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  1. #1
    mtbmike
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    All it takes is one or two idiots to set us back ten years....

    I got an email from a friend that is on Boulder City Council tonight. He forwarded an email to me from a hiker that is very well connected politically in Boulder.

    That person described an encounter with cyclists on the Goshawk Trail, a new trail that is not open to bikes. The conversation did not go well and the cyclists dropped the f-bomb multiple times and made the person feel quite threatened.

    We have made a tremendous amount of progress in Boulder over the last few years, mainly because we have demonstrated that we can share and get along on the trails. We have been able to counter emotional rhetoric with facts and actions.

    This kind of behavior will kill that progress. We can't look the other way on this because when stuff like this happens, we are all painted with the same brush and suffer the consequences.

    Please, we have over 15 miles of new trail to enjoy in the South Boulder system. We have to show that we are mature enough to stay off trails that are not open to bikes.

    BMA has spent the last decade to effect a major change in how we are treated on the trails in Boulder, and all it takes is a handful of idiots to ruin it all.

    We are in the middle of the West TSA process, trying to get access from Baseline south to the South Boulder system. We can't defend ourselves in situations like these.

    If you are poaching trails in Boulder County, you are not moving us forward. And if you are getting aggro on hikers that call BS on you for doing it, you are doing serious harm to MTB advocacy in your own backyard.

    This has to stop. And if you aren't calling BS on people you know who are doing it, you are part of the problem.
    mtbmike
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  2. #2
    hehe ...you said "member"
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    Sadly, the parties involved that you are addressing, are likely not part of this forum. If so, I hope they take heed.
    Profiling will always take place, human nature and all ... the best we can do is promote ourselves, as a group, in a positive light. I'm not a user of the Boulder trail system, but have seen what the ignorant minority can do to harm the cause of the majority. Best of luck to you.
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  3. #3
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    I just heard about this today, too. What crap. This is what's going to blow the Boulder to Marshal Mesa connection or the Eldo to Walker connection. And these tools are the guys you'll have to thank for that.
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  4. #4
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    While I understand exactly what you're saying about the guys doing this being out of line and completely misrepresenting bikers... if 2 guys being jackasses (that just so happen to be riding bikes) is the only thing it takes to get a proposed trail system stopped... then they're way more uptight over there than I would have thought. If they're not intelligent enough to treat this as an isolated incident, they shouldn't be in public positions. For every bad example on one side of the fence, there's another bad example on the other side. Not to mention there are 2 sides to every coin, and 2 sides to every story. This most likely did occur, but all you have to go on for it is one hiker's word... That being said, bikers acting like DBs and riding on trails that are off limits to bikers doesn't help anyone.
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  5. #5
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    I have a feeling the douchebaggery is far more prevalent than just one or two idiots. Unfortunately, just like with driving cars, people don't follow the rules. They run red lights, don't signal, hit other cars while parking and then leave without the courtesy of a note, etc etc... The number of traffic tickets in this state daily probably proves that people don't follow rules... but we don't shut down the roads to all vehicles. Each person is responsible for their own actions - on a car or on a bike.

    Someone just posted about a night ride at LotB and I'm betting it took place even though I mentioned to them it was illegal and probably going to reflect badly on all of us - and possibly cost them a fine. People don't care about rules, because they are all special. Punishing everyone for the actions of few is just downright stupid. So I expect stupid rules/closures in the future....

  6. #6
    mtbmike
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    Of course they are uptight

    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1
    While I understand exactly what you're saying about the guys doing this being out of line and completely misrepresenting bikers... if 2 guys being jackasses (that just so happen to be riding bikes) is the only thing it takes to get a proposed trail system stopped... then they're way more uptight over there than I would have thought.
    It doesn't matter that these guys represent 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000 cyclists on the trail. This is ammunition for the opposition that would rather polarize the community in a 'recreation versus preservation' argument.

    This is politics. Yes, some leeway will be given to us as a user group. The City Council recognizes the sea change on the trails in courtesy. We are not the wild unruly bunch of people we were painted to be in the past. These people are angry that we have made the gains we've worked for... they think the land has gone to hell and here is information confirming it.

    If we don't deal with this among our own user group in a very visable way, the pace at which all the work we've done in the last decade will unravel at alarming rate.

    I've spent too much time in the meeting rooms fighting for access to let that happen, but I need everyone's help. We either manage ourselves or we lose.
    mtbmike
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  7. #7
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    I agree with you Mike, but what happens when it goes the other way? I guarantee a hiker could physically push a biker off his bike, or some unleashed dog could maul a biker and hikers wouldn't get banned from any trails. I'm just commenting on the sheer stupidity and duality of the scenario, even if it happens to be true.
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  8. #8
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    Boulder sucks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmike1
    If we don't deal with this among our own user group in a very visable way, the pace at which all the work we've done in the last decade will unravel at alarming rate.

