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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BobP
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by BobP » Jan 26 2010 3:45 pm

joe bartels wrote:A little forewarning... nobody wants to be around Bob when his meds wear off
Hiking...is my meds...and I didn't hike much last week...so in my frustration I melted your Leki pole with a blowtorch. :o


As for trail etiquette..just yell "good morning" late in the day and most people will let you pass...that's what Joe usually does. :) the wierd hand moves help also. ;)
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JimmyLyding
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 26 2010 8:37 pm

My mom lives a few hundred yards from Trail 100, and there are a lot of mountain bikers going very fast in the vicinity. 95% of them are very courteous, but the 5% who are pumpkinholes stick out. I notice that a lot of the bikers are not only going too fast for a congested area, but are listening to MP3 players as well. That makes it that much more difficult to notice other trail users.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 26 2010 8:58 pm

Talk to yourself, wave your arms around. They'll go away...
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pencak
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by pencak » Mar 10 2010 10:29 pm

If I can see the bike coming and it's not too big of a problem, I'll step aside. I know the rule is they are supposed yield but if they are trying to negotiate boulders or pumping on an uphill, loosing momentum for them is brutal. Every one of the bikers I've done that for has acknowledged gratefully and thanked me as they passed. Downhill, same thing. Just because they are moving faster and have to really concentrate, it's safer for them. They are higher off of the ground when they go down, so the price they pay on a fall is more than someone walking. Besides, someone walking can change directions and move sideways as easy as they can move backwards or forwards. Bikes don't have that freedom of instant multi-directional movement.

Not to say the rules should change but if I'm by myself it's easier and works better for everybody involved for me to move out of the way of bikes. Besides, it's safer.

Horses are another story. They get spooked, are huge, can easily push you off the trail into cactus and getting kicked by one will ruin your day. I always give them a wide berth. Bikers with bad attitudes who insist on the right of way could learn the hard way if the disobey that rule.
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houseaz
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by houseaz » Apr 13 2010 9:51 am

When I go hiking with the family, rules or not, I always teach my kids to yield to everyone. Mainly because they are young and slow but also because I think it teaches them to be aware of who, what and where are around them. As for the original story I definitely don't agree with how the biker handled it.
I live in Surprise right at the base of the White Tanks (maybe 15 minutes tops to the trail head) and I love hiking them with my family (my lovely wife and 3 amazing kids - 5, 3 and 1)

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DarthStiller
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by DarthStiller » Apr 13 2010 11:15 am

houseaz wrote:As for the original story I definitely don't agree with how the biker handled it.
:thanx: I also have the same policy when I'm hiking with my kids.

pencak wrote:Horses are another story. They get spooked, are huge, can easily push you off the trail into cactus and getting kicked by one will ruin your day.
I just saw a group of riders on my last hike that had a tour guide. When they got close, I moved to the side and stopped completely. And that was the major trail in Spur Cross that's really a road. The tour guide seemed to make a point of saying "thank you" once I stopped.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 13 2010 11:40 am

I also make a point of stopping for horses. They can easily kill or hurt a rider, or you. I like horses, besides, and I respect good equestrians.

In Tucson, the Pima Trails organization was formed to include hikers, horses and mtn. bikers. Teaming up like that, it could be possible to have sufficient numbers to combat ATV insanity.

Most people, not just children, are generally unaware of their surroundings, especially as to noticing there is someone coming up behind them who wants to pass! It is a really good thing to teach kids, for sure.
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by SuperstitionGuy » May 30 2010 7:49 pm

Now that trail etiquette in relationship to mountain bicycling has been discussed to death are you ready for this? :scared:
http://www.azcentral.com/video/88742312001
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base871
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by base871 » May 30 2010 8:20 pm

My manhood is in pain! I dont even think a cup would help.
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kevinweitzel75
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by kevinweitzel75 » May 30 2010 10:05 pm

