The Hiker and Rider Debacle

Words Cam McRae
Date Feb 1, 2015

When I first heard about this incident I felt a sense of urgency. Based on the information, as it was presented to me, I felt that there could be a risk to the safety of trail users on Mount Fromme. This was based on the only information I had access to regarding these incidents, from the mountain biker involved. I attempted to get information from the police so I could hear another side of the story. I called twice and spoke to the switchboard and a third time I left a message with the media relations officer, aware that it may be difficult to receive a response on the weekend. I have yet to hear back.

As the story was presented to me, it seemed there was an escalation between the first event, on Tuesday the 27th, and the second event on Friday the 30th. This worried me and I hoped I could prevent another altercation between trail users. I was also under the impression that the older woman had not contacted police. This turned out to be incorrect. It is unfortunate the North Van RCMP were unable to speak to me. While I am clear that I am responsible for what I presented, knowing that both women had contacted the RCMP would have altered my approach.

In retrospect, without access to more information, it was unwise to have posted my article, at least in the manner I chose. It was Friday evening when I received the information and, knowing that Saturday morning is the busiest time of the week on the trails, I felt some urgency to get the information out.  No doubt my haste contributed to miscalculations.

I have been criticized for only presenting one side of the story, for not revealing the name of the mountain biker, and for respecting her request to withhold information about biting the older woman. These are legitimate criticisms and I accept that it was unwise to proceed with incomplete information. I made the decision to move forward with the information I had access to, and to respect the request to withhold critical information. All along I have said I would like to have both sides of the story, and that I would present any relevant information I receive. This morning I received an email from the older woman involved in these events outlining her version. She has been unfailingly pleasant and polite in her interactions with me, despite the circumstances. In fact I feel that she is someone I would probably like very much, and I hope we can meet and I can make amends in person one day.

There are common elements to the two stories and there are points where the stories diverge significantly. We will never have an objective, dispassionate, third person account, and most will decide their own version of the events. I am aware that this may seem hypocritical, but I urge you to refrain from doing so.

It is my understanding that both individuals involved have expressed an interest in pursuing a non-judicial solution to this conflict. I welcome this outcome and I am hopeful it will transpire. Now that we have both sides of the story, it is in the interest of all trail users to allow that process to take place without further distraction. And yes, I realize I have caused the biggest distraction. It can be said that my rush to publish caused a witch hunt; I accept that criticism, and I deeply regret the negative consequences of my story.

There is common ground between these two individuals; both love the trails and use them often, both feel that the vast majority of interactions they have with other trail users, of all stripes, are pleasant and positive, and both wish to put these events behind them. It is likely that, given different circumstances, they would connect on some level.

Many of you have already decided whose version is correct, based on your allegiances. I would encourage you not to speculate, finger point or lash out. Our goal now should be to move forward and ensure we do what we can to ensure a harmonious trail experience for all.

Disrespectful comments below this article will be moderated, as will similar comments on our Facebook page. If you have a productive comment to make, or one in support of one of the users without defaming the other, you are welcome to participate.

I have asked questions of both women involved that have remained unanswered. What we have is an incomplete picture of a traumatic situation. Based on my communications with both women, it seems they both feel their version of events is accurate. I have no sense that either is deliberately trying to mislead me or anyone else.


Here is the older woman’s version of events – in her own words.

Tues January 27th, I was hiking with 3 girl friends and our 6 dogs. 2 dogs were leashed as they run off. 2 of the girls were just behind me. I heard them talking to a biker but didn’t hear the conversation. When the female biker caught up to us (a very short distance), she said we shouldn’t be walking here as it wasn’t safe. We were crossing her trail heading towards Kilmer Creek. I told her she had no right to tell me where to walk. She said we should be walking on the BP trail. I said how does that help as there are still bikers there. Our conversation escalated-I unfortunately can’t remember all that was said. Anyway, when she turned away, she said something like I was a miserable old lady. I reached out and poked her in the bum with my pole. My poles have rubber tips on the end as I use them on pavement as well. I barely touched her. Anyway, she turned around yelling at me! She wanted my name and said I assaulted her. She was going to report my assault to the police. Then she left.

Granted I shouldn’t have poked her but I got mad at her sense of entitlement.

I hike every day for at least 1 1/2 hours. Some days only with my dogs and some days with friends. I have 2 dogs. I usually have a third dog, my neighbour’s The dogs do not chase the bikes. One is a puppy who is often startled by the bikes coming quickly downhill. I have been hiking the North Shore mountains every day when I’m home for 15 years. Only two other times have bikers been inconsiderate and yelled at my friends and me. One time a biker was being chased by my friend’s little dog. She asked him to stop so she could get her dog. He just continued yelling profanities at her and her dog. I only mentioned these incidences because the rest of the meetings, and there have been many, have been amicable and without incidence. I know quite a few bikers by sight. We often chat, they pat the dogs and I thank them for slowing down.
There are so many bike trails on Fromme Mt. now that it is difficult not to walk on or over them. As well, many of the old hiking trails have been decommissioned with logs etc. To stay off the bike trails, we’re often walking on the decommissioned trails or through underbush.

Now, back to my reason for writing this. I feel the need to tell my side of the story as her’s, particularly with regards to Friday, contains many fabrications.

Friday Jan. 30th, I didn’t meet up with any friends. I completed my hike around 10:30. Just above the Braemar/Dempsey corner, I leaned my poles against a log so I could leash the pups. I had leashed 2 when the puppy started to bark. I looked up and saw a biker about 50 ft. up the trail. I thanked her for stopping and walked towards her to get my puppy. I had 2dogs leashed and no poles- they were still on the log. I saw her get her phone out when I looked up but didn’t think anything of it. As I was leashing the pup, she almost ran into me. She started taking my picture. I said I didn’t want my picture taken. I realized then who it was! I repeatedly said she had no right to take my picture! When she persisted, I reached up with my right hand ( I was holding the dogs with my left), trying to stop her and knock her phone out of her hand. She was straddling her bike and I was below her. While I was trying to stop her, she bit the heel of my right hand very hard. She tore a skin flap off and caused it to bleed profusely. She then pushed me to the ground. By this time she was screaming hysterically. Then she rode to the corner still screaming. The screaming caused a friend to run down. This friend, Ian, I know because we see each hiking a lot and often at the local elementary school. When he arrived, I was just getting myself up. 2 of the dogs had blood on them as did I. He helped me with the dogs and picked up my poles. He said he had his car there. He put his dog in the car and gave me a napkin to put on the bite. Before we got to the car, there was a biker with his hand up wanting us to stop. He didn’t say anything. I said I had to go as I needed medical attention. At the corner she was on her cell phone, I gathered , talking to the police. Several other mt bikers were there as well. That was the first I saw of them. Ian said he would walk his dog home then take me to the medical clinic. I said I would walk toward Princess Park where he could pick me up. I dropped the dogs at home, changed my shirt then went to the clinic. I had to have freezing so the flap could be cut off and the wound could be well cleaned. I also received a tetanus shot and a prescription for a strong antibiotic. I cannot swim in Hawaii for 3days. I also had to purchase a lot of first aid supplies to care for the wound while I am away. After that I went home to feed the dogs, then I went to the police station to report what had happened. I learned there that she had reported me on Tuesday and again Friday. They were looking for me! I talked at length with the officer. I told him I was leaving town Saturday until Feb. 9th. We said we would be in touch after that.

PS- I’m 69, need a knee replacement, have a torn rotator  cuff and have stenosis, scoliosis and osteoarthritis in my spine – thus the poles! Throwing anyone to the ground is impossible.


The email continues with an account of several negative interactions with riders and a hiker on Saturday morning. Individuals who, like me, believed the woman had not contacted RCMP, confronted the woman and told her they had called the police. These individuals knew of the mountain biker’s story before I did, and if they had read my story, they failed to heed my advice to avoid confrontation of any kind.

I deeply regret any part my story may have had in these negative interactions, and I urge anyone who sees this woman in the future to treat her with respect. If we draw an arbitrary line down the middle of these two versions, and accept some level of misunderstanding on both sides, it seems clear that both women would behave differently a second time, but both of them deserve to be able to use the forest without being accosted.

There is no longer any need for finger pointing, shaming, or analysis. Comments trying to decipher who is more to blame, who behaved worse or who deserves more punishment, have no utility at this point. Children are often obsessed with who initiates conflict and who causes it to escalate.

Let us concern ourselves with what each of us can do to resolve this and move on.

Dealing with the fallout of this situation has reinforced my belief that there is no war in the woods, as many would have us believe. Everyone has a story of something unpleasant happening, sometimes with a rider, sometimes a hiker, but every single person I have heard from has told me these are exceptions. Harmony is the rule. Let’s keep it that way.

Please remember, disrespectful comments, here or on Facebook, will be removed. Let’s work together to put this situation behind us.


It is my hope that this mess, much of it created by me, might make each of us more mindful and respectful of other trail users, and even of those we cross paths with outside the forest.

