Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > General Adirondack Discussion
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-02-2010, 08:46 AM   #1
fisher39
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,006
Biking in Wilderness Areas

What's the justification for the ban on mountain bikes in wilderness areas? Do they cause any more damage than activities permitted in wilderness areas? Does the sight of a mountain bike ruin a wilderness experience more than seeing a hiker or paddler?

Here's an interesting and sensible take on why they're banned in Federal wilderness areas - http://www.wildernessbicycling.org/b...transport.html

The 1964 Federal Wilderness Act banned "mechanical transport" when it seems pretty clear that the intention was to ban "motorized transport."

Ah, bureaucrats who think their job is to operate without judgment, and merely implement and enforce the letter of the law without question.

Now is this why they're banned in the Adirondacks?
fisher39 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #2
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,957
Thanks for the history link, that was interesting. It seems obvious from reading that that Congress intended to ban motorized equipment, but that some Regulatory yahoo in the Park Service 20 years later expanded that beyond th e intent of Congress to ban bikes. Too bad, but unsurprising.

But all that said, I don't think the legal mumbo jumbo is the reason, even though it's held out as the "official reason." There are trails that are suitable, and unsuitable for biking in both wilderness and wild forest areas. I believe the reason for the distinction is that DEC did not have the resources to go out and determine which trails were suitable and which ones were not, so the wilderness / wild forest distinction allowed a quick way to make a regulation without having to understand what was really out there.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
yellowcanoe
Member
 
yellowcanoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,177
http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise....html?nav=5044

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise....html?nav=5044
yellowcanoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
TBPDPTI
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 720
I would think that a portion of it was to ensure that pieces of broken bikes are not littering trails-just in case. It would be a pain to remove them, as there is no motorized access-meaning everything would have to be carried out by hand.

Furthermore, bringing a bicycle could mean carrying lots and lots of extra equipment, potential issues there.

I may be waaaaaaaay of course here, but then again, maybe not

Also, bicycles do cause significantly more damage than hikers, yes.
TBPDPTI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 10:35 AM   #5
FTHR&DAGHTR
Member
 
FTHR&DAGHTR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Corinth N.Y.
Posts: 173
Could saftey of the hiker be a consideration here? Some of the mountain bikers(not all) could be a real hazard to the people using the same trails on foot. Hiking against the clock is alot different than biking against the clock.
__________________

....... with the good Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise.......
FTHR&DAGHTR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
fvrwld
Moderator
 
fvrwld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: West Sand Lake, NY
Posts: 2,220
There are several areas in which bikes are permitted. The Hammond Pond WF, Wilmington WF and the trails on the east side of Lake George come to mind.
__________________
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” ~ Aldo Leopold
fvrwld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 11:20 AM   #7
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,957
Research nicely summarized in

http://www.americantrails.org/resour...enImpacts.html

indicates that hiking and biking have about the same impact on trails (note that the writer did not have any axe to grind; he was comparing hiking and biking to horseback riding, which is documented to have a much greater impact). I think lots of folks assume that biking does more damage (no offense intended), but the data does not agree.

I have picked up and carried out much more hiking related equipment (pole baskets, boot soles, etc.) than I have biking related equipment (reflectors, etc.) through the years.

Safetty is a potential consideration, just as it is with skiers and hikers.

But I am pretty sure that none of that is the reason for the reg; I think it was just expedience of rule making, as I said above.

The WF areas cited are great for biking. Although please note that even though it is WF, the DEC is loading up to close many of the trails in the LGWF to bikes; and I don't see any replacement trails being offered...even though this is WF.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 11:30 AM   #8
redhawk
Senior Resident Curmudgeon
 
redhawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: In My Memories
Posts: 10,931
about 3 years ago I was hiking into Middle lake (Bennet, Middle and Murphy lake trail) in the Southern Adirondacks. It was late spring, about late May early June as i remember.

There were three people coming out on trail bikes. It was very easy to see where they had been because there were deep ruts and erosion in some of the wetter areas on the trail that the bikes had been. In addition, they had peddled around, rather then through some of the wetter areas on the trail, causing even more erosion to those areas.

