17 May 2022.

Cyclists fight Montana mountain bike ban

By  Unsigned,   Thursday, 27 March 2008

A proposed ban on bike riding in the forests of southwest Montana must be prevented, says the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).

Forest rangers in Montana hope to impose a blanket ban on mountain biking in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in an effort to preserve the area.

Local riders, who have enjoyed 25 years of the single track cycling, have suggested minor boundary adjustments but the Forest Service is still committed to enforcing a ban.

"Mountain bikers want to work with other conservationists to protect their favourite quiet, backcountry trails," states a spokesperson for the IMBA.

"To assist in this effort, local riders are asking the Forest Service to abandon the blanket ban and consider bicycle access on a route-by-route basis."

According to the IMBA, studies have shown that mountain biking is no more a threat to the forest than hiking. There are also concerns that a ban would fragment bicycle access on the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail.

The IMBA was created in 1988 by California mountain bike clubs concerned about the closure of cycling trails.