I started this thread because I saw someone that was in a situation that could have been really bad. Since that day, there actually has been a person that was found disoriented, dehy'd and lost in the same proximity that my story was based off of.
Now, I read this thread today about the guy in Riverside that was found in the forest. New bike, no buddy system action and just his bike. I read "he had his cell phone" numerous times...
It can be said again and again. If the trail is too far passed your gnar-scope setting, scale it back or just stay home.
I get off the bike and walk at the first hint of actual danger (what I consider danger.. obviously different threshold for different folks) - alone in the woods is not the time to push it. If I am with a beginner, he is not leaving my sight for more than a minute or two, and never in a tricky section. If I am with a faster group of people, I do appreciate them waiting for me, but my safety is my responsibility.