Fairfax man convicted of illegal mountain biking at Point Reyes

Have you ever been tempted to ride off limits trails? Well this guy got caught and his bike was confiscated!!! OUCH! From the San Francisco Chronicle:

A Fairfax man who had to walk 25 miles home after a ranger at Point Reyes National Seashore seized his mountain bike has been convicted of riding on an off-limits trail.

Steven Gravenites, 45, was found guilty of a misdemeanor Wednesday by U.S. Magistrate Bernard Zimmerman in San Francisco. A $275 fine was reduced to $25, Gravenites said.

A park ranger cited Gravenites on June 21 on the Lake Ranch trail in the wilderness area, according to court records.

A federal law enforcement officer leaving a search-and-rescue operation wrote that he had seen six mountain bikers riding on the trail, which “has numerous clearly posted signs that say, ‘No bikes.’ ”

The officer stopped Gravenites, explained the regulation and impounded his bike, court records show.

At his trial, Gravenites admitted that he had previously been issued a citation for illegal trail riding in Marin County in 2001.

But in an interview, Gravenites said he believed the park ranger and federal prosecutors had overreacted. He said he has never owned a car and complained that he had to walk 25 miles through the hills of western Marin to his home after his bike was confiscated.

“I’m very upset,” Gravenites said. “I use my bike for all my transportation needs.”

Gravenites said the magistrate ordered that his bike be returned.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Scott Schools said his office will “continue to prosecute these offenses as illegal mountain bike trail rides contribute to soil erosion, cause wildlife disturbance and interfere with the enjoyment of the park by hikers and others.”

E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page B – 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle