Is it cheating?
In planning ahead for upcoming hikes, I had thought about riding my bike to the trailheads on some of the roads that are closed for winter since there still isn't much snow. Would this be considered cheating though when it comes to qualifying for completing the 4000 footers? I would be hiking the same trails, just parking the bike at the trailhead. I looked to see what the rules are about this. The rules seem to speak more to logging roads than driving roads, but here they are:
The increased popularity of mountain bikes makes it necessary to come up with some sort of policy. Please remember that this is a club for hikers; not that we object to trail bikes per se, but we want to preserve the tradition of climbing on foot, not on bikes. In winter we have absolutely forbidden the use of snowmobiles, even when a road is passable to ordinary cars in summer. However, a similar policy on trail bikes seems a bit excessive. Therefore we suggest that we all attempt to live by the following standard:
It is acceptable to use bikes on logging roads that are:
- not part of an officially maintained trail and
- legally open to the general public for car/truck travel on the day of the trip and
- fairly easily passable to an average four-wheel-drive vehicle (not an ATV) without "heroic measures" such as winches. (If you think a jeep might not make it, then please walk.)
The second point is what is making me think the most. The road wouldn't technically be open on that day, but most of the year it is. The rules do point out that you can ride to a trailhead instead of driving your car. What does everyone else think?
I wouldn't consider it cheating, since there's an "official" starting point to the hike. Riding a bike in the winter down a road is a heck of a lot more work than driving to that same starting point any other time of year which is what any of us would do. If its an issue, then they should consider the road walk part of the official route all year round.
On the flip side, I'm doing my 48 the more "purist" way I guess, in that I only could one peak per ascent and decent. No doing on Presi traverse and saying to climbed 7 peaks.
I think the 'rules' for hiking should be what each person is comfortable with. I only consider it cheating if you are intentionally trying to get away with something, which clearly you're not. Walking the miles on a closed road don't count anyway to the length of any one 4000 footer trail. They call it a trailhead for a reason and that's where counting my hike starts. I can see how riding a bike down Lincoln Woods might be considered cheating, but not for closed roads that just add useless milage to a most likely already long enough hike anyway.
IF you are applying for membership in one of the AMC winter list clubs, the committee is quite clear. You may only use a bicycle as a substitute for a car, on roads which are open to cars on the day of the hike.
You left out this tidbit:
The spirit of the policy is that you can ride a bike instead of traveling by car, but not instead of hiking. We hope that everyone can be reasonable about self-enforcing this standard so we don't have to come up with more excruciating technicalities.
Nobody likes to walk down Zealand Road, but you should if you want the winter patch and scroll. If you are into multiple peaks and traverses, the closed roads really don't make your life much more miserable. Zealand Road at the end (or start) of a Bonds/Zealand traverse is most unwelcome, but what's 23 miles? It's 19 w/o the road walk anyway. Sawyer Road to Carrigain is the other big one. The Twins and Galehead can be done from Little River Road and the Beaver Brook ski area.
Someone rode up the Mt Washington Auto Road the other day on a bike to the summit. I would call this cheating - but, a tough way to cheat.
Isn't there snow up there, how could they get a bike up?
I did leave that part out. The second point of the three is the big one that would make me think it would be cheating right now. If it isn't open to a car today (which it isn't), then it isn't open for your bike basically. I was thinking about this for my hike on Christmas Eve day. I did Mt. Waumbek, but had thought about Mt. Hale as a shorter hike time wise if I could ride my bike to the normal trailhead. Normally I would just walk the road, but with things to do in the evening, a shorter hike would have been helpful.
Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
I believe the Auto Road is only open to bicycles on during Newton's Revenge and the Mount Washington Hill Climb. Maybe once for training in advance, but I know from doing the hill climb that you cannot go up there except during specific times, and only with a ride down.