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  1. #1
    Always Breaking Stuff
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    Gunshots at Syncline

    Am I correct in assuming that the redneck who claimed to "own the land" and therefore have the right to shoot at bikers didn't hit actually anyone yesterday (4/9/06) at the top of Syncline?

    For those curious, there were 3 guys with multiple firearms each, at the top of the smooth doubletrack by the tree near the house at the top of Syncline. These inbreds had parked their truck and ATV on the main trail. Set up a target at the base of the side trail that goes through the oak trees where MANY people cut through in order to link sections of trail out there together. The idiots were firing shotgun rounds at that target where riders could easily have been riding through. When they were informed that bikers could be coming down that trail with no idea that someone was shooting at it. They responded by saying that the road at the top of that trail says "No Trespassing" so they claimed to have the right to shoot at it even after acknowledging that they may be risking human life.

    There were other people talking to this guy and I didn't want to have anything to do with him so I got out of there. I assume there would be news if this had escalated, but I feel the need to make people who weren't there aware of what was going on yesterday.

    The fact that there were hundreds of people riding out at Syncline many of whom were shuttling their downhill bikes to the top probably aggravated matters but that doesn't excuse the guy's actions.

    I know that there is private land as well as public land up there and much of it isn't very well marked, but this was one of the nastier land use conflicts I've seen and I felt the need to discuss it with other members of the MTB community here. Anyone have experience or advice dealing with this sort of situation?

    -Jon

  2. #2
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    Wow! Sounds like things got a little dicy. I guess the question I have is was the property owner amoung the group of shooters? If the situation did indeed present a danger to human life I suppose a call to the Klickitat County Seriff's office would have been appropriate. Having lived in Hood River the bulk of my life and having riden the Syncline more times than I'm able to remember, I've never heard of such an intense conflict up there before; absolutley stunning. FYI, Klickitat County Sheriff's Office phone number: 509-773-7545
    New Obama Creed: Change you can believe in TO Change what you believe in

  3. #3
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    The guy shooting was adamant that he was a property owner (I don't know which property) and that he had every right to be shooting in any manner he chose. I have ridden there many times, come across groups of bird hunters out there on a number of occasions and never had any sort of conflict. I always respect when they close off the private property for hunting season (I avoid the area entirely during those times), and I watch for any changes in regulations from CAMBA etc. This guy was out of line and just seemed to be getting a thrill out of "allowing" groups of riders to cross through his firing range.

    A call to the sheriff's office and some pictures would have been ideal, but I didn't have any of my electronics with me yesterday, I was riding light. None the less, thanks for the Sheriff's office number, I'll add that to my contact list.

    With more trails drying out daily, I might just avoid this area for a while... the oak is going to start growing strong any day now anyway.

    -Jon

  4. #4
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    Yikes. I don't know where some yahoos get the idea that ownership of land allows one to do anything one wants on it. We are a nation of laws, and many of those laws apply even on private property. Deliberately risking human life is a crime regardless of whether the "targets" are trespassing -- it is unacceptable even in cases where they are knowingly trespassing.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  5. #5
    Daniel the Dog
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    I crashed and got a tick down under at Syncline on Sunday

    Otherwise, a great ride, but back to the point, if they own the property we may not have a leg to stand on. I worry about Syncline being closed--at least the area that people own. Some morons are making new trails coming down the Syncline. The downhill crowds comes down skidding all over the place. Ticks me off...not a tick on my thigh either.

    Great place to ride until the poison oak comes out and grabs me.

    Jaybo

  6. #6
    Always Breaking Stuff
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    What time were you there Jay? We hit the top about 1:00. Was there someone shooting when you were there? What trail did you ride?

    -Jon

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    Otherwise, a great ride, but back to the point, if they own the property we may not have a leg to stand on.
    Unless they are threatening you, you can't deliberately shoot at people (or in a direction where you have reason to believe there might be people). Not even if you are on your own land.

    You can't molest a child on private property either, and claim some "it happened on my own land" defense.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  8. #8
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    Crazy

    I was up there on Sunday too and ran into these dudes.
    We tried to have a quick chat w/ them but you could tell they were agitated that bikers were up there.
    We did tell them where riders would be and they seemed to care at the time.

    I tell you one thing though, i had hairs on my kneck stand up while riding up the hill from there.

    NOT the motivation I need to climb...

  9. #9
    Always Breaking Stuff
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    I guess it is good to hear that I wasn't the only person who saw it and got sketched out over this. It definitely threw off my mojo for the rest of the ride Sunday.

    If a rider had gone up Coyote Canyon, and down Hidden Valley (odd loop but do-able) they could have totally gotten shot. Without having any idea what they were riding into. NOT my idea of a good time.

    Glad to hear they finally listened to you, I wonder if you were the guy talking to em when I left... That conversation didn't seem to be going anywhere and what can I say, I just wanted to get away from them.

  10. #10
    Daniel the Dog
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    It was around 1pm or so....no shot heard

    I didn't hear a thing. I crashed and beat the crap out of my legs on the rocks with some blood left on the trail . I'm giving something back to the Syncline. Up Mau to Cry Baby and down Coyote....

    It was a good ride...I didn't hear a thing.

    Jaybo

  11. #11
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    I saw the morons arrive at ~10am. I didn't know what they were up there for until 20minutes later when I started hearing gunshots and was very happy to be far away from them. I've gone to the Syncline the last 2 weekends since the trails west of Portland are really wet. I think I will stick to my strategy of getting there early (I was the 2nd car in the parking lot this past weekend) so I can avoid the aggressive downhillers and apparently idiots with guns.

  12. #12
    coffee
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    If a rider had gone up Coyote Canyon, and down Hidden Valley (odd loop but do-able) they could have totally gotten shot. Without having any idea what they were riding into. NOT my idea of a good time.
    That's actually a loop I frequently do. I'm not exactly sure where the shooters were from the description, but I do know where the "No Trespassing" sign they were talking about is. It has made me nervous in the past. You don't see it if you go up the syncline first, but if you're coming from Coyote Canyon it's pretty obvious.

    So what's the solution to this problem? I always ride on weekdays, starting mid-afternoon. Maybe these nuts have jobs during the week and I'll never see them? I also don't want to risk getting shot cruising peacefully through someone's land. Last time I was there I was more nervous about the cattle trampling me up on that grassy part (what's that called?). I guess I'll go back to doing Coyote Canyon as an out-and-back.

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