A Hard Line Against Sabotage

Words The Loam Ranger
Date Feb 10, 2015

When I have expressed my view about what might be an appropriate sentence for Tineke Kraal, in the face of three criminal charges related to vandalism of mountain bike trails, my response has always been a moderate one. I would like an outcome that would strengthen what I think is an amicable and functional relationship between trail users on the North Shore; the harsh punishment of a stiff sentence is unlikely to contribute to that goal.

There have been many dissenting voices though – and we have decided to publish one of those today – one week before Ms Kraal’s next court date. While it is important to note that the opinions expressed below do not necessarily align with those held by those of us at NSMB.com, we didn’t feel that should disqualify it from publication.  CM


This rider was glued to the screen. And frankly, I began to freak out as the Kraal trail sabotage coverage filtered out over the last two weeks. It started to look like Mr and Ms Kraal were going to be treated gently by the press and the public, and I didn’t buy it.

If the husband of the accused, Ronald B. Kraal, had continued the lay low course, rather than attempting to play the victim card for his wife, this never would have blown up in their faces. If he’d remembered the letter he had written to the District of North Van Mayor in 2005, and realized it could be found, I’d bet a carbon frame he wouldn’t have gone crying to the media, declaring authorities were making “a mountain out of a molehill.”

martin_peters

Martin Peters, lawyer for Tineke Kraal (at left), was asked what impact Ronald Kraal’s email declaring “war against mountain bikers” might have on the case. “I really don’t know” was his response.

Thankfully the internet never forgets, and that harsh beacon has exposed the Province article as a cunning PR gambit. The article declares that Ms. Kraal “has just hired a lawyer.” It’s an afterthought really. They are out of their league and defenceless. But now it appears a lawyer was already advising them, and the strategy was cunning and effective. Or at least it would have been.

Any good lawyer knows that a high profile case is first fought in the media. Winning the PR battle pushes you into court with a tailwind. While the Kraals appear to be devious and, based on Mr Kraal’s letter, perhaps even malicious, they didn’t come up with this strategy alone. But if they did, that could indicate something even more troubling.

Once charges were formerly laid, and the name Tineke Kraal made public, the Kraals went to the media. The distraught, frightened woman, her health now affected, confined to her home; this image appears to have been carefully crafted. Once the phone started ringing their lawyer likely told them who to talk to and what to say. Even Ms Kraal’s reluctance to speak seems suspect. If the allegations are true, she’s apparently bold enough to hike alone in the woods, in winter, before sunrise, deliberately placing branches and logs across mountain bike trails, (where apparently “she has to jump for safety”) but she is too timid to speak to a reporter on the telephone? And according to Mr Kraal,’s email they were both also bold enough to “try to destroy the structures” they found on their morning walks.

Fortunately Ronald B. Kraal is the sort who makes his opinions known publicly, and his emailed declaration of “war against mountain bikers,” exposed other motivations, revealing what appears to be a systematic campaign to “destroy,” an all out “war against mountain bikers.” Without that email, they could have entered the courtroom with theatrical frailty, drumming up sympathy in the press and public, before having their lawyer paint the portrait of a well-meaning, but misunderstood area resident, whose only concerns are public and personal safety and the health of the forest. Ronald, in his conversation with the newspaper, was careful not to mention his own involvement, despite unabashedly revealing his actions earlier.

If this letter is deemed admissible it could change the course of the proceedings against Ms Tineke Kraal.

Now we see not one, but two NIMBYs, inconvenienced by vehicles parking near their home, on a busy public road. It appears these are the sort of individuals who see the world through a warped and narrow lens of self interest and entitlement.

It’s easy to plot how this would have played out. Bolstered by supportive contingents of seniors and environmentalists, their lawyer could have filled in the blanks, crafting an image of two kindly taxpayers, model citizens really, who acted on behalf of the trees, the hikers, the trails, and of course poor Bambi. How could that be a crime?

If the prosecution is paying attention, they will already have viewed Mr Kraal’s email and made a determination about its validity, changing the course of these proceedings.

How should this woman, if she is deemed to be responsible for these crimes, be punished? If she is found guilty of deliberately attempting to injure men, women and children, this rider thinks a stiff sentence would be appropriate. Tineke Kraal, age 64, is facing three criminal charges including setting a trap, mischief to property, and mischief endangering life. These are serious offences, particularly the last one which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

A signal needs to be sent to those who wish to create their own laws, and to enforce them with fear and vandalism. A mountain biker found guilty of setting traps to injure hikers would feel the force of the law, and that’s exactly what should happen here.


Comments that are disrespectful will be deleted. By all means express your opinions, but please avoid personal attacks, offensive language and vitriol.

Trending on NSMB

Comments

brian
0
Brian Goldstone  - Feb. 11, 2015, 11:08 p.m.

4 months in jail feels about right.

Reply

johnnyrox
0
Johnnyrox  - Feb. 11, 2015, 10:21 p.m.

I am wondering why the story with the biker and the hiker is
being wrote off as a debacle. We still don't know what happened besides she
said she said, each claiming that they were the victim with no real meat and
potatoes of what happened. Did the older lady came up to the girl aggressively trying
to knock the phone out of the girl’s hand or hit her? Or was the girl flying
down the trail like pacman and just happened to make contact with the older
ladies hand inflicting the wound? The girl and NSMB did lose some credibility
when they left out the bite in the first place but, when the older lady wrote a
letter in barely stating her side of the story and saying nothing more than she
was the victim, and that’s it all is said and done, move on?

Now people are claiming the Trail Sabotage topic to be a
dead horse and move on. Shit is going to happen and this is shit but “moving on”
is nothing more than burying your head in the sand and coming out when the
world is full of gummy bears, giggles and kittens. The Kraal's did something
that could have seriously hurt people, just because their actions did not result
in injury (YET) doesn’t mean there actions should just be blown over. I am not
suggesting Mrs Kraal spend the rest of her life in jail but to simply move on
and forget about it isn’t going to make the world right again. This may be a
dead horse to some, but to many it’s not, and this happened in the NORTH SHORE
against MOUNTAIN BIKERS so why should an e-zine called NORTH SHORE MOUNTAIN
BIKING move on and not cover this, Cam and crew keep going on with this, people
want to know even the naysayers do; otherwise they would not be posting replies.

Reply

shmarv
0
shmarv  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:02 p.m.

I'd rather not look for vengeance here. Mountain Bikers and Hikers need to be on the same page, and need to be brought together rather than have a wedge driven between them.

