Advocacy & Safety - MTB Kiddies Rant
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10-13-05, 05:28 PM
I know this is a rather huge topic, but I'm trying to make the best out of my situation. I've recently come in contact (via forums of course) with a kid around 15 years old that is building stunts in our local park. He's one of those kids with the mindset of "I've got 9 inches of travel and the earth is my playground". I'm one of those advocacy guys that comes out to every workday, and have been in contact with the park director a couple times in the past. He's specifically laid out the law 'no stunts' due to insurance reasons. We've spent the last 5 years gaining ground for mountain bikers in the park, and really don't want to lose all of our hard work. I'm concerned because this kid is lying and bragging about the stunts he's in the process of making, and has already made.
What exactly can I do? I mean, I could go tear them down, but they are nicely built and used by a few people. I could report this could, but I'm not sure how effective it would be because its just the internet after all.
Whats the diffrence between him useing his stunt ramps etc and others. Whats fair for one is fair for all. In other words you cant single him out and say you cant do it but this guy can. doesnt matter if he is 15 and others doing it are 18 that are doing it. So get with the director/rangers there and tare the ramps etc apart. Its the director/rangers call though not yours. You can report it or not your choice. But if the rules state no one is to try stunts etc in the park regardless of age then rules are rule. If they state 18 and older only then report the younger kid.
10-13-05, 05:47 PM
The problem isn't his age; it's the fact that stunts arn't allowed, period. I guess I'll let it go until something happens, although that could really suck.
Since your in contact with him, explain the current situation with the park director, your concerns and then invite him to become an advocate for his position. Offer to teach him your best advocacy methods. Remind him that his hard work in building stunts will be for not, if the park director does not pre-approve them.
Many adults were horrified that kids wanted to do stunts with skate boards. Complaining did not work. Many tried to beat the kids down, and that did not work either. The communities that built free skate board/bike parks soon saw kids having fun with few injuries and the kids doing an outstanding job of cooperating with each other.
If park use is free, then in most states, the park is immune from users injured during recreational use. Look up state law to see if it applies for this park. If so, the insurance stance is not a valid reason for prohibiting activities that do not endanger other users.
You mean they might kick everybody out of the park because one kid is messing up? That seems pretty unreasonable. Maybe talk to the kid and see if you can convince him to do stunts someplace else?
10-13-05, 07:22 PM
I'll see if I can get him active with the advocacy.
Theres not really a danger of getting everyone kicked out, but its a close situation. Some of the stunts are bordering fairly near to the "No Bike" zone, aka the Nature Reserve. That could get us kicked out for good.
If it could lead to that tare his ramps down. Id be extreamly pissed off if some roadies or mtbers ruined it for me at silver creek. I ride there 3 times a day every day and many many other riders do as well. The park it the perfect place for a quick leasure ride or a tuff work out on the grade 4 to 6 hill or grade 5 to 12. Do to lack of trafic and the fact its slow moving you can pratice your handlign skills in safty just by keeping your eyes on parked cars.
For a minority of riders to screw things up for the majority is plain out wrong. If you piss him off by reporting him or trashing his ramps etc thats his problem.
We should not try to please the minority who want to break the rules but instead the majority who follow them. Ive jumped on to people over having heir dogs on overly long leashes. Its a safty hazard for cyclists and the dogs. Im a big animal person dogs cats wild life dont matter i like it all (ok well i hate squirles and have a strong dislike for geese but dont we all?). Ive moved probably 40 snakes off the road that were alive and kicked nearly that many dead off the road.
One road kill animal can lead to many more. Ive pissed off more than my share of people with overly long leashes cussed them out when they got mouthy saying its there dog they will put it on any leash they want. I can deal with hitting a leash and not get hurt but theres a damn good chance ill kill the animal. I also want people to be able to take their dogs to the park we take our mini pin and jack russle there fairly often. Id be very pissed if those few ruined that for me.
10-14-05, 11:21 AM
I would worry about two things, first if the director has knowledge that the stunt are occrring, then not doing something about it could be de facto approval of the stunts. Then if someone gets injured, especially a minor, some smart lawyer could sue whatever government agency that has management over the park. I realize that this is a worst case scenario, but stranger things have happened. The best solution is to get the riders who use the ramps in touch with the director and work out something together. The serious riders will do their best to work within the rules and the rest will go somewhere else. Give the riders/director a chance to work things out.
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