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MTB news roundup: Arrests and a new trail at Sandy Ridge, new shop in Portland, & more

Posted by on July 2nd, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Sandy Ridge is getting more beginner-friendly
with a new section of trail set to open this
weekend.
(Photo by Adam Milnor/BLM)

From where I sit it appears 2014 is poised to be a huge year for mountain biking in Oregon. There’s exciting growth and news to report from all over the state. There are many factors for the surge — from a growing momentum for bike tourism development to a successful approach to off-road advocacy that includes collaboration with land managers and a huge amount of volunteer hours and sweat equity.

While high-quality off-road riding options are lacking here in the Portland metro area, advocates have helped create several excellent destinations in Mt. Hood, the Gorge, Vernonia, and beyond.

I’ve let a few stories pile up in my inbox in the past few months, so now it’s time to catch up with all the action in news roundup below…

Mace-toting Couple Arrested for Repeated Harassment of Trail Users at Sandy Ridge

A husband and wife duo that had repeatedly accosted trail users up at Sandy Ridge has been arrested. KOIN-TV has the story of David and Pamela Gathwright who have been formally charged with harassment and animal abuse. We reported about this couple back in March after several readers reported confrontations with a couple that was threatening trail users with mace and other weapons. A week after our story the BLM increased security patrols in the area. It’s great to hear they’ve been caught.

New Beginner Trail Opens at Sandy Ridge on July 4th

The Sandy Ridge MTB Trail system has simply exploded since it opened in 2010. That year, says the BLM’s regional planner Andy Milnor, the area had 10,100 visits. This year they expect up to 120,000 visits. One big reason for the uptick is that Milnor and loads of great volunteers keep adding new trails.


Thanks to a recent grant from the Clackamas County Tourism & Cultural Affairs office, BLM worked with the International Mountain Bicycling Association to re-build the Homestead Loop trail and create a new, 0.25 mile downhill-only “flow” trail called “Laura’s Line.” Both trails are suited for all ability levels.

“Our goal with this project was to make Sandy Ridge more fun for adults and kids just getting into the sport,” said Milnor, “Now, you can head out with your family or a group and everyone can find a trail that works for them.”

Make it a family trip this July 4th weekend. More info on Sandy Ridge here.

New Mountain Bike Shop Opens in Northeast Portland

A new shop catering to the sport is a major sign that mountain biking is surging in our region. Hi-5 Bikes (3935 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) opened just a few weeks ago and they cater specifically to off-roaders who love going downhill. Owner Max Miller says the shop started as an idea: “Bikes that fit better. And reflect where and how we ride. Simply: I wanted thru axles and slack geometry, as well as a true Extra Large.” The shop carries complete bikes from Banshee and Transition as well as top-quality frames and parts. And, like any good “gravity shop” they offer quality repair and maintenance services as well. Whether you’re looking for a new DJ (dirt jumper) bike to shred at The Lumberyard, a classic Klunker for the neighborhood, or an all-mountain machine to tackle Sandy Ridge and beyond, stop and check out this great new shop!

Volunteers Needed for Local Mountain Bike Patrol Units

The non-profit NW Trail Alliance has formed a local chapter of the National Mountain Bike Patrol. The idea of the patrols is to help other trail users in need of emergency assistance, educate people about the rules of the trail, work with land managers, and so on. It’s a great chance to be an ambassador of the sport. Current patrols exist at Hagg Lake, Stubb Stewart State Park, and Sandy Ridge. There’s a minimum commitment needed from volunteers and you’ll be riding with patrol leaders. Join up and learn more at NW-Trail.org.

Believe it or not, this is only a sampling of the mountain bike action going on throughout Oregon. For more on recent off-road riding boom, check out this great article published in the Salem Statesmen Journal last month: New mountain bike trails help Oregon find flow, tourism.

Stay tuned for more coverage. Our summer plans include a trip in August to Oakridge for the 10th Anniversary of Mountain Bike Oregon!