Without having access to the details of the case, or any other information than what an interested person might have of the case, I hope due justice is served. Jail time is probably unnecessary, and it seems like her husband's European businessery (pardon my snarkiness) has provided them with an adequate financial cushion. An ideal verdict, in my opinion, is to punish and rehabilitate the offender, as well as offset damages incurred, so what do people think of a fine, a donation to trail maintenance, a temporary ban from the trails until suitable community service has been performed -- say, volunteering for local bike organisations, or assisting with trail building efforts (including removal of sabotaged TTFs which pose a public danger to riders who might otherwise attempt them).

Reply

blackfly
0
Peter Leeds  - Feb. 11, 2015, 5:32 p.m.

I wholeheartedly agree a stiff sentence, regardless of age or previous litigation, personal or otherwise, is appropriate. I have stated earlier this is the time to set a precedent, and send a message to the other "future vandalizers" and implicitly to Monica Craver that the time is up to pick on bikers and other trail users, and bikers especially for the dedication to trail maintenance and advocacy when others do none. The obvious PR stunt by the Kraals is so pathetic on its face as to be laughable; as if Mr. Kraal is so stupid as to not know what he said in the past would not be found out. And it was, in spades. And these are the sort of people "in the right". It is sad that they are the same sort that enjoy the privilege of living so close to the mountains and then claim some sort of exclusivity with no idea of how or why the trails are there in the first place. Moreover, the idea the lady was "completely unaware of the severity of the situation" is COMPLETE BS. Not only does the husband's email prove this, but the fact the sabotage went on for so long. I hypothesize that had there been a major incident due to the said vandalism I bet it would of either stopped (due to success) or increased (due to additional points of contention). Either way, this is not to be taken lightly. I ride Lower Skull regularly. It could of easily been me. Or you. I take this as not only a personal offence but personal attack. It does not take much on a steep trail to veere a bike off the wrong path or cause a crash; and with all the rock on Lower Skull, cranial impacts and cervical vertebrae fractures are not out of the question. In sum: I feel no pity for the lady or her husband, and in my view the rightful (and earned) social vilification for their actions. Like so many things in life, you reap what you sow. Be careful what you sow and where. We are watching.

Reply

parkfan
0
parkfan  - Feb. 11, 2015, 1:31 p.m.

And this is why the shore is dead or will be in the next 10 years.
People need to embrace and support lift accessed mtb parks.
All this drama just goes away when you ride in the bike parks and stay off of crown land or hiking trails.
Too simple.

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - Feb. 11, 2015, 2:18 p.m.

Monica? The Shore isn't dead but actually doing better than it has ever with number of riders and quality of trails. Bike Parks are increasing in numbers every year as well but it's tough to travel 1.5 hrs each way after work to get a ride in. Fromme (Crown land) is for everyone to enjoy, just not for hikers.
This is just an isolated incident. The only drama is someone hiding behind a computer with nothing really to add. Too sad.

Reply

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:05 p.m.

I would suggest tracking the comments of terrafirma, parkfan, and actar. They may in fact be the same person. Their strategy here is to try to pollute the biking forums with a string of nonsensical gibber-gabber. Collectively their posts are devoid of sound reason or accurate interpretation of the law or even proper reference to facts. However, they (or this individual) somehow thinks that by using multiple names, they can manufacture some new voice of the public. Well, we're not fooled by this cheap ploy.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 11, 2015, 3:31 p.m.

That's pretty short-sighted. And the shore is stronger than it ever has been, and far from being 'dead'.

Lift-accessed bike parks are great, but they're not the way most people ride mountain bikes.
For one thing, they require a mountain with lifts that are retro-fitted to carry bikes. For another, they discourage pedaling, and while DH is a legitimate part of mountain biking, people who Only Ride Park are missing out on many of the best parts of riding, including the fitness benefits you can only get by climbing and pedaling long distances.

Reply

dietmar
0
Dietmar  - Feb. 11, 2015, 11 a.m.

Back in 2005, all the mountain bike trails and structures on Fromme were still considered to be unsanctioned building by the District of North Vancouver. Therefore, the building of unsanctioned mountain biking structures was just as "wrong" as the folks knocking those structures down. That same year, the NS Outlook newspaper published their War of the Woods series (and Digger was given a Cease and Desist Order by DNV). Mountain bike trails and structures were sanctioned by District in July 2008.

Reply

Lee-Lau
0
Lee Lau  - Feb. 11, 2015, 11:45 a.m.

A side note that the sanctioning process happened due in large part to efforts of the NSMBA in the ARGG process.under the auspices of SharonB and MatthewB in particular.

Unsanctioned building is at best a civil wrong (RE lawyers can come up with the analysis - I think it would be based on trespass). Knocking the structures down is also at best, a civil wrong. Accordingly your statement " the building of unsanctioned mountain biking structures was just as "wrong" as the folks knocking those structures down is IMO correct.

Sabotaging trails with the intent to injure however crosses the boundary into a criminal action. That is the distinction that should be drawn and one that Slyfink and yourself are not following.

Reply

dietmar
0
Dietmar  - Feb. 11, 2015, 5:23 p.m.

Nature sabotages trails all the time. Tree fall across the trails and on top of various structures.Whether you hike or bike, you can get hurt by nature's sabotage just being inside the forest e.g. a falling branch. It almost happened to me on one hike. The courts have to prove that the intent to injure was there. Or was it just to slow down speeding bikes? The media hasn't helped to calm the storm.

Reply

Lee-Lau
0
Lee Lau  - Feb. 11, 2015, 7:10 p.m.

This website in particular has been terrible in the inflammatory nature of its articles. Disappointing.

Could not agree more that it is up to the courts to decide

Reply

blackbird
0
tw  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:07 p.m.

Well, what do we have here?

Nature sabotages? Intent to slow someone down? Getting hurt by natures sabotage?

Right.

Have you been helping nature "sabotage" trails to "slow" down a few riders? You certainly sound like you have.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Feb. 11, 2015, 1:22 p.m.

What about cutting structures so they appeared be structurally sound, but so they collapse under weight, leaving dagger-like spikes pointing upward? Is that as bad as building structures? I witnessed that first hand. The bridge above the end of Braemar was also deliberately cut, below the area where I have seen the most trail debris left - and that was used by hikers, dog walkers and riders. This weekend I was hiking with my son and getting across that creek was a real challenge for him. I was surprised someone would cut something that everyone used for access, but I guess collateral damage is inevitable after war is declared.

Reply

dietmar
0
Dietmar  - Feb. 11, 2015, 5:02 p.m.

Mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport, even without perceived trail sabotage in the mix. You can never know what is lying around the next bend in the trail. You read Trailforks reports and hope for the best. You take your chances. Isn't that the whole thrill of ride?

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Feb. 11, 2015, 8:15 p.m.

