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Carol Jahan, San Clemente

Each time I’m on the trail, and one of these “monster” bikes goes roaring by, I say I’m going to write a letter, so here it is. I have almost been hit two times by one of these bikes, because the riders were going so fast, they had to swerve to avoid hitting me. I was looking at the ocean, not paying attention to how far toward the side of the trail I had wandered, when the rider yelled at me, and I jumped out of the way. I thought: What if someone like me had a little dog on a leash, and because I wandered into the path of the bike, a little dog on a leash would not have been easy for a bike rider to see going that fast, and would have been hit. To me, the “nature” experience of the beach trail is a giant contradiction when anything motorized is allowed to spoil the whole feeling. The aggressive speed of the motorized bike is the opposite of what is a peaceful, enjoyable walk along the ocean. To me, it’s arrogant for motorized bike riders to think they can dominate the trail, and then not even use their legs for exercise by walking, or riding a regular bike! Use the motorized bike to ride on the paved streets of San Clemente and Dana Point. It’s simple.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are signs all along the trail saying no bike riding. I asked the volunteer patrol sitting at the base of the San Clemente Pier why the rule is not enforced, and they said there is no regular patrol that goes along the trail. I’m not against regular bike riders as a safety issue, but I was thinking if the rule were enforced, then motorized bikes wouldn’t be on the trail, either, but that is not what is happening. If the city acknowledges the serious danger caused by motorized bikes, by banning them from the trail, it also has to be enforced.

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