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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
MTB'ers follow the rules? What's wrong with this picture?

Note: Originally posted by jugdish in another forum, I just cross posted it over here. I find this rather interesting and most likely the study was done by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.

"The High Plains Trail survey, which took place over a month-long period in May and June of 2007, found that mountain bikers made up 85 percent of the trail's visitors, followed by runners, who made up 9 percent of visitors, and hikers, who made up 5 percent of visitors.

Bikers were the most likely to follow the rules - 99 percent of them stayed on the trail, according to the study. Hikers weren't as good at following the rules - 36 percent strayed beyond the trail. And most - 62 percent - of the 13 visiting parties with dogs in tow didn't follow the on-trail rules, the study found."

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2008/jun/16/staying-on-the-trail-study-most-open-space-obey/
 

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himom!
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It makes sense - why would a biker want to leave the trail? It's not much fun getting bogged down in soft soil, leaves, sticks, poison ivy, etc.

Unless of course, there are outlaw trails. A totally different issue.
 

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Maaaaan
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It varies with the area, but I can say those numbers would be pretty close to accurate in the Bay Area five years ago.
The general observations are also true around the Boulder City area, except the hikers are a little less A-holish around here.
In S. Nevada, you have to throw in the off roaders, who are quite frequently off of established roads and trails, literally driving where there is no road.
 

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Derailleurless
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DIRTJUNKIE said:
...I find this rather interesting and most likely the study was done by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.
I didn't find a link to a study on the City website, but the article states the Open Space department of the City of Boulder commissioned and/or conducted it, so I doubt there was any external influence applied by mountain bikers.

Without reading it, the study seems to be reporting on something not necessarily relevant to most open space access issues in other regions -- "Did you stay on the trails?" versus "Did you ride on any illegal trails?"

I'm happy mountain bikers are painted in a good light by this report, but like dmcgoy's observation, it's a "well, Duh!" revelation. Dog walkers (and in some respects, most hikers) are more likely to recreate across a smaller area while at the same time openly disobeying trail rules / leash laws, mountain bikers spread out over a wide area and might be more attune to remaining lawful under the watchful eyes of non-bikers... so I wonder in what manner this study was conducted?
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Speedub.Nate said:
I didn't find a link to a study on the City website, but the article states the Open Space department of the City of Boulder commissioned and/or conducted it, so I doubt there was any external influence applied by mountain bikers.

Without reading it, the study seems to be reporting on something not necessarily relevant to most open space access issues in other regions -- "Did you stay on the trails?" versus "Did you ride on any illegal trails?"

I'm happy mountain bikers are painted in a good light by this report, but like dmcgoy's observation, it's a "well, Duh!" revelation. Dog walkers (and in some respects, most hikers) are more likely to recreate across a smaller area while at the same time openly disobeying trail rules / leash laws, mountain bikers spread out over a wide area and might be more attune to remaining lawful under the watchful eyes of non-bikers... so I wonder in what manner this study was conducted?
Yeah I was wondering "in what manner this study was conducted" myself. If it was a true non bias study, it sure is nice to see us MTBRS shown in a respectable light for a change.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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Interesting to see it 'reported' but I'm in the 'well-duh' camp. Mt bikers like trails. Riding through the bush isn't a lot of fun in most places. A lot of hikers (myself included) enjoy off-trail travel.

I dunno if Boulder allows geocaching in its parks, but I've noticed in some places that geocaching can result in some social trails developing from people leaving an established trail system to seek a common location.
 

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DIRTJUNKIE said:
Anybody else have an opinion on this study?
Yeah, I think it is great and quite revealing.

When I get home I'm going to provide a copy of the article to my fellow IMBA-affiliated mountain biking club members so we can get it to our Office of Greenways and Trails to further build our relationship with them (which is already pretty darn good anyway). But we want to expand the trail system and there are environmental issues that always have to be addressed. Anything that shows mountain bikers tend to be responsible and trustworthy trail users, and don't negatively impact the environment, is a good thing.

We should all do everything we can to get more trails for our use.

If anyone can find more info on the actual study, that would be great.
 

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Probably drunk right now
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Duh....

NateHawk said:
Interesting to see it 'reported' but I'm in the 'well-duh' camp. Mt bikers like trails. Riding through the bush isn't a lot of fun in most places. A lot of hikers (myself included) enjoy off-trail travel.

I dunno if Boulder allows geocaching in its parks, but I've noticed in some places that geocaching can result in some social trails developing from people leaving an established trail system to seek a common location.
On a similar note, a study just concluded indicated that people who drive high end sports cars tend to stay on paved roads more often than people who drive trucks. Cross over drivers are somewhere in the middle.
 

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Gatorback said:
Anything that shows mountain bikers tend to be responsible and trustworthy trail users, and don't negatively impact the environment, is a good thing.

We should all do everything we can to get more trails for our use.
My thoughts as well. Obviously, we tend to stay on trail but hell, good press is good press.

Also, the talking point I take from that is "we are the most responsible trail user out there" as this study clearly points out.
 

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The study is of particular importance in my assessment given the desire of some groups to exclude bikers from natural/wilderness areas. I'm a hiker too and have seen some of the debate within the hiking community about whether to cooperate with the mountain biking community to create more trails/wilderness areas or whether to try to exclude us because we allegedly have a "negative impact" on the environment. There is a large contingent in the hiking world that wants us out.

Hikers, bikers, equestrians--and yes even hunters--all need to join forces to try to advocate for more public land and trails.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's about time we were portrayed in a positive note.:thumbsup:
 

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I hate roads, but love trails. I don't have a car, but do have a rock crawling Jeep, and 2 dual sport motorcycles in addition to the MTB.

If everyone thinks the MTB'ers get a hard way to go, try driving a Jeep! I am a VERY conscientious off roader no matter what the vehicle out of respect to the area and the ecosystem as well as want to play by the rules such that I can continue to have access to areas. That means I Tread Lightly, and ALWAYS stay on the trails.

This is one of those 5% deals that those 5% are doing the majority of the damage both image wise as well as trail wise.

I am a HUGE proponent of keeping as many trails open for both motorized and non-motorized off road use as possible. Personally, I can't hike any longer due to knee problems and I want to enjoy the beauty of nature as much as any tree hugger and shutting down trails or entire areas due to abuse or just "preservation" infuriates me.

The tree hugger community are generally idiots with a larger penchant for whining and proving their cause as opposed to intelligent multi faceted discussion aiming at mutually agreeable solutions.
 
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