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CB
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today's New York Times has a pretty good article about how Vermont is trying to become the east coast equivalent of Moab. Might actually cause more NYers to go there, for better or worse (I'm a NYer and will be there this summer). Whereas the article is very positive, it does mention that some private landowers do not want MTBers on their property. The guy in the article is concerned about his maple tree's roots. He says that he has posted no trespassing signs but the bikers use shotguns to take them down. It seems to me that riding with a shotgun, even a sawed off one, could be a problem. Do you Vermonters carry large weapons when you ride? Should I pack some heat when I visit? Check out the article at www.nytimes.com in today's Escape section. You may need to register but its free.
 

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Re-friggin'-Lax!!!
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630 Posts
Weird...

CBar said:
Today's New York Times has a pretty good article about how Vermont is trying to become the east coast equivalent of Moab. Might actually cause more NYers to go there, for better or worse (I'm a NYer and will be there this summer). Whereas the article is very positive, it does mention that some private landowers do not want MTBers on their property. The guy in the article is concerned about his maple tree's roots. He says that he has posted no trespassing signs but the bikers use shotguns to take them down. It seems to me that riding with a shotgun, even a sawed off one, could be a problem. Do you Vermonters carry large weapons when you ride? Should I pack some heat when I visit? Check out the article at www.nytimes.com in today's Escape section. You may need to register but its free.
Never seen that nor do I think I ever will, VTer's are very practical people, "Why not park the cars on the lawn, it's right there when you need it"... The riders up her would never carry SHOTGUNS on a ride, maybe a handgun in the really "out there" locations (bears and moose can get pretty pissed). Even that is RARE, the landowner might have a couple of kids out there just blasting away for fun, that rode their bikes there.
 

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stoneblender
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380 Posts
A view from the Mad River Valley ...

So sad to see the Times reporting this negative ill-researched drivel. But after Jayson Blair, am I surprised? Not really. Frankly I'm surprised that Eastman Long is still telling these 'stories' after so many years being proven wrong. He even recently admitted that bikers don't carry shotguns or rip his lines down.

We have tried to stay out of his way for a long time, but he keeps putting lines across trails that are on STATE land. He is one of two people in the entire state that are allowed to sugar on public land, the other guy takes his lines down in the summer. The lines have gotten progressively lower over time (~4ft high for many of them now) and he strings them purposely to close off trail on state land. He has also cut many widowmaker trees along the trail and outright felled others to block access.

The funny thing is, Eastman employs quite a few mountain bikers to help sugar in the spring. They've talked to him about his issues and he knows he's just being crotchedy, which makes for a juicy quote, but it is hardly reality.

We've had success with the state in legitimizing trails and are working to permanently find a solution to the sap line problem through a major reroute. We are wiling to pay for tubing connectors so we could continue to use the existing trail, but it seems like that olive branch may not work. Also, the trail is so nested with lines and felled trees, it may be not worth it. So we have will probably have to reroute.

As far as the damaging roots thing goes, boots, bikes and hooves (including horse, deer and moose) can damage roots, but this is minimized on a well designed trail. Much of the trail in question does not affect any maple roots. BTW, the Long Trail does more root damage than all the bikes trails in Vermont combined and tapping trees for sugar can affect their health too (the sugaring process draws off sap through holes drilled in the trees.)

I think all this is okay though. We impact the earth and can choose how much and where we balances our impacts. I use maple syrup almost exclusively for sugar in my diet, so it is near and dear to my heart. So is the Long Trail. And so is biking.

Thankfully, The Times has lost so much credibility, this misleading story won't affect our efforts that much. Unfortunately, I will probably be having a long conversation with Eastman tomorrow at the Farmer's Market.

John


Wilder Farm Inn Luke riding in Camel's Hump State Forest, near the infamous Bitter Route/ Kessler's Connection.

p.s. There were two other idiotic statements in the article. One from the Travel and Tourism guy about how many mountains there are above 2 thousand feet in VT and that's why people ride here. The truth is 95% of the best riding in the state is all below 2500'. Heck, I think I could count the number of legal bike trails above 3000' on one hand.

The other was how freeride is to x-c what snowboarding is to skiing??? Right, I get it. Thanks for clearing that up for the uninitiated.
 

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CB
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
atkinson said:
So sad to see the Times reporting this negative ill-researched drivel. But after Jayson Blair, am I surprised? Not really. Frankly I'm surprised that Eastman Long is still telling these 'stories' after so many years being proven wrong. He even recently admitted that bikers don't carry shotguns or rip his lines down.

