Tuesday, December 21, 2010
More Illegal Trail Building and Bike Riding in Sensitive Off-Limits Bike Trail in Marin County Open Space
They never stop. They never stop trying and they never stop destroying ... open space and sensitive wildlife habitat. This week, illegal mountain bikers coordinated a trail building effort with downhill speed riders on sensitive wildlife habitat. Two guys with shovels were reported to have built two jump ramps for downhill racers on a trail that has seen much abuse by mountain bikers.
Shortly after the two were discovered - a pair of speeding cyclists came tearing down the steep trail in the pouring rain, carving deep erosive tracks in the rain soaked trail. Golden Eagles are reported to nest here. No matter, speed is more important? Open Space rangers dismantled the jump ramps, pictured here. Many tickets have been issued on this trail and Open Space enforcement rangers will undoubtedly keep their eyes open for more riders, especially on this trail that is usually the scene of "Christmas Rally" night bike rides. Call Open Space and urge more enforcement. The trail is well known to Open Space Rangers- report abuses to:
Open Space Rangers (415) 507-2816 and the enforcement sheriff at (415) 479-2311.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
For Cycling's Big Backers, Joy Ride Ends in Grief
By REED ALBERGOTTI And VANESSA O'CONNELL
They gathered outside an Arizona resort in skin-tight clothing and aerodynamic helmets, standing astride pro-quality racing bikes. They could have been mistaken for local cycling fanatics preparing for a Saturday spin.
Lance Armstrong with Thomas Weisel, left, after 2000 Tour de France victory.
What they were, however, was a cadre of elite businessmen who had supercharged American cycling with cash infusions, helping to turn Lance Armstrong and a handful of other American riders into stars. The February 2003 gathering was their chance to enjoy the dividends: to pound the pedals for 60 miles with Mr. Armstrong, the reigning Tour de France champion, and other U.S. Postal Service team members such as Floyd Landis and George Hincapie.
"There was a lot of macho that day," says one of the riders, Kenneth Barnett, chief executive of a Michigan marketing firm, of his fellow executives. "These fairly accomplished people were like little boys with big toys."
Over the course of a half-dozen years in the early 2000s, a small group of wealthy executives—including San Francisco investment banker Thomas Weisel and shopping-center magnate John Bucksbaum—turned their hobby into the ultimate fantasy camp. They helped put together one of the best pro cycling teams ever assembled and basked in the glow, going behind the ropes at the Tour de France and riding hard in amateur races on Postal team bikes.
After a record seven Tour wins, the joy ride turned bumpy. The investors never made back the money they put in. The Postal team they helped finance stands accused by one of its former riders, Mr. Landis, of systematic doping. And now, federal criminal investigators looking into the allegations want to know, among other things, whether any owners knew about doping on the team while team representatives were assuring sponsors that riders were clean, according to one person familiar with the matter. It isn't clear whom among the owners investigators are focusing on. more at the above link
Not surprising for a sport fraught will lies and deceit. Just ask most mountain bikers when you catch them on an illegal trail and ask if they saw the signs preventing them from riding there...duh....."what sign?'"
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Tom Stienstra, the bearded SF Chronicle out door writer is calling for "bikes only parks" with stiff penalties for non bike users. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/14/SP3B1FRP71.DTL&type=living
Is this so dope growers can reach their hidden fields unmolested? Tom ought to know, he was arrested back in April for cultivating 60 marijuana plants. http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/04/tom_stienstra_pot_bust.php Nowhere in Tom's latest piece is there any call for stiff penalties for illegal trail riding or building, but since mountain biking plays by its own set of rules, this is not surprising. Role Model Tom makes a perfect spokesperson for illegal mountain biking and its endless search for legitimacy.
So "role model Tom" is calling for exactly whom to fund his bikes only scheme? The bankrupt state? Stressed state park resources? IMBA? Welcome Tom to the criminal mountain bike hit parade. You join convicted dope seller Missy Giovi!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
By Dick Harris and Eve Rose
Posted: 09/19/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT
The fierce debate about allowing mountain biking through the heart of Boulder's Open Space is fundamentally about fairness. It's about fairness to the majority of Boulder residents, fairness to nature, and fairness to future generations.
Somehow that has gotten lost.
Let's start with the facts. Mountain bikers have access to 49 miles of the city's Open Space trails. They have another 89 miles of trail in the county and 135 miles of nearby U.S. Forest Service trails. This doesn't include the network of bike paths and lanes in the city or the $4.1 million Off-Road Bike Park the city is now building.
But mountain bikers want more. The question for all of us now is this: How much is enough? How much is fair? What is right for the city as a whole -- not just any individual interest group?
Some mountain bikers are currently trying to gain access to the last major part of Boulder Open Space that does not allow mountain biking, the network of trails below the Flatirons, stretching from Chautauqua to Eldorado Canyon. We believe this is simply too much.
People need at least one area where they don't have to watch out for bikes -- a peaceful place to run, hike, and walk. Some bikers argue that we can all share the trails, but the reality on the ground is much different. Any walker or runner will tell you that it's just not the same. Having to constantly watch out for bikers and make way to let them by is a fundamentally different experience.
"Just one trail is all we want" -- the current mantra of mountain bikers -- implies that their request is reasonable, simple, and safe.
But the trails in the route they want to access are not just any trails. The proposed route would include some of the most heavily used hiking trails in the area. That's because these trails are some of the most easily accessible trails for families, the elderly, casual hikers, after-work runners, dog walkers, and the disabled.
