Natural Resource Impacts of Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking is still a new sport. It's about 30 years old. The General public doesn't really know what Mountain Biking is and how it affects the property that Mountain Bike trails are on. Here is some info. Please pass it along.

  recent years, hiking and environmental groups have lobbied to ban mountain bikers from trails on the grounds that mountain bikes damage the environment. Some land managers have closed trails to bicycling because of alleged, excessive resource damage.


Do mountain bikers truly cause more impact on natural resources than other trail users?


Very little research has been in done in an attempt to answer this question, but the empirical studies that have been conducted do not support the notion that bikes cause more natural-resource impact. What studies do demonstrate is that all forms of outdoor recreation - including bicycling, hiking, running, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and off-highway-vehicle travel - cause impacts to the environment. 1


Social scientists have conducted surveys to study the feelings, perceptions, and attitudes of cyclists, hikers, equestrians and motorized trail users toward one another. This information, along with anecdotal evidence and media reports, shows that trail users don't always get along. User conflict, as a concept, is fairly well understood and demonstrably real.


In a democracy, the allocation of trails based on users' differing interests is a normal, appropriate course of action. Land managers must consider the opinions and concerns of the people who use their trails. But when individuals make unsubstantiated allegations regarding natural resource damage to justify the prioritization of their type of trail use, land managers should be wary.


Objective information, independent of conflicting human desires, must be the basis for sound policy decisions. The results of scientific studies can provide land managers and recreationists with a better understanding of user impacts, and should guide political debate and public policy.


This document examines three main categories: physical impacts to trails or facilities, vegetation damage, and effects on wildlife.


In each case, several studies have examined the topic, but only a handful have compared the effects of bicyclists with other trail users.


No scientific studies show that mountain bikers cause more wear to trails than other users.


Trails deteriorate over time. To what extent do bicyclists cause this deterioration, and how does the impact of bicyclists compare with that of other trail users? Many people have hypothesized about impact, basing their theories on ideas involving the characteristics of tires versus shoes, skidding, area and pressure of impact, and other factors. But as of 2003, only two empirical studies have scientifically compared the erosion impacts of bicycling with other forms of trail travel. (editor: For a more recent and complete review of scientific studies, see Environmental Impacts of Mountain Biking: Science Review and Best Practices by Jeff Marion and Jeremy Wimpey published in Managing Mountain Biking: IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding (2007).


Wilson and Seney: Hooves and feet erode more than wheels
In 1994, John Wilson and Joseph Seney of Montana State University published "Erosional Impacts of Hikers, Horses, Motorcycles and Off-Road Bicycles on Mountain Trails in Montana" (12). The study tracked 100 passages by each of the four groups over control plots on two trails in national forests. For some of the passages, the researchers prewet the trail with a fixed quantity of water using a rainfall simulator. The researchers measured sediment runoff, which correlates with erosion.


Wilson and Seney found no statistically significant difference between measured bicycling and hiking effects. They did find that horses caused the most erosion of the trails, and that motorcycles traveling up wetted trails caused significant impact. They also concluded, "Horses and hikers (hooves and feet) make more sediment available than wheels (motorcycles and off-road bicycles) on prewet trails, and that horses make more sediment available on dry plots as well" (p.74). Wilson and Seney suggested that precipitation will cause erosion even without human travel, and this factor may significantly outweigh the effects of travel. Trail design, construction, and maintenance may be much more important factors in controlling erosion than excluding specific user groups.


Conclusion


Mountain biking, like other recreation activities, does impact the environment. On this point, there is little argument. But people often debate whether or not mountain bikes cause more damage to trails, vegetation, and wildlife than other forms of recreation such as hiking and horseback riding.


A body of empirical, scientific evidence now indicates that mountain biking is no more damaging than other forms of recreation, including hiking. Thus, managers who prohibit bicycle use (while allowing hiking or equestrian use) based on impacts to trails, soils, wildlife, or vegetation are acting without sound, scientific backing.


A land manager's decision to prohibit one user group on the basis of providing a particular type of experience for another group may or may not be justified by evidence provided by social studies, as the wisdom of prohibiting a particular user group in order to satisfy the desires of another is a matter for politics rather than science.

Camp Vits Bridge

We put these girls to work! this bridge is safe to ride, enjoy!.