Nice work avoiding my question. I can see why though; the answer didn't forward your agenda.

Reply

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:01 p.m.

Terrafirma- you are a dangerous type of idiot. Mountain bikers do not assume the risk of intentional sabotage to cause them injury. In what twisted sick world do you live, where someone who goes out to ride bikes should be reasonably prepared that some other person has set a trap for them in order to cause injury. You clearly know NOTHING of the law, or about the standards of care that apply to actions in the public space. You spew only the type of hateful stupidity that flows from a fanatical position at the pulpit of NIMBYism.

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - Feb. 11, 2015, 2:19 p.m.

Monica?

Reply

jamie-hamilton
0
Jamie Hamilton  - Feb. 11, 2015, 10:39 a.m.

Ok so here in New Zealnd such criminal action would probably result in minor criminal charges and some sort of periodic detention. An appropriate PD activity to work off her crime would be to spend a winter with the local trail crew rebuilding trails and features. Hopefully give her a new perspective on the " sub culture " she so obviously misunderstands.

Reply

kperras
0
Kenneth Perras  - Feb. 11, 2015, 10:27 a.m.

I still like the suggestion that someone else made some time ago: (if found guilty) the punishment should fit the crime: community service maintaining trails with Digger. Maybe TAP adoption of Skull or Quarry? Required to take part in the builder's academy program? mandatory TAP attendance for a few events? The possibilities are endless. We will make them a part of our community if it kills us!

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - Feb. 11, 2015, 2:20 p.m.

but she has arthritis!

Reply

Cabana76
0
Adrian White  - Feb. 11, 2015, 5:40 p.m.

I've thought from the beginning that 200 hours of community service working with the NSMBA on trail maintenance would be a fitting and just sentence. If her arthritis inhibits her from doing this then a $10,000 fine that is directly donated towards the NSMBA trail fund.

I think that this would set a good precedence for any future trail vandalism.

Reply

jitenshakun
0
Jitensha Kun  - Feb. 11, 2015, 10:06 a.m.

Comments like "Any good lawyer knows" and "carefully crafted" make me believe you've watched too many US court dramas relative to experience with the Canadian legal system. The case will be heard on the basis of the charges, the case brought by the crown, and the evidence brought by defence. What someone does in their home or online ought to have no bearing at all. The Canadian legal system is actually pretty boring, no matter how crazy a case is.

Reply

mark-karlstrand
0
Mark Karlstrand  - Feb. 11, 2015, 10:02 a.m.

As someone who has been seriously injured (broken ribs, etc.) in the past by trail "vandalism" (not in North Van) I understand the anger. That said, punishment should be proportional to the offense. I do not know the details of the "traps" set by these individuals so I can't comment on specifics but here is an example to think about. Laying branches across a trail is very different than digging a punji stick laced tiger trap in the landing of on otherwise untouched large gap jump. The gradient between annoyance and deadly should be considered in these discussions.

Reply

0
mightyted  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:45 a.m.

I'm as angry as anyone at the Kraals actions and sense of entitlement. However the chances of any Judge handing down a harsh sentence to a 64 year old woman are pretty slim. I don't think it would do much good for our cause anyways. There is more to be gained by taking the high ground and using this as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of effective
trail management and parking plans to the DNV.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:37 a.m.

I think at this point the Kraal's have been more than adequately embarrassed (and frankly, punished) in the media? I guess if NSMB.com wants to ride a dead horse to Newfoundland and back that is your call but I think the classy thing to do would have been to move on especially following the "Fighting Frommers" debacle.

Why not put the energy into interviewing the 99%+ of users who get along great in the woods and then presenting a counter to the "investigative" crap that will be appearing in the mainstream media until the next news cycle?

Reply

Kieran
0
Kieran  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:46 a.m.

I cant agree any more with Drew. What is the point of this article? Its all been said before and no doubt will be said again before the end of the court hearing in various other media oulets. This is just adding more fuel to a fire that really doesn't exist. I would have thought NSMB would have stepped back from all this especially after the last 'Fromme' news farce.

Reply

blackfly
0
Peter Leeds  - Feb. 11, 2015, 5:55 p.m.

Fuel to a fire? I have to ask how long you have ridden the North Shore; Fromme in particular. I cannot go down St. Georges trail now (when it was a staple in my younger days and not now) simply due to some idiot claiming it is "hiking only" when I have biking maps from the 90's that CLEARLY show Per Gynt and St. Georges as riding trails. Oh. Take note. Both trails are in POOR condition since only hikers use them and since bikers do not they get no maintenance. Coincidence? Right. This was done (in some part, ignorant obviously) to keep hikers off of bike trails. Sorry. Ignorance is not only bliss but strength. It is clear this is no fire but a smouldering ember that is now reaching air. Tension and conflict has always been beneath the surface for decades (I know, I have been in the woods for 30+ years) and only now are you seeing the effects. Don't be mistaken. St. Mary's and all of the lower trails have been used by all for years/decades, but now the numbers are increasing and it is obvious so should interaction and conflict. But now is public scrutiny and exposure, especially in public media. If you think this is a farce, go down a vandalized trail and talk to me after you are either: dead, a paraplegic or quadriplegic. I doubt you would be so understanding when you could not ride anymore, or feed yourself…. it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye…….

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 11, 2015, 6:15 p.m.

Wow. Peter. Sensationalized a touch?

"Ignorance is not only bliss but strength. It is clear this is no fire but a smouldering ember that is now reaching air. Tension and conflict has always been beneath the surface for decades (I know, I have been in the woods for 30+ years)"

" If you think this is a farce, go down a vandalized trail and talk to me after you are either: dead, a paraplegic or quadriplegic."

What if everyone in the woods just took it upon themselves to yield to everyone else in the woods and we all said "hello" when we come upon other people enjoying the forest?

Then it would just be a few jerks and losers, whether they be hikers, mountain bikers, runners, or dog walkers, and the rest of us would get along great… oh wait… that's exactly what is happening.

Reply

0
Amanda  - Feb. 11, 2015, 1:16 p.m.

The point of this article is to keep their audience up to date with what's going on and to also give voice to another opinion that presents a different perspective. The best part about NSMB? You don't actually HAVE to read the articles. Some of us are interested in this (and the opinions that go along with it), so seeing a well-rounded approach to this is important to us, especially where a few folks have had similar situations in their riding communities where the saboteurs basically got away with it.

My suggestion? If you're sick and tired of it, don't read it. Regardless of your personal feelings on this matter, it does have an impact on mountain biking and those of us who ride and face the threat of sabotage regularly.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 11, 2015, 1:35 p.m.

"it does have an impact on… those of us who ride and face the threat of sabotage regularly"

Really?

