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I got angry this afternoon. I've spent 3/4 of this week (so far) working on some bridges for a local trail system. This area just opened-up, and it's needed a lot of work. It's exclusively designed for bikers and hikers. No horses, ATVs, etc. Do you think the fact the lawbreakers face fines, jail time, etc. keeps them from destroying our trails? Nope.

Anyways, a good friend and I had just finished some GREAT bridges, we have a flat one about 30 feet long and a slightly banked one after this that goes off to the left. The purpose behind building them was to keep destruction out of a major creek near the finish of the trails (where the road access is). So, we've just finished them, nailed them all together, and we hear the roar of some ATVs off in the distance. Great... and soon enough, they arrive. This guys look at us with the typical, "You're ruining our trails" glare, and proceed to ride, with one tire on the bridge, across it. They utterly destroy the creekbed, and crack up our bridges in some places (some snapped decking). The last guy rides by and I politely tell him that ATVs are prohibited. Of course, this is the last thing he wants to hear from some 16-year-old biking punk. So he stops and says, "Oh really, because this is private property. Get off it before I call the cops." "You should be the one doing the leaving, I'm working with the city Parks & Recreation Bureau." I then take out my cell phone, and start dialing. I first call-up a good friend of mine, Lynn Watts, the caretaker of this swath of public land. "Yeah, we've got some ATVs up here, I'm not sure what to do." By now they've started to ride-off. About 15 minutes later she shows up, and we discuss the situation.

She says there's not much they can do about it... mainly because the riders were entering from private property. There's a 4x4 trail coming down from someone else's property. So, we walk up there and talk to the owners... they said they wouldn't, and never did grant any permission for ATVs to access the trails. So, now that we've got ATVs destroying our trails, we've decided the next logical step is to find the edge of the city's property and gate it off. If that gate ever gets the lock cut or tampered with, we can call the police and have the lawbreakers arrested. She said that you can't call the police unless you already have preventative measures in place, although it might be possible to get them for destruction of property. Frankly, I don't think the police are going to care. So, I'm taking my own preventative measures... putting a baseball bat in my car, and if I ever see some lawbreakers again I'll send 'em home with a few less teeth. Idiots annoy me. The laws apply to everyone.
 

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pipedream said:
So, I'm taking my own preventative measures... putting a baseball bat in my car, and if I ever see some lawbreakers again I'll send 'em home with a few less teeth. Idiots annoy me. The laws apply to everyone.
As much as I love the whole vigilante thing, and seeing punks get the $hit beat out of them, that is probably a bad idea. I know how you feel though. I get that same urge too. Fortunately for my criminal record the urge dissipates moments later. I just tell myself that there is no real reason to be angry no matter what is going on around you...ohm!
 

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Sorry to hear that. :( Living in Utah, I've seen plenty of the "if it's public land then by gawd I can ride my noisy, destructive 4-wheeler anywhere I darn well please" mentality.

A warning though, dude. Don't go vigilante; it's not worth it, on many levels.. I don't know about concealed weapons in your state, but here behind the Zion Curtain carrying a concealed handgun is right up there with riding your ATV anywhere you want (and oftentimes they go hand-in-hand). I know of at least one experience a biker had with an asshat 4-wheeler (biker got run off the trail and injured) where, after the incident, the ******* pulled up his wife-beater t-shirt to expose a large caliber handgun, then asked how far the biker would like to "discuss" the problem.

Good luck with your situation!
 

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I was going to commend your maturity mate

Forget the baseball bats you were on the right track (excuse the unnintentional pun) to begin with. Continue to work with the relevant authorities and you cant get in trouble :)
 

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Install 4x4 cross members every 6 feet. They should stick out far enought to not allow a atv to ride on the bidge. Also install a sign asking ATVs to use a different crossing area. Keeping them out will be tough, and the vigalentie way is not the way to go. Go positive, document all damage done by atv's, get involved. BIll
 

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Another approach....

Leave the baseball bat at home..............and take your camera / video cam. the next time you are working. Snap a few mug shots..........of the boys and their bikes.

JG
 

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what about the private property owners? If they dont' want the atvs crossing, that's the route to take. I''m thinking I read last year about some guy who posted signs, cables and so on to keep atvs off his property. He finally resorted to clotheslining.. on his property, inside the cabels and signs. IIRC he did have his clothelines flagged, albiet in a subtle fashion that a bubba/atv combination wouldnt' notice right away. When some did get clotheslined and tried to sue, the judge threw it out of court because of the blatant dusregard for the KEEP OUT PRIVATE PROPERTY signs, and cables.

formica
 

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ceteris paribus
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Hmm why not fix it "urban guerrilla" style...
You say the had two wheels on the bridge and two on the trail.
Put a few logs blocking the path to the trail (so that you can only cross through the bridge). Set up a few miguelitos (this are a structure build of several long 4 inch nails weld together to be able to always have at least one nail pointing up. you could set up some cement letting 4 or 5 nails stick out vertically) on the trail after the logs, or underneath the logs(so that they are only hot once the logs have been moved). That way if the atvs decide to destroy the roadblock and continue through the trail, they will also destroy their own tires.
 

