General Cycling Discussion - Local trail messed up by motorbikes. (rant
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Yesterday afternoon, I took advantage of a stunning UK autumn day, dry, sunny, blue sky, and headed off for a 3 hour ride in and around the local forest. The initial part of the trail criss-crosses a golf course and I had amazing fun bopping around the trees. Eventually, I crossed the freeway and headed off into the forest where usually the only thing you hear is the buzzing of insects. I then hear an awful racket. A group of yobs/******s/tossers, call them what you may, had taken over the trail with their scrambler bikes. As I rode out of a dense patch of ferns, one on them raced across the trail in front of me. Another 100 meters on, I came to a clearing, and a burnt out bike had been left where it caught fire. Whether it was a stolen bike, ridden, and then trashed, I don't know.
The forest is open to walkers and mtb'ers by consent. No provision has been made for scramblers. Moreso, they've caused a lot of damage to the track and you can see places where they have recklessly carved a destructive path and they've obviously spun the bike round and round to raise a cloud of dust. A while later, I exited the forest on to a tarred road and I passed about 8 of them sitting round, smoking, tossed beer cans lying around. Well organised they were with three cars and trailers to carry the bikes.
I have no problem sharing the trail with responsible riders
Oops, I hit the return key by mistake.
Anyway, I have no problem with responsible riders (mtb or scramblers), who share the trail with me. I also passed a group of kids on the mtbs who were dressed for serious fun, and I secretly admired their skills. But the scramblers are illegal.
I suppose I could report the burnt out bike and the problem with these tossers to the forestry commission who own the land, but like most things in the UK, noone is really bothered to do anything about it.
Sorry, just had to get this off my chest!
10-19-03, 03:47 AM
Probably wouldn't hurt to call the cops anyway. If they get enough calls they'll have no option but to deal with it.
Thanks Chris, I was sort of looking for some kind of motivation to take it further. To be honest, I've used this forest many times and I've never come across this problem before. Maybe it was a one-off but the access point to where they parked is about a mile from the main road and it ends suddenly so it's not the kind of place you just stumble upon by accident.
I think what peeves me most is the fact that this burnt out bike is just lying like a picked carcass in the middle of the track. I'll report that to the local authorities on Tuesday.
Just interested in what you guys have to say about your tracks. I've sort of become a bit possessive about mine andy infraction I take personally. :)
10-19-03, 08:09 AM
If your not concerned enough to report these BOZOs to the proper authorities, then don't complain. Maybe the Police have done nothing because they haven't recieved any information such as license plate numbers. You said they were hauled in on trailers, trailers are towed by cars/trucks. Get their license number.
Sorry if this sounded harsh, it truley wasn't meant to be. The Police need the publics help to do its job.
Grampy, I thought about that but I did not have a pen and paper with me to get the registrations. I suspect these bozos will be back so next time I ride there I'll be prepared. I should have asked one of them to see if they could write the reg details for me, and any threatening behaviour, I could have ridden away, if I could only outrun them.:)
The positive thing is that I noticed some other mtb'ers doing their thing. Next time I'll explore the area they were in as I notice from the map the forest extends quite a way back where they were. There are no formal tracks on the map so uncharted territory it is, and therefore, fair game for the explorer in us all. I think I'll drive the road first and see if there are any prohibitive signs anywhere as not all forestry agency land is accessible but I don't think they mind us guys on our bikes too much, and in a sense, they do get some free policing done for them.
If their bikes are street legal, they've got tags on 'em. If not, certainly their tow vehicles and trailers have license plates. Write the numbers down!
Get all the info you can; if the law enforcement authorities won't do anything, you've still got enough information to go to the local press, or press charges yourself, if you can find a sympathetic attorney that bicycles, likes the quiet forest, or is otherwise willing to take on your case on pro-bono basis.
Also, it doesn't hurt to carry a small digital or standard camera to take pix of the tossers, the damage they caused, and their vehicles / license plates, for the record.
10-20-03, 02:14 AM
Round my way the Police are carrying out a special campaign to deal with these idiots and have asked for people to phone them so that they can act.
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