So, there may well be a justification for banning them from wilderness areas. I know if i have a vote, I vote Yes (on the ban), with an understanding that there are a great many areas that do allow the bikes so there is no discrimination.

Hawk
__________________
"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." Lyndon B. Johnson
redhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 12:51 PM   #9
Neil
Admin
 
Neil's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,119
I think bikes would be OK on some of the truck roads in wilderness zones. For instance, from Newcomb to Moose Pond vicinity. Coreys road to Blueberry lean-to etc. On actual trails with even moderate grades I suspect they'd make a mess.

On the other hand, and this is just my personal opinion, opening up the wilderness to bikes would take away that ephemeral wilderness quality that so many have worked so hard for so long and against great odds, to create, protect and maintain. My feeling is that some places are best left accessible only to hikers and snowshoers.
__________________
The best, the most successful adventurer, is the one having the most fun.
Neil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 01:24 PM   #10
Hilltop Harrier
Verbal Arsonist
 
Hilltop Harrier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Glens Falls
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by fvrwld View Post
There are several areas in which bikes are permitted. The Hammond Pond WF, Wilmington WF and the trails on the east side of Lake George come to mind.
I've ridden in the Lake George area- up and over Shelving Rock- plenty of room there for everyone. Also, thinking about the erosion aspect, it's a pretty rocky area. It was a hard ride.
Hilltop Harrier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 02:57 PM   #11
jbrown
Member
 
jbrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
In addition, they had peddled around, rather then through some of the wetter areas on the trail, causing even more erosion to those areas.
This is not a trait limited to bikers, however. More often than not, a small wet area will become a wide, muddy morasse in no time due to hikers detouring around 4 inches of water rather than test the water-proofness of their new boots.

That being said, I'd agree with Neil that a lot of the old "truck roads" that I've hiked on to access various areas would be perfectly suitable to bikers, and I would be in accord with the opening of some areas for bike use. Just to be clear, I'm not talking about roads that are already open seasonally to 4x4 use, I'm assuming (perhaps incorrectly, perhaps not...) that those roads are already legal to bike. I'm referring to trails that are on old jeep or logging roads that may be only used for foot traffic now. I hope I'm being clear, I haven't had caffeine since this morning...
jbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 04:10 PM   #12
daLunartik
Member
 
daLunartik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
I think bikes would be OK on some of the truck roads in wilderness zones. For instance, from Newcomb to Moose Pond vicinity. Coreys road to Blueberry lean-to etc. On actual trails with even moderate grades I suspect they'd make a mess
The recently released (2009) Catskill Master Plan designated a number of trails in the Catskill as being open to Mountain Bikes in the Wilderness Area's. Those trails chosen were all roads once upon a time (Mink Hollow, Overlook, Diamond Notch and the Colgate Lake trails in the Blackheads).

There were additional provisions for Wild Forest Area's that essentially allow for biking on trails, roads, etc with some qualifying caveats as to what made an acceptable trail, road, etc.
__________________
EULA: By reading this post and associated disclaimer, you are consenting to agree with the opinions disclosed within. If you disagree with this license agreement, you may not return it for a refund.
daLunartik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 06:53 PM   #13
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
I think bikes would be OK from Newcomb to Moose Pond vicinity. etc.
I do believe that Mountain bikes are allowed on the Newcomb Lake Road, but I'm not sure about the horse trail to Moose Pond.

a thought...Would a fully loaded canoe cart be less of an impact than a bicycle?
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 07:27 PM   #14
TBPDPTI
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCD View Post
I have picked up and carried out much more hiking related equipment (pole baskets, boot soles, etc.) than I have biking related equipment (reflectors, etc.) through the years.
In advance: This is NOT me questioning the legitimacy of what you said!!!