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You could do something like many of the bridges around where I live that want to limit their traffic to pedestrians: cement poles at a close spacing. Brightly colored (yellow? orange?) posts oriented vertically at each end of the bridge, deeply secured in concrete can be short enough to allow handlebars through, but too close for a 4x to pass. A sign on the middle post would do the trick too. I know I am glad that the largest thing I occasionally have to share the trails with is a equestrian (oh and their horses too ;) ;) )
 

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pipedream said:
Idiots annoy me.

So, are you annoying yourself now? Putting a bat in your car to whack someone is pretty idiotic.

pipedream said:
The laws apply to everyone.
Does everyone not include you? You send someone home minus a few teeth and now you're a law breaker. In fact, a worse lawbreaker (assult and battery is worse than trespassing) than the ATVers.

Oh, and actually going through with assulting someone for their idiocy (however gratifying it may feel at the moment) is idiocy times 10. How annoyed would you be with that idiocy?
 

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skiahh said:
So, are you annoying yourself now? Putting a bat in your car to whack someone is pretty idiotic.



Does everyone not include you? You send someone home minus a few teeth and now you're a law breaker. In fact, a worse lawbreaker (assult and battery is worse than trespassing) than the ATVers.

Oh, and actually going through with assulting someone for their idiocy (however gratifying it may feel at the moment) is idiocy times 10. How annoyed would you be with that idiocy?
he was venting, get off your high horse
 

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Panacea said:
Forget the baseball bats you were on the right track (excuse the unnintentional pun) to begin with. Continue to work with the relevant authorities and you cant get in trouble :)
Ditto.

As well as that, while dealing with the matter, start rebuilding the bridge singletrack wide, just wide enough for MTBikes and people, too narrow for ATV's. 40cm wide should be enough, that's half a kid's ATV and 1/3 a full size ATV width.

If they ride over the obversely narrow bridge just to p!ss you off, well... I don't know.

Also try to get local government backing on the bridge since it's public land.
If they ride and destroy it, they'll be in serious trouble for destroying government property.
If this happened to me, and say the land and the bridge is approved and funded by the local council and they thrashed it, some serious fines and community work orders are going to be handed out.
 

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yea.

Bunge said:
he was venting, get off your high horse

I don't really believe that this guy is going to actually be putting that bat in his car. He is just pissed off. The point has been clearly made here by several posters that it is a bad idea. Duh!

ATV's do cause a heck of a lot of damage. Most of the trails close to where i live are used (and ruined) by ATV's and DIRT BIKES. Don't know if they are a problem for you as well. They are even harder to keep out because they are not much wider than an MTB.

As far as help, you need to get the law on your side. Report the problem to the appropriate authorities, and then post signs and use some preventative measures. If there is nothing telling them to stay out, and blocking the way, they will continue to come. Then if they continue to avoid these measures, you could possibly have a case against them. Also you need to work with the private property owners.

Ideas I like:
The clothesline idea: He he, it would suck to run into one of those.
The video tape idea: Solid evidence of people breaking the rules.
 

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Regardless of seriousness (I don't think he'd go through with it either), saying you're going to carry a bat around and bash someone's teeth in for doing something sounds plain idiotic.

And making a threat - real or not - is breaking the law, even without using the bat.

Idiocy bothers me, too.
 

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The video camera (or simply a camera) idea is is a good one.
Take pictures of them riding illegally, it's non violent & it shows them that you are serious about the trails being closed to them.
The knowledge that there is photographic evidence that they were there & told that they shouldn't be might also discourage them from coming back later or coming back later to vandalise what you've built.
You could get a cheap disposable camera & keep it in your hydration pack just in case.
 

