Trail Etiquette question

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
User avatar
DarthStiller
Lombardi Caretaker
Posts: 870
Joined: Jul 05 2006 12:36 pm
City, State: Mesa, AZ

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.

User avatar
joebartels
teva joe
Posts: 6968
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by joebartels » Jan 15 2008 2:45 pm

ASUTyler it was a thought not an action. Seems Stiller posted cause he wants to understand. You didn't jump on to say the same could have happened to the guy bumping him off the trail...

anyhow
I'm in the JimmyA club for the most part. In all fairness I mountain biked long before ever hiking so that may influence my thought process.

Etiquette is something you definitely have to give to receive. Even then there's a good chance you won't get a 100% back. I find the majority of mountain bikers extremely appreciative when I step aside to let them pass. Then again most of my encounters are on South Mountain. There's a serious difference between "mountain" biking Corona de Loma or the rise on National then say the Papago, Estrella or Hawes speed hills.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

User avatar
mttgilbert
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 773
Joined: Oct 14 2002 3:40 pm
City, State: Denver, CO

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by mttgilbert » Jan 15 2008 6:48 pm

So then? What is the appropriate etiquette? We've had an awful lot of "such and such a group thinks their entitled" (from both sides) and an awful lot of "the other side's a bunch of idiots and/or a-holes". Do hikers always yield? Do bikers always yield? Should everyone just yield to everyone and then only the a-holes and idiots get to hike/bike?

I think the party traveling uphill should always have the right of way, and I will stop for you if your going up. On the other hand, I think it's rude when another hiker (or biker, or anyone for that matter) gets right in my path while I'm huffing and puffing up an incline. I'm probably wrong (I usually am...), but it's what I've been told and it makes good sense; those with a need for momentum should get to maintain it. So, if that's the rule then it should be easy right? Nothings that easy...


So, how about a little cooperation and pro-action on everyones part and we talk about what we should be doing instead of why were all jerks for what we are doing.
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

User avatar
tkknc
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 54
Joined: Jun 02 2003 5:36 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by tkknc » Jan 15 2008 6:52 pm

My solution is to go places, where I will not see anyone else :D

User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 4323
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by big_load » Jan 15 2008 7:21 pm

matt gilbert wrote:So then? What is the appropriate etiquette?
I yield to anyone who looks like they could benefit from my being out of the way.

(I probably posted something completely different on this thread a long time ago, but I'm too lazy to check :D ).

no avatar
JimmyA
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 06 2007 11:16 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by JimmyA » Jan 15 2008 7:41 pm

joe bartels wrote:ASUTyler it was a thought not an action. Seems Stiller posted cause he wants to understand. You didn't jump on to say the same could have happened to the guy bumping him off the trail...

anyhow
I'm in the JimmyA club for the most part. In all fairness I mountain biked long before ever hiking so that may influence my thought process.

Etiquette is something you definitely have to give to receive. Even then there's a good chance you won't get a 100% back. I find the majority of mountain bikers extremely appreciative when I step aside to let them pass. Then again most of my encounters are on South Mountain. There's a serious difference between "mountain" biking Corona de Loma or the rise on National then say the Papago, Estrella or Hawes speed hills.
I'm actually surprised that people have agreed with what I said, given that this is a hiker forum. I also bike at South Mountain, typically riding the Mormon/National loop, and I have had very few issues with hikers out on those trails. Most of the people, both hikers and bikers, who actually spend a lot of time out on the trails are well aware of proper etiquette and, as a result, encounters are usually quite uneventful. I've had a couple bad experiences with hikers on the fire road leading up to Mormon/National though. In those particular cases, it was with a group of people who probably weren't really "hikers", per se, but rather people who just thought, "hey, it would be kind of cool to walk up that trail today", and did it on a whim. I say that because they didn't appear to be dressed like they planned on hiking that day and, in both of the cases that I am talking about, they seemed oblivious to the idea that "trail etiquette" even existed. They were in a large group, walking side-by-side so as to take up the entire trail (road!), and I was the jerk for wanting to go around them. Go figure.