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Comments
  • Team Mt. Bike Oregon July 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    YES! Glad you’ll be joining us for the 10th anniversary of Mt. Bike Oregon, Jonathan.

    Year one: 45 brave dirt lovers joined us in Oakrdige to ride Mt. Bike Oregon.

    Year two: They all returned, and brought 250 of their friends.

    Now Mt. Bike Oregon draws mt. bikers from all over the world to experience the (somewhat) hidden gem that is Oakridge, Oregon.

    Readers: join Jonathan and come celebrate our 10th anniversary with us the best way possible: In Oakridge, on a mt. bike – where you belong. It’s going to be an amazing July session (August is sold out) – you don’t want to miss it!

    p.s. August sold out a long time ago and July may sell out soon – don’t relay and register today. HOT TIP: Portland Design Works is offering a contest to win 50% off registration on their Facebook page!

    https://www.facebook.com/portlanddesignworks/posts/10152227176443730?fref=nf

    REGISTER:
    http://MTBoregon.com

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  • jeff July 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Glad those two were arrested, hopefully they cannot make bail and get to sit and think about their actions for a bit. Having to sell their home to pay their lawyers would be a nice cherry on top.

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  • mran1984 July 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Wsbob can interview this lovely couple in JAil now. Go get “their” side of the story. Yeah, right! Cheers!

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    • wsbob July 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      The couple have been charged, not convicted, and I do want to hear their story, and so should you. Undoubtedly, interviewing of the couple has begun, and the public may eventually be hearing some of what comes out of that.

      Neither allegations or accusations make people guilty. I don’t know whether they’re innocent or guilty of the charges. If the case goes to court, the public may come to learn whether they really are guilty or not.

      Bikeportland’s Maus, in the story above, writes: “…A husband and wife duo that had repeatedly accosted trail users…”. That the couple ‘accosted’ trail users, is an allegation, not fact. The word ‘accost’ may not even be the correct word to describe what the couple are alleged or accused to have done.

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      • Bella Bici July 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        I agree with much that you have written here, wsbob. However, what you are citing is legal theory. Practice, what “truth” gets out, and the punishment meted, are a function of many variables. Some rather unsavory.

        I do hope that something approximating “justice” will surface for all parties.

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        • wsbob July 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm

          Bella, you sound as though you may be skeptical of the legal system, and whether by way of it, the truth will get out. Got to try. The courts aren’t perfect, but they’re a far sight better than attempting to determining truth, and decide guilt or innocence, only by way of one sided accounts and popular opinion.

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      • Chris I July 3, 2014 at 7:47 am

        Look, we know you studied law for a few years.

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        • wsbob July 3, 2014 at 8:32 am

          Hey Chris…Thanks to bikeportland, the subject of some of its stories, and some of the people that have posted comments to those stories over the years, I’ve developed a little more than a passing interest in the law, how it reads and what it provides for.

          Personal computers, the internet, and the many people having made by way of it, genuine, serious efforts to help people without fancy schooling and law degrees, gain at least some familiarity with the law, has been of help to me. That source is the extent of my study of the law to date.

          It’s very easy for non lawyer people, to go, for example, to websites like oregonlaws.org, and there find and read Oregon laws. I believe it’s smart for people to make such efforts to possibly gain some familiarity with the law, and I’d like to think that people generally feel similarly about this.

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    • q`Tzal July 3, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Isn’t funny/pathetic that a story about two people being arrested turns immediately in to a “harass WSBOB fest”?

      I may not agree with everything he says but could we at least pretend we are a civil community here?

      Just sing Disney’s Let it Go song to yourself until the animosity leaves your heart or your brain explodes from repeated exposure.