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to all of you talking about clotheslining: have you ever been clotheslined? vigilante-anti-biker types have been known to use this technique against us bike riders. clotheslining is something i wouldn't wish on anyone no matter how bad the offense.

and to the guy talking about the spikes: are you nuts? what happens if someone dabs and steps on a spike?

stay away from vigilante-ism of any sort. (especially for something as trivial as a trail. i mean, come on! injuring, maiming or possibly killing for the sake of a trail, even if you in the are right, is stoopid. in fact, it is stoopid even to talk about it.)

build your structures as burly as possible and make them unridable by atvs. documentation of infractions and posting clearly 'no atvs' are also very important.

spikes, clotheslines and baseball bats :rolleyes:
 

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Top 10!

xctico said:
Hmm why not fix it "urban guerrilla" style...
You say the had two wheels on the bridge and two on the trail.
Put a few logs blocking the path to the trail (so that you can only cross through the bridge). Set up a few miguelitos (this are a structure build of several long 4 inch nails weld together to be able to always have at least one nail pointing up. you could set up some cement letting 4 or 5 nails stick out vertically) on the trail after the logs, or underneath the logs(so that they are only hot once the logs have been moved). That way if the atvs decide to destroy the roadblock and continue through the trail, they will also destroy their own tires.
This has to be on my Top 10 list of Stupidest Trail Ideas Ever. As the legal Trail Stewards for these trails, how much liability would the LM and the trail stewards heap upon themselves should a hiker or mountain biker impale themselves on your ATV spikes?

A 10-year old kid falls and impales their forehead on the spikes. Someone's dog comes up lame because they stepped on a spike.

Why stop at spikes? Just dig a 20 foot deep pit slightly off trail. Line the pit with 4' lengths of exposed rebar. That'll show em!

A Few Serious Suggestions
ATV's are a tough challenge to singletrack trails. Their width and power ultimately turn singletrack trails in to doubletrack.

We struggle with ATV access on a couple of our trail systems. The most effective way of discouraging unauthorized use is to try and control the access points. It isn't easy because ATV's can go through or around almost any obstacles.

Working with the private land owner, perhaps you can help install barriers on their land to help try and control the access. As another posted mentioned, 4" steel pipes set and then filled with concrete is an effective and relatively inexpensive way to create motorized barriers. Chains and gates aren't as effective because ATV's can simply hook up to them and pull them open.

In addition to barriers, legal and authorized trail use will discourage illegal activities. Scheduling club and group rides will help discourage poaching. I don't know where you're located, but if you have a branch of the National Mountain Bike Patrol, asking them to set up a patrol schedule for these trails will also discourage ATV use.

Provide your local clubs with all the contact information and protocols for contacting the proper law enforcement agencies. Ask people to ride with cell phones. Talk to the LM AND the police. Let them know that you realize in the big picture of things, ATV poaching doesn't rank up there on their list. If you explain that you're volunteering your time and money to help improve the community and ask for their help, they will typically respond well. So rather than approaching the police and asking them to stop the ATV use, bring them a plan of action and ask them to do what they can. For example:

1. I'll ask these local bike clubs to ride the trails more. The National Mountain Bike Patrol will also be riding the trails.
2. We're asking them to carry their cell phones and report illegal trail use.
3. What number should I provide them to call. Certainly not 911, but the non-emergency number.
4. What should I tell the trail users to look for. What information can they gather to assist the police?

In a sense, you're developing a partnership with the LM and police. Sort of a Trailhood Watch Association.

I hope this helps and good luck.

Ken
 

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your right

chuffer said:
to all of you talking about clotheslining: have you ever been clotheslined? vigilante-anti-biker types have been known to use this technique against us bike riders. clotheslining is something i wouldn't wish on anyone no matter how bad the offense.

and to the guy talking about the spikes: are you nuts? what happens if someone dabs and steps on a spike?

stay away from vigilante-ism of any sort. (especially for something as trivial as a trail. i mean, come on! injuring, maiming or possibly killing for the sake of a trail, even if you in the are right, is stoopid. in fact, it is stoopid even to talk about it.)

build your structures as burly as possible and make them unridable by atvs. documentation of infractions and posting clearly 'no atvs' are also very important.

spikes, clotheslines and baseball bats :rolleyes:
Your right, what was i thinking. :confused: Clothslining is actually kinda stupid.
 

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Yep
Very stupid. Had a cousin (12 years old) clothlined (by accident) because some construction workers didn't properly mark the wire they used to close a sidewalk trail section. (They hung some markers here and there but the pieces of tape were not really visible to riders). The little guy got some pretty focked up scars accross his arms. Lucky it didn't hit him in the neck.
I'd hate to see what'd happen to someone at ATV speed or and MTB blasting down a trail.

Werner
 

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Maybe post signs saying that the atv'ers are being videotaped, and that the authorities have been notified may help too; in addition obviously to the signs prohibiting this type of use.

Also i agree with chuffer fully about the stupidity of vigilante-ism

-dM
 
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