Pardon me for showing some concern for unnecessary trail wear....ricke123 said:A town where mountain bikers who regularly encounter obstacles of all sorts are somehow concerned with a couple of ruts made by riding in wet conditions that will go away in a few days..
ricke123 said:]unnecessary trail wear. There is the difference.Golly, let's see here: Blue skies, day off, hmmm. Necessary. Sorry, but I have had too many people give me **** on this one. It is an ultra lame angle.
ricke123 said:By the way Vernon, are you aware that you did indeed refer to mountain biking as stupid in your statement?
NateHawk said:The issue isn't the ruts themselves. Seems you've lost sight of that (or never had it to begin with, quite possibly). In the short term, you're right...what's a couple of ruts? As far as you can tell with your untrained eyes, nothing else happens there, right?
In the long term, however, you're dead wrong. You have to realize we're talking about the desert here. Soil development doesn't happen overnight. Even in warm, wet climates with soil development occuring at 100x the rate of desert climates, once you start to displace soil, it starts to wash away faster than it can be formed from the rock and decomposing organic matter. If you don't take efforts to stop it and repair the area, the soil won't be coming back in our lifetimes or even our grandchildren's lifetimes. Little to nothing can grow there in the future, and erosion nearby is also accelerated.
Once erosion starts to accelerate, sedimentation starts to accelerate downhill. If you've got any streams nearby that exist long enough to contain animals, that sedimentation decreases the amount of oxygen the water can hold and those animals lose habitat in an area with very little habitat to begin with.
Without active streams nearby, the increased sedimentation adds to alluvial deposits and can also bury and displace plants growing nearby at an accelerated rate. In a dry desert environment like the one we're talking about, some of that displaced sediment can be picked up by the wind contributing to windblown dust.
You want some examples of what can happen from just a couple of ruts that are ignored? Go find yourself an area where cattle have never been grazed. Then, find an area where the rancher has failed to move his cattle enough, and the cattle congregate in washes. Those cattle cause ENORMOUS amounts of erosion over time.
One cow walking down into a wash to get a drink is no big deal, just like one biker riding through the mud creating a rut is probably no big deal. The problem is that there's never just one cow and there's never just one biker making one trip through the mud. There's always a herd of cattle and there's always a second lap or a group of bikers who are thinking "oh, one rut is no big deal". It's the cumulative effect of all of that we need to be aware of.
If it's just rained...take a day off or ride somewhere with a more durable surface. Simple. And that way, we don't get into sophomoric pissing matches over who's the wuss or the poser. I'm not calling anyone a wuss or a poser, but I am calling out anyone who says one rut is nothing to be concerned with.
Our (collective, mountain bikers as a whole) access to places to ride our bikes is not a God-given (or constitutional) right. It's a privilege granted by those who manage the land we ride upon. Most of those potential agencies are also charged with ensuring the continued health of the land's soil, water, and living things. If recreation clashes one of those directives, it's the recreational activies that will get booted.
Grow up and use your brain.
How can you summarily dismiss a well-thought-out and well-researched reply, really an appeal to your sensibilities, with a few careless words? You are presented with an argument that is clearly derived from either education in the area of land-use and erosion and/or reading the scientific literature on that subject and your defense for your potential and probable land-damaging riding decisions is essentially that you don't believe the information being provided is accurate. Further, you state that you believe you are actually helping to create a more durable trail. I've read and heard arguments like yours over and over in the past and they all hinge on one one core belief: ignore any and all information that doesn't match your own paradigm (a paradigm that benefits the self interests of that individual or group without any consideration for any other individual or group) or, better yet, attack the information or the author of the information in order to discredit it. You've done both of these things in your last post.ricke123 said:So a trail that lacks a few ruts will soon be supporting new life and the rutted areas are essentially moonscape that will spread like a cancer? I don't think so. Your well thought out argument in no way convinces me to not ride. It is a great argument to stay on the designated trails though, which I think is common practice. Conversely, I think that riding while the trails are damp help to pack the trails down well and thus diminishing the potential for future erosion.
I am using my brain and making sophomoric remarks directed at highly judgemental and condescending people, most of whom are also serious wusses.