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RE: "bandit riders" thread(31 posts)

RE: "bandit riders" threadcollinsc
Apr 2, 2002 5:10 PM
Since we were discussing the morality of bandit riding at sponsored events I have an ethical question about a particular scenerio.

theres a big ride around here in the summer about 700 people (registration cap) doing 150 miles. My buddy and I were going to sign up for it initially, but we didnt because he was to be in europe at the time of this event. Now the plans for that trip have changed, and he (and I) will be able to make the event. Problem is, registration is now closed.

So we would have, but we couldn't, now we can, but still can't.

Will I be damned to bicycle hell if I 'ride the same route' as the event riders? (leave out all responses about food and rest stop ethics, I understand and agree completely so that is not part of the question)

Heck NO!grzy
Apr 2, 2002 6:31 PM
Self fuel and enjoy the ride!

BTW - this *might* mean having to wear a, gasp, CamelBak. ;-)
It's still bandit ridingALBikeGuy
Apr 2, 2002 7:01 PM
If all you want to do is ride the route, why not do it another day? Because you want to be part of the event, right.

Being a event that you would pay for if you could makes it more of a challenge. No matter how much you justify it, it's not right. The fact that you're asking the question shows you know that.

Do the route the next day or next weekend.
Apr 2, 2002 7:15 PM
Some one schedules an event on public roads, limits the number of entrants, and now no one else can ride that route or any part of those open roads if they haven't been blessed by the organizers? The guy said he was going to self-support, so just what is he stealing - their air? What if two or more events use some of the same roads - should you pay for both?

If the guy wants to ride in traffic with all the clueless riders then he should be able to. A place where you can't do this is the Markleeville Death Ride - they get permisssion and the CHP closes the roads to anyone not part of the event.
Some folks have a justification for everythingALBikeGuy
Apr 3, 2002 5:15 AM
We're not talking about riding the roads that are on the route, or part of the route. We're talking about a conscience effort to ride a event route on the day of the event. If you make the effort to attend the ride for the purpose of riding the route with the other riders, then you are a participate in the event. If someone asked you, "did you do that event?", I bet you'd say yes. If you participated in the event without paying then you stole.

If your out riding and come across the path of an event, I'm not saying you should stop and turn around or change your route. Also, I'm not saying that all (or any) the roads on the route are off limits, but I think you know that. Again, why not just ride it some other time?

Just because you have the "right" to ride on a road doesn't mean that you should.

As far as a event being "sold-out", heck maybe I should walk into a sold out football game. I'll just stand up and walk around, what I'm I stealing?..... after all, it's a 'public' facility!

You'd think that as cyclist we'd rush to support cycling events. Of course, the folks that bandit rides are the first ones that complain about events or the lack of them......Just look at the event complaints in the bandit thread.
Some folks are clueless on most everythinggrzy
Apr 3, 2002 10:15 AM
The guy wants to do the event and is willing to pay. They won't let him due some arbitrary limit and timing. It's on open and public roads. He's not going to use any of their stuff. Maybe his other riding buds are doing the event, maybe there's a cute gal that he's interested in, maybe he just want's to say he "did" the event. Whatever the reason he's not stealing anything other than some one's claim on exclusivity. Since it is fully within his rights to ride on the road and he's not harming anyone or stealing anything he should be able to do whatever he pleases.

Going into a football stadium during a game without paying IS stealing - theft of services. Even if it's bought and paid for with taxpayer money we as tax payers don't have the right to go use the stadium like we do with roads. Watching the game on TV or hanging out on a rooftop across the street is not. The law is pretty clear on this.

So tell me exactly what law he's breaking, services he's stealing, ethics being violated or rights he's infringing upon. You seem to demonstrate the elitist attitude that give roadies a bad name.
Some folks are clueless on most everythingjustonerider
Apr 3, 2002 12:18 PM
What are you stealing? You're stealing the organization of the event.

The organizers have put a lot of time and effort into creating the route and bringing the people who are legally riding the event to the area. The fact that you are going out and riding with the people who are officially riding the ride means that you are benefiting from the organization that has been done. Everyone else paid for this organization; you did not. Seems like theft to me.

You can probably rationalize to yourself (and maybe to some others) through laws that this person is not stealing, but then you brought up ethics. If you don't see an ethical problem with this, then your ethics obviously aren't as strong as those of others in this forum. The fact that someone says he wants to say he "did" the event but didn't actually participate in an event is pretty unethical. How many politicians and job applicants have been bitten by what they said they "did"?

