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Well, Brian, you may be in the minority, but at least you're
in it with me  :-)  . Hiking the Colorado Trail two summers
ago, I spent a lot of time sharing the trail with mountain
bikers, especially at the ends of the trail (near Denver and
near Durango). They were invariably courteous -- and I mean
*invariably* -- not one failed to warn of his or her
passage, some stopped and conversed, some shared trail info.

As for appalling damage to the trail, we noted a couple of
severely damaged places. Both seemed to me to be related to
poor placement of the trail, through very wet areas (we were
hiking in July and August, so it wasn't spring runoff). One
area on a hillside seemed to have a large number of springs
or generalized seepage. The trail had recently been rerouted
to try to avoid the wet area but hadn't successfully done
that. The trail was hideously damaged -- but by horses, not
bikes (we hiked through it, but there's no way it could have
been biked -- bikers would have had to carry their bikes to
get through). The other extremely damaged area was also
wet... and populated the day we went through by motorbikers.

We ran into no bikers (with or without motors) in areas
where they weren't allowed. The areas where we saw mountain
bikers and motorbikers were closest to 'civilization' (in
general -- we met one guy who was mountain biking the whole
trail), and the cities of Colorado have a high percentage of
'environment'ally-oriented citizens. The 'educational'
efforts focused on these urban-bikers-in-the-woods seems to
be working, from my experience. (The areas where hunters
gather in the fall, on the other hand, ....)

Karen


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