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  1. #1
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    Almost ran over the ranger.... need damage control help.

    After being sick last week with a nasty cold and not getting much riding in I broke away Saturday for a nice spin around one of my favorite new trails (Twisted Pine at Cave Lake State Park). The descent is one of funnest pieces of singletrack I've ridden. It is a multi-use trail for hikers, bikers, and horses but non-motorized.

    Well, I was just getting into the first good down hill section which goes along a side hill and has pretty good visibilty when I see an older gentleman in green scrambling up the slope to get off the trail as he hears me coming. He was still a good 10-15 yards away at this point and even if he hadn't moved I'm pretty sure I could've stopped or veered off the trail to miss him. I came to complete stop just past him (he was well off the trail by now) and turned around and apologized and asked him if he was OK. He just turned around a stomped off up the trail.

    I asked him again if he was ok and finally he grudingly turned around and said yes, but I shouldn't be going so fast on this trail, there may be other hikers. I could tell he was miffed and from the looks of him, (ranger uniform, walking stick, smokey bear hat) I kind of assume he's official.

    I apologized again, and said he was right, I shouldn't've been going that fast especially on a weekend mid-day (I usually ride this trail on a week day between 6:00 and 7:30 am so almost never see another soul). I assured him I'd slow down and be more careful.

    D'Oh.... I felt like Maverick or some other 15 year old downhill kid with no respect for other trail users. I am not. I'm old, responsible, and involved in trail building, maintenance, and public land issues in my area.

    I'm worried now this guy will make a stink and try and do something about getting bikes banned on this trail... What can I do to control the damage at this point?


    The worst part of it was that after I passed him I went out and did some hike-a-biking around the area off trail scouting out some locations for a new technical trail that the local trail guy and FS are planning. When I came climbing back up onto the trail two hours later I see him coming down the trail again... I ditched behind a tree (I felt like a criminal) until he passed....then realized that unless I wanted to climb clear back up to the top I had no choice but to continue down and face having to pass him again.

    The next passing didn't go a lot better. I saw him well in advance and slowed way down but he still panicked and scrambled, falling up the steep sidehill to get out of the way. The whole time I'm talking to him and telling him he's fine... he doesn't have to do that, I can get off and let him pass etc... but he just mumbled something about getting out of my way and I thanked him and told him to have a nice day in as pleasant a voice as I could muster.

  2. #2
    Nat
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    Oh great. K Rob blew it!

  3. #3
    desert dweller
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    Nice,
    After all the work we've been doing to get mountain bikes off the enemy number one list in Nevada -- You go and mess it all up! At least you didn't run over any small children --Did you? Okay, just kidding. Some days you just can't win for trying.

    matt

  4. #4
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Dang.

    I think you have to shoot him and hide his body in the woods.

    Either that, or bake him some brownies.

    Dang.
    speedub.nate
    MTBR Hiatus UFN

  5. #5
    He be a moose too.
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    The fifteen y.o. downhill kid wouldn't have stopped to say 'sorry'. Perhaps the ranger was having a bad day. Maybe you were going a little too fast but you showed contrition and not much more you can do. I've apologized on occasion to people and they dealt with it very poorly. My suspicion is that they weren't expecting it and weren't sure how to deal with it.

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  6. #6
    post-ride specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Dang.

    I think you have to shoot him and hide his body in the woods.
    ....

    Nah, blunt trauma. Then gone back with a quad and left tracks to make it look like hit and run.
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  7. #7
    Young, Shawn Young
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    Glad I rode there before the hammer comes down:P
    "Im just going to explore a little bit..."

    Dont make me be the bad guy...

    Do I need a pass to ride this trail?

  8. #8
    Uphill hater
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    "I felt like Maverick or some other 15 year old downhill kid with no respect for other trail users."

    Nice XC snobbery and generalization.
    Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

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  9. #9
    Masher
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    Yeah, maybe you should have said: "I felt like Maverick and some of the other 15 year old downhill kids on this board that show no respect for other trail users.", then it would be more accurate.

    You could approach the ranger and suggest or volunteer to improve the sight lines on the trail by cutting back some of the brush that limits visibility?