Where are you riding?

If there is no new information how does this, opinion, piece contribute to "keeping their audience up to date"?

What is unique about the perspective in this opinion piece?

Your suggestion is invalid. I was not complaining that NSMB.com continues to cover the relationship between various users my complaint is that there is - precisely contrary to your post - no new information and there is nothing unique about the perspective here.

I would love to see coverage of how awesome majority of people out using the woods get along and I know that is the experience that the NSMB staffers have because I ride the same places they do.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 11, 2015, 4:08 p.m.

Drew, I don't know if you're being serious or not, but what you're suggesting is about as interesting as reporting on crimes that don't happen downtown: "Wife and husband walk home safely after dinner, no muggings occurred".

This was an opinion piece. The Kraals' embarrassment level is not relevant, nor is the "fighting Fromme" issue (and I think debacle is too strong a word, btw). But if you're going to be disrespectful enough to call someone's suggestion 'invalid' as you do below, I'm certainly going to say the same can be said for what you wrote above.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 11, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

1) Why do people who disagree with me always start with "I don't know if you're being serious or not"? Am I really that funny the rest of the time that it is confusing when I make a serious point?

2) Amanda's suggestion was that if I am "sick and tired" of reading articles articles on NSMB.com that I feel are taking a statisicatal anomoly of an interaction and flogging it to the detriment of our community I should "regarless of [my] personal feelings on this matter" not read/comment about it. As far as I'm concerned, and I think I explained it adequately, that's an invalid suggestion. I think it behooves members of the riding community to speak out against the sensationalization of this situation.

3) I think (my opinion) that the "Fighting Frommers" was a debacle from every perspective except comments/views on NSMB.com, which apparently was not the goal of the article(s). I thought, wrongly, that it was a learnable moment.

4) I'm not sure if your down-talking the creative writing abilities of the NSMB team, or don't realize how very interesting some of the people you can meet on the trails are if you stop to say hello, but I think you guys can do WAY, WAY better than just chasing the same sensationalized crap that we're reading from everyone else on this subject. If you're worried about views just use a title like "Loam Ranger Shreds Province's SHIT article on 'War In The Woods'" or "Peace In The Woods - What The Vancouver Sun Doesn't Want You To Read."

Reply

Lee-Lau
0
Lee Lau  - Feb. 11, 2015, 7:18 p.m.

The Hiker vs Biker story was more than a debacle. It was terrible. Like I said though, I'd hoped NSMB had learned from it.

The two editorial pieces, "Granny and the Booby Traps" piece and this piece aren't that much better. Sure if you want to generate controversy that's fine and hey its up to you guys to dress up what you want on the front page. However, with those two pieces, what NSMB has done (and very successfully at that) is steer the narrative towards War in the Woods. You can rationalize it all you want and I'm sure you will but on the one hand you've got Cam preaching the (IMO correct) message of we can all get along. The on the other hand you're publishing these us against them opinion pieces.

It's really too bad. The Saboteurs Husband was such fine work product but then you have to go and undermine it with inconsistent dreck.

Reply

sail
0
Sail  - Feb. 11, 2015, 8:34 p.m.

You should probably learn to write before you call those articles dreck. They are both vastly more interesting and well written than the monotonous droning you pass off as 'writing.' This sentence is a perfect example; "The trees tower to impossible heights and whisper gently with passing breezes." Thanks a lot. I just barfed on my keyboard.

The piece above is coherent, well expressed and concise. You may not agree with the point being made, but calling it dreck just shows you know nothing about writing.

I will say this about your written pieces though, they are fascinating compared to your videos.

Reply

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Feb. 11, 2015, 8:41 p.m.

I would suggest that what these "two pieces" do is call out the stereotypes. A dry legal analysis or a friendly call for cooperation does not help in this regard. It is important that the facades of civility that the Kraals hide behind, be revealed for what it is. More broadly, the phony civility that the (small small group of) fanatical anti-MTBers put forth should be exposed for its base hypocrisy. This isn't about sensationalism LL, this is about exposing the discourse that is used to twist issues and stories. The "getting along" strategy works great for 95% of folks. However, it is lost on manipulative, careless, and purposive actors like the Kraals.

Reply

Lee-Lau
0
Lee Lau  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:26 p.m.

Don't typically respond to trolls but you're "special" and NSMB clearly wants the hits/comments so let me oblige. I didn't even write the sentence you quoted.

The fact that you think this dreck piece with its Judge Judy'esque Night Court puerile understanding of how criminal law in Canada works shows that our tastes are very different. You would probably have a fine job writing Buzzfeed headlines.

Reply

Lee-Lau
0
Lee Lau  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:31 p.m.

I reject the approach of the Granny article of dragging the discourse down to the levels of negativity and sensationalist stereotypes that you used.

My 15 + years of advocacy shows me that working patiently to a long term goal and keeping the high road works. Whenever I've made the mistake of flying off the handle or public hotheadness it's backfired. I'll stick with my own experiences and my own path to success to getting trails and keeping mountain- biking healthy

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:40 p.m.

How does this piece, in your opinion, add anything to "exposing the discourse that is used to twist issues and stories" beyond the, as Lee noted, well written and original piece The Saboteur's Husband?

How many such articles and editorials would you prescribe for the situation before "manipulative, careless, and purposive actors like the Kraals" are fully exposed and the 99.99% of folks (my number) can get on with it?

In the meantime this whole "Killer Kraals" boondoggle - and the thrice edited saga of When Hikers Attack, and it's sequel Rabid Riders - is doing the rest of us a HUGE dis-service. When I read DNV Mayor Richard Walton's musings about coming up with ways to further segregate user groups on Fromme (i.e. limit who is "allowed" to use what trails) and I think how a few selfish JERKS* and, frankly, the exposure they have gotten in the media is going to impact the rest of us (hikers, bikers, runners, dog walkers = Frommers) that really makes me question how important fully fleshing out this whole situation is… she's not laying sticks on trails anymore and she's be shamed nation wide -- can we call that enough and keep the trails as is?

*I recognize that everyone is a JERK sometimes and that none of these people (including the Kraals) are likely jerks all the time.

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sail
0
Sail  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:43 p.m.

That came from a search of your name, but it's actually better than any sentence I could find from articles you typed yourself, which read like government-issue tourist brochures from the 70s.

Let me pluck an entire paragraph. I particularly like the way you used situation twice in the same sentence. Always the hallmark of great writer.

Unfortunately no trail networks are without growing pains. It's important to note that Sedona's trail network is still alive and well. However, recently some key trails have been closed. There's no reason to think that more trails won't be in jeopardy. Trail advocates have been working with land managers to come up with solutions. Although the situation is in flux here's a snapshot of the current situation.