      Now back to your regularly scheduled bikey news already in progress…

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      • aaronf July 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        The amount of abuse that is deemed appropriate for wsbob within this community astonishes me! Clearly I’m in the minority opinion, judging by the overall count of comments/likes. And that all the posts in this thread are still up unmoderated.

        wsbob is always polite. always always always. Why is it so hard to return the favor? Disagree with him, debate, whatever. But there is no reason to have this angry, personal tone & no reason to bring his name up before he has even commented on the article.

        Also, the endless questioning of his motivations, comments telling him to comment less… it’s all just cutter. Folks, if you don’t want to read 12 wsbob posts in a thread, engaging with him to complain about him or insult him will not do the trick. It will just add to the off topic clutter.

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      • Alex July 4, 2014 at 9:48 am

        I don’t think it is funny, but it is sort of pathetic that he has hi-jacked enough MTB threads here to really warrant this. Quite frankly, it takes two to tango and his level of commitment to commenting on a subject that he has no stake in is quite astounding.

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        • wsbob July 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

          “on a subject that he has no stake in…” Alex

          “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

          Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
          US black civil rights leader & clergyman (1929 – 1968) http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Martin_Luther_King_Jr./

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          • Alex July 5, 2014 at 9:58 pm

            What do you and MLK, Jr have in common? Are you seriously comparing anything you have done with anything he has said? What injustice has there been done? There hasn’t been any. Justice hasn’t been served. The only justice that has been dished out has been by these two violent people towards peaceful community members (although, I am sure you will point out for the 900th time that it is only “alleged”).

            I am all for civic participation, but you are not even civil (referring to us as “these people” in a previous post of yours). You have contributed absolutely nothing positive to this discussion and have only served to kind of piss people off who actually are involved – and not the way MLK, Jr pissed the government off, which was actually worthwhile. Can you do us all a favor and not “contribute” to mountain bike discussions until you actually either state what stake you have in the game or go out and do it for a few years? You keep making the same, singular point and I wish Jonathan would cut you off after making that single point over and over. I don’t need to read about it anymore.

            Regarding your quote: “Bella, you sound as though you may be skeptical of the legal system, and whether by way of it, the truth will get out.” I find it incredibly ironic that you would quote MLK, Jr and then back up our “legal” system. Perhaps you haven’t studied the African-American Civil Rights movement much…or were you saying that tongue firmly planted in cheek?

            Jonathan, can you please cut wsbob off from commenting on mtbing here if he just continues to make a singular point repeatedly? (We get it, he wants to hear their side let the “justice” system work). He really doesn’t help the positive nature of your blog and most of the commenters here. He says the same things over and over and dominates the comments when he doesn’t even participate or frequent the areas in question.

            tl;dr: wsbob is not the Martin Luther King, Jr of bikeportland.org’s comment section.

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            • Eric July 5, 2014 at 11:19 pm

              Thank you for this. I was going to say that if wsbob is comparing himself to MLK, Jr. I really want whatever he’s smoking.

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              • wsbob July 5, 2014 at 11:50 pm

                The potential for injustice to which I refer, related to incidents in question having occurred at Sandy Ridge, lies within comments expressed by various people to this story’s comment section, to the effect that it seems they would prefer the accused and charged couple not have their rightful opportunity to defend themselves in court.

                Seeing that this couple is not deprived of the justice due them, is at stake for everyone believing and supporting the values inherent in the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, which I believe it’s correct to say MLK himself did support and believe in.

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                • q`Tzal July 6, 2014 at 10:49 pm

                  Indeed.

                  And an injustice you seem to have overlooked is the injustice of having one’s life threatened for no proportionate nor rational reason.

                  While others have hung their animosity towards you upon your opinions of the MTB community (of which I think is irrelevant in this “alleged” criminal situation) you seem to have hung your objections on “Innocent until proven guilty”.
                  Let’s go there.

