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  1. #1
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    Bend Trails - Rigtht of Way Rant

    I'm starting to think we need a huge sign at each of the THs explaining ROW. Riding up Phils to the HP I was passed by 5 groups for a total of 13 riders. Only 2 riders yielded ROW. Four of them were using the section of Phils between 300 and the chicken as a one way downhill run. Full wheel lockup into a big skid and they still would of hit me if I didn't move out of the way.

    This behavior used to be confined to lower Phil's but I'm seeing it more often even as I climb out to the higher elevations.

    Does COG explain ROW during the shuttle ride?

  2. #2
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    It's a problem for sure. I rode with one of these individuals yesterday. I was embarrassed! I talked to him about etiquette after.

    Some long time local's are used to Phil's canyon being more of a one way downhill run (this is what I heard from someone today). They won't run you over, but will instead pave a trail through the bushes to get around you at top speed.

    Also... Strava...

    I guess do you best to yell at people (you know - share the love), as they fly by but also realize that Trail etiquette for around here is not law. If someone doesn't want to abide by it they don't have to unfortunately.

    A large sign about ROW at the top of phil's canyon would be a good thing in my opinion.

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    Eh.. I have said it before I always yield up or down. Some people are just pricks. No sign is going to change that.

    Most seem pretty good I have come down fast slowed and stopped for uphill riders who also stopped. Then its like you go no you go.. wish more were like that.



    Edit: what is strava I keep seeing funny pics with that on it.

    Yelling just agrivates their egos to not yeild even more.
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  4. #4
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    I've been seeing a lot of people doing some wonky things lately, like bushwhacking from Kent's to Ben's, or groups stopping with their bikes laid out completely blocking the trail. Many of them looked like noobs and/or tourists so I figure some of them just haven't had any exposure to trail etiquette. I try to be polite and informative when possible since I get the connection between happy tourists and the town's economic health, but sometimes you have to wonder where common courtesy went.

    Edit: when you guys get to the chicken do you ride around it counterclockwise just as you would approach a paved roundabout?

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    Just brush it off. If somone bothers you on a public trail that much...lol
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  6. #6
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    Phils? A DH shuttle run? Seriously? Commercial shuttle services that don't give a 15-second ROW talk are the devil's work, I say!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Seriously?
    Quite serious. Does CW explain the ROW rule instituted by COTA for the Bend area trails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Quite serious. Does CW explain the ROW rule instituted by COTA for the Bend area trails?
    I doubt it since its not a rule.( far as i know)Its fellow humans being reasnonable with other humans which seems to be getting worse . I have never taken a cw bus so I dont know.
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    Hang on, I thought the Massachusetts witch trials wrapped up in 1693. What year is it anyway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KTMDirtFace View Post
    I doubt it since its not a rule.( far as i know)
    The COTA message is clear and easy to understand.

    ****Welcome to Central Oregon! Here?s how we roll:

    Descending Riders Stop For Others

    We all love the downhill, but skidding out of control is not cool. Expect some uphill riders and be ready to move to one side of the trail, stopping until your line is clear.

    Tread On Trail

    Thanks for yielding to other riders – but remember that riding off into the bushes widens and damages trails. Instead, put a foot down and feel good knowing that tread on the trail keeps singletrack narrow and fun.

    Look, Listen, Smile

    As trail users, we rely on one another. Have fun, and keep your eyes and ears open. Smile and say hello! You are in one of the best mountain bike areas in the nation.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Take a few minutes to read one of the COTA signs to confirm that the ROW is a COTA rule.
    I think what he's trying to convey is that COTA doesn't make law. They are not a governing agency over the national forest. Many people use the forest who have never heard of COTA, and if you don't yield to an uphill rider no one can penalize you in any legal way. It's merely recommended etiquette, kind of like their suggestion to "Look, Listen, Smile." If you fail to smile, no one will toss you in Phil's Jail.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I think what he's trying to convey is that COTA doesn't make law. They are not a governing agency over the national forest. Many people use the forest who have never heard of COTA, and if you don't yield to an uphill rider no one can penalize you in any legal way. It's merely recommended etiquette, kind of like their suggestion to "Look, Listen, Smile." If you fail to smile, no one will toss you in Phil's Jail.
    Yea thats what I meant. That said it sucks when somone runs you off the trail...but its just a trail in the forest on a mountain bike...or whatever..there is risks involved in public 2 way trails.

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  13. #13
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    I wouldn't count on a COTA video being seen by most people, and wouldn't count on someone stopping and reading all 6 stickers on a new sign in the Phil's area. Only 1 out of every 3 signs will have the ROW sticker on it. And it's at the very bottom of all the stickers. It's about the size of a cigar.

    Some people from out of town either don't have ROW standards, or they sometimes have the opposite.

