Trouble on the trails in the homeland of modern mountain biking

Two mountain bikers actively protesting the recent access laws in Marin County have been charged with illegal mountain biking and resisting arrest.

>>> 80% of mountain bikers ride on footpaths

On December 12th a doctor and a dentist have been charged with illegally mountain biking in Marin County open land (on the Piedmont Trail in the Baltimore Open Space Preserve to be exact).

They have also been charged with resisting arrest when a deputy sheriff attempted to issue them with a citation.

The two riders are Dr. Paul Cameron and and Dr. David Carbonell. If that last name sounds familiar then you may remember him as the founder of the New Paradigm Trail group.

The New Paradigm Trail group

We covered a story in February last year – Mountain bikers vow to defy Marin County’s singletrack ban – detailing the New Paradigm Trail group’s intention to protest and actively break new access rules regarding bikes in Marin County.

Following these arrests it seems the group is more than just hot air and social media posturing. The New Paradigm Trail group have publicly stated that mountain bikers should be “as disruptive as possible, acting within the guidelines of the law” as a form of non-violent protest.

According to a report in the Marin Independent Journal, sheriff Lt. Jeff Edwards stated: “They were seen by one of the open space deputies riding on a trail they were restricted from riding bikes on. The deputy attempted to stop them and they rode away from him.”

The deputy was able to catch up to Mr Cameron and apprehend him but Mr Carbonell escaped but was later identified.

Mr Cameron has pleased not guilty to both riding illegally and resisting arrest. Mr Carbonell’s arraignment isn’t until January 24th.

The fine for riding illegally in open space land is $45 (that increases to $199 when court costs are added). The fine for a second offence is $100. Resisting arrest carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in prison.

A member of the Marin Conservation League board has stated: “These guys were breaking the law and then they tried to evade it. I think it is really shameful. This is really proof that enforcement is very necessary. There are some people, and these are examples of those people, who just don’t think the rules apply to them. We may never get them to comply unless they’re arrested.”