The Transylvania Times -

Ask Us: Mountain Bike Races


May 29, 2017

Why does the forest service allow mountain bike races on days like a recent Sunday when we got 3 inches of rain? How much money does a race promoter “give back?” Does the Forest Service make the race promoters have rain route alternatives? There has been new trail work on Black Mountain trail. How much grant money was spent on “fixing” parts of Black Mountain trail in the last three weeks only to allow bikers on the trail when its not settled?

Cathy Dowd, the Public Information Officer for the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina wrote, “We can cancel or postpone a race if we think it’s likely that resource damage will occur. Even though we got a lot of rain on Sunday, we did not have any significant damage created by the racers. We didn’t expect damage since we’ve had races on days where it has rained more and for a longer period of time and had little to no damage as a result of those. After the race on both Saturday and Sunday, we went out to inspect the area. If we had found significant damage, the race organizer would have been responsible for repairing it.

“Permit holders pay a set fee, either 3 or 5 percent of gross revenue, depending on the type of permit issued.

“Generally there is nowhere on the forest that is such more or less vulnerable to damage due to wet conditions. If we are concerned with damage to a trail, we do not permit this route.

“According to Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), they received a grant for multiple trails and estimate that the work on Black Mountain cost between $10-$15,000. The race added 130 passes over this section of the trail and that wasn’t enough to reach the threshold at which damage occurs. We’ve had more rain since the race and though none of the trail work has re-compacted this week it would be a good idea to let the trails dry out a bit before riding on them.”

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