                  The police have seen fit to arrest the couple. If I told the PPD that you called in death threats to my house they wouldn’t and couldn’t simply arrest you WITHOUT CAUSE.
                  A single unsubstantiated “victim” report is a “he said /she said” situation that every police department deals with daily. In this situation with this couple we have multiple reports from different unrelated victims whose only commonality is their description of the “alleged” perpetrators and the modus operandi.
                  Still, as you say, it is all hearsay until it comes to a court of law but the preponderance of evidence leads to two conclusions.
                  Either:
                  (a) this couple is guilty of some form of violent intimidation with a deadly weapon
                  (b) there is a well executed conspiracy amongst parties with no prior connections to frame this couple.
                  So the police apply Occam’s Razor, arrest the couple on reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime and send it on to the courts.
                  Just because they haven’t been convicted yet doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to trust them, like them, or want then to ever have access to firearms ever again.

                  On the other hand we have the numerous victim reports.
                  Here’s a hypothetical for you: if I walk up to you in public, screaming angrily, and point a loaded shotgun at your face in what situations would a police officer standing 20′ away not step in to stop me from potentially killing you, accidentally or on purpose?
                  We all have inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but the life thing is right up front. As a reasonable and rational person if another person wields a potentially lethal weapon such that they could kill me I have every right not only to defend myself but to conclude that the unprovoked threat would be carried out.

                  We have no “stand your ground” law in Oregon (thankfully) so we don’t just get to defacto threaten to kill someone when escape is an option nor are MTBs or off leash dogs legal grounds to carry out a lethal action.

                  No one deserves to have their life threatened for no reason and considering that every one of these victim reports states the couple as the armed agressors it is the responsibility of the law to treat this couple as armed and dangerous even if the conviction isn’t done yet.

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                • wsbob July 7, 2014 at 10:15 am

                  q`Tzal: http://bikeportland.org/2014/07/02/mtb-news-roundup-arrests-new-trail-sandy-ridge-new-shop-portland-108137#comment-5153129

                  “…no proportionate nor rational reason. …” q`Tzal

                  It’s not been determined that the accused couple did not have a proportionate or rational reason to take the actions they did. Various people seem to have presumed or assumed they had no such reason, but we haven’t heard the Gathwright’s thoughts on this. The accusers have been heard from, but the accused hasn’t.

                  In a tendency that does not suggest a disposition to honor justice, not many people posting comments to this story’s comment section, seem even slightly willing to hear what the Gathwright’s may have to say in their defense. I’d like to think that everyone reading this story and especially those posting comments posted to it, do fully embrace the principle of ‘Innocent until proven guilty’, and are prepared to support the actions required to main the integrity of that principle.

                  So as I wrote earlier, in the comment the following link leads to:

                  http://bikeportland.org/2014/07/02/mtb-news-roundup-arrests-new-trail-sandy-ridge-new-shop-portland-108137#comment-5134185

                  … I do want to hear their story. Hopefully, you as well as others reading and commenting here, if they don’t already, will come to want to hear the Gathwright’s story as well. A willingness to hear the other side, is part of what justice is.

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                • q`Tzal July 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

                  There are very, very, VERY specific and limited circumstances in which use of or threatening someone with lethal force are allowed by law. As someone who claims to be conversant in matters of law you should know how few are the circumstances where a PRIVATE CITIZEN can threaten anyone and expect to get off consequence free.

                  We’ve basically arrived at an impasse. You are willing to believe that EVERYONE who has spoken of this couple has lied.

                  If I was one of the parties that have given statements to the police I’d want a word with you in person. But you have the protection of your convictions to keep you safe and warm at night.

                  When you are wrong feel free to come back and appologize to everyone you’ve basically called liars.

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            • Caleb July 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm

              I don’t think wsbob was claiming he and MLK Jr. had anything specific in common, but instead was only using one of MLK Jr.’s quotes to show what his stake was, that being the maintenance and/or development of “justice”.

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              • Alex July 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

                Any comparison between the two should never be made. Also, I think you are giving wsbob way too much credit. He was doing nothing for an injustice…only the “potential injustice” while completely ignoring the injustice that these people carried out against many people, some including children and families.

