The Trial of Mike Vandeman

Guest blogger Peter Frick Wright is a writer and mountain biker who has been blogging about a unique case involving Mike Vandeman, a man accused of attacking mountain bikers with a saw on trails near the UC Berkeley campus.

There's always been a subtle tension between hikers and bikers when passing each other on forest trails, but this week, in Oakland, that tension gets a whole lot less subtle.

Anti mountain bike advocate Mike Vandeman is on trial for assault, battery and vandalism. There are six counts stemming from altercations with four victims over nearly a year. In the most recent incident, which lead to his arrest, he's accused of hitting a rider in the chest with a pruning saw as the biker went by.

Vandeman has long been a scourge on mountain biking forums—he has a Ph.D. in psychology and is particularly good at eliciting responses—but in the past he engaged only through comments and academic papers that he posted on his website.

Now it seems, his crusade is no longer strictly virtual.

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