Trail Etiquette question

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DarthStiller
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Trail Etiquette question

Post by DarthStiller » Oct 22 2007 11:15 am

Does anyone know if the trails in the Hawes Pass area are specifically for bikers? I had an unfortunate run in at the start with a rather ignorant and rude mountain biker. We had been hiking about 10 min. when this biker was coming in the opposite direction. We both were approaching a bend in the trail and he start to speed up to get around it before I did and made no effort whatsoever to yield the trail. On top of that, he was yelling something at me as he passed by and brushed me. Once he passed us, he stopped and said that the trails there are mainly for bikers and that I was supposed to yield the trail. I said , “Bikers yield to hikers”. He repeated that the trails were mainly for bikers and that I needed to learn the rules. I have never heard of any trails where hikers are supposed to yield to bikers. Especially ones maintained by the National Forest Service, as this was in the Tonto. I have seen on maps for county parks tracks that are dedicated exclusively for bikers, but no hikers are allowed on those at all. I found it really unbelievable that this guy would take the stance that the rules were the opposite of what is known as common trail etiquette, not to mention how he attempted to bump me off the trail while carrying a full pack.

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JoelHazelton
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by JoelHazelton » Oct 22 2007 12:53 pm

I'm assuming this is one of those situations where you're stewing over it now worse than ever and thinking of everything you wish you said to him at the time. This is why I generally yield to everybody, regardless of the rules. I tend to avoid confrontation at all costs, and a mountain biker plowing towards me is a sure formula for me to be caught in the middle of something I would prefer to just circumvent.

This guy sounds like a belligerent a-hole who probably knew he was wrong the whole time.
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DarthStiller
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by DarthStiller » Oct 22 2007 1:10 pm

No, actually I'm not stewing thinking of what I should have said. I really think, in fact, what I said was all I should have done to avoid a bigger confrontation. I wanted to get some feedback here though just to see if I was maybe in the wrong, which I highly doubt. there isnt much info on those trails out there, so there is some doubt. if anyone knows or heard anything different about what those trails are for I would like to know.

I also think this guy really thought he was right. it was still arrogant, but he seems to have maybe thought since there are usually more bikers there, then they should take preference on the ROW, which is wrong as far as I understand things. I'm just taking precautions to make sure I was in the right, I don't like to create confrontations either and normally yield, but with my pack, I was moving rather slow and thought common sense and decency might make it obvious to this guy what he should have done.

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PaleoRob
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by PaleoRob » Oct 22 2007 2:12 pm

Were you both headed the same direction? Was it an uphill section, and if so, who was heading uphill?
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te_wa
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by te_wa » Oct 22 2007 2:14 pm

ive seen a few mtn bikers in the wilderness areas who refuse to believe they should obey the wilderness area laws. I told one dude "you arent supposed to ride a bike in a wilderness area" and he commented something like "yeah, ok pal"

so now I take this stance: you ride in my way, I kick your ass, period. I'll drag you off your goofy bike by your faggoty mtn. bike tee shirt and drag you uphill to the nearest cliff. When people ask what happened to you, I will comment " i let him go "
:D

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JoelHazelton
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by JoelHazelton » Oct 22 2007 2:59 pm

Stiller, I wasn't implying that you did anything wrong in the situation. I re-read my post and realized it could have easily been taken that way.

Google "Hawes Pass Arizona" and most everything that comes up is from mountain biking websites; however, I did find websites that established that the trail is multi-use. Therefore, he should have stopped for you.
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DarthStiller
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by DarthStiller » Oct 22 2007 3:11 pm

The trail was level at that point. We were coming at each other from opposite directions. The section that we “met” at was pretty tight, level but cut into a slope, narrow with some plants right on the edge, so there was nowhere to really step off the trail easily. I think where he was further down there was a space where he could have pulled off, he made sure to increase his speed to get away from that and sort of force me off the trail. If there was an easy spot for me to step off, I probably would have.

I don’t take quite the “proactive” stance that you do, te-wa. However, I probably wouldn’t mind witnessing it if you did that. Your story reminds of when we went out New Years Day this year. We were up at the Lone Pine TH at 4Peaks when two guys came barreling down FR143 on motor bikes and drove them straight up the trail past the sign that says “NO MOTOR VEHICLES ALLOWED”. I had just got off the trail only minutes earlier with my daughter making little snowmen. I was steaming that day. They ended up not going very far because the trail was too snowy and slippery and the one guy wiped out and cut his arm. He asked my wife for a wipe or band-aid. It took everything to not say anything, as I didn’t want to have a big confrontation, especially with my family there. Also, I figured I would get the same response that you got, “ok, pal”, so what’s the use either way.