    I've spent too much time in the meeting rooms fighting for access to let that happen, but I need everyone's help. We either manage ourselves or we lose.
    What would you have us do? Public floggings?
    Gotta get up to get down.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    Boulder sucks.
    +1 -so, some dude - that is not even a ranger - with some political connections sends out an email complaining that he got yelled at by a biker who was 'poaching'...and that gets forward to people...umm ok.....i think people in boulder need more things to do.

  11. #11
    mtbmike
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    Tough choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1
    a very visable way
    Visable to the agency and decision makers. They need to see that we are making an effort to police our own.

    That means calling BS on those who think "it won't matter". And maybe even helping the agency identify the misbehavers.

    I know that crosses a line; I don't want to get into the enforcement role. But I have to admit, if I see riders coming off that trail, I'll be getting out the cell phone, taking a picture, and calling the man.

    I hate that idea. I really hate that idea. I want an alternative.
    mtbmike
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmike1
    Visable to the agency and decision makers. They need to see that we are making an effort to police our own.

    That means calling BS on those who think "it won't matter". And maybe even helping the agency identify the misbehavers.

    I know that crosses a line; I don't want to get into the enforcement role. But I have to admit, if I see riders coming off that trail, I'll be getting out the cell phone, taking a picture, and calling the man.

    I hate that idea. I really hate that idea. I want an alternative.
    you don't want to be the enforcer and should not be the enforcer....or maybe you should, and maybe that could get even more bad publicity out!!

  13. #13
    Whatever
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    It does show we need more trails, and are on the right path

    At some level Mike, this demonstrates the need for more than just bike paths in Boulder. Did the City Council person mention that?

    To the people who say Boulder sucks. Stay away, thanks. It's a terrible place, full of evil treehuggers and trustafarians. Don't come here.
    just ride

  14. #14
    mtbmike
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINImtnbiker
    Did the City Council person mention that?
    Council, most of them, understand our issues and agree with us. It's the politics that makes a mess of it. Boulder's Open Space program was concieved and created by the people who are screaming about bikes and dogs (the REAL 800 pound gorilla in open space politics).

    Setting aside developable land for our quality of life was first of it's kind program anywhere in the US. Those people had their own visions of what that program looked like.... and bikes weren't even contemplated.

    This is the price we pay for being first. The good news is that those who are making the noise are dying, but in the meantime, they get the attention of politicians and deservedly so in my opinion.

    Think about it.... the sprawl would have easily gone south to Eldorado Springs drive and that killer view you get when you come over the crest of the hill on US36 would be subdivisions if we didn't start the program when we did.

    Everybody owes a debt of gratitude to Boulder for leading the way, and you should be grateful that your local government learned from our missteps.
    mtbmike
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  15. #15
    Shattering Glass
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryhead
    .....i think people in boulder need more things to do.
    Well said

  16. #16
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    The perp here sounds like an jerk. There are jerks in the world, why does it endanger the rights of cyclists because this jerk happens to be a cyclist. He's probably lots of other things too.

    Is he endangering the rights of car drivers? Let's say he drives too fast and pisses someone off. Are they going to complain that cars don't belong on the roads? No.
    Oh that's different because cars are the primary users of roads, right?

    We belong on legal trails and want more legal trails.

    I just don't get how one 'bad' user makes us all look bad. I know that is the perception but I think we are better off telling 'them' to throw the book at that guy, the majority is not that guy.

    If I go rob a bank does that mean you shouldn't qualify for a home refinance because we both happen to ride bikes?

    Isn't the 'painting us with the same brush' concept the same as stereotyping. Isn't Boulder against that kind of generalization? No offense intended but what is the difference between assuming someone is a criminal based on the color of their skin and assuming that if one biker is bad they all are?

    Sure, we should police ourselves to the degree possible but must also make it clear to legislators that stereotyping is bad in all forms.
    Rant over.
    2 wheels

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by artnshel
    The perp here sounds like an jerk. There are jerks in the world, why does it endanger the rights of cyclists because this jerk happens to be a cyclist. He's probably lots of other things too.

    Is he endangering the rights of car drivers? Let's say he drives too fast and pisses someone off. Are they going to complain that cars don't belong on the roads? No.
    Oh that's different because cars are the primary users of roads, right?

    We belong on legal trails and want more legal trails.

