Bicyclist in trouble again over illeg...

Bicyclist in trouble again over illegal trail at China Camp

There are 62 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from May 1, 2008, titled Bicyclist in trouble again over illegal trail at China Camp. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

A San Rafael man who built an illegal bike trial on federal land in 2001 is in legal trouble again - this time for carving a trail in China Camp State Park, authorities said.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.


San Jose, CA

#21 May 2, 2008
Hopefully this incident will not be uses against mountain bikers who are interested in having reasonable access to good mountain biking trails. The vast majority of mountain bikers are simply interested in being able to pursue their sport (often with their kids) in a manner that is respectful to both the environment and the other trail users. I think members of the other trail user groups would be appalled if their trail access was as limited as the mountain bike access is in the bay area.

Fairfax, CA

#22 May 2, 2008
I would be more concerned about stumbling upon
Fancy Boys with fists up their anuses. It's a well know gay hangout-really! Their not hurting anyone, but i just don't want to see it. I'd rather see an idiot build a small trail.
Plus, If some of you would
take a botany course, you might actually have some facts to throw around. In most cases, plant life disturbed by people, will eventually propagate into stronger strains of the same species, but most people want to just rant and rave. The amount of erosion is negligible, but you will
argue that debate forever. I am really embarrassed to be a Marinite-sometimes. I know
i should move-

San Francisco, CA

#23 May 2, 2008
Another Biker from Marin wrote:
Interesting that the survey that goes with the article has so many people against bikers getting more trails. Seem people don't want the bikers to have legal trails either.
Actually the poll is quite the opposite, with 90% favoring more legal trails for bikers. Rogue trail creation wouldnt happen if there were enough trails to spread out the users and avoid conflict.
Parking Lot Ranger

Pleasanton, CA

#24 May 2, 2008
You know, if the Park Rangers were doing their jobs they would actually get out of their trucks and "range", and inspect the trails, and even, work on them. They might even walk cross country from one trail to another to find pot growers, meth labs, hippy camps, and people staking out new trails to build.
Instead they drive from one parking lot to another, burning up fossil fuels to give out parking tickets. All you government employees ought to take a long hard look at the incredibly wasteful bureaucracies you work for, the stupid policies you have to follow, and figure out a way to improve the parks for everyone. You have to ask yourself why you have failed the public so badly.
Illegal trail building is a symptom of a very badly broken system. One where it takes well over a decade and hundreds of hours of paper pushing to get a new trail. Never mind get an existing trail opened up to bicycling. And the trails you get are wide, boring and speed- and user conflict-inducing. You can't even get a stupidly steep, horribly eroded old ranch road replaced with a properly designed singletrack without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and having heated public meetings where hikers and horse riders point fingers and yell at the mountain bikers as if they, being grandfathered in, own the trails outright and shouldn't have to share with newcomers to the delights of trail-based recreation. The WASTE of time and money spent is unbelievable.
This system of mismanaging public lands results in a jaded and bitter population of trail enthusiasts--mountain bikers who are willing to bend over backwards, volunteer thousands of hours, write letters, raise thousands of dollars to fix dilapidated infrastructure (remember BTCM bought and built a 30-foot long bridge in China Camp a few years back) start non-profit organizations, etc. etc. all in the effort to get just a little slice of the singletrack pie. A little bit of respect. And yet they are denied. It's no surprise that there's a few mountain bikers out there who have had it up to HERE, and are willing to go behind the bureaucrats backs to put in good trails. Call it civil disobedience, because that's exactly what it is.
Somebody needs to ask State Parks this question: Is the illegal trail actually built properly? If not, what is wrong with it? If it had been a State-approved project would there be any criticism of the design or construction methods? Did it have grade reversals and outslope to shed water? Is the trail narrow and blended in with the environment? Does it weave around large trees and leave their roots intact? Are the rocks in the drainages not actually exactly what best management practices dictate for armoring moist areas and creating sustainable fords across places water might flow, so that the trail stays dry and the creek runs clear? Does it not access an area of the park that is not currently served by the existing trail system? Does it provide a good logical connection between other trails?
I'd bet the only thing wrong with this new trail is that it didn't get approved beforehand. State Parks should suck it up, do an environmental review on it, and adopt it into the existing trail system as an official trail. Spending any amount of money to remove the trail is an idiotic waste of our tax dollars that will only produce EVEN more impact to the area surrounding the trail. Leave it in place for everyone, hikers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, and deer to enjoy. Deer really appreciate a nice rolling contour trail.