AZpride, my Beartooth map has all the trails there and it has a trail etiquette section that says bikers yield to hikers, as well that yellow triangle symbol. I know that there seems to be more bikers there and its more popular with them, but I havent seen anything that indicates that they have the ROW specifically. Tonto NF has jurisdiction there, so I would look to them for something. I may call the ranger station or even stop by and ask.

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Hoffmaster
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Hoffmaster » Oct 22 2007 4:17 pm

As someone who enjoyes mtn biking as much as I do hiking and climbing, I will say that you ran into a certified fountain cleanser-bag. It's a-holes like him that get trails closed to mtn bikes. There is no such rule (at Hawes anyway) that the trails are mainly for bikes. BUT...the main trail user at Hawes is mtn bikers, hands down. I ride there a lot and occasionally see hikers and runners. I know "the rules". I always yeild.
There is such a thing as trails that are specifically for mtn bikes, but not anywhere around here. The closest place I can think of is Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, NV. And I think you could hike there if you wanted to, but you'd be such a minority that you'd really feel out of place. Oh, and I suppose Fantasy Island in Tucson, but that's state trust land. It was developed for bikes specifically but the trails are lame. Don't tell any Tucson-ites that; that place seems to be their pride and joy.
Occasionally the topic of whether or not bikes should be allowed in wilderness area comes up. (Hawes area is not wilderness, this is just to comment on te-wa's post.) I for one am deeply opposed to mtn bikes in a wilderness area. Even as a mtn biker myself, I would take te-wa's stance if I ran into someone on a mtn bike in a wilderness area. I have already had to inform people that they were breaking the rules when they rode their bikes past the wilderness boundary on the Bell Trail near Wet Beaver Creek. I do this for two reasons. I don't want legal non-wilderness trails closed to bikes, and I want a peaceful wilderness experience when I'm in a wilderness area.
I have a feeling that I will be able to find out who this person was. Their ass will be kicked!
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Hoffmaster
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Hoffmaster » Oct 22 2007 4:24 pm

te-wa wrote: I'll drag you off your goofy bike by your faggoty mtn. bike tee shirt "
Thankfully I wear a regular T-shirt! :D
"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown

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djui5
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by djui5 » Oct 22 2007 6:12 pm

I have a question that's sorta on topic if I may.
A hiker is coming down a hill and meets another hiker coming up the hill. Who should move over and let the other by? The guy coming down hill I'd imagine right? I always wondered this, not that it's really a big deal, but you know.

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te_wa
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by te_wa » Oct 22 2007 6:17 pm

uphill hikers have the right-of-way, or so Ive always been taught in the hiking books I read. Maybe HAZ should have a TRAIL ETIQUETTE section for future reference. And as Grasshopper is about to say, same applies to vehicles.
Last edited by te_wa on Oct 22 2007 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
:D

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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Grasshopper » Oct 22 2007 6:29 pm

te-wa wrote:uphill hikers have the right-of-way, or so Ive always been taught in the hiking books I read.
..and this is the same for VEHICLES- going downhill yields to going uphill.
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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PaleoRob
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by PaleoRob » Oct 22 2007 7:11 pm

te-wa wrote:uphill hikers have the right-of-way, or so Ive always been taught in the hiking books I read. Maybe HAZ should have a TRAIL ETIQUETTE section for future reference. And as Grasshopper is about to say, same applies to vehicles.
Not a bad idea. I think it could prove useful.
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DarthStiller
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by DarthStiller » Oct 22 2007 7:35 pm

Hoffmaster,

this guy was late 20's (guess), lighter hair, tatoos on the legs, goatee was longer than the hair on his head. He also drove a white pickup, I believe (we left the TH at the same time, roughly). I wouldnt suggest a smack down on the guy, but maybe educate him. What I was astounded by was that the guy really wasnt belligerent, he was condescending,with a lecturing tone. How can anyone be SO wrong about something, and condescending about it at the same time? I was confused by that, really. that aspect of it made it more funny in a way than aggravating. my main concerns after it happened were:

1. we'll probably run into this guy again before the end of the day and I dont want to get in a debate
2. I hope he doesnt do anythign to my vehicle once he gets back since we left the TH at the same time and he knows what I drive and will likely be done before I am.

Fortunately, neither concern came to fruition, but this guy really should know how wrong he was before he lectures people after being rude and ignorant.

