ribbion coalition


You know theses guys

Your local chapter of what ever bike club you have and maybe the club who trails you also enjoy next door, they need you!

Ps. I really want access for all of us in which ever thing you chose as your, I'm not pushing for motorized access over any other this is what I'm more familiar with.

Please if you have a organization put if here they need all of us that is the pollical will we all need.

Blah blah blah.. Preachy preachy. Sorry. And Thanks.
  • 1 3
 The IMBA will not change it's stance on this subject. So the only influence we have is to drop IMBA membership and support STC. For an individual to support two separate groups that are opposed on this subject of such critical importance doesn't make any sense. Hikers and Equestrian riders need to back off, just because one mountainbike is irresponsible doesn't mean we all are. They expect us to "dismount" when it really isn't needed, slow down to a snail crawl, pass then haul ass. For me short of military base limits, I will ride singletrack signs or not (I go when everyone is at work, therefore I impact no-one).
  • 6 9
 Anybody who lives in the western US and rides off-road motorcycles has been dealing with the f*ckin sierra club et al for years.
They're tremendously funded, and have a SHIT LOAD of corrupt liberal politicians in their pocket(s). For example, Diane Feinstein-who we can thank all the liberal f*cktards in NO-cal for repeatedly re-electing- PURPOSELY violated FEDERAL FIREARMS LAWS by straw-purchasing a long-gun for her nephew or cousin or whatever, but she has no problem trying to take away our CONSTITUTIONAL right to own guns ourselves.
Anyway, with a well-funded payola chest for these slimy dirtbags, the Sierra Club pretty much can write whatever laws they want, and that equates to banning anything but hiking and horses on PUBLIC LAND, ie land WE OWN!
That doesn't even take into account the amount of damage f*cking horses do to these trails, vs. mountain bikes, which equate to a lousy extra 30lbs over basic human weight, or roughly the equivalent of what the average hiker weighs with his full pack.
It seems like it should be easy, whereas all we need is for a 'rational' group of politicians to listen to reason.
But obviously it's far from that, as laws are written, and our Congressmen and Senators only lobby for those who write the checks, ie the Sierra Club.
  • 1 0
 Epic, I've seen some unbelievable shots like this all over
  • 2 1
 Nice to read something other than a biased review from a site sponsor
  • 1 0
 So.. STC is having an impact on IMBA membership?
  • 1 2
 Is there any other way to show anger and frusteration than going on a rampage with a tank into the building of the imba?
  • 7 7
 I'm going to go ride in the wilderness now, see you later.
  • 4 4
 Why are you being neg propped???
  • 1 0
 Right on Mr fitz
  • 4 6
 does obama ride a bike?
  • 8 1
 not like Bush.
  • 6 6
 A mom bike to match his mom jeans.
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