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Don't skid
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I almost got my first speeding ticket on a MTB. I was riding with some beginner friends over the weekend. We went to a pretty tame open space riding area (Russian Ridge outside of Palo Alto for those that care). I had never been there. As we were getting ready to start the ride a park ranger pulls up. She seemed really nice and freindly. She asked us where we were going and showed a few alternatives on the map we had. We talked for about five minutes and she even said she used to mountain bike. When she first pulled up I was a little on gaurd waiting for some lecture on trail etiquette but by the time she left I thought she was pretty cool....until...

About 15 minutes into the ride we crest a gentle hill and start coasting down. Now this "trail" is actually a wide double track through a graasy hillside so you have wide open line of sight and plenty of room to manuver so I let the brakes go and was cruising. I come coasting around a long sweeping corner probably doing close to 25 mph (I don't have a speedometer on the bike). I see a couple hiking up ahead so I instinctively slow down, announce I am coming up behind them, and pass. Right after I pass them I look up and see this strange thing in the middle of the trail. I get closer and it turns out to be a fat ranger on an ATV with a radar gun pointing at me. I didn't recognize it at first because I am not used to seeing rangers on ATV on trails. Now I'm thinking "oh crap I am going to get a speeding ticket". I approached, he didn't motion for me to stop. So as I rode by i asked if there was a speed limit here. He said "yes 15 mph and 5 mph when passing hikers. I am not sure if you saw me or the hikers first but you slowed down in time." Luckily no ticket. I continue coasting down the hill, with the brakes on this time. A quarter mile later we come to a road and there is another ranger sitting in a truck near where the trail crosses the road. I ride by w/o incident. We finished the rest of the "slow" ride with no other issues.

Now this doesn't bother me too much but it is pretty lame. I don't mind that they have speed limit. I don't mind obeying it either but I didn't know there was one. One of my group said he saw a sign at the trailhead, I didn't. What bothers me is that when we talked to the ranger in the parking lot for 5 mins she said nothing about a speed limit and then there just happened to be a ranger with a radar gun sitting at the fastest part of the trail that SHE recommended we ride. Then another ranger in a truck a quarter mile down the rode. Sure seemed like a set-up to me. That's what bothered me. If they had the speed limit for safety reasons then shouldn't the rangers go out of there way to mention it when shooting the sh!t with mountain bikers? I would think so.

Anyway, just wanted your thoughts on this. Needless to say I won't be in a hurry to ride there again. I have plenty of better trails closer and w/o speed limits.
 

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State of Cailifornia still trying to earn/make money without delivering a product. Rememeber to tell the state employee that if they would decline their benefits the state would be better off. And you say the ranger was fat???/ Hmmm not good for health insurance, do you want to pay their huge medical costs???
 

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Don't skid
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cascaderider9 said:
State of Cailifornia still trying to earn/make money without delivering a product. Rememeber to tell the state employee that if they would decline their benefits the state would be better off. And you say the ranger was fat???/ Hmmm not good for health insurance, do you want to pay their huge medical costs???
I am not sure this a state or any government park. It is an "open space". I am assuming it is funded by a non-profit. I guess I could check into it.
As for the fat ranger comment, I only mentioned it becasue it just seemed funny to me to see a fat ranger on an ATV.
 
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KONA_in_SB said:
I am not sure this a state or any government park. It is an "open space". I am assuming it is funded by a non-profit. I guess I could check into it.
As for the fat ranger comment, I only mentioned it becasue it just seemed funny to me to see a fat ranger on an ATV.
i think it's run by the Mid Peninsula Open Space District.

http://www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_russian_ridge.asp

MPOSD ...they're all about speed enforcement. they'll also ticket riders without helmets.

i guess you were lucky this time.
 

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local trails rider
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OK, that's it. I am never coming to California to ride. The land of the free....
 

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LOLDONGS!

And I thought NY state was bad.... speeding tickets? On MY mountain bike? <snicker> I guess that's the upshot of having twisty/rooty trails. 15mph is a good clip through most of our trail system.

Obviously a setup. She's the goon making sure her boys in blue are setup in the appropriate areas waiting for the taxpayers. All so that bankrupt CA can continue to live off the dole. With the downturn in the economy and tax base evaporation you can only see more of this across the USA. And the scary part is most "free" Americans are ok with this, they'll just keep glorifying their hero policemen. I think it's exceedingly ironic that they'll nail mtb'ers for doing over 15mph all the while handing out OHV permits for 60mph dirtbikes! Which only goes to prove... it's all about the benjamins. Look forward to them criminalizing speeding like DUI and confiscating your vehicle shortly. The money grab will only get worse from here.