                He is still here posting the same point over and over again, out-commenting everyone else here. You don’t think he has just a bit too much ego? He isn’t helping anything at this point and is only creating more divisions between people. Way to go wsbob.

                Jonathan, please cut him off from making the same laborious point over and over. We get it already.

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                • Caleb July 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm

                  “Any comparison between the two should never be made.”

                  That’s a matter of opinion, so may I ask why? Comparison doesn’t inherently imply a positive/negative conclusion about anything being compared, so why such hostility against any alleged comparison?

                  “I think you are giving wsbob way too much credit.”

                  I wasn’t giving him any credit, but instead offering my literary interpretation of his post.

                  “He was doing nothing for an injustice…only the “potential injustice” ”

                  Yeah, and you’re complaining why? Might we humans be more likely to carry out injustice when we don’t consider the potential injustice within our abilities? If we don’t talk about potential injustices, we might find ourselves at a greater loss when they have become actual injustices.

                  “while completely ignoring the injustice that these people carried out against many people, some including children and families.”

                  That he does not address the injustice they are alleged to have carried out does not necessarily mean he ignores it. Many people had already addressed that injustice, so perhaps wsbob never saw any need to express it.

                  “He is still here posting the same point over and over again, out-commenting everyone else here. You don’t think he has just a bit too much ego?”

                  I don’t believe I can measure anyone’s ego, or that if I did, I’d know how to determine what is or isn’t “too much” ego aside from going by my biased emotions. That said, I had given no thought whatsoever to wsbob’s ego or absence thereof.

                  I do have a thought on why he might be making the same repeated point, though. Maybe at times he does so because others are repeating points, too, whether their own or ones others have already made. Maybe at other times he does so because points others are making are not logically countering the point he made. Just a thought, though I haven’t been following this conversation closely and really can’t say with any knowledge.

                  “He isn’t helping anything at this point and is only creating more divisions between people. Way to go wsbob.

                  How do you know he isn’t helping anything? Who in this comment section is helping anything at this point, and how do you know they are helping anything?

                  How do you know wsbob is creating divisions? Might it be that division creation requires more than just the effort of one person, and also the reaction of others?

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                • wsbob July 10, 2014 at 12:53 am

                  Caleb: http://bikeportland.org/2014/07/02/mtb-news-roundup-arrests-new-trail-sandy-ridge-new-shop-portland-108137#comment-5156211

                  It’s everyone’s justice under threat that’s associated with people accusing the Gathwright’s of responsibility for the Sandy Ridge indcidents, without being willing to hear the Gathwright’s side of the story. The accusers appear to be seeking to have their side of the story be a foregone conclusion that the Gathwrights are guilty, thus avoiding any consideration that they themselves may have done something to precipitate the incidents. That’s not an honorable position to be taking, nor does it work to help keep injustice from reoccurring.

                  When the Gathwright’s side of the story does finally come out, that may help to give a much better idea than exists at present, as to whether these people are guilty, or whether they had the right under the law, to take the actions they did. Here’s a link to an oregonlaws.org page that includes the laws the Gathwrights are accused of violating:

                  http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/chapter/166

                  For those that may be wondering, ‘Do I think it’s possible the Gathwrights are guilty of what they’re accused of and charged with? Sure, of course it’s possible. I also think it’s possible they’re innocent. Let’s hear their story. Also, ‘Do I think people accusing the couple, are lying?, as q`Tzal would like to insinuate I am? I’m not sure they’re lying. They may be or maybe not. More likely, may be that they just somehow feel nothing they do at this park could possibly be so fear invoking in anyone to the extent it would have them feel the need to prepare to defend themselves with tazers and firearms.

                  After their story’s been heard and the judge and or jury reviews it, arrives at conclusions and decisions, if it turns out the Gathwrights are guilty, sure, issue the appropriate sentence. If it turns out they’re not guilty, and everyone had better be prepared for that possibility, some very serious self reflection is likely due some of the accusers of the couple, if that hasn’t been happening already.

