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.

# Comments

  • Kevin Mills

    America is the worst place to mountain bike. If you are not being arrested you are being shot at or stabbed. The only we have to worry about in Australia is Emus and Kangaroos. You guys should down here where it’s safe.

  • triton189

    “Open space deputy”? What the hell is that? This guy must be real proud of himself when he goes to bed at night and knows he put away a couple of upstanding citizens for RIDING THEIR BIKES.

    • Cg94010

      If u break the law u pay the conseqences. Upstanding citizens they are not. Self serving, yes. In this age of Trumpism, other points of view other than ones self is considered wrong. The Officer is only doing his job.

    • gotdurt

      I think we should organize and amass a large gang of mtb’ers to descend on these neglected trails, giving “open space deputies” wedgies along the way…

  • plasticsguy

    The power that these anti-biking activists have in Marin county is way out of wack with the general populace. But the people sitting on boards and in court rooms are beholden to people like the Sierra Club. We all know who does the trail work and when it comes down to it we mountain bikers back up what we say with action not words. It’s so frustrating to see land managers back down to these people. True, what these mountain bikers did was unlawful but the law is broken every single day. Just get on any freeway and do the LEGAL speed limit and then watch how many folks break the law. Some laws just don’t make sense and this is one of those laws. Major kudo’s to the two who stood up.


    Sorry to hear about this but if they were riding in an area that’s clearly marked as off limits for mountain biking then I don’t think they were right to run away from the officer. I would imagine there are plenty of legal places to ride around that area?? But, I would have to agree that California is WACK.

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