United States

#25 May 3, 2008
free the trails

El Sobrante, CA

#26 May 3, 2008
Funny to see any manager of China Camp complaining about someone else's trail building after the appalling backhoe-rape of the Oak Ridge trail-- they should be ashamed of that travesty, and fired immediately.
You know that cost some money, and we all know that MTB groups would have gladly done a beautiful job by hand and for free, but they were never asked. Instead some jackass got paid to play with the tractor, and made a nice, pretty, fun to hike or bike singletrack into one of the ugliest, nastiest wreck of a 3/4 size logging road in any bay area park.
After that little bit of "management" goes by without provoking any complaint from the hiking community, it becomes pretty apparent that the cries for "preservation of the natural" are uninformed or insincere.
Don't take my word for it; take a stroll on it for yourself. Bring a picnic to eat looking southward over the housing developement.
How about this as punishment: the fools responsible for that decision are fired with no severance pay, and the illegal trail builder has to manage the China Camp trails for the next five years for their salaries.

Napa, CA

#27 May 3, 2008
Such a shame! Here we have someone who puts their time and effort into making our parks a better place, and he gets arrested?

We constantly hear that money isn't available for parks, and yet someone volunteers their time and gives to our community, and look what we do.

We should laud this person's efforts, not arrest him.
Terri Alvillar

Pleasanton, CA

#28 May 3, 2008
"It wasn't my fault" was the same excuse Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB)
president, Patrick Seidler, gave to San Rafael resident, Frances Nunez,
earlier this year. Seidler claimed he didn't know that the mountain bike
video "Superheros" was going to use his company's name as a sponsor. The
film includes illegal mountain bike riding on Marin County Open Space
District land, riding on the illegally built Medivac Trail in Novato
(according to a County Open Space Commissioner), illegal trespassing and
mountain bike stunts at the California State building in San Francisco, and
public urination in a parking lot. Now BIKE magazine reports that Seidler
said "Yes, his company sponsored the film." Felton calls complaints about
this film "hate mail."
Terri Alvillar

Pleasanton, CA

#29 May 3, 2008
If you want to know all the latest illegal mountain bike trails in Marin County, ask "the professor."
richard cohen

Danville, CA

#30 May 3, 2008
there are always a few bad apples, but at the 'core' the issue remains that there is a large unmet demand for more multi use trails in the entire bay area. the sport of mtn biking is growing rapidly and these are tax paying outdoor enthusiasts just like hikers and equestrians. the problem for mtn bikers is that they have not to date spoken with a unified voice, but the issue remains. it is not fair to restrict access to one tax paying user group versus another, as all it does in the long run is minimize the use of trails and therefore ultimately the land that is set aside for public access. i do not condone illegal trail building but do believe the policy boards need to be more receptive to the idea of more multi use access to trails for all user groups.

United States

#31 May 3, 2008
Terri Alvillar clearly hates ALL bikers. Her gross generalizations in the article she posts a link to do nothing to resolve any of the issues put forth here. I assume she just wants all bikers to go away and never be seen again. It is apparent that she finds no problem with hikers "crushing roots", trespassing, and using illegal trails.