Trending on NSMB

Comments

Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - May 23, 2015, 2:52 p.m.

This got nuked from the front page http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:eC7PChOErykJ:bb.nsmb.com/showthread.php%3Fp%3D2873101+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca [MODS feel free to delete the cached thread as it contains personal information]

To paraphrase and to take out the names this is what was said by the original poster MJB (no idea who this is)

[i]"Two months after the altercation between the mountain biker, KS, and the hiker, VR, the North Vancouver RCMP have closed the case. According to the RCMP, the stories of what happened are now closely aligned:- on Tuesday, January 27th, there was a verbal interaction between VR and KS. VR slightly poked,with her rubber tipped pole, KS. KS verbally attacked the hiker, and flipped her finger at VR. KS reported the assault to the RCMP.

  • On Friday the 30th VR, while trying to prevent her picture being taken KS was bitten and thrown to the ground by KS. During this altercation, VR's dogs stood by watching. KS incorrectly reported the event to the RCMP. VR went to the RCMP after being treated at a medical clinic.

  • On Saturday January 31st, VR was harassed by individual bikers and a group of bikers, acting as vigilantes. The RCMP was called by the bikers.

KS and VR have now admitted their mistakes and actions in the confrontations and wish to move on.

I am posting this story in hopes that there will be no further vigilante activities, yelling or chasing within the communities using the trails on Mt. Fromme or any other North shore mountains….I would like, also, to point out that the outcome of the story (biker admitting her behaviour) shows how the social medias and comments by an angry crowd of bikers were totally inappropriate and fuelled by irresponsible attitudes. We all have to learn from this story which has impacted far more people than those 2!!"[/i]

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daveb
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DaveB  - Feb. 5, 2015, 4:47 p.m.

Uh oh, spaghetti-o. Apparently the hiker is on As It Happens tonight telling her side of the story. I hate to say it, but I think the mountain biking community is going to come off looking pretty bad because of this stupid, isolated incident. We all need to take a deep breath here. I have never had issues with anyone on the North Shore mountains, whether hiking or biking. Let's stop manufacturing conflict where none is exists.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 6, 2015, 8:44 a.m.

I don't think we did at all. She mentioned in her description to me that she has no trouble with 98% of mountain bikers, and she reiterated that last night. Actually last night she upped that to 98 or 99. She feels there are too many trails in that area (and there has been a lot of building in the Pennzoil area lately) but otherwise she feels we can get along just fine.

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hally
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Hally  - Feb. 5, 2015, 9:47 a.m.

I'm constantly blown away by those in society who look out only for themselves and choose to go straight to F$K YOU! The only way you're going to avoid people is by living alone in the outback, so why not develop some people skills. Both sides were wrong for the manner in which they dealt with the interaction. I mountain bike a lot and on one occassion almost destroyed hikers with their dogs on a very obvious downhill MTB trail. I showed concern for their safety and suggested they use an alternate route where they would be safer (even giving them directions how to get there). The man was great and thanked me, but his female friend was defensive and entitled. I then proceeded on only to ride through a pile of fresh dog s#t on the trail! To me this was proof positive of the ignorace of the woman and her self serving approach. She left her dog's feces there for anyone to tread on, hiker or biker. Interactions with self serving people will unfortunately lead to the affected people making adjustments to their own approach. Thus, the sh%$y attitude gains momentum and spreads. The solution is badges, yes badges. If you are a self serving a%$hole you should be required to wear a badge identifying you to others. That way I can save my energy and simply run you over as I enjoy my ride.

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waterlike
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WaterLike  - Feb. 5, 2015, 9:46 a.m.

Hmmm….It's one thing to delete hateful or threatening comments (totally agree with that) but I don't see how you feel you can entirely control a discussion that should be comprised of peoples opinions. If this is the Cam show and anything that doesn't fit with your views is deleted, then what are we really "discussing"? I'm not sure I can look at anything you write or moderate the same again. Unfortunately really.

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waterlike
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WaterLike  - Feb. 5, 2015, 9:25 a.m.

Cam, I didn't think my comments warranted deleting. I tried hard to be respectful and somewhat objective but still speak my opinion. Filtering out opinions/comments as you see fit is sort of like not including the fact that the biker bit Tineke but deciding not to include just that bit of information. Post her full story….except the part that makes the biker look bad? You can't control everything my friend. Help keep the peace but don't try to "fix" the facts or suppress free thought.

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feral
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Feral  - Feb. 5, 2015, 11:51 a.m.

How about you go away until you can tell the difference between Tineke Kraal sabotaging trails, and the hiker/biker interaction last week? If you don't know the whole story or can't keep it straight in your head you're not going to contribute to the conversation.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 6, 2015, 12:41 a.m.

FOR THE TENTH TIME - WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT TINEKE KRAAL. Your comments were deleted because you are completely confused. Ms. Kraal has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. You are the only person who is confused by this who is commenting, and your misinformation is not helping the information at all. Maybe if you actually had some facts that were correct they wouldn't need fixing.

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waterlike
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WaterLike  - Feb. 5, 2015, 9:05 a.m.

While this whole bikers perspective / hikers perspective spawns and interesting debate, I still don't see how exactly it's relevant to the situation where Tineke Kraal has been caught sabotaging trails. She's been caught on camera and her husband, via email from 10+ years ago, has also admitted to helping her. What do these recent events have to do with the past? Is she looking for sympathy as to why she has done what she did? So she's had a negative encounter with a biker (allegedly) or vise-versa (or both). Likely not the first time anything like this has happened but definitely not common, since we know most hikers & bikers get along very respectively with each other. If 98% of her encounters with bikers are allegedly positive, and she is friendly with many bikers that she comes across, then why is she trying to sabotage a trail to hurt the 2%? My personal view is that, as The Province article suggested, she's scared now, and she's trying to either get sympathy or justify somehow why she does what she's done.

If your general attitude when you entered a trail was to be peaceful and harmonious with everyone you encounter, then sabotaging anything wouldn't even come to mind. If I put myself in the shoes of a hiker, someone who has never enjoyed the mountains on a bike, and someone who was already not overly pleased with the onset of the biking community in my peaceful hiking trail backyard, I wouldn't really like bikers. I may not immediately have hateful thoughts towards them but by the basic fact that I didn't really appreciate their presence on my trails, my patience level for them would already be low. And certainly any encounters I had that made me feel in any way unsafe or bothered, I would certainly feel "victimized" by that. So I don't buy the fact that she's this sing-song pleasant lady that gets treated poorly by bikers enough that it has caused her to act this way. Is she a nice lady? Maybe in a different environment. Would I want to get to know her and like her as Cam has said he would? Not really. Not all people who do bad things are bad people all around, I know that. But I'm not looking for reasons to like her, I just want her to stop doing what she has been doing. Why confuse what she has done with the fact that she may not be all bad?

I think that the hiker / biker debate is one that is always worthy of discussion. But we shouldn't be trying to use it to "humanize" someone and openly hear their "why" perspective when they have knowingly gone out of their way to alter a trail that could have great consequences on someones health or life. Good open discussion vs criminal act. Not realted.

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doug-nielsen
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Doug Nielsen  - Feb. 4, 2015, 1:23 p.m.

I think this is where this becomes handy….

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petr-faitl
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Petr Faitl  - Feb. 3, 2015, 11:19 a.m.

It sounds like a great deal of apology is needed from each party to one another and the rest of us take a note of this fiasco and take some learning lessons. As a public place it's for all to equally enjoy and preserve the enjoyment of others, whether you've been biking, hiking, skiing, etc there for years or ten minutes.

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bc-dude
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BC Dude  - Feb. 2, 2015, 8:27 p.m.

Without the slightest bit of bitterness or irony, I can't help but think how cool it is that local walkers and hikers are using mountain bike trails for their enjoyment. The same trails that we as mountain bikers - especially guys like Digger and the guys from NSMBA - have spent thousands of hours building and maintaining! People should remember that. There are plenty of true hiking trails on the North Shore (I am also a hiker), but I don't think I have ever seen hikers doing any work on trails.
I always go out of my way to be courteous to hikers and to give them the right of way. And the vast majority of them are very supportive of the work we do on the trails. Although it's easy to get caught up in these isolated incidents (the mainstream media is as always, unhelpful), I think that there is an opportunity here to show how our volunteer work creates enjoyment for all sorts of different people.

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blackfly
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Peter Leeds  - Feb. 2, 2015, 5:11 p.m.

I have to say I know the lady, and encounter her every time I ride Fromme (and I mean EVERY time). She is always with a group, is polite to me and has never been unbecoming.

