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Thread: Is Mountain Biking the Biggest Threat to New Wilderness Designations?

  1. #51
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  2. #52
    Hmm, doesnít look to be a study funded by the bike community


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  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by NMC_EXP View Post
    Are you claiming there are "...many MANY..." peer revied studies which prove: "....studies confirm that Equestrians and hikers (especially with trekking poles) cause more impact on trails that MT bikes..."?

    What studies, how were the studies funded and what peers did the reviewing? Try to be specific.

    As to your observation RE casual observation vs studies there is truth in that, so far as it goes. The validity of conclusions drawn depends entirely on the quality and quantity of the observations. This applies to both informal and formal studies.

    Think about the logical fallacy of "argument from authority". Think about how often this fallacy is used to support or reject emotionally charged topics which have seeped out of the scientific realm and into popular culture and awareness.

    The argument from authority and it's bastard child the Woozle Effect are pathetic excuses for the majority of the population on either side of any controversy not to think on their own. It is as simple as that.

    I had a career in engineering. It was 30 years of setting up test plans, making observations, running tests, collecting data and drawing conclusions. When I run across (pseudo) scientific claims that do not pass the smell test, I will default to my own observations and conclusions.

    FYI - the very foundation of real science is skepticism. The lack of skepticism means faith and church is the place for that.
    Good arguments- specifically argument from authority.

    I too was educated as a mechanical engineer- though Iím just shy of 20 years mostly with nuclear power ops & maintenance.

    Someone linked a study in another post- some of the many studies are referenced there.

    Iím good with professional questioning attitude. Iím not good with unscientific background folks rejecting data because it doesnít fit their paradigm. Please note that I am not accusing you of the later. Iíd rather say that I disagree with skepticism being foundation of science and instead argue that curiosity is the foundation. Thatís just my opinion though.

    2 other things Iíd offer for you to consider:

    1. Earlier I think you suggested skepticism about impact footprints and load on the ground and its contribution to damage as being insignificant between hikers and cyclists. A portion of us that advocate for access to bikes be locally determined as opposed to a blanket ban may not be what you have as an image of a typical off road cyclists. My main trail bike runs 29x2.6 tires at about 15/17 psi front and rear. I havenít measured the surface area of my hiking boots to compare my body weight in boots vs on bike tires, but given the pressures I run, I donít think there is as large of a difference than you may have thought. Many cyclists prefer even larger tires with lower pressures.

    2. As I eluded to with #1 above, many of us arenít what tv or magazines make us out to be. I personally want to get away and enjoy the outdoors while challenging myself. Sure, I like speed, but that isnít what it is all about. When I go bike packing, my average speed is often within 2-3 mph compared to a quick through hiker. Because of arthritis I can no longer access deeper backcountry areas unless Iím on a bike. And I certainly canít do a multi day self supported trip without the bike. All I want is the same opportunity as a hiker to access and enjoy the back country - with decisions being made by the local land manager.


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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-aye-am View Post
    Hmm, doesn’t look to be a study funded by the bike community


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    Good point.

    I read the first 29 pages and scanned the balance of the 85 or so total. That study collected empirical data on how specific trails changed over time (depth and width). Typically the ruts got deeper and the trails got wider. Especially true on slopes and wet bottom areas.

    However, the study did not collect data on the type of use; hiker, bicycle, horse, ATV...etc.

    Therefore it could not draw any conclusions as to relative effects of transportation mode.
    ďEvery third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.Ē ~ H.L. Mencken

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-aye-am View Post
    Good arguments- specifically argument from authority.

    I too was educated as a mechanical engineer- though I’m just shy of 20 years mostly with nuclear power ops & maintenance.

    Someone linked a study in another post- some of the many studies are referenced there.

    I’m good with professional questioning attitude. I’m not good with unscientific background folks rejecting data because it doesn’t fit their paradigm. Please note that I am not accusing you of the later. I’d rather say that I disagree with skepticism being foundation of science and instead argue that curiosity is the foundation. That’s just my opinion though.

    2 other things I’d offer for you to consider:

    1. Earlier I think you suggested skepticism about impact footprints and load on the ground and its contribution to damage as being insignificant between hikers and cyclists. A portion of us that advocate for access to bikes be locally determined as opposed to a blanket ban may not be what you have as an image of a typical off road cyclists. My main trail bike runs 29x2.6 tires at about 15/17 psi front and rear. I haven’t measured the surface area of my hiking boots to compare my body weight in boots vs on bike tires, but given the pressures I run, I don’t think there is as large of a difference than you may have thought. Many cyclists prefer even larger tires with lower pressures.

    2. As I eluded to with #1 above, many of us aren’t what tv or magazines make us out to be. I personally want to get away and enjoy the outdoors while challenging myself. Sure, I like speed, but that isn’t what it is all about. When I go bike packing, my average speed is often within 2-3 mph compared to a quick through hiker. Because of arthritis I can no longer access deeper backcountry areas unless I’m on a bike. And I certainly can’t do a multi day self supported trip without the bike. All I want is the same opportunity as a hiker to access and enjoy the back country - with decisions being made by the local land manager.


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    First, thanks for the reasoned response. I have learned that mountain bikers tend to be extremely touchy about the issue of trail damage. Enough so to bring to mind "Methinks the [biker] doth protest too much."

    --I would be interested in actual contact patch data from typical bicycle tires. I did takes some measurements from my size 13 boots, and made rough estimates for bike tires and horseshoes. Then estimated static contact pressure for 200 lb gross weights for hiker and bike and 1000 lb for an equestrian. Came out similar to the numbers in the report above. The issue of the relative amount of soil displacement seems like it must involve several other factors beside static contact pressure and has to be fairly complicated.

    --Good point about curiosity being a cornerstone of science and I fully agree. However, the scientific method is based on skepticism. For a claim or hypothesis to be accepted it must be falsifiable as well as repeatable & reproducible.

    --I agree regarding blindness due to confirmation bias. My direct experience with MBers does color my opinion but I realize this sort of information does not support a conclusion. It is just anecdotal information and I will not bore you with the details.

    Thanks again.
    ďEvery third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.Ē ~ H.L. Mencken

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