    I just don't get how one 'bad' user makes us all look bad. I know that is the perception but I think we are better off telling 'them' to throw the book at that guy, the majority is not that guy.

    If I go rob a bank does that mean you shouldn't qualify for a home refinance because we both happen to ride bikes?

    Isn't the 'painting us with the same brush' concept the same as stereotyping. Isn't Boulder against that kind of generalization? No offense intended but what is the difference between assuming someone is a criminal based on the color of their skin and assuming that if one biker is bad they all are?

    Sure, we should police ourselves to the degree possible but must also make it clear to legislators that stereotyping is bad in all forms.
    Rant over.
    Amen brother.
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  18. #18
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    I just don't get how one 'bad' user makes us all look bad.
    Consider this. Politics is what drives the rule making process and politics is based on perception, mainly the perception of the people sitting at the dais making up the rules. Usually, those people behind the dais aren't mountain bikers and don't know much about the sport. Since they are politicians (not necessarily a bad thing, per se) they are sensitive to what they perceive as the interests of the most voters. Remember, they are dealing with a whole host of issues, most of which have nothing at all to do with mountain biking. Hence, when it comes to a special interest (like bike trails access) it usually ends up being the squeakiest wheel that gets listened to. Or, very often, the people who happen to have the best access to said politicians.

    The answer? Get political. I know a mountain biker who had been riding since the early 80's, then got into advocacy. One thing led to another and now he's the head of the city parks board. That doesn't fix mountain biking problems, it just ensures that when a problem does arise, the parks staff knows it will be dealt with responsibly by the mountain biking community itself. And yes, that does sometimes put bikers in a position of "enforcement". The best enforcement is simply peer pressure and setting an example.

    So if you don't want to join the parks boards, at least take the time to get to know your politicians. Become a useful resource for them. Remember, they don't know much about the sport and need someone responsible (you) to help them understand the sport's needs. Send them a link to this thread and the discussion that's going on here. Apologize for the jerk who got in their face. Invite one for lunch, or even better, out for a ride. They want to hear from their constituents. It's a long process, but it does work.

  19. #19
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    To piggyback off what artnshel said... It's still stereotyping, no matter how pretty a face you put on it. It's exactly like saying "this black guy is a criminal, so all black people are criminals." We all know that's wrong, yet somehow it's ok to lump all cyclists into the same collective crowd? Come on. I just don't agree with that logic. How is that ok? And by that same logic, why wouldn't hikers, dog walkers, horse riders, etc all be held under the same scrutiny? This outdated logic is exactly what the problem is.

    I agree that positive actions on the part of cyclists go a long way to reversing how people view cyclists, but these antiquated beliefs are what people should be fighting in the first place. I swear, hiker mentality toward bikers in this area can be as bad as old people in the south toward minorities. It's just ridiculous.

    I don't believe I should apologize for some jerk's actions just because he also happens to ride a bike. Nor am I going to attempt to hunt down and punish said jerk. That just allows for this mentality to continue. I will be the best example I can be, and would hope I would be judged by my actions alone. As soon as you admit to being the problem, it's a hell of a lot easier for your adversaries to label you as the problem.
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  20. #20
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    Yes, it is stereotyping and I never said it was ok. No, it's not ok to lump all of any group together based on the actions of an individual or two. Maybe apologize is the wrong term, but it would be the right thing to do to step up and admit that what those individuals did was wrong and that the group disagrees with their approach.

  21. #21
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    All it takes is one or two idiots to set us back ten years....
    Were those two idiots Bush and Cheney or Bernanke and Paulson?

  22. #22
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    Fair enough. But perhaps we should be equally as vocal when something like this happens and express to the council that we don't appreciate being stereotyped by this one person. It would be a sad day when the actions of a few close down an entire proposed trail system, or when something like this limited trail access even more. Otherwise, people could just go around making up stories about how this bad biker did this, and this bad biker did that. Afterall, is anyone really going to investigate the matter? The best thing you can do is take responsibility for yourself and present yourself in the most positive manner possible to everyone you meet on the trail. Only then will perception change.
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  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=Martlet....

    The answer? Get political.
    ......[/QUOTE]
    I've been to a Tsa meeting in Boulder and other mtb meetings elsewhere. I am also a member of around 5 mountain biking organizations.

