Wednesday, March 24, 2010

SVBC Tuesday Fast Ride

WOW, great group got out for the speedy club ride
I was hoping Thomas was going to jump in on Wolfe street
It was pretty rare to see a hike a bike on the fast ride
Hopefully we will stick to more pavement on these routes in the future
Chase, Jr. Nick Pense, and the new JMU dooode are all super strong
The red and white kits were pulling hard
They were practicing some strategy which was good to see
Collin should be able to crack their code before tooo long

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wilderness Area's and Bicycle use on Trails

there is a lot of passion that is related to these two topics
most think they are not compatible

Wilderness Area's close trails to bicycle use
that makes some happy
some sad
some are indifferent as long as protection of the backcountry as a whole moves forward

here is a link to a very good article in outside magazine

i have personal feelings on the topic
not representing any clubs, orgs, groups or council's
just representing the love of my life, our backcountry
I have lived in this town for 20 years
having built my life around exploring while running, hiking, and bicycling
in remote areas that meet the iconic definition of Wilderness.

here are some of my comments to a thread on Outside Magazine's facebook page
people were saying some unbelievable things
hopefully this might bring some of those people in different corners closer together

There is a differentiation between keeping Wilderness Area's wild and having trails without bicycles. What about places that have a long history of bicycle use such as Dolly Sods North in WV, that has even held bicycle events? Now it is a Wilderness Area and it almost didn't get that designation because people wanted to continue to bicycle there like they have for the last 20 years from their homes in Canaan Valley, WV. This prohibition of a use that is currently embraced by the community seems to be keeping many amazing places from reaching the pinnacle of protection that is "Wilderness" like Seneca Creek Roadless Area just below WV's highest point Spruce Knob. If the powers that be can work together and compromise from this point forward a lot more special places would receive protection.

I can see the anxiety over a new activity in the backcountry that caused the aggressive push 25 years ago to categorize bicycles as mechanized transport and pigeon hole them with the motorized category. But 25 years later there has been adequate time for scientific based experiments to occur which show that bicycles don't cause any more damage then hiking and sometimes less. They don't cause fragmentation of plants or animals. They are quiet human powered ways to experience the backcountry.

Its time Wilderness isn't used as a trail management tool but as a way to protect our most remote backcountry experiences. If a trail is overused, there can be simple site specific decisions that can solve those problems. A catch all ban is prohibiting us from working together.

In my own backyard here in Harrisonburg, VA we have one of the largest Roadless Areas east of the Mississippi. Only a very small segment has a chance to become Wilderness now because of a very organized cycling community that has put in thousands of volunteer hours as trail stewards, doing sustainable re-routes, and getting grants for trail restoration. We have introduced our kids to the outdoors bicycling on these trails. Maybe Virginia is different from California and bicycles are compatible here in Wilderness. If not, this will be the next generation study in fragmentation.

The true impact is the trail being there in the first place. Once the trail is there, use is a good thing. It further connects our community with the outdoors.

Monday, March 1, 2010