Subject: RE: [ROMP] Illegal teeter-totter at Shoreline?

Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 11:08:06 -0800

From: "Scott Robinson" <>

To: "'ROMP' list" <>

List-Help: <>

List-Subscribe: <>,


Hello Anne,

This is a debate that comes up constantly. What do you do about badly

built trail/stunts/jumps. It is a tough case by case issue. I decide

by weighing costs and benefits.

The first question, is it unsafe? That isn't a question about the

difficulty of the feature. I mean is it badly built, around a blind

turn, in the middle of a multi-use trail, are riders very likely to ride

it by accident. If it isn't safe, your debate is over; take it down.

Is the feature going to hurt biking in the area? Is it likely to draw

negative attention, from hikers, property owners, or land managers. Is

it out in the open?

And let's not forget the benefits. Are people actually riding it.

Does it look like it is being maintained and ridden regularly, or is it

abandoned/broken? Basically we all just want to go out and have fun on

our bikes.

This exact discussion just came up on the RideMonkey forums, a friend

of mine found a badly built stunt. The community, largely downhill and

free-riders, agreed that badly built stunts have no place on public


ROMP mailing list

Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 18:37:48 -0800


From: Ross Finlayson <>

Subject: Re: [ROMP] Illegal teeter-totter at Shoreline?

List-Help: <>

List-Subscribe: <>,


C'mon, folks - do we really want to be seen as a group of snitches and killjoys?

We already have a hard time getting young people interested in joining ROMP; things will only get worse if we're perceived as being among the 'bad guys'. (For example, I once met a group of young cyclists who thought that ROMP was responsible for the trail closures at ECdM.)

This afternoon I rode out to Shoreline to see the evil see-saw (I dislike the Americanism "teeter-totter" :-) for myself. Here it is

Hey, big deal - this thing is sitting out in the middle of a mudflat. No vegetation is being damaged.

This stunt (and stunts in general) is not my cup of tea, but if this is the way kids like to enjoy the open space, then that's OK with me. We were all kids once.



ROMP mailing list

From: "Peter Donohue" <>

To: <>

Subject: Re: [ROMP] Illegal teeter-totter at Shoreline?

Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 23:43:58 -0800

List-Help: <>

List-Subscribe: <>,


Actually, not knowing about it can be a legal defense for the city. From the article that Josh linked to about Alex Ghenis, the kid that got injured on a dirt jump in San Jose - "The public nuisance doctrine states a city that knowingly allows a hazardous situation to exist can be held liable for damages. " The key term is "knowingly". Contact from the public on this could prevent them from being able to say that they didn't know about it, which may actually be something they would prefer to be able to say (taking down stunts takes resources which weren't necesseraily planned for, and makes some constituents unhappy - both are things politicians prefer to avoid).

Unless there is some reason the 'stunt' really bothers you, I would suggest you turn a blind eye and let it be for now.



ROMP mailing list

From: Ed Scott <>

Subject: Re: [ROMP] Illegal teeter-totter at Shoreline?

Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 09:12:15 -0800

To: Peter Donohue <>


List-Help: <>

List-Subscribe: <>,


I'm with Peter and Ross. Seems like pointing it out to the land

manager creates more of an issue than it solves. I'm not sure what

the law exactly is in this area, but it the land manager becomes

aware then he probably has more of a duty to act. Stuff that just

popped up or of which he is unaware he probably has less of an

immediate duty. Absent gross negligence, I think the land manager

should not be liable. I'll grant you that there's always the

political issue of how it appears to the public and land manager,

though, which for some might leave a negative impression of all

mountain bikers.

All this stuff reminds me of skateboard ramps and parks of a few

years back, and yes, the stuff at Calabazas as well. Eventually,

there'll be laws to change the land manager's responsibility. Heck,

right now, you could ride off a cliff at Coe or Skeggs, and though

one could sue, they probably lose. There's also many log-jumps and

berms at our favorite haunts but they go unnoticed because they look

"natural." I think we are awaiting a demographic shift before such

changes occur, though, and the folks that used to free-ride or ride

BMX start occupying political positions of power. You're seeing this

with skateboarding. Same for access. You always have to ask

yourself, would you rather folks be riding a teeter totter than

playing Playstation? Sure, a few folks will break their neck along

the way (I know 2 that did this last year!), but how many will die of

diabetes or heart disease if they don't get out at all?

While I think the dialog on the general issue is healthy, I think we

should keep the specifics of particular stunts off-list for the

reasons as in paragraph 1 above. If you have a question about a

particular feature, perhaps we should discuss it more generally in

terms of its design and construction, rather than where it's located

and who's responsibility it is.



ROMP mailing list

Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 12:57:42 -0500

From: stripes <>

To: Josh Moore <>

Subject: Re: [ROMP] Illegal teeter-totter at Shoreline?

Cc: "'ROMP'" <>

List-Help: <>

List-Subscribe: <>,


That was my previous understanding of it. Thanks for the link and clearing

it up for me.

I apologize if I hit a nerve with everyone.. I just wanted to know the right

way to handle it. I'm going to do what I have been doing about the


Thanks for your feedback everyone.



ROMP mailing list