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        • Caleb July 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm

          Hijacking threads does not warrant anything, but rather people make arbitrary decisions in how they respond to that hijacking.

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  • Dwaine Dibbly July 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I shouldn’t judge by a mug shot, so I won’t say anything about them looking nuts.

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    • wsbob July 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      “I shouldn’t judge by a mug shot, …” Dwaine Dibbly

      No you shouldn’t. Nobody should. So why are you?

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      • Alex July 2, 2014 at 6:12 pm

        Once again out commenting everyone that has any sort stake in the game – keep it classy!

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      • Dwaine Dibbly July 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm

        I’m not judging. I even said so.

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        • Bella Bici July 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm

          You’ve not set yourself to place judgement out there?… similar in disengenuity to the non-apology apology. Never insinuating is the “not saying” that you should seek.

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          • Dan Reed Miller July 5, 2014 at 1:48 am

            OMG can the man not inject a little humor into this tedious discussion about the creeps who were harassing bicyclists?
            And yes, we know that the U.S. court system (rightly) has a standard of innocent until proven guilty. This however has no bearing on a citizen (other than a jury member in the specific case) deciding that a person has committed an act or not, and/or having an opinion on the nature and moral qualities of the act.

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            • wsbob July 7, 2014 at 10:33 am

              “…this tedious discussion about the creeps who were harassing bicyclists? …” Dan Reed Miller

              You describe the discussion as “…tedious…”, yet here you are having read it, and finding the need to post your own comment to it. You then go on to presume who it was in the incidents, that were “…creeps…”, further contributing as Dwaine Dibbly has, to difficulties the accused couple may have in getting a fair trial.

              I think Dibbly’s cheap, insinuating shot about how the accused couple look in their mug shots, is harmful to any possible positive outcome it should be hoped will come from looking into why the incidents at Sandy Ridge occurred in the first place, and whatever reasons the Gathwright’s had for taking the actions they did .

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    • El Biciclero July 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Speaking of judging by mug shots, I checked out the KOIN story and had to look at the listed ages twice–I thought they both looked pretty good for 57 (her) and 60 (him).

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  • armando July 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    way to go bike patrol-er @mimimadre!

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  • mran1984 July 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I’ts pretty simple bob. You are predisposed. I encountered these two and you never will. Please stay off any trails. Your stance may hinder a good time. BTW, suburban opinions are similar to the strip malls that they support. Story… Uh, so let’s justify attacking folks due to “fear”? Great, I am now “afraid” of anyone who does not mountain bike. Get it? Pathetic and veiled as usual. You would not support anyone if the situation was reversed. Buy a bike and attempt riding it. You have no issue judging mountain biking from the smallest perspective available, so save your pontificating for the converted. Go get their story bob. You are their champion! According to the court OJ was innocent. Keep it classy San DIego! The only story I want to hear is the one about the dad who was threatened in front of his family. How did he stay classy??? Many would have chosen a different path. I am confident of where your support would lie regardless of any illumination from the weapon toting, small minded, and fearful couple that should receive a Christmas card from you from now on.

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    • wsbob July 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Regardless of what you or I or anyone else knows or thinks about what they’ve done, the couple has been accused of something that may or may not be true, and they do have the right by law in the U.S., to have their side of the story told before a decision is made, based on facts presented, as to whether they’re innocent or guilty as charged.

      You, or anyone else, regardless of who or what they are, has the same right, which they can exercise, if accused of something. Anything’s possible, but I doubt you’d be willing to give up the opportunity to decide yourself, whether or not you’d be willing to give that right up.

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  • Pete July 3, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Now this is funny…
    “Attempted harassment is an interesting charge. What, you were trying to harass someone, but it turned out that it didn’t bother them?”