Terri you need to learn to get along with your fellow citizens and stop spreading hate and untruths.
Marin biker and hiker

Edmond, OK

#32 May 3, 2008
The trails in question are built as contour trails and have been used for many years without any environmental or user problems. they serve the hiking and biking community and offer better access to China camp from San Rafael. I know these were built without permission on public land and the article makes them sound like a lot of damage was done. this is not the reality, these are hand built trails by expert trail builders and are built to last and are esthetically very nice to ride or hike.
Remember in Marin county bikers are the number one trail users in many if not all parks, at the same time we are excluded from most trails and are under the constant threat of losing the few we have. This same conflict has happened in many community's and in a few they decided to include these trails into the system instead of destroying what must have taken thousands of hours of hard work to create.
I know its illegal, but I would recommend taking a hike on these trails before making a judgment and see for yourself what great trails they created.

Reno, NV

#33 May 3, 2008
He should be awarded not prosecuted.

Petaluma, CA

#34 May 3, 2008
Doesn't it seem just a slight bit odd that the cops and anti-bike people are getting all worked up over a 50+ year old logging rut, crossing toxic, old Nike missile base land that was turned into a sweet 2 foot wide multi-use trail? No more Salmon fishing! Toxic drinking water! Own as many cars as you want! Greed, guns and war! Food shortage! Drug resistant viruses! Bikes are one of the few TRUE solutions.......... the highest motive efficiency in all of NATURE!
If you cared the least bit about the planet; you would have the COURAGE to SELL your CARS!
Every body wants to look the other way, when something WICKED this way comes.......... Ride trails, lots and lots of trails!

Santa Clara, CA

#35 May 3, 2008
$20,000 to REPAIR the "damaged" land?

He's built nearly the most environmentally friendly trail to exist. there is no "damage" to repair.

What about the hundreds of Marin county cyclists that offer to maintain our trails at no cost? Where are the hikers, horseback riders and runners showing this sort of commitment?

Yes, building a trail is illegal, but if cyclists aren't given a fun and challenging trail to ride, then we will build our own. Marin is a lovely place but why does it's general population have to be so against a sport thats actually quite innocent?

When I go for a bike ride I say hello to hikers, bikers, horseriders, runners, etc. I rarely receive any sort of response from anyone but other cyclists. If just about every other country, in fact every other area in THIS country can sustain a working system for hikers and cyclists sharing trails, why can't WE?

Marin is filled with outdoorsy people, we attempt to share something so beautiful and relaxing. And why is it that hikers see us as being these demon childs, where we're doing something so simple and innocent: riding a bike. We don't pollute, we don't inflict any more damage to trails than hikers do, and we WANT to coexist with everyone who is willing to share this wonderful place with us.

We're ready to get along, and we're prepared to commit to a very high level to do that.

Mr. More, no matter what the result of your hearing is, you're a brave man for providing something so great at a higher quality. And keeping the long-term enviornmental impact in mind. Good Luck.

United States

#36 May 3, 2008
As a native Marinite and first generation mountain biker I would love to see more trails for use. But also as a hiker and someone who drives an automobile for a living, the bicycling community at large PISSES ME OFF ON A DAILY BASIS!
Mr. More's "civil disobediance" is the mantra for a disporportionate number of the cycling community that has become more arrogant, rude and sometimes dangerous instead of trying to put forth a more positive perception. Increasingly, the more stop signs you blow, the more you won't ride single file in bike lanes put in for you at considerable tax payers expense, the more you run into hikers,(and this one will clothline your neck if your not careful on a corner), it's no wonder the tax paying public at large has had it with your shit.

United States

#37 May 4, 2008
You guys keep the trails and change them as you see fit. I'll begin changing the bike lanes and other paved roads as I see fit as well. We all know it's illegal but who cares, right?

Menlo Park, CA

#38 May 4, 2008
20 grand in repairs ... come on ... this is just the state park systems way of making money since they get hardly any money.
mt val

United States

#39 May 4, 2008
I am in favor of more legal single track trails for all public land users.
Robert Gish

United States

#40 May 4, 2008
We need more organized legal mountain bike trails in Marin

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