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  1. #1
    The .05 percent
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    Changing the rules...

    So got a newer idea rollin around in my head in reguards to who yields to who. The current system of Bikes yield to hikers and horses, hikers yield to horses could use a revisit in my opinion, and that of several of my riding companions. The new system i am going to propose is based on the laws of physics and sheer size.

    First. everyone yields to horses. They are the largest trail user in sheer size. Starteling them can injure both the rider and the conflicting trail user.
    Second. Downhill MTB traffic should have the right of way over uphill traffic as it is much easier for an uphill rider to move out of the way. This will also result in less trail erosion due to Downhill traffic not having to skid to stop downhill progress and move over, furthermore bicycles are the only wheeled vehicle where downhill traffic yields to uphill. Moreover the Downhill rider has already climbed to the top and should not have his or her reward of a sweet DH run interrupted. This should not apply to shuttle traffic as they are usually on uni-directional trails.
    Third, hikers should yield to all of the above as it is much easier for a hiker to step off the trail to allow passing traffic than all of the above.
    discuss...
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    So got a newer idea rollin around in my head in reguards to who yields to who. The current system of Bikes yield to hikers and horses, hikers yield to horses could use a revisit in my opinion, and that of several of my riding companions. The new system i am going to propose is based on the laws of physics and sheer size.

    First. everyone yields to horses. They are the largest trail user in sheer size. Starteling them can injure both the rider and the conflicting trail user.
    Second. Downhill MTB traffic should have the right of way over uphill traffic as it is much easier for an uphill rider to move out of the way. This will also result in less trail erosion due to Downhill traffic not having to skid to stop downhill progress and move over, furthermore bicycles are the only wheeled vehicle where downhill traffic yields to uphill. Moreover the Downhill rider has already climbed to the top and should not have his or her reward of a sweet DH run interrupted. This should not apply to shuttle traffic as they are usually on uni-directional trails.
    Third, hikers should yield to all of the above as it is much easier for a hiker to step off the trail to allow passing traffic than all of the above.
    discuss...
    Works for me.
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  3. #3
    Eroding into the trail
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    Sounds good!
    Only thing better in addition, would be that horses have their own designated trails, no bikes, no hikers. This eliminates the horse issue from mtn. bikers/hikers & makes everyone safer. Now the challenge is how to get this implemented, designated horse trails constructed & trail users educated?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    So got a newer idea rollin around in my head in reguards to who yields to who. The current system of Bikes yield to hikers and horses, hikers yield to horses could use a revisit in my opinion, and that of several of my riding companions. The new system i am going to propose is based on the laws of physics and sheer size.

    First. everyone yields to horses. They are the largest trail user in sheer size. Starteling them can injure both the rider and the conflicting trail user.
    Second. Downhill MTB traffic should have the right of way over uphill traffic as it is much easier for an uphill rider to move out of the way. This will also result in less trail erosion due to Downhill traffic not having to skid to stop downhill progress and move over, furthermore bicycles are the only wheeled vehicle where downhill traffic yields to uphill. Moreover the Downhill rider has already climbed to the top and should not have his or her reward of a sweet DH run interrupted. This should not apply to shuttle traffic as they are usually on uni-directional trails.
    Third, hikers should yield to all of the above as it is much easier for a hiker to step off the trail to allow passing traffic than all of the above.
    discuss...
    I go with common sense above all, which 99.9% of the time works out to pretty much exactly what you said.

  5. #5
    Bloodied but Unbowed
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    Seems like how it works anyway, so maybe most people have figured this out.

    F'rinstance, I have only met a handful of downhill MTB traffic that understands they are supposed to yield to the uphill traffic. While I expect MTBers to know and follow the rules of engagement, usually it doesn't bother me, much. Now and then it is a real PITA. I enjoy descending too and understand how having to stop during a descent can be an irritant, but getting going downhill after a stop is almost always trvial in comparison to resuming a climb, for me at least. Sometimes, depending upon the climb, stopping precludes pedaling again without some HAB. Other times I use the stop as an excuse to catch my breath.

    As to horses, I am with you. I am not about to put the horse, the rider, me, or anyone else at risk because the horse or its rider freaks out over an encounter with a hiker, biker or trail obstacle, no matter who is right or wrong. I generally stop and try to get clear out of the way to minimize me being in the wrong place if horse or rider does something random.