That actually put my computer to sleep. Impressive!

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cerealkilla_
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jdt  - Feb. 11, 2015, 10 p.m.

LeeLau- I really enjoy the contributions you make with your work and your writing. However, you lack in social analysis, both in terms of your writing and your interpretation of others. This is not intended as a slight, but an observation that you and I (and you and LR too) write for completely different purposes. The Grannies article was meant for satire, and to subvert the discourse being spread by the Kraals. In fact, it completely and accurately predicted their "defense" before they made it public, proving the accuracy of the analysis. I say this not to grandstand, but to suggest that different types of writing serve different purposes. You won't catch me all high and mighty, claiming that your approach is flawed, and I certainly don't expect you to shower me or other similar observers of the case with applause. But to throw my article and this one in a big wastebasket that you call "dreck" is a bit high and mighty, and I think you're losing track of the target here. I suggest more than one type of tool is needed in this particular chain of events. You wield yours very effectively, and I will concede that your legal analysis is likely superior to that of Loam Ranger, and probably to mine as well. But please don't proffer to own this issue as the one and only, and act like only your lens will do. There are other types of experts out there, other than those with a law degree. I think we're on the same side here in terms of what we want to see on the trails. We differ in our way of framing the issue, but we each lack the authority to refer to each other's offerings as dreck or otherwise lacking value. Rubber side down.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 12, 2015, 10:57 a.m.

I've already gone over my problems with Jordan's article in the comments to it, and suffice it to say that I found it counterproductive. I don't find this Loam Ranger article as off topic as that one, but it contributes to what I consider to be the promotion of controversy between hikers and bikers on Fromme. I think, on balance, the space used to promote the controversy has significantly outweighed that given to balanced works. That is my feeling off the top of my head though, if someone wants to counts the words given each way and I'm wrong, I'm happy to be called on it here. And I do concede that Cam has promoted a balanced response in his little editorial bits at the beginning/end of the articles, but I don't think it's enough to effectively communicate that point to the audience here. Anyway, I am left with the distinct impression that the works in NSMB have been responsible for the appearance of the controversy in the mainstream media.

Is it enough that this is now in the hands of the justice system? I think so, based primarily on my faith that the people involved in that system have the educational foundation and experience to make good decisions that will effectively serve justice. NSMB calling for victim impact statements seems fair enough to me, but stirring the pot for an audience, almost all of whom are mountain bikers and know very little about the details of what the alleged criminal acts were, seems like an obvious move to court controversy. I think there have been a significant proportion comments that illustrate precisely why the victims of crime should not be the ones to decide guilt, culpability or apropriate punitive measures. We have a significant conflict of interest here.

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cerealkilla_
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jdt  - Feb. 12, 2015, 11:30 a.m.

Good comments Nat. Of course we are coming from different perspectives, but I totally respect you objectives. Nonetheless, the lessons learned here about the impact of images are important and ephemeral. I don't prescribe to being passive while others use media and imagery as a weapon, and paint riders in a poor light. My objectives were to expose some of the specific tools used by the extremist NIMBY's so they can be effectively called out and countered. Both groups (riders and their critics) should note that stereotypes and the skew of the press can cut both ways. A bit of controversy may be good. I doubt that anyone wants to be seen as either an angry saboteur, or as a reckless rider for that matter. Up to now, the trail-saboteur faction (the army of 4 or 5 it seems) has operated with impunity, cloaked in a facade of civility. I believe it takes more than a court case to strip this away, as shown in their attempts to employ that same facade in their defense. Awareness of what lies behind the image, and public outrage against anti-social and dangerous acts is a lasting and potent product of this case. The controversy draws attention, and is it fades, it will indeed be people like Cam and LeeLau that form the face of the MTB community. I think they have really "upped their game" in the wake of this case. I don't see Loam or my own writing taking away from their good work in any way. Think of it as a good cop-bad cop routine if you like (even if neither side thinks they're in it together). The saboteurs are called out openly for what they are, and their phony claims to victimhood. Then the voice of moderation (which originates from the MTB community) emerges to effectively outline the proper course of future relations in the woods. I think this works well, and am grateful for their good work. I will be happy to let my keyboard rest once the case is closed, and happily defer to the good judgement of our existing ambassadors.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 12, 2015, 12:02 p.m.

Note that NSMB isn't actually calling for VIS. They're just the conduit for Crown calling for the VIS. Crown will accept the VIS and distill the VIS. There's a process in place here so as to mitigate mob mentality. The Canadian criminal justice system, for all its many faults, does quite well in being considered and deliberate.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 12, 2015, 12:14 p.m.

This is an incredibly self-congratulatory interpretation!
Are you being serious? 😉

1) Why do people who disagree with me always start with "I don't know if you're being serious or not"? Am I really that funny the rest of the time that it is confusing when I make a serious point?

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 12, 2015, 12:39 p.m.

We posted the call for VIS in response to a request Nat. As far as the mainstream media goes, I'm not sure if you have been paying attention, but in every instance we have said repeatedly stated, THERE IS NO WAR IN THE WOODS. On National and Province-wide radio and in every newscast we have been involved in, we have honestly related that the trail users we speak to, of all stripes, are clear that conflict between users on the Shore is rare. I have also been consistent in saying I have no desire to see Ms Kraal go to jail.Obviously I have no control over this, but when I asked my opinion that is what I have said.

You also may recall that the Kraals went to the media to suggest that charges against them were overblown. Should we have kept quiet about the document we found that suggested otherwise? What would you have done with that information?

I also think your comments on balance are misplaced. We have probably had more comments disagreeing with our moderate approach than those calling us out for sensationalism. The piece above provided what we felt was a different perspective on this situation, and one that reflected the views of many, perhaps even a majority of our readers. We are not an advocacy organization; we are a media outlet. Unlike Fox News our agenda isn't about skewing what we see in the world to forward our personal views.

As far as opinion pieces go, we firmly believe that differing opinions deserve to be heard. I could easily ignore voices, like the one above, that don't mesh with my personal opinions. Is that what you'd prefer? I guess it works for Rupert Murdoch.

I'm certainly not saying we have handled these situations perfectly. I have admitted as much publicly and taken responsibility for the mistakes I have made. But suggesting we are responsible for the sensationalist headlines and poor journalism seen in the MSM is both inaccurate and illogical.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 12, 2015, 1:04 p.m.

And I similarly respect your over-arching objectives Jordan. It's just that I don't think the controversy that's been courted is supported by a significant proportion of trail users. I think that is supported by your admission that there's only 4 or 5 trail saboteurs working on Fromme. (I'm curious how you know that, and who they are.) I disagree that any saboteur is cloaked in a facade of civility, at least in a specific sense. It should be self-evident that an act of sabotage is de facto uncivilized and antisocial, but I get that you've been trying to reach people who tend to think differently to me and maybe they don't get that (how, I'll never understand though).

