Mountain Bikers & Motorcycles



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  • mikem

Posted February 06, 2002 - 01:39 PM

#1

I posted this on a mountain bike site called www.mtbr.com I thought these were interesting responses. By the way, the police told the guy who spit that he better be glad that he came up in time!MikeM Feb-01-02, 08:13 PM
"Mountain Bikers & Motorcycles ?"
I enjoy both Mountain biking and dirt biking on a motorcyle. This Summer I was visiting (from Georgia) the area of Crested Butte Colorado on Dirt Bikes with several Dirt Biking buddies. We traveled over 100 miles a day - What a place! We were on constant sensory overload. We all ride 4-strokes which put out very little exhaust smoke and are generally more quiet than the two-stroke counterparts. When we pass hikers and mountain bikers, we try to do so slowly and courteously.
While at a gas stop, a guy on a mountain bike rode by and purposely spit on one of our group members who he thought was not looking. After catching this guy and having an interesting conversation, we had a conversation with some locals about animosity that sometimes exists between the different outdoor groups.

Is there a typical animosity that exists between mountain bikers and motorcyclists or was this a rare occurance? Seems like to me that mountain bikers and dirt bikers really have a lot of the same interests in keeping the land open and free. I love both sports for different reasons. On the mountain bike, I can get an incredible amount of exercise, see beautiful places and yes hear nature. On a dirt bike I can cover more ground and see more places, it is also a lot of exercise, though more anerobic/resistance type. Like mountain biking, on a dirtbike there is also the thrill of trying to make it across very difficult terrain.

So, what do you think?

Good riding to all!


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Replies to Message:
Pete. Feb-01-02, 08:16 PM
"I think that the damage done by one throttle twister"
...can be equal to hundreds of mountain bikers.
As with any user group there are bad apples but even the "good apples" amongst the throttle twisters stink up the joint.

Motoheads are not a user group that I would want to see MTB advocates aligning with.

Pete


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Not in the KKK Feb-03-02, 06:15 AM
"I think that the damage done by one throttle twister"
Holy crap Pete, what kind of closed minded attitude is THAT? You are free to your opinions and belief's, but why such a stinky attitude to motorcyclists? Have a bad experience or just don't understand/appreciate dirt motorcycles?
I ride both, actually all three - mtn bike, off road motorcycle and on road motorcycle - if it's on two wheels I like it. I've found in my experience, the mtn bikers are the jackasses of the off road world. In my experiences, mtn bikers much more often (than motorcyclists) don't give equestrians room, will race through a groups of hikers at high speed, don't slow down for children, think they own the trail, blah blah blah. As far as the personalities of the individuals riding both, in my experiences I've found mtn bikers much more the a$$holes of the world - will judge you on what you ride, if you're 'hardcore', the components on your bike, what you wear, etc... Motorcyclists are just happy you're out there enjoying yourself. Last summer I posted here about my Moab motorcycle story, and I found that way too many mtn bikers were dickheads, plain and true.

If anyone took the time out to get to know most dirt motorcylists, you'd find a huge percentage are responsible riders, fight for trail access, groom trails, care about noise levels... I would suggest instead of fighting and bad mouthing each other, work together to keep trails open and open new trails.

I could get started on a rant that this is a big business world we live in, and the trails are only there until a company comes along and buys the land it deems it can profit off of, land that the city/county/state/province will gladly sell off if they can get away with it without too much public grief, yak yak yak, but I won't. That's another thread for another day.


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Pete. Feb-03-02, 01:17 PM
"The facts are indisputable."
Motos do a tremendous amount of trail damage when compared to a MTB.
I understand motos, I haven't had a bad experience, but I have seen some of the devastation that they have caused.