The mountain biking community has promised to be careful and we take most of them at their word. That's not the point. The difference in speed and weight, combined with the number of people on the trail, are a recipe for collisions and conflict (no matter how careful or responsible riders are). We don't have to wait to find out. We tried this in the '80s and it was a disaster. The trails had to be closed to mountain bikers because of so many conflicts. Today, the trails are much more crowded and the number of mountain bikers has increased. "Just one trail" cannot safely accommodate thousands of new users -- mountain bikers who will come from the city as well as Denver to access the new trail.
Just one trail sounds so simple, but belies so many serious problems. How will the surrounding streets cope with the increase in traffic? Parking is already a nightmare and nearby streets are already overrun. Surely, some bikers will want to drive to the start of this new route, but where will they park? What will happen to other neighborhoods along the route -- quiet now, but for how long?
What about the environment? What is our responsibility as stewards of the land? This particular area of Open Space is already a delicate balance of recreational use and conservation. It's a narrow ribbon of land -- a refuge for deer, bears, mountain lions, and many other native inhabitants. Introducing a large new user group will only strain the system further. The new route will use existing trails, but will also require new trails, further fragmenting habitat and taking away pristine areas.
We are families. We are hikers. We are runners. We are young and old. We are mountain bikers and conservationists. We also believe we represent the majority of Boulder citizens whose voice has been lost in the past year, drowned out by one very vocal group which has come to dominate the discussion of the future of our Open Space.
At the moment, mountain bikers already have access to hundreds of miles of off-road trails and more are being developed for them as we speak. Is it so unreasonable to ask that one area of our open space be preserved for the vast majority of Boulder residents?
Dick Harris and Eve Rose are members of http://SOSboulder.org.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
By RANDI ROSSMAN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT: pressdemocrat rescued-from-Annadel
Last Modified: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 3:51 p.m.
Two mountain bike riders needed rescuing from Annadel State Park Sunday after crashing, emergency officials reported.
One man hurt his ankle Sunday morning and was carried out by the Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter. Another man hurt his collar bone Sunday afternoon.
In the morning rescue, the adult male rider was possibly about a mile up the Burma trail when he crashed.
The accident was reported at 11:45 a.m. to Santa Rosa firefighters. The Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter crew also was brought in to help because of its ability to quickly spot and retrieve people in the huge, dense park, Santa Rosa Battalion Chief Mark Basque reported.
The man, whose name wasn't initially available, had been riding with a group of friends when he crashed.
The helicopter crew found him within minutes of arriving. They used a 200-foot line to lower a paramedic and a sergeant with a litter.
He was packaged up and then lifted, at the end of the line, to an awaiting ambulance at the base of the park.
At about 1:45 p.m., Santa Rosa firefighters were called back to the park for another injured rider.
This man was about a half-mile up the Warren Richardson trail. Firefighters, state and county parks rangers helped with the effort, Basque said.
The man was treated for his injury and driven down the hill.
Both riders were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Further details weren't available.
Annadel was busy with hikers and bikers on Sunday.
“It's not unusual to get called into that park multiple times...especially on weekends when a lot of folks are up there,” Basque said. “Especially when the weather is really good.”
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Trail Wars: Press Democrat:
"Keene, the cycle shop owner, said the state could have a legion of willing cyclists volunteer to help maintain trails if it wanted them. He compared it city officials who combat graffiti by inviting artists to paint murals.
The illegal bikers threatened to do this as soon as the state cut back on park services. Selfish? Un-environmental? You bet.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Matt Smith's recent article in the SF Weekly reveals a startling level of criminality in the world of professional bike racing. Some within the industry itself, describe the activity as like a "Mafia".
The culture of bad boy-bad girl in both racing and especially mountain biking is something that is lauded in the bike press as if it were a badge of courage. This misplaced hero idolatry fuels the ongoing commission of illegal acts both in the professional realm of cycling and in the forests where illegal trails are cut with impunity, imperiling the eco-culture of fragile terrain and even impacting endangered species. But this is what you don't often hear about. The bike industry tries to portray itself as a benign force, bringing outdoor appreciation to new levels of experience. Unfortunately the cost of that experience is wreaking havoc on open spaces and lives.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
T-Boning a Deer is One Thing. Trying to t-bone a person is against the law.
On December 23, 2009, a trail activist who discovered a very large group, up to 60 people, night riding mountain bicycles in or near China Camp, was assaulted and nearly t-boned by a violent biker, who apparently didn't like being advised that his colleagues were caught riding an illegal trail in San Pedro Ridge Open Space. This person's criminal activities were witnessed by the gentleman in the picture here and the driver of the jeep with this California License plate. Seeing Sheriff's deputies arrive on the scene, the cyclist fled. If you have information who these people are please call the Marin County Sheriff's Office at 415-479-2311
The February 2010 issue of Marin Magazine features a giant two page ad from mountain bike manufacturer, Specialized. In the ad the riders, who are depicted riding in a fog shrouded forest, are exhorted to "t-boning " a deer at 40mph.
This is the kind of provocative and sensationalized advertising that stokes illegal trail riders who more often then not value high speed over safety. Is this responsible advertising? Should this have appeared in a magazine distributed in Marin County- the Nations hot-bed for illegal mountain bike activities? What was Marin Magazine thinking?
Maybe Marin Magazine executive editor, Jim Wood, would like to hear from you:
Perhaps Marin Humane Society would like to hear from you too:
The Marin Humane Society
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd.
Novato, CA 94949