  14. #14
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    I was under the impression that Vegans always have the ROW in Ore-e-gun, maaaan
    Or at least skunky microbrew swillers
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Some people from out of town either don't have ROW standards, or they sometimes have the opposite.
    Agreed. That is why I asked if CW informs their customers. I'd guess they interact with a large number of the bike tourists that visit the CO trail system. We need to get the message out before someone gets seriously injured. A few weeks back my daughter bailed into the manzanita to avoid being hit. The lack of common sense and courtesy is getting worse.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    if you don't yield to an uphill rider no one can penalize you in any legal way.
    Maybe.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Maybe.
    How?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Some people from out of town either don't have ROW standards, or they sometimes have the opposite.
    OK, I can't let this one go.

    I think you're falling into the same witchhunt mentality that StreamRider is pursuing. You want to find a group of people that you don't belong to and vilify them. It's them ... they're the ones.

    It's individual people who are making these decisions and it comes down to the individual.

    I'll start by sharing that I'm not from Bend. I'll also admit that while I was in Bend for the month of August, I probably failed to properly yield ROW on a handful of occasions. Not many, but it did happen. It's not because I don't know what ROW is, or that I need someone to read the rules of trail etiquette to me, or that I don't care.

    Sometimes you make a bad judgment about speed with regards to trail conditions. I know one guy (I'm guessing he was a local) who probably thinks I'm an @ss because he was coming up Tumalo Ridge trail in the wide double track area and I was coming down from Swede Ridge Shelter. I was consciously thinking about how fast I was going and that others might be climbing. This was actually the first time I ever descended TRT - I always climb it - so I know what it's like. Anyway, I'm slowing down at the sharper corners and then letting it go on the wide straight sections where you can see. I started to approach a very mild turn that I just couldn't quite see around to the next straight section and right at the worst possible moment a rider pops into view. I grabbed two handfuls of brakes and tried not to skid but I couldn't really steer the bike well and wound up right on the rider's line. I had to go off the trail to finish avoiding him and as I blew by him I yelled "Sorry about that, I was going too fast." He never acknowledged me so I don't know if he was pissed or not. He was certainly entitled to be.

    Some trails (Upper whoops, Sector 16, and especially Tumalo Creek Trail) have VERY bad site lines. You get into some of those steeper sections that are loose powder and all twisty and turny and you're gonna clobber or skid around an uphill rider almost every time ... unless you want to crawl down the hill like an 80 year old. I really hate Tumalo Creek trail because I've had several close calls on that trail (mostly the other persons fault, but not always). The site lines on that trail are just terrible in certain spots.

    I can almost guarantee you I've seen quite a few Bend riders blow the ROW on purpose. When I see a solo rider who is in team kit and very fit and knows where they're going, it's likely ... though still a guess ... that they're a local. Ditto with the solo cyclocross guys. I can only think of one time a solo CX guy yielded to me coming down a hill ... and I remember it well because I was shocked.

    Here's another one - a solo, fit female rider headed toward town (again, I'm guessing local) got behind me on the section between Phil's parking lot and Cascade Lakes HWY. I asked if she wanted to pass and she said no. As I approached the rock ride section, I saw a solo female rider coming up through the S-turn. I yell out very loud, "rider up", and pulled to the side of the trail. The girl behind me proceeds to pass me and totally forced the uphill chick off the trail. Let me tell you, that uphill girl was not very happy. I mean, what was that following chick thinking? Just amazing. I saw her go as far as the flaming bird on Galveston so I'd put money on her being a townie.

    I almost always yield for everyone. I can't tell you the number of times I yielded to downhill riders. Not because I was forced to, but because it made sense to do so.

    Example - I was climbing M/W about 2 miles up from North Fork. I'm solo and heard a bunch of guys hooting and yelling so I knew they were coming my way. I found a nice spot that was barely big enough for two people at most and got off the trail. About 20 seconds later, 8 guys came down the hill and passed me. Almost all of them were smiling and thanked me for yielding. I found out later they were a group of Canadians that used the CW shuttle to Dutchmans. Now, I could have been a douche and insisted on the ROW and forced all 8 riders to skid, go off the trail, crash and who knows what else (this was at a really steep section with no place to go ) and make them watch me slowly huff and puff my way past all of them. Or I could use some common sense and be SAFE by letting them go by at a spot that was convenient and available for me. I knew they were coming - they did not know I was there.

    That's just one example. I did that so many times - where I was going up a steep line with poor site lines - and heard downhill riders coming and sized up the situation and got the heck out of the way long before the downhill riders ever knew I was there. Sometimes you see them get scared and grab a handful of brakes and skid a big cloud and then they realize you're already off the trail and that if you weren't already off the trail they would have surely crashed into you. Hopefully that reminds them that there's uphill riders using the trails too.

    And yelling isn't going to help either. There's just something so ironically funny about "Nice trail etiquette a-hole."

    In summary, try to yield more than you take, apologize if you screw up, think about what's the safest thing to do rather than demanding ROW (cause it won't matter if you have ROW when you're riding in the ambulance). And you guys that are on your high horses about ROW had better not make any mistakes. Glass houses and all that. And let's drop the broad brush painting, shall we?