As for elitism, if having the ethics to pay for an event makes roadies elite, I wish that we were truly an elite group. Unfortunately, it appears that not all of us could claim to be elite.
I don't think that word means what you think it does.grzy
Apr 3, 2002 2:37 PM
Elite - 1. a. The best or most skilled members of a given social group b. A narrow and powerful clique

Elitism - 1. a. Belief in rule by an elite. b. Rule or domination by an elite. 2. A sense of being part of a superior or privaledged group.

So you, as an American (I assume) still think elitism is a good thing?

The organization of the event remains unaffected and the bandit rider receives no tangilble benifit. Everybody gets their t-shirt and all the Animal Crackers they can eat. The precious route remains unaffected and unviolated. You can't make a case that having a couple extra riders is going to ruin the event, destroy the organization to the core, make the route unrideable, and impact everyone else's sense of enjoyment and accomplishment. What about the fraction of the 700 people that don't show up on ride day - does this make the event better since there are less people? Afterall more people is a negative right?

The guy has stated that he's both willing and tried to pay for the event and wouldn't use any of the resources - a far cry from someone who has zero intention of paying and hits every rest stop and pockets all the GU. I think he's mostly interested in riding the route, probably with his buddies and couldn't care one iota about the t-shirt, the food, or anything else that the organizers provide. Most rides aren't that well organized in any event - Costco food and not having enough of it isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of a good event. I frankly wonder what they do with all the money - I hope some of it makes it to the designated charity, but I wonder.

How about the experience of riding some of the same roads, but in the *opposite direction*, as an organized event and have literally hundreds of clueless wonders telling you you're going the wrong way? It's happened to me around Lake Tahoe - should I just stay home that day and watch TV?

Unethical to ride the same roads as an organized event - give me a break. I'd ride the event, sleep well at night and enjoy the satisfaction of pissing people like you off knowing there's not a damn thing you or anybody can do about it. You'd look like a child if you complained, but that's not so unusual in today's society.

Only the weak and shallow need walk around listing the events they "did" as if to bolster their sense of self worth. My wife keeps wondering why we need to pay money for a poorly organized event to ride in a crowd when we routinely do our own century and beyond rides. Just think if someone rode our same route on the same day - they'd destroy OUR organization - especially if I offered them a powerbar (as is my nature when I see people flagging).

It's all about the ride - nothing else really matters. If you really wanted to support a charity you'd dontate directly and have the maximum amount of your money get to where it's supposed to go - not the share holders of Costco.
Apr 3, 2002 12:20 PM
I never said that a 'law' was being broke, people steal legally everyday, doesn't make it right. I know that doing this bandit ride will never (in reality) get him into 'trouble'. There's lots of things that I 'can' do, but 'choose' not to because it's not right.

I don't set my morality to the level of what's going to get me arrested, if you do, good for you.

I just believe that if someone offers a service (for pay) and you take advantage of that service, you should pay. And yes, you are using their services, otherwise why ride it that day/time.

If that makes me an elitist, then I will proudly wear that title.
Apr 3, 2002 2:02 PM
And the "service" he's taking advantage of is? Anything tangible?

I asked you to be specific about what he's "stealing" - so far you've come up with nothing more than the privaledge of riding with company of mostly strangers. All you've pointed to is some vauge and arbitrary sense of righteousness that you hold yourself and the rest of us to.
"Stealing air?"Slipstream
Apr 3, 2002 5:30 AM
there was a story in Portland where the folks in a geriatric home were upset about runners constantly cutting across their property. They were upset that the runners were breathing so hard that they would steal the air.

you never know...hey, people buy bottled water too, let's figure out how to sell air

Someone beat you to itmr_spin
Apr 3, 2002 9:52 AM
kinda chokes me upSlipstream
Apr 3, 2002 1:26 PM
but, hey, how many varieties of bottled water are there? We can differentiate can't we? How about biker dery air? nothing to sniff at, i tels ya'