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Just Kidding! Here is the real bridge that the Scheppman family built and installed at Camp Vits. Braun Building supplied the wood for this bridge. Thanks Scheppmans and Braun Building!!!

this Ladder Bridge is 3' x 10'

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Camp Vits, park rules

The NEW OM has worked very hard on getting permission from the city to build trail out at Camp Vits. Please respect all park and trail rules. The rules will soon be posted here on the NEW OM site and on a kiosk at the trail head of the park. Please look at the maps below for parking laws and where to enter the park. When visiting the park, please only walk on existing trails to avoid trampling on plant life and spreading invasive plant seeds.

other than that....come out and enjoy this awesome natural park.

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Tool Shed at Camp Vits

As of right now, we do not know if we can or want to have our tool shed in the park of Camp Vits. But...we have recieved a generous offer from the Backus Family to place our tool shed for a temporary time on one of their lots on West Custer.

The tool shed will then be 1.2 miles from the trail head.
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Maribel Caves MTB Trail and Park Closed....FOR THE YEAR!!

Last nite Maribel got hit with 100mph+ winds. Most of the park is now firewood. The county closed the park for the rest of the year.  I will post more pics and info later this week. Please come back later for more updates.

Good News: Rob's bench is still in one piece and...our tool shed was not wrecked....weird!!!

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Maribel Hotel. Part of the west and south side is all that is left.

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Maribel Caves is Getting Electricity!!!! Trails closed


Here's a note from Adam Backus

I am happy to report that WPS's crew will be starting to install the main electricity service at Maribel Caves County Park tomorrow or Thursday.
Portions of upper walking and bike trails will be closed during the install.
They crew hopes to be done by early next week.  I will be out there digging the trenches for the secondary lines once they leave.

Letter of support from Mayor Justin Nickles


Discussions on the development of a hiking, biking and cross country skiing trail in Camp Vits continue. Recently, the City Council approved moving forward with developing plans, in conjunction with a local mountain biking group of volunteers, to develop this underutilized park.


It has always been the goal of the city to maintain the natural beauty and condition of this park. We never planned on building large parking lots, or basketball and tennis courts, rather to maintain the magnificent beauty of the terrain and habitat. Creating a trail system will do just that and will encourage more residents to utilize this park in a healthy style. Bike trails are becoming more and more prominent nationwide, especially within the younger generation.


Young professionals are looking to communities which have these quality of life amenities and this park provides an excellent opportunity to capture that interest. The recent Herald Times Reporter article stated several concerns from neighbors. I can assure the citizens of the city of Manitowoc that we have gone above and beyond to address all the concerns of the neighboring Town of Manitowoc Rapids residents, and I have personally met with several individuals for countless hours to calm their concerns.


This is a positive development for the City of Manitowoc and will not attract drugs and alcohol into the park. This is already a City of Manitowoc park and any citizen is more than welcome to, right now, utilize this park. This trail will be constructed with DNR and city approval, insight from Woodland Dunes and Ice Age Trail staff, and will be maintained by volunteers for little to no cost to taxpayers.


Club Ride brand NEW OM Jersey

New...NEW OM jeresys from Club Ride.

orders must be placed by mid Aug and paid for in full.

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    Check out more gear from Club Ride here: http://www.clubrideapparel.com/

    MEN

    WOMEN

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    CLOSE UP FRONT ZIPPER

    Proposed mountain bike trail stirs debate

    Camp Vits neighbors 'fearing for our safety, our property, the invasion'

    I don't know what the above statement really means, it was posted on the HTR....anyways....

    We had a big write up in the HTR this weekend about our Trail Development at Camp Vits. The neighbors of the park are very concerned about people trespassing, making a mountain of garbage and drug use. Are these legitimate concerns or false assumptions? Our club and all trail users of this park know that having this trail system is a privilege and not a right. We plan to treat this as such. If you are a concerned Camp Vits neighbor, please do some research about trail systems and who uses them.
    It is a proven fact that the presence of our club and the trail system at Maribel Caves has reduced the traffic of undesirables, illegal activity and other stuff going on that we won't mention here (but it is NOT good).  Our trail will bring good things to community! Wait and see.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:
     I know that this is a hot topic on Facebook right now. We do appreciate all the support from our community on FB but....We (The NEW OM) DOES NOT encourage or promote any negative replies or comments to the opposing parties. If you are a NEW OM supporter, Please show respect.
    Thanks!! -Wade Marks-

    This is a pic of myself and Chuck Sontag.

    MAP at Mribel is up

    We finally installed our trail map at Maribel. The face of the map is 3/4" thick wood with Direct Jet UV printing. This part of the map was produced at the Cawley Co. The steel base that is mounted to the post was produced by Wisconsin Steel and Tube Fab. Both companys donated this to our club...THANKS!!!
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