Pete


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POG Feb-01-02, 08:48 PM
"Well, all things considered..."
I would rather share trails with motorcycles than horses - They don't crap on the trail or punch out little holes in the trail that erode like crazy. I can hear the motors coming and I prefer to get out of the way and let them pass as quickly as possible.
The problem (in my area) is that motorcyclists don't tend to use good judgment when riding through wet or muddy areas. They love to lean on that throttle no matter what the conditions and end up cutting deep "slots" that erode out and destroy the trail. They also tend to make new short-cuts and prefer to climb straight up the steepest climbs they can find causing tremendous erosion. Let's face it, a trail that is extremely challenging on a bicycle is a joke for a motorcycle, so you have to make up for it with speed, slides, jumps and wheelies. So what we have done in my area is have some trails that are shared and some that are hiking/biking only.

By the way, being a Georgia native myself, I do know that killing someone who spits on you is considered justifiable homicide in Georgia, so I would strongly advise people to avoid spitting on motorcyclists - One of em might be a Georgia peach!


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airwreck Feb-01-02, 10:50 PM
"Motorcycles can make good trails..."
I tried to share my riding experience on motorcycle trails on the Passion Post last week. I think most might have people skipped it, maybe because I used the word motorcycle in the title.
http://forums13.cons...um?50@@.eeab9d0
Another interesting thing I came across was this letter to the editor in our local paper from an equestrian type praising sharing trails with multiple users, but not once does she mention bicycles. Here is the first paragraph.
"Sharing natural resources takes communication, willingness
I have been fortunate enough to have ridden horses in the forest and countryside of Western Washington, sharing the Mainland forest with multiple trail users: equestrians, motorcyclists, hikers, hunters and wildlife. It is possible to share with multiple users."
The rest of the letter is about hunting.
Considering the lack of places to ride around here, it is amazing how popular dirt bikes have become recently.
Eric

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dan Feb-02-02, 03:05 AM
"twisters do alot of damage"
I'm a motorcyclist also but obey local land mgmnt trail restrictions.problem is that there's alot of renegade riders who do what they want.motorcyclists destroyed the trails in one area where I ride.close to the same area 4-wheelers made the single track double track and just plowed down everything in sight.that's why there's animosity.

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Nat Feb-02-02, 05:32 AM
"No problem here"
I don't have any problem with motos, as long as they don't buzz by me too closely and quickly. I've seen a pretty large contingent of motorcyclists here in southern AZ, and as far as I can tell, there's no conflict. Usually we wave at one another. Much of our shared riding areas are on jeep trails and old mining roads, and it would be ludicrous and selfish for mountain bikers to think that suddenly we are more entitled to those roads than anyone else. The prime mtn. biking singletracks are closed to motorcycles and I could see there being conflict if motos did ride there. I think animosity against other user groups coms from a feeling of entitlement, that somehow you have more of a right to use the land than someone else.

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pb Feb-02-02, 08:22 AM
"most of the trails in Downieville...."
were built with green sticker revenue, as an example of how mountainbikers have benefited from motorcycles (not to mention the influx of motorcycle technology into mountain bike design). There's enough land for all of us.....trail conflict will diminish in direct proportion to the number of trails that become available for the various user groups.
Think about the shortsighted, and I believe punitive, policy of many land managers whereby more and more bikers are forced on to fewer and fewer trails, and the resulting increase in trail damage as well as user conflict serves to bolster their case that "mountain bikes are destructive". I find that in areas that have a proper balance between the number of trails and users the trails themselves need less maintenance since the users, especially bikes, pack down the surface and prevent overgrowth, but are not so numerous as to tear the trails up.

This doesn't necessarily apply where the main destructive force is water runoff, of course, where maintenance is needed regardless of human useage.

It's time for people to grow up and realize that there are many ways to enjoy the lands that belong to ALL OF US, and we should all be accomodated as best as possible, not some groups simply outlawed for the convenience of a few self serving special interests.


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sheebo Feb-02-02, 10:54 PM
"most of the trails in Downieville...."
Nice thread pb. Downieville is a perfect example. Although I don't like motorcycles being there, great trails have opened with the green sticker system. Only Butcher Ranch trail seems to have suffered from over use. There are plenty of other trails where you never see motorcycles at all. And as you have stated, with the abundance of trail access and no crowding, harmony exists. Never had a problem with anyone there who rode a motorcycle. Just the opposite.
Was up in Bend, Oregon last summer. Talk about open trail access. The multitude of great areas to ride is staggering. Trail conflict is almost nil. Multi use trails are the only way mountain biking will survive in most areas. Supporting IMBA, Rails to Trails, Bay Area RIdge Trail,etc. is a must. My 2 cents. Thanks.