SuperstitionGuy wrote:Now that trail etiquette in relationship to mountain bicycling has been discussed to death are you ready for this?
http://www.azcentral.com/video/88742312001
Ummm......not too much to say about that. I guess what ever gets your rocks off.
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I took the road less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
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azbackpackr
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by azbackpackr » May 31 2010 12:38 pm

I know a kid here who rides one all over town, and to school. Not sure if he rides trail or not. Will have to pass this along to him.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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PLC92084
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by PLC92084 » May 31 2010 2:10 pm

kevinweitzel75 wrote:I guess what ever gets your rocks off.
More like whatever knocks them off... :sl:

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Jeffshadows
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Jeffshadows » Jun 02 2010 8:21 am

SuperstitionGuy wrote:Now that trail etiquette in relationship to mountain bicycling has been discussed to death are you ready for this? :scared:
http://www.azcentral.com/video/88742312001
I figured it was just a matter of time the first time I saw a pack of these guys around UA...
AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA

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BrettVet
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by BrettVet » Oct 23 2010 7:38 pm

I hike and ride mules. Yielding on the trail is not based on what is right or wrong, who has more rights to the trail, or who is tired or not. It is based on what will make the interaction the safest for all involved. Obviously mountain bikes barreling down the trail have to yield to everyone. They have a hard enough time not killing themselves. Equines are a different story. You are correct that a lot of horses spook with hikers, because like children they need to be exposed to scary things so they will not be worried. After awhile they don’t seem to mind. Then a hiker shows up caring a stick or worse has a backpack on that makes him look like the hunchback of Notre Dame. Horses do not have great forward vision, because there eyes are mounted on the side of their heads so they can see all four feet. Great for riding up rocky trails, but it makes thing ahead not as clear and their imaginations envision bears etc. When horses are spooked they lash out or run. 800 to a thousand pounds running down the trail can be dangerous for the rider and the hiker in the way. Hence, it is best for everyone’s health to yield to horses.

Their also is a method of passing that increases safety, which was explained to me by the Grand Canyon rangers when we rode our own mules to the bottom. The safest thing a rider can do is greet a hiker and get them to talk. This tells the horse that first you are a human, not a bear or alien and secondly it establishes that you are friendly not a foe. The next thing a hiker can do is get off the trail as far as possible. A horse can side kick about five feet laterally and they are lightning fast if they perceive a threat. If you are in a group get to one side of the trail so the horse does not have to run the gauntlet. The uphill side of the trail is best if the trail has a drop off. The Grand Canyon people enforced this, because they really got pissed if we knocked hikes into the canyon. The first rider in a line of horses may give you direction on where to go ….to be safe that is, not because he is the boss or owns the trail. Do not reach out and try to touch an unknown horse as it passes and always ask the rider if the horse is ok to be petted. Lastly BE NICE. Everyone out there is there to enjoy the great outdoors and yes there are some bad apples out there. No pun intended.

I posted a picture of a forest service yield sign on my pictures at http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=161023. I tried and failed to post it here.
10b_22.jpg
Last edited by BrettVet on Nov 01 2010 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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imike
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by imike » Oct 23 2010 7:58 pm

Sounds like a good policy and practice... does not take all that much time to get by horses if the riders know what they are doing.

When bikes first began using roads (late 1800's...) there was policy and often law that required them to remove the bike completely from a horse's site... then again, there was also a general feeling that they were instruments of the devil... :x :doh: :x
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by Tough_Boots » Oct 24 2010 9:38 am

BrettVet wrote:Yielding on the trail is not based on what is right or wrong, who has more rights to the trail, or who is tired or not. It is based on what will make the interaction the safest for all involved.
When I come across someone or a group on horseback, I just get well out of the way. It seems the safest and simplest way to do it. Its much easier for me to momentarily move off the trail than for someone on horseback to skirt off trail around cactus and cholla. My only issue has been when going the same direction and I'm moving a little faster (usually on downhill rocky slopes where horses get skittish) and the riders don't seem to care about getting out of my way.
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BrettVet
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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by BrettVet » Oct 24 2010 8:25 pm

My only issue has been when going the same direction and I'm moving a little faster (usually on downhill rocky slopes where horses get skittish) and the riders don't seem to care about getting out of my way.
It's usually not the horse that is the problem, it's the horses ass on them. The same applies , just insert bike.