or, maybe we bottle alpine blossom air, clearly superior to what these weenies are offering. after all, oxygen is merely di-hydrogen oxide. we can play around with the formula and create lots of variations.
kinda chokes me upgrzy
Apr 3, 2002 2:38 PM
How about a nice big shot of ozone? ;-) Kinda caustic don't you think?
Hey grzy, would u crash a century in the West Bank?Slipstream
Apr 3, 2002 3:36 PM
as long as you have "TV" in big letters on your back you'll be (pretty) safe. ;>)
Apr 3, 2002 6:14 PM
Not with all the food I carry in my pockets - they'd think I was a suicide bomber and shoot me. ;-(
Apr 3, 2002 8:04 PM
I can see the soldiers trying to figure out exactly what is going down as you dodge the rubble. They probably would think it was some kind of secret weapon. ;>)
Go for it (nm)gonzo77
Apr 2, 2002 10:10 PM
If the ride supports a charity, write em a check and ride. nmdzrider
Apr 3, 2002 5:32 AM
Are you too good for begging?Kristin
Apr 3, 2002 7:35 AM
Thats what I'd do. I'd call the ride sponsors and explain how I really wanted to go and how I was crushed when I discovered a conflict and how it would just mean the whole world to be on the best organized ride of the year. (And it doesn't hurt if you are dedicating the ride to a sick friend or relative. ;) Then I'd ask them to place me on a waiting list incase someone cancel's. (Out of 700 people, someone will have a last minute crisis.) Then I'd say how grateful I'd be for the chance to enter this magnificent ride hosted by the best ride sponsors ever! But that's just me.
Don't do it! There is a reason for the rider limit.MB1
Apr 3, 2002 8:04 AM
For a ride like that the promotors had to get one or more permits. I am sure some jurisdiction put a cap on the number of riders for safety. If that jurisdiction has someone monitoring the ride (of course they do it) and sees a lot more riders it can be pretty hard to get a permit again.

Contact the promotor and tell them your sob story, be very polite. Tell them how much you want to do the ride-you might get lucky. Otherwise do the route some other day.

Sign up early next year.
MB1's right. The cap is there for a reason, don't ride it. <nm>tma
Apr 3, 2002 1:51 PM
MB1's right. The cap is there for a reason, don't ride it. <nm>grzy
Apr 3, 2002 2:40 PM
What about the poor bastards that never actually show up to the event for various reasons? Ain't no one keeping that close track of most events - proof is if you get lost or drop out no one comes looking for you.
Sounds like it might be RAMRODSteve98501
Apr 3, 2002 10:56 AM
The National Park Service set the limit at 700 riders, not the sponsoring bike club. I think the NPS issue is safety, but I have no idea why 700 is more safe than say 1,000. Since they allow cars into the park the same day as RAMROD, I do wonder what the ranger at the gate is supposed to do if non-registered cyclists ride up to the gate and offer to pay their admission, and not try to ride thru the RAMROD lane. You can enter the park any other day of the year by just paying or showing your pass. If you're not using the organizer's services (which are pretty minimal on this ride), I don't know how NPS could justify turning away a member of the public who shows up on a bike instead of a car. For example, you could enter the park in your car with your bike on a rack and then switch and ride the climb.

I think grzy has it right; the ethical issue is minimal or non-existant. How can the NPS (assuming RAMROD here) limit park entry to 700 bikes unless they also limit the number of cars entering the park that same day? If they're limiting the number of bikes for some perceived safety, or the convenience of car visitors, then they're unfairly discriminating against a segment of the park-traveling public.

The downside could be that if bandit riding was perceived as being out of control, the NPS might not allow the sponsor to use the park as part of the route at all (and the route IS the purpose of the ride - like Death Ride). But what could or would NPS do if an "unorganized" group of hundreds of like-minded cyclists showed up at the gate amongst the cars, and paid their fee to enter and ride through the park?

Isn't it only a bandit ride if you use the sponsor's services? This is a great topic, cuz so many people want to do this ride; far more than the number who will cancel.
thanks for the repliescollinsc
Apr 3, 2002 2:00 PM
and yeah, its RAMROD. ill send the club a note and maybe theyll let me in legit. if not, well, ill just be careful.

Sounds like it might be RAMRODgrzy
Apr 3, 2002 2:49 PM
NPS does have the right to limit, open, close and control access to our national parks - no doubt about it. If they've given a permit for an event and closed it to other users then it's pretty clear. They're designated as parks and controlled b/c it's in the best interest of the public - otherwise the very populatiry of the setting can cause it to be spoiled. However, if we're talking about public roads, like around Lake Tahoe, that are still open to traffic and the general public then there's no way you can keep anyone out.

Probably the best thing to do is post a note in various cycling groups that you're looking for an entry for the event. There's always someone who wrecks a couple weeks before and can't make it. We've had to do this for the Death Ride - now there's a pretty inept organization. They say they want feed back, but don't believe them.
Deathride "transfer"mr_spin
Apr 3, 2002 3:29 PM
I gave up on Deathride this year. The first year I did it it was great, but it's changed in a very short time. Now it's too much of a hassle just to get a spot. Plus last year I didn't enjoy getting yelled at and threatened by a sheriff because I didn't have a number on my bike. Sorry officer, it came off somewhere on Monitor, and I'm not going to go back and get it! This year they'll probably have the National Guard shoot you for that major infraction.