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fred³ Feb-02-02, 09:29 AM
"I don't mind....."
motocross bikes as long as: 1) the mufflers are installed-they do make a lot of noise 2) they're courteous 3) they try to stay off soaking wet trails(just like we should-not damp, but really wet) 4) they ride with keeping trail integrity in mind(the toughest thing for them because they can generate sooo much power).
Except for the noise part it should be pretty much the same for everyone. I've met just as many nice and courteous folks on motorized vehicles as hikers/mtnbikers/equestrians. Horse pucky doesn't phase me like it does others. It's not like dog crap which stinks big time and is a pain to remove.

Just my .02.

fred3


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airwreck Feb-02-02, 11:50 AM
"a note about CB MTB roots and motorcycles..."
I just happened to think about this and perhaps someone from Crested Butte(29r/Big Wheel/is that you Wes?) can clarify. It seems I recall that the Pearl Pass original's, CB's first mountain bikers, normally rode it on dirt bikes, but some kind of bar bet with the guys in Aspen led to them doing it on cruisers. Either that or the Aspen guys(rich) did it on dirt bikes, and the CB crew(poor) did it on cruisers to spite them? If the latter is true, that could account for the spitting, decades of built up animosity.
Eric

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thinkaboutit... Feb-02-02, 01:34 PM
"hmm...do you like the slickrock trail?"
Or Downieville, cathedral Rocks, Trails in Austin, The Tetons, outside of Chehalis, Florida, Vermont? Schultz Creek? Basically, all of these areas were pioneered by Dirt bikers, and many continue to be maintained and lobbied by Dirt Bikers. Here in the Tetons, many Dirt Bikers are Mt. Bikers too, so there is very little animosity, eco freeko's are pretty much left to haunt the wilderness, whereas BLM and Nat. Forest lands are fair game to everyone. I have to admit, my personal Bias is against ATV's, who seem bent on trying to turn all singletrack into roads, so they can go get their hunting carcasses out easily. this is a shame. Think about where you ride, did Dirt bikes play any part in the trails development? Can Dirt Bikes be usefull in "buffing out" equestrian damage? And lastly, we all love high speed Berm carving...well thase came from, guess who, roosting Dirt Bikes! MTC...

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Steve from JH Feb-02-02, 05:10 PM
"Please stay on your side of the Tetons. nm"


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thinkaboutit... Feb-02-02, 07:12 PM
"which side is that? (hunh?)"


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Steve from JH Feb-03-02, 08:00 AM
"Doesn't matter"
As long as motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles stay on the other.
I earn my downhill fun. I don't ride chairlifts either. I've (almost) never skied down a mountain I didn't also climb.

I live on less than $30,000 a year in a 4 room house. We built it ourselves for less than 10,000. I've lived here since before the area was expensive and fashionable. Yes I'm old enough to be your grandfather.

I once skied in Harrison Ford's boots (literally) on his XC skis and on his private trail. I did it on my lunch break while sealing the concrete floor of his garage.


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pb Feb-03-02, 09:12 AM
"lose the self righteousness"
I believe that it is the root cause of all the problems we have with sharing our collective open space. 'Whatever it is that I do is the best activity because (fill in the blank with the appropriate rationalizations for your given sport)'. It's also one of the primary causes of the human race's social problems, but that's another, larger issue.
As I stated in my previous post there is enough to go around if approached intellegently and fairly. But as soon as one group claims special rights for themselves and tries to limit the activities of others, well.....just think how you would feel if someone tries to prevent YOU from doing something you love. There IS enough land, regardless of all the alarmist eco-nazi propaganda, all you have to do is fly over the country side to see all the empty space, even close to many urban-suburban ares. We just need more trails, they ain't that hard to make. Most of all we need less self righteous people who think they know what's best for everyone else. (I'm not necessarily including you here).


