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  1. #1
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    Not saying the F-word at GD/Mount Gretna

    Just wish to share a thought about something that happened this evening at Governor Dick. Perhaps when an individual or group are caught in the act of night riding at GD, they should simply politely plead ignorance and leave to avoid confrontation all together. By the way, night riding is not permitted nor is any activity permitted in the park after dark. But, this particular group of approx. 5 or more mtn bikers chose to tell an individual to go "F" himself when they were confronted. Now comes the best part.....it was the park ranger they told to go "F" off who was on his way to a monthly board meeting. Bad enough they were caught, but then they bad mouthed the absolute worse person to do that to on the GD board. Repeatedly I am astonished at the stupidity of some people. Of course Matt and I who head the Trail Support Committee had to hear of it.

    Getting caught night riding at GD is a serious issue and could get mtn bikers kicked out of the park. Isn't that obvious?? Just wanted to share and am hopeful that those of us who care will influence those who just don't understand or chose to care only about themselves.

    The Duchess

  2. #2
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    I had a nice discussion with the "park ranger" the other day. Fines will be coming for those that continue to choose to break the rules. You all have to remember Gov. Dick is private property that we are allowed to use. Its not that hard to follow the rules.

    It won't be too long until there are guys on bikes chasing those that break the rules down.

    For all those that know who the "park ranger" is he is a nice guy I've known him for years and he really is a reasonable person.

    Some tickets have been issued for criminal trespass on the closed trails and this will continue to happen. The fines have been in the 100-200 dollar range. Bike Impound isn't too far off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  3. #3
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    Mountain Biking Is Not A Crime

    For all those that know who the "park ranger" is he is a nice guy I've known him for years and he really is a reasonable person.

    Some tickets have been issued for criminal trespass on the closed trails and this will continue to happen. The fines have been in the 100-200 dollar range. Bike Impound isn't too far off.[/QUOTE]


    Really? Its private property...not public property.

    Is your "park ranger" authorized by the municipality or Commonwealth to issue tickets? Or does he have to call a cop and swear out a criminal complaint? Criminal tresspass for being on a trail otherwise open to the public is not appropriate - it would be simple tresspass and most likely defendable anyway. "Bike Impound" is not ludicrous. If someone tried to impound my bike and he didn't have a gun and a badge, comedy would ensue. And what do you do about the person who rides there occassionally and makes a simple mistake about what trail is open or closed? I've ridden there a few times, check out the map and ride only what is open, but it seems to change. Sounds like a Nazi regiem over there - I see the Duchess in a leather corset and boots sporting a bull whip.

    Look, I know you're trying to discourage people from breaking the rules, but people who break the rules are going to do so, regardless of these "scare" tactics.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  4. #4
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    Despite "The Duchess" looking quite sexy sporting leather boots and a whip....that is not her usual riding garb. Nor does the Duchess or her hubby who head the Trail Committee issue tickets for we do not have the authority to do so. But, the park ranger does and he will. Essentially, Governor Dick is private land and the rules and regulations must be abided. It only takes a few non-conformists to spoil it for us all. I grow tired defending the board members at GD but I know for a fact they do support our efforts at the park and in return it would be great if people would just appreciate the fact that GD is a cool place to ride but it is a privelege to do so and not a right!!!

    The FTO (Foot Travel Only) trails were slightly modified in January 2010 to allow us access to Trail 4. Since then no additional changes have been made and the most up to date map can be found on www.sambabiker.com. Recently additonal stickers and posts have been placed making it very clear as to what trails are multi-use and FTO.

    I do not appreciate the remark "Sounds like a Nazi regiem over there" Unless you attend the monthly meetings and invest the amount of time that we do you have no right to make such a comment. Also, any reference to Nazi's is in very poor taste. GD is private land governed by a board of 6 members. It is what it is and will never change. The rules are the rules and if mtn bikers want to continue to recreate there they must follow a few simple rules.

  5. #5
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    Our "Park Ranger" is a Game Warden and as such can issue tickets and arrest people.

    These aren't scare tactics, this is reality. Its private property and they can have you arrested or the "Ranger" can do it himself.

    I know a few of the past and present board members and they are just people trying to keep everyone happy. The least we can do is follow their rules so that we can retain the privilege of riding there.

    Our frustration isn't directed at the few people that break the rules unknowingly, its those that know the rules and refuse to follow them. And our "ranger" understands and respects that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  6. #6
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    If he's a game warden, then you are absolutely right. And it may be a deterrant to the rule breaking - bike confiscation seems a little draconian. I agree with you that people should follow the rules - if they did, you'd have no (maybe less) user conflict.