    What hikers? Seriously, most hikers I encounter defer to the cyclist as they seem to understand that cycling the gnarlier trails may be harder than walking them. Maybe they are just taking pity in my particular case. I'm okay with that. The few that are grumpy about sharing, whatever, gives me something to mutter about as I flail about along the trail. I know that others have had different and less positive experiences, now and then, which is too bad, because we have such great trail resources here in the valley. Can't we all just get a bong? Maybe that's the problem, dunno.

    I think the answer is to dress up like a horse, ride the biggest bike you can, and always point downhill.

  6. #6
    wawe member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    Downhill MTB traffic should have the right of way over uphill traffic as it is much easier for an uphill rider to move out of the way. This will also result in less trail erosion due to Downhill traffic not having to skid to stop downhill progress and move over, furthermore bicycles are the only wheeled vehicle where downhill traffic yields to uphill.
    Spot on, why are bikes the only wheeled vehicles where downhill yields to uphill? Wait, cars, trucks and Jeeps aren't wheeled vehicles, are they? Nope, spot on!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmarkos View Post
    I go with common sense above all, which 99.9% of the time works out to pretty much exactly what you said.
    +1
    I know the rules to yeilding but never really followed it. I have yeilded to uphill bikers/ hikers, and they have yeilded for me... it really all depending on what was easier for each person.

    The only problem I ever had was a couple bikers on National trail trying to go up... saw me, put their head down and kept chugging along in the middle of the trail as fast as they could. I practically had to ride off the trail, ride into a rocky wash just to get out of their way in time.

    They chimed in as they went by "Downhillers yeild to uphillers".... asshat

  8. #8
    Just another half mile...
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    Typical downhiller mentality…me me me. If you have to skid in order to stop, you are going way to fast on a multiuse trail and not riding in control. On narrow trails, hikers can’t always just step off the trail safely to get out of the way so you can come flying by without you slowing down. It is not easier for uphill riders to get out of the way especially on steep narrow trails. It’s a lot harder to get going again. Downhill riders just need to stop or slow down and pass and let go of the brakes and your off and rolling. If you want uninterrupted flow, go to a bike park.

    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    So got a newer idea rollin around in my head in reguards to who yields to who. The current system of Bikes yield to hikers and horses, hikers yield to horses could use a revisit in my opinion, and that of several of my riding companions. The new system i am going to propose is based on the laws of physics and sheer size.

    First. everyone yields to horses. They are the largest trail user in sheer size. Starteling them can injure both the rider and the conflicting trail user.
    Second. Downhill MTB traffic should have the right of way over uphill traffic as it is much easier for an uphill rider to move out of the way. This will also result in less trail erosion due to Downhill traffic not having to skid to stop downhill progress and move over, furthermore bicycles are the only wheeled vehicle where downhill traffic yields to uphill. Moreover the Downhill rider has already climbed to the top and should not have his or her reward of a sweet DH run interrupted. This should not apply to shuttle traffic as they are usually on uni-directional trails.
    Third, hikers should yield to all of the above as it is much easier for a hiker to step off the trail to allow passing traffic than all of the above.
    discuss...

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I don't have a big problem with the way the rules are, including or not including horses on trails is a safety issue IMO, but a different issue in terms of who yields, since the rider can not control the unpredictable animal, it kind of has to be the way it is.

    I find downhills where there are few people or that are specifically for downhill riding, and that's where I "let it rip". Otherwise, I find that a few downhill riders are usually the ones that do not want to yield. How many people plan to stop and pull over when on a downhill? If someone else pulls off way ahead, great, if not, I plan to do it. As much as I love downhills, I agree with Epicrider that there are rules there for a purpose. If your local trail is too busy/crowded that you can't do an "unbroken" run, it's probably not a good place for all-out downhill in the first place.
    Last edited by Jayem; 06-23-2011 at 01:16 PM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  10. #10
    Bloodied but Unbowed
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubo View Post
    +1
    I know the rules to yeilding but never really followed it. I have yeilded to uphill bikers/ hikers, and they have yeilded for me... it really all depending on what was easier for each person.

    The only problem I ever had was a couple bikers on National trail trying to go up... saw me, put their head down and kept chugging along in the middle of the trail as fast as they could. I practically had to ride off the trail, ride into a rocky wash just to get out of their way in time.

