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Over the weekend authorities confiscated more than 45 mountain bikers’ bikes after the riders were found trespassing on Marine base property in California. The riders started out on trails in the Sycamore Canyon area and claim to have unknowingly followed trails into the off-limits area.

Military officials confiscated bikes and escorted the riders off the property, leading many to rely on friends to pick them up and get them back to their vehicles at the official trailhead. Riders will have a chance to get their bikes back once they appear in court and pay a $500 fine.

photo: Xerien

photo: Xerien

This isn’t the first time that riders have had bikes confiscated in the area, though this may be one of the largest single-weekend busts yet. The San Diego Mountain Biking Association is warning riders using the Sycamore Canyon trails to avoid the Santee Lakes and East Elliot areas in particular.

It’s fairly uncommon for mountain bikers to be ticketed or to have bikes confiscated, and in this case, it sounds like the Marines have just recently started enforcing boundaries that have been ignored for some time. For info about various trail fines and punishments for riding illegal trails, be sure to check in to this recent forum thread on the topic and share your experiences.

Update: Be sure to watch this response from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association, here.

Last updated at 4:16pm MST, 1/19/16.

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# Comments

  • asjogren1

    They should be able to contest this. No signs. No fence. No warning.

  • alskoj

    I ride on military bases all of the time. Don’t you guys have a military ID card? ; )

  • Lonerider

    Uh, was it marked? If not there should be a way to contest this. Cyclists aren’t psychic; without a clear signage or fence, how is someone to know it’s closed?

    Also, is this good security? Why have an open trail leading into a military base?

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