How easy is it to compare picking up hikers' items vs. bikers' items. To perform a "fair case study", you'd have to ensure (IMHO) that you are talking about having traveled on trails in which both bikes and hikers are allowed, and (difficult to do) ones in which the same number of bikes are used as there are people who walk, and (even more difficult) ones in which there is an equal amount of time ridden on bicycles as time spent walking (i.e., same opportunity for junk to fall apart/fall off/break, etc.).



Case in point, using reductio ad adsurdum:
I have only hiked down one trail in which bikes were allowed (to the best of my knowledge). I picked up one bicycle part (reflector). I picked up two pieces of hiker's equipment (a snowshoe basket and a hiking boot shoelace).

Take two scenarios:
In the first, let there be one hiker and one biker. In this case, clearly the hiker left more 'refuse' than the biker.,
In the second, let there be one biker and 10 hikers. Clearly the biker left more.


It is my anticipation that the majority of our collective experiences more strongly parellel the latter situation.
TBPDPTI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 08:55 PM   #15
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
I do believe that Mountain bikes are allowed on the Newcomb Lake Road, but I'm not sure about the horse trail to Moose Pond.

a thought...Would a fully loaded canoe cart be less of an impact than a bicycle?
I would think that a cart would have less impact. It's not self propelled, and completely lacks the mechanical advantage that bikes have (gears). Bikes, as self propelled means of transportation, probably tear up the ground a lot more.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 09:24 PM   #16
ADKian
Member
 
ADKian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Johnstown, NY
Posts: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I would think that a cart would have less impact. It's not self propelled, and completely lacks the mechanical advantage that bikes have (gears). Bikes, as self propelled means of transportation, probably tear up the ground a lot more.
I agree that it would have less of an impact but if you pull a cart isn't that propelling it yourself just in a different way than you propell a bike? Not trying to be a wise guy, just asking.
ADKian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 09:43 PM   #17
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKian View Post
I agree that it would have less of an impact but if you pull a cart isn't that propelling it yourself just in a different way than you propell a bike? Not trying to be a wise guy, just asking.
The propulsion isn't being provided through the contact between the tire and the ground, though. The tire isn't going to suddenly overcome the coefficient of static friction if you pull too hard and start spinning on it's own, tearing up the ground in the process.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 10:03 PM   #18
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,957
Maybe I AM trying to be a wise guy, but this seems like a terrible struggle to manufacture a rationale why one sport's set of wheels is "good" and the other sport's set of wheels is "bad."

Again, studies have shown that boots do as much damage as wheels. And I'm sure TBPDPTI is right; there are a lot more boots on the trail than wheels. Those boots have to dig in extra hard to push that boat cart.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 10:07 PM   #19
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCD View Post
Maybe I AM trying to be a wise guy, but this seems like a terrible struggle to manufacture a rationale why one sport's set of wheels is "good" and the other sport's set of wheels is "bad."
If a bike is in too high of a gear, or if the ground is exceptionally muddy, the tire might spin out, tearing up the ground significantly in the process. Portage carts don't have that problem.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2010, 06:51 AM   #20
randomscooter
Native Earthling
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Scooterville, NY
Posts: 1,500
This is kinda turning into a yawner for me. Boots, bike tires, damage to trails, etc.

Let's say (for the sake of discussion) that there are 10,000 miles of trails on public land in the Adirondack Park, and on average they are 10' wide (these numbers are just my attempt at a wildly conservative figure, I suspect the actual numbers are smaller).

This is a total of 12,121 acres of land devoted to improved accessibility to the resource. The resource is roughly half of the Adirondack Park, or roughly 3 million acres. So roughly 0.4% of the public lands are devoted to trails.

Do we expect that lands devoted to improved accessibility won't incur "damage", whether from boots, tires, trail runners, knee/hand prints, or whatever?

Can we not look up from the trail surface once in awhile and see the beauty of the 99.6% of the forest that is not "damaged"?

Sorry for the threadjacking, just had to get this off my chest.
__________________
Scooting here and there
Through the woods and up the peaks
Random Scoots awaits (D.P.)


"Pushing the limits of easy."™
randomscooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.