This topic of "hiker vs biker" has become somewhat of a heated issue in recent months at SoMo, from what I can gather. Either that or, since I'm a relatively new mountain biker, I was just unaware that it existed. Not too long ago, a regular rider of the SoMo trails came across some hikers in the wee morning hours, before the sun came up, building a little "biker boobie trap" at the start of National. He confronted them, very nicely I might add, with, "what's going on?" Eventually they just admitted, "we're tired of you mountain bikers ruining the trails". The 3 hikers were middle-aged adults, too; two males and one female. Here are grown people building traps that could injure other people. It's the kind of behavior that you'd like to be able to attribute to youthful ignorance but, nope. It could be mom and pop boobie trapping trails. It's pretty messed up stuff, and all because people think that they are EXCLUSIVELY ENTITLED to the trails because they use them the way they think they should be used. If people could get past that whole "sense of entitlement" thing, there wouldn't be much to fight about. Of course, that's never going to happen, so the debate will rage on, but it is a shame that so many people - adults who you think would have some sense of right and wrong - are unable to accept that they are not alone in the world and that other people have different interests and agendas (and there's nothing wrong with it).

User avatar
PaleoRob
Culture Kokopelli
Posts: 2341
Joined: Apr 03 2006 12:21 pm
City, State: Grand Junction, CO
Contact:

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 15 2008 8:39 pm

JimmyA wrote:it is a shame that so many people - adults who you think would have some sense of right and wrong - are unable to accept that they are not alone in the world and that other people have different interests and agendas (and there's nothing wrong with it).
I think the truth in this statement extends way beyond hikers and bikers in central Arizona.
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

User avatar
JoelHazelton
Luminosopelli
Posts: 1035
Joined: Mar 22 2006 7:45 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by JoelHazelton » Jan 17 2008 8:24 am

Go to any of the free, multi-use skate parks in Phoenix and you'll run into an almost identical situation amongst the skateboarders, rollerbladers and bikers. They may claim to have a legitimate reason for hating the other, but none of them actually valid. Actually, often times it comes down to "bikers are all jocks" or "bladers are all a-holes". Only difference is most of these kids are 15-16 years old.

Bottom line: Most of us learned to share early on in our lives, so lets utilize those skills. We also have been exposed to difficult people throughout our lives, and hopefully didn't form a new stereotype every time we met a bad apple, so lets not do the same to bikers.

I can't honestly say the last time I encountered a mountain biker. I guess I don't go to the right trails.
"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com

User avatar
azbackpackr
River Paddler
Posts: 8113
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Flag-summer-Needles-winter

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 27 2008 7:35 am

tkknc wrote:My solution is to go places, where I will not see anyone else :D
Bingo!

When I mountain bike near Eagar, I usually see no one, but if I do, they are usually on horseback. I have ridden horseback myself a bit, so I know the beasts are spooky as hell--they can actually kill or injure the rider if they get very scared. I immediately get off the bike and pull it to the side of the trail. At the same time I ask the people what they expect of me. They are always very appreciative of my behavior, they always thank me. We usually stand and talk for a few minutes, and get acquainted. It always has ended up being a very positive experience.

This is what courtesy brings: Good will.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

User avatar
thebrayer
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 08 2008 8:21 pm
City, State: payson, az
Contact:

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by thebrayer » Mar 18 2008 8:41 pm

hiking-trail.gif
hiking-trail.gif (2.34 KiB) Viewed 1360 times
I've been seeing this sign at more and more trail heads around the valley.

no avatar
jean tebo
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 10 2009 10:18 am
City, State: sturgeon Bay

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by jean tebo » Oct 10 2009 10:43 am

Everyone has me very scared and confused about trail life. I am a midwestern moving to the phoenix area. I have a nine yr. old daughter and we both have horses and im very concerned about riding in these trails due to alot of these responces. So im reaching out for some help for the safty of myself and my nine yr. old. We are a great family and very kind. If anyone could give some advice for us newcomers so we can have a good experience. Its gonna be a huge change of lifestyle for both us and our horses.
Thanks for anyone who is going to take the time to help make the difference.
Jean :wrt:

User avatar
Al_HikesAZ
Ol' Kokopelli
Posts: 1348
Joined: May 16 2005 1:01 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Oct 10 2009 10:56 am

Jean - welcome to AZ & HAZ. Horses (& riders) always have the right of way. I go out of my way to stand still and hold my hiking poles close to my body so that I don't spook any horse. Anybody doing otherwise is a jerk.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

User avatar
marcell0cat
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 03 2008 3:48 pm
City, State: Mesa
Contact:

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by marcell0cat » Oct 10 2009 11:40 am

te-wa wrote: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 "

WORD! Mtn Bikers are generally Cocky A$$holes. Generally.