    You are kind of preaching to the choir about it though, I think most of us agree that you can loose the good will you built by a few bad actors. Like I said, you are going to have people who do what they want, no matter what the consequences.

    I don't want to get into a flame fest with the Duchess, you do admirable work spending your time and energy to promote and protect mountainbiking. My post didn't mean to lump you into the governing body, that is leving fines and threating to impound bikes. By your posts, you do "crack the whip" when it comes to GD. I do disagree w/ you that I am not entitled to offer my opinion - it may be wrong, but opinions are a right we all have. You are free to have your opinion of me and show me why mine is wrong, but your threats do work so well.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  7. #7
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    pushing it the wrong way

    I really wouldn't want to see it go this way but the solution to many of the mountain biking trail problems may come down something like THIS. What will prompt THIS are several reasons. Riding where you are not supposed to, riding when you are not supposed to, destruction of property and land, disrespect to other users (hikers, horses, bikers, etc.) lack of trail maintenance participation. What THIS is, is riding by permit only such as Camp Mack but on a much larger scale where a large number of locations participate in a co-operative permit program. Why? control and money. If I can go to a kiosk and rent a movie then why couldn't I go to a kiosk and buy a riding pass. The major down side is only one as I see it and it is a big one from my point of view....big brother. Just another one of our freedoms taken away. But since we cannot be responsible as a mountain bike community then we will lose those freedoms. The plus side would be data collection on what trail systems are used most and when. Participation rewards that will issue discounts to those that actually do trail maintenance. If you don't do trail maintenance then you pay for the ones that do ( I really like that idea ). Revenue stream for land managers may be an incentive to open up additional mountain bike trails and keep them from closing down trails (which seems to be a distrubing trend lately). A way to help pay for tools and maintenance of trails. Of course a short paragraph cannot explore all the issues that THIS will create but this fantasy may unfortunately become a reality if we don't start cleaning up our act and start becoming more responsible as a mountain bike community.

  8. #8
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    I was only saying that bike impound could be coming as I've seen it happen in other areas with similar problems. Nothing has been brought up that it will happen at GD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  9. #9
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    Those are actually some great ideas. IMO -one of the best models out there for mountain bike organization and land managers working together in a small park is DE Trail Spinners and Middle Run/White Clay. There are all kinds of users that use all the trails there, some trails are specific skills trails, many features (log rides, skinnies, rock piles, log piles) are on the sides of trails (to make up for lack of technical riding of the natural terrain). The land managers actually pay for man hours the club puts into trail maintenance. Those guys should give a seminar on how to work with a small multi-use park in a densely populated area so everyone gets along and enjoys some fun trails.

    Maybe DE has more state money to give for trail work, people are more chill down there - I don't know, but they do something right. Generating fees may be one way to stay in the good graces of land managers, Boards or whatever is in charge - funny how money has a way of doing that. Nothing is free anymore, so a small permit fee might be a good idea, so long as the money is earmarked for the trails.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Cabletwitch
    It won't be too long until there are guys on bikes chasing those that break the rules down.

    For all those that know who the "park ranger" is he is a nice guy I've known him for years and he really is a reasonable person.
    I'm not sure you really know the real park ranger there. I've never heard him described in these terms before. His name is Dave, and as far as I knew, his day job was a phys.ed. teacher, but he could have moved on to become a game warden like you said, IDK.

    What I do know is that I talked one of the guys this morning that was one of the group out night riding ( I was not one of them), and his version is slightly different than what The Duchess's description of "ranger Dave's" account. From what he told me, they weren't even on trail, they were standing by the road when Dave comes rolling up in his SUV (there's environmentalism in action!), door flys open and he charges out yelling at them in a very hostile and aggressive manner that they can't ride there. At that point, ONE of the guy tells him to F-off, and they then leave the area. Now these aren't some young punks, the group was all 40+ yr old working dads, engineers, doctors, etc. I'm not defending them, they surely knew it was against the law to be riding a mtn bike at 6:45pm on a weekday evening. But from the honest account of the events relayed to me, I can't say I wouldn't have reacted like similarly and said "F-off" too; when I get pushed, I push back. They didn't know he was an "authority figure", because if you know your dealing with a cop or warden, you behave yourself.

    So anyway, I'm sure the GD board will ban us bikers at some point for violating their absurd trail restrictions. That's just less people they have to worry about witnessing their theft and misuse of our tax dollars in the form of "growing greener grants" to erect worthless deer fences, while the land was actually deeded to be managed for the public as a natural playground.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonraker
    I'm not sure you really know the real park ranger there. I've never heard him described in these terms before. His name is Dave, and as far as I knew, his day job was a phys.ed. teacher, but he could have moved on to become a game warden like you said, IDK.

