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NATIONAL PARKS WILL OPEN TO MOUNTAIN BIKERS - May 6
If you've ever tried to enjoy a National Park by mountain bike, chances
are you've been disappointed. With some notable exceptions, America's
premier park system is closed to off-road riding. That's going to change
with a new five-year agreement just signed by the International Mountain
Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the National Park Service. For the
first time, National Park Service leaders in Washington, D.C., have
formally recognized mountain biking as a positive activity, compatible
with the values of our National Park system. A benefit to millions of
bicyclists is the potential opportunity for new access to hundreds of
dirt roads in National Park units that have been closed to bicycling.
While National Park Service rules require a lengthy process to open
singletrack to bicycle use, appropriate dirt roads may be opened with a
more straightforward administrative process. "This agreement represents
a true breakthrough for mountain biking," said IMBA Executive Director
Mike Van Abel. "It opens the door for individual park units to partner
with mountain bikers and investigate new riding opportunities on a
case-by-case basis." "The National Park Service is committed to
increasing public awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities in the
national park system that promote health and fitness," said Karen
Taylor-Goodrich, the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource
Protection."And mountain bicycling in authorized areas can be an
excellent way to enjoy America's outdoor heritage in a manner that is
compatible with resource protection." As part of the agreement, IMBA and
the Park Service will initially partner on two pilot projects to be
selected later this year. The projects will bring mountain bikers and
park officials together for on-the-ground teamwork and serve as models
for future collaboration. Additionally, IMBA will provide technical and
volunteer assistance to National Park units that are interested in
improving their off-road cycling opportunities. IMBA programs such as
the National Mountain Bike Patrol, Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew and the
IMBA club network can now apply their stewardship skills to our National
Parks. Mountain biking can be a solution to many challenges facing
National Parks today. Bicycling gets people out of their cars; away from
congested roads, parking lots and trailheads; and out into the fresh
air. Mountain biking can also encourage more active exploration of parks
and counter the societal trend toward obesity. So what does the future
hold? While mountain bikers shouldn't expect a revolution of new
singletrack in National Parks, the partnership signals an encouraging
direction for the future. With enhanced communication and cooperation
between IMBA and the National Park Service, mountain bikers can
anticipate that cycling opportunities in National Park units will
continue to improve. The National Park Service manages 384 parks,
monuments, battlefields, buildings and recreation areas and more than 80
million acres of U.S. public land. In 2004, National Parks hosted more
than 276 million visitors. In 2002, IMBA formed a partnership with the
Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program of the National Park
Service. Rivers & Trails helps communities build trail and greenway
systems, restore rivers and wildlife habitat, and preserve open space.
Their work largely focuses on urban and suburban locations, where demand
for trail networks is the greatest. [IMBA press release]
 

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Yep, I used to hunt off a mountain bike, before they dicked things up for me. It was a great way to cover ground fast, and while not sneaking up on animals, it sure wasn't as loud as scouting from my truck!!! Poor, poor quail are never gonna know what hit 'em.....
 

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We have been lucky down here in Tx. Big Bend Natl. Park and Guadalupe Mountains Natl. Park are both open to mountain biking and are both great places to ride. No singletrack but endless miles of dirt roads. That is if you willing to drive the 10hrs. it takes to get there :(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jfab said:
We have been lucky down here in Tx. Big Bend Natl. Park and Guadalupe Mountains Natl. Park are both open to mountain biking and are both great places to ride. No singletrack but endless miles of dirt roads. That is if you willing to drive the 10hrs. it takes to get there :(
Some places are worth the time it takes to get there. I am lucky to be within 3 or 4 hours of lots of awesome Sierra trails, but there are also great places like Moab that are a 16 hour drive for me.

I say enjoy what we have, while we still have it.

Later,
....Mike
 

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Mike said:
Some places are worth the time it takes to get there. I am lucky to be within 3 or 4 hours of lots of awesome Sierra trails, but there are also great places like Moab that are a 16 hour drive for me.

I say enjoy what we have, while we still have it.

Later,
....Mike
Is there any singletrack left up north of you in the redwoods?
 

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Mike said:
Some places are worth the time it takes to get there. I am lucky to be within 3 or 4 hours of lots of awesome Sierra trails, but there are also great places like Moab that are a 16 hour drive for me.

I say enjoy what we have, while we still have it.

Later,
....Mike
How is biking in Moab? I'm about 4 hours away and have always wanted to go there. Didn't know how grueling the bike trails are... And I would love to try the Lion's back with my stock Taco (just kidding).
 

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absolut taco said:
How is biking in Moab? I'm about 4 hours away and have always wanted to go there. Didn't know how grueling the bike trails are... And I would love to try the Lion's back with my stock Taco (just kidding).
Holy crap, if I were 4 hours from Moab I would be there every weekend!

You can do Lion's Back in a stock truck, all you need is 4WD for traction.

I am not a mountain biker, so I can't answer the mountain bike questions. I have seen tons of them all over Moab though, so it must be good!

Later,
....Mike
 

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absolut taco said:
How is biking in Moab? I'm about 4 hours away and have always wanted to go there. Didn't know how grueling the bike trails are... And I would love to try the Lion's back with my stock Taco (just kidding).

Well, Moab is a major destination out west for Mt. Bikers so I can only assume it is worth the drive :rolleyes:
 

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Moab has long been more or the less the mecca of Mtn Biking. Its not just a big deal for people out west, but people from all across the country to make it there to ride, if only once. Basically if you can work "yeah, last time I rode Moab..." into a conversation it exponentially increases the number biker chicks (firm, if bruised legs :) ) you can score. I think its still a big deal (haven't been reading the bike mags lately) but british columbia was/is catching on quite a bit.
 
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