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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today's (11 Aug '08) Asheville Citizen-Times ran an article saying that nature-based recreation is on the increase overall, but that mountain biking and equestrian visits to public lands are declining. Read the Citizen-Times article at:

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808110307

USFS research scientist Ken Cordell edited the studies. An overview is available at:

http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/news/341

and more detailed study reports may be viewed at:

http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/ja/ja_cordell021.pdf

and:

http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/ja/ja_cordell022.pdf

This post is a bit esoteric, but I know a few of you will add the studies to your files...

Later,
TZ
 

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10001110101
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Driving around taking pictures is now both the #1 and #2 fastest growing form of outdoor recreation,depending on what you're taking pictures of. Zipping around on Texas Wheelchairs is #3.

It's pretty pathetic when activities like that are considered "outdoor recreation", even worse when they are the fastest growing.
 

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Drinker w/ Riding Problem
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TrailZen said:
Today's (11 Aug '08) Asheville Citizen-Times ran an article saying that nature-based recreation is on the increase overall, but that mountain biking and equestrian visits to public lands are declining. Read the Citizen-Times article at:

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808110307

USFS research scientist Ken Cordell edited the studies. An overview is available at:

http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/news/341

and more detailed study reports may be viewed at:

http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/ja/ja_cordell021.pdf

and:

http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/ja/ja_cordell022.pdf

This post is a bit esoteric, but I know a few of you will add the studies to your files...

Later,
TZ
i believe that gas prices over the past couple of years has played a major part of the decline for mtb, places like Tsali, Pisgah, Dupont attract riders from all over - I know plenty of folks in South Georgia, Florida, and from Raleigh and Wilmington areas who used to come up here 4 -5 times a year to ride, now it's maybe once or twice a year... all because of the gas!
 

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I know myself and a group of friends have seriously cut down on our number of trips to Wilson Creek. Heck, I've even cut down on my trips to Dupont and Pisgah from Asheville. I figure if I'm by myself I might as well just ride BC or Kitsuma vs spend the extra gas $$$ to drive further.
 

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pronounced may-duh
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The increase in off road driving may have something to do with all the SUV's that people bought in the early 2000's prior to the big run up in gas prices. My guess is that number will go back down as people stop buying hummers and go back to econo cars.

Taking pictures is probably because more baby boomers are now retired and have time to do things outdoors. However they do not have the youth and fitness for mtn biking and hiking so they visit places and take pictures.

Mtn biking popularity peaked a long time ago probably in the late 90's. There are many reasons why people find it hard to get into mtn biking. Lets face it, you need to be a fairly intrepid individual to try some of this stuff.

It's all good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Beg your pardon!

Maida7 said:
Taking pictures is probably because more baby boomers are now retired and have time to do things outdoors. However they do not have the youth and fitness for mtn biking and hiking so they visit places and take pictures.
Watch it, man--I'm one of those retired boomers! (But, overall, you're probably right.)

The primary reason for posting this was that such studies eventually have an impact on recreational spending by managers of public lands, and if backcountry trail use is declining, those trails (which are the ones we love) will see a decline in funding. (Some of us might cynically say that land managers can't reduce the spending from 'nada'...) That will only increase the load on groups like IMBA/SORBA who do volunteer trail construction and maintenance...

Later,
TZ
 

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pronounced may-duh
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My assement of boomers is a mass generalization and not ment to offend anybody. Lets face it though, if your 50-60 years young and still riding trails or even backpacking your way above the curve. I hope to be in that kind of shape if and when I'm 50. My mother is in her late 60's so a bit older than most boomers. She would not consider riding a bike off road or hiking more than a mile or 2 but she's totaly into the idea of visting outdoor areas and taking pictures of the scenery. In fact she just left on a safari trip in Africa with her new digital camera!
 

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So if it's on the decline, why are there 3 massively expanded parking lots at Bent Creek that are overflowing with more riders than ever before & in 5 years I've yet to ride after 9am and not run into other bikers? I think the factors that play a bigger role here are that MTB'ers now have dozens of options in every direction that they can go riding to & be dispursed at 20 different trailheads across a 50 square mile raidus of trails.