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Steve from JH Feb-03-02, 10:33 AM
"Why do you think the rest of the world hates us?"
We use too much of the world's resources, especially petroleum. When it's used for some purpose, to get from A to B, at least there is a justification for burning it. But when it's burned for the sheer love of burning it, for the sense of power you get from twisting that throttle, then it's hard to justify.

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pb Feb-03-02, 02:56 PM
"So, they hate us because we ride motorcycles?"
Well.... first, if we didn't buy their oil, right or wrong, they wouldn't have a pot to piss in.
Second, they hate us because they suffer from the same self righteous and xenophobic mentality that is the bane of humanity in general, and manifest on a smaller scale in a lot of the land access acrimony.

Third, they hate us because of a serious case of sour grapes, but mostly it's xenophobia. If you study anthropology one of the first things you notice that is common to almost all cultures is a sense that "We are the original, true people. Other people are strange, with mixed up customs and values and are clearly inferior, blah blah, etc."

You know it could be argued that riding a bicycle for pleasure with the attendant energy consumption needed for the manufacturing, shipping, and maintenance for bikes and all the paraphenalia that goes with them is unnecessary when we could all just walk like good Sierra Clubbers. You see where I'm going with this. The line always seems to be conveniently drawn just at the boundary of our own cherished activity and excludes the next person's, which puts us in a perpetual state of confrontation resulting in a hellbroth of hatred, aggression, retaliation, and loss of freedom (for at least some, including mountain bikers for sure).

The guy on his motorcycle might very well love riding as much as you do. I think it's better to find a way to help accomodate him in an intelligent (and non invasive to others) way so he's not another frustrated angry man to add to the collection of frustrated angry men everywhere that conspire to poison the environment....that is, the human environment that we all live in and are affected by at least as much as the natural environment.


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Reeve from A-Hole..... Feb-03-02, 05:45 PM
"Oh, dear steve...(sigh). Do you know how your bike was made?"
It saddens me to see such idealistic claptrap from a seemingly intelligent, non bourgois member of the cycling community, but this time your blissful ignorance has simply gone too far. Bicycles were designed, developed,( and continue to be developed) as the by product of one VERY petroleum intensive industy...yes, the business of War. Really, where do you think Steel, Aluminum, Titanium, Carbon Fiber, Scandium, Tire technology, gearing, Lubricants, even protective gear and those technologies, Kevlar, Rubber for shoes, lycra, polyester, even camelbacks have been appropriated (if not outright designed for) the purposes of killing other people in the name of religion or real estate. Please refrain from using all of these products the next time that you go out for a ride, as to not do so would be hypocritical...you see, all of these technologies to a one use petrolium (or electricity) very heavily in their manufacture. Please, however, feel free to run around barefoot in the wilderness collecting berries, but please ditch your cell phone, that tool was developed for espionage. Oh, obviously denounce whatever suspension that you enjoy, as those concepts were originally developed for Gas guzzling devices, too.I wont even metion the Randonee/telemark technology that you espouse, because the stated purpose of the !0th mountain Devision would break your heart. As for your pal Harrison, you know that man LOVES Motorcycles, helicopters, and marijuana, preferably combining at least two of the three in any recreational opportunity...but I guess helicopters are cool, as they don't make good Dirt trails, merely wispy Jet Fuel contrails... and they make a four stroke sound like a purring kitten!(But helicopters are pretty cool for skiing.) Lighten up, you will die before you are happy!

