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  1. #26
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    Access advocacy in Montana

    The city made a dumb decision putting those comments on the agenda. They should have put them in an attachment. As it reads, a lot of people think these are serious proposals being discussed, rather than anti-MTB wishlist items that were thrown at a workplan that had no trail or recreation items.

    Iíd argue that loss of access to any existing trail is a big deal, especially when there really is no user conflict on the trails. Thatís whatís so irritating about the conversation around this- there is very little conflict in the real world. There is no issue that needs action. Itís just a few people who see a planned parking lot and a new directional trail as evidence of a grand conspiracy to turn Helena into Moab north.

    I ride Prairie trail quite a lot. Lots of other folks who live in Upper West ride that area regularly. I also know lots of people who arenít interested in the directional trails. Eddye West is a critical connection to Eddye East. Plus itís fairly fun. The city doesnít want to deal with an enforcement component. These suggestions are from people who donít understand recreation patterns or management.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    In the late 80s my friends and I used to ride down the face of Mt. Sentinel in Missoula to the U, menacing the M hikers of course. Eventually that got banned. I am frankly surprised it has taken this long for Helena to consider this ban. I've always thought it was inevitable, even if there is not much conflict.
    Only took 35 years to build a highly mediocre "flow trail" on the south end of the west face of Mt. Sentinel. My five-year-old killed it yesterday though, so there's that.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Only took 35 years to build a highly mediocre "flow trail" on the south end of the west face of Mt. Sentinel. My five-year-old killed it yesterday though, so there's that.
    That's awesome man. Five years old! Nice work.

    It's too bad the northwest ridge above the M can't still be ridden. That's a pretty technical and exposed downhill with the way it drops off to the north toward Hellgate canyon. I recall some nasty wrecks we took on that, trying to ride some of those rocky sections where there was almost no room for error or you go off the edge. No helmets of course. A couple times we even did it during the full moon while on acid. Ah the good old days in Missoula, and the Bridgestone MB2 I bought at Open Road--it had Biopace!

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post

    In the late 80s my friends and I used to ride down the face of Mt. Sentinel in Missoula to the U, menacing the M hikers of course. Eventually that got banned. I am frankly surprised it has taken this long for Helena to consider this ban. I've always thought it was inevitable, even if there is not much conflict.


    Sent from my SM-A205U using Tapatalk
    Helena had this debate over Mt Helena 30+ years ago, and common sense won out. The lack of issues over the succeeding years shows that.

  5. #30
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    ^^Hope it stays that way, but when you have a solution in search of a problem you never know what might happen. The Missoulafication of Helena has been gaining traction in recent years IMO. Common sense is the first thing to go.

    Sounds like a lot of mountain bikers are planning to show up and voice their opinions. Curious to see who is there to represent the anti-bike folks. Could be exciting! Lol

  6. #31
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    I raced the Helenduro this year and there was a huge emphasis on "keep it clean and be respectful". Two things: It was kind of a rainy morning. Saw like 2 or 3 "normal" people out hiking all day. Every racer was insanely polite and friendly to every non racer we saw.

    Day after the race a bunch of racers/volunteers went back up the hill and re-traced the entire course to make sure no trash was left of any kind. They didn't find a single thing.

    Still, I guess someone raised a huge stink over the race. Someone is just simply against bikes and it's sad. Helena will never be "moab north" but why would they be so against something that will bring some business into town. Seems weird.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    I raced the Helenduro this year and there was a huge emphasis on "keep it clean and be respectful". Two things: It was kind of a rainy morning. Saw like 2 or 3 "normal" people out hiking all day. Every racer was insanely polite and friendly to every non racer we saw.

    Day after the race a bunch of racers/volunteers went back up the hill and re-traced the entire course to make sure no trash was left of any kind. They didn't find a single thing.

    Still, I guess someone raised a huge stink over the race. Someone is just simply against bikes and it's sad. Helena will never be "moab north" but why would they be so against something that will bring some business into town. Seems weird.
    Yep. I was one of the crew out hiking in the rain the next morning. Trails were in great shape, but they still claimed they found ďpermanent trail wreckage.Ē

  8. #33
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    Never forget what public trails on public land are: a concentration of use effects there to keep those effects off the natural environment.

    Mess up a trail? Who cares, Fix it. Thats why its there. Remove the trail or a user groups access to it? Watch what happens to the natural environment when the user built ones return. Gotta remind people of their own stated priorities sometimes. Idiots.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive_MT View Post
    Yep. I was one of the crew out hiking in the rain the next morning. Trails were in great shape, but they still claimed they found “permanent trail wreckage.”
    I don't know where the course was this year, but are there not French-line style shortcuts on the Ridge?

