Two Mountain Bikers Charged with Riding an Illegal Trail in Marin County

The incident occurred on the Piedmont Trail, shown near the center of this map. Courtesy marincounty.org.

Despite Marin County, California’s claim to fame as the birthplace of mountain biking, it is infamously one of the worst places to be a mountain biker in the nation. Current events only confirm this, with authorities charging two Marin doctors for “riding their bicycles illegally on Marin County open space land where bikes are prohibited and resisting arrest when a Marin County sheriff’s deputy attempted to issue them a citation,” according to the Marin Independent Journal.

The two riders, “Dr. Paul Cameron, a Corte Madera dentist, and Dr. David Carbonell, an emergency room physician and co-founder of New Paradigm Trail group,” were spotted riding a trail that’s off limits to mountain bikes, but when the open space deputy attempted to stop them, the two riders rode away. According to the report, the deputy was later able to catch Cameron by grabbing his arm. While Carbonell escaped, he was later identified and will be arraigned on January 24. Cameron pleaded “not guilty” to both charges.

The fine for riding illegally on open space land is $199 (including court costs) for a first offense. A second offense is $410 including court costs, and a third offense is $615 including court costs. It seems that where this encounter went really wrong was the decision to resist arrest: the maximum fine for resisting arrest is “$1,000 and imprisonment in a county jail for up to a year.”

Logo for the New Paradigm Trail Group. Photo: New Paradigm Trail Group Facebook Page

The mission statement of the New Paradigm Trail Group, co-founded by Carbonell, is “to increase mountain trail access, creation, and stewardship in Marin County while maintaining cooperative relationships with all other user groups,” according to their Facebook Page.

According to the Independent, “at a Board of Supervisors meeting in February 2017, Carbonell, speaking as co-founder of New Paradigm Trail Group, said, ‘I don’t want to be 65 years old before I see my vision for trail access sharing in Marin County implemented.'” Apparently, whether or not the legal access does become a reality, he’s definitely not waiting to ride those trails.

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