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Trail Etiquette

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
What is the proper etiquette for passing a rider on a paved bike path? Much of this path actually has a yellow line down the center.

What if there are two riders, side by side, going slow enough that they are wobbling all over the place?

I recognize that the trail I ride on is multi-use (jogging, biking, roller blading etc), but sometimes when I get behind someone swerving all over while talking to their S.O. my temper is really tested.
post #2 of 23
when i was 14 in this situtation I just use to put it in 3-9 and pedal through the grass on the right side.

Now I say rider up, can I pass?
post #3 of 23
"On your left!" then pass on the left when you have a clear opening.
post #4 of 23
Or, just don't ride on the bike path. If you want to go faster go on the road or in the woods.
post #5 of 23
Ring your bell, wait for them to react.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
epic,

I'm not overly thrilled at riding on the roads here, and I really don't feel like I'm in shape to be keeping up with traffic.

The path was my easy way back into biking, and I've been keeping an eye out for more rural roads to ride on. Right now I'm using the bike path to access some quieter neighborhoods to ride around.


WTFH,

Please tell me that you were kidding about a bell!

I do try and shift or brake loudly (squeaky back brake) if they are not responding to "On your left". However, as I found out yesterday, headphones prevent you from hearing anything.
post #7 of 23
Where is here? Poland or Rochester?
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Rochester.

Poland was a great place to ride, nice and quiet roads, very rural. Back when I actually used to be in shape, I would spend a half day or so to ride around the lakes. Plenty of MTB trails behind my house as well.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
epic,

I'm not overly thrilled at riding on the roads here, and I really don't feel like I'm in shape to be keeping up with traffic.

The path was my easy way back into biking, and I've been keeping an eye out for more rural roads to ride on. Right now I'm using the bike path to access some quieter neighborhoods to ride around.




WTFH,

Please tell me that you were kidding about a bell!

I do try and shift or brake loudly (squeaky back brake) if they are not responding to "On your left". However, as I found out yesterday, headphones prevent you from hearing anything.

bells are another great way (I dont think he was kidding) in the crowded park city trail network they can be a great asset.
post #10 of 23
....or a horn. :

Using a bell is recommended on the multi-use path around here. It's a common courtesy to let others know you're coming as their focus is elsewhere.
post #11 of 23
Here is why a bell is a bad idea:

a) They echo. They are designed to echo so that they are louder than just a simple ping. This makes them useless to actually distinguish -where- the bell is in relation to you. It is particularly bad when most of the multiuse paths are shaded by close-in trees. In fact in some cases one cannot tell if the bell is in front of or behind the listener. So all a bike bell tells me is: there is a bike on a multiuse path. Well, duh.

b) Different people ring at different distances from someone they wish to pass.

c) Multiuse trails are -packed- and I am absolutely certain there are people ahead of me in the oncoming lane and people behind me in my lane. The bell ringer could just as easily (and more likely) be pinging one of them.

a+b+c=d) I intentionally ignore bike bells on multiuse paths.


Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
What if there are two riders, side by side, going slow enough that they are wobbling all over the place?
Pedestrians with bikes, shudder.
post #12 of 23
I wasn't joking about the bell, it's a legal requirement in some countries that bikes must be sold with a bell.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
I wasn't joking about the bell, it's a legal requirement in some countries that bikes must be sold with a bell.
No doubt; I am still convinced that bike bells are designed for situations where a bike is -NOT- expected, on sidewalks around pedestrians or on urban roads next to cars. On multiuse paths there is nothing more expected than a bike, and thus voice warning "Coming through"/"On your left"/"Passing" that does -not- echo and can be localized is far more effective.
post #14 of 23
I don't have a bell. I would just give a shout.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I don't have a bell. I would just give a shout.
or just let bushwacker go way too fast in front scaring everyone off the trail.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
However, as I found out yesterday, headphones prevent you from hearing anything.
Try one of these.
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post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
"On your left!" then pass on the left when you have a clear opening.
I ride on a multiuse bike path almost every day and above is what I do, but I have no problem with the bell suggestion either. When others use a bell before passing me I always hear it; not always the case with a feeble "on the left" call.

Sometimes all the warnings in the world won't help with neophyte trail users:
July 12th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Close shave last night. Not from a car or bus, but from a pit bull. Was riding bike trail near Shirlington. Saw big man up ahead with large dog walking on wrong side of trail. About 10 yrds out I call out loudly, "passing on the right." He stiffened and the dog reacted so I'm pretty sure they heard me. Rolling along, at 10 ft out I see that the dog has about 12ft of PLAY in his leash. As I close along side 'em the big man is trying to reel the dog in, but it's still moving towards me aggressively with teeth glaring and about 2ft from my thigh. I instinctively brake/eject from my bike and tumble to a grassy area to the right of the bike trail. I do a couple of barrel rolls on the ground and pop up ok. The man has control of the dog now and says, "Mister I'm sorry." I say, "no harm done." I'm in an ecstatic stupor from avoiding a bite from a dog who's head was as big as a basketball. As I cycle away I'm thinking that it was nice that a rainstorm about an hour before my ride made the grass where I bailed out nice and cushy.

Otherwise, my bike commuting has been going well this year.
post #18 of 23
It's those times that you throw the bike away, do a couple barrel rolls and pop up in an ecstatic stupor that makes riding on MUPs so rewarding!
post #19 of 23
WTFH, one thing I find about Euro bike laws is the overall contempt for blinking lights, front or rear.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
Ring your bell, wait for them to react.
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post

WTFH,

Please tell me that you were kidding about a bell!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
....or a horn. :

Using a bell is recommended on the multi-use path around here. It's a common courtesy to let others know you're coming as their focus is elsewhere.
My business actually works for Fiamm from time to time. They manufacture Air horns for boats, trucks and such. I can get you one of these


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
I wasn't joking about the bell, it's a legal requirement in some countries that bikes must be sold with a bell.
There are some around here who use a bell. But its not real common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
"On your left!" then pass on the left when you have a clear opening.
This is what I do. Just say "On your left!", and most people will adjust to you're passing by.
post #21 of 23
Passing on the bikepath. If they are using the right half of the path I slow down just in case, move left and say "bicycle". If they don't jump to their left, I proceed. If they are using the whole width of the path, I move left, say "bicycle" and wait for them to move to the right or open a gap for me in the middle. I always say "thank you" after the pass has been made.

Both of my working bikes have bells on them. Required by law in DC, or a horn, it's never enforced, if you can shout or whistle loud, shouldn't really need one, I reckon.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
This is what I do. Just say "On your left!", and most people will adjust to you're passing by.
Except for the idjits like the guy I tried to pass the other day. He was on a bike as well, meandering and winding his way down the middle of the trail, then the right, then the left - you get the idea - in front of me. I called out clearly "On your left!" and started to speed up to pass on that side. What does this moron do? Swerves to the left smack in front of me. Well, now I was on his wheel and had to jam my brakes to keep from hitting him. I scream again, "On your left!!!" and back off a bit. All I hear is, "Oh, that left."



He never completely moved over to the right enough for me to pass him and went right back to meandering all over the trail. I never again tried to pass him because I just didn't trust him. Fortunately, he took a different branch of the trail after awhile.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
or just let bushwacker go way too fast in front scaring everyone off the trail.
Actually following you is probably the safest for me... Not necessarily for the other guy. But I won't fight it.
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