New Route for Continental Divide Trail Could Ban BikesBy Steve Casimiro on November 28th, 2012
Opposition is mounting to a proposed plan to ban bikes from a rerouting of the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail — or the CDNST — in southern Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest. There’s merit to the Forest Service plan, which would avoid a convoluted, 31.2-mile section of trail that presently puts hikers into the teeth of gravel roads used by cars, motorcycles, horseback riders, hikers, and cyclists. The bummer (if you ride), is that mountain bikes would be verboten on the new section. Most galling to cyclists is the language of the two-year study, citing the “social effects” of mountain bike use and this clause: “In general terms, bicycle use on the CDNST is not consistent with the overall objectives” of the trail. Uh, yeah, maybe in the late 1960s, when the trail was conceived and mountain bikes didn’t exist. But the USFS’s own report cited an average monthly tally of 236 hikers and 77 mountain bikers on this stretch of the CDNST. And groups like the Colorado Trail Foundation and the International Mountain Bike Association are petitioning the USFS to reconsider the bike ban and are encouraging comments to the USFS about it. Via Canon City Daily Record.
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