Listen to part two of Greg’s interview with Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC) founders Ted Stroll and Jackson Ratcliffe as they discuss why certain trail groups oppose bikes in wilderness and what will happen if the STC’s legislation fails. Plus, we hear where Ted and Jackson would ride their bikes if the wilderness ban was lifted.

“The number of people screaming against mountain biking [in wilderness areas] under the age of 50 is zero.” -Jackson Ratcliffe.

If you missed it, click here to listen to Part 1 of this podcast.

Update 07/14/16: The Sustainable Trails Coalition’s Bill Has Been Introduced in Congress

# Comments

  • mblakeman

    I will make one snide remark and then be diplomatic. It appears the folks in the podcast attended Donald Trump’s school of social graces. The discrimination, insults, and hypocrisy was like listening to a Republican debate. Designated wilderness is different than the rest of public lands and the Wilderness Act is clear about prohibiting mechanical transportation. I visit wilderness to go slow – to hear the creeks and birds, to admire the wildflowers by the trail and to be totally connected to my surroundings… without fear of being run over by a mountain biker screaming down a hill on a blind corner. Although I am older than 50 years old, I know many younger mountain biking and non-mountain biking people who believe that mountain bikes should not be allowed in designated wilderness. Maybe we surround ourselves with like-minded people. I live at the edge of the San Juan Mountains and can say the depiction of this beautiful area in the podcast was incorrect. I have hiked extensively in the South San Juan Wilderness and have always seen other people there (but, it is not crowded). Another misleading comment in the podcast is that mountain bikers can’t bike to Wheeler Geologic Area. Mountain bikes can use the 4×4 cherry-stemmed road to get within 1/2 mile of this incredible geologic wonder. Mountain bikes should definitely not be allowed at the geologic area – they would destroy it. In closing, I would say that a good analogy to the apparent attitude of the folks in the podcast is that they are like smokers. Smokers are always happy to share their space with others. They, of course, impact the folks around them tho just as mountain bikers in wilderness would impact hikers and equestrian users. Most hikers would not enjoy being around mountain bikers in wilderness and the bikers would be dangerous to their health. Don’t believe the health point? Do an internet search for mountain bike and hiker, and mountain bike and horseback users accidents. Wilderness trails are not designed for that kind of mixed use. There are many, many areas to use mountain bikes, but designated wilderness is not one of them. Walk in the boots of wilderness advocates and keep mountain bikes out of designated wilderness areas. There are areas for mixed uses and areas where uses should be separated. Wilderness should be mountain bike free.

  • Lonerider1013

    Your point about there being other places to bike so don’t make an issue of bikes in the wilderness ignores the fact that wilderness designations are not static — they are creating new ones all the time. It is one thing if I say hey, I want to ride this wilderness that’s been there since 1964. Its another if the wilderness designation comes to me and takes my trails away. And while you may see it as insulting to say so, they are my trails as much as yours this being public lands.

    Certainly some areas are delicate and should not have bikes — but they probably shouldn’t have horses either. Other areas would not have a problem with cycling.

    While you have a point in that the views of mountain bikers might not be shared by some hikers (I hike and bike so i am not one tho) at least you should be willing to admit that by the same token, that many people including some other hikers may not share your views. Yes, to many who might not share your views, it is weird, silly or extreme to ban bikes as a blanket rule. Not recognizing that makes your statements against the attitudes of bikers inconsistent. I accept not everyone likes the idea of bikes on trails or wilderness. It would be good of you to acknowledge that by the same token, to many others, the idea of banning bikes may be equally outrageous. This is where public policy comes in and has to establish a baseline. The key there, is why should your views be entitled to dictate policy as opposed to others? To this we have to look beyond personal views to facts, and generally mt bikers have not been found to be environmentally harmful.

    This might not be such a big deal except the area covered by the wilderness ban is constantly expanding. It borders on intellectual dishonesty to say “just ride somewhere else” when everywhere else is potentially threatened by the current interpretation of the wilderness act.

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