    I agree that I can take responsibility for myself. It gets a little more cloudy when if I have to take responsibility for you as the jerk on the trail didn't seem responsible. I guess it comes down to valuing ones place in society.
    2 wheels

  24. #24
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    Hum... maybe that dude that had that run-in w/ the unleashed dogs can fire off an equally "nice" message to people of influence and get hikers banned from trails?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryhead
    +1 -so, some dude - that is not even a ranger - with some political connections sends out an email complaining that he got yelled at by a biker who was 'poaching'...and that gets forward to people...umm ok.....i think people in boulder need more things to do.
    You're right.. if this was Jeffco they'd have taxpayer funded undercover ticket wielding rangers with nothing better to do... big improvement

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmike1
    I hate that idea. I really hate that idea. I want an alternative.
    Mike.. I'm always very appreciative of what you do for our sport. That said, the mentality that every biking violation should be hunted down and legally enforced is a slippery slope. Just wait until the next open space meeting when a hiker pulls out the stats on how many bikers have been ticketed as proof of what a poor user group we are. Is this something you really want to contribute to?

    Involving "the man" rarely helps in resolving any non-violent situation.

  27. #27
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    Upset Need an alternative....

    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    Involving "the man" rarely helps in resolving any non-violent situation.
    I couldn't agree with you more... that's why I was pleading outloud for an alternative.

    this whole situation sucks rocks... I am very angry to have years of forward progress for cycling advocacy on Boulder Open Space put at risk by one very ugly incident. It demonstrates how tenuous the situation is and continues to be.

    How do we change it? Get political. Get involved. show up.
    mtbmike
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  28. #28
    OMG!
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    mt biking is too dangerous anyway. im trading in my bikes for a knitting set. i suggest you all do the pc thing and follow suit.

  29. #29
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    Just wondering, is this the trail that starts at the top of the Fowler Trail? Its like across the bridge from the top of Springbrook, right?

    Anyway, I think the problem is that Boulder cultivates the "activist" mentality. I've only lived in Boulder for about a year, and the stuff that people get all worked up about is ridiculous. I think people get caught up in the whole vibe around here and just like to stir up trouble (because they feel entitled, being from Boulder and all). Not to mention, most of these people are huge hypocrites. Only in Boulder can you see people pulling up to an environmental activism rally in their Range Rovers and Suburbans...

    Kind of related:
    I was riding Springbrook yesterday and I rounded one of the random turns through the trees, and there was a ranger hiding behind the tree (just off the trail). She gave me the weirdest look. I said "Hi" and she just glared at me as I rode past. I don't know if she was just hanging out there or what, but it was pretty odd. I hope I didn't do anything wrong.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCS5280

    Kind of related:
    I was riding Springbrook yesterday and I rounded one of the random turns through the trees, and there was a ranger hiding behind the tree (just off the trail). She gave me the weirdest look. I said "Hi" and she just glared at me as I rode past. I don't know if she was just hanging out there or what, but it was pretty odd. I hope I didn't do anything wrong.

    Actually, she might have been upset because you didn't ask for permission to pass her on the trail. "Hi" or "on your left" are not really asking permission, so it's possible that she was glaring at you because you didn't properly yield to her (a hiker). I seem to remember the rangers feeling that even if they aren't on the trail or facing you, that you still must ask permission to pass them on the trail. I'm just guessing as to why she looked at you... You were wearing deodorant, right?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSD303
    Actually, she might have been upset because you didn't ask for permission to pass her on the trail. "Hi" or "on your left" are not really asking permission, so it's possible that she was glaring at you because you didn't properly yield to her (a hiker). I seem to remember the rangers feeling that even if they aren't on the trail or facing you, that you still must ask permission to pass them on the trail. I'm just guessing as to why she looked at you... You were wearing deodorant, right?
    Maybe she was "marking her territory" and you startled her!
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmike1
    I couldn't agree with you more... that's why I was pleading outloud for an alternative.

    this whole situation sucks rocks... I am very angry to have years of forward progress for cycling advocacy on Boulder Open Space put at risk by one very ugly incident. It demonstrates how tenuous the situation is and continues to be.

    How do we change it? Get political. Get involved. show up.
    I just had a discussion with one of the hikers who was disturbed by our trail-poaching brethren. She mostly felt threatened and vulnerable by bikes there when she wasn't expecting them. She tried to stop them, in a civil manner, and talk, but they just flew right around her. So we chatted for a while and I think that she got the idea that all bikers aren't like these idiots, and not to paint us with big brush strokes. She was also under the impression that we (mtn bikers) were trying to get access to the Mesa Trail. She was very relieved when I informed her that wasn't the case. She was concerned about her ability to run her dogs on the Mesa Trail, and protecting wildlife. I didn't go into the obvious issue there! So, maybe there still is some confusion surrounding the goals of the West Trail Access, or whatever that project is officially named? She also felt very threatened by the clout the BMA has now, which I thought was interesting.
    A punctured bicycle
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbjedi1
    She also felt very threatened by the clout the BMA has now, which I thought was interesting.
    Interesting, indeed. You riding that fancy new bike tomorrow, or what?

