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  1. #1
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    Trail etiquette in Sycamore Canyon ??

    I started riding a couple months ago and am having a blast up in the sycamore canyon area (live in DV Ranch). I have a couple of questions to ask some locals. I did some research on this forum and in my LBS and it was my understanding that you should always yield to the uphill rider. I have no problem with this but it seems I am the only one that does this. Is there a different set of rules that I donít know about. Saturday morning Iím riding up Guadalasca trail (my favorite trail to climb) and three riders come flying down the trail and basically run me over. The first guy saw me for about a good twenty yards and didnít even tap the brakes. He basically left it up to me to get out of the way or get run over. Am I missing something? In my mind that trail has a very bad line of site and it is a multi use trail so if you canít stop to avoid someone you are going to fast and it was much harder for me to stop on a steep incline ( I actually fell off the bike and had to pull it out of the way for the next two riders). Anyone else have this problem or am I doing something wrong? I love the trail but this left a really bad taste in my mouth.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galamoor
    I started riding a couple months ago and am having a blast up in the sycamore canyon area (live in DV Ranch). I have a couple of questions to ask some locals. I did some research on this forum and in my LBS and it was my understanding that you should always yield to the uphill rider. I have no problem with this but it seems I am the only one that does this. Is there a different set of rules that I donít know about. Saturday morning Iím riding up Guadalasca trail (my favorite trail to climb) and three riders come flying down the trail and basically run me over. The first guy saw me for about a good twenty yards and didnít even tap the brakes. He basically left it up to me to get out of the way or get run over. Am I missing something? In my mind that trail has a very bad line of site and it is a multi use trail so if you canít stop to avoid someone you are going to fast and it was much harder for me to stop on a steep incline ( I actually fell off the bike and had to pull it out of the way for the next two riders). Anyone else have this problem or am I doing something wrong? I love the trail but this left a really bad taste in my mouth.
    You're doing nothing wrong. You are always going to come across someone who is ignorant of either posted or non-posted trail rules. The uphill-downhill yield "rule" is probably the hardest to follow because it's not posted - at least you cared enough to look it up. The best thing you can do is know that you are in the right and that by being courteous to your fellow trail users - even if they are not thankfull or responsive to your gesture. Good bike karma will befall you.

    Personally, I usually yield the trail if there is only room for one rider regardless if I'm heading up or down. Just feels like the right thing to do if I'm in a position to do it.

  3. #3
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    Next time, Galamoor, just as the lead riders gets in range, say "OOPS!" and toss a shoulder right into him. Take him down hard, then apologize..."Man, are you okay?" Don't even bring up yielding, but if he gets testy remind him he should have slowed down to pass. "Man, that just wasn't cool, coming down past me so fast".


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galamoor
    I started riding a couple months ago
    Technically the downhill rider is supposed to yield so you are in the "right". But I wouldn't get worked up if someone doesn't yield. In a number of conditions it's not very friendly to expect the downhill rider to yield. IMO if you both see each other in time to react, the rider who is less comfortable with the situation should yield. This means if you aren't comfortable trying to pass then you should stop and get out of the way.

    The person you encountered may have thought there was plenty of room to pass and might not have thought it was necessary to stop.

    Of course the person might have been a complete jerk, but its probably better to keep a positive attitude and not let it bother you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Next time, Galamoor, just as the lead riders gets in range, say "OOPS!" and toss a shoulder right into him. Take him down hard, then apologize..."Man, are you okay?" Don't even bring up yielding, but if he gets testy remind him he should have slowed down to pass. "Man, that just wasn't cool, coming down past me so fast".

    LOL, thats perfect, too bad you can't do that to cars

  6. #6
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    We the people ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamoor
    I started riding a couple months ago and am having a blast up in the sycamore canyon area (live in DV Ranch). I have a couple of questions to ask some locals. I did some research on this forum and in my LBS and it was my understanding that you should always yield to the uphill rider. I have no problem with this but it seems I am the only one that does this. Is there a different set of rules that I don’t know about. Saturday morning I’m riding up Guadalasca trail (my favorite trail to climb) and three riders come flying down the trail and basically run me over. The first guy saw me for about a good twenty yards and didn’t even tap the brakes. He basically left it up to me to get out of the way or get run over. Am I missing something? In my mind that trail has a very bad line of site and it is a multi use trail so if you can’t stop to avoid someone you are going to fast and it was much harder for me to stop on a steep incline ( I actually fell off the bike and had to pull it out of the way for the next two riders). Anyone else have this problem or am I doing something wrong? I love the trail but this left a really bad taste in my mouth.
    I bet it was one of those Amgen bike club yahoos!

    anyway, you are in the right. Sycamore is often used by a bunch of idjuts that like to ride fast because that is the only place they "can" ride fast downhill....since other local areas would be too much work for them to get to the top and too technical for them to go down.

