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Laguna Beach Trails: Riders vs. Rangers

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5/30/2018 10:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/30/2018 10:19 AM

A lot going on around here in this seemingly never-ending battle of riders wanting to discover and ride more trails than are approved by the Parks Dept....lately, Rangers have taken more aggressive steps to prohibit riders from hitting well-established (albeit prohibited) trails. The riders seem undeterred which only escalates things....

If you are local, what is your take on this? If you are from out of the area, and your trails have faced similar scrutiny and you've been able to navigate the waters with your bureaucratic agencies sound off....maybe someone out there has a good way to make this process work for both sides...

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-Patrick in Laguna

5/31/2018 7:08 AM

The rangers are closing long time trails a little south at calaveras also. Sucks I ride these all the time.

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5/31/2018 8:05 AM

That's brutal.

I have never lived in an area with this problem, but it has to be difficult. It is hard for me to comprehend. Do they issue tickets? Or what are the consequences of riding "closed" trails.

I have lived in areas in the Northeast where hikers booby-trap trails.

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5/31/2018 10:00 AM

mass protests. organize large rides on them. out number the hikers and the rangers and show them how important these trails are to riders.

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6/1/2018 7:21 AM

pdon wrote:

That's brutal.

I have never lived in an area with this problem, but it has to be difficult. It is hard for me to comprehend. Do they issue tickets? Or what are the consequences of riding "closed" trails.

I have lived in areas in the Northeast where hikers booby-trap trails.

I haven't heard of anybody getting a ticket yet, just told they are trespassing . I'm sure like other spots on SanDiego they will start issuing warnings, then the next time they stop you they will give a ticket.

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6/1/2018 8:26 AM

In Santa Cruz, particularly at the UC/Hwy. 9 trails, this happens quite cyclicly. Everyone rides and is happy, economy prospers, old lawyer couple get their panties in a bunch, old couple make threats of lawsuits and what not, rangers come out and scare everyone away for a bit, old couple pat themselves on the back, rangers stop coming, riders come back, economy prospers, and repeat...

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6/1/2018 4:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/1/2018 4:27 PM

I'm always taken aback when I hear that bicycles aren't welcome somewhere. Really?

My oil-burning, terrain-shredding 2-stroke MX bike I understand, sure. But a bicycle? Someone needs to get some perspective.

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6/1/2018 9:38 PM

So let me get this straight...They were OK with putting in a 100 yard wide toll road through the middle of their hills, but a dozen 1 yard wide MTB trails are not tolerated???

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6/1/2018 9:39 PM

Similar to bigbird scenario, they were kicking us out of shuttling telonics back in the 90's, then we went and built the 951 trail, shuttled that to death, then the new kids are back in laguna. Its a cycle.

But more people on e-bikes should solve everything....right?
(That part was sarcasm).

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6/1/2018 11:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/2/2018 9:42 PM

Stiksandstones wrote:

Similar to bigbird scenario, they were kicking us out of shuttling telonics back in the 90's, then we went and built the 951 trail, shuttled that to death, then the new kids are back in laguna. Its a cycle.

But more people on e-bikes should solve everything....right?
(That part was sarcasm).

The cycle in Santa Cruz has a much higher frequency though. It's once or twice a year for a month or so, not trail shut down and reopened by a new generation.

The '96 or '97 Leaping Lizard was my first ever Downhill race. First year of the chicane after the Tank Trap. I got 29th place and a free t-shirt for being the longest traveled. From Santa Cruz that is. It was the year that Marzocci was burgled. We had stopped by on the way down and the police thought we were casing the joint for the big job. I had expressed intense interest in the second crown and two screw on extensions to make my Z1 into a triple clamp. The Leaping Lizard was our alibi.

Come to think of it,,, Our alibi was having diner with Hans Rey. The race was the next day.

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6/3/2018 6:11 AM

looks like there's a fire near laguna / aliso trails right now. news said 200 acres and 0% containment. couldn't really tell exactly where but news crews were at top of the world. no home/human loss yet thankfully.

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6/21/2018 10:05 AM

patrick.fetzer.14 wrote:

A lot going on around here in this seemingly never-ending battle of riders wanting to discover and ride more trails than are approved by the Parks Dept....lately, Rangers have taken more aggressive steps to prohibit riders from hitting well-established (albeit prohibited) trails. The riders seem undeterred which only escalates things....

If you are local, what is your take on this? If you are from out of the area, and your trails have faced similar scrutiny and you've been able to navigate the waters with your bureaucratic agencies sound off....maybe someone out there has a good way to make this process work for both sides...

I will say that even though Rangers have been cracking down lately here in Laguna, we still deal with way less bullshit than they do down south in San Diego.

However, I really think that having the "illegal" trails is of benefit to everyone. Laguna gets so packed (especially on weekends) that its almost impossible to ride a "legal" trail without the danger of monster trucking a hiker. Having the illegal trails allows traffic to be more spread out and even more importantly takes the guys who really want to send it away from the danger of hitting hikers. I think that the Rangers understand this but the execs in charge of them don't.