I understand that given recent events some bikers might think this is the time to "stake claim" to bike trails, and in all honesty, I agree. But the fact is: we share the mountains with a huge number of people, not only riders. Moreover, I rode Saturday and ran into (figuratively) at least a dozen hikers/trail runners. ALL WERE POLITE, PLEASANT and COURTEOUS. I know that we do all the work, fight for all the advocacy, and pay the bills (in all forms) but that is the fact. Sadly, women and trail users in the later years of life, for the most part, are not ABLE to do work. I wish they would contribute financially to help, but that is a pipe dream. I would like to point out a lot of bikers don't do any work nor contribute financially, so painting other users as "parasites" would be unfair. I hate conflicts of any sort, but the fact is: this one made the paper and given the recent history, some resolution is expected.

I am not going to change how I address the lady. She has never been unbecoming to me and I will not bring it up. As I have stated before, taking the moral high road is our best option right now. The spotlight is on us and we need to show we are the better people. But if there are any incidents, we need to act and act fast with all due expedience: photos, details etc….. vandalism and violence cannot and should not be tolerated, regardless of whom the perpetrator is. Not with violence of our own.

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:39 p.m.

With all due respect, your comment "with all due expedience: photos, details ect…" is NOT the way; my position is "with all due diligence." And I mean Period.

Addressing these matters in public forums, social media, ect… leads only to a Kangaroo Court…. as some of this weekend's posting's have shown.

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blackfly
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Peter Leeds  - Feb. 3, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

Not entirely. If one were to witness anything, as modern technology shows, there is no better evidence than photos or video. Cannot deny that in court. Better evidence than confrontation.

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derek
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Derek  - Feb. 3, 2015, 8:13 p.m.

What Gord SB B was getting at was a distinction between EXPEDIENCE (your word) and DILIGENCE (Gord's word). Diligence important, expedience at the expense of diligence less so. No dispute over the value of photos/video. Gord can correct me if I'm wrong.

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Feb. 3, 2015, 8:20 p.m.

yes, what Rick said. Thanks all.

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Feb. 3, 2015, 8:20 p.m.

what Rick said. Thanks all.

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yourgrannie
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YourGrannie  - Feb. 2, 2015, 3:43 p.m.

There is ALWAYS more to a story. Young people in the past were trained to show respect and deference to their elders, regardless of where they were found. There are plenty of people who ruin the enjoyment of the outdoors for others by their disrespectful and unlawful conduct.

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feral
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Feral  - Feb. 2, 2015, 5:39 p.m.

How about respect for each other without caveats like age, race, or sex?

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vancouverite
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Vancouverite  - Feb. 2, 2015, 2:23 p.m.

SHE BIT AN OLD WOMAN. Hard enough to make her bleed. The cyclist is the one who should be on a leash.

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dietmar
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Dietmar  - Feb. 2, 2015, 12:44 p.m.

I find it interesting to note that while mtnbiking community is relieved that the woman hiker does not seem to want to press any charges, the mtnbiking community continues to allow charges to be pressed against another hiker for perceived "sabotage" of shared trails. What is needed is more sincere dialogue at the table between the two factions, perhaps Restorative Justice? Otherwise resentment between the two sides may continue as before.

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0
mightyted  - Feb. 2, 2015, 1:06 p.m.

Apples and oranges, terrafirma.

Innocent until proven guilty I know, but the Kraals cowardly vandalism has been documented on video and in email.

Imagine how different this week might have been if the Kraals had issued an apology in the province Instead of that other thing.

Either way, the RCMP only can recommend charges, not anyone here.

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feral
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Feral  - Feb. 2, 2015, 1:08 p.m.

Why? This sort of action is becoming more commonplace around the world. Someone carried out actions for years with the intent to harm others. In no way should this be acceptable, and hopefully a guilty verdict will give others pause.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 2, 2015, 1:14 p.m.

I reject your interpretation because I can find no support for it. I have read nothing in the article or comments that leads me to think that anyone was relieved that the hiker doesn't want to press charges, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I am a mountain biker and I'm not relieved or even in the slightest concerned with any legal proceeding related to this. Hence your contrasting statement that the mtnbiking community falls apart. Even in its failure to contrast effectively, I doubt it's valid anyway. I don't care about charges against the saboteur and the mtnbiking community can do nothing to allow or disallow charges to be pressed.

It is my sense that there is no significant resentment between the user groups as a whole. Therefore dialogue is unnecessary. Do you personally dislike one particular user group as a whole?

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 2, 2015, 1:14 p.m.

What "two factions"?

With the exception of a few outliers it looks to me like the majority of people are just a bunch of regular folks out enjoying the forest.

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dietmar
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Dietmar  - Feb. 2, 2015, 2:43 p.m.

Restorative justice is an approach to justice
that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, ++as well as
the involved community++, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles
or punishing the offender.

Just a friendly suggestion.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 2, 2015, 3:54 p.m.

That seems reasonable, but as I stated above I'm not concerned about how justice is handled in this instance in particular. And this is not what the few responses to your comment were about. Perhaps you could address them?

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 3:49 p.m.

Actually you are surmising something that isn't clear. It's quite possible charges could go either way in this situation. I am encouraging the community of trail users to stop pointing fingers and allow the two women, with the authorities if necessary, sort this out themselves. Both can be seen to have grievances that could involve charges.

That said, the two situations are quite different. In the case of the woman who was caught placing logs on trails, her husband is on the record stating in 2005 that together they walk and "destroy structures." I'm not saying restorative justice couldn't be an appropriate way to deal with Ms. Kraal's charges, I'm merely suggesting there is no logic in drawing a parallel between the two situations.

At least you aren't calling me a liar today though. Things are looking up!

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 2, 2015, 12:07 p.m.

"Many of you have already decided whose version is correct, based on your allegiances."

and many will continue to do so. Disappointing but expected.

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euan-forrester
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Euan Forrester  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:33 a.m.

Hey Cam, thanks for writing this followup article. It's clear that your heart has been in the right place throughout this, and I wanted to thank you for trying your best to keep us informed about important things that are happening in our community.

You mentioned at the top of the other article that you don't have a journalism background, and that you're figuring out how to best handle these issues on the fly. I certainly sympathize, and I think that's an unenviable position to be in!

I've been reading this book recently, and I thought you might find it interesting as well: . I think that the lessons it contains on how online writers can make mistakes in the face of breaking stories and a hungry readership are valuable for anyone -- both for people who are in the media, and for those who consume it.

In particular, I think you may find the section on "iterative journalism" to be interesting.

Thanks again for all your hard work on this site that I enjoy so much!

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 5:22 p.m.

Thanks very much Euan! The book looks interesting. I'll download a sample and check it out.

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:06 a.m.

I am not really well versed on hiker vs. biker rights, but I'm competent in some legal issues. If you poke someone with your pole, that IS assault. You should be arrested and you can have your day in court. If this is considered a public place, then you have a reasonable expectation that your picture may be taken. It is perfectly legal to take a picture of someone in a public place. You have no right to put your hands on someone or try to knock a camera out of someone's hands in response to them taking your picture. I don't know about who is right about the trail issues, but in the response, the hiker is clearly in the wrong legally speaking (even if the biker was a jerk).

I have no dogs in this fight, however there are some real inconsistencies in the hikers response. Don't claim your plans to swim in Hawaii have been ruined and then cite the injuries that make it impossible for you to assault someone. "I’m 69, need a knee replacement, have a torn rotator cuff and have stenosis, scoliosis and osteoarthritis in my spine – thus the poles! Throwing anyone to the ground is impossible." If these injuries don't prevent you from traveling, hiking, or swimming in Hawaii, then they don't prevent you from pushing someone on a bicycle over…

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 5:35 p.m.

Since we only have the testimony of the two women, and no third parties, we need to take both into consideration do we not? The hiker says she 'barely touched' the biker with her pole. Is tapping someone on the shoulder assault? If she was going to lie why wouldn't she just say she didn't touch the rider with her pole? And that she didn't attempt to knock the phone away. Knocking someone's phone out of their hand, that was agreed by both parties, and certainly not cool, but is that assault? That might be a bit grey. But I think everyone would agree that biting someone is assault. Considering the facts that both parties agree on, which is all we have at this point, it seems to be a bit of a wash. And while the mountain biker is someone I know and am friendly with, I have no agenda to push forward. Obviously though my perceived bias would point toward the rider.

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tim-s
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Tim s.  - Feb. 2, 2015, 6:51 p.m.

The plain and simple answer is yes, a pole poke and the cellphone slap or whatever you wish to call it are assaults. In Canada under the criminal code an assault is any unwanted intentional physical contact, no matter how light.

That being said it is quite sad that the situation developed into this.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 8:58 p.m.

In a literal sense you are correct, but would charges be recommended? What do you think the police would say if you wanted to press charges because buddy tapped you on the shoulder so he could get a Monster out of the cooler at 7-11? Or because someone knocked your phone out of your hand? I don't think they'd be very interested, but I am speculating. Maybe someone who knows more about these things can chime in.

I do know what they would say if you told them someone bit you hard enough to need medical attention.

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mammal
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Mammal  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:37 p.m.

It's enough to escalate a situation in the woods that otherwise shouldn't make the news, here or anywhere else.

I guess Capt. Obvious has more than one sidekick, Cam.

