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Old 09-24-13, 11:53 PM   #1
marquhar
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SART on tuesdays and saturdays near Edna Park

This spring (2013) I was using the SART to help rehab my Fx hip.

I started there in late April riding pretty slow. On Saturdays, when entering the trail near GG Blvd (southbound) twice I encountered a well organized team that dispatched a pair of riders out in front of me at about 15-17 MPH. At that time I was pretty weak and didn't try to pass them. They stopped at Fifth Street, turned and faced me. Naturally, this seemed strange and the feeling stuck with me.

As I got faster, their tactics changed and they got more riders involved, using a 'block and swarm' technique to try and control my speed. I never tried to talk to them, photograph them, etc, but simply did my ride.

After reading this thread below, I believe that OCParks officially recognizes an entity they call the 'SART Safety Patrol Team'
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post11115481

Nobody on this forum has mentioned any encounters with such a SART Patrol Team, so I will be the first. They are out there
Tuesdays and Saturdays and they are well organized, using headsets, texting, and hand signals to coordinate members.

Except for the rude behavior and disrespectful tactics, there was only one incident where they showed illegal behavior. Back in mid-July there was a boatload of punctures in this area between Orangewood and Fifth Street (Santa Ana). I had one, I saw 3 other roadies over 2 days fixing flats, and on Mr Beanz site he mentioned 2 punctures on Saturday, July 13.

Shortly before I punctured (small piece of glass) I had one of the SP team riders pop-up in front of me south of GG Blvd, on a day that I entered the trail at Orangewood. I clearly saw him reach into his back mid-pocket and make a dusting action, fanning his fingers. So I claim this team member was dusting the trail with glass in order to harass fast Roadies.

Since I was riding the SART regularly I had the chance to see day-to-day action in a detailed way. This team is not law enforcement and they may be all volunteers, but they are bad for cycling. They have a mix of joggers, single riders, riding couples, and pedestrian lookouts. I can get into much more detail if anyone is interested, since I ran into them more than 10 times.

Take a look at the above link and you will see a reply from OCParks.com where they mention this team.

Last edited by marquhar; 09-25-13 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-25-13, 01:15 AM   #2
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So there is a team of cyclists that are hunting down cyclists? Or is this walkers trying to take back the SART? Either way its pretty lame, SART is supposed to be a commuter corridor for cyclists; 10 mph is entirely too slow if no one is around. Personally, I've never liked the share the trail concept with pedestrians just because I'm really uncomfortable riding my bike at any speed around the 5 years old some parents let roam.

Also, what do you mean they 'dispatched' 2 riders?
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Old 09-25-13, 07:51 AM   #3
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One word. Organize.

It would seem that there are those that do not recognize that a bike can cruise at 15-20 mph on a Bike Trail, and still be safe. If they want to go after knuckleheads who threaten public safety, fine, but a blanket 10 mph speed limit is stupid, and discriminatory against the main intended users of this resource. There are parks and sidewalks for strollers and dog walkers that are more scenic and pleasant for those tasks than SART, and other Bike Trails. These things should be intended primarily as transportation corridors to those of us who commute on them. One thing I have done is to discontinue the use of that dirty three letter word, instead calling them by their primary use; Bike Trails.
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Old 09-25-13, 09:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by marquhar View Post
This spring (2013) I was using the SART to help rehab my Fx hip.

I started there in late April riding pretty slow. On Saturdays, when entering the trail near GG Blvd (southbound) twice I encountered a well organized team that dispatched a pair of riders out in front of me at about 15-17 MPH. At that time I was pretty weak and didn't try to pass them. They stopped at Fifth Street, turned and faced me. Naturally, this seemed strange and the feeling stuck with me.

As I got faster, their tactics changed and they got more riders involved, using a 'block and swarm' technique to try and control my speed. I never tried to talk to them, photograph them, etc, but simply did my ride.

After reading this thread below, I believe that OCParks officially recognizes an entity they call the 'SART Safety Patrol Team'
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post11115481

Nobody on this forum has mentioned any encounters with such a SART Patrol Team, so I will be the first. They are out there
Tuesdays and Saturdays and they are well organized, using headsets, texting, and hand signals to coordinate members.

Except for the rude behavior and disrespectful tactics, there was only one incident where they showed illegal behavior. Back in mid-July there was a boatload of punctures in this area between Orangewood and Fifth Street (Santa Ana). I had one, I saw 3 other roadies over 2 days fixing flats, and on Mr Beanz site he mentioned 2 punctures on Saturday, July 13.

Shortly before I punctured (small piece of glass) I had one of the SP team riders pop-up in front of me south of GG Blvd, on a day that I entered the trail at Orangewood. I clearly saw him reach into his back mid-pocket and make a dusting action, fanning his fingers. So I claim this team member was dusting the trail with glass in order to harass fast Roadies.

Since I was riding the SART regularly I had the chance to see day-to-day action in a detailed way. This team is not law enforcement and they maybe all volunteers, but they are bad for cycling. They have a mix of joggers, single riders, riding couples, and pedestrian lookouts. I can get into much more detail if anyone is interested, since I ran into them more than 10 times.