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Kapusta Feb-02-02, 07:45 PM
"So...JH=Jackson Hole? (nm)"
nm

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Tom from CB Feb-02-02, 08:48 PM
"Close the gates!the infidels are coming!"
Quick, close the gates! The paradise is threatened by those who do not agree, and those who are not in our socio-economic bracket! We must have contemplitive quietude in our financially dictated fiefdom, lest the moose be disturbed in their laconic ruminations! May no video production that is unauthorized come upon our sanitized sattelite sets! May only those who find Godhead in the tribulations of sweat emerge triumphant! Close the gates, I say, and we can become the aspen of the north, the Boulder of the west, The Marin of the east! Places where freedom has been crushed in the name of the Tribe Of Vibram! Close the gates, and let the resonance of their slamming shut forever crush the roar of the pipes! (oh, i gotta go, My SUV is filled with disposable diapers that I have to bring to the landfill...)PS, it ain't called A-hole,Wy, for nothing....Keep smiling, and enjoy others works!

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Jody Feb-02-02, 08:04 PM
"re: Mountain Bikers & Motorcycles ?"
I live in Boulder, CO (sometimes referred to as 'the people's republic of Boulder' and I find quite a bit of animosity towards dirt bikers. I am a XC racer (expert class) and also ride a KDX200 and have raced in a few enduros (a blast). When we see dirt bikers on the trail, the usual reaction from most of my friends is to start slamming the 'rednecks on the dirt bikes'. I used to live in Alaska, and it was the same thing up there between the XC skiers and the snowmobilers - even though the snowmobiles actually made quite and extensive trail system for the skiers. Don't know why it is but a lot of motorsports guys seem to have the same type of animosity towards serious bike riders, with the bright colors, lycra and shaved legs.
I have MTBed in the Butte and can't wait to get my dirt bike out there. Glad you had a great time - too bad some save the world, do-gooder had to be such a jerk.


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airwreck Feb-03-02, 10:46 AM
"Our local newspaper joins this discussion???"
Here is todays, Sunday front page story.
Dirt bikers difficult to catch

Illegal riders disturb peace, damage trails; motocross advocates cite lack of tracks

By ILIMA LOOMIS, Staff Writer

Even though a dirt bike roaring down a residential street is breaking the law, it’s not likely a police officer will be able to do anything about it.

That’s because the bikes are so mobile and fast, they’re almost impossible to catch, whether on the road or off.

“We don’t recommend our officers going chasing after dirt bikers. They can just run off the road, and we can wreck our cars going after them,” said Lt. Charles Hirata, commander of the Maui police Traffic Section.

In addition to disturbing the peace of country neighborhoods, the bikes tear across private property and state lands, often damaging native plants and cutting trails that lead to erosion.

Motocross riders agree that illegal riding is a problem. But they say it is caused by a lack of alternatives; there are no trails and only one track where the 650 members of the Maui Motocross Association can ride legally.

Hirata said he receives many complaints about dirt bikes, which are not street-legal.

“Generally we get complaints anywhere there is agricultural land, but we also get reports of bikes racing up and down residential streets. The thing is, they can’t do anything quietly. They have to go yang, yang, and open it up all the way up and down the street,” Hirata said.

If a police officer arrives, the rider can escape by darting off road. The officer can’t do anything unless he identifies the rider, which is also often impossible.

“They don’t have license plates on dirt bikes, and usually the riders are all dressed up with leathers and helmets,” he said. “The public can help if they can identify the riders or where they are coming from.”

When state enforcement officers spot dirt bikers on state lands, they won’t pursue the riders if the conditions are at all unsafe.

“They’re highly mobile on a dirt bike, and it’s designed for off-road use,” said Randy Awo, Maui District chief for the state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement. “There’s no way we can chase them in our four-wheel-drive vehicles.”

Liability is also a concern. The state was sued by Regina Rode after she crashed her dirt bike in the Kula Forest Reserve in 1999. State officers had tried to physically stop Rode, who was riding illegally with two friends. She lost control of her motorcycle, which crashed in a cement culvert, according to Marie Laderta, tort litigation division supervisor with the state attorney general’s office.

An arbiter assessed the value of the entire case at $45,000, but found Rode to be 40 percent responsible for her injuries. The state, found to be 60 percent responsible, was mandated to pay her $28,000.

Laderta said she could not speculate on how the arbiter reached that judgment, but said Rode’s allegations against the state included negligent supervision and training, excessive force, and assault and battery.

