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Old 10-25-04, 01:59 PM   #1
trailover
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There are so many "walking" trails around where I live. Most are lightly maintained by the City. All BAN BICYCLES. You know the one - a bicycle in a circle with a line drawn across it. I have taken to ignoring this because I believe its unfair to keep MTBers out of public property in this fashion. The only "bike paths" in the city are for site-seers, not for Roadies nor for MTBers.

I've noticed many many riders whilst on the trails. But I've also met several fellow citizens who have objected to my being there.

What's your take on the above? Do you have this type of trail in your area? Do you ride on "forbidden trails" ? Do you think it is fair to pick trails and make the exclusive to pedestrian traffic?
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Old 10-25-04, 02:10 PM   #2
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Next time vote in the city official that can hopefully change the law in your favor.

But I also ride in trails behind my property which are forbidden. Dogs must be on leashes also. The majority of dog owners I encounter on these trails do not have them on leashes. When told by one of these dog walkers that bicycles are not allowed, I simply reply that "I've been walking my dog on these trails without a leash for a dozen years and have never been cited.....therefore, I don't foresee any problem with bikes either".... That usually shuts them up.

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Old 10-25-04, 02:14 PM   #3
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I don't ride on forbidden trails. Thats an easy way to get bikes banned anywhere. Makes riders look like knobs and makes the locals feel the need to take action (sometimes)
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Old 10-25-04, 02:27 PM   #4
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As a member of ROMP and the Trails Conservancy my party line is in direct conflict with my personal views. Which would you like?


Where the two views coincide is this.
When you meet walkers or horses on the trail (single track) you will stop, dismount and put yourself between your bike and the other trail users, with your bike clearly off the trail.

Trails through city parks are always flat smooth and groomed . I have no interest in this type of trail, But I do ride forbidden trails in places like The Headlands and Big Basin. I have twice attempted descents down Bright angle but have as yet no joy.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:33 PM   #5
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I should state, I likely have it easier than most. I have a few hundred trails within 30 min road ride of my place. All mtbikers only. In a different situation I might have a different point of View.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
I should state, I likely have it easier than most. I have a few hundred trails within 30 min road ride of my place. All mtbikers only. In a different situation I might have a different point of View.
Yes, you most definately would. It is hard to have the only legal trails about a 1-5 hour drive, minimum. Kinda makes one feel unwanted.
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Old 10-25-04, 06:54 PM   #7
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There aren't even any walking trails here. Well, very few...
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Old 10-25-04, 08:04 PM   #8
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I guarentee riding illegally will not put those who can change the legality on your side.if you want it changed volunteer to help with maintenence,and build a report with whomever and show them you are not the inconsiderate, evil, law suit seeking, dog and pedestrian hater that some may see bikers as due to ignorance.dont prove them right by breaking the rules. here in central Va. the MORE bike group has opened many doors and trails by this approach. we've even gotten in good with a National park as of late
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Old 10-25-04, 08:36 PM   #9
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Ya i agree with "iamthetas". But if all of that fails and everyone feels the have to keep mtbers of the trails at all costs, than you have to do it anyway or else you will never get to ride.
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Old 10-25-04, 08:43 PM   #10
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The local trails in my town only explicity forbid motorized vehicles and unless you consider my two cylinder machine motorized then techincally there is no rule against myself being there.

That said, every so often some old man/woman with their unleashed dogs will stop me as i politely step off my bicycle and walk around them and scold me how "You aren't supposed to be using those in here." This gets me pretty miffed, especially as i try to reason with them how i have spoken to the trailmaster who said he could care less and of course EVERYONE has a connection with such and such boardmember of something or another that says this and that. Basically, old people w/ their unleashed dogs who use the park once a year intrinsically assume that i am some sort of xtreme sport punk because i am using a bike on a trail.

Honestly people.
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Old 10-25-04, 09:49 PM   #11
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Basically, old people w/ their unleashed dogs who use the park once a year intrinsically assume that i am some sort of xtreme sport punk because i am using a bike on a trail.
I'll ride in no trespassing areas (except during hunting season). But I usually don't ride on trails that say no bikes. If I didn't have an option, though, I would ride on whatever trails were available. What's the worst that could happen? They can't ban you from the trails. They've already done that. Maybe fine you.

I don't know what is morally correct. Riding on banned trails could make walkers hate bikers. Or it could make walkers demand trails specifically for bikers. I can't tell from my position. This is a bike friendly town. Either way, when deciding keep in mind that those "old people" that complain have much more political clout than you, whether it is right or wrong. I suppose I agree, you should work with the powerful when it is possible.

Is that ambiguous enough?
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Old 10-26-04, 01:37 AM   #12
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Near where I live, there is a place called Belair, we ride there heaps because it has a train that you catch to the top and then there are about 10 DH trails down. All of them are illegal, but the council doesn't really care, 95% of the locals don't care too much, but there are a couple of dicks who really take it to heart. Since the council don't really care these dicks put nails on the track and fishing lines. Some of them are even there all day, so if you take down something, 30mins later on the next run it's back. So now the council are seeing things from OUR point of view and are making a couplke of legal tracks and even got train carriages designed to take up to 20 bikes.