    What I do know is that I talked one of the guys this morning that was one of the group out night riding ( I was not one of them), and his version is slightly different than what The Duchess's description of "ranger Dave's" account. From what he told me, they weren't even on trail, they were standing by the road when Dave comes rolling up in his SUV (there's environmentalism in action!), door flys open and he charges out yelling at them in a very hostile and aggressive manner that they can't ride there. At that point, ONE of the guy tells him to F-off, and they then leave the area. Now these aren't some young punks, the group was all 40+ yr old working dads, engineers, doctors, etc. I'm not defending them, they surely knew it was against the law to be riding a mtn bike at 6:45pm on a weekday evening. But from the honest account of the events relayed to me, I can't say I wouldn't have reacted like similarly and said "F-off" too; when I get pushed, I push back. They didn't know he was an "authority figure", because if you know your dealing with a cop or warden, you behave yourself.

    So anyway, I'm sure the GD board will ban us bikers at some point for violating their absurd trail restrictions. That's just less people they have to worry about witnessing their theft and misuse of our tax dollars in the form of "growing greener grants" to erect worthless deer fences, while the land was actually deeded to be managed for the public as a natural playground.

    Same guy, I know Dave, known him for years since he was my gym teacher in high school. He is a part time game warden and has been that way for many many years. If you break the law of the land be prepared to get yelled at if your 16 or 40.

    Oh and by the way Dave doesn't drive an SUV he drives a 20+ year old four ranger that I'm sure gets fine gas mileage.

    Before you go calling the trail restrictions absurd you need to know the real reason they exist.

    A while back a judge decided that due to the wording of the original trust there must be some Foot travel only trails. Therefore they closed down trail 1 which was a no brainer, and even gave us a alternate route. Closed trail 12 due to enviromental concerns as you are aware the bottom can turn into a mud hole. Sections of trail #13 and #14 were closed due to the blind corners and according to the legal ruling they had to close down a few more trails.

    In the end it doesn't matter as its private land owned by a trust which is governed by 6 people. If you don't like their rules don't ride there.

    As I said before I know a few of the past and present board members and we talk about whats going on up there a lot so before you go blasting what they do understand their motivation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Cabletwitch
    Before you go calling the trail restrictions absurd you need to know the real reason they exist.

    A while back a judge decided that due to the wording of the original trust there must be some Foot travel only trails. Therefore they closed down trail 1 which was a no brainer, and even gave us a alternate route. Closed trail 12 due to enviromental concerns as you are aware the bottom can turn into a mud hole. Sections of trail #13 and #14 were closed due to the blind corners and according to the legal ruling they had to close down a few more trails.
    I am sorry, but your information is incorrect.

    These trail restrictions were not due to user impact, user conflict, blind corners, and a legal ruling. They were at the request of the SICO Foundation (co trustee of the park) to whom Dave represents on both the Board and in the Trail Task Force that dealt with the new trail use rules. The Foundation’s request was backed by the portion of the Deed of Trust the states: “the trust shall be for the enjoyment of persons traveling on foot; and no automobile, vehicle or mobile machinery shall be allowed to move or travel upon roads on the land hereby conveyed except upon the business of the trust or with the written permission of the trustee or upon such public roads as may hereafter be built by state or local authority.”

    In the end it is what it is (hate that statement). This is private land and with so few places to ride we cannot afford to lose any more trails. So I will follow the trail restrictions and encourage others to do the same. This change has not been a happy one; in fact it saddens me because it could have been done differently and still have been favorable to all parties involved. However in the end trail 15 was built as conciliation to the trails lost and this year the restriction was lifted on trail 4 so there is some positive in what happened.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Cabletwitch
    As I said before I know a few of the past and present board members and we talk about whats going on up there a lot so before you go blasting what they do understand their motivation.
    No offense, but what is your involvement in the part?

  13. #13
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    I have no involvement in the park beyond being a frequent user, however as I said before I know a few of the past and present board members. Everything I have stated has come straight from the mouth of past and present board members.

    The trails were chosen to be closed based on the concerns I have stated as per a board member. And yes a judge was involved in the interpretation of the original trust.

    Before everybody goes bashing the board and Dave in particular try and understand the man. I've known him for 15+ years and while he can be a prick his intentions are all good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Cabletwitch
    The trails were chosen to be closed based on the concerns I have stated as per a board member. And yes a judge was involved in the interpretation of the original trust.
    I am sorry, but you have been given bad information. The fact is that I also attended the Trail Task Force meetings (yes, the ones that set up the closures) and was involved with the park for several years. How each trail was choosen to be closed is a long story, but in the end the reasons you where given did not come up in the meetings.