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  • Brian July 3, 2014 at 8:28 am

    This is all great news, especially the arrest of the couple. I realize that mountain biking isn’t the #1 priority of local government, but I am disappointed to see no forward movement to address the needs of mountain bikes here in Portland. In the last year or so, we have seen the re-working of one pump track. Period. On my way home from riding at Sandy Ridge last week I saw a huge billboard that read “I love my spin class.” The photo was of a person riding a mountain bike in the woods and was an ad for The Forest Park Conservancy. Made me laugh.
    Yesterday I rode up to Tabor to watch the road races. At the bottom there is one nice, wide, hard packed trail that leads to the picnic area that I was planning to ride. It is a nice way to get up and avoid being on the road. Unfortunately, it has a sign that reads “No bicycles please.” My only option was a trail that was wood chipped at the start, and then impossible to climb at the top given steepness and old wood steps. I hope that things improve locally in time for my son to take advantage of, and that he doesn’t have to drive to ride his bike on fun trails.

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    • Matt F July 3, 2014 at 8:51 am

      100% agreed Brian…The Forest Park’s Conservancy’s new ad campaign, specifically the “I love my Spin Class” part, is f’n ridiculous.They are doing everything they can to maintain the status quo and then they advertise what a great place it is to ride there!?! Good god. The ad should show a picture of a novice rider walking their bike up one of the firelanes (or walking their bike down Holman Lane).

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      • davemess July 3, 2014 at 10:41 am

        Or a kid crying standing next to his mountain bike in front of a “No Bikes” sign in some Portland park.

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    • Todd Hudson July 3, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Do not expect Portland Parks to do anything further to accommodate off-road biking with Amanda Fritz in charge.

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      • davemess July 3, 2014 at 10:39 am

        The weird part is that they have reworked trails at Powell Butte (some not for the better in my opinion), supposedly with the help of a MTB trail-building company. I have definitely seen more bikers there recently than before. I’m amazed the city/parks dept. have not done any kind of promotion or marketing of this. (Granted it’s kind of nice to have less people there now).
        And I think there is slow progress at Gateway Green and hopefully Riverview. I definitely also feel the frustrations at lack of options though.

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        • Matt F July 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

          Great point. There has been a lot of trail work there and it is now the best place nearby to bring kids to ride or a not-so-experienced rider…but yeah there is not one technical feature left. But I think by-and-large that this is progress as other than Powell Butte I don’t know where you would take a novice or 9 year old kid to ride singletrack other the EZClimb Trail in Cascade Locks.

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          • davemess July 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

            Problem with novices/kids at Powell Butte is it has a lot of climbing (and a good bit of it at a pretty sustained grade). Not mention the city’s apparent need to dump tons of gravel on many of the trails.

            And it looks like guys have been putting in some small jumps and jump lines. But yes, the need to cover over every root and rock (and keep many of the trails 3 feet wide) is just kind of silly. But as the only place in town I can ride on a weeknight, it’s better than nothing. I just don’t understand why we can’t also have some more bike specific trails. I think with the reservoirs any facade of a “nature park” is completely shot anyways.

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            • Brian July 4, 2014 at 8:58 am

              Totally agree. What is so hard to understand about the fact that mountain bikers need progression? Roots are good, rocks are good, jumps are good. Adding in some variety and technical challenge to a trail system doesn’t de-nature the entire park. In a city this size, why is it so damn difficult to find some space to work with mtb’ers to create mtb-specific trails that are built according to updated (and more sustainable) guidelines? Mountain bike success stories can be found all over the nation.
              Maybe it’s time for the story to change from “this sucks” to “what can we do?” In addition to joining NWTA, what can mountain bikers in Portland do to push our agenda? Local government works *for* us, after all.

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              • davemess July 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm

                I blame Portland’s aggressive environmental movement. Many areas have strong environmental roots, but Portland (in my experience of having lived a lot of places) seems to have some of the most aggressive enviros I have met. Recreation clearly takes a back seat to nature here (even in urban or suburban city parks). In most mountain states you just don’t see this as much. Many environmentalists have a bit more trust for various recreational groups that also use the outdoors.