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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by JimmyLyding » Oct 22 2007 7:38 pm

I have always been under the impression that bikers yield to hikers who yield to horses.
I always try to let the mountain biker pass no matter what the situation, but if push comes to shove then the hiker prevails whether one is going uphill, dowhill, or is uphill or dowhill of the other trail user.
In general, however, it's typically proper for the downhill (i.e. of a lower elevation rather than direction) to yield to the uphill user.
As for wilderness areas, mountain bikers take a huge risk by riding in them. I used to live in Tucson, and I know a # of mountain bikerswho have ridden in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness, and gotten caught. They had padlocks put around their tires so they couldn't ride at all, and then they had to hike down some rough trails to get back to their cars in cycling shoes. In other words: not good. They had to go to the Sabino Ranger Station to get the padlocks off.
One of the big things with "trail etiquette" is being polite. If you're headed uphill, and some guy on a bike is barrelling downhill then it is almost always easier to step aside and let them pass. However, there's no room for jerks because the hiker is ALWAYS doing a favor to the mountain biker. I've found that most say "thanks" when I let them pass, but there are always a few jerks. I had an entertaining run-in in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve a few years back. It was a very windy day so hearing trail noise was difficult, and some clown on a mountain bike came roaring around a corner and down through a dip. He almost hit me and my dog, and I yelled "watch it!" He didn't like it, and came back to me. He replied "what the ---- are you doing??? Watch where you're going!!!" I replied (angrily) that he needed to learn the rules of the _______ trail, and grow up. He didn't like that, but he liked it even less when I told him we could go call the city parks department for a clarification. He was a foul-mouthed moron, and even more so when I pointed out that it was illegal to ride w/out a helmet. What a moron. This clown had all of the requisite gear: $2K bike, cycling clothes...but no helmet. However, in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve morons hiking w/ unleashed dogs is far more of a problem. I've had more run-ins than I can count w/ people whose unleashed dogs have approached mine w/ their hackles up. That's when I bring up the whole "can't you read the clear language on the trailhead signs? Or do you not read English?' Then, when they get huffy, I bring up the whole "we can call the parks department/police to ask them for a clarification, and BTW aren't you carrying bags to clean up after your dog" business.

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te_wa
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by te_wa » Oct 22 2007 7:39 pm

did I say drag him by the t-shirt, shoot! I meant drag him by the goatee!

seriously, we should bring him along on the Supes death march- that'll learn him (or kill him) but I dont want to harm anyone, even a jerk, I would rather save his soul by converting him to an ultralight backpacker. (but he'd have to cut the goatee, to shave a few grams :sl: )
Last edited by te_wa on Oct 22 2007 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
:D

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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by PrestonSands » Oct 22 2007 7:49 pm

A well placed hiking pole into moving front wheel spokes can ruin a biker's day! :twisted:
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by chumley » Oct 22 2007 7:59 pm

I always yield to anybody whose firearm is more powerful or more easily accessible than mine... :gun:
Grasshopper ... true for driving too. :wink:
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Oct 22 2007 8:30 pm

I met a similar fellow one day about 5 miles from the Reavis Ranch trailhead. He didn't argue with me at all when I told him there was a USFS Ranger about a mile ahead and that he would be ticketed and loose his very expensive mtn bike if he continued on. He promptly reversed course and rode out of sight as fast as he could go! :sl:
Last edited by SuperstitionGuy on Oct 23 2007 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by mttgilbert » Oct 22 2007 9:30 pm

I'm also of the school (The right one I assume) that bikers yield to hikers. Horses I'm not so sure about. I think that horses (like bikers) should yeild to hikers. I base this on the theory that he who works the hardest has the right of way. I've biked trails and I've hiked trails and I know that hiking is more challenging than biking (until you get into the technical nitty-gritty of near vertical trails...). The thing about horses is that I don't believe that most horsebackers have horses that are well trained enough to actually yield. It never ceaces to amaze me how poorly trained those horses are. In any event, I always get out of the way of horses, I will usually move out of the way of bikers; but ultimately I think that all should yield to the hiker, if out of nothing but respect for the original form of transportation.

Stiller, I think you did everything you could have done. If people don't want to be educated, nothing you do will help. If nothing else you can sleep better at night knowing that you know better than he does. One day, he's going to run over a peice of cholla 10 miles from the trailhead, then he'll wish he was a hiker. With some luck he might fling that cholla ball up into the small of his back, wouldn't that be fun to watch?
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