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[pct-l] Bikes on the P.C.T.

Being an older man I purposely have adapted a philosophical attitude as
getting riled up is not good for my health. However I always become unglued
when I read of any possibility of legalizing bikes on the P.C.T. I have spent
several summers on the Continental Divide Trail because of the grandeur of
that part of the world. Sadly there was no organized association of
backpackers to defend themselves as the trail gained in usage. The mountain
bike industry is huge in the intermountain region and the bicycle folk were
granted permission to use sections of the trail. Now they pretty much travel
where ever they see fit. The motor bike group then asked for use of portions
of the trail and you meet with them, sometimes in a wilderness area. All this
takes away from an otherwise tremendous wilderness experience.
Contrast this with the Appalachian Trail that pretty much passes through
developed land. Nevertheless it is a most pleasant long distance hike because
every one is on foot sharing the same tranquillity and purpose. There are no
bikes on this trail and believe me it is self policed by the hiking community.
Back to the P.C.T. bikes must never be legalized on any section of the trail
or we will have lost the battle much like the Continental Devide Trail.
While all of us on the P.C.T. have encountered illegal use by bikes this
should in no way deter us in expressing our displeasure of their being on the
trail. We have a strong trail association and if we on the trail do verbal
policing the situation will gradually improve as hiking use continues to
expand. Who knows, in time we may even have some law enforcement come into
The bottom line, keep this a hiking and equestrian trail, and enjoy the
serenity and peace this affords we trail lovers.
Brice Hammack