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:24 p.m.

Preface: I'm going to respond to all your comments on my original posting in one comment rather than individually.

First If you just took the time to read the legal statues instead of pulling things out of your behind, it would make for a better discussion. YES, it is assault by definition under the US model penal code where the person has attempted to cause bodily injury (pain) to the other person by use of physical force. I'm not sure what the particular statute of this part of Canada says, but I'm guessing it is something similar. NO, tapping someone on the shoulder isn't assault, unless it is intended to cause that person bodily injury. Bruce Lee could probably kill you by tapping you on the shoulder, but I'm guessing if he wanted a "monster from the cooler at 7-11," as your amazing hypothetical demonstrates below, he wouldn't be trying to hurt you (and excuse me if this is "just speculation"). It doesn't matter if she "barely touched her," so long as she did it to cause the other person pain. Why do you think we have laws? Obviously, we don't want people going around poking each other with hiking poles, because of the risk of escalation (see example we are currently discussing).

Second, I'm considering (much in the same way a judge would consider) all the evidence, not just the allegations by both parties. That includes my deductions - not speculation as you dubiously claim. The bicyclist says she stopped to take a photo, which is when the attack took place. It doesn't take much force to push someone over on a small trail where they may be unbalanced, especially if they are straddling or standing next to a bike. It doesn't take much force to push someone over at all, actually. I'm guessing my grandma could push you over if you weren't suspecting it, Cam, and she is 90. My point is this: claiming you are too feeble to knock someone to the ground and hit them with a pole is inconsistent with someone who has the physical ability to hike and swim. If you can hike and swim, you can push and whack. SHE WAS CLEARLY ABLE TO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL CONFRONTATION as evidenced by her slapping or grabbing the phone forcefully out of the girls hand. So there is evidence to believe she could push her to the ground. Also, she was obviously attacking the girl in a more sustained way then her account indicates. For the girl to have the ability to bite the older woman's hand, there must have been some degree of proximity between them, which seems to have more narrative coherence with the girl's story rather than the old lady's story.

So my original points still stand despite your feeble attempts to undermine me:
1. This was assault
2. The old woman's excuse about why she could never have pushed and whacked the girl lack narrative coherence, and to me also lacks narrative fidelity.

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:33 p.m.

To respond to this comment individually, obviously the harm from the assault to the "victim" was minimal, but the effect of the assault was escalation in the following moments. Are you saying that people should just be able to go around poking other people's asses with hiking poles? Sounds like a great world to live in buddy. Maybe you can make it your new hobby. You might be better at that than writing 😉

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:36 p.m.

You?

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 3, 2015, 12:14 a.m.

Now you are just being insulting. Is that your goal here? And your logic has massive holes in it. And why are you bothering bringing up US law? That is of no help here.

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 3, 2015, 7:42 a.m.

US law and Canadian law are really similar, and the concepts behind the laws are the same. I am talking about the theory behind the law, which is "of some help up there." You keep making references to the fact that my logic is faulty… so show me how?

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mightyted  - Feb. 3, 2015, 8:10 a.m.

The fact remains that neither Capt. Obvious or any of his sidekicks were there when it happened so you don't really know, do you?
Thanks for all the typing though. Your sleuthing and $2 bought me my Tim's this morning.

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 3, 2015, 8:29 a.m.

Maybe this makes sense somewhere in Canada

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 3, 2015, 9:23 a.m.

You criticize me for not looking up the law (I did) and then you apply the law from another country. There are significant differences, particularly in this instance. If you knew anything about Canadian law you wouldn't have suggested an absence of knowledge about 'this part of Canada.' Canada is governed by a national criminal code. You suggest that I am advocating people being able to poke others without consequences when I did not. And finally you insult me personally, revealing something about you I no longer wish to engage. You are a troll.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 3, 2015, 9:27 a.m.

Mammal - no idea what you are talking about. I guess my Cap'n Obvious comment stung. I apologize if that offended you. That was uncalled for. It was more directed at T.odd who is a friend and, I hope, would know I was throwing a friendly jab rather than a barbed one..

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 3, 2015, 9:48 a.m.

Do you work in criminal law or policing? If you do, perhaps rather than focussing entirely on what acts technically fulfill the minimum requirements of a particular charge you could give some insight into how likely something like this would actually proceed to charges being laid. That seems more worthwhile to me. What little common sense I have leads me to think that this is really just a storm in tea cup and that the cops would roll their eyes at this sort of thing.

Of course the big question is, would your 90 year old grandma be able to push Bruce Lee over if he was straddling a bike?

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tim-s
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Tim s.  - Feb. 3, 2015, 10:18 a.m.

Cam, in regards to the question whether a simple pole tap or knocking someone's phone out of someone's hand (I'm assuming it isn't broken) should result in charges I think most people would be in agreement that we would be better off spending public resources on more serious issues. The troubling part is if there was indeed a scuffle and blood was drawn.

Just my two cents, but I'd say the moral of the story is people need to chill out. The fact is no matter who was in the right if anyone was in this case, both parties now have the hassle of dealing with the RCMP in an official manner when they could have been spending that time doing what they love which is enjoying the mountains.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 3, 2015, 10:20 a.m.

There is a national comedic code as well. We all get it.

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 4, 2015, 7:50 a.m.

Rarely known fact: Bruce Lee could not ride a bicycle.

As to your other points, I totally agree. There are much more pressing cases to prosecute. But it would be interesting to hear how the issue would play out in court. Often times, it is a great way for fact finders to reconcile both stories, which seem pretty disparate.

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sam-hodder
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Sam Hodder  - Feb. 4, 2015, 7:58 a.m.

You should look up the definition of a troll. I'm not posting anonymously. I'm posting pretty valid opinions since you seem dead set in denying, yet you have been completely unable to respond to them, only attack me. And yes, I do know a few things about Canadian law, which is different in particular parts of Canada, both in the system used, and in the case law in particular regions (despite having a national criminal code). I would think you would know more about the laws of your own country.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 6, 2015, 9:09 a.m.

I believe I made the same points in my article above Tim. More than once. So I agree completely.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:10 p.m.

I'm not so sure about your theory of inconsistencies Sam. At the very least you are speculating. How can you say sitting on an airplane, swimming or hiking is any indication of your ability to overpower a very strong 24 year old woman? I could do all of those things with a spinal fracture, in my early fortiies, but I couldn't have thrown anyone down. I couldn't even pick up my infant son.

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jose-angel-garcia-guijarro
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Jose Angel Garcia Guijarro  - Feb. 3, 2015, 3:16 a.m.

First, apologies for my English

Second, I find that maybe you are speculating a little bit too. Perhaps is an over compensation or you are just trying to do settle all this topic for good before it escalates in something worse.

Anyway I'm sad to hear this kind of things happens

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extraspecialandbitter
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ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:58 a.m.

I think Cam is learning a lot about investigative journalism. Quite a different profession when compared to reviewing recreational products.
Since there's not really any real evidence I doubt anything will come of this. This actually sounds like the only time a GoPro would have been useful. For providing real evidence… instead of a crappy "Sick Edit".

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mrfrosty
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Dana Bourgeois  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:50 a.m.

I'm telling this to all, elderly dog wielding ladies of the forrest, bikers of the two and four wheeled kind (motor-less of course) Bake cookies, keep them in your waterproof pouch and offer them in times of bad ju ju. that is all.

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jerschwab
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Jeremy  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:03 a.m.

Sounds like the Rashomon effect

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jitenshakun
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Jitensha Kun  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:43 a.m.

Bang on statement!

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Myk
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MAS  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:41 a.m.

Cam, apologizing was the right thing to do, a full and official retraction of the original article may be warranted.

This is a good time for reflection, by NSMB.COM and users of the site. Are we a major part of the problem by writing and posting articles, allowing a free- for-all discussion board and being too sensitive?

This situation reflects the nearly consequence-free nature of online reporting. Mainstream media would never have reported only one side of the story, especially withholding one key fact (the bite) that made their side look bad.

Unfortunately this whole incident dirties the reputation of NSMB.COM, it makes us look like the evil trail threats that we are.

Maybe it's time for an official outreach by the mountain bikers to the hiking community. Have an open house somewhere, answer questions, hear concerns, legitimately understand their position. The attitude some bikers have towards Espresso is horrible, "we built it, so it's our trail" sort of attitude. We built a public trail on public land, if hikers want to use it, we have to suck it up and accept that it is for the public, not just mountain bikers.

Every time I see hikers I say hi, try to be polite. My worry is that the one time I am not it will end up being the mayor's mother, a reporter's grandmother or someone else that could cause us real grief.

This incident really worries me about the blow-back on the mtb'ing community. Quite frankly, this incident and how we have reacted to it embaresses me as a mountain biker.

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mightyted  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:05 a.m.

Learning experiences are nothing to be embarrassed by.

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Myk
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MAS  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:38 a.m.

Yeah. I apologize if that sounds harsh on Cam, not my intent to dump on him at all. His apology and 'climb down' were all great and the right thing to do.