  10. #35
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    A sample of the comments as provided in the revised agenda the committee just issued:

    1. Bikes are a huge danger to hikers on trails, because mountain bikers almost never stop or even slow down for hikers. I hike Mt. Helena nearly every day, and nearly every day I am forced to leap off the trail to avoid being run down, hit, injured or killed by mountain bikers who refuse to yield to hikers, refuse to slow down, and refuse to stop for hikers. They are selfish, rude and
    inconsiderate, often careening downhill out of control, endangering hikers' lives for their own selfish thrills. Bike should be banned from the trails before they kill someone.
    This person is clearly nuts. I too hike Mt. Helena 3-4 times a week (from either the Tubbs trailhead or the main TH) and almost never even SEE bikers, much less have to leap off the trail to avoid them. WTF

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    That's awesome man. Five years old! Nice work.

    It's too bad the northwest ridge above the M can't still be ridden. That's a pretty technical and exposed downhill with the way it drops off to the north toward Hellgate canyon. I recall some nasty wrecks we took on that, trying to ride some of those rocky sections where there was almost no room for error or you go off the edge. No helmets of course. A couple times we even did it during the full moon while on acid. Ah the good old days in Missoula, and the Bridgestone MB2 I bought at Open Road--it had Biopace!
    Heheh sounds like things we did in Steamboat in the late 80's. Full moon longboarding down Rabbit Ears Pass with full body armor and a motorcycle helmet was pretty dumb... I really wanted a MB1 back then, it was top of my want list.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    I don't know where the course was this year, but are there not French-line style shortcuts on the Ridge?
    Yeah, there are alternate lines on the Ridge, but most them arenít more direct or faster; they just detour to the rock outcrops instead of avoiding them. We usually tape off shortcuts when marking course- the one youíre probably thinking of on the Ridge, and several on Mill Creek when thatís been in the Targhee route. This year didnít use the Ridge at all. That was a deliberate decision to reduce the footprint so fewer trails were affected and hiker displacement was reduced even more. Obviously it didnít prevent the complaints, but it undercut them.

  13. #38
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    More than a few hikers have completely unrealistic ideas of what makes a "polite" biker.

    What I do:
    Usually I'll say hello so they know I'm coming a ways out, and if the hiker voluntarily yields to me I say "thank you so much have a great day." If not, I stop at the best+closest point to put a foot down and make room for them to pass me, still say, "have a great day."

    My wife does the same. But many hikers think this is rude.

    What some hikers want:
    Stop and get off the trail for them at least 25 yards before reaching them, wait for them to walk up to you, then have a nice conversation with them for a minute or two. Anything less is aggressive and rude.

    This was the case on a trail in CB the other day, there was a long section I wanted to go fast on, but I could see 10 hikers strung out, so I just stopped figuring I'd wait 10 minutes for everyone to walk up so I'd have a clear descent. I chatted with hikers and more than one group said that I was the first polite biker they'd met all day because I got off the trail 100s of feet before they got to me and had a conversation with them. They have a skewed sense of personal space and no concept of what it would mean to attempt to bike a trail while observing this insane level of yielding and delay.

    Yea, there are assholes out there screaming "STRAVA" and not yielding to any user, but many bike haters just don't have realistic expectations.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  14. #39
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    Thatís spot on. My GF (a dedicated rider) has a good friend who complained to her about rude mountain bikers. She sat down with her to understand where she was coming from. Turns out she routinely steps off the trail for riders, but resents it. I will always stop for a hiker, but not when I first see them 50-100 yards up the trail.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive_MT View Post
    Thatís spot on. My GF (a dedicated rider) has a good friend who complained to her about rude mountain bikers. She sat down with her to understand where she was coming from. Turns out she routinely steps off the trail for riders, but resents it.
    So she voluntarily yields, but is pissed about it?

    Huh.

    Was it possible to talk any sense into her?

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    So she voluntarily yields, but is pissed about it?

    Huh.

    Was it possible to talk any sense into her?
    Yeah, she understood it when my GF explained the contradiction.

  17. #42
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    I always wonder about those peoples' perceptions. I try to hurry past without getting too close so as to minimize the inconvenience. About half the time I wonder if my perception of speed or control is different from theirs. Seems like a lot of internet warriors would decide I was buzzing them or taking chances at much lower speeds/distances than I might think.

    On my local trails walkers often step aside and are always friendly, but stopping to chat kind of gets in the way of giving them back the trail ASAP, so I keep it brief--which apparently has its own downsides. Seems like the trailhead would need a pretty big sign to explain ourselves to each other. Oy.

  18. #43
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    Op-ed from todays Bozone Chronic

    Would we put arsonist in charge of fire department?
    By Ben Gabriel and Dave Chadwick Guest Columnists

    Imagine for one unsettling moment what it would mean to Montana if Glacier, Yellowstone, the Bob Marshall, the Beartooth Mountains, and all other lands and waters belonging to the American people were sold off.