  10. #10
    JMH
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    Cutting back brush and widening the sight lines typically only causes increased speeds. Tight singletrack keeps riders slow so they can stay on the trail. The reduced warning when you meet other users is a tradeoff, but at least you can stop.

    A nice bear bell does a fabulous job of alerting others to your imminent presence. Put it on for the long descents, stuff it in your camelback for the climbs?

    Krob- Sometimes you just get into situations that are best left alone! I don't think you can win this one. It always makes me feel guilty when I encounter a "jumper" on the trail. You could be standing still 50 yards up the trail and they go scrambling 20ft up the slope for the nearest stand of trees and then mutter at you the entire time you are in earshot. I just don't get it, but there is nothing you can do.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by fishbum
    Yeah, maybe you should have said: "I felt like Maverick and some of the other 15 year old downhill kids on this board that show no respect for other trail users.", then it would be more accurate.

    You could approach the ranger and suggest or volunteer to improve the sight lines on the trail by cutting back some of the brush that limits visibility?

  11. #11
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    speaking from experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek
    Nah, blunt trauma. Then gone back with a quad and left tracks to make it look like hit and run.
    ...um, you say that w/ too much authority.


    --


    krob, next time just don a fake, thick accent and tell him in broken english that in your country old people aren't allowed outside, so you didn't expect to see him on the trail. then mumble something about lunchtime and ask if he's seen any equestrians...

  12. #12
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinguwin
    The fifteen y.o. downhill kid wouldn't have stopped to say 'sorry'. Perhaps the ranger was having a bad day. Maybe you were going a little too fast but you showed contrition and not much more you can do. I've apologized on occasion to people and they dealt with it very poorly. My suspicion is that they weren't expecting it and weren't sure how to deal with it.

    Pinguwin
    But then he slinked around in the woods like a ninja. Ranger was probably upset because K Rob jumped out at him looking like:
    .
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  13. #13
    Just roll it......
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    agree with JMH. You slowed down and then stopped and said you were sorry for the speed.....the guy was a curmudgeon. Not a lot more you can do about the situation.

    Cheers,
    EB

  14. #14
    i worship Mr T
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    sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and say 'oh well, i did the best i could.'

    i was once riding fireroad and passed a group of people walking with plenty of warning and space. they freaked out from the noise of my tires on the gravel/dirt. the next time i came up on them i called out "on your left" and the person i was trying to pass stepped....to her left! so i corrected to the right just as she realized what she'd done and stepped to the right. needless to say, even braking as well as i could, i ran right into her calling out "SORRY!!' as i hit her. i stopped, apologized profusely, offered to get help (she had a cut on her knee), offered to run home and get a first aid kit, apologized some more. it was no one's fault yet she and her friends told me to go away and threatened to call the cops on me because i was "riding too fast" and "scaring people". i

    you apologized. you were careful the next time you saw him. you did everything you could to make up for scaring him the first time. hopefully he'll take that into consideration and this will be just one bad moment in his long happy life.

    my $0.02
    rt
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner1
    "I felt like Maverick or some other 15 year old downhill kid with no respect for other trail users."

    Nice XC snobbery and generalization.
    True... and that was kind of the secondary point of the post. Even an old, responsible, normally courteous trail user can come off getting stereotyped by another trail user that only sees a "crazy, out of control, armoured up, punk", destroying nature and trying to ruin the peaceful serenity of his casual morning hike.

    So, my apologies to those I've stereotyped in the past. Obviously not all older, sensible, responsible XC riders have good trail etequette and not all young, impetuous, devil-may-care downhillers are bad trail users...... not only that... but not all older responsible courteous trail users are just XC riders (I was out to explore some technical features for a proposed future trail and had my 6.6 and full armour) and vice versa.

  16. #16
    Nat
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    Send the Ranger some flowers to his office.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner1
    "I felt like Maverick or some other 15 year old downhill kid with no respect for other trail users."

    Nice XC snobbery and generalization.