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mightyted  - Feb. 2, 2015, 12:56 p.m.

Thanks MAS

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:08 a.m.

Actually MAS, mainstream media hasn't done much better. They are only interested when it's sensational. I am now referring reporters to the article above. They want the 15 second synopsis - but I'm not serving that up. We'll see if they call back, but I'm going to be very careful with them from now on.

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Myk
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MAS  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:12 a.m.

I agree, this whole "War in the Woods" is absolute nonsense. It makes for great headlines but completely misrepresents how it actually is out there.

Sorry if it came across like I was dumping on you, not meant that way. You have suddenly found yourself in the media in a completely unexpected way.

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Amanda  - Feb. 9, 2015, 7 p.m.

To lend some context to the 'War In The Woods' theme, there was recently another elderly hiker who did sabotage trails, and who has eagerly expressed her desire to see the disappearance of all mountain bikers on 'her' trails.

To some, this is a rare occurrence and she is the anomaly. To those of us in the lower 48 (aka media blackout), these events might seem related, despite the individuals involved and their own personal issues and grievances and versions of what did and did not take place. To the public at large who sees these stories about trail sabotage, fist fights (thanks to the over-blown style of mainstream media), police reports and vitriolic comments online and off, it just seems that everyone is the woods is looking for a fight. As my father asked me last night: "Why would you ever want to be associated with such a group?!"

I'm here because I care. I'm here because I love bikes and the people who ride them, regardless of politics, industry patterns or negative stereotypes. While I agree with you about taking a less passionate and aggressive stance on this issue, it would also help if the media were to portray us as something (anything!) other than a bunch of adrenaline-fueled assholes intent on raising hell and smoking dope (in the words of my mother). It would also help if folks didn't antagonize use and then use the "but I'm elderly and infirm!" excuse when called upon to explain their actions. I've seen some old people do some craaaaaaazy stuff, so that whole 'elderly and sick and weak as a kitten' doesn't exactly sit well with me from a woman who, in the same sentence, claims to hike 300 days a year. I'm not picking sides, mind you, but instead, putting my critical thinking skills to use.

At the end of the day, that's what we all are. That's what we need to remember… And that we are ALWAYS ambassadors of mountain biking and outdoor use, regardless of who we think is watching. I'm the guiltiest of 'em all when it comes to this. I'm human, as we all are, and we also need to take that into effect when we look at every situation.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:13 a.m.

"Unfortunately this whole incident… makes us look like the evil trail threats that we are."

"Quite frankly, this incident and how we have reacted to it embaresses [sic] me as a mountain biker."

Wow… So from your comments above: Free Speech Bad. Mainstream Media Good. Mountain Bikers "Evil Trail Threats." Cam's, in hindsight, poor judgment "embarrasses" you.

How about being part of the solution, instead of being one of the few posters exasperating the problem, by sharing some positive experiences you have had interacting with other trail users? Noting, as multiple people - from multiple user groups have, that the events reported are an absolute anomaly compared to the positive way the vast majority of users share all the multi-use trails on Fromme?

As for Cam. He could have just deleted the original article and all the comments from his site, never posted this follow up, and in a weeks time the majority of people would have forgotten it ever existed. Instead he's hung his slightly browned white lace man thong of an article out in the breeze on a busy street corner for the whole world to see and comment on -- take that hyperbolic imagery.

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Myk
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MAS  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:27 a.m.

"How about being part of the solution, instead of being one of the few posters exasperating the problem, by sharing some positive experiences you have had interacting with other trail users?"

I've had about 30 - 40 postings on various media boards commenting on how it really is out there, trying to put a good spin on it, here are of few I have posted defending mtb'ers and our good work out there . . . (apoligies, the context may be a bit tough)

"You obviously have never been on the north shore trails. People are not rude, no fingers given to eachother, it's a pretty awesome place."

"Hey, no risk in stereotying there at all ? Ever actually speak with mountain bikers ? You would be surprised with who participates in the sport."

"That is EXACTLY what has been going on on the North Shore for the past 5 - 10 years. The groups generally have great relationships, behave in a civil manner to eachother."

"Agreed, there is no 'war' in the woods on the North Shore. I ride and hike the trails a few times a week, no issues. Other reality… it is pretty much only mountain bikers that do any trail building. Everyone henefits from their good trail work."

"Another analogy . . . a lady gets upset at the kids zooming down the slide at the park. They just whip down that thing, exit at speed, never know how that will end up. So, best to put a log half way down the slide, show those kids a thing or two.
The consequences of her actions were to hurt people. Come around a blind corner and hit a log, that can do some damage to someone.
The trails she blocked are mountain bike trails, in fact, they are not great trails to hike on. And, they will built and are maintained by the mtb community, with the blessing of the local government."

"You know that the obstacles were placed on officially sanctioned mountain bike trails ? The landowners have endorsed the trails, there is a sign at the top, they are completely legal and accepted by (nearly) all.
Hiking on these trails would be like snowshoeing up a ski run and complaining. There are countless hiking trails, heck, the mountain bikers don't mind if you hike on their trails, just be sure to expect them.
This lady set out to sabotage a trail, a very possible outcome of her actions is to injure someone. Just as we would be outraged if someone placed a log across a child's slide in a park, we should be outraged at her disregard for someone's safety in this manner."

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:45 a.m.

Awesome; Thank you.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 2, 2015, 12:57 p.m.

I think I follow these well enough in the absence of context, and good on you for posting them. Sorry if I gave you the impression that I was thinking you were irrationally negative or anything.

I will just point out one thing about how you addressed stereotyping. When you asked whether this person had ever spoken with mountain bikers, it gives stereotyping a degree of legitimacy by inferring that ignorant judgements on aspects aside from those which actually define a group, might be replaced with new judgements on similarly unrelated aspects upon discourse with a sample of that group. It is my personal preference to give no quarter whatsoever by pointing out that the aspects that define a group are the only things by which a group can legitimately be judged as a whole. So in this case, that would be that mountain bikers are defined by riding mountain bikes. I find it makes life simpler, although I think superficially it might seem the opposite.

I should have prefaced the above by saying that I have an extremely low tolerance for stereotyping, and in writing that I mean relative to my experience of how others think of it. (And I presume you can agree with me writing that most people are not very tolerant of stereotyping.) My reasons for this are that I find it intellectually lazy (which I abhor), and has so clearly been the root of so many major problems in human history and present. Stereotyping, used in this sense, is synonymous with prejudice after all.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:09 a.m.

My personal approach has been to expose as many irrational, incorrect and stupid comments as possible. I also find so many people commenting that everything is fine out on the trails as being superfluous; ultimately opposing the intention of such comments by unnecessarily giving attention to a non- issue.

I think it's simplistic to frame things the way you have here. I don't really think there is a 'we.' I don't feel compelled to behave in a particular way because I ride a mountain bike on Fromme. I listen to my conscience, which constantly evolves based on the experiences I have in every aspect of life. As a consequence of my disbelief in this 'we' you mention, I cannot possibly feel any embarrassment myself at things said by other people who happen to also ride mountain bikes on Fromme or elsewhere. Maybe I'm just odd in looking at things this way.

Like it or not, the world we now live in involves free-for-all discussions online and I think it's undergoing a process of learning through trial and error. This whole debacle is a good case in point. There have been some pretty good comments too don't you think? On balance, I feel strongly that everyone should be heard, even if that makes people who ride mountain bikes look like a collective of dullards. If the shoe fits…

I do agree that this incident dirties the reputation of NSMB, and I wouldn't be surprised if Cam does too. I also think Cam has done everything decent he can to claim responsibility, which I imagine will have a positive impact on it's reputation. I'm afraid the temptation is just too much for me, so I'll also comment on you writing that 'it makes us look like the evil trail threats that we are.' Notwithstanding the point I made above about there being no 'we,' do you really think that one should not look like he or she is? Surely you're not advocating that people make an appearance that's inauthentic. My view is that there is too much of that sort of thing in the world already and that it causes significant problems. Ultimately though, I think the most common problem that we've had in the comments is that too many are just poorly articulated and unclear. And the most significant problem has been the minority that have written hatefully, spitefully or those that promote violence.

Don't you find the mainstream media lacking in depth and balance almost routinely? Personally I find it difficult to find trustworthy media outlets.

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Myk
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MAS  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:37 a.m.

You make some good points that are food for thought, especially around how I perceive things and frame my comments. The "we" is quite notable, I need to think about my perspective out there. Need to think about that one for a bit.
As for exposing irrational comments, I have posted a fair bit on various sites, trying to bring some sanity to the situation. I have a posting up above that has some of my comments, tough to get them without the context of the discussion though.
Your point about the minority with poor comments is quite relevant, the 'sound bite' nature of these boards allows for some poor and irrational comments.

