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An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Cycling to Mountain Biking

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garyc57
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An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by garyc57 » Jan 17 2017 8:48 am

Yesterday, I hiked along the National Trail in South Mountain Park in Phoenix.

For the most part, the cyclists I shared the trail with were polite, gregarious, and friendly. But... :)

You guys are as silent as death! These geriatric ears don't hear like they used to. By the time I hear you, I have to jump out of the way, and, given a 50/50 chance, 90% of the time, I go the wrong way!

A year or so ago, I was hiking along the same trail, and I could faintly hear jingle bells tinkling in the distance. It got closer, and closer, and... :o ...it was a cyclist! I had plenty of time to find a good "pull-out" spot, and get out of his way.

May I suggest??? Hang a couple of bells from the top bar, or from the back of the seat? Somewhere where they will make lots of noise, and won't endanger your knees, thighs or other vital organs.

I, for one, would appreciate it. Thanks for your time.

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WanderingDad
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by WanderingDad » Jan 17 2017 9:01 am

Great idea @garyc57. Being that I enjoy both hiking and MTN biking, I sympathize with both parties. I will be adding some type of noise maker to my bike soon. Thanks for the idea/suggestion.

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joebartels
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by joebartels » Jan 17 2017 9:06 am

Yesterday I read around Santa Barbara in Los Padres National Forest they have given out over ten thousand bike bells
http://www.sbmtv.org/wp-content/uploads ... G_2878.jpg
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chumley
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by chumley » Jan 17 2017 9:17 am

I'm not gonna pretend that South Mountain is pristine and wild, but I'd rather hear to some bro listening to boombox rap without headphones than a bunch of bells on bicyclists. I'm sure there's some government funded research that can conclude that the sound of bells adversely affects wildlife in the area.

Whatever happened to
yield-trail-sign-tempe.png
As a hiker I usually yield to the biker because it's generally easier for me to get off the trail than it is for them. But if you don't see or hear the biker, it is their responsibility to slow or stop until you do.

If they don't, I hereby authorize you to jam a hiking pole through their spokes as they ride by. :sweat:

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flagscott
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by flagscott » Jan 17 2017 10:25 am

chumley wrote:As a hiker I usually yield to the biker because it's generally easier for me to get off the trail than it is for them. But if you don't see or hear the biker, it is their responsibility to slow or stop until you do.

If they don't, I hereby authorize you to jam a hiking pole through their spokes as they ride by. :sweat:
Agreed.

I'd say about half the bikers I run into are polite, asking nicely for us to move if it's too narrow or getting out of our way. Of the rest, most of the time, they just ride around us without saying anything. And maybe 1 in 10 is just a prick, trying to force their way by us even on narrow trails with nowhere to go around. My policy now is that if you don't ask nicely and there's not an easy way for you to get around, you're going to have to stop for me, because I will take up the entire trail and not let you around. If you're in a wilderness area or on a trail closed to bikes, then you will be following me until I decide to step off the trail for a break. On the PCT, I once kept a couple of illegal bikers stuck behind me for over a mile before finally relenting because their whining was disturbing my peace and quiet.

I have considered carrying a few wooden sticks (hiking poles are too expensive to waste on bikers) to jam into bikers' wheels, but my wife prefers that I not go to jail.

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Alston_Neal
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by Alston_Neal » Jan 17 2017 10:51 am

This is all a cyclist needs. It also has a short easy to remember name.
http://www.lightinthebox.com/west-bikin ... fgoda5IBEA
In Japan they say only old people and crazy people hike mountains...........yep


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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hikeaz
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by hikeaz » Jan 17 2017 10:53 am

chumley wrote:...... but I'd rather hear to some bro listening to boombox rap without headphones than a bunch of bells on bicyclists.......
:app:
Anyone who has hiked in Yosemite and especially Glacier NP can attest to the effects of tinnitus after hiking there with every %&*#$%# mounting a 'bear bell' on their boots or hiking staff.

Maybe the 'ol baseball card and clothes pin or the millennial version > https://youtu.be/qqpcBpSsj1A
kurt

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RowdyandWidowmaker
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by RowdyandWidowmaker » Jan 17 2017 11:01 am

I do appreciate when bike riders have a bell ringer on their bikes and ring it when they get closer so I can get out of their way.
I have notice more bike riders wearing ear buds so they can't hear me. when a rider goes by me I always ask if their alone which is nice to know. But with ear buds end they don't hear me and I just have to keep an eye out for more riders.
Rowdy and Widowmaker

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chumley
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by chumley » Jan 17 2017 11:03 am

@hikeaz
I would like your comment, but apparently this thread has crossed the controversial line of discussing common trail courtesy and the feature has been disabled. Subsequently, please accept this post as a solid "like"! :lol:

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CannondaleKid
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 17 2017 1:16 pm

Wow, not much tolerance here...
"If someone else is doing something I don't like, I'm going to be the self appointed police and trash their bike/car/house/etc." Hmmm, sounds like a normal thing to do, huh? NOT!

Is it any wonder why there is so much hate spewing forth from every point-of-view? I think it's REALLY a good thing that not everyone carries a gun.

Personally, I wouldn't put a constant jingling bell on my bike for reasons stated preciously... the annoyance.

