Forest Saved from Speeding Mountain Biker OR My Encounter with the LAW
By draks on Jul 16, 2007
Picture this - you are on your mountain bike in the zone, cruising on well worn single track in the Saratoga woods. You are riding high on every turn, making it over every root, missing the poison oak and you are feeling that thrill of "being the trail" as you head downhill when all of the sudden - its the Forestry Service with a RADAR GUN at the bottom of trail ahead measuring your speed with mal-intent. 2 big, overweight guys on a Sunday morning looking to generate revenue to offset the fact that they don't charge entrance fees for this wooded area on the coast! What do you do? You can't turn off, you can't stop, you can't fight (they out-mass you by 2:1). So you go thru and either get the nod (your not speeding) or you get the hand (and a ticket). The speed limit in this section of the forest (part of it is open land and part of it is state forest) is 15 mph which in mountain bike lingo means "don't even think of having fun here"! Fortunately, we had been warned by the mountain bike network that they were issuing tickets that day so we slowed down in this one area (the forestry service hangs out in the exact same place because it is the one area they can drive to the trail) and we did not get ticketed. The guys behind us were going 20 mph and were not so lucky
My point is... WHY? In this area we have never seen any hikers, walkers, wheel chairs or anything else except mountain bikers so what is the purpose of the tickets? Is it to generate revenue by punishing users of the trail? I am thrilled my tax dollars are providing full employment for the Forestry service, but isn't there something better they can do like: herd banana slugs, clean benches, sell beer for thirsty mountain bikers? This is like a Monty Python episode gone bad - the Spanish Inquisition being replaced by the Forestry service and making all of us think much less of the officers in brown than we did before. Too bad for the Forestry service as I am sure we'll question their next request for more funding rather than thanking them for making the forest a safer place by ticketing mountain bikers.