Quick question for ya... is CA so obnoxious as to have these "speeding tickets" count on your driver's license? Double bonus rapage if that's the case!!! Imagine... 30mph on your mountain bike going downhill counting as reckless driving for doing double the limit!
 

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Old man on a bike
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As long as you're courteous and don't run people over, I don't think they should have speed limits on trails

Yes, that would be nice, it would be nice if we could do without so many rules and regulations that we have in all areas of life....but people will be people.

It's hard to believe a California mountain biker wouldn't be aware of the basic speed limits in place in most public lands here, off the top of my head can't think of anything in the Bay Area that isn't under such a restriction. MROSD is particularly good about signage about their rules, including speed limits, at the trailheads.

As to them somewhat entrapping you, welcome to riding in the MROSD. They do particularly like to drive vehicles to points where you are likely to be exceeding the speed limits and waiting. It might have been nice for the ranger to remind you of the rules, but if you didn't ask about rules in particular maybe she thought you were aware. Sounds like they're doing the small task group enforcement thing like the CHP does!

As to a fat ranger on a four wheeler, well they don't call 'em four-square mealers for nothing.
 

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Deme Moore said:
Obviously a setup. She's the goon making sure her boys in blue are setup in the appropriate areas waiting for the taxpayers. All so that bankrupt CA can continue to live off the dole. With the downturn in the economy and tax base evaporation you can only see more of this across the USA.
Um . . . no, not really. As mikeb pointed out, midpen is all about speed enforcement. Other open space districts do little if any speed enforcement.

Has nothing to do with keeping the gov't running. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of how public finance works will tell you that.
 

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Interesting topic here... it's stupid that you can't ride as fast as you want but at the same time if I was hiking, I wouldn't want some dude who doesn't know what he's doing wipe out at 30mph and send his bike into the back of my head... I say they should just be giving warnings, telling people to slow down. No reason to make money off of it. And yes, that first ranger set you up big time.
 

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Here is an interesting thought. There is no requirement to carry a driver's license on a bicycle. Should a Ranger stop you for speeding, just how would they identify you without any identification. Absent any ID that you volunteered they would have to take your word. Personally, my name is Joe Blow and I live at 123 Main Street.
 
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Flint302 said:
Here is an interesting thought. There is no requirement to carry a driver's license on a bicycle. Should a Ranger stop you for speeding, just how would they identify you without any identification. Absent any ID that you volunteered they would have to take your word. Personally, my name is Joe Blow and I live at 123 Main Street.
not a good idea. the cop will run the fake name and address you give them through the system on the spot.

california law states that a peace officer (i.e., cop) can detain you until your identity is determined if you're not carrying proper identification.
 

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Well, I would follow the 5 mph rule in passing hikers. That sounds reasonable and is good trail etiquette.

But I would blow up and and frame a "regular" speeding ticket I got while riding.

Is there seriously a speed limit for mountain biking trails in California? That is comical.

Maybe they should change the rule to 5 mph when you encounter hikers and also require you to always ride at a speed where you can stop within your line of sight (meaning don't go barreling around a blind curve at 15 mph and take out some hikers or another oncoming biker or a spook a horse). In Florida, on our relatively flat trails, decent bikers are typically riding faster than 15 mph in a lot of areas of singletrack.
 

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Forging Elite Awesomeness
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Flint302 said:
Here is an interesting thought. There is no requirement to carry a driver's license on a bicycle. Should a Ranger stop you for speeding, just how would they identify you without any identification. Absent any ID that you volunteered they would have to take your word. Personally, my name is Joe Blow and I live at 123 Main Street.
Why do people still think you can get away with this? :rolleyes:
 

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fixion said:
Interesting topic here... it's stupid that you can't ride as fast as you want but at the same time if I was hiking, I wouldn't want some dude who doesn't know what he's doing wipe out at 30mph and send his bike into the back of my head... I say they should just be giving warnings, telling people to slow down. No reason to make money off of it. And yes, that first ranger set you up big time.
Make as many laws as you want, people will find newer and dumber ways of hurting themselves and others. It just forces the dimwits to raise the bar. I say why encourage them? Let people keep getting hurt by plain old stupid instead of X games stupid.

Now the politician will always come along and tell you they're acting in your best interest. Even as they're setting up the cattle cars and gulags. Speed limits on an off road trail are not that bad, but like others have said... pretty damned stoopid. I for one am glad I live far away from a place that breeds citizens so haughty they think this to be their given birthright... to run speed traps on an MTB trail!

As for not providing information or giving a phony name, you have just opened up a whole far more serious can of worms than any speeding violation. Say hello to the back of the ATV, to the cruiser, to the station house.
 
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