User avatar
Jeffshadows
Dirty Pooch Harry
Posts: 2593
Joined: Jan 30 2008 8:46 am
City, State: Old Pueblo

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Jeffshadows » Oct 10 2009 6:00 pm

te-wa wrote: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 "

P.S. - If te-wa doesn't do it...I will...
AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA

User avatar
DarthStiller
Lombardi Caretaker
Posts: 870
Joined: Jul 05 2006 12:36 pm
City, State: Mesa, AZ

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by DarthStiller » Oct 10 2009 6:23 pm

ASUTyler wrote:So you're either going to kill the guy or knock him off the bike?

One will land you in jail for a while, and the other will give some guy- who is probably used to falling anyways- a darn good reason to knock your teeth out.

And all of this over just less than 10 seconds of interaction?

I would have to point out that the key phrase in that sentence is "I decided not to". My point was that I was actually mad at this guy for being such an idiot. Also, the phrase "well-placement" is very vague. Specifically, I was thinking about trying to put the stick between his tires spokes, causing him to stop very abruptly, and doing a header over his handle bars. That shouldn't result in any death or serious injury.

Truth be told, I am a very non-confrontational person. I might get mad at boorish behavior like anyone, but I pretty much never allow a situation to escalate. Even that day two years ago :o in the Hawes Pass area when that knucklehead started jawing, the only 4 words I said to him were "bikers yield to hikers". didn't even raise my voice to him. The only thing that I think would send me over the edge would be if I was hiking with my kids and one of them got knocked over. Then all bets are off. But even for that, when I take my kids out, I try to avoid areas where I know there are alot of bikers so as to avoid such a situation.
te-wa wrote:If you saw the size of the man Stiller, you wouldnt think that a wimpy mountain biker is going to knock any teeth from anywhere
I suppose that my size helps out in avoiding escalated situations. I would never intentionally try to intimidate someone, but if it keeps one or two knuckleheads in line, so be it.

User avatar
writelots
Wendipelli
Posts: 967
Joined: Nov 22 2005 2:20 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ
Contact:

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by writelots » Oct 10 2009 8:03 pm

jean tebo wrote:Everyone has me very scared and confused about trail life. I am a midwestern moving to the phoenix area. I have a nine yr. old daughter and we both have horses and im very concerned about riding in these trails due to alot of these responces. So im reaching out for some help for the safty of myself and my nine yr. old. We are a great family and very kind. If anyone could give some advice for us newcomers so we can have a good experience. Its gonna be a huge change of lifestyle for both us and our horses.
Thanks for anyone who is going to take the time to help make the difference.
Jean :wrt:
I can understand your confusion and concern, Jean. Folks around here spend a lot of time on the trail, and have a lot of frustrating experiences - and this is the place they voice that frustration. However, you shouldn't let it scare you away from the amazing experiences to be had out there on Arizona's trails. From my contact with the equestrian community in Arizona (and particularly down here in Tucson), I've found that they're a passionate, committed and enthusiastic bunch who watch out very carefully for the rights of their membership. Part of this is because riding in Arizona can be so rewarding!

My advice to you is to be well aware of the limitations of both horse and rider, and be willing and able to communicate with people on the trail what they need to do if they're not doing it. As Al says, horses and riders always have the right of way, and you need to be confident enough to take it - even sometimes when people may not know you're supposed to.
-----------------------------------
It troubles me that these days no matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up
- Lilly Tomlin

User avatar
dysfunction
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 599
Joined: Dec 20 2008 7:38 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by dysfunction » Oct 10 2009 11:06 pm

In response to Stiller:
I've seen pretty significant injuries due to an endo. Severe enough, actually, to warrant lifeflight, and that was off those "lame trails" at fantasy island. Caused, actually.. by a stick in the spokes. I've come to the conclusion though, throughout these threads on hiking, mountain biking and even equestrian boards (not to mention way too much time bouncing at bars in the bad parts of Baltimore) that people are just utterly selfish pieces of trash in general, who immediately ponder causing each other direct physical harm over the most minor slights. I could continue to pontificate about my personal thoughts on what users cause more general irritation, trash, unwelcome trail debris and damage but it would serve no purpose.


mike - who trail runs, backpacks, hikes, and mountain bikes.. and is looked down upon by pretty much every one else who has any similar interests.. because he does the lot. (oh and then there's the road biking.. which the mtb guys all hate me for anyway, man it's rough pleasing all you yahoos)
mike

"Solvitur ambulando" or maybe by brewers.