    As for the board I am not here to bash them

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnold74
    I am sorry, but you have been given bad information. The fact is that I also attended the Trail Task Force meetings (yes, the ones that set up the closures) and was involved with the park for several years. How each trail was choosen to be closed is a long story, but in the end the reasons you where given did not come up in the meetings.

    As for the board I am not here to bash them

    Well bad information may very well have been given to me on how the trails were chosen, this really wouldn't surprise me.

    Sorry for passing it off as fact.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Cableb!tch: living, breathing proof you can be right and.still be a dick.

  16. #16
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    IF it could have been some that I know, the F bomb would never have been dropped if they were caught in the wrong.

    IF it would have been someone I know. I have no belief that it was or wasn't.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr
    I have no belief that it was or wasn't.
    This is your first post?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyDean
    This is your first post?

    DethWshBkr
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    Looks like it to me.

    Point being?

    I did find out it was not them however, as I would have been disappointed had it been...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding
    Those are actually some great ideas. IMO -one of the best models out there for mountain bike organization and land managers working together in a small park is DE Trail Spinners and Middle Run/White Clay. There are all kinds of users that use all the trails there, some trails are specific skills trails, many features (log rides, skinnies, rock piles, log piles) are on the sides of trails (to make up for lack of technical riding of the natural terrain). The land managers actually pay for man hours the club puts into trail maintenance. Those guys should give a seminar on how to work with a small multi-use park in a densely populated area so everyone gets along and enjoys some fun trails.

    Maybe DE has more state money to give for trail work, people are more chill down there - I don't know, but they do something right. Generating fees may be one way to stay in the good graces of land managers, Boards or whatever is in charge - funny how money has a way of doing that. Nothing is free anymore, so a small permit fee might be a good idea, so long as the money is earmarked for the trails.
    I can speak from a little experence in dealing with David Bartoo, the land manager at White Clay SP. He is a mountain biker, and has championed all you mention. Meaning, he is a key guy in charge of/influencing decisions at this park. We need a mountain biker to get on the board at Gretna, or be the "park ranger." Only then will we really make strides in getting what we are looking for. We are currently in the same rut here in Philly. The land managers simply dont understand what it is be passionate about mountain biking. They are acting on perceptions, many of which are influenced by outside forces that are not to friendly to us, as well as their own misguided thoughts and feelings. Also their fear of liability. If they keep the status quo, their employment risk stays low. MTBers gotta get involved somehow and fill some of these positions and we will see more park like in DE.
    bike = good

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt_merchant
    I can speak from a little experence in dealing with David Bartoo, the land manager at White Clay SP. He is a mountain biker, and has championed all you mention. Meaning, he is a key guy in charge of/influencing decisions at this park. We need a mountain biker to get on the board at Gretna, or be the "park ranger." Only then will we really make strides in getting what we are looking for. We are currently in the same rut here in Philly. The land managers simply dont understand what it is be passionate about mountain biking. They are acting on perceptions, many of which are influenced by outside forces that are not to friendly to us, as well as their own misguided thoughts and feelings. Also their fear of liability. If they keep the status quo, their employment risk stays low. MTBers gotta get involved somehow and fill some of these positions and we will see more park like in DE.
    Absolutely. One of the guys I rode with many years ago was out jogging a awhile back on some of the trails at Gretna. Apparently some ranger type guy saw him, and asked him if he wanted to be on the committee our something of the like. He apparently said something to the effect of that "they needed more people who would help to get rid of these mountain bikers." Apparently figured since he was a runner that he hated mountain bikes.
    Needless to say, he told this ranger guy that he was one of those mountain bikers. It's a shame though, because he would have been on that counsel. Oh well. I guess he was too upset over the attitude of the ranger guy to want to be on a committee.

  21. #21
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    Having never ridden at GD I can't really comment on the trails or the rules but I want to get up there so I need to educate myself.

    It seems as if the ranger would have calmly identified himself as a ranger rather than spouting off some of this could have been avoided. A person who is of authority doesn't have to blow up cause well he is in charge. What he says goes and he should be respected for it. If the group of guys were respectful they would have aknowledged it and move along. Just my two cents.

  22. #22
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    I'm really surprised no one made mention of the Wissahickon closings in the mid nineties. Trail passes and those great little wrist bands that we all were supposed to wear. Park Ranger's jumping out of bushes and scaring cyclists! Ahh, those were the days. And now look at the place...one of the coolest places to ride...still. Granted it took A LOT OF WORK to get where it is. Just remember to be cool, and obey all the rules that were set out by that great org IMBA. Were all just riding our bikes, right?

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