Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

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.

Advertisement

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!

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

79
Leave a Reply

avatar
14 Comment threads
65 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
25 Comment authors
AlexAlan 1.0ZimmermanwsbobCaleb Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Team Mt. Bike Oregon
Guest

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

jeff
Guest
jeff

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.

mran1984
Guest
mran1984

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

Dwaine Dibbly
Guest
Dwaine Dibbly

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

armando
Guest
armando

way to go bike patrol-er @mimimadre!

mran1984
Guest
mran1984

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.

Pete
Guest
Pete

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?”

Brian
Guest
Brian

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.

Matt F
Guest
Matt F

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.

Dave
Guest
Dave

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

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2015/04/brightwood_couple_who_confront.html

“On Wednesday, [Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Susie] Norby found David Gathwright, 60, guilty of unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and pointing a firearm at another person. She found Pamela Gathwright, 58, guilty of attempted second-degree animal abuse. They will be sentenced April 7.”

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Yesterday morning, I happened to run across Oregonian story about the Sandy Ridge couple being found guilty. I’ve no reason to not trust the judge’s conclusion about what happened, or her decision as finding them guilty. Though from the O story, apparently this wasn’t a jury trial, and it sounds as though the couple didn’t have a lawyer presenting their side of the story.

The judge didn’t believe them, but the Gaithright’s claimed their actions were self defense. The O story says the dogs that the Gaithright’s asked the Hesse’s to gain control of, were “…two miniature Australian shepherds…”. Doesn’t sound like very big dogs. Story says Chris Hesse claimed his dogs ‘were friendly, showed no aggression and posed no threat.’.

Not that it necessarily would have changed the judges’, or a juries’ opinion, if the couple would have had a lawyer presenting their side of the story and defending them, but they probably should have. Details may have come out to explain the Gaithright’s claim of self defense more thoroughly. The O story says “…The Gathwrights had not been cited before the incident with the Hesses. …”. Does that mean no citations for other incidents at this park? Or no prior citations, period, or prior convictions?

Incidents associated with the Gaithright’s and Sandy Ridge park visitiors have been said to have been going on for a number of years prior to the incident with the Hesse’s. Story is, that for whatever reason, people having had encounters with the Gaithright’s in those incidents, didn’t report them to the police. Why not? With no action taken to stop them, the incidents continued.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

wsbob, the frustration I mentioned was long ago, with the most recent incident probably being about a year ago now. Further, I’m not one to blame others for my frustration, so didn’t hold it against your person. I appreciate you extending the apology, though.

By “common behavior on this site”, I was referring to your persistence and diligence in expressing your views. I did not mean it as a slight, but can understand if it appeared that way, because while typing it I was vaguely recalling the many incidents in which other people seemed unable to tolerate that behavior. I meant that statement to show I empathize with Alex’s position even though I disagree with aspects of it.