    I LOVE how politically correct mountain bikers have become. "Ohh, you hurt my feeling AND insulted my style of riding, please apologize and make me feel better", get over it.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
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  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Cutting back brush and widening the sight lines typically only causes increased speeds. Tight singletrack keeps riders slow so they can stay on the trail. The reduced warning when you meet other users is a tradeoff, but at least you can stop.
    Funny you should mention that. The ironic thing is that when they first cut in the trail it was tighter and a bit rougher in that section and they kept cutting back trees and brush and smoothing it and widening the bench. When we tried to point out to them that it would actually be safer and cause the bikes to go slower if they left it rougher and tighter they gave us the "multi-use standard" yadda yadda" answer. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I think this was the very ranger that told us that. Maybe he understands now.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Krob- Sometimes you just get into situations that are best left alone! I don't think you can win this one. It always makes me feel guilty when I encounter a "jumper" on the trail. You could be standing still 50 yards up the trail and they go scrambling 20ft up the slope for the nearest stand of trees and then mutter at you the entire time you are in earshot. I just don't get it, but there is nothing you can do.

    JMH
    Yeah, I think this was the case. Probably not much else I could've done .

  19. #19
    post-ride specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish
    I LOVE how politically correct mountain bikers have become. "Ohh, you hurt my feeling AND insulted my style of riding, please apologize and make me feel better", get over it.
    Clearly it's the roadie cross-over crowd.
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  20. #20
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek
    Clearly it's the roadie cross-over crowd.
    Hey! I resemble that remark! WTF?!
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  21. #21
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish
    Hey! I resemble that remark! WTF?!
    Quick, someone apologize!

  22. #22
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    Hope

    Nat, thank you for considering my feelings. Although you weren't the one specifically (icegeek, you heartless bastard!) who insulted me (at least in this thread) and my particular style of riding I can at least take comfort in the fact that some faceless stranger out there in internet-land who I'll probably never meet is thinking about how much I hurt right now.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  23. #23
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish
    Nat, thank you for considering my feelings. Although you weren't the one specifically (icegeek, you heartless bastard!) who insulted me (at least in this thread) and my particular style of riding I can at least take comfort in the fact that some faceless stranger out there in internet-land who I'll probably never meet is thinking about how much I hurt right now.
    A bouquet of flowers is on its way. You can begin the healing soon.

  24. #24
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    I agree with other posters, shoot him and put him in he woods!

    Any how this sounds like this guy had a typical eco nazi reaction. "Oh my gosh there is an evil trail user (insert anything other than a hiker) they are obviously on an out of control rampage and I must fling myself to safety!!!!"
    Then after you pass and they grumble even after you attempt to appolgize for not really doing anything wrong.
    He will go on to spin tales of how he was almost killed by a pack of rabid _____ (insert non hiking trail user of chioce here) and they must be evicted from all public lands.

    You did all you could to apologize even in the fact you really didn't do anything wrong. Just gotta accept that there are many a turd out there.

  25. #25
    Loser
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    but not all older responsible courteous trail users are just XC riders ...
    Being the older, responsible XC type, I had a strange thing happen a few weeks ago. I was riding at a popular spot, one I go to very often and have been for 20 years. I know every rock.

    I come around an open (not blind) corner, see two noobies fighting their way down a technical descent. The one further back fell off his bike and let me pass before he got back on. The one in front was way off to the right, and as this is a highly used system, there is plenty of room to pass on the left. I'm moving at a good clip, but in complete control (from my perspective). When I get close enough I yell out "on your left" and execute a perfect pass, didn't let off the gas, and gave the noob plenty of room (from my perspective). Just as I pass he yells out "Effing PUNKS!" I guess he didn't get a good look at me, as I'm old enough to be his father.

    Anyway, I felt terrible, I obviously scared the guy. As I said I was moving pretty good and had someone right on my tail, I didn't stop - but in retrospect I probably should have, just to set it right. I waited for just a bit at the top of the next hill, but they never showed up - I guess they took a turn.

    In any event, first time I've been called a punk since I was one and shows that even doing the "right" thing is not always perceived the way you think its going to be perceived.
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

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