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Biker's kin gives up mountain lion suit

5/31/2006

The parents of a mountain biker killed by a cougar last year in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park said they will drop a wrongful-death lawsuit against Orange County because of protests from cyclists.

Mark Reynolds, 35, was mauled by a mountain lion while he crouched to fix his bicycle along Cactus Ridge Trail on Jan. 8, 2004.

Dona and Gary Reynolds of St. Joseph, Mo., filed the suit March 16, alleging that the county should have known the park was dangerous because mountain lions were present.

But dozens of messages on the Mark J. Reynolds Memorial Foundation Web site urged the family to drop the lawsuit, saying cyclists understand the risks of biking in wilderness parks.

"Our intention was not to upset his friends, fellow bikers, biking clubs and national biking associations, biking-related companies, nor the trails in which the enjoyment of biking prevails," the parents said in a statement.