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 12, 2015, 1:12 p.m.

It was intended to be self-depreciating with a sardonic & rhetorical bent. I know I'm not funny, which was the point.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 12, 2015, 1:17 p.m.

There is a difference between publishing multiple view points and publishing anonymous editorializations under a pseudonym?

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 12, 2015, 1:54 p.m.

Please explain the difference Drew. One of the viewpoints was anon and one wasn't. How does the name attached impact the viewpoint? Much of our audience, local and otherwise, seems to agree with this perspective. I do not, but I fail to see how it does a disservice to the local riding community by presenting it. And what do you mean by that? Are we obliged to 'service' the local riding community? In what way? The majority of our audience isn't local btw. Oh - and thanks for calling us JERKS. That's a great way to raise the level of discourse.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 12, 2015, 2:13 p.m.

Cam, first of all: take a step back and a deep breath. I didn't call you jerks I was referring to the statisticaly anomalous number of hikers, riders, etc who don't seem to be able to share the woods.

In my opinion, you are obliged to service the interests of the local riding community, especially because you represent us, through the use of our name: North Shore, to a global audience.

Do you not feel at all responsible for sensationalizing these various isolated incidents and furthering the view that there is some greater conflict taking place in the woods?

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 12, 2015, 2:49 p.m.

It certainly appeared you were calling us jerks - and looking back it still seems that way. I have already taken responsibility, ad nauseam, for my knee jerk reaction to what I was told first hand by the rider who had the conflict. That was clearly an error (as I have said countless times) and given the chance I would proceed with much more caution the next time. Talk about beating a dead horse.

Otherwise I feel that we have aimed for accuracy and balance and encouraged civility, here and in other media. How the MSM portrays that is something we cannot predict, nor control, but if you look at the Province, for example, they have been setting their own course, particularly with their sympathetic presentation of the Kraals. Were we responsible for that?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 12, 2015, 3:32 p.m.

I don't have too much disagreement with what you've said here Cam, and thanks for replying to me. In my comment above I must concede that I'm bringing in some problems I had with the way NSMB handled reporting the two violent infractions that occured between the same two people on Fromme a couple of weeks ago. That might not be fair of me, but I think there's a common thread running through them. I'm not talking about the obvious journalistic problems with the initial reporting of that violence. You adequately accepted responsibility for that, and I've lauded you for it.

That common thread is a degree of hype that is beyond what I'm comfortable with. This isn't my website though, and I appreciate you providing a forum for people like me to present dissenting views, and for giving me respect. Off the top of my head my recollection of NSMB articles on the sabotage were: 1) A matter of fact news story about the arrest and involvement of MTBers use of cameras. 2) A story that focussed on stereotyping that seemed based in large part on speculation and/or facts that were not publicly available. 3) The saboteurs husband article on Mr Kraal's comments to the local tabloid newspaper and email correspondence to the municipality (for which I'll outline my problems below, since you asked). 4) The Loam Ranger's article above, that to me seems like a reasonable analysis let down by the last sentence that frames the issue as hiker V MTBer. I do understand that this is an MTB website (the best as far as I'm concerned), but I think NSMB framing these issues as hiker V MTBer will very easily lead those who are unfamiliar to think that there are significant problems on that front, when there aren't as far as I'm concerned. I think that's the main problem with the reporting of the violence of Fromme too. It was framed as hiker V MTBer, but I'll go further on this to say that I don't think it was newsworthy at all and that just by reporting it seems like hype to me. Therein lies my accusation. Then there's two concurrent stories about conflict on Fromme that the MSM has beaten up to a point where people are talking about war in the woods.

My main problem with the saboteurs husband article was how it connected your experience of damaged riding structures designed to cause injury, with Mr Kraal's admission that he had destroyed structures. I know you tried to make clear that these weren't connected (you even used blue text for emphasis, and at the time I wondered if it was for my benefit), but you did connect them yourself to accuse Mr Kraal of being disingenuous in his assertion that he was just trying to slow people down. I'm not so naive to be convinced by Mr Kraal on this, but in the absence of specific knowledge about what Mr Kraal did, I think there's insufficient information for you to make the call that he's being disingenuous. And that is where I think the hype is coming from. I don't think this destroys the stature of that article, I commented that I liked it and I do, but I think given the obvious conflict of interest we have as a group of MTBers protecting trail resources that we need to be rigorously fair. And, I see this particular aspect of the saboteur's husband story as be a departure from that goal. To answer your question of what I'd have done if I got that email from Mr Kraal, I'd have written something along the lines of my analysis that's in the comments. I think my comment is unparalleled in its harshness, but is supported closely by what Mr Kraal said and wrote. It also shows a willingness to forgive that you also have constantly advocated.

I agree that you have said that there isn't a war in the woods both here and in the MSM. Pretty much anywhere that your opinion has been stated as such, it's been completely reasonable.

I doubt you've had more comments complaining about NSMB being too moderate though. Sure, there's lots that are more hardline than what you advocate, but have you really had many saying that what NSMB has published are too moderate?

Anyway, I'm trying to be reasonably nuanced in what I'm writing here. I don't think you've totally gone all out for headlines in the MSM, but rather have had what I consider momentary lapses that have had considerably larger outcomes than what you may have imagined. Sorry if I struck a nerve too. I generally feel like you and I have considerable overlap in our views, so of course I don't suggest you turn into the Fox of the MTB media landscape. I'm at the far opposite end of that spectrum. How about an editorial from the other side of these issues?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 12, 2015, 3:34 p.m.

You're right there Lee; I was loose with my language. They have encouraged readers to make VIS, but their involvement only goes as far as providing the text to help with the construction of a VIS and an RCMP email address to send it to. They are not collecting them or anything like that.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 12, 2015, 4:36 p.m.

Cam, I don't think anyone doubts the sincerity of your apology/regret, the place you were coming from when originally publishing the article, or the scope/regularity of your contrition.

But, I (my opinion) thought the moral of the story was not to pander to the "Hang 'em High", "Us vs. Them", "War in the Woods" crowd.

You can pick at anything I've said and call me what you want but l think, simply, that you should focus on all the positive things are community is doing not this tiny minority of incidents.

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duggie-baws
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Duggie Baws  - Feb. 12, 2015, 5:35 p.m.

"I think there have been a significant proportion comments"

I mourn the derth of prepositions in contemporary discourse. It makes me feel claustrophobic or something.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 12, 2015, 6:36 p.m.

