I've found that with respectful hikers & bikers, most trails can be
shared. I'd have expected to hear some words from our SLC
contingent, as much of the BLM land seemed to be open to everyone, for
pretty much anything, where you have horses, people, and hikers all
looking to use the same space, albiet a whole lot more of space.
I miss that about being back east, where our riding is restricted to
relatively small areas.
When I lived in SLC, the trails in Big Cottonwood had contention between hikers & bikers, so they're now only open for riding on odd days (Sept 1,3,5,etc.). That seemed to be a reasonable compromise. Here, take a look at the Vermont 50, a race that started as a 50mi running race, and grew to 50k runners and 50mi mountain bikers. We cyclists always catch the 50k runners by mid-race (they cut out most of the first 25mi), and with mutual respect, I've never had any problems with runners. The organizers could cut out the bike portion of the event, if there was a problem.
There are no places in VT (that I know of) where one can go out for a 6-8 hour backcountry ride, and never see the same thing twice. (Kingdom Trails doesn't count, it's a loopy trail network) With the prevalence of private land being closed to any kind of use and the ban on mountain biking in our national forest (unique to the country, I believe), I support the efforts to expand terrain open to everyone to enjoy. Opening land allows more people to experience how important the forests are, and may, perhaps, open some eyes to a more sustainable lifestyle.
And you can have your two-stroke engines, you haven't lived unless you've heard the last year (1996?) of the ferrari Formula 1 3.0L V12s. With an 18,500rpm redline, those screamed like satan himself. Or the song of angels, it's your choice.
<troll>I'm also suprised no-one has started the horses vs. mtn. bike erosion debate... </troll>
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