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  1. #1
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    Ranger on a quad on the John Nicholes Trail

    So I was out riding JN Trail on Aug 2nd approximately 6pm I was headed down the John Nicholes trail back to my vehicle. As I was headed down i came up on a huge cloud of dust. At first I though maybe a group of mountain bikers ahead of me. Then I saw tire tracks and the small of exhaust. To my amazement it was a Ranger on a 4wd quad. My question is if there is no medical emergency why is there a motorized vehicle on this trail? As I caught up to him and asked him what he was doing the only answer I got out of him was “You can pass”. I warned a lot of hikers and mountain bikers climbing that trail. Not only does he not belong out there he was traveling and a unsafe high rate of speed. Just wondering if anyone else has seen him out there. This is the second time now

  2. #2
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    Did you contact the park ranger office about this? Did you contact Santa Clara County Parks? If you feel he does not belong out there or if he was operating the quad at an unsafe speed you should report it. With all due respect, I hope you are not just venting about it on this board and doing nothing else about it.

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  3. #3
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    I’ve sent multiple emails with no response. Thanks for your great comment. This was more of a warning to other riders out there and wondering if anyone else has seen him.

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    Ranger on a quad on the John Nicholes Trail

    I was climbing that day while you were descending. When he got to me he stopped and asked if you said anything. I was really confused, asked him to repeat what he said, then I said “nah” and he drove off. Weird.

    I did notice a fallen tree blocking the trail near the bottom had been chainsaw’d when I came back down. So I guess he was doing that?

    He seemed a bit surly.

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    Oh I remember. Wonder why he was concerned if I had said anything to you? Funny thing is there is a service road that leads really close to that downed tree. I had to follow him for almost 1/2 mile before he noticed I was behind him. I was ringing my bell the whole time. Try eating dust from a 4 Wheeler for a 1/2 mile. Many parts of that trail are just to narrow for that quad as I witnessed being behind him

  6. #6
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    Sounds like he was doing trail maintenance.
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  7. #7
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    everytime I read these threads, it makes me wish i was a park ranger.

    Bomb around on the quad in the am. Take the e-bike out around sunset.

    **** the rules!

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    Quote Originally Posted by benztech731 View Post
    I had to follow him for almost 1/2 mile before he noticed I was behind him. I was ringing my bell the whole time. Try eating dust from a 4 Wheeler for a 1/2 mile.
    God forbid you had stopped for 2 mins to let him get ahead of you and for the dust to die down lol.

    Also, you said he was traveling at an unsafe speed, yet you were following him close enough to eat dust for 1/2 mile. Wouldnt that also mean you were traveling at an unsafe speed?

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Californiagrown View Post
    God forbid you had stopped for 2 mins to let him get ahead of you and for the dust to die down lol.

    Also, you said he was traveling at an unsafe speed, yet you were following him close enough to eat dust for 1/2 mile. Wouldnt that also mean you were traveling at an unsafe speed?
    15 mph on a 600lbs quad around blind turns is unsafe yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    everytime I read these threads, it makes me wish i was a park ranger.

    Bomb around on the quad in the am. Take the e-bike out around sunset.

    **** the rules!
    Every time I read these threads I thank God that I am not a park ranger out there performing public service for a thankless entitled public.

    Working from the AM to sunset (and even later when you have to wait until past dark for straggler bikers) cleaning bathrooms, doing trail maintenance, picking up litter, answering dumb questions, enforcing rules that are there to protect flora and fauna, and then enduring criticism for going too fast and too slow on the trails at the same time.

    It is a shame that rangers are so underappreciated and maligned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudaman View Post
    Every time I read these threads I thank God that I am not a park ranger out there performing public service for a thankless entitled public.

    Working from the AM to sunset (and even later when you have to wait until past dark for straggler bikers) cleaning bathrooms, doing trail maintenance, picking up litter, answering dumb questions, enforcing rules that are there to protect flora and fauna, and then enduring criticism for going too fast and too slow on the trails at the same time.

    It is a shame that rangers are so underappreciated and maligned.
    Yea really sucks they chose that career path

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudaman View Post
    Every time I read these threads I thank God that I am not a park ranger out there performing public service for a thankless entitled public.

    Working from the AM to sunset (and even later when you have to wait until past dark for straggler bikers) cleaning bathrooms, doing trail maintenance, picking up litter, answering dumb questions, enforcing rules that are there to protect flora and fauna, and then enduring criticism for going too fast and too slow on the trails at the same time.

    It is a shame that rangers are so underappreciated and maligned.
    You missed the point. Entirely.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    You missed the point. Entirely.
    I'm curious what you think the point is? After your previous flippant, dismissive post and the one by benztech731, I think chudaman captured the spirit of the thread thus far.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudaman View Post
    Every time I read these threads I thank God that I am not a park ranger out there performing public service for a thankless entitled public.

    Working from the AM to sunset (and even later when you have to wait until past dark for straggler bikers) cleaning bathrooms, doing trail maintenance, picking up litter, answering dumb questions, enforcing rules that are there to protect flora and fauna, and then enduring criticism for going too fast and too slow on the trails at the same time.

    It is a shame that rangers are so underappreciated and maligned.
    Agreed. These are Santa Clara County Parks rangers btw. True good guys! They rarely issue bike tickets (unlike Midpen) and they're responsible for the trail and all the land around it. They do real trail work and maintenance themselves.

