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Mountain Biker Complains about Too Much Publicity about Mountan Biker Lawbreaking!

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Old January 9th 18, 10:38 PM posted to alt.mountain-bike
Mike Vandeman[_4_]
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Default Mountain Biker Complains about Too Much Publicity about Mountan Biker Lawbreaking!

In other words, not only do mountain bikers continue deliberately breaking the law, but they don't plan to stop!


Subject: Fwd: The Marin IJ's Front Page
From: [a friend]
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2018 07:56:16 -0800

Subject: The Marin IJ's Front Page

It goes without saying that making the front page of the Marin IJ for resisting arrest while riding an unsanctioned trail is a real hazard for the entire mountain bike community, not to mention a painfully embarrassing way to get your moment of fame. I have not commented on this so far because there is nothing positive to say. It’s an embarrassment that such a minor issue would make the front page of our local rag. It’s an embarrassment that the sheriff department and even the CHP were so proud of this moment that they tweeted a link to the article. It’s also an embarrassment to have such a lapse of judgment and get caught, and if you are riding with friends and they escape, it is inexcusable to name them. You have the right to remain silent; exercise it. I am disappointed and saddened by this entire situation, but we must move on.

Please consider the following:

1) The IJ and media today thrives on controversy and clicks. Visiting the website, commenting on the story, sharing links . all of that enriches that rag, and also ensurees more such stories are published. This is their cash cow: biased reporting to inflame all of us and awaken our inner trolls. Stay away from the story, don’t comment, let it disappear.

2) We can all have lapses of judgement, including me. In fact, I have run before, more than once, but it was before being stopped. When riding unsanctioned trails, it is your responsibility to know your rights and assume the consequences of your actions. That means if you run and get caught, you don’t go giving all of your buddies' names who managed to escape. It also means that if you are a public figure connected to MTB, you should be extra careful lest it reflects badly on the entire community.

3) Yes, this is a ridiculous situation unique to Marin. In a sane world, two professional contributing members of the community would never find themselves in such a situation for wanting to ride a bit of trail. In a sane world, the comment sections wouldn’t be full of outrageous venom for these two nice guys who hurt no one. I’ve come to believe that in liberal Marin, the last tolerated prejudice is against mountain bikers. Perhaps the reason this virulent hate is channeled towards cyclists is that there are no more socially acceptable groups to discriminate against here, and cyclists are the last guilty pleasure of the hater. Day after day, on the road or on dirt, we are singled out for harassment and comments people would never dream of making to off leash dog walkers or texting motorists blowing past stop signs. This is our reality.

For those who have not read the article, I’ve pasted it below, so you don’t go clicking and giving money to the IJ.

Two Marin doctors charged: riding bikes illegally, resisting arrest
Two Marin doctors have been charged with riding their bicycles illegally on Marin County open space land where bikes are prohibited and resisting arrest when a Marin County sheriff’s deputy attempted to issue them a citation.

The two bike riders are Dr. Paul Cameron, a Corte Madera dentist, and Dr. David Carbonell, an emergency room physician and co-founder of New Paradigm Trail group.

In a posting on its Facebook page, the New Paradigm Trail Group has declared the county’s roads and trails management plan which seekks to balance the needs of hikers, bikers and equestrians a failuree and demanded more access for bikes.

The incident occurred on Dec. 12 on the Piedmont Trail in the Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve, located southwest of Kentfield.

“They were seen by one of the open space deputies riding on a trail they were restricted from riding bikes on,” said sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Edwards. “The deputy attempted to stop them and they rode away from him.”

Edwards said the deputy was able to catch up to Cameron.

“He grabbed his arm, which stopped him,” Edwards said.

The other rider, who was later identified as Carbonell, escaped. Two Marin County sheriff’s deputies assisted open space rangers with enforcement.

Sheriff’s Lt. Nina Snyder said the arrest report indicated that Cameron has a history of riding his bike illegally in areas that are off limits to bicycles.

On Tuesday, Cameron pleaded not guilty to both charges. He declined to comment.

Carbonell’s arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 24. Carbonell did not respond to emails requesting comment.
At a Board of Supervisors meeting in February 2017, Carbonell, speaking as co-founder of New Paradigm Trail Group, said, “I don’t want to be 65 years old before I see my vision for trail access sharing in Marin County implemented.”

Marin County Park and Open Space Superintendent Ari Golan said the fine for riding illegally on open space land is $45 for a first offense. Golan said additional court costs, however, increase the total cost to $199. The fine for a second offense is $100, which amounts to a total cost of $410. All violations after that carry a fine of $150, which actually adds up to $615, Golan said.

The charge of resisting arrest carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and imprisonment in a county jail for up to a year.

Linda Novy of Fairfax, a Marin Conservation League board member, said, “These guys were breaking the law and then they tried to evade it. I think it is really shameful.

“This is really proof that enforcement is very necessary,” Novy said. “There are some people, and these are examples of those people, who just don’t think the rules apply to them. We may never get them to comply unless they’re arrested.”

Tom Boss, off-road director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, declined to comment on the incident.
Boss wrote in an email, “MCBC advocates for improved mountain bike access by creating safe, fun and inclusive trail environments for all. We do this through collaboration, not confrontation.”

New Paradigm has advocated that bicyclists be as “disruptive as possible, acting within the guidelines of the law,” as a means of getting what they want.

Carbonell has served as one of the coaches for the Redwood High School mountain bike racing team.

Golan said the number of citations issued to bicyclists for riding illegally on open space land decreased from 43 in 2015 to 27 in 2017. Golan added, however, that citations are not always issued to bicyclists when they are spotted riding in off limit areas.

He said, “It’s left up to the officer’s judgment.”

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