    I actually avoid Sycamore on the weekends myself because I have really found that folks truly do avoid the up-hill rider right of way rule and are not terribly courteous.

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    You've got the rules right. I've probably been guilty of going a bit too fast down Guadalasa, but I always stop, or at least slow to a crawl (on the wider parts) to let uphill riders pass.

    It sounds kinda wimpy, but something that really helps on trails like this is a bell. I've had so many close calls while climbing up trails like Guadalasa and Backbone...there's so many blind corners. I try to always ring it when I approach a blind corner on the uphill. Since I got it, any time I've ever been suprised by someone popping around a downhill corner, they are usually going at a reasonably sane speed. Obviously, they can hear the bell far enough up the trail and slow down before they see me, which is the idea.

    If you see someone coming downhill toward you at some insane speed, don't be shy about yelling "rider up!" At least maybe it will shame them into slowing down instead of ignoring you.

  8. #8
    cask conditioned
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    Don't be afraid to yell "Uphill riders have the right of way!" as you send the guy flying off the trail when he doesn't yield.

    If the trail is techy enough where stopping would cause an endo for the dh rider (not on Guad. obviously), or if there is room for two riders to pass then it's ok to let the dh guy have the right of way.

  9. #9
    suspension whore
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    I attatch a bear bell the I got at rei for 3 or 4 dollars.
    It sounds like santa's sleigh on rocky single track but definately takes the surprise (and scared anger ) out of meeting hikers or bikers on the trail. I dont even hear the thing myself any more.
    I try to take the inside/ up hill position if I am climbing so if someone dosnt slow down at least they are on the trail edge.If necessary stop on the trail with your bike between you and the rider. They need to be able to slow down for hikers anyway, other wise another trail will be closed down for all due to the actions of a few.
    You are right though, uphill rider should recieve the right of way.

  10. #10
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    In all my years riding in Socal, I've had to yield as an uphill rider to barreling descenders about 90% of the time. I pull over to the right and sometimes even stop just because I don't want to get into a collision because I can tell by their approaching speed that they are not going to stop.
    Give me a big scoop of Manteca!

  11. #11
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    Thats for the reply's guys, I think I'm just going to live with the fact that I am going to yeild and not let it bother me. I'm getting the bell also - good idea as I have come across lots of runners/hikers up there.

    On a different note - are there any other trails in the area worth giving a try? This is the only place I have been riding as I can ride my bike right to it. I usally go up guad. and then down backbone - but I'm looking for a little longer/more technical climb as I get in better shape.
    Last edited by Galamoor; 11-02-2004 at 03:22 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo verendo
    If the trail is techy enough where stopping would cause an endo for the dh rider (not on Guad. obviously), or if there is room for two riders to pass then it's ok to let the dh guy have the right of way.
    You know, it's funny...I got chastised as a downhill rider in this very situation. Was riding down Chesebro canyon. I got to a rocky, somewhat technical section we affectionally refer to as "the Big B***h." This involves riding down a large rock, then down some bumpy, loose somewhat stair-stepy stuff, then back up a small hill. Not really a big deal, but you definitely don't want to grab the brake on the way down.

    Anyway, I'm approaching the decent at perhaps a jogging pace. I stand up to get a clear view of the incline to make sure it's clear. I see on the small hill on the other side that there's a guy sitting on his bike, just waiting or resting, but it looks clear. I feather the brakes and start heading for the top of the big rock, when suddenly I realize there was a guy heading up. I must have missed him in the shadows. Anyway, my bad. Still, he's taking a line well to my left and I pass clear of him. I say "sorry" and he says "no prob."

    Now I'm actually heading down the rock. This is the point of no return. Suddenly, I see another guy on the opposite hill decide that this would be a good time to start off, heading right towards me. I'm rather baffled at this point...there's no way he wouldn't have seen me. There's also no way I'm going to grab my brakes while going down the rock. Anyway, we end up passing each other without incident, but as I head up the opposite hill, one of his buddies says "you know up hill has the right of way!"

    No shi*t, but that rule isn't a magical shield that's going to protect you if someone heading down technical stuff cannot stop. Use some common sense. That's what I wish I had said to him, but of course, I didn't.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galamoor
    Thats for the reply's guys, I think I'm just going to live with the fact that I am going to yeild and not let it bother me. I'm getting the bell also - good idea as I have come across lots of runners/hikers up there.

    On a different note - are there any other trails in the area worth giving a try? This is the only place I have been riding as I can ride my bike right to it. I usally go up guad. and then done backbone - but I'm looking for a little longer/more technical climb as I get in better shape.
    That's about as techical as Sycamore gets, but there are tons of other trails in the area! Las Robles (start at the end of Moorpark road) is slightly more technical. There are quite a few good technical areas in the Chesebro canyon area, such as the Dead Cow, Marbles, and Gaspipes trails. Plus you've got the Backbone trail in Malibu and Chumash/Hummingbird in Simi Valley. Here's a great resource for all the trails in our area...

    http://www.nrmbc.org/TrailMaps/SMMNRA-OverviewMap.html

  14. #14
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    Some more thoughts I wanted to add...