User avatar
azbackpackr
River Paddler
Posts: 8113
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Flag-summer-Needles-winter

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 11 2009 7:07 am

I do all that stuff, too, (except not much trail running--only because I'm kind of lousy at it) plus cross country skiing, kayaking, horse riding and snow shoeing. Have also done sailing, surfing and rafting. I am always surprised to talk to other reasonably fit outdoors people who don't aspire to at least try every outdoors human-powered or nonmotorized form of getting from point A to point B that they are physically able to do! What--you only just hike? Have you tried kayaking? Have you tried cross country skiing? Etc.

People who don't understand I'm into the travel aspect of these pursuits often ask me if I've tried bungy jumping, sky diving, or hang gliding. No, I haven't, because for the most part I'm not into thrills, I'm into modes of transporting myself across wild terrain.

As for the trail etiquette, the only constructive suggestion I can come up with is that we all talk to our local recreation person and district ranger in our local National Forest, or other public land entity, just keep asking them to help educate the public with signs, with their presence at popular trailheads talking to people, etc. Write articles for your local paper, etc., just keep trying to get the word out.

In my area the main problem we have on trails is ATVers illegally riding on designated non-motorized hiking trails. I have been working with the local ATV club president on how we should go about educating people about this problem. It may help, a little.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

User avatar
Jeffshadows
Dirty Pooch Harry
Posts: 2593
Joined: Jan 30 2008 8:46 am
City, State: Old Pueblo

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Jeffshadows » Oct 11 2009 7:54 am

I've *never* run into any conscientious mountain bikers in over twenty years out on the trails. Never once. I've even run into plenty of safe and courteous ATV riders, but never even one mountain biker. And I encounter them frequently in the Tucson Mountains and lower Catalinas trails. They all seem to be out to run you over, roost spree at you as they pass, and generally look down their noses at you because you're not as "cool" as they are. When they lose the X-Games mentality as a group they will lose my animosity. Until then, they better learn to yield.

As to the question of actually causing one of them physical harm - they are on a motorized vehicle. They are (usually) coming downhill with great speed right at me. Anyone who passed General Physics knows that KE =1/2MV^2. Notice that the velocity is what really makes the difference in that calculation. Who's out to hurt whom, now?! :?
AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA

User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 4323
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by big_load » Oct 11 2009 1:12 pm

The MBers I've encountered cover the whole spectrum. In general, the casual riders are often polite, but sometimes oblivious. The hotshots are more likely to be rude and dangerous, but not exclusively so. I don't think anybody is looking to intentionally harm hikers. Although I dislike what horses do to high use trails (and sometimes water sources), I've found horse people much more courteous in general than bikers. Also, because they don't need to focus so intently on the trail, they tend to notice more, which is nice if you have questions about water sources, trail conditions, campsites, etc.

User avatar
hikeaz
Socialpelli
Posts: 1881
Joined: May 13 2002 10:07 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ
Contact:

Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by hikeaz » Oct 11 2009 3:23 pm

Hoffmaster wrote: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.
By virtue of it being 'wilderness' there is no mechanization allowed... period. Hikers and equine travel only. (unless it is a RIVER, then only paddle & oar propulsion).
I almost always (if I can see/hear them coming) yield to the MTB guys - most say 'thanks!'. The 'other' MTB guys need a hiking stick in the spokes a few times.... over time, they'll 'get it'......
Regardless of whether on the trail or on the streets, HAVING the right-of-way does not equate to always TAKING the right-of-way - logic goes a long way in determining which is applicable.
For 'worst case' offenders refer to the 'do you 'carry while hiking' thread.....
kurt

Post Reply

Return to “Hiking 101”


cron