    (Dan)

  34. #34
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    Don't get us all confused with Jefferson County now . It's still ok to pass with a nod or hello in the Boulder area...

    Quote Originally Posted by JSD303
    Actually, she might have been upset because you didn't ask for permission to pass her on the trail. "Hi" or "on your left" are not really asking permission, so it's possible that she was glaring at you because you didn't properly yield to her (a hiker). I seem to remember the rangers feeling that even if they aren't on the trail or facing you, that you still must ask permission to pass them on the trail. I'm just guessing as to why she looked at you... You were wearing deodorant, right?
    Redstone Cyclery
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    You're right.. if this was Jeffco they'd have taxpayer funded undercover ticket wielding rangers with nothing better to do... big improvement
    hmmm...are you saying that boulder doesn't have tax funded rangers?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryhead
    hmmm...are you saying that boulder doesn't have tax funded rangers?
    I don't want to revive the Jeffco threads.. I'll just say Boulder rangers got nothin' on the Jeffco militia.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbjedi1
    I just had a discussion with one of the hikers who was disturbed by our trail-poaching brethren. She mostly felt threatened and vulnerable by bikes there when she wasn't expecting them. She tried to stop them, in a civil manner, and talk, but they just flew right around her. So we chatted for a while and I think that she got the idea that all bikers aren't like these idiots, and not to paint us with big brush strokes. She was also under the impression that we (mtn bikers) were trying to get access to the Mesa Trail. She was very relieved when I informed her that wasn't the case. She was concerned about her ability to run her dogs on the Mesa Trail, and protecting wildlife. I didn't go into the obvious issue there! So, maybe there still is some confusion surrounding the goals of the West Trail Access, or whatever that project is officially named? She also felt very threatened by the clout the BMA has now, which I thought was interesting.

    Nice job talking to the party in question. I think it's ideal to make it clear that 'we' relate and identify with the other peaceful, law abiding trail users of all kinds and not the rouge, problem causing individuals. In those who are causing problems on bikes are possibly more bothersome to other 'good' cyclist then to anyone else.
    2 wheels

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    I don't want to revive the Jeffco threads.. I'll just say Boulder rangers got nothin' on the Jeffco militia.

    I think you are missing the point – this ‘alleged’ incident was reported by someone who has no authority and we have not heard the other side of the story – For someone to make a big deal out of something reported by someone who has no authority and where the other person’s side of the story is unknown is meaningless to me. If this violation was reported by a ranger and got escalated through the normal SOP’s then I think this would be a legitimate post for concern.

  39. #39
    Loser
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    Do rangers really have the power to issue tickets to trail users? It seems to me like their reach would be limited (would they legally be able to demand identification etc since they aren't police officers?).

  40. #40
    ..ouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCS5280
    Do rangers really have the power to issue tickets to trail users? It seems to me like their reach would be limited (would they legally be able to demand identification etc since they aren't police officers?).
    Yes... most rangers have authority very similar to local peace officers within their park jurisdictions.

  41. #41
    Born With A Tail
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    I wish that the Goshawk Ridge trail was never built. I would even prefer to sacrifice the bike trails in order to keep the people away. I have hiked in this area with my dog for years and now it's overrun by boulderites in full Pata-Gucci regalia with hiking poles and too many rangers. I would say this new area is over-patrollled. My neighbor got a ticket for hiking off-trail without a permit in a "habitat conservation area", and area he's been hiking in for almost 40 years. If they want to conserve habitat, why build a trail, which attracts people, then have rangers driving around in trucks through this habitat in order to patrol it? I also realize that this is a completely selfish view because I liked it when I had the area to myself. But it sucks to have to worry about coppers and finks just to walk with my dog off-leash or go bushwacking off trail to look for antlers or just walk around in some beautiful scenery. Now all of that has to be done clandestinely at odd hours and I don't even bother going up there on weekends. I understand about encroaching civilization and that everybody has a right to enjoy the OSMP, but it sure feels like the end of an era.
    Tequila tonight, tomorrow we ride!

  42. #42
    skillz to pay billz
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Don't get us all confused with Jefferson County now . It's still ok to pass with a nod or hello in the Boulder area...
    amen

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    Yes... most rangers have authority very similar to local peace officers within their park jurisdictions.
    Rangers in Boulder carry guns and handcuffs, I equate that to the authority of police.

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