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Anyone hassled by the Forest Service Ranger riding around Downieville this past weekend?
 

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ol'guy who says hi &waves
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Hassled over what and where?

The head ranger in the Packer Saddle area, Glenn Sundstrom was extremely friendly and accommodating to our huge mtbr group during the gathering a couple weeks ago.


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I did the 9am and the 12:30pm shuttles yesterday and we were stopped and had a few questions asked by the forest service. No big deal they are just doing a survey.
 

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Yeah, we were stopped on by a ranger on a motorcycle Sun morning while descending 3rd Divide just after the climb. He said he was doing a "survey" and asked questions about which shuttle we had used and what information the shuttle driver gave us before dropping us off.

Basically everybody that was stopped--me and a buddy of mine a few dudes behind us--said that they'd been riding D'ville for years and were familiar with the area, etc. and that the driver didn't give us a speech before dropping us off.

The ranger said we should have been briefed on the multi-use nature of the Downieville trail system and told not to skid and to slow down around blind corners...ok.

My take on the ranger's tone and attitude was that he was looking for some info/ammunition to use against the shuttle businesses in town. We've all read about the issue of the USFS wanting to tax these guys on their gross profits. This is probably an effort to strengthen their case against the bike shops.

For the record, my experience has mostly been with DO but I've also ridden with Yuba and have found that both shops have tons of information and maps on hand. And, if you're riding in Downieville, you should know this stuff anyway. Could be that we'll start getting a mandatory "speech" before being dropped off on Packer Saddle.
 

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just another bleepin SSer
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There is some stuff going on there related to forest service charging the shuttle companies on a per-rider basis, so it may have to do with that. And there is always a small section of the population there that don't like the bikes (hence those anti-bike signs seen around town).

On the whole, the forest service has been very good to us there, so I would say it would be best to not hassle the survey givers. Take the survey.

But it may also not hurt to, um, embellish a little on what the shuttle company folks said about trail etiquette, routes, etc. This would help support the shuttle companies. They probably said it, but you couldn't hear it over the heavy metal music from the back of the van.

And it is a multi-use area, so best not to ride each run like you would in the race. It might even be other cyclists you are protecting (riders do climb some of the trails, or have to stop for mechanicals and such).
 

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Old man on a bike
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Ranger on a moto would most likely be Joe Chavez. He did the same last year when he asked that the shuttle drivers give a little speech before dropping folks off at the top as if the signage wasn't sufficient (about two way and multi use aspects of the trail). This is also so he can ride his moto for "work".
 

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~~~~~~~
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NoBalance said:
Hm, then the best policy is to tell the rangers you're not interested in their survey.
you know, its hard enough for the federal land management agencies to do a decent job with tiny budgets, decreasing revenues from timber sales (Forest service) political pressure from above, and conflicting desires from different user groups- not answering the survey just makes it that much harder for them to make any kind of informed decision. i wouldn't be too presumptuous about their intentions re: shuttle services, though that does make some sense. remember, the less muti-use conflict that occurs, the better it is for cyclists. so, having the shuttle services provide that info, even if it becomes as repetitive as the safety briefing on airplanes, isn't necessarily a bad thing.
 

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It's about showing up.
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Shaping MTB behavior is a touchy affair.

The "freespirited" mtb'er bristles at anything like that. Consider that the incidence's with the inquiring ranger was termed as being "hassled." My guess is the the shuttle providers aren't really happy about passing on the message for any change in the behavior of riders, even if it is to simply be considerate of other trail-using brethren. As a role it smacks of authority and is associated with "the man." The curiosity is that one can take an ambassadorial attitude about such things and make it a part of the welcome to the area and an appeal to supporting the welfare of the community. It is all in how you do it.
 

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Surly OG
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spun said:
Yeah, we were stopped on by a ranger on a motorcycle Sun morning while descending 3rd Divide just after the climb. He said he was doing a "survey" and asked questions about which shuttle we had used and what information the shuttle driver gave us before dropping us off.

Basically everybody that was stopped--me and a buddy of mine a few dudes behind us--said that they'd been riding D'ville for years and were familiar with the area, etc. and that the driver didn't give us a speech before dropping us off.

