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Debbie Ekhaml
Hi Everybody,  Well summer is here in So. Ca and the
Malibu Ride was warm!  This was a very tough ride and
those that completed should be proud.  Thanks to Karen
Zontelli for putting on the ride.  Nice prizes and the food
was devoured.
   A couple of unfortunate things happened that I want to
mention because it reflects directly on us as riders and our
    One of those things was ribbons being moved by parties unknown.  Most
likely not riders and Karen did her best to
check the trail just ahead of the ride, but these things happen.
Most everyone mentioned it, but it seemed most took it in stride
which was great.
    The other occurred on the LD ride.  My first observation was
an individual who took off at a dead gallop as soon as the controlled
start was over.  I know some horses have to go (I have one myself)but this
was ridiculous.  This person continued this for 3-4 miles, then waited on
the side of the trail for
his/her friends which were also slow galloping.  This group was lead by a
"sponser" being paid to get juniors through the ride.
The problem I had with this was the complete lack of trail etiquette
displayed by the sponser.  She actually kicked at my friends horse to move
it over as she went barreling past with her 3 juniors in tow.  She went on
to run a lady mountain biker
(about 50 years of age) off a section of singletrack causing the biker to
fall when her horse bumped the bike as the lady was trying to get off the
trail.  The rider was too impatient to wait.  I observed this as I was in
line right behind this group.
  I asked the woman if she was ok (she was holding her arm) and she
assurred me she was.  Later, this group took a wrong turn
 and did a short extra loop.  As I was riding toward the photographer,
they came up behind me and I heard the sponser say
"oh great, now we're in last place.  I yelled over my shoulder that they
were not and I would let them by ASAP.  We were on a downhill, rocky
singletrack, and when I was able to let them by, they again GALLOPED past.
I informed the last junior that this was NOT a race and it fell on deaf
ears.  They were obviously determined on making up time.  At VC 1, one of
the juniors was pulled for lameness.  The rest went on to finish (I will
not say where as it was LD and doesn't matter).  At the pre-ride meeting,
Karen SPECIFICALLY asked everyone to respect the other trail users as we
were in a state park and could lose the ride if people complained.  I
don't want to start a debate on LD, but I have a real problem with a
"Sponser" teaching our next generation of riders that this sort of
behavior is acceptable.
I was totally disgusted with the treatment of thier mounts by
riding this way.  This was a tough, technical trail.  It was
bad enough how their fellow riders were treated, but what about the public
who was exposed to their bad behavior and now may
well have a negative feeling about our sport?  I hope these
individuals involved take a long hard look at their behavior
and CHANGE IT IMMEDIATELY.  I go to rides to have fun, however
I am a competitive rider.  One can be competitive without being
inconsiderate.  Thanks Karen again for having the ride so I
could have a getaway weekend!  Debbie and Razal

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