The MSM is pretty poor, they are looking for the sensational sound bites that make great headlines. I have spent a lot of effort online and with family / friends explaining that there is no 'war in the woods', that there seems to be great relatinships between all trail users out there. In my opinion, 'war in the woods' simply does not exist. I had a beer last night with a Kneeknacker runner buddy of mine, looked for his opinion. He spends a lot of time running on the trails, interacts with mtb'ers all the time. He agrees, there is no 'war in the woods', simply media hype.

Seems to be that the best thing we can do is get past all this and move forward as one big group of north shore trail users.

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blackfly
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Peter Leeds  - Feb. 2, 2015, 5:24 p.m.

The problem is: there was a confrontation, two parties were involved, both were trail users, and one was "allegedly" assaulted. I don't see how this is small potatoes. What if it was not an older lady, but an older man with much more physical prowess whom could of assaulted with much more force. Would your opinion be different then? You bet. I think the fact the "other side of the coin" have been all women, to me, telling. There is no way a man is going to attack a 64 year old woman with any conscience, but I would defend myself. But you can bet your bottom dollar had the hiker/trail saboteur been male this would be very different. And I don't think that is sexist at all, simply realistic.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 2, 2015, 8:03 p.m.

Are you replying to me? This seems unrelated, but just in case this wasn't a slip of the mouse I'll give you my thoughts. I'll correct you on one part of the problem as you describe it: There are two people alleging to have been assaulted, not one. I most certainly see this as small potatoes, but I do concede that it depends on how you've calibrated the scale. I know neither person involved, it doesn't sound that bad as far as altercations go, and this sort of thing is not that uncommon. Of course it's not that common up on Fromme, but really, the density of people up there is pretty low too. There also isn't much to discuss about the incident itself, not just because of the opacity in determining what really happened due to conflicting stories and substandard reporting, but also because it is in the past. My aim in commenting here has been to dampen what I consider to be an out of proportion response that was ongoing.

Well if my Grandma had a dick she could have been coal miner. Cliche, I know. I'm amused by the fact you feel so confident in what my response would be to your hypothetical. Normally it takes people at least half an hour in person with me for them to work out that I so predictable. I'm not just trying to be pigheaded when I say that I'm not sure if I would think it was more significant. I don't think I'd be swayed that much by gender, it's immaterial really, but there are so many variables to consider. If someone had shown signs of ongoing indiscriminate pattern of violence was lurking up there I'd think it was much more important, primarily because I'd see the problem as ongoing in that case.

I can't really follow what you wrote after the hypothetical, sorry. I think it's totally reasonable to defend oneself when being attacked by anyone, so it seems we agree there. I'm perilously close to my bottom dollar as it is, and I'm not a betting man so I don't think I'd take that wager. Hell, even despite the wanky comment I made about stereotyping I can't tell if you're being sexist or not. Honestly, it would be great if you could clarify the second half of your comment. I'll respond if you do.

Oh, and if this was a slip of the mouse, I hope you at least got a little smile from the cliche I used. It's one of my favourites.

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blackfly
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Peter Leeds  - Feb. 3, 2015, 6:38 p.m.

Do you actually ride Fromme? Claiming it is not densely used is pure BS. I have been up there almost every weekend for decades and especially with the weather lately I have not seen it busier (with current trails being the way they are). I meet all sorts of users: riders, hikers, trail runners. Where you get the idea it is of low user density is baffling.

And quit trying to dampen a situation. It is already out of your hands. When it is a story in the provincial paper it is big news. As I recall from a long ago X-Files episode "someone is always paying attention".

Inasmuch as my "second half comment" you have to be completely blind to not know that reactions between altercating parties is VERY much determined by someone's gender. I cannot believe you actually need clarification on this. You are telling me that anyone being confronted by an assailant is not going to react differently if it is a man or woman. You are telling me the perceived threat (whether real or not) is not going to be seen more serious if the person is a male compared to a female? Really? Lets see… Instead of a 69 year old lady with bad knees you have a 50 year old male, 200lb, fit, muscled, with hiking poles who does the exact same thing: jab you with a hiking pole and knocks you phone out of your hand. You are telling me there is no difference in the scenario? Right. The male scenario would scare the crap out of most people, and would be taken far further than "Grannie in the Woods" This is no hypothetical, but extrapolation from known means. And your cliche failed to illicit the response you intended. This is not a joke. People getting poked at with poles is not a joke. Moreover, as a First Aid Attendant and medically educated, I can assure you the fun stops when the defending party puts up a hand and gets the pole in the eye. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye (cliche enough for you?). I have stated that I know the lady, and she is always pleasant to me. But in a male/female role of outcomes again: she does not confront me nor try to harass me. Firstly, because I do nothing to illicit such a response but secondly, being a fit male, I am more than ample to defend myself, and this is something all people acknowledge, either consciously or subconsciously. Do you provoke a bouncer whom is 300lb?

Personally I hope this all goes away, but now that it is in the news there is going to be some expected follow up. I hope none, but that is not how news works. And no, it was no slip of the mouse. Cliche, I know.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 3, 2015, 11:38 p.m.

Dude, I was trying to be light hearted, not get under your skin. And I really did not see how your original comment related to mine. I don't think you really clarified that in the one I'm replying to now, but I get the feeling that it's just because you think I shouldn't try to dampen the situation with people misconstruing the facts. Whether or not that was the connection you were making initially, you obviously made that point here and I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. There were a reasonable number of comments where the premise was not supported by the facts (whether they were presented poorly or not), there were significant gaps in logic or were just plain hateful. I'm OK with it it if you think it's lame or useless, but I was trying to make it plain that those comments, or parts thereof that I highlighted, should be ignored because of their flaws. And, I think it's important because if they are not ignored, and end up making their way into people's understanding of the incident then they have a view that isn't based on the reality as best as it can be determined. If I helped just one person realize that something was bunk that might otherwise have led to the promotion of ignorance, hate or violence I consider it worthwhile. And you're an X-files fan too hey. I loved it from the first episode. I actually think the quote you used supports my actions; if someone's paying attention to what I've written and they've understood and agreed with it, I'm stoked. I don't understand your reasoning for why the situation shouldn't have been dampened. I'm far from the only one who has been trying to do it. Cam's been culling comments left and right, quite a few of which I responded to. And in all this, and acknowledging that I really can be a arrogant asshole, I don't think I have any special level of intelligence for this sort of thing or can understand these things when others can't. Rather I feel that I miss things sometimes and have benefited from the views of others, and I don't see any reason why I can't contribute in the same way.

I know I'm messing up the order of your comment here, but I'll go up to the top paragraph now. I do ride Fromme. I probably get out to ride on average once per week and about 80% of that is on Fromme. I suspect you're misunderstanding what I meant. I think you made an erroneous assumption that I meant that the density of people up on Fromme is low relative to other, equivalent outdoor recreation/biking/hiking/trail running zones. I did not mean that to be relative to other such zones. I meant it in the broadest possible sense. Like it has a lower density than almost everywhere else on earth where people exist and go about their business. Sure there's lower density areas, and I similarly imagine violence is even rarer in those places, but overall Fromme has to be relatively low density in that context. Overall my point was really that all things being equal, as interactions between people increase in frequency, that conflict, violent or otherwise, would also likely increase. I don't know that for a fact, I don't study the frequency of violence, but it seems like a reasonable assumption to me. What do you think?

Why did you quote "second half comment?" I initially thought you were mocking a typo I made or something, which I'm very prone to make, but I can't find it.

To me, in your second comment you're making a different point about the gender and size aspects than what you did in the original, and I think I agree with some of what you're saying now. I still don't really see much of it as being very relevant because it's hypothetical, I'll play along. The reaction of an individual to someone in an altercation would typically be influenced by the gender and size of that person, sure, but I bet it wouldn't be that uniform either. In the example you give of the 69 year old woman as opposed to the 50 year old man I'm not on board with you though. I don't think you're judging that situation by the right parameters. What matters is what they did. If they did the same thing in each case, I consider them equally culpable of assault. I concede that the hypothetical victim might feel more intimidated in the case of the bigger man (which you didn't specify by the way, I'm assuming the woman, bad knees and all isn't some over muscled gorilla), and there's probably some legal term or charge for that sort of thing, then I would be on board the intimidation being worse. But is that what you mean? I really might not be following you, sorry. I'm up for another round if you are, even if it is an academic discussion of what might have been.

While I see that we've had two incidents on the same mountain in the past month, I don't see them as being in anyway comparable other than by geography. So, I really don't see your point about the gender of the saboteur. It seems pretty plain to me that it was really a man and a woman collectively over the longer term anyway. But I couldn't care if it was Georges St Pierre or Betty White doing the sabotage, the nature of the sabotage is the only thing that can rationally be used to judge culpability. Surely you see that? Again though, maybe I'm going on about something that isn't what you were meaning.

The cliche I used was not in any way meant to serve as a joke about the incident on Fromme, it was meant to point out the absurdity of discussing hypotheticals in relation to something that actually happened. Surely you get that. And when I wrote "cliche, I know," I was poking fun at myself for the lack of originality. Hell, even "cliche, I know" is a cliche and it's essentially always used in the sense I did. I most certainly did not intend to incense you over it.