There was a comment yesterday stating someone was done with nsmb because of our moderate stance stance - and the majority of comments there strongly agreed with yesterday's article, and disagreed with my stance in earlier articles. Have a look. I'm not making this up.

As far as responding to you in earlier articles, I haven't kept score or cross-referenced who said what. And with the majority of those I don't know in person I don't generally spend energy recalling who said what.

I'd be happy to present opposing views that are reasonable. Thus far I've only encountered those who insist there is no issue and those who are so extreme as to be nonsensical. I have arranged to hike with Valerie Ramsay when she returns from vacation. She may have some things to say. No doubt I'll be accused of re-igniting controversy, but I'm getting comfortable with my motives being impugned.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 12, 2015, 8:33 p.m.

That hike with Valerie Ramsay will be interesting from a journalism point of view. Having said that, the herd mentality and generally propensity of the online commentators on NSMB and Facebook (note the distinction between that crowd and the general population at large) has been so small-minded, so pitchforks & brimstone and so quick to the mob mentality that I'd not at all be surprised that many people will be negatively biased against her and her viewpoints no matter what she says or how its presented.

Sounds like you won't be too surprised if that happens

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 12, 2015, 10:58 p.m.

A quick survey of all comments in all four of the articles I mentioned above led me to find six comments specifically criticizing the articles or NSMB for lacking moderation, and none stating the converse. I presume yesterday's article you refer to is this one, which is included in the four articles I mentioned. Maybe my presumption is wrong? I do remember one such comment in one of the articles about the altercation on Fromme, maybe that's what's you recall. There's certainly been a lot of comments on these articles lately, so I don't expect you to have mine in the front of your mind, or even look it up. Here's the relevant part of the comment I posted to the saboteur's husband article:


Anyway, it's great to have a little insight into these folks at last. While I don't wish them ill, I certainly wish they'd grow the fuck up and work on their understanding of the world a little bit. I mean really, ooh, you find too many people park in front of your house on an intermittent basis. Let's start a letter writing campaign with Amnesty International to try to right this profound violation of their human rights. The point about MTBers winning out over residents on their bullshit parking issue because the bike industry would provide more taxes to the municipality than residents - wrong. The point that there used to be lots of wildlife before MTB - wrong. Brochures published describing the fun of destroying nature - Bat. Shit. Crazy.

And focussing on the article in the province: She has to jump for safety? At 5am, January 4 on those trails? Bullshit. Making a mountain out of a molehill? She's not being charged with attempted murder. There's nothing about her being charged with mischief that doesn't feel like a perfect fit to me. Setting a trap either. What I think is disingenuous is Ronald's assertion that he thinks most MTBers are nice and only a minority are idiots (like those terms are incompatible anyway). So they're going out and destroying the fun for everyone who rides those trails just because a minority are idiots. He's just trying to make himself seem reasonable in the press. And that, I think, is what Tineke is all out of shape about. (If it were the unreasonable comments on the web, I think Ronald would have used that against MTBers in the province article.) Quite a few people are going to think she's nasty, vindictive, petty, and/or stupid. Insofar as acting this way, she almost certainly is and will lose considerable respect in her community over it. As someone who has done perhaps more than his share of stupid, regrettable things, I suggest she harden up and take some responsibility. Cowering at home is a display of character that competes with her sabotage for being what I hope are her worst qualities as a human. No one decent wants a pound of flesh, just that she stops this antisocial behaviour.


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doug-nielsen
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Doug Nielsen  - Feb. 13, 2015, 6:52 a.m.

My favorite article comments are when readers say that the writers and such can do so much better. Like they are their little league coach or something. Come on guys! I would have expected so much more from you! You're better than this! Cracks me up.

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mightyted  - Feb. 13, 2015, 8:45 a.m.

I think what Lee and Drew are not considering is that most of us are smart enough to know the different between being irresponsible and inflammatory and just trying to get hits on your website. Not to be confused with the "Debacle" articles, the fact that this case is already in front of the courts means that we (NSMB readers) can all relax and have a friendly discussion about what we feel is a suitable punishment for Mrs. Kraal.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 13, 2015, 9:33 a.m.

I don't see any comments, from Lee or myself, questioning anyone's intelligence; I think your comment may go farther in questioning the motivation for this article than anything either of us wrote.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 13, 2015, 9:43 a.m.

Hi Doug, I'm glad that you find humour in it and I really like the imagery you evoke.

The next time Pete (& Cam?) step up to the plate to write a dissenting opinion piece that does "not necessarily align" with their desire for a "moderate response" that will "strengthen what [they] think is an amicable and functional relationship between trail users on the North Shore" I am really hoping that they choose to take a walk instead of trying to beat it out of the park.

Cheers,

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mightyted  - Feb. 13, 2015, 9:46 a.m.

I posted this comment because I have considered the motivation of this article and formulated my own opinion. It really doesn't bother me that much. This thread is nothing more to me that a fun way to fill in my coffee breaks at work.

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jerschwab
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Jeremy  - Feb. 11, 2015, 8:20 a.m.

Stuff like this will just continue to happen if they don't deliver the appropriate sentence…

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theweev
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theweev  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:14 a.m.

I see "good ol' Mike" has seen fit to "comment" on the above linked article. Oy vay

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:41 a.m.

Here's a shocker: stuff like this will just continue to happen no matter what sentence they deliver -- just like every other crime.

Sometimes people SUCK (the Kraal's included -- though I'm guessing like most people they aren't all bad). We need to recognize that most of the time most people don't suck and that these exceptional situations are just that.

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slyfink
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slyfink  - Feb. 11, 2015, 7:29 a.m.

when one lives in a glass house, it's prudent not to throw stones. it wasn't so long ago that mountain bikers were the ones taking matters into their own hands, breaking the law and building rogue trails. Change takes time, and willingness to accept that there are people who are unwilling to change. "Making examples" out of "opponents" is not likely to encourage people who don't share your point of view to see it. I think balance and reason should prevail. What purpose would throwing the book at her serve other than to alienate the other Kraal's out there, raise their hackles, and perhaps steel their resolve?!

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actar
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Actar  - Feb. 11, 2015, 7:38 a.m.

Mountain bikers STILL break laws and build "rogue" trails. More over, how many mountain bikers who use multiuser trails can actually say who yields to who on the trail (here's a hint, mountain bikers are at the bottom of the list) and because of this, have confrontations with other users when mountain bikers are in the wrong, if not legally so.

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blackbird
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tw  - Feb. 11, 2015, 8:03 a.m.

There is a difference between "breaking the law" or building unauthorized trails and attempting to injure someone with the outcome possibly being severe or life threatening.

