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[CDT-L] Mechanized Travel
- Subject: [CDT-L] Mechanized Travel
- Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 08:43:09 PST
Before I started long distance hiking in 95 I was an avid mountain biker.
It's not that I gave it up, but spring, summer, and fall were occupied with
hiking. When I used to bike I'd get annoyed with hikers, now that I hike
more I get annoyed with bikers. It's a trade off, but I think hikers and
bikers shouldn't occupy the same trails.
For one, outdoor ethics or right of ways or whatever you want to call it
dictates bikers yield to hikers. Has anyone ever experienced a biker
yielding to a hiker, esepcially on a downhill? Personally I never have, and
while hiking the CDT south of Monarch Pass I was nearly run over and forced
off the trail numerous times. That particular day I think about 40 mountain
bikers came racing by. Despite the excellent weather and spectacular views,
I was paranoid after the first encounter and increasingly so as they
continued to whiz by me for hours. In fact I found myself watching my
backside too often and unable to enjoy being there.
Regarding impact, I know that bikes impact the trail more than hikers.
Depending on terrain, bikers often widen the trail in technical areas and
definitely tear up waterbars and sometimes cut switchbacks. Bike impact is
greatest when trails are wet - they leave ruts.
Mountain bikes are a definite reality and concern, especially since
Adventure Cycle in Missoula MT is promoting a CDT bike route. In addition to
providing a set of maps they also offer guided tours that are increasing in
Certainly the occasional cyclist isn't a threat or problem, but like ATV-ers
they are extremely organized and I fear a take-over of the non-wilderness
and NP areas. Based on the access status of the AT and PCT I think the CDT
should remain a foot and stock accessible trail. Besides there are plenty of
places that are open to bikes, ATV's, etc. As hikers, we need our places
too, and exactly how many places are there that are exclusive to hikers
other than wilderness and NP's?
(note: in the west hikers and horse packers share these areas. though not
necessarilly the best, horses generally travel at the same speed as hikers
and there are fewer conflicts...except for the dung in the water, 30 yard
mud bogs in riparian areas, and overall impact of a thousand + pound metal
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