                FWIW, the reasons I heard for covering EVERY root at Powell Butte was for the safety of the trees. I don’t know either way if this is true, but it has made for some crazy trails with all kinds of little dips and whoops as every root was covered up.

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      • Brian July 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm

        Yep. My emails back and forth before she was assigned head of Parks made that abundantly clear. I guess we can also thank Hales for setting us back another 10 years. “Now we need a major study. Wait! We don’t have money for a study. I guess we can’t do anything without a study.”
        My assessment is that NWTA has done absolutely everything right to date, to no avail (no fault of their own, of course). The number, and diversity, of mountain bikers is on the increase due to the success of places like Sandy Ridge. There is a total lack of trust towards those who are supposed to represent mtb’ers when it comes to local recreational opportunities. We are near a tipping point where the frustrations will eventually be so high that mountain bikers will start building and riding trails on their own, similar to the skateboarders of the past. This will either lead to Parks being forced to accommodate and work with mountain bikers (like skateparks being built around town), or it will create an atmosphere of ill-will that will be difficult to overcome. This is unfortunate as the relationship could be symbiotic, as it is in many other places in Oregon and around the country. And given the need for resources, I am further dumbfounded by the lack of movement by Parks to work with mtb’ers to address this need.

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        • davemess July 4, 2014 at 8:53 am

          Well said.

          “There is a total lack of trust towards those who are supposed to represent mtb’ers when it comes to local recreational opportunities.”

          I wanted to comment on this (and I’ve said this a number of times on this site). I do think the diversity of riders is growing, but I think NWTA and MTBers in general need to really put XC riders forward to the public. All Mountain/DH riders are really the only thing it seems like the public see these days (and a store specific to this might accentuate it). And I think the public just envisions that all MTBers just want a bunch of huge jumps and many Sandy-like features in local parks. XC riders are the gateway to mountain biking (still low key enough that you can get the whole family out and older people to participate (I mean George Bush is a mountain biker!?!!?!?)). For sure there is room under the tent for many styles of riding, but if we really want to move ahead with public perception and city government I think the conversation needs to focus on XC more.

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          • Brian July 5, 2014 at 1:03 pm

            The dialogue has always been centered around XC riding, to no avail. We need a groundswell of support for more off-road riding opportunities for all riders. Waiting for Gateway Green to hopefully happen in the next ten years is not an excuse for inaction. No money is not an excuse. There are always solutions.
            I guess we need to get back to sending postcards/letters to Parks, and perhaps our Mayor, for a start. Government requires participation for action. NWTA is doing what they can, and I feel that we can all do some things too.

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  • Matt F July 3, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Actually the more I think about this article…the more I think it does a disservice to the local mountain bike community. You are giving non-mountain bikers the impression that things are progressing nicely on the mountain biking front, where, actually, there has been no real progress. I mean look at the examples of “progress” given in the article: two crazy people were arrested, a new .25 mile section of trail at sandy ridge (a 1/4 mile!), a new bike shop, and info about the bike patrol. This is the type of “progress” that has been going on for 20 years and the results are still a lack of good riding in or near town. Jonathan I appreciate you including mountain bike related articles on your blog, but this really is misleading.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

      That’s an interesting take Matt F. I hear what you’re saying. I think I can agree with your overall assessment of the mountain biking situation and still think that my post is not “misleading.”

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  • Dave July 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Hmmm, makes road riding look a little better than it already did–tarmac and 700 x 28′ 4EVER!

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    • Alex July 5, 2014 at 8:52 am

      How does this make road riding look a little better? Did they build more bike specific roads without cars or something that I haven’t heard about? I will take my chances with the gun-toters in the woods vs the inattentive drivers speeding by you texting or browsing the internet.

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