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Pacific Crest Bike Trail vs. Pacific Crest Trail

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Pacific Crest Bike Trail vs. Pacific Crest Trail

Postby Hulio » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:45 am

Sometimes I get to thinkin' that the Pacific Crest Bike Trail would be damn cool to do.

Has anyone here done it (or any portion of it) and have any good advice? Are there some good websites/books about the trail?

I will probably track down a copy of the now out of print book by Bil Paul on the trail. Will this book have some outdated information as it is 19 years since it was printed?

Does the bike trail diverge from the hiking trail enough in places that it misses some of the highlights of the hiking trail?

Any info/experiences would be great to hear about!
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Postby Guyzo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:24 pm

I had some friends who rode from Humber Park in Idyllwild, south to the border with Mexico. It took two days.

You would probably be ok if you stayed out of the hi-mts (Sierra). I know people ride Dirt Bikes on parts of it up by Kennedy Meadows.

I don’t know why the NPS is so Anti Mt-Bike.
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Postby JustAnotherMile » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:40 pm

Guyzo wrote:I don’t know why the NPS is so Anti Mt-Bike.


It certainly couldn't be any worse than all the stupid horse/mule pack trains tearing up the JMT. Nothing but dust, horse crap, and "watch out, pack train comin through" on large parts of that trail.
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Postby fatdad » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:54 pm

I'm pretty pro bike but I have to admit that some bikers are not very good at sharing trails in a courteous manner, although this seems to be the case primarily where you can shuttle bikes to the top of a trail and let all those fat dudes on fat, full suspension bikes blast down things they'd never be able to ride up. There are some nice trails near Camp Nelson/the Needles were I like to take my kids (ages 3 and 5) hiking, but I can't on the weekends because they'd get steamrollered by these car shuttling bozos.

Having said that, in many places, riders are unfairly maligned. I also think it's hypocritical to limit access when there are no such restrictions on equestrians, who probably have a greater impact, both in terms of wear on the trail and the additional people they bring into the backcountry who, like the fat bikers I badmouth, could never get there under their own power.

I do understand the limits on bikes in wilderness areas though. As fun as it would be to ride some Sierra backcountry, I think seeing mt. bikers bomb down the JMT would really change it's character for the worse.
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Postby Guyzo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:12 pm

JustAnotherMile wrote:
Guyzo wrote:I don’t know why the NPS is so Anti Mt-Bike.


It certainly couldn't be any worse than all the stupid horse/mule pack trains tearing up the JMT. Nothing but dust, horse crap, and "watch out, pack train comin through" on large parts of that trail.


Mike, I have had this same thought for years.
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Postby Guyzo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:20 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:Equestrian groups help quite a bit in maintaining the PCT. Do bike groups?


I bet they would.

We have some pretty nice trails to bike on here in Moorpark and the horse folks have some too.

Lots of Off-road groups are very understanding and have worked to change what has gone on in the past.

Go-look at "Great falls Basin" near Trona, it's all cleaned up now. In a large part because the users came together in the face of the threat by the feds to close it up... ie make it a wilderness.

It's pretty stupid to fight over the "whole pie" when all you need is a piece. :wink:
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Postby fatdad » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:54 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:Equestrian groups help quite a bit in maintaining the PCT. Do bike groups?


Why would bike group devote time to maintaining trail that they have been barred from? In addition, the maintenance from equestrian groups is probably done only to offset their own damage and preserve their ability to use those same trails.

They should start scooping their poop.
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Postby Guyzo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:53 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:
fatdad wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:Equestrian groups help quite a bit in maintaining the PCT. Do bike groups?


Why would bike group devote time to maintaining trail that they have been barred from?


Because they use it?


Bingo.

In Moorpark we had a clear need for two sets of trails because horses don't like anything moving near em. So the two groups worked together, the horse folks hauled things like chain link fencing out and we used it to cross "the sand trap" so we could ride on the other side of the creek. The Mt. bikers put up notices and educated other riders about what the horse folkes concerns were.

Perfect no, but better than before. Working with "your foes" is better than screaming at them.
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Postby fatdad » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:19 am

Gary Schenk wrote:
fatdad wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:Equestrian groups help quite a bit in maintaining the PCT. Do bike groups?


