IMBA Article

Discussion in 'Trail Advocacy' started by littlewave, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. littlewave

    littlewave Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    Name:
    Brett
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley LS
  2. pperrelle

    pperrelle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carlsbad
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripmo, Ripley & Tranny
    That was interesting, thanks for posting.
     
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  3. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Member

    Name:
    Dave
    I liked the part about eating a pile of old dildos...
     
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  4. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Good article. I can see how they're in a tough spot. But I still despise IMBA for their position that land managers should be able to decide where e-bikes can ride on trails but NOT where bikes should be able to ride in Wilderness
     
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  5. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    TFPU, Brett.

    Having been involved with recreation access groups in the past, this all rings too familiar. Bloated, lack of focus, dwindling efficiency. Not saying any large group is necessarily bad, but I'm reluctant to support one in lieu of more roots-level activism.
     
  6. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    They eff'ed up so badly with the wilderness access. Should have simply stuck with the traditional language quoted in the article that they previously used. We wouldn't be having this conversation now!
    I believe we need a national advocacy organization, but the primary focus should be on access before selling bikes. The two are not mutually exclusive!
     
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  7. tick

    tick Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    That seems like a very strong opinion. The guy from Santa Cruz has it right: whatever you think of bikes in federal wilderness, it ain’t gonna happen, so expending resources on that issue is a waste of time. It would have been better if Wiens had said just that and stepped away.

    But the low response they got on the Idaho wilderness was stunning to me. That ride got written up in Bike, and I figured there would be a more substantial grassroots response. I can only surmise that that trail wasn’t as beloved by riders as they thought.

    If you pick the wrong battles and lose, there are consequences. In this case IMBA lost deep pocketed sponsors like Subaru and ended up with a board comprised of REI execs and ebike salesmen. If they had chosen to oppose ebikes and pick battles on trail networks that people actually ride, they could have built a broader base of small donors and put trail builders and riders on the board.

    Time is short, but they could still go pick a real issue and make a difference. Or pack the thing up and hand the brand over to Trek.
     
  8. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    I don't agree. There is no valid reason at all for it not to happen. All it takes is enough people making that point.

    If not enough people care, well, then it may take other means.
     
  9. Rumpled

    Rumpled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    Current Bike:
    2003 Giant Rainier
    Wiens really stepped in it, and didn't look at the background enough.
    Sucks that it seems the STC agreement was hidden from him.
    I haven't joined any clubs, so maybe I don't have a vote. I do like the STC wilderness point. I also know a few SHARE people (Part of IMBA, right). I just haven't put my $ towards either.
    Maybe I suck.
     
  10. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Or maybe you are judicious with your resources. :thumbsup:
     
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  11. Rumpled

    Rumpled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    Current Bike:
    2003 Giant Rainier
    Or, I'm cheap.
     
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  12. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Yes its a strong opinion. You may be right that bikes in Wilderness won't happen. The reason I am optimistic is how insanely the system is rigged in favor of Wilderness and how lacking in common sense it all is. The USFS is required by law to identify areas that have Wilderness characteristics in its management plans. Bikes have been ruled incompatible with Wilderness (why???) and wildernuts are pushing to have bikes ruled incompatible with primitive trails (that is a specific USFS definition) which could kick us off backcountry trails outside of wilderness too. Recreation access always seems to take a back seat to this blind "it has wilderness character, we must protect it" ideology. There are tons of Wilderness groups who whose sole purpose is to fight for more wilderness. They are well-funded because they have brain-washed the public and politicians that wilderness designation is needed to protect land, and they certainly aren't pointing out to anyone that wilderness by definition excludes bikes, because they know a lot of people wouldn't support that. They won't stop, ever. If you look at what they are proposing as wilderness these days vs what the Wilderness act is meant to protect and a lot of our legacy wilderness areas, what is being nominated now isn't special at all. They are just drawing a polygon around every area that is >5000acres and has no roads and saying that is pristine wilderness, and deserves protection. There is nothing special about most of those areas. Most of our most pristine and beautiful areas are already locked up in Wilderness and parks. But the wildernuts won't stop until there is nothing left.

    The reason bikes won't gain access to Wilderness IMO is for the somewhat ironic reason that not enough mountain bikers genuinely want to ride in Wilderness (a lot of backcounty trails are too much work and too difficult to access and ride for the average rider) and therefore aren't willing to fight for access. It is ironic because this also means a lot of Wilderness trails wouldn't see much bike traffic, which means their wilderness character wouldn't be impaired by allowing bike access, which means there should be no issue and minimal conflict with allowing bike access. Sure some trails would see lots of demand and land managers already have the tools to manage that (permits, use restrictions) but you just have to look at some of our backcountry trails that are currently open to bikes to see that many Wilderness trails wouldn't get much use. As an example on our Montana trip we saw exactly zero other bikers on the backcountry rides we did. (Park City doesn't count, that is front country riding). How many people would actually be willing to hike a bike up Mt Whitney? How many people actually rode Burkhart before it became Wilderness? The bikes in Wilderness debate always gets to emotional but when you start looking at individual trails and what the issues with each would actually be based on facts and science, the arguments against access don't hold up. The only one that does IMO is that too many bikers have poor etiquette and hikers don't want to share the trails with us. I can't blame them for that but at the end of the day these are public trails and we should have the right to use them like everyone else who is self-powered. Trails are a travel corridor, nothing more and nothing less. There should be no expectation that you should be in complete isolation and not see anyone on a public trail, but that's exactly what some people want.