    Have talked to a few of them and it's always a good exchange. They fought for the Sanborn Bike Park with the cyclists with us (and lost). But they're looking for a new venue i hear.

    28 parks is their domain https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/P...nty-Parks.aspx
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Agreed. These are Santa Clara County Parks rangers btw. True good guys! They rarely issue bike tickets (unlike Midpen) and they're responsible for the trail and all the land around it. They do real trail work and maintenance themselves.

    Have talked to a few of them and it's always a good exchange. They fought for the Sanborn Bike Park with the cyclists with us (and lost). But they're looking for a new venue i hear.

    28 parks is their domain https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/P...nty-Parks.aspx
    Yep. Couldn't agree more. They've been damn nice anytime I've spoken with them @ JN
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloborealis View Post
    I'm curious what you think the point is? After your previous flippant, dismissive post and the one by benztech731, I think chudaman captured the spirit of the thread thus far.
    If you haven't ridden the trail, then it might be hard for you to appreciate his point. It can be fairly sketchy descending that trail at speed. It's a popular trail and there is often hikers and riders going both directions, with limited sight lines in a number of spots, so you really have to be paying attention--on a bike. On a quad at the same speed you're way more likely to take somebody out.

    If he was doing trail maintenance and really needed the quad, it would have been much safer to start from Black Rd. and avoid almost all the s/t. Whatevs...
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    If you haven't ridden the trail, then it might be hard for you to appreciate his point. It can be fairly sketchy descending that trail at speed. It's a popular trail and there is often hikers and riders going both directions, with limited sight lines in a number of spots, so you really have to be paying attention--on a bike. On a quad at the same speed you're way more likely to take somebody out.

    If he was doing trail maintenance and really needed the quad, it would have been much safer to start from Black Rd. and avoid almost all the s/t. Whatevs...
    Since I have not ridden JN trail I'll assume your's is a fair assessment. Good information that wasn't included in the original post. Doesn't make the cheap comments about someone's career choice and implied misuse of his position any more palatable. One encounter AFAIK led to baseless assumptions about character, attitude, motive, etc. Too much of this going around these days.

    Question for you. You took the time to write a response, why end with "whatevs"? If you truly don't care, you should start with "whatevs" so we can ignore you in advance.
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  19. #19
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    Feel free to ignore this in advance (there are more important things happening).

    Some more context: Rangers in the area (Midpen parks) are some of the worst in the country--ticketing mtbers for "speeding", harassing riders, wrecking trails, etc. So that feeling tends to be generalized toward nearby rangers, which isn't fair.



    VV I think that's the definition of unsafe!
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  20. #20
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    The JNT was built at 5' wide and receives heavy use and thus mostly stays that width. It has excellent sight-lines in most (but not all) areas. Because it's so wide with good sight-lines, narrow users (hike, bike) can pass each other at a good speed.

    It's surely a bad sign if the ranger was kicking up a giant dust cloud and oblivious to those behind him and wasn't in a good mood. But that doesn't mean it was unsafe.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    If you haven't ridden the trail, then it might be hard for you to appreciate his point. It can be fairly sketchy descending that trail at speed. It's a popular trail and there is often hikers and riders going both directions, with limited sight lines in a number of spots, so you really have to be paying attention--on a bike. On a quad at the same speed you're way more likely to take somebody out.

    If he was doing trail maintenance and really needed the quad, it would have been much safer to start from Black Rd. and avoid almost all the s/t. Whatevs...
    If a quad can ride down the trail it is not singletrack.

  22. #22
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    Also I would be surprised if that ranger on the quad was speeding down the trail at unsafe speeds. Sounds a little exaggerated to enhance one’s side of the story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    If a quad can ride down the trail it is not singletrack.
    What passes for s/t in most Bay Area parks. Better?! It's definitely not a fireroad--more like a flow trail built on a really tight budget.

    I'm off to do some bad jumping at Lake Cunningham. Caw! Caw!
    The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

  24. #24
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    5 feet wide is not singletrack. Some users on Alltrails describe JNT as a fireroad.
    Veni vidi velo!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    What passes for s/t in most Bay Area parks. Better?! It's definitely not a fireroad--more like a flow trail built on a really tight budget.

    I'm off to do some bad jumping at Lake Cunningham. Caw! Caw!
    It is a PERFECT climbing trail. Nice and smooth. Nice grade. Can easily pass other riders. Only problem is that is doesn’t lead to any rad downhill trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veloborealis View Post
    5 feet wide is not singletrack. Some users on Alltrails describe JNT as a fireroad.
    It's a machine-built multi-use trail with some mtb elements--berms, lots of water bars to pop off of, and a few wall rides. The guys (very good riders) at the top of the leaderboard average around 19 mph over the 3 mile descent. There's no tech, but it's a pretty fun trail at speed. And it's only a few years old, so it should narrow in time. I drive past it on my way to Santa Cruz almost every week, but you could do way worse than JNT.
    The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    The guys (very good riders) at the top of the leaderboard average around 19 mph over the 3 mile descent.
    What time of day should I go to race down this trail? Every time I’ve been there has been way too much traffic to ride it fast.

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