Rural System's

The Biking Group

The Biking Group is involved in a wide variety of activities, events, services, and opportunities throughout Rural System. It is for people who own or are interested in the many uses, applications, and secondary consequences of using non-motorized bicycles. Many people have several related interests such as hiking.

Hikers with wheels
The Group is dedicated to increasing use of bikes, their proper and safe use, and to improving health and land and resource conservation resulting from such uses. Part of the profits gained from the Group and its existence and functions inter-relate and contribute to the main objectives of Rural System.

The major paired relationships are between the Group and other groups of Rural System.

Within The Trevey are details of biking and trail work.

Working with existing biking enterprises, the Group creates an image with its colorful clothing, flags, friendly activities, and "eyes" on the community as part of a good neighbor spirit. It develops a membership, seeks commissions on specific sales, conducts special group rides, encourages all-age biking and offers special aids and trips for several age-class as well as experience classes.

On special occasions, it works in teams or with The Wildland Crew to build or re-build trails, build fence styles and gates, place select appropriately designed signs, and maintain a web site with information, calendars, competitions, tours, and events.

With GPSence it does geocashing and creates a regional game for GPS users who seek out on their bikes the contest nodes. Successes in the game are posted on the web site. Weight losses related to biking are reported. Health information is provided.

A companion program(s) with the 4 x 4 Group are developed. Responsible off-road and off-trail uses, customs, safety practices, and courtesies are encouraged.

Discounts for members in a variety of enterprises are sought.

Trails are built and encouraged. Teams may respond to GPS key spots for work and schedule volunteer or funded projects for improvements (including reducing erosion, barriers, and safety hazards).

Storage facilities are explored and maintenance and repair facilities encouraged.

Seasonal TV and radio units are delivered and stories and news promote bike and equipment sales and service locally.

Select advertising contracts are sought and projects are conducted to fit with county fairs, conferences, and other notable regional group events.

In managing and developing biking trails, studies have shown preferences for routes with hills, technical sections, winding trails, and those with fast downhills. Challenges are also important.

Ranging is promoted.

Sample Advertisement
Come visit Adventure Damascus at 128 W Laurel Ave in downtown Damascus, Virginia.
Or at SunDog Outfitter on US58/91 in east Damascus.
Call toll free 888-595-BIKE (2453) or local at (276) 475-6262 e-mail us at
Bike Sales and Service, Rental and Shuttle Service for the Virginia Creeper Trail
Adventure Damascus Tours; Cycling, hiking, birding and Eco-Tours with The Nature Conservancy

What’cha watin’ on? Git down here!

Special note for the Biking Group is gained as members survey homes after power outages and major storms that block automobile routes.

A continual tally is made (reported to the news services and in membership web sites) of fossil energy saved by bike use (instead of the average auto or truck) by the Group.

Local GIS maps are prepared and made available with colorful slope-related and difficulty indices for trail segments.

Articles are prepared for publication and quality photos of bikes and bikers sold.

Services with Stoneworms are promoted for building biking trails on private forest lands and surface mined areas.

Specialized insurance is developed and promoted.

Deputy Chief Joel Holtrop, The U.S. Forest Service wrote (2008) that mountain biking is similar to hiking and equestrian use, and is an activity to be managed separately from motorized travel, There are similar impacts (and objectives) of each.

Mountain biking is a non-motorized use of National Forest System trails, along with hiking and horseback riding. For planning and policy documents, a distinction should be made between mountain biking and motorized uses.

See Bike Walk Virginia.


Bjorkman, A.W. (1996). Off-Road Bicycle and Hiking Trail User Interactions: A report to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Bureau of Research. Eagle, Wisconsin.

Cessford, Gordon R. (1995). Off-Road Impacts of Mountain Bikes. Science and Research Series, No. 92. Dept. of Conservation. Wellington, NZ. Available online at

Off-road Mountain Biking: A profile of riders and their recreation setting and experience preferences. (1995). Science & Research Series No.93, Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Chavez, D.J. et al. (1993). Recreational Mountain Biking: A Management Perspective. Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration, 11(3): 29-36.

Kulla, Andy (1995). A Hierarchy of Options for Managing Trail User Conflicts. United States Dept. of Agriculture. Missoula MT. Available online at

Moore, Roger (1994); Conflicts on Multiple-Use Trails. Synthesis of the Literature and State of the Practice. Report No. FHWA-PD-94-031. Federal Highway Administration. Washington DC. Available online at

NEMBA New England Mountain Biking Assoc. (n.d.); Share the Trails Brochure. Available online at

Seney, Joseph (1990); Erosional Impacts of Hikers, Horses, Motorcycles and Mountain Bikes on Mountain Trails. Unpublished Master's Thesis, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman MT.

See Bikes Belong and the following notes on funding potential
· Working with other groups that have similar goals.
· Raising the visibility of bicycling.
· Innovative and replicable ideas.
· Retailers that sell and service bicycles in communities.


Action Plan:

Accept and fund applications for three types of projects:

Possible granting potential

Priority is given to organizations that are directly involved in building coalitions for bicycling by collaborating the efforts of bicycle industry and advocacy. Review the specifics of the facility, capacity, and education programs (listed below) to ensure that your proposal meets our guidelines.

See Triathlon

Perhaps you will share ideas with me about some of the topic(s) above .

Rural System
Robert H. Giles, Jr.
July 3, 2005, Revised Aug 4, 2006, November, 2007