The ranger said we should have been briefed on the multi-use nature of the Downieville trail system and told not to skid and to slow down around blind corners...ok.

My take on the ranger's tone and attitude was that he was looking for some info/ammunition to use against the shuttle businesses in town. We've all read about the issue of the USFS wanting to tax these guys on their gross profits. This is probably an effort to strengthen their case against the bike shops.

For the record, my experience has mostly been with DO but I've also ridden with Yuba and have found that both shops have tons of information and maps on hand. And, if you're riding in Downieville, you should know this stuff anyway. Could be that we'll start getting a mandatory "speech" before being dropped off on Packer Saddle.
My shuttle driver from Yuba Mtn Transport stated the "multi use spiel"

I almost ran into a FS truck like I said in an earlier post, they passed me one way and a few minutes later I almost ran into it, they turned around and were hauling ass back up the road. A little disconcerting to have a FS truck ripping up the fire road at 30mph around a blind corner. This was on the descent portion to Pauley creek trail on the main fire road after exiting Sunrise trail.

didn't see Moto ranger, but I'm not rabble rousing this one.... he don't like Yuba and that's all I gotta say bout that.
 

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Ideally, we want to foster a pro-bike sentiment with the Forest Service, so I agree that refusing to answer the surveys isn't the way to go. Having the shops remind us of our responsibilities before riding might seem redundant (like learning to buckle your seat belt every time you're on an airplane). But, it isn't the end of the world and if it helps keep things harmonious in D'ville, then great. The real shame here would be any type of restrictions on access.
 

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Paper or plastic?
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When we went last month, we used both Yuba and DO. Yuba gave us the speech, not DO (who also almost ran over a deer). Apparently, the shuttle companies have been told by the Forest service to give the speech on all shuttles. So, if you're stopped for the survey, just tell them that you've heard the speech. That'll make the shuttle companies lives a lot easier and probably would go a long way toward preserving our access.
 

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Lusus Naturae
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Meh. I don't like surveys of any kind. Its my time and I dont have to waste it on some survey that is up to no good. If they want folks to know the trails are multi-purpose, then put a fricken sign up like they do in all the other parks. Its not the responsibility of the shuttlers to tell people what to do after they get dropped off.

I'd rather the forest service spends money in other areas rather than taking up the trail space with the smelly gas vehicles and intefering with others enjoyment of the parks by doing surveys.
 

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The easiest thing to say would simply be, I was talking to my buddy and really didn't listen to what the driver said. You could also say you had your Ipod on.
 

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Natural body armor
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Not sure why we are trying to cut some slack to the shuttle companies here.

I'm a scuba dive instructor and I always listen to the safety/signs speech before diving: I think it's redundant, but always worth listening. (repetita iuvant)

You may think that the multi use spiel may be redundant to you, but it is not for sure to many "beginner" riders.

I was actually having this conversation with a fellow rider from Santa Cruz I met on the trail there, and he was noting how the shuttle companies are dumping all kind of riders on that trail, regardless of their level of preparation or experience. Giving riders some tips is definitely not a bad idea.

I think providing information about trail usage is not only their responsibility but also in their interest and although it may detract a little from the whole "experience", it may end up saving somebody's life.

ZT
 

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Paper or plastic?
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Zen_Turtle said:
Not sure why we are trying to cut some slack to the shuttle companies here.

I'm a scuba dive instructor and I always listen to the safety/signs speech before diving: I think it's redundant, but always worth listening. (repetita iuvant)

You may think that the multi use spiel may be redundant to you, but it is not for sure to many "beginner" riders.

I was actually having this conversation with a fellow rider from Santa Cruz I met on the trail there, and he was noting how the shuttle companies are dumping all kind of riders on that trail, regardless of their level of preparation or experience. Giving riders some tips is definitely not a bad idea.

I think providing information about trail usage is not only their responsibility but also in their interest and although it may detract a little from the whole "experience", it may end up saving somebody's life.

ZT
Riders ought to have some common sense. I don't see it as the shuttle company job to tell people what to do. They're a shuttle company, not some nanny. I also saw 2 guys on hardtails once who did not seem to belong on the trails, but heck, that's their choice.
 
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