Might Mountain Biking Soon Be Allowed On Federally Protected Land?
10 Aug, 2016By: Michael Popke
An effort is under way to reverse a nationwide ban on mountain biking in federally protected spaces, such parks and wilderness areas. Sponsored by U.S. Senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, both Utah Republicans, the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act would give discretion to local land managers to allow mountain bikers into wilderness areas. As OutsideOnline reports, this “is a big deal.”
The proposal is designed to amend the Wilderness Act of 1964, which states that “there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport” in protected spaces. For more than 50 years, this has included mountain bikes.
OutsideOnline presents solid cases both for and against the proposed act, but a recent survey suggests that 96 percent of mountain bikers would welcome the opportunity to ride in the wilderness. And if the act passes — it’s got a long way to go — it will no doubt impact sports planners’ strategies.
We’ve got our wheels on the ground and will keep you posted on future developments.