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Thread: Help Get This Guy Off The Trail!

  1. #1
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    Default Help Get This Guy Off The Trail!

    For weeks, I've been encountering a jerk riding a motorized "hoverboard" on the MVT. He's a thin, middle-aged, WM, and I've encountered him going in both directions between Old Town and Gravelly Point, weekdays, between 8 and 11 in the morning. I have stopped him more than once, informed him that what he is doing is strictly prohibited by the National Park Service, and referred him to the "rules and regulations" prominently posted on the MVT front page on the NPS.gov website. I also let him know why the rule exists: the inherent danger of motorized vehicles operating on a narrow, twisting, undulating path among pedestrians, cyclists, strollers, children etc. He obviously doesn't care, as he's still out there.

    The US Park Police station that has jurisdiction on the MVT is the GW Memorial Parkway Station, phone # (703) 285-1000. I spoke with them this morning. They seemed to care, and told me they actually got a separate complaint about this guy last week (I was happy to hear that). Interestingly, though they have officers on the trail on bikes, they said that in a case like this, their officers in cars will also be on the lookout for him and will definitely intercept him if spotted. In the end, they gave me the predictable "we'll keep an eye out for him" response.

    Posting this here in order to ask you to do two things:

    1. If you see this guy out there, stop him, shame him, and give him the same message I did. (Fear not, he may be a jerk, but he exudes no dangerous vibes.)

    2. Then call the US Park Police at the number above. They may have a nearby unit that can get him right then and there; or when you provide location and his direction of travel, they may be able to nab him as he travels away from you. Even if they don't get him, it's good for you to make the call because when police start getting lots of complaints about a particular person or thing -- they act.

    Why all this is important: while he may be the only ass doing this at the moment, if he is allowed to continue, others will see him and think it's OK -- that will be the step on to the slippery slope toward a much larger and more dangerous problem/situation.

    So if you see him, please help nip this in the bud.

  2. #2
    rcannon100's Avatar
    rcannon100 is offline Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan K View Post
    For weeks, I've been encountering a jerk riding a motorized "hoverboard" on the MVT.
    So, other than this guy riding a hoverboard on the trail, what makes him a jerk?

    Granted, though my experiences with hoverboards are very limited, I do often see a man riding one (with training wheels, no less?) on the W&OD quite frequently. He seems to be going no faster than a runner and rides in a straight line, generally not bothering anyone. Until this point, I did not think anything of it other than to wonder about the training wheels aspect.

    So, is this guy riding dangerously? Is he not calling his passes? Is he shouting things at other trail users?

    Help us understand your objection to his presence on the MVT.

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  6. #4
    ShawnoftheDread's Avatar
    ShawnoftheDread is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    I don't get it. The guy is on what's essentially a fancy skateboard on a path that accommodates everyone from walkers with dogs to faster cyclists, and you're objecting to a guy who fits right in the middle. And you want us to "shame" him without telling us anything about his behavior. Why ? Because Batteries?

    I'd be more likely to shame people who call the police for no good reason.


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    I think it's an interesting dilemma for many folks on the forum.

    Should we apply the same reasoning for cyclists with electric motors on trails as we do for pedestrians with electric motors on trails? (examples of pedestrians with electric motors: motorized wheelchairs, hoverboards, possibly segways, motorized skateboards)

    Most of the discussions on e-bikes on trails seem to boil down to: technically, those with motors are not supposed to be on the trails, but if they are being considerate of and safe around others, most seem to be okay with their presence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnoftheDread View Post
    I don't get it. The guy is on what's essentially a fancy skateboard on a path that accommodates everyone from walkers with dogs to faster cyclists, and you're objecting to a guy who fits right in the middle.


    I'm meh on this one too. I do have some problems with the electric skateboards only because it's usually not apparent that they are electric skateboards just by looking at them so I'm often surprised by their speed. It still takes a while for the brain to process that the skater hasn't been expending effort.

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    I thought we were overdue for a vigorous letter of the law versus spirit of the law "debate"...

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  13. #8
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    I can be pretty rules-oriented, but I'm agnostic on this one.

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    On a related note- I used to see a couple e-bikers on the MVT during rush hour who seemed to think they could do a constant 25mph+ despite congestion (and without giving any warnings). Haven't seem them in a while, so I'm wondering if they got smart...or just don't like hot weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibby View Post
    On a related note- I used to see a couple e-bikers on the MVT during rush hour who seemed to think they could do a constant 25mph+ despite congestion (and without giving any warnings). Haven't seem them in a while, so I'm wondering if they got smart...or just don't like hot weather.
    They're still there. I nearly got run off the trail by the one who has a license plate on the back of his ebike last week when he decided to pass me going 20+ mph as another cyclist was coming the opposite way right in front of me--he nearly hit us both. I also see one almost every morning as well, but the one I see in the AM is less of a jerk.
    Last edited by Emm; 06-20-2017 at 11:19 AM.

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