Bad Behavior on the Parkway Bike Trail

This sounds pretty bad, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

An excerpt.

Cheryl Rains was biking on the American River trail in July when she felt someone’s hand on her hip. It was another cyclist, Gregory Araya, pushing her as he passed her, and yelling at her to stay in her lane.

“Don’t put your hands on me!” Rains said she shouted back. Another push from Araya sent Rains sprawling down an embankment, she said, feet still clipped to her bike. Araya briefly stood over her, yelling, according to police reports, then pedaled away when another cyclist arrived to help Rains.

Sacramento County parkway rangers and cyclists readily say the often-crowded recreation trail along the American River is the scene of occasional shouting matches among cyclists and others. But it is rare when an incident becomes physical, and even rarer when it ends up in court.

That’s where Araya now finds himself. The 52-year-old Fair Oaks resident was arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court this week on a charge of felony assault and is scheduled to appear in court again next month for what Judge Laurel White described as a settlement conference. The judge advised Araya to stay away from Rains on the parkway trail. Both are trail regulars.

Araya’s attorney, Philip Cozens, contended that Araya was acting in self-defense that day near the train trestle a few hundred yards west of the spot where Business 80 crosses the parkway.

Although the incident is unusual, some cyclists said they are not surprised. Several riders complained to county parkway rangers last year about Araya, alleging that he was verbally abusive and had spit at some riders. In a statement to police, Araya acknowledged, “I’ve had my fair share of confrontations with people out there. It happens.”

Retrieved September 5, 2014 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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