Driving over the speed limit is lawbreaking technically, where cutting the break line on the car is quite a bit more.

I think anyone who threatens the life and or safety of another human being needs a real wake up call. Vandalizing (sanctioned) trails when no one else is looking demonstrates a total lack of character and courage.

If those two feel so strongly about their actions and position they should stand up and own this like a couple of adults, whatever the cost. Funny how they aren't so proud of their actions when it's all brought to light in a public way. That alone tells the tale.

Comparing all this to right of way issues is ridiculous.
In a decade on that mountain: no conflicts.
What is wrong with you?

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jesse-oneill
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Jesse O'Neill  - Feb. 11, 2015, 8:05 a.m.

Why is any group considered bottom of the list. Why not yield depending on circumstances. I never have had problems with hikers nothing but friendly communication.

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actar
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Actar  - Feb. 11, 2015, 12:59 p.m.

Trespassing on private property and building trails is actually breaking the law… so is riding those trails. Don't get me wrong, where I live, many of the trails are not legal, but we still use them and land owners more or less turn a blind eye until their interests become involved. Very few places are as fortunate as North Van to have municipal support as strong and sanctioned as those trails are.

This is in NO way legitimizing trail sabatoge, and to a significant degree I do agree with the loam ranger, but we have to keep things in perspective. In the 4 years that I have been riding north van trails, I have never once had any kind of confrontation with other users… yet I can't count on my hands and toes the number of confrontations I have had riding trails in the interior… largely revolving around equestrians.

That all said, I do believe it is commonly accepted that on multi-use trails, cyclists yield to hikers, and both of them yield to equestrians. I have seen signs stating this in virtually every multi-use trail system I have used, and I do believe I've seen similar signs stating the same (maybe minus the horses in some caes) at quite a few multi-use areas in the lower mainland.

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actar
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Actar  - Feb. 11, 2015, 1:01 p.m.

The exception to that though are on biking primary trails, where cyclists are to be yielded to.

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cerealkilla_
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jdt  - Feb. 11, 2015, 8:49 p.m.

Actar- or whoever you are behind your anonymous moniker - your reference to vague undocumented crimes you invent in your mind about mountain bikers simply looks stupid in light of the clearly documented acts of the Kraals, which have been charged as criminal acts. You sound like an apologist for criminals, and a member of the minority of fanatical blowhards that has already made up their mind to not get along. No wonder you remain anonymous.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 11, 2015, 10:04 a.m.

There is a big difference between "Unsanctioned" and "Illegal" trails. The vast majority of trails in the North Shore were "unsanctioned". It's troublesome when the concept is misunderstood and cited verbatim in ignorance. Read here for more

I am writing about a topic that has bugged me for a long time. It bugs me because the incorrect use of the language is sloppy; stems from poor understanding of the correct use of the term and in my opinion, sets back the mountain-bike advocacy movement every time the word is used.

The specific context of this is the North Shore and the use of the words "illegal" to describe the status of trails when, (for everywhere except for BC Parks) the correct use of the word is "unsanctioned" or "unauthorized". This is important because when used in the context of law "illegal" describes an activity that is proscribed by a law that carries criminal penalties.

It is important to note that no jurisdiction in the North Shore except for BC Parks has implemented laws that make it a criminal offence to build a trail or structure on public lands (see citations at end of this article). In North Vancouver and West Vancouver building trails without permission isn't even addressed. In Metro Vancouver lands building trails without permission carries a fine but no imprisonment. Only in BC Parks is there a risk of imprisonment for riding bikes without permission. Curiously building trails without permission is not addressed as an offence under the Parks Act. Only the Forests Act addresses this issue but as there are no active forestry tenures in the North Shore that point is moot.

The upshot of all this is that it is inaccurate, sloppy and damaging to say that North Shore trails are "illegal". To use this word paints bikers riding North Shore trails as lawbreaking criminals when this is not the case either from a technical legal perspective or from a policy making perspective. Using the word "illegal" damages the cause of mountain biking advocates, lends ammunition to those who would curtail biking and paints trail-builders and trail-users (remember that any hiker, runner, or little kid who puts in a trail is caught under your lazy, inaccurate use of word) as scofflaws. Again I emphasize that this is not just pointy-headed academic lawyer speak. Using the wrong word carries a whole pile of unwanted baggage

Accordingly I urge the use of the word "unsanctioned" or "unauthorized" in the context of North Shore trails as this is the correct use of the term. If trails are recognized under a process such as the Fromme trails under the long-drawn out ARGG process then of course they then become sanctioned

And by the way, they're not land owners. They're land managers. They manage the land, for US the taxpayer. Get that one right too and stop kow-towing to them.

EDIT: This short article cannot address other jurisdictions where there may be indeed criminal penalties for unauthorized/unsanctioned trail building. American jurisdictions in particular have no shyness about enacting all manner of laws that criminalize the act of building a trail or structures without permission. I stress that this is not the case in the North Shore. However the laws in your jurisdiction may be very different so do not take this article as legal advice to punch in a trail

Word doc in the Facebook link above has the citations

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slyfink
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slyfink  - Feb. 11, 2015, 4:11 p.m.

point taken. Where I am, it is illegal to build trails, so it's easy to project. sorry. But I think my main point still stands, which is that I don't think throwing the book at them will acheive much, other than to antagonize the people who sympathize with their point of view. Changing those people's point of view is a long-term game, which will be won with patience, understanding and dialogue.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 11, 2015, 9:02 p.m.

I hope you are right, and that is the perspective I have taken as well, but the realization that this has been going on for 10 years, and that they seem to think they have done nothing wrong, worries me.

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mikey
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Mikey  - Feb. 11, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

"A mountain biker found guilty of setting traps to injure hikers would feel the force of the law, and that’s exactly what should happen here." <--- This right here. If this whole picture were flippped around and mountain bikers were setting traps for hikers on the Baden Powell, how would that story look? Would mountain bikers get any sympathy? This is a case of a lady who had a personal vengence and vendetta against the mountain bikers, she was not concerned about injuring them and possible ending their lives as they know it (wether it be injury, paralysation or death). I agree with the loam ranger, she should be punished to the maximum extent of the law. The precedent is there that his is no recent development or attitude of these two, it was probably exiting dinner table conversation for the old couple, discussing where they would put something the next morning on their walk.

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bruccio
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Bruccio  - Feb. 11, 2015, 1:56 a.m.

well there shouldn't really be any discussion in the process. you endanger others life. proof is there, cristalline like mountain spring water. end. of. the. story. maybe life sentence is a bit too much, especially for an elderly woman, but this kind of closed mind ppl need to be put in the place they belong to. and, for sure, no more trail access for her.

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