Horses do think that mountain bikes are the devil himself ...it just doesn't seem natural. Or maybe it is the tight pants. 3/4 of horses will spook if they see one moving. This is why they are last on the yield rules.
.

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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by SgtLumpy » Mar 04 2013 4:24 pm

I'm late to the party. Pardon me for reviving the thread.

I hike AND I ride a horse. Random thoughts...

While hiking, I will nearly ALWAYS try and step aside and ACTIVELY NOTIFY bikes, hikers, horses - ahead or behind me that they are clear to pass me. That gives me a chance to be a bit of a "hiking ambassador". Even if they are a buttuski, they might just think "Hey that hiker was considerate". If they don't think that, no problem. At least I got out of the way and didn't get hurt. Getting hurt/killed or not ALWAYS trumps rules/laws/etiquette.

While mounted on horseback, I'm a much more dangerous weapon. As with carrying any weapon, I need to always have that in mind. If a biker runs into me and my horse, a nearly solid wall of nearly 1300 lbs, the biker will lose every time. The horse may startle a bit but she's a half ton of leather covered muscle. You can hit most trained horses pretty darn hard and unless it's in the eyes or the gonads, they are simply annoyed. But annoyed or panic'd, they will hurt anything that runs into them. If the horse then gets aggressive, as in a biker gets off his bike and appears threatening, the horse will "fight or flight". If they fight, the aggressor might very likely die. If they flight, the aggressor may be showered with horse hooves and loose rocks. Picture running face first into one of those mats they mount on the wall behind a basketball goal in the gymnasium.

While mounted on horseback, I will NOT direct my horse into an unsafe area. Most horses wouldn't go there anyway, no matter how hard you tried. My horse won't step into Jumping Cholla, cactus, holes in the ground etc. MANY MANY MANY horses sense wet ground as a bottomless hole. They think it's not just wet ground, it's a hole that will swallow them up.

IF you're passing me on a bicycle in either direction while I'm mounted, I may stick my size 11 boot with spur out in the path of your face. It will never be intentional. But I may do it because I'm losing balance, because my horse forces me in that direction etc.

I have served as paramedic to sanctioned mountain bike races many, many times. The rule there has always been (to the bike racers) "Even though you're in a race, you MUST yield to hikers and horses. If you don't, you're disqualified". I have seen bikers in the lead stop, get off their bikes and get out of the way of horses and mules. The equestrians didn't pick an ideal day for a horseback ride, but they are within their right to ride and the bikes are NOT within their right to disregard the trail rules just because they are in a race.

Bottom line for me, hiking or horseback, I'll try my darndest to yield to anyone. But I will NOT put myself in danger. And if I'm in danger, pedestrian or equestrian, and YOU are the threat/reason, YOU will lose. You may get seriously hurt, but you'll have a paramedic very close by.. :D We may also end up in court if you feel that my reaching out and pushing you out of my way and into a Yucca was some kind of criminal act. I'll take the risk. My horse won't care. She won't go to court. Likely the human vs horse encounter will be so overwhelming that court won't be needed. Only the coroner or ICU.


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Re: Trail Etiquette question

Post by beterarcher » Mar 04 2013 5:44 pm

I had a horse (strawberry roan Appaloosa) when I was a kid so I know what you're saying. Mine used to look you in the eye ....then step on your foot intentionally. she would do the same thing right before biting you in the chest. Horses are nothing to trifle with. I also yield right of way to bikes when hiking, steel and rubber hurts under the right (or wrong) circumstances.
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