We have tried to stay out of his way for a long time, but he keeps putting lines across trails that are on STATE land. He is one of two people in the entire state that are allowed to sugar on public land, the other guy takes his lines down in the summer. The lines have gotten progressively lower over time (~4ft high for many of them now) and he strings them purposely to close off trail on state land. He has also cut many widowmaker trees along the trail and outright felled others to block access.

The funny thing is, Eastman employs quite a few mountain bikers to help sugar in the spring. They've talked to him about his issues and he knows he's just being crotchedy, which makes for a juicy quote, but it is hardly reality.

We've had success with the state in legitimizing trails and are working to permanently find a solution to the sap line problem through a major reroute. We are wiling to pay for tubing connectors so we could continue to use the existing trail, but it seems like that olive branch may not work. Also, the trail is so nested with lines and felled trees, it may be not worth it. So we have will probably have to reroute.

As far as the damaging roots thing goes, boots, bikes and hooves (including horse, deer and moose) can damage roots, but this is minimized on a well designed trail. Much of the trail in question does not affect any maple roots. BTW, the Long Trail does more root damage than all the bikes trails in Vermont combined and tapping trees for sugar can affect their health too (the sugaring process draws off sap through holes drilled in the trees.)

I think all this is okay though. We impact the earth and can choose how much and where we balances our impacts. I use maple syrup almost exclusively for sugar in my diet, so it is near and dear to my heart. So is the Long Trail. And so is biking.

Thankfully, The Times has lost so much credibility, this misleading story won't affect our efforts that much. Unfortunately, I will probably be having a long conversation with Eastman tomorrow at the Farmer's Market.

John


Wilder Farm Inn Luke riding in Camel's Hump State Forest, near the infamous Bitter Route/ Kessler's Connection.

p.s. There were two other idiotic statements in the article. One from the Travel and Tourism guy about how many mountains there are above 2 thousand feet in VT and that's why people ride here. The truth is 95% of the best riding in the state is all below 2500'. Heck, I think I could count the number of legal bike trails above 3000' on one hand.

The other was how freeride is to x-c what snowboarding is to skiing??? Right, I get it. Thanks for clearing that up for the uninitiated.
I guess you weren't happy with the article. Yea, the NYT has its share of misrepresentations. I read it daily but keep that in mind. I still think it's one of the best sources around. For a newspaper, that is. After all, what I got out of the article is how great a place Vermont has become to MBers. I'd love to know how your conversation with that Eastman guy goes. Don't hurt him. Thanks for the local color, I can't wait to visit in August.
 

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stoneblender
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380 Posts
I'd never hurt anyone, Eastman included. Sorry for the rant last week, but after the challenges we've been through, I get a little testy.

Besides, now that I know a bit more about the situation, I am not even mad at Eastman. He was set up for his role as the anti-biker by somebody else in town, K., who should have known better. A lot better. Frankly, with friends like this guy, we don't need enemies. Between Phen Basin, the Mill Brook Trail, the new recreation map crap and now this, he's had a hand in some of the most negative incidents experienced by bikers in the MR Valley. But hey, we all make mistakes.

Tatiana's editor wanted her article to have some 'balance', and she asked K. to put her in touch with someone who didn't like mtbers. Enter Eastman, who is crotchedy and can be set off to say inflammatory things. K. knew it and instead of saying that we have had success in dealing with critics, who are now our friends, he says, call Eastman. So now we have 'balance'. The real problem with whole thing? Do you think said editor would have asked for this type of 'balance' if the topic was hiking in Vermont?

I don't get how anyone would think to call Vermont the Moab of the East. We have several cool mtb bike-friendly communities, we have great trails that can be ridden for only about four or five months of the year, and no slickrock or desert. Moab? Why must she compare and say we missed the boat on becoming the Eastern Moab? How about Vermont is Vermont, come ride?

What about Mount Snow trying to "reinvent" itself as a mtb destination? Haven't they been a mtb destination for well over a decade? The new free-ride stuff is just an extension of what they've been doing for a long time. The same could be said for Sam Sammis in Randolph, he's been at this game for a while and with moderate success. Still no slickrock though, just hundreds of miles of wooded trails.

Anyhoo, the Green Mountains are great and no crappy article in the Slimes is going to change it. Come ride if you want, just leave the twelve guage at home. As if I need to say that to a bunch of bikers ...

John
 

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Being a new commer to VT I have to say that the riding has far surpassed my expectations. The trails, the views, the people...all fantastic. I didn't read the article yet but I taked to Atkinson about how this area can become a MTB destination. There are more quality trails then most places and they are fun, well thoughtout and challenging. Once things are totally legit and maps and guides are available people will see how good it can be. So come up and ride, the trails are fine and I haven't seen a gun since I arrived. BTW thanks for the photo caption but you forgot the 800 # & web address!! ;)
 
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