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Environ Manage. 2000 May;25(5):549-564.

Managing Recreational Trail Environments for Mountain Bike User Preferences.

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1
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA

Abstract

/ The carrying capacity model is an effective tool for the management of a wildland recreation resource. Within the model are four primary subcapacities, namely, physical capacity, biological capacity, social capacity, and facility capacity; combined, they are essential to the appropriate management of wildland recreation resource environments. This study focuses on environmental factors of recreational environments that are primarily used by mountain bikers. Little research has been conducted on the social carrying capacity of mountain biking environments, relative to the amount of physical and biological capacity research that has been conducted. The objective of this study was to further resource management knowledge of the mountain bike user in order to better incorporate social carrying capacity into the management of bike use environments. An email survey was used to identify such issues as mountain biker preference of soil erosion management techniques and to measure the effect on experience of resultant factors of soil erosion and trail design. Other issues, such as environmental concern, biker perception of other users, and biker commitment, were also measured. A 58% response rate was achieved. Data gathered from bikers in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand (N = 406), highlight some important issues concerning the design and management of wildland recreation environments that are primarily used for mountain biking. For example, bikers were found to significantly prefer water bars above all other tested soil erosion management techniques; trail erosion factors, including the presence of rocks, roots, and gullies, all added to biking experiences on average; trail design factors, such as the presence of turns, bumps, jumps, and obstacles, all added to biking experiences in general. These findings were used to address questions that resource managers should consider when striving to effectively manage wildland recreation areas primarily used for mountain biking.

PMID:
10742481

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