    They chimed in as they went by "Downhillers yeild to uphillers".... asshat

    Not sure why they were asshasts when they were in the right and you were in the wrong. We can disagree with the rules, but the social contract would indicate that it is more than a little questionable to ***** at or about people who follow them especially when the *****er does not.

  11. #11
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    Anything that *****S all over a trail should not be on the top of the "right of way" list.

  12. #12
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    What did Traildoc say about this?
    Currently at Mayo Clinic being tested for a kidney transplant. Donors welcome.

  13. #13
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    Good discussion. My take from the hiker POV is that it would be a bummer, even though I can step off the trail rather quickly, to encounter a gaggle of DH'rs trying to set a Super D record on say a trail like Schultz. Riders whizzing by at 30mph would, as Traildoc would say: detract from the hiker experience. Or say a group or family out hiking. You'd have to keep your kids on a leash. Or what about Walter who I haven't seen lately but he use to frequent Shultz with his oxygen tank to walk his dogs. He can't hear you coming.

    Anyhoo, I think the existing system works fine. I agree with Epicrider and Jayem. If you want to get your game on on a multi-use trail do it on a weekday. I rarely if ever get out of the way when climbing a trail. I'm not really looking up because I'm sucking air into my lungs and if the wind is blowing I can't hear anything either.
    Last edited by rockman; 06-23-2011 at 01:30 PM.

  14. #14
    The .05 percent
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    Not sure why they were asshasts when they were in the right and you were in the wrong. We can disagree with the rules, but the social contract would indicate that it is more than a little questionable to ***** at or about people who follow them especially when the *****er does not.
    Maybe it is time to change this " Social Contract" I hereby emplore all trail users in the Northland to consider this new ammendment.
    29'ers are the scientologists of the MTB world

  15. #15
    The .05 percent
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Good discussion. My take from the hiker POV is that it would be a bummer, even though I can step off the trail rather quickly, to have to encounter a gaggle of DH'rs trying to set a Super D record on say a trail like Schultz. Riders whizzing by at 30mph. As Traildoc would say: detracting from the hiker experience. Or say a group or family out hiking. You'd have to keep your kids on a leash. Or what about Walter who I have seen lately but use to frequent Shultz with his oxygen tank to walk his dogs. He can't hear you coming.

    Anyhoo, I think the existing system works fine. I agree with Epicrider and Jayem. If you want to get your game on on a multi-use trail do it on a weekday. I rarely if ever get out of the way when climbing a trail. I'm not really looking up because I'm sucking air into my lungs and if the wind is blowing I can't hear anything either.
    I do think that common sense should be exercised tho, downhill bikes on Shultz are completely out of place, and people in Full DH mode should be on single use trails that are uni-directional. I was refering mostly to All mountain riding.
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  16. #16
    I am Bob
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    What about a small child on a pony? A big dude with full gear on a DH bike could very well out weigh a kid on a pony. What do the laws of physics and sheer size argument do with that one?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    I do think that common sense should be exercised tho, downhill bikes on Shultz are completely out of place, and people in Full DH mode should be on single use trails that are uni-directional. I was refering mostly to All mountain riding.
    Roger, I'm just playing devil's adocate. I think you have to pick and choose your trail wisely and you can have the best of both worlds. I don't even think of descending Schultz or Sunset at 11am on a Saturday. The endless encounters with hikers, bikers, and even horses just kills the flow. It would still kill the flow if 100% of them got out of my way.

  18. #18
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    Second. Downhill MTB traffic should have the right of way over uphill traffic as it is much easier for an uphill rider to move out of the way. This will also result in less trail erosion due to Downhill traffic not having to skid to stop downhill progress and move over, furthermore bicycles are the only wheeled vehicle where downhill traffic yields to uphill. Moreover the Downhill rider has already climbed to the top and should not have his or her reward of a sweet DH run interrupted. This should not apply to shuttle traffic as they are usually on uni-directional trails.
    discuss...
    I respectfully disagree. It is not always easy to just "move out of the way" and not to mention it is more difficult to get started again especially on technical climbs. As an All Mountain rider who climbs and descends I feel climbing is more physically demanding and a particular line is much more critical in the uphill direction as there isnt always a lot of momentum to spare.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  19. #19
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    If I am walking my bike down the hill, all I need to yield to are horses and uphill hikers. Everybody pedaling and all hikers heading down need to yield to me.