    It would spell the end of our outdoor way of life, including our ability to hike, hunt, fish, mountain bike and snowmobile; send our economy off of a cliff; and ruin the livelihood of our family ranchers.

    Who in their right mind would advocate for something so destructive as selling off our public lands?

    Believe it or not, the new acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has done exactly that. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt appointed William Perry Pendley to this position despite Pendleyís longtime advocacy for selling off all of our national public lands.

    Pendley now oversees 250 million acres of public lands across the U.S., including 8 million acres in Montana. The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, the Centennial Mountains, and the Big Hole and Blackfoot watersheds: these are just a few of the revered places now under the control of someone who wants to sell them off.

    Montanans have every reason to be alarmed. Appointing Pendley as chief of the BLM is almost as appalling as hiring a known arsonist to run the local fire department. Even if the arsonist had the skills to run the department, how could anyone, except fellow arsonists, think such a person is a sound choice?

    Pendleyís last job was president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation. This foundation regularly sues the Interior Department, which houses the BLM, on behalf of industry interests that want to close off public access so they can develop public lands for their own profits. In this role, Pendley recently served as lead counsel for Solenex, a Louisiana oil company hellbent on drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine despite the fact that this area is sacred to the Blackfeet Nation and that the Interior Department acknowledged that it had illegally issued its lease to Solenex in the 1980s.

    Of course, Pendley could not single-handedly sell off the lands he now oversees, but he is in a prime position to severely damage the BLMís ability to do the job of caring for our public lands on behalf of all Americans. The more damage he inflicts, the easier it will be for the likes of Pendley to argue that the federal government is ill-equipped to manage public lands and should therefore sell them off.

    In the meantime, he can and will privatize these lands in every way except transferring the deed. Heíll cut the public out of decision-making, and heíll give extractive industries control of millions of acres of land at the expense of clean water, wildlife, public access, and our $7 billion outdoor recreation economy.

    Interior Sec. Bernhardt has not formally nominated Pendley for this position because he knows Pendleyís views would never survive the scrutiny of a Senate hearing.

    Thankfully, Sen. Tester has spoken out against the appointment of Pendley. So far, Sen. Daines, who has said he opposes transferring or selling off public lands, has remained silent. Even more troubling, heíll be speaking at an event in September alongside another public land transfer advocate and longtime foe of the Interior Department: Karen Budd-Falen, the acting assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

    For the sake of our economy and our outdoor way of life, we need Daines to call on Bernhardt to remove Pendley from the BLM now. The longer Pendley stays, the more damage he will do to Montana and our way of life.

    Ben Gabriel is executive director of Montanan Wilderness Association. Dave Chadwick is executive director of Montana Wildlife Federation.

    Nutty idea here but maybe if all of us who do have a high regard for access to wild places were to work together then maybe this nonsense would not be so easy. Hard to bring people together when a whole lot of them want to exclude each other.

    Or maybe it is just the newly minted 42% axiom.

  19. #44
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    ^^^ that's the work around to environmental groups running amok.

    Restrict activities on public lands to the point where the only thing you can do on them is hike? Ok, we'll just sell the public lands and then do whatever we want on them.

    Which is a ridiculously shitty situation, but I'm skeptical that a reasonable middle ground to that discussion will emerge.

  20. #45
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    It's funny. I can substitute the "mountain legal foundation" with "advocates for the west", a pro bono group which also regularly sues land managers to restrict access to the public.


    It's important to recognize the legal ground broken by the sierra club in the 70's and 80's. They created a war path that can only end in this kind of binary bullshit. Either wilderness or open pit mine. Nothing inbetween. These fools need to start discussing things in real terms however. Just because the USFS wants to expand categorical exclusions doesn't mean clear cutting everywhere. Toast is right. There's a lot of momentum to move federal land to state control. It's hard to tell someone who keeps getting kicked out of it because they have a bike/snowmobile/motorcycle that it's a bad idea.


    You don't belong in wild places not bunion. You have a mountain bike. Don't be silly.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo View Post
    You don't belong in wild places not bunion. You have a mountain bike. Don't be silly.
    I know, I am a vandal with my 2.35" tires and skinny little legs and I should just walk.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not bunion View Post
    I should just walk.
    Now that's a good little conservationô soldier.


    keep up the good work
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  23. #48
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    Nah you should ride horses and set up MASSIVE camps that you stay at for weeks.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Nah you should ride horses and set up MASSIVE camps that you stay at for weeks.
    Don't forget to bring a mule train too. So you can set up a proper glamping environment.

    Also - guns. Bring lots of guns and kill lots of wildlife.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    Don't forget to bring a mule train too. So you can set up a proper glamping environment.

    Also - guns. Bring lots of guns and kill lots of wildlife.
    You forgot the trailer full of side by sides and a 60 foot prevost with the gen running all night. It ain't camping if you can't watch DirectTV.

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