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Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

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Re: Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

Postby Rob on Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:42 pm

Just to play devil's advocate: if mountain-biking were allowed in the wilderness, then more mountain bikers would show up to help do trail maintenance and would contribute to that effort monetarily.

Yes, some trails might become popular for downhillers, such as the one Jack mentions. I think of it much like how Sykes Hot Springs (and to a lesser extent Pine Valley) became well-used by folks who do not understand Leave No Trace. These are places I generally did not go because of their popularity. That is just life. It is not fair. We will just have to adapt to a new reality if this law goes into effect.

As mentioned below there are trails in the Tahoe area where mountain bikers and hikers co-exist. Closer to home, when I ride the Los Gatos Creek Trail or Fremont Older Open Space Preserve (etc) with multi-use trails there are lots of folks who run with headphones. A bike bell and some courtesy is all that is required. There are trail etiquette rules for such occasions.

Even without the law, a lot of hikers do not seem to comprehend that folks going downhill should yield to those going uphill. It is almost comical how many in groups will walk abreast, completely blocking the trail to people coming in the other direction, lost in conversation until you almost bump into them. Some hikers and horse riders will have to adapt, yes.
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Re: Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

Postby jack_glendening on Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:13 pm

Personally, I've always liked the idea of leaving un-sawed step-over logs along those trails apt to be used by bikers, such as the VicenteFlat/KirkCreek trail, making it less attractive to them.

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Re: Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

Postby steveu on Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:16 am

Well I have hiked on the Tahoe rim trail where bikes are allowed on most of the trail, for the most part no problem the bikers were polite but still expected you to get out of their way, this can be a problem for me on bikes coming from the rear, I wear headphones for my solo hikes and won't hear anyone behind me. so bikes will have to slow down, this can annoy them causing friction between us.
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Re: Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

Postby mikesplain on Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:46 am

The Chronicle piece is pretty disturbing. Apparently Ted Stroll (ironic name if ever there was one) has never visited the Ventana Wilderness, has no knowledge of the steep, unconsolidated terrain here & has no understanding or respect for all the volunteers working so hard to restore & maintain our trails. Claiming that bikes should be allowed because trails are "lightly used" shows just how out of touch the guy is. Wilderness is such a small percentage of total public land acreage & we decided long ago to enter it with restraint & humility. Lightly used trails are part of the reward of "primitive or unconfined recreation" that here takes a back seat to self-directed nature.

Riding one's bike in the woods is great fun, no doubt, but that can be done on the vast majority of public lands. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate last year; on its face the bill was a collaborative effort between the "Sustainable Trails Committee" & Utah Senators Mike Lee & Orrin Hatch. Beneath the surface it was much more insidious- both Lee & Hatch are critical of the federal government managing land & would prefer to see all public lands handed over to the states (which would in turn sell them off to their extraction industry campaign donors).

But Lee's bill only gave land managers the option to decide which Wilderness areas would allow bikes. The House version (which could get a hearing in the Natural Resources Committee as soon as today, 12/14/17) proposes open season across the entire National Wilderness Preservation System. No surprise- it too is sponsored & co-sponsored by anti-public lands Congressmen. This is Ted Stroll's deal with the devil, plain & simple. We'd all be well-advised to contact our Congressmen & women to express opposition to HR 1349 & encourage our Senators to filibuster this nonsense if it gets that far.

Stroll & the rest of the STC should try parking their vehicles & taking a hike on a lightly used Wilderness trail, it'd do them some good.

Check out this Outside Magazine op-ed for more backstory- https://www.outsideonline.com/2165406/f ... wilderness
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Re: Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

Postby jdoelman on Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:56 pm

It seems foolish to grant open-season to mountain bikes in the wilderness. I can foresee a time when groups of bikers are doing decents along in the Ventana, likely rides would be from China Camp to Big Sur, and from Cone Peak road to Hwy 1. It would seem to me that it would disturb the tranquility of the place.


https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/art ... 425703.php
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Re: Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

Postby lori on Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:52 pm

The language is such that it opens a door for more than just mountain bikes. Anyone who loves the wilderness needs to call and protest, including mountain bikers. It's just another lousy piece of work that's going to take away public lands and sell it.
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Mountain bikes in the Ventana Wilderness?

Postby gene a on Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:46 am

Per an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today,"A House committee is expected to approve controversial legislation Wednesday that would open all federal wilderness, including almost 15 million acres in California, to mountain bikes."
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