I really don't think getting poked with a pole is that significant though, no. Maybe it's just because I'm lazy and hate hassle, but I wouldn't go to the cops under most circumstances if someone beat the shit out of me. Certainly not in something comparable to the incident on Fromme. I do make a distinction between being poked (which is relevant here) and stabbed though.

I don't really ever provoke anyone. I'm actually a reasonably big guy myself and rarely do I find myself physically intimidated, although with the passing of time I get saggier and weaker. Anyway, as I'm sure is common, in defence of something worthy I would try not to let that be a factor. I have lived up to that on a small number of occasions, but must confess I have also failed in ways that I've long regretted. In any case, I can take a punch pretty well. Seriously. As you can probably tell, I've got a thick cranium.

So am I right in assuming you're all in to this because of what it might have been, or is it the magnitude of the violence that appears to have gone down? I've only been living here since 2002 and have always been impressed at the general lack of violence in pubs and whatnot, so maybe that's the missing context for me. I've seen so many fights that maybe I'm a bit numbed to it all. Nevertheless though, my opinion remains that the hubbub is disproportionate. Would you be this concerned if a couple of folks, of any stripes, got started on a donny brook in Lynn Valley Mall? I don't mean that rhetorically, and I'd like to know why that would or would not be any different to your level of concern over this incident. (I realise I've opened the door for you to throw this in my face as a hypothetical. Have at it if you like.)

Boy, sorry for the 'war and peace' in comment form here. I do hope it doesn't infuriate you at least.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 10, 2015, 8:57 p.m.

So did I just bore the shit out of you, or did you realize that we just see this differently (with or without you thinking I'm an idiot), or did I actually write something that made you think about this a little differently? Perhaps a combination of these? I'm still interested in better understanding what your point was if you're interested. I guess you're not though, and if so, good luck to you.

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mountains
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mountains  - Feb. 2, 2015, 6:28 p.m.

those pesky woman hikers causing grief!! how dare they get out of the kitchen and onto the trails. boy, what if we just say 'no female use' on all the trails and then we'll have no more problems!

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cam-shook
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Cam Shook  - Feb. 2, 2015, 6:46 p.m.

you my friend are mistaken….the sign in the woods says "ladies only."

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carl-linnaeus
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Carl Linnaeus  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:21 a.m.

I LIKE THIS LADY! She seems pleasant and amicable - even to the crowd that tarred her on NSMB. I hope to meet her some day and give her a hug for suffering the media spotlight and the prior incomplete account. There is no war on bikers or hikers for that matter. Some sign vandals need a good spanking though. Let's keep our trails beautiful.

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carl-linnaeus
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Carl Linnaeus  - Feb. 7, 2015, 4 p.m.

Although, it is pretty hard to get one's hand bit if they keep it to themselves!

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jitenshakun
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Jitensha Kun  - Feb. 2, 2015, 8:59 a.m.

I'd say both stories are a tad suspect, and only the 2 players will ever know the real truth. One on hand I feel for Cam given he's clearly verklempt over what's transpired. On the other hand, if he'd decided to stay out of it this nug of Internet gold wouldn't exist.

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jerschwab
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Jeremy  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:15 a.m.

I don't think either of them will know the whole truth… only their own intentions.

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mightyted  - Feb. 2, 2015, 8:40 a.m.

Thanks for the honesty, Cam. I appreciate what you were trying to do. But the more comments I saw posted the more I didn't want to get involved. I think a lot of NSMB readers shared in your learning experience, including myself.

I'd like to second what DrewM said. I rode both days this weekend and my ride partners and I on both days mentioned how nice everyone was being to each other and how it was likely attributed to the happenings of the past week and your articles.

I also wanted to say this: I can see her point about the ratio of biking trails to hiking trails on the shore. The creation of the NSMBA was one of the best things to ever happen for mountain biking in the lower mainland. However now it seems bikers have the only organized associations for trail advocacy. In short, I wonder if the trails on the shore would benefit from a rebranding of the NSMBA into the "North Shore Trail Association" so that its more inclusive of other sorts of trail users.

Just a thought.

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trent-theriault
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Trent Theriault  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

When I was looking to start a trails organization in my neck of the woods I took the tact that it would be a non motorized trails advocacy group so we could help all of the muscle powered trails users find their quiet trail experience and work out our issues amongst ourselves without forcing the powers that be to act as parental units for us. By and large it has been a successful approach and has helped us earn the respect of the various governmental agencies that we have been working with. Mind you we still have our occasional troubles with those that have sharing issues but those have been greatly reduced since we all sit at the same side of the table together.

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trailharmony
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Trailharmony  - Feb. 2, 2015, 7:53 a.m.

Cam, as you know, i was very vocal on the original article you posted when the story broke on Friday, and through most of Saturday. (Some of your respresponses to my comments since been deleted). My intention throughout was twofold: a) to encourage unbiased, substantiated, honest journalism; and b) to try to minimise the (what unfortunately turned out to be inevitable) backlash from both bikers and non-bikers.

I did, however, want to come back and thank you. It is human nature to defend your corner (in this case your written piece) but takes a lot of humility and courage to admit mistakes and apologize. I always believed that your intention when publishing the story was honest, and that you were not deliberately trying to inflame the situation. Unfortunately not everyone is rational enough to understand that there are always two sides to every story, or intelligent enough to question what they see written in print.

Thank you for providing balance to a story where actually only the two ladies will ever know the truth.

I remain astounded by some of the hateful and violent comments that were posted on social media over the past few days in response to the article, and horrified by the vigilantes that went up to Fromme on Saturday to track down and confront the elderly lady.

However, my hike along Dempsey, BP, Poweline, Dreamweaver and St Mary's on Saturday afternoon reconfirmed what i have always believed to be true. That with a little respect for fellow users on all trails on Fromme, you will find, almost without exception, a friendly and courteous bunch of outdoor lovers and enthusiasts. May this always be the case.

To those of you that dont live in the area or are unlucky enough not be a regular user of the North Shore mountains: there is no war. An isolated incident occurred and im sure i dont speak out of turn when i say that we would all like to put this behind us so that we can continue to enjoy this amazing recreational resource… young or old, hiker or biker.

Thanks again Cam.

Kerris

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:15 a.m.

Thanks TH. Very generous of you.

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mammal
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Mammal  - Feb. 2, 2015, 7:46 a.m.

It seems that both parties escalated the situation, but as far as encroaching on personal space, it seems that the old lady should really keep her hands and poles to herself. Especially in a confrontational event.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 8:26 a.m.

This is the kind of comment that is unhelpful at the moment. I am going to leave it in place as a reminder to others; the time to assign blame and point fingers is behind us. Let's move forward with compassion and understanding and refrain from passing further judgement.

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adam-cardew
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Adam Cardew  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:49 a.m.

I am going to disagree with you. If there is something to learn here is that you don't touch someone else without permission. Maybe it's different in Canada but you have no right to stop someone from taking your picture in a public place. So first instance the lady pokes someone with a pole. Second she tried to knock a phone out of someones hand. Lets just say its a basic smart phone. That has a cost of up to $700. The damage done by breaking someones phone is illegal. So over and over this lady is physically approaching a verbal argument. That should not happen.

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mightyted  - Feb. 2, 2015, 9:59 a.m.

I think what Cam is saying is that speculative comments like these aren't helpful because all the facts nor a third part account are available. Best to leave it to the 2 people involved and the authorities (if required) to sort out.

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ash
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Ash  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:09 a.m.

I found the comment very helpful.

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bw
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BW  - Feb. 2, 2015, 12:58 p.m.

Also the only way I can imagine that you get your hand bit is if you were sticking it in someone's face. She was even told by the police to get pictures of her.

Everyone should obviously be nice when they run into people on the trails, whether its hikers, bikers or horse back riders but I don't think anyone is out of line when they get both sides of the story and form their own opinions.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 8:10 p.m.

T.odd - I'm pretty sure my article above covered why I think this sets us back.

Adam - of course you shouldn't touch someone without their permission. Is anyone arguing that? The hiker said that herself.

And here's my take on 'fault.'

If we are to take both individuals statements into consideration we need to consider where they agree and discount where they disagree, or we are speculating based on hearsay.

Agreement: contact with pole.

Disagreement: force of contact (Hiker says she barely touched the rider). Is barely touching someone assault? Perhaps in a strict definition, but then so is tapping someone on the shoulder, and so is accidentally brushing by someone on the street. Would you call the police if someone tapped you on the shoulder on the trails? If this was witnessed by a cop, and it was negligible contact, which we need to consider to discount hearsay, do you think the cop would treat it as assault? Pretty unlikely.

Agreement: hiker tries to knock phone away. Is this assault? I think it's pretty grey. Damage to property? Phone case was damaged, phone was not. Property was damaged so this could be considered an offence, but likely a misdemeanour. Please chime in if you are a lawyer.

