PCT…Bikes or no bikes…

Lately the Facebook community has been blowing up with people pissed off that the PCT might start allowing bikes on the trail. So many through hikers getting so angry with the situation just makes me laugh. So when I see so many people getting angry over something so completely ridiculous it makes me want to express my ideas.

Now I have put over 5000 miles on that trail, and to me the PCT should allow mountain bikes on the trail. Not only would it be probably the most difficult trail to do on a mountain bike but it would also open doors for the PCT community. Getting mountain bikes involved would put more awareness on the conditions on the trail, like overgrowth, and trail maintenance. Mountain bikers would not want the overgrowth and would need the trail maintenance to be able to actually ride the trail. I honestly don’t think that many mountain bikers out there would try the PCT because of its severity with the ridge walks and the sketchy switchbacks. Also another good thing about having mountain bikes on the PCT would be that if someone got hurt the mountain bikers could get to help a lot quicker than a person on foot. To me that could save lives in some cases. All the reasons in the world point directly towards a positive influence on the PCT from the mountain bike community. Some of you might say well they will tear up the trail, and thats when i ask you, do the trails already not get torn up enough from the horses that ride on the trail? I cant tell you how many times while hiking that I had to dodge poop piles or ruts that were cause by equestrians. 

To not allow mountain bikes on the pct would not only harm the PCT community in a whole but it would create a conflict between the mountain bikers and the hikers. Ask yourself this, what do the mountain bikers want to get out of the pct? Exactly the same thing that you, the hiker want out of it. Adventure, fun, and a great experience. 

IF the PCT becomes bike friendly, you bet I will be out there the first year that it is allowed. I dreamed of riding a bike so many days on the PCT and to be able to do this would pretty much be a dream come true for me.

Don’t be a hater, be a friend and allow everyone on the trail.

12 thoughts on “PCT…Bikes or no bikes…

  1. Oakdale

    One thing you did not mention is the change in atmoshpere.Have you hiked the TRT or some other trail that allows bikes? I know you are a fast hiker but bikes will be faster. Do you really want to be forced to be aware of bikes approaching from either direction and having to move for them ? I enjoy mountain biking too Crow, but I think it is pretty cool to be able to walk the PCT with my headphones on and letting my mind wander where it will without thinking about machines approaching me at 4 times my speed.

    1. Gregg

      So you are saying the bike rider has his eyes closed?.. Be realistic, you think a person on a bike is not looking out for everything coming up?
      visit sun valley id, all the trails are open to EVERYONE! Motorcycles too. Everyone gets along. This is everyone’s land, not yours to define, nor mine to say “we want the hikers off the trail cuz they hike with headphones and can’t hear me coming…. How stupid does that sound?
      Does anyone know the closure was illegal in the first place? Trail was closed to a known user group ignoring their own rules. No use impact study was done.

    2. TahoeSue

      I am a biker and runner and hiker and have to say I agree that it’s good to have places that are no bikes. Perhaps some small appropriate PCT sections opening to bikes would be a good compromise and trial process.

  2. I would have to disagree with you on this one dude. I’ve got limited experience riding trails and I love it, but I think it would dramatically change the PCT. I would like to see the PCT be all Wilderness besides road crossings.

    People like you riding wouldn’t be bad, because you respect hikers and the trail, but I think the high adrenaline riders who love bombing down hills would be a serious problem. Causing not only safety issues, but destroying the trail.

    1. adventurecrow

      you both do have valid points, and yes I am different from most mountain bikers, the point im trying to make here is that they are wanting the same thing that we want, to just be able to spend time outdoors. After thinking about it for a while its a big debate and I would love to hear some more opinions on things. I do like having my headphones in and hiking, but at the sametime how fast do you think someone could really go on the pct? its a pretty gnarly trail.

  3. Folks point out that not all cyclists may be as courteous and aware as Adventurecrow. That may be true but the question is how do we create more Adventurecrows? Personally, I think inviting more mountain bikers into the trails and conservation community is the way to go. Attempting to shut them out just ensures that only the jerks – and the civil disobeyers – will be taking their bikes onto the trail. Here’s the initiative we’re talking about: http://www.sharingthepct.org/

    As for how many cyclists would/could actually use the trail, the trail varies so much from place to place that it would be a very local issue. Some places would probably never see bikes while others might be popular. But the PCT isn’t the only challenging trail around and cycling is already a largely self-regulating sport in this respect. Generally, if it’s too expert then only the experts will show up. Same as hiking.

  4. Tman

    The PCT is only one trail, can’t mountain bikers just stay off of just one trail in the in CA/OR/WA. Meanwhile, Mountain bikers can ride on 337 trails in CA according to this website: http://www.singletracks.com/California-bike-trails_5.html And then there are 91 in Oregon listed here http://www.singletracks.com/Oregon-bike-trails_36.html and finally 92 in Washington listed here http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/best_trails.php?state=46

    I’d say for the most part Hikers are supportive of Mountain Bikers building their own trails, especially if it means keeping them off hiking trails. Of course, there are always a few instances where that isn’t always the case. Mountain Bikers have developed such a bad reputation for not following the rules that now people are wary of them. I think the PCT is a pretty good example of that. They know they are not supposed to ride on it, but they do so anyway.

    According to the law that created the PCT, it is to be primarily a footpath. If we open it up to hoards of mountain bikers, then it will cease to be primarily a footpath.

    And Mountain Bikers say they don’t damage the trail that much. They say it is about the same as hikers or horses. Well, just the added traffic on the trail is going to be damaging it.

    Again, I think that pitting hikers vs mountain bikers is the worst strategy I’ve ever seen by any organization. These mountain bikers freely admit that they ride on the trail when they know it’s against the rules.

    I hope that if the Forest Service does open this to Review, that they actually add more penalties for riding Mountain Bikes on the PCT

  5. Todd McMahon

    Some trails are not appropriate for bikes. That would be the whole PCT. The PCT is only one trail, can’t mountain bikers just stay off of just one trail in the in CA/OR/WA. Meanwhile, Mountain bikers can ride on 337 trails in CA according to this website: http://www.singletracks.com/California-bike-trails_5.html And then there are 91 in Oregon listed here http://www.singletracks.com/Oregon-bike-trails_36.html and finally 92 in Washington listed here http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/best_trails.php?state=46

    I’d say for the most part Hikers are supportive of Mountain Bikers building their own trails, especially if it means keeping them off hiking trails. Of course, there are always a few instances where that isn’t always the case. Mountain Bikers have developed such a bad reputation for not following the rules that now people are wary of them. I think the PCT is a pretty good example of that. They know they are not supposed to ride on it, but they do so anyway.

    According to the law that created the PCT, it is to be primarily a footpath. If we open it up to hoards of mountain bikers, then it will cease to be primarily a footpath.

    And Mountain Bikers say they don’t damage the trail that much. They say it is about the same as hikers or horses. Well, just the added traffic on the trail is going to be damaging it.

    Again, I think that pitting hikers vs mountain bikers is the worst strategy I’ve ever seen by any organization. These people freely admit that they ride on the trail when they know it’s against the rules. Then you seem to think that they are going to stop to pick up some trash, Right!!

    I hope that if the Forest Service does open this to Review, that they actually add more penalties for riding Mountain Bikes on the PCT
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  6. “Ask yourself this, what do the mountain bikers want to get out of the pct? Exactly the same thing that you, the hiker want out of it. Adventure, fun, and a great experience. ”

    I really love what you wrote. It gives me some hope for the future. I’m an avid mountain biker and hiker and I love the outdoors. I really love riding my bike to the trail head. Not many trail users can do this. It is a really low impact way to experience the wilderness.

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