    Typical Socal riding takes place on fireroads. That's our "trail" system here. Since the fire roads are wide, typically descenders and uphillers have plenty of room to not have to yield to one another. I think this is where some of bad habits start and some riders just learn to never yield as the ones descending, taking this bad etiquette to tighter single tracks or narrow trails where it then can be problematic.
    Give me a big scoop of Manteca!

  15. #15
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    yeah - common sense always needs to prevail over "book law".
    No point stepping out into traffic on a cross walk just because pedestrians "have the right of way".
    cow / bear bells really do work to reduce trail aggro from hikers, especially at places like syc/ will rogers/ sulivan where there are a lot of uppity hikers and horse people.

  16. #16
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    I'm very familiar with that stretch of trail in Chesboro. Anybody who expects you to change your line to make way for the uphill rider on a stretch of trail like that is a dim wit. Like you said, not too technical, but you don't want to go changing lines or trying to come to a stop. However, under the vast majority of situations I yield to the uphill rider. I get many thanks from riders as I do this, almost like they're suprised.

    CraigT

    Quote Originally Posted by Warthog
    You know, it's funny...I got chastised as a downhill rider in this very situation. Was riding down Chesebro canyon. I got to a rocky, somewhat technical section we affectionally refer to as "the Big B***h." This involves riding down a large rock, then down some bumpy, loose somewhat stair-stepy stuff, then back up a small hill. Not really a big deal, but you definitely don't want to grab the brake on the way down.

    Anyway, I'm approaching the decent at perhaps a jogging pace. I stand up to get a clear view of the incline to make sure it's clear. I see on the small hill on the other side that there's a guy sitting on his bike, just waiting or resting, but it looks clear. I feather the brakes and start heading for the top of the big rock, when suddenly I realize there was a guy heading up. I must have missed him in the shadows. Anyway, my bad. Still, he's taking a line well to my left and I pass clear of him. I say "sorry" and he says "no prob."

    Now I'm actually heading down the rock. This is the point of no return. Suddenly, I see another guy on the opposite hill decide that this would be a good time to start off, heading right towards me. I'm rather baffled at this point...there's no way he wouldn't have seen me. There's also no way I'm going to grab my brakes while going down the rock. Anyway, we end up passing each other without incident, but as I head up the opposite hill, one of his buddies says "you know up hill has the right of way!"

    No shi*t, but that rule isn't a magical shield that's going to protect you if someone heading down technical stuff cannot stop. Use some common sense. That's what I wish I had said to him, but of course, I didn't.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig T
    I'm very familiar with that stretch of trail in Chesboro. Anybody who expects you to change your line to make way for the uphill rider on a stretch of trail like that is a dim wit. Like you said, not too technical, but you don't want to go changing lines or trying to come to a stop. However, under the vast majority of situations I yield to the uphill rider. I get many thanks from riders as I do this, almost like they're suprised.
    CraigT
    Same here. I've always just cruised through that stretch at a moderate pace, though. I've watched people try and "tippy-toe" down it at slow speeds, and it looks VERY scary!

  18. #18
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    Idiots With Dogs W/out leashes

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamoor
    I started riding a couple months ago and am having a blast up in the sycamore canyon area (live in DV Ranch). I have a couple of questions to ask some locals. I did some research on this forum and in my LBS and it was my understanding that you should always yield to the uphill rider. I have no problem with this but it seems I am the only one that does this. Is there a different set of rules that I donít know about. Saturday morning Iím riding up Guadalasca trail (my favorite trail to climb) and three riders come flying down the trail and basically run me over. The first guy saw me for about a good twenty yards and didnít even tap the brakes. He basically left it up to me to get out of the way or get run over. Am I missing something? In my mind that trail has a very bad line of site and it is a multi use trail so if you canít stop to avoid someone you are going to fast and it was much harder for me to stop on a steep incline ( I actually fell off the bike and had to pull it out of the way for the next two riders). Anyone else have this problem or am I doing something wrong? I love the trail but this left a really bad taste in my mouth.

    You did absolutely nothing wrong. I echo what many have said. If it were a fireroad, then, it isn't necessary to stop when going downhill. I ride alot of the Ventura Co. trails. Sycamore was one of the first that I really enjoyed when I moved from flat ass Chicago. I yield to climbers on singletrack. Aside from the technical reasons to stop, it is just a good thing to do for your fellow mountain biker. But, it's not just bikers, I also slow down for hikers and especially horses. And, I always let others know when I am approaching from behind. My biggest rant are the idiots who hike with their dogs unleased....But, that is a whole different thread........

  19. #19
    Lindsay
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    Upset Everytime I ride in Southern California...

    I've had to yield to a downhill rider approx 90% of the time....jerks!

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