Agreement; biting. Assault.

Disagreement; pushed to the ground. Both claim they were pushed to the ground by the other. The older woman was found lying on the ground by another hiker (an acquaintance). The rider jumped on her bike and rode to the bottom of the trail. No conclusion can be reached without believing one party arbitrarily.

It seems likely that if the hiker was lying she would have denied several elements of the story. She could have denied knocking the phone away and denied the pole contact. The rider asked me to omit the bite from my story. The police knew about the bite however.

It's pretty murky it seems to me.

Of course you are welcome to formulate your own opinions, but doesn't it make more sense at this point to let the statements stand and allow the two individuals sort things out? If your goal is to be right and you feel that takes precedence over what is best for the community as a whole, then go for it. But having mountain bikers believe the mountain biker and hikers believe the hiker makes it pretty clear that we are all displaying a bias.

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lumberjake
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lumberjake  - Feb. 3, 2015, 1:38 a.m.

"Accidentally" brushing by…would not be assault. As there was no "intent" but as for the rest, well, I dare you to "tap" a cop.

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t.odd  - Feb. 3, 2015, 9:37 a.m.

Cam, I guess I just don't like the implied equal culpability that you're suggesting. While the rider may have not expressed the correct attitude or information to the hiker, the latter clearly took exception and got snarky and lashed out….and it doesn't matter whether it was a "brush" "jab" "poke" etc, she escalated the situation physically. In the second situation she also initiated a physical escalation and in the ensuing melee was bitten. From my read on the story she knew she was wrong in the first incident and then was trying to cover for it in the second, and now she's back tracking, downplaying, trying to gain sympathy which she's clearly gotten. I'm glad they're going to meet and resolve the issue, I'm sure they're both very embarrassed, and we do need to move forward and past this, but I just wholly disagree with placing equal blame here.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 3, 2015, 10:17 a.m.

I don't deny any of that. Nor did I intend to imply equal culpability in the eyes of law. What I am suggesting is that our public effort to determine responsibility, which generally follows party lines, does nothing to promote our relationship with other trail users. If you have a look, the vast majority of non-riders see the rider's behaviour as more inappropriate than the hiker's, while most mountain bikers see it the other way There are some exceptions - but they are rare. This exposes a self-interested bias that reflects badly on us.

And it has been discussed to death already, on this and other outlets. It descends into non-productive cat fights that further divides trail users.

So what I am suggesting, if our goal is to put this behind us, is that there is no benefit to pointing out 'who started it.' It's blindingly clear that the pole poke was a bad idea and that it crossed the line. What utility is there, based on my goal stated above, to point out the obvious? On the hiker's side, it is the equivalent of stating that adults biting each other is a bad idea.

If our goal is to prove the mountain biker is right, and the hiker is wrong, publicly and forcefully, then by all means, keep proving it. Maybe I'm missing what that accomplishes. If our goal is to have peaceful relationships on the trails, then I stand by my contention that beating this long-dead horse sets us back.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 3, 2015, 10:18 a.m.

It is my understanding that intent is not a factor in Canada actually. All it has to be is unwanted touching. So a tap on the shoulder qualifies based on the letter of the law, as could a light tap with a pole. So we can consider them analogous. But would either lead to conviction? An accidental brush would not qualify based on my understanding.

Assault265. (1) A person commits an assault when

(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

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t.odd  - Feb. 4, 2015, 7:02 a.m.

problem being, Cam…now the media has used this mutual culpability angle and latched on to this idea that the rider deserves more blame because "poor old frail lady" when in reality "poor old frail lady" is the aggressor and instigator. This further paints riders in the bad light to the public when it isn't a real reflection of the situation and it's why I'm so loathe to just ignore 'the blame'. It accomplishes placing the blame where it belongs, at the feet of the instigator and protects the riding public from unfair accusations about aggression towards non-riders.

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noyb
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noyb  - Jan. 22, 2016, 3:18 a.m.

"Agreement: hiker tries to knock phone away. Is this assault?

Yes it is. The woman has every right to take pictures in a public place, this right has been fairly recently reaffirmed by the courts. Taking physical action to restrain someone from doing something they have a right to do is assault.

Agreement; biting. Assault.

Disagree. The lady was assaulting her and she defended herself.

The police/courts can assign fault, I have no clue what actually happened, but based on both statements you posted it's clear that the older woman was the one who initiated contact inappropriately in both instances and caused the escalation (without getting into how far it actually escalated)

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t.odd  - Feb. 2, 2015, 10:48 a.m.

Mammal is right, this incident wouldn't have ever been more than an unfortunate negative verbal interaction if not for the assault by the hiker by jabbing a pole into someone, and then physically accosting her by trying to knock a phone out of the individuals hands. Only one person made this a physical interaction, and it wasn't the rider.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 2, 2015, 11:46 a.m.

I'm glad Captain Obvious has a wingman. 😉 Pointing out that you shouldn't hit people is self-evident, and at this point in this process it only serves to set us back.

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t.odd  - Feb. 2, 2015, 12:06 p.m.

how does it set 'us' back?

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blackbird
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tw  - Feb. 2, 2015, 7:45 a.m.

Cam. there are several lessons here. Consideration goes both ways. Accounts should be presented in their entirety from all parties. Pictures (personal in your face ones), contrary to the belief of the younger crowd are usually taken with permission; at least that is the expectation of those over 40. The old expression that two wrongs don't make a right seems appropriate here.

There is a difference between trail vandalism and people sorting out a conflict: let's keep on top of the former. The latter needs no public forum.

I will reiterate what I said before: I have never had an altercation with anyone on the mountain over many years of riding. With a stump, a few rocks, a tree or two and more than once with my own bike, but never a dog or person. These types of articles can change that dynamic and should be reserved for safety reasons only.

We should be happy that there are many types of users on the mountain. That increases the chance of getting help when it is needed, if it is needed for whatever reason.

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bagheera
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Bagheera  - Feb. 2, 2015, 2:05 a.m.

Thanks for the clarifications, Cam. Seems like a lot of things have happened that should not have, on the trails and on the internet. My hat off to you for doing something that seems to be becoming increasingly rare these days: Apologizing and admitting you did something wrong. That alone speaks volumes about your integrity (which some people felt they needed to question).
On a side note, even though I live a sea apart from the North Shore, I made it a point to be extra polite and friendly on my weekend rides. Had a few nice chats with some hikers, lots of smiles all around.

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Feb. 1, 2015, 11:54 p.m.

Thank you Cam for your words! Peace!

Also, I thank the hiker for having the integrity and honesty to speak to us other "users of the forest". Thanks for taking the time, Peace!

All of us- hikers, bikers, trail runners, walkers, commercial dog walkers- we all love the trees.

Let us keep using the trees and respecting those around us; we will all share with one another and be there for one another if anyone needs help for any reason.

We are a community united by the trees and those special moments we have in them.

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cerealkilla_
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jdt  - Feb. 1, 2015, 11:49 p.m.

An interesting element here is the phone camera. It may be important to think of the role that technology has played in the whole series of events over the past month. It started with some upstanding bikers taking steps to secure video footage of someone sabotaging trails. The use of the cameras was a hot news item, and soon everyone knew of the woman caught on film laying traps for bikers. So for this next woman to then see a camera pointed her way may have aggravated the situation even more, not wanting to be the next front page item on candid camera.
As bikers (and hikers), it may be prudent to consider what whipping out the old camera-phone might do in a dicey situation. At one time it may provide important information, at the same time, it may serve to escalate events.
That is said without any reference to the fault in this matter, and without explaining away any of the avoidable actions that occurred here, but more as a point to consider as we carry on.
It is interesting what DrewM has suggested here. Perhaps instead of this chain of events over the past month being the shtstorm of all shtstorms that ruins biking and hiking on the North Shore, perhaps it will be the event that changes things for the better. I am sure no biker wants to be that dumb-ass that barrels into a hiker, and no hiker wants to be that dip-wad that ends up on Youtube. It is unfortunate that we had some clearly criminal behavior occurring over the past few years that led up to this point, but fortunate that nobody was crippled by it, and that nobody has gone fully overboard.

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drewm
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DrewM  - Feb. 1, 2015, 11:31 p.m.

"I hike every day for at least 1 1/2 hours. Some days only with my dogs and some days with friends… I have been hiking the North Shore mountains every day when I’m home for 15 years. Only two other times have bikers been inconsiderate"

Before anyone jumps in with a comment about "all the drama" between North Shore trail users… this is the experience that we all (mountain bikers, hikers, runners, dog walkers = Frommers) have 99.96% of the time.

If she hikes, conservatively, 300-days a year (and I bet it's more) that is 2x unpleasantries in 4500 days of hiking.

So sorry, for both victims, that this situation happened to them/by them. When you both are ready to take away a positive from the whole incident: I think it has already manifested a new level of friendliness/politeness/courteousy on Fromme, which was already the friendliest mountain on the North Shore

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