When I'm biking I give my bell a light ring a few hundred feet away to give notice yet not freak people out. If I see no response or recognition, I'll ring a bit louder and louder until there is some recognition. If they're wearing earbuds, it's up to them to pay more attention.

I ride as courteous as possible and have no problem giving way as the case warrants, but in reference to the sign Chumley wondered why we don't see more of... well I believe it is wrong as is.
Yes, I fully agree with everyone yielding to equestrians.
No, in general, bikers should not yield to hikers.
My reasoning?
Slower should yield to faster.
For example, if a biker is coming up behind a hiker, but the biker has to yield to the hiker, how will the biker ever get past?
It's much easier for a hiker to step back to allow a bike or equestrian by, then for either the biker or equestrian to get out of the way of the hiker.

For all my years biking and inline skating on trails in Minnesota the rule was simply that, Slower yields to faster. And it worked!

@garyc57 FWIW, when in doubt, just like the rules of the road I recommend stepping to your right every time.
I find whether hiking or biking, a great deal of the time when we meet two or more people going the opposite direction, inevitably half of the people step one way and half the other... it's not like we can pick and choose which side of the road to drive on, it's shouldn't be any different on the trails.
:M2C:
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chumley
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by chumley » Jan 17 2017 2:05 pm

CannondaleKid wrote:I believe it is wrong as is.
Yes, I fully agree with everyone yielding to equestrians.
No, in general, bikers should not yield to hikers.
My reasoning?
Slower should yield to faster.
For example, if a biker is coming up behind a hiker, but the biker has to yield to the hiker, how will the biker ever get past?
Wow. :o

"I believe it is wrong as is". That's an unusual comment for a driving instructor to make! What you believe is irrelevant. There are universally accepted guidelines and they don't align with your belief.

Your reasoning is also flawed. Under your reasoning that slower should yield to faster, equestrian riders should also yield to bikers since horses are very often going slower than a mountain biker. Especially on smooth, flat, or downhill terrain.

There are countless reputable sources online that discuss this. I didn't do an exhaustive search, but I couldn't find anything on "slower should yield to faster". But if you have a link to Minnesota bicycling laws or accepted etiquette, I'd be interested in reading that.

Here's a few that say the opposite:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2060941/p ... -etiquette
http://blog.rei.com/hike/trail-etiquett ... ht-of-way/
https://lnt.org/blog/trail-etiquette-10 ... rail-users
https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/ta ... o-it-right

And a nice illustrated pamphlet by the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (attached).

FWIW, this was intended as a joke, rather than a serious proposal:
chumley wrote:As a hiker I usually yield to the biker because it's generally easier for me to get off the trail than it is for them. But if you don't see or hear the biker, it is their responsibility to slow or stop until you do.

If they don't, I hereby authorize you to jam a hiking pole through their spokes as they ride by. :sweat:
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CannondaleKid
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 17 2017 2:42 pm

chumley wrote:equestrian riders should also yield to bikers since horses are very often going slower than a mountain biker
Whether slower or faster they are more unpredictable, which is why I had no issue with all others yielding to them.
(Oh yeah, from what I've been told by numerous equestrians, it's good to talk when equestrians are passing by... it helps keep the horses calm when confronted with something/someone they are unfamiliar with.)

And yes, while I believe it is wrong as is, I still go along with the flow and yield to others, as well as following the #1 item on the Proper Mountain Biking Etiquette list... Be Nice.

The one exception being when I have to pass from behind... otherwise bikers might as well be doing a hike-a-bike and walk behind the hikers until they complete their hike. Yeah, that'll work! :doh:
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rcorfman
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by rcorfman » Jan 17 2017 3:48 pm

My take is the faster should always yield to the slower. I can't imagine what carnage would happen if that wasn't the case. I'm not suggesting that the slower shouldn't allow the faster to pass; that is a completely different thing.
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mazatzal
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by mazatzal » Jan 17 2017 4:14 pm

CannondaleKid wrote:I recommend stepping to your right every time
I step to the left :lol:

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CannondaleKid
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 17 2017 4:53 pm

mazatzal wrote:I step to the left :lol:
I hope you drive on the right... except when in the UK. (along with a very few others)

BTW, when we were in South Africa in 2015 I found it quite easy to drive on the correct (left) side of the road... when there was other traffic. But when turning onto a road with no traffic, Tracey had to remind me to 'get over on the right side of the road!'

What? Right? :?
Oh... you mean right as in 'correct', meaning the left side. :doh:
It was enough to drive one crazy... but we survived.
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joebartels
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by joebartels » Jan 17 2017 5:03 pm

the topic is not about right of way
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DarthStiller
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Re: An Open Letter to all Trail Cyclists

Post by DarthStiller » Jan 18 2017 6:19 am

This reminds of this subject I brought up almost 10 years ago...

https://hikearizona.co...

They key thing I think I most hikers believe is that most bikers are very polite and common ground is easily found on who should yield in a given situation. It's the typical one or two yahoos (usually male, in the 18-32 demographic, etc) that cause the problems that lead to complaints. My biggest concern is when I'm hiking with my kids and someone is speeding by. There's some potential for an accident in that situation, but fortunately it hasn't happened to us yet.

I've also noticed that depending on what park you go to, bikers can be more less aggressive, and again, this seems to follow demographics more than anything else. Phoenix preserve near Piestewa Peak has been where I've seen and heard of some of the worst behavior.

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