The funny thing is that almost every Australian bike web site is on are side and help us out. They like our fight and are trying to get us to suceed to help out other people trail related problems in Aus. They even found a by law in the council laws for us that showed we could tell them that we are alowed there and couldn't be fined. Also since I'm not over 16 I can't be fined.
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Old 10-26-04, 02:35 AM   #13
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one of my favourite activities is once i have spotted the 'ramblers association' is get in as high a gear as possible thus increasing speed then when about 10ft behind them sharply apply my rear brake ONLY and watch their look of shock and fear of being of turned into a handle bar mascot as u gracefully skid right past them. i aint got a number plate on my mountain bike so by the time the oap's have gathered themselves together ure a faintly blurred shape in the distance ha ha.
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Old 10-26-04, 02:55 AM   #14
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duh...thats going to help.
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Old 10-26-04, 03:30 AM   #15
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Well 'waiting' for off road trails to become availilbe can just be a waste of time. You can get permission from National Parks to hold events ect., but just day to day trail riding there is very few around surburban area. Infact around where i live there are many parks ect, that would offer great trail riding, but no one is going to make those open for it. But luckly a found a 330m trail about 5 min away. It is a walking track but no one walks on it. I rode it once or twice and was caught by a council person. Luckly he said its ok to ride on the section i was riding on, but he told me to tell my other 'bike friends' to not ride on another section of land he pointed out. No one walks on this track, and it is perfect off road, i'll try and get some pictures of it in the futur, and its ok with the council so its good i know that i am not 'breaking the law' ect.
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Old 10-26-04, 07:08 AM   #16
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Just keep in mind that those hikers are there expecting nothing but the beautiful nature. And keep in mind that if someone does not respond to your "On your left!" warning, there might be a reason.. don't just assume they heard you and fly past.

Accident waiting to happen...

They might be deaf, like I am..

Scares the *&^%$#@!!!! outta me when bikers just pop outta nowhere on trails they're not supposed to be on, inches away (if I am lucky!) from crashing from me.... Nearly every time they look back at me like I'm the rudest person on earth.

Duh.
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Old 10-26-04, 08:33 AM   #17
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It's easier to say "sorry" then get permission.
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Old 10-26-04, 08:39 AM   #18
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The amazing thing is that this affects so many bikers. Thank you for your comments. They offer a wonderful multi-faceted view from all of you.

I smile, because like some of you, at times I am guilty of riding (too) fast and whizzing around unsuspecting folk and being a blur before they even thought, "was that a bird? a bee ? it must have been......" he,he..... I too share the sentiment about senior citizens and their political clout. I've never even walked into cityhall and this guy I met might have been the bloody mayor, by his demeanor !!.... they aren't going to listen to me. The house owners that have backyards extending to the riverside and the forest pay far too much in property taxes... I also think that I must conduct myself in a manner that won't be detrimental to bikers. That's why I was polite to the old fossil and apologized for nearly causing him a cardiac arrest.... on the other hand, most people I've met have been nice, offering encouragement as I struggle up a hill etc.... I always stop/slow for pedestrians on narrow trails.... lots of "thankyou/please" etc,.... It's just sad that we (bikers) dont' have a group here in London, Ontario. Maybe I should post a poster on a tree, asking riders to contact me or even join this forum if they want to make a change.... hmmmm. That's an idea... yes, yes.
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Old 10-26-04, 08:44 AM   #19
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maybe I'll be lazy and just continue to say "sorry" .... ??...<grin>
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Old 10-26-04, 08:49 AM   #20
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Where trails forbid bicycles, there may be a good reason. In Los Angeles County in Southern California we have many nature parks. The plan is that each of the parks has rules that favor a different outdoor activity that could not be safely participated in otherwise. For example some parks that permit horses on the trails do not permit bicycles on the trails because bicycles scare horses and endanger the rider. Whether you as a bicyclist agree that you should be refused entry on a trail, there are good reasons for such a ban. Lets extend a courtesy to those people who utilize the trails for other purposes.
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Old 10-26-04, 09:02 AM   #21
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I would suggest contacting these people OntarioCycling. Should be a good place to start.

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Old 10-26-04, 09:41 AM   #22
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I would suggest contacting these people OntarioCycling. Should be a good place to start.

Good link. Have noted some phone numbers to call. Thank you.
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Old 10-26-04, 12:50 PM   #23
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What's the worst that could happen? They can't ban you from the trails. They've already done that. Maybe fine you.?

We have trails here specifically closed to Mtn Bikers. Hiking and 4 Wheelers (Hunters) allowed. TWRA is a gov't body that enforces this. If they catch you there you get a warning. The second time they fine you $169. The Third Time they confiscate your bike and you get 7 days in the local prison. Just to answer what is the worst that could happen.

I never ride forbidden trails but only partly out of a sense of obligation. ANd also somewhat out of fear of the consequensces. Always be aware getting the trails open for others by respecting the restrictions and working the system is always more appropriate and that there may be someone that is working on that for you that you are hurting their cause with your reckless abandon.

Just thoughts. Ride on!
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Old 10-26-04, 01:23 PM   #24
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We have trails here specifically closed to Mtn Bikers. Hiking and 4 Wheelers (Hunters) allowed. TWRA is a gov't body that enforces this. If they catch you there you get a warning. The second time they fine you $169. The Third Time they confiscate your bike and you get 7 days in the local prison. Just to answer what is the worst that could happen.
There you go. It goes to show that you should know the law if you plan on breaking it.

[Edit] And I think I disagree with my post above. I wouldn't ride forbidden trails, if that is all I had. But I would not berate someone that does. Just be prepared for the consequences which probably in many cases may not involve much other than others bikers hating you but in others could be jail time.

Last edited by Billy Brown; 10-26-04 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 10-26-04, 01:45 PM   #25
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I find it amazing when ATVs are allowed and MTB's are not. Doesn't make sense. MTB's definately leave less stress on the trail. Oh well..
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