Anyway, if you find someone who has a Deathride entry who can't use it, become that person. In other words, when you show up for the ride, give them that person's name instead of yours. Otherwise, they'll charge you $25 to do a "transfer." That's a total ripoff, especially since the ride already costs $65. I can't figure out what that fee pays for. Only a fool will pay it.
Apr 3, 2002 5:37 PM
That ride is a friggin' circus put on by the clueless for the clueless. Besides there are pleanty of other rides that are much better organized and tough enough to make it look like a tea party in comparison. We gave up on it also - it's deteriorated into some sort of a face-time event with people who plan on only doing a couple of the passes - just so they can say they "did it" ...sort of. It's only when you talk a little more do you find out that no they didn't actually do all five passes, and sometimes not even four. Nothing like having the hordes of slow people who start before the official start time (at least they know they're really slow) climbing 3, 4, 5 abrest while others are trying to pass or not get creamed when descending at 50+ mph. They get all huffy when you pass them on the right b/c that's where there's the most room. Then there's the whole issue of having to pay extra for breakfast and dinner is spaghetti on par with something done by the PTA back in elementary school days.

We just have people assume identities - had to have my wife pick up the registration for a buddy - he went as "Joyce" that year! They used to say you couldn't transfer, now they want to charge you $25 - for what updating a computer list? Last time I checked these people aren't getting paid so it's not like there's even any direct cost, OK maybe a stamp. They're just trying to take further advantage of the situation. Hey, but I guess we're stealing.

Gawd help you if you get crash on the backside of Ebbetts, get hurt and wind up in say Mark Twain medical center in San Andreas. The Death Ride "organizers" don't have any phone number to contact them and the one number for the Chamber of Commerce isn't manned during the event. Like duh. Your best bet is to call the CHP located up in Truckee who will then radio down to the officer in the area who can then relay a message and someone might call you back.

We just go ride the route on some other weekend and self support - it's way cheaper and infitely more fun.
grzy-I think your last point is the best option.MB1
Apr 3, 2002 6:10 PM
"We just go ride the route on some other weekend and self support - it's way cheaper and infitely more fun."

I agree completly about how poorly organized some rides are. Like you and your wife, Miss M and I rarely do organized or fee charging rides any more. Although we do more than 60 centuries a year.

I figure if someone or some group is going to all the effort to put on a ride and make it attractive for people to do it then the people who do the ride that day ought to abide by the organizers rules. Or just ride the route some other time.

I love those high passes in the Sierras, miss riding on 'em. But do the Death Ride??? No way. As you say there are a whole lot of smaller, better run rides just waiting for us.

See you on the road.
grzy-I think your last point is the best option.grzy
Apr 3, 2002 6:34 PM
Sure - that said we did a ride around Tahoe on the same day as their century. We went around the lake once in the direction the ride was going, had lunch at our friend's house then did another loop in the opposite direction.
Our buddy had the house for the weekend (it's usually rented) and a bunch of people were doing the event. We all started off together then a couple of us kept going and blew the rest stops off and the 25 mile leg up to Truckee and back. We wanted to do 150 miles as training for the TT, but didn't want to get slowed down - I even pulled a small train of riders for over 15 miles, yet no one took a pull. It didn't matter as I would've riden that pace and needed the training anyway. We took advantage of all the bikers being out there to raise awareness of the drivers on the road, the company of our other friends, and a free place to stay. In some people's book that makes us a bunch of unethical theives. Funny thing is I didn't feel like one when I bought and paid for all of my food at the various shops around the lake, both while the rest stops were setup and long after they were taken down. I figure they don't own the road and their event shouldn't prevent me from doing something I want to do when I want to do it. You know - we have to put up with the hordes so it isn't exactly without a cost. Maybe they're stealing my freedom and pursuit of hapiness? How exactly are they compensating the people NOT in the event, yet have to put up with it?
re: RE: &quot;bandit riders&quot; thread4bykn
Apr 3, 2002 2:16 PM
You already paid for the roads with your taxes, and have every legal right to ride them. Is it ethical? That is a personal question, as each one of us has a different sense of ethics. I think we've proved that with these two threads.

If your conscience doesn't have a problem with it, do it.