    I'm not surprised at all there was low response to White Clouds Wilderness designation. When it comes down to it mountain bikers are a very ambivalent and selfish group. It is hard enough to get people to write in comments for an issue that affects them directly, nevermind some backcountry trails in Idaho that most people will never ride. You're right there aren't that many people who love those rides (Castle Pass, Chamberlain Lakes, Antz Basin to Warm Springs) because they are a lot of work and a long ways away to access. But again that low usage is why mountain bike use didn't impair the wilderness character of the area over the 30+ years bikes have been using those trails. But for the few people who love those trails, they really love them. Everyone has time to ride, but few people have the time to do trailwork or do advocacy. If people would give up even 5% of their ride time each year for trail work or advocacy we would be so much better off for trails and bike access.
     
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  13. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Interesting and depressing read.

    Some of the best riding in the US.

    We only got <500 people to email in a form letter objecting to handing a section of the Palm Canyon trail over to the Tribe(and closing to bikes) in 2015, and that trail likely gets more riders in a weekend than the White Clouds did in a month(or year).
    https://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/action-needed-help-save-the-palm-canyon-epic.2203/
     
  14. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Form letters are all well and good, but if you can't put your thoughts into your own words, to YOUR congresscritter, then we get nowhere because, y'know, a form letter can be spotted by a blind person.

    Here's my feeble attempt, directed at my representative, Lou Correa, (D - Somewhere in SoCal). It'll be interesting to see his response. I'd be happy to share it here if or when it's received.

    "Dear Representative Correa:

    I am contacting your office on a matter of grave importance to many, and on a matter of equal treatment under the law. The ejection of bicycles from federally designated wilderness areas is of deep concern to me, and to many of my fellow cyclists, particularly as the extent of federal wilderness designation continues to grow unchecked. It is being applied to areas that are not untrammeled or unvisited.

    The Wilderness Act did not ban bicycles; the intent of the law is clear from its language that it banned only motorized forms of transportation. I, and all of my fellow cyclists, are concerned that our rights of access to our lands are being unfairly trampled, and without any scientific basis. It is well understood that bicycles are human-powered means of transportation, the same as a pair of hiking boots.

    The use of a bicycle to access these areas is consistent with ecological conservation. The footprint of a bicycle is smaller that than of a horse or hiker, and rigorous studies have been conducted that bear this out. A bicycle does less damage to a trail than a careless equestrian or hiker. Mountain bike enthusiasts, in particular, are also much more active in trail maintenance and building than any other group.

    I would ask that you consider opposing any existing or proposed legislation that authorizes the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, or any other federal agency to ban bicycles from any area, wilderness or not. I am also requesting that you introduce legislation that prohibits the exclusion of human powered transportation, whether it is a pair of hiking boots, a horse, or a bicycle, from any wilderness area unless it can be shown, through scientific, rigorous analysis, that such access would be detrimental to the overall environment.

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I would be happy to discuss this with you or your staff at your convenience.

    Respectfully, "

    Me.
     
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  15. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    So I got the reply, and it was exactly what I expected. A non-response form letter, not even really acknowledging what I said.

    "Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am honored to represent you, and I appreciate your active participation in issues important to our community and nation.

    Thank you again for taking the time to share your views. To stay informed of my work, please sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook. Feel free to contact my D.C. office at (202) 225-2968 or District Office at (714) 559-6190, if we can be of service to you."
     
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  16. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    While the lack of meaningful response is disappointing remember that they do track the responses. So if they get a hundred letters in favor of something and twenty opposed, they will take that into account. I think form letters, especially when copied verbatim, are not counted the same way. That's why it's important for us to write in and customize even a little bit. We continually shoot ourselves in the foot as a user group because so many MTBers are "too busy" to make any effort to write in. You can be sure the hateful old hikers are not too busy to write in.
     
  17. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Sharone
    Current Bike:
    Why Cycles S7
    Good letter. Can I use it? Who is my representative (92648)?
     
  18. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Feel free. I voluntarily put it out to the commons, but change up the wording for (insert favored deity)'s sake.:thumbsup:

    You're on your own to figure out who your representative is, though. :p
     
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