Awo said officers will apprehend dirt bikers under safe conditions, such as if the rider complies when asked to stop.

Officers will also sometimes wait in the area where the bike owners park their trucks, but often the riders will turn back when they see the officers or send someone down on foot to move the trucks.

Asked how many dirt bikers are apprehended, Awo said, “more times than not they’re able to evade us.”

Besides trespassing, the dirt bikes can cause considerable damage to fragile natural areas.

“They’re a problem everywhere. I don’t know of any large landowner for whom it’s not a huge, serious problem,” said Bob Hobdy, Maui District forester with the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

He said dirt bikes are spotted around Kahakuloa, at McGregor’s Point, in the Makawao Forest Reserve, in Polipoli and on state lands above Waihee.

“I was amazed at the extent of damage they do, especially in the wet forest,” he said. “They have carved some trails so deep that the handlebars are hitting the ground on the sides and they then have to cut a new trail. They’re going at high speed, digging a deeper and deeper trench and spattering soil all over.”

But with no legal places for the growing number of motocross enthusiasts to ride, a large number will continue venturing out where they’re not supposed to be, said Kurt Furomoto, owner of Aloha Cycles and former president of the Maui Motocross Association.

The club has about 650 members, and its only riding facility is jammed into an 11-acre parcel at the old Puunene airfield.

“It would be nice if the state or county would provide somewhere where trail riding would be allowed. It could even be far away out in the boonies,” he said.

Furomoto would like to see a park built on Maui similar to one developed on Oahu. With about 500 members, the Oahu club has a 600-acre state park, offering four tracks for different skill levels and more than 150 miles of trails.

“Why can’t we have a place like that?” he asked.

The Puunene motocross track can accommodate no more than 60 riders a day and is open three days a week. While it provides track riders a place to practice, it’s not enough for everyone.

“A lot of people don’t ride at the track; they get tired of just riding around and around in a circle,” he said.

Robin Nakasone, co-owner of Powercycle, agrees that Maui needs more legal places to ride.

“It has been a big problem in the state of Hawaii for several years. We got the track going now, and that’s positive. I think that’s helped cut down on some of the illegal riding,” she said.

She said her customers know their dirt bikes aren’t street-legal, but some use roads to get to off-road locations where they like to ride.

“I’m not saying it’s an excuse, but sometimes they don’t have a way to transport the bike to where they’re going to ride,” she said. “I know that they’re not doing it to make problems for the residents.”

She said that while she sympathizes with residents, she also feels for riders, who don’t have anyplace else to go.

“It’s a great sport. A lot of families are getting into it, and it’s better than seeing kids hanging out at the mall or getting into trouble,” she said. “This is a healthy avenue for kids, so if we can get the places for them to go where they’re not disturbing the residents — they need a spot to ride.”


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MikeM Feb-04-02, 09:54 AM
"re: Mountain bikers and Motorcycles?"
I'm new to this site and this question was my first post. Wow! Interesting responses! Some, very articulate.
Here's how I feel. I love several types of outdoor adventure and hanging with others who share these loves. My wife and kids share with me in the enjoyment. I believe that participating out there with the right attitude, helps build our souls.

As far as different outdoor user groups are concerned, we may not always fully understand or like the others, but it seems to me that it's in all our best interests to stick together on issues of keeping the land open, free and intelligently managed. I agree that if a trail is being overly eroded by any use, it should be allowed to recover. I also agree that there should be different areas for different uses, when the two uses are not compatible. A military example: I don't always like the French, but I'm glad they are an ally. It's really an issue of the power of numbers. Any user group by itself just doesn't have the political clout. Someone recently told me about a combined user group advocacy called the Blue Ribbon Coallition. Check out their site at www.sharetrails.org. Read their policy statements. I think most of you will agree.

If I see another dirt biker not using common courtesy, riding off designated trails, riding when it's too wet, riding too loudly, I will make a point to try to make sure he falls in line.

Thanks for your comment. Keep them coming!!

Good riding to all - even you closed minded ones :)

MikeM


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