The internet availability of remote riding spots, better trail maintenance on backcountry routes, more suspension & Camelbaks to go further help distribute riders over more vast parts of the Forests.

Me & Todd Branham were talking about it the other day after ORAMM. He was stunned at the number of newbie riders showing up and banging out 80 miles in what was literally their first race. Suspension, lightweight rides & efficient things like Clif Bras & Camelbaks make it way easier than back 15 years ago when it was all we could do to take enough food & water to be out in the forest for more than 2 hours.
 

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A good example. If you're from Greenville, 10 years ago you could go ride at Southside in Spartanburg...or load up and hit Pisgah. Now, you've got 2 epic trail systems between you & Pisgah that can absorb 100s of riders each that are closer, Paris Mountain & Dupont. And, if you turn Southwest, they can head to FATS in roughly the time it would take to get to the fish hatchery. Even if ridership in our region locally had doubled in the last 5 years, so many trail systems have come online to ride that we can handle them.

Then add to that the fact that in Chattanooga & Knoxville, they have their own chapters of SORBA and massive trail systems of their own now. Every weekend I used to run into those guys in droves in Pisgah, riding here all weekend long.

To the West, riders from Charlotte to Boone can now bang out miles of trail at Dark Mtn too. That system can hold a ton of riders as well. Thanks to internet & write ups in outdoor journals, Wilson's Creek is suddenly a hotbed as well.
 

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"...efficient things like Clif Bras..." - hence, the increase in females riders over the years.

:drumroll:
 

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The primary reason for posting this was that such studies eventually have an impact on recreational spending by managers of public lands, and if backcountry trail use is declining, those trails (which are the ones we love) will see a decline in funding. (Some of us might cynically say that land managers can't reduce the spending from 'nada'...) That will only increase the load on groups like IMBA/SORBA who do volunteer trail construction and maintenance...

Later,
TZ[/QUOTE]

The Trails and Recreation budget for the USFS is to be cut by 35% next year by the Bush administration. Man, that guy is doing a hell of a job in the Whitehouse.

Yeah, Pisgah never had any money so budget cuts means going from nothing to less than nothing.

Woody
 

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I personally can't see how Offroad driving could be more popular than biking. Just about everywhere that you use to be able to do that, has been shut down. There was tons of stuff here in Translvania, Jackson, and Haywood counties that you could take jeeps, trucks, and fourwheelers and go ride. Now the only thing that is open is Wayehutta. So if it is popluar, where in the heck are they doing it!

Also in my opinion alot of the site seeing people and people taking pics are more so seasonal, where us riders are out year round!
 

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Driving on any dirt road could be called driving off road. So the next time you park at yellow gap and ride Laurel Mtn you may have been counted as driving off road.

People still take pictures in the winter. I visited Bennet gap and the dupont water falls with some of my relatives when they stayed with us last christmas. We drove there and they took pictures. Sure there are less people taking pictures in the winter but there are also less people riding in the winter. Many mtn bikers pack it up for the cold months. Even here in an area that doesn't have a particularly cold winter.
 

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Maida7 said:
Driving on any dirt road could be called driving off road. So the next time you park at yellow gap and ride Laurel Mtn you may have been counted as driving off road.
I really hope this was extreme sarcasm.
 

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nitrousjunky said:
I personally can't see how Offroad driving could be more popular than biking. ...
It isn't. The 3 most popular activities are Biking, hiking, and visiting waterfalls, but I couldn't find specific numbers on Biking, just that it's declining.

I think it's the bear that are scaring people away. Or the Yellowjackets, I swear.
 

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spec4life???..smh...
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My local paper actually ran a front page artical on the mtb boom in our town. It had several pics of mtbs riding on dark mtn in Wilkes where i live and talked about the rise in gas prices driving up the intrest.

Maida7, did that ride to yellow gap yesterday and in my freinds civic I beleive it could be considered off roading....
 
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