    I just improved my trail ranking 2 spots.


    See that, I'm a game changer...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by u2metoo View Post
    If I am walking my bike down the hill, all I need to yield to are horses and uphill hikers. Everybody pedaling and all hikers heading down need to yield to me.

    I just improved my trail ranking 2 spots.


    See that, I'm a game changer...
    If you are walking your bike you must yield to yourself so just stand there and dont move.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyBones View Post

    Sounds good!
    Only thing better in addition, would be that horses have their own designated trails, no bikes, no hikers. This eliminates the horse issue from mtn. bikers/hikers & makes everyone safer. Now the challenge is how to get this implemented, designated horse trails constructed & trail users educated?
    Know what'd be even betterer? We make the equestrians breed winged horses to ride on double rainbow sky trails! Now the challenge is nailing down Yosemite Bear to help out with this project.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    Not sure why they were asshasts when they were in the right and you were in the wrong. We can disagree with the rules, but the social contract would indicate that it is more than a little questionable to ***** at or about people who follow them especially when the *****er does not.
    This is why
    whether you're going uphill or downhill, only an asshat would blindly chug along assuming the oncomer knows the "rules".

  23. #23
    The PNF Ax Man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epicrider View Post
    Typical downhiller mentality…me me me. .
    I don’t think it was the intent of the OP to pit down hillers only against everybody else. This seems to be a genuine discussion about your typical shared trail that has hills and yielding. So I’m not sure why you would give feedback about “typical down hillers” implying selfishness when this is clearly not the case here. That’s bound to get people fired up, arguing, and hating each other. Not good for the sport.

    That said I’ve never really seen this as a hardcore problem. Here in Prescott, there are lots of hills. We get plenty of experience with this, especially on summer weekends. I tend to lean towards that the uphill riders should take the “high road” here (no pun intended). Why? Because I think it comes down to a safety issue. What is the safest way to go about it? It all comes down to who can hear and see who the soonest to avoid collision.
    1. It’s safer for the uphill rider who has more time and more audibles to yield to avoid potential collisions. The uphill rider typically (I understand not always) can hear and/or see the downhill rider coming sooner than the downhill rider can hear and/or see the uphill rider coming. When you’re going downhill, I’m talking safe and in control speeds here, you got much more wind noise, brake noise, tire noise, elevated voices (whooping and hollering), and the speed of approaching obstacles. All these things make it more difficult to hear and see those coming uphill. Reverse all that uphill now: much less wind, tire, brake noise (if any) with average voice levels (if any with all that huffing and puffing). Thus making it safer for the uphill rider to move out of the way quicker with less likelihood of collision. I understand and know that with some trail sections it isn’t possible to just step aside. But isn’t that the exception? Depends on where you ride I suppose. Most riders have the strength and skill to get right back to pedaling again, especially after a short breather. If you don’t, then it’s good practice. I personally would rather take a few short stops on the way up yielding to down hillers than to stop at all on the way down. JMO. But my guess all this comes down to personal opinion. .

    2. Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of other trail user’s who were nasty while stepping aside for us coming downhill when they were going up. Typically, everybody appreciates the rest. Most recreational riders are grateful for the small breather from the uphill grind when the downhill riders come down. And it’s human nature (I’d like to think) to do nice things. Most hikers and bikers are happy to move aside when they’re grinding uphill.

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  24. #24
    RNC
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    What Douger-1 said. Downhillers should generally yield to somebody grinding up the hill, especially as the trail gets steeper and more technical.

    As far as horses, I agree that you should always defer to them. My only problem has been when you come up behind them and they are moving much more slowly on the trail. I think they should allow you to pass, but I agree that the mountain biker (or runner/hiker) should take a lot of caution to make sure that he announces himself and passes carefully (after the horses are prepared for you to pass).

  25. #25
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    Because I think it comes down to a safety issue. What is the safest way to go about it? It all comes down to who can hear and see who the soonest to avoid collision.
    If you put safety first, then the person traveling faster should yield. "Safety" would suggest that all passes be made at slow speeds in order to minimize the casualties from possible collisions. If you give downhill traffic the right of way, then you are increasing the possibilities of high speed collisions and putting the responsibility on the slower party in general. That is crazy.

    Control your bike. If you cannot see, slow down. Reduce the possibility of "surprise" collisions or conflicts.

    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

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