I always tell people to respect the rangers. If they stop you, then bite your tongue, be as peaceful as possible, polite and apologize (especially if you don't want a ticket), or at least play dumb like you didn't know you weren't supposed to be riding there, and go on your way. They are just doing their jobs. We should be glad that the most trail "interference" we get with our "prohibited" trails is a pile of bushes in front of the entrance.

IF THEY PILE BUSHES ON AN ENTRANCE DON'T MOVE THE BUSHES OR CLEAR A PATH FOR FUCK's SAKE! Just climb over or around them. Moving the brush piles or clearing a path only throws more fuel on the fire and will eventually force the Rangers to more drastic measures. It's not hard to pick up your bike and walk 10 feet around or over the bushes. Plus the brush piles keep the jabrones away from the fun stuff. Fewer riders means less blown out corners.

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I try to do less thinking and more sending.

6/22/2018 10:56 AM

Yeah in south eastern San Diego rules can get pretty tough, and doing trail work can sometimes be tricky,but up around mt laguna is some good stuff but it is about an hour drive from most parts of eastern sandiego.

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6/22/2018 1:20 PM

patrick.fetzer.14 wrote:

A lot going on around here in this seemingly never-ending battle of riders wanting to discover and ride more trails than are approved by the Parks Dept....lately, Rangers have taken more aggressive steps to prohibit riders from hitting well-established (albeit prohibited) trails. The riders seem undeterred which only escalates things....

If you are local, what is your take on this? If you are from out of the area, and your trails have faced similar scrutiny and you've been able to navigate the waters with your bureaucratic agencies sound off....maybe someone out there has a good way to make this process work for both sides...

Jdub004 wrote:

I will say that even though Rangers have been cracking down lately here in Laguna, we still deal with way less bullshit than they do down south in San Diego.

However, I really think that having the "illegal" trails is of benefit to everyone. Laguna gets so packed (especially on weekends) that its almost impossible to ride a "legal" trail without the danger of monster trucking a hiker. Having the illegal trails allows traffic to be more spread out and even more importantly takes the guys who really want to send it away from the danger of hitting hikers. I think that the Rangers understand this but the execs in charge of them don't.

I always tell people to respect the rangers. If they stop you, then bite your tongue, be as peaceful as possible, polite and apologize (especially if you don't want a ticket), or at least play dumb like you didn't know you weren't supposed to be riding there, and go on your way. They are just doing their jobs. We should be glad that the most trail "interference" we get with our "prohibited" trails is a pile of bushes in front of the entrance.

IF THEY PILE BUSHES ON AN ENTRANCE DON'T MOVE THE BUSHES OR CLEAR A PATH FOR FUCK's SAKE! Just climb over or around them. Moving the brush piles or clearing a path only throws more fuel on the fire and will eventually force the Rangers to more drastic measures. It's not hard to pick up your bike and walk 10 feet around or over the bushes. Plus the brush piles keep the jabrones away from the fun stuff. Fewer riders means less blown out corners.

"It's not hard to pick up your bike and walk 10 feet around or over the bushes." Your asking people to do way to much.. wassat

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6/22/2018 1:40 PM

pdon wrote:

That's brutal.

I have never lived in an area with this problem, but it has to be difficult. It is hard for me to comprehend. Do they issue tickets? Or what are the consequences of riding "closed" trails.

I have lived in areas in the Northeast where hikers booby-trap trails.

Ob917 wrote:

I haven't heard of anybody getting a ticket yet, just told they are trespassing . I'm sure like other spots on SanDiego they will start issuing warnings, then the next time they stop you they will give a ticket.

Every once in a while they will make an example of someone riding illegal trails in Laguna and hit them with some fines. If you get caught doing trail work in Laguna though you can get slapped with huge fines.

I heard some gnarly stories a while ago about trails in East San Diego. These were the sycamore canyon trails and were on the border of a military base. There was a trail that dipped over that border and supposedly MPs would roll up on ATVs with assault rifles in tow and take peoples bike and give them a ticket to go to court and get it back.

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I try to do less thinking and more sending.

6/22/2018 2:48 PM

You guys have it good.

The rangers in Marin are now using strategically placed cellular enabled cameras: Locate em at the start of a no-bikes or questionable trail w/o splits, rider goes by, photo taken & sent via MMS to ranger, ranger blasts over to the trail exit on his quad with spare time to stroke his chrome before giving you a ticket.....a ~$300 ticket. One of the most over zealous rangers is actually the brother of a well known XC racer none the less.

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6/22/2018 3:09 PM

DubC wrote:

You guys have it good.

The rangers in Marin are now using strategically placed cellular enabled cameras: Locate em at the start of a no-bikes or questionable trail w/o splits, rider goes by, photo taken & sent via MMS to ranger, ranger blasts over to the trail exit on his quad with spare time to stroke his chrome before giving you a ticket.....a ~$300 ticket. One of the most over zealous rangers is actually the brother of a well known XC racer none the less.

Haha, maybe that's why he's so zealous. His brother has all the talent. Parents probably like the XC brother better too.

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I try to do less thinking and more sending.