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Got a ticket on a Tam night ride

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
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Hey all, just thought I'd let you know I got a ticket last night on Tam, on Railroad Grade just above the double bow knot. A ranger and a sheriff's deputy were sitting in a pickup. They were nice enough but still gave me a citation. Not sure what it's gonna cost but the moral of the story is: Stay on singletrack! These guys would not have gotten me if I took the tech singletrack I usually ride with a group. But since I was out solo, to be safer I decided to stay on fireroads for most of the ride. We all had a good laugh about the irony...

I've been riding out there for years and whatever the ticket cost, it will be a small price to pay for many hours of fun...but I hope it's not a trend of increased enforcement.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
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sanjuro said:
Was the ticket for riding at night or illegal access?
It was for riding after hours. I was on a trail that is otherwise legal. The irony is that they probably wouldn't have nabbed me if I was on illegal singletrack, where I normally would be at night, in a group.
 

sanjuro

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Sep 13, 2004
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OGRipper said:
It was for riding after hours. I was on a trail that is otherwise legal. The irony is that they probably wouldn't have nabbed me if I was on illegal singletrack, where I normally would be at night, in a group.
First of all, let me say riding illegally is always a bad idea and no one should ever be on illegal trails or riding at night.

I hear the problem on Tam is if you ride singletrack, those guys will see your light and cruise over to your locale.

It is funny though, because I was going to do that trail myself today.
 

amydalayna

Turbo Monkey
Aug 16, 2005
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OGRipper said:
It was for riding after hours. I was on a trail that is otherwise legal. The irony is that they probably wouldn't have nabbed me if I was on illegal singletrack, where I normally would be at night, in a group.
What I find silly is, why punish you? Out of everyone out there causing trouble, is it worth the time locating you and ticketing you? Couldn't that time have been better spent targetting someone a little more dangerous or troublesome?
 

sanjuro

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Sep 13, 2004
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amydalayna said:
What I find silly is, why punish you? Out of everyone out there causing trouble, is it worth the time locating you and ticketing you? Couldn't that time have been better spent targetting someone a little more dangerous or troublesome?
Tam is the hotspot for trail enforcement in the Bay Area. It is so bad, it written up in bike magazines.

Besides being one of the birth places for mt biking, it is in super rich Marin County, as well as being in the backyard of the Sierra Club, also founded in SF.
 

amydalayna

Turbo Monkey
Aug 16, 2005
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south lake tahoe, ca
sanjuro said:
Tam is the hotspot for trail enforcement in the Bay Area. It is so bad, it written up in bike magazines.

Besides being one of the birth places for mt biking, it is in super rich Marin County, as well as being in the backyard of the Sierra Club, also founded in SF.
do you know what the reason is for not allowing night riding?
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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amydalayna said:
do you know what the reason is for not allowing night riding?
Women Hikers In North Eastern Regional Sanfransssicobay


Once the single track became illegal, everyone just started riding at night. Now that's illegal too.

Marin sucks.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
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Just about every open space district is closed at night, and Tam is no different. There is no funding for a full roster of rangers 24 hours a day, and there are legit safety issues with having people out there in the dark (especially on foot, but that's another issue). However, at night there is basically zero conflict with other users, and IMO conflict is the main reason singletrack is illegal - not erosion. After talking with different rangers over the years, I've gotten the impression that they don't really care so much. Dealing with whiny hikers and equestrians complaining about bikes is a pain in their arses and it's not a problem at night. I've been riding legal and illegal singletrack in Marin county at night for nearly ten years and this was my first ticket.

They wouldn't say if there is going to be more enforcement in the future, but a sheriff's deputy was there in addition to the ranger. The deputy said something about a joint effort and there being some bad characters around at night, to which I replied "Oooh, you mean like REAL criminals?" We had a good laugh at that one...but there may be reasons besides mountain bikers for them to be out there. They could have been real jerks and confiscated my bike, etc., but they let me ride off the mountain.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
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NORCAL is the hizzle
Joe Pozer said:
Sorry to hear about the ticket OG...hopefully it won't be too expensive. Are the headlands legal to ride at night?

Thanks. I am not positive but fairly certain that all open space areas in Marin county are closed at night, including the headlands. It wouldn't be hard to check it out online. Basically, it's all illegal after dark or after specified hours. Since we are breaking the rules anyway, might as well ride the fun stuff that is off-limits during the day.
 

amydalayna

Turbo Monkey
Aug 16, 2005
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OGRipper said:
Thanks. I am not positive but fairly certain that all open space areas in Marin county are closed at night, including the headlands. It wouldn't be hard to check it out online. Basically, it's all illegal after dark or after specified hours. Since we are breaking the rules anyway, might as well ride the fun stuff that is off-limits during the day.
that's a serious bummer. i really enjoy the night rides. and i don't think that any of the areas i ride prohibit night rides. but i have NEVER seen anyone else out at night.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
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NORCAL is the hizzle
amydalayna said:
that's a serious bummer. i really enjoy the night rides. and i don't think that any of the areas i ride prohibit night rides. but i have NEVER seen anyone else out at night.
Yeah you might check that out, most public space is technically closed at night, it's just that it's not really enforced. We occasionally see other riders but in ten years here and at least as long on the east coast I have only seen two night hikers and both were friendly and happy to see us.
 

justsomeguy

Monkey
Oct 3, 2005
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OGRipper said:
Yeah you might check that out, most public space is technically closed at night, it's just that it's not really enforced.
That really, really varies by jurisdiction.

For instance BLM and NFS land (which comprises most of the public space in the US) is open at night.

In the East Bay many of the regional parks are open until 10pm.

The ticket sucks but as you wrote, it's a small price to pay if you consider how much night riding you've done without getting caught.
 

HarryCallahan

Monkey
Sep 29, 2004
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SC mtns
I think maybe the headlands are open at night, as they are a different jursidiction. I'd have to look it up, though.

Not much you can do about getting a ticket when the ranger is literally parked across the trail you are riding on. I wonder if it would be worth going to court to see if the judge would knock down the fine on a first offense?
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
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NORCAL is the hizzle
Just thought I'd let you all know that the ticket I got was $152, first offense. (Or rather, first time I got caught. :) )

They got me fair and square and I am not going to contest it.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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Justice is Served. Illegal riding should be penalized and the trespassers killed.
 

Prechrysler

Chimp
Aug 6, 2004
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OGRipper said:
Just thought I'd let you all know that the ticket I got was $152, first offense. (Or rather, first time I got caught. :) )

They got me fair and square and I am not going to contest it.
ouch! I got a ticket for running a stop sign at blazing speeds and it was still nowhere near that, and I was actually endangering people by my actions. $152 ticket for 'being' is some straight up bull****.

Then again...

I got a ticket for being at a skate park after hours, where no harm could have come from me being there, and it came out to be $136 (something like that); that's after the judge cut the ticket price in half. I could never be successful in law enforcement, maybe it has something to do with having a non-deluded conscience.
 

grundy

Chimp
Oct 18, 2004
93
0
friend of mine got pinched last week on Tam too, sounds like the enforcers are out.

OGRipper said:
They wouldn't say if there is going to be more enforcement in the future, but a sheriff's deputy was there in addition to the ranger. The deputy said something about a joint effort and there being some bad characters around at night.
I heard some story along the lines of a ranger pulling a gun on a bike rider, with the result that the rangers are no longer allowed to carry guns and instead bring along a sheriff's deputy to handle the ticket writing. Not sure if that's true or not...