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jcd's best friend
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Wow, this is crazy: Mountain Biker Stabbed by Hiker After Right of Way Dispute - Pinkbike

A mountain biker in Bellingham was stabbed after a right of way dispute on the Stewart Mountain Trail in Bellingham.

A post on the Whatcom County Sheriff Office Facebook Page reports that deputies were called to a trailhead car park in the 3500 block of Y Road on the afternoon of March 6 after a report of a stabbing with several parties involved.

A group of hikers had been hiking down the multi-use, bi-directional trail when they encountered a mountain biker going up the trail. It appears that neither party was willing to yield and an argument broke out over who had right of way. The Sheriff's report contains two separate versions of what happened next, one from the 69-year-old hiker named Dake Traphagen and the other from the unnamed 66-year-old mountain biker.

Traphagen was interviewed at the trailhead and claims that the mountain biker attacked him with his bike after the disagreement and they fell to the ground. Traphagen then claims that during the altercation he had pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the mountain biker in self-defense to get him off.

The mountain biker was interviewed a few days later however and he stated that he had been riding uphill when he encountered the group of hikers and requested that they move aside. He indicated that he was trying to negotiate a technical section that had exposed tree roots and was clipped into his bike. A male in the group grabbed his handlebars, causing him to lose balance. He and the bike tumbled onto the hiker and became tangled up as the victim was still clipped into the bike. The hiker began hitting him and everyone was yelling for him to get off of the man. He then noticed that it wasn’t hitting, but that the hiker had a knife and was stabbing him in the arm and the leg.

The mountain biker left the scene after the altercation and 911 was called by the hikers. The mountain biker called an ambulance later that day with stab wounds and loss of blood. He was first transported to the local hospital then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle due to the severity of his injuries. The final extent of his injuries are not currently known.

After two weeks of investigation by the local Police, Mr Traphagen turned himself in to the Sheriff’s Office yesterday and was booked in the Whatcom County Jail for first-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon (the knife he used in the incident was a spring blade knife which is not legal to possess in this state).

We wish a quick recovery to the mountain biker involved in this horrific incident. We will update this story as more news comes in.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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holy crap. I have a feeling both stories have elements of the truth in them.

I feel like it's most likely that what happened was that the mtn biker announced his desire to ride through, the hikers refused, and the rider decided to ride through anyway.
 

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I saw that article. It sounds to me just like others have said.

Biker likely called out wanting to pass as he was clipped in and trying to “clean” something. Hikers didn’t move, one either touched his bars on accident or grabbed them on purpose, then went down in a tangle. And then the guy he fell on felt it was an attack somehow, and then repeatedly stabbed him.

That sucks,

What riding area is that parking lot for? I took a quick look at trailforks, and didn’t see anything exactly right there. Although the climb trail for Brown Pow is nearby-ish.
 

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There is confusion at times between bikes and hikers on who has right of way when it's the biker going uphill. Following most recommendations uphill bikers still don't have right-of-way on multi-use trails. I find downhill hikers not yielding to me on climbs all the time.
 

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I find downhill hikers not yielding to me on climbs all the time.
They don't have to. the uphill rider ROW guideline only applies between bikes on multi-use trails. climbing rider has ROW over descending rider. hikers still have ROW over bikers regardless of which direction they're going, unless there are specific rules in place for the specific trail.

with that said, it's simply common courtesy to communicate with other trail users. people who are being reasonable grownups can often find a solution that works out great for all involved regardless of who has the posted right-of-way. that way, everybody can have a nice day on the trails.

I find that I generally get a much better response from other folks on the trail when I use language like "hello" and "excuse me" instead of "on your left" which comes off, IMO, too gruff for polite trail interactions. Save "on your left" for race day. still, it's not 100% reliable. I've still encountered the occasional cranky hiker who refuses to let me pass. I've "yielded" by slowing down and asking to pass in the first place.
 

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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Right. My point is that many uphill bikers seem to think they have ROW.
They do here, it's pretty clearly marked "Uphill traffic has the right of way". And yes, that is absolutely intended to mean all uphill traffic, not just uphill hikers. Downhill they funnel cyclists and hikers onto different trails.

Totally depends on the trail system.
 

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Two things stand out to me.

1- The mtb biker fled the scene and only called ER when he was in serious decline.

2- this is the hikers story including his own name.



Sure, I'd flee the scene if I were stabbed, too. But I'd likely be calling the cops asap if I had nothing to worry about.

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Yeah, the whole "I own the trail" attitude thing is insane. I hike a lot as well as MTB and it just makes so much more sense to me as a hiker to move off the trail when I encounter a biker. It's way easier for me to step off the trail than for them to stop and move them and the bike off the trail. I'm sure that comes from being an avid MTBer and not just a hiker. When I'm on my bike, I yield to all hikers no matter which way (up or down) I'm going since that the "rule" and I don't want to get stabbed. As my daughter used to say when she was 4 years old when ever we asked he what she would do in any situation... "Be nice". Good advice from a 4 year old.
 

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Two things stand out to me.

1- The mtb biker fled the scene and only called ER when he was in serious decline.

2- this is the hikers story including his own name.



Sure, I'd flee the scene if I were stabbed, too. But I'd likely be calling the cops asap if I had nothing to worry about.

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I'm sure the hiker's story isn't the whole truth, either. I'll bet there's plenty of blame to go around for this. I'm sure the rider was probably being a dick. But being a dick doesn't excuse the hiker for stabbing the guy.
 

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Too bad there wasn't video. But obviously, both sides should have acted more like adults.

Reminds me of that video from a few years ago, at an actual downhill park, where some guy ran into a woman that was standing in the middle of the trail on the backside of a jump. Of course, both sides of the story were"it's the other person's fault". You hit me! Why are you standing in the middle of a downhill trail!

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Two things stand out to me.

1- The mtb biker fled the scene and only called ER when he was in serious decline.

2- this is the hikers story including his own name.

Sure, I'd flee the scene if I were stabbed, too. But I'd likely be calling the cops asap if I had nothing to worry about.
You're kind of assuming the cyclist had a cell phone on him here which isn't necessarily the case.

"The mountain biker called an ambulance later that day with stab wounds and loss of blood."

"Later that day" likely meaning when he got home and realized how bad the cut was.

I'm having trouble with the idea that 4 hikers couldn't manage to deal with 1 older cyclist without resorting to a knife. Is he a retiring MMA fighter? No injuries on the guy who had the knife out? Not even a black eye?
 
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