Why would bike group devote time to maintaining trail that they have been barred from?


Because they use it?


You know, I think we're talking a No Cal/So Cal difference. I'm a ways from the PCT where I live so I can't report on how much it gets poached down south. If you tell me bikers ride it illegally up in your neck of the woods, I'll take your word for it. Bikers, unfortunately, are not always the paragon of model behavior, which I acknowledged in my earlier post.

My basic gripe is the discrepancy in legal trail use, which is a separate issue of who maintains what and how often.
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Postby Rob » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:19 am

Comparing Horses to bicycles, is like comparing apples to oranges....

.
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Postby Rob » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:40 am

Guyzo wrote:I had some friends who rode from Humber Park in Idyllwild, south to the border with Mexico. It took two days.

You would probably be ok if you stayed out of the hi-mts (Sierra). I know people ride Dirt Bikes on parts of it up by Kennedy Meadows.

I don’t know why the NPS is so Anti Mt-Bike.


I bet someone has mountain biked the whole PCT. You know, it could be done stealthly, by riding at night with a light and taking advantage of a full moon. Lots of portaging on some sections though.

Reminds me of a description for one of the runs in a whitewater guidebook for California rivers....

"Warning: This section of the Kaweah, is in Sequioa National Park..it is against park rules to kayak or raft on the river...Now, on with the description..."

:lol:
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Postby fedak » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:03 am

It certainly couldn't be any worse than all the stupid horse/mule pack trains tearing up the JMT. Nothing but dust, horse crap, and "watch out, pack train comin through" on large parts of that trail.


I got stuck behind a horse train on the JMT between the trailhead and Nevada Falls for a half hour once. One of the horses had thrown a rider and they were treating the injured person and didn't want anyone passing the horses.

Never understood why the hell they need to run tourist orse trips on one of the busiest trails in the country. (I can at least understand the cattle ranchers that use horses elsewhere in the Sierras- not that I'm a big fan of the grandfathered cattle grazing rights)

What I completely don't understand is why the horses are allowed to shit on the trails w/o the owners cleaning them up. What part of horse shit is a natural part of the Yosemite/Sierra environment.
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Postby Michael Graupe » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:17 am

I would fully support a 'Wag Bag for Mules Initiative'. :D
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Postby bobpickering » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:24 am

I'm a mountaineer, horseman, and cyclist (in that order). Here are some observations from someone who understands all three perspectives:

I'm used to shoveling a wheelbarrow full of horseshit every day, but finding even one turd on the trail still annoys me. Most of the time, the horses and mules are just there to haul a bunch of fat tourists where they should be hiking on their own. However, there are times when using horses in the wilderness makes sense. I was glad I used a packer for the approach to Gannett Pk.

Horses have been in the wilderness for hundreds of years. They are effectively "grandfathered" in. Regardless of whether they still belong there, getting rid of them will be next to impossible.

The packers and dude strings have a certain amount of clout. That will help the horses remain.

Horseshit dries and becomes fairly innocuous very quickly. I don't like hiking through it, but it doesn't stink nearly as much as yours, mine, or your dog's poop. You will never see pooper-scoopers for horses.

The folks who build and maintain trails often build little rock "walls" to divert water off the trail. While horses certainly do plenty of trail damage, they tend to step over these walls without damaging them. It only takes about three MTBs bombing down the trail to destroy these walls.

Horses and bikes can share trails when they are relatively wide and there aren't too many horses or bikes. When the trails are narrow, it becomes very hard to pass safely.

I prefer to ride my horses and my MTB around the hills in the desert near my house. There is enough room for horses, bikes, and motorcycles to share the same area. The narrow mountain trails should serve hikers first, since they have the least impact.
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Postby Hulio » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:51 pm

Sorry to have ignored this thread since I originally posted it... and so as not to confuse, I am not intending on biking on the PCT. The Pacific Crest Bicycle Trail is separate from the PCT (and is mostly done on roads).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Cr ... ycle_Trail

I was just fishing around for if anyone had any information on it or had done any part of it. Didn't mean to spark a debate on trail usage and maintenance!

I've got a used copy of the book on order and will also look into those new maps mentioned at the bottom of the Wikipedia page. I'll post anything interesting I learn along the way... 'til then any information anyone has is welcome!
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