Take a look at the above link and you will see a reply from OCParks.com where they mention this team.
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Old 09-25-13, 09:41 AM   #5
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I was followed by one them! Scared the heck outta me!
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Old 09-25-13, 09:53 AM   #6
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I went to that "Safety Patrol" website, and noticed that it had not been updated in about a year. I see this as good news. There was also a "comments" link about the 10 mph limit, and every single comment posted was anti-limit, about half coming right out and calling it stupid.
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Old 09-25-13, 12:58 PM   #7
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I've probably put 7 or 8000 miles on the SART in the last 2 years, and I've never seen such activity, nor have I ever had a flat on the SART. Hopefully it's just a bunch of over zealous folks that meet only a few times a year to harass the roadies. Eventually they'll lose interest.

BTW, you can pass on the gravel if there's trail hogs.
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Old 09-25-13, 01:53 PM   #8
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Wow... I will contact OC PARKS... since you are stating this group of riders is under the purview of OC Parks, and their behavior seems to be harassinging, and downright illegal... I believe there should be should clarification. I will let you know what response I get. Frankly I believe this a vigilante group unbeknownst to any governmental agency and I suggest you report the behavior to the police as soon as possible before someone gets hurt.

BTW I am an OC Parks volunteer - I have never hear of this group or any patrol of SART... alway best to have facts straight before posting disparaging information...
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Old 09-25-13, 02:37 PM   #9
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Wow... I will contact OC PARKS... since you are stating this group of riders is under the purview of OC Parks, and their behavior seems to be harassinging, and downright illegal... I believe there should be should clarification. I will let you know what response I get. Frankly I believe this a vigilante group unbeknownst to any governmental agency and I suggest you report the behavior to the police as soon as possible before someone gets hurt.

BTW I am an OC Parks volunteer - I have never hear of this group or any patrol of SART... alway best to have facts straight before posting disparaging information...
If you have not checked out the http://www.trailsafetypatrol.com/ site, it is interesting. It is very slick and professional looking, and a lot of work would seem to have gone into it. It looks deceptively as if it could be an official government site, but I am pretty sure it isn't. The first clue is the URL itself.
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Old 09-25-13, 04:42 PM   #10
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Yeah - it's a private website - OC Parks or any other governmental website would either be .gov or .org. I did send an email to OC Parks explaining what was happening on SART and maybe they want to look into it.
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Old 09-25-13, 08:08 PM   #11
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CommuteCommando:
The 10 MPH speed limit was a hot topic back in mid-2010. Thanks for reading the link I posted and considering what I had to say. There was a public meeting to hear grievance about the limit, and it was within the announcement for the meeting that the OCParks person brought up the 'SART Safety Patrol Team'. The existence of the unaffiliated website was not enough for me to believe that there was an official safety team.

BTW I expect to get flamed or ridiculed by a few folks in this forum over this post. It's entirely possible, considering the persistance of the team and their numbers (15-20 or more) that a few of the team members surf this forum. They are not straight-forward people with a healthy attitude toward cycling or honest people.

As jmX said its very rare (unheard of) to get a flat on the GG/SA section of the SART. Over the 3 months I rode it (for rehab) there was only the one puncture.

As of August, I am riding in HB, Long Beach, and the SGRT lately and its a world of difference - a total pleasure, instead of a war zone.
I also had far too many close calls with kamikazi Salmon riders on my way across central OC to reach the SART.

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Old 09-25-13, 08:13 PM   #12
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BTW I expect to get flamed or ridiculed by a few folks in this forum over this post. It's entirely possible, considering the persistance of the team and their numbers (15-20 or more) that a few of the team members surf this forum. They are not straight-forward people with a healthy attitude toward cycling or honest people.
I have no problem posting the warning as it appears a warning is needed. I do have issue that you have not reported this behavior to the police and that you assumed these were sanctioned OC Park volunteers. Vigilantes are vigilantes... call them on it and don't let them bully you.
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Old 11-03-13, 06:42 PM   #13
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Well there goes my plans for trying to ride to Huntington Beach anytime soon from Corona.

Good thing Edna Park makes for a nice turnaround spot.

Though if I don't have to worry about the shenanigans on a Sunday morning then maybe I'll have to reconsider.
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Old 11-04-13, 12:20 PM   #14
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Well there goes my plans for trying to ride to Huntington Beach anytime soon from Corona.

Good thing Edna Park makes for a nice turnaround spot.

Though if I don't have to worry about the shenanigans on a Sunday morning then maybe I'll have to reconsider.
I don't doubt the OP's experience but I've ridden from Green River to the beach and back many times and never seen anything like what he's experienced. I'd say go for it.
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Old 11-04-13, 01:35 PM   #15
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I don't doubt the OP's experience but I've ridden from Green River to the beach and back many times and never seen anything like what he's experienced. I'd say go for it.
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