  19. #19
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    Wake me up when this thread is over

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by steiny View Post
    OK, I can't let this one go.

    I think you're falling into the same witchhunt mentality that StreamRider is pursuing. You want to find a group of people that you don't belong to and vilify them. It's them ... they're the ones.
    I don't recall saying anything that was vilifying anyone. Kind of the opposite actually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steiny View Post
    OK, I can't let this one go.
    Nice attempt at justifying poor trail etiquette.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    I don't recall saying anything that was vilifying anyone. Kind of the opposite actually.
    OK, I re-read your post and maybe you were just trying to make the observation that some areas might have different/reversed rules than Bend's ROW. Am I getting that right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Nice attempt at justifying poor trail etiquette.
    Where did I justify poor trail etiquette? Please quote it and we can discuss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steiny View Post
    Some trails (Upper whoops, Sector 16, and especially Tumalo Creek Trail) have VERY bad site lines. You get into some of those steeper sections that are loose powder and all twisty and turny and you're gonna clobber or skid around an uphill rider almost every time ... unless you want to crawl down the hill like an 80 year old.
    Justification for poor trail etiquette quoted. If you don't have the skills to yield to an uphill rider at the speed you are traveling then slow down. Simple.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by steiny View Post
    OK, I re-read your post and maybe you were just trying to make the observation that some areas might have different/reversed rules than Bend's ROW. Am I getting that right?
    Right.

    But also I was saying there is a slim chance anyone is going to read about our local ROW etiquette. The posted notices are tiny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Right.

    But also I was saying there is a slim chance anyone is going to read about our local ROW etiquette. The posted notices are tiny.
    Agreed. I didn't realize you were the same person who said that. To be honest, I didn't realize those sticks had ROW on them. They are busy liitle buggers - but I do like them. I noticed them on SK this year but don't remember seeing them last year - maybe I'm wrong. They seem to be on everything in Wanoga.

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    correct, COTA has Wanoga all signed.

    Phil's area is being signed currently as volunteers find the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Justification for poor trail etiquette quoted. If you don't have the skills to yield to an uphill rider at the speed you are traveling then slow down. Simple.
    I agree that you need to ride at a speed that is safe for trail conditions - specifically because you will encounter other riders and need to be able to yield to them. I hope that was the essence of my message as a whole.

    I re-read my post and see what you mean with what I wrote. Point taken. What I meant to do was make an observation on the difficulty of trying to follow ROW in certain situations - not condone or excuse the absence of ROW. What I was trying to convey was the idea that on those particular trails/conditions, you need to slow WAY down or you're likely to clobber someone. Not that clobbering someone is sometimes OK and hard to avoid so you might as well just go ahead and let them have it. The phrase "like an 80 year old" was obviously an exaggeration on how slow you need to go. But you really have to go slow (what seems like crawling) especially coming down Upper Whoops if you want to be able to safely pass people and not skid the place up (which I hate) or pave a new path going around people (which I hate also). I know several times I THOUGHT I was going slow enough but then you go through a corkscrew turn and HELLO! you're staring right at someone's front tire.

    It's tough to do, but that's the goal I'm aiming for. Sometimes I fail. I admit it. But I'm aiming to follow ROW at all times.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Phil's area is being signed currently as volunteers find the time.
    That's awesome. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me for directions and I tell them and then they ask, "Is there a sign that tells me when I'm on trail X" and then I have to tell them no. I always hate telling people how to get to the top of Lower Whoops because that 5-way intersection is a bit of a cluster-bang. Sending people through the 5-way flaming chicken intersection is another tricky one too for the newbies.

    That's great to hear. Bravo!

    [EDIT] Ahh, my memory has just informed me that they were also on Marvin's and KGB as well. Good stuff!

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    I did a guided ride with Cog Wild a week ago, and the guide (Greg) did explain (or remind) right of way to us a few times while we were out on the trails. I remember it specifically as we headed in to the Tumalo Creek section and again when we started out coming down Phil's. I don't remember it being mentioned in the van.

  31. #31
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    For some reason the scene from Breaking Away where the Italian team rider sticks his pump in Dave's front wheel keeps coming to mind. Not that I'm advocating that kind of tactic, just offering a nice mental picture to help cope with the boorish behavior occasionally seen on most trails.

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    Does Cog Wild share the ROW rule instituted by COTA for the Bend area trails?

    For day and multi-day tours, the answer is yes. All our guides are trained to talk about safety on the trail which includes riding within your means and how to stop without skidding. We also go over the COTA Trail Etiquette campaign of Trail Love and the three main points which does include Downhill rider stops for all others. Every tour starts with a pow-wow that goes over these important details.

    For shuttle guests, it is a little harder. Once we arrive at the trail head, the driver is also the bike unloader from our roof rack. We loose all attention of the shuttle guests as soon as they get their bikes and we have found it hard to share this detail. Trust me, we have tried! But please also know, the 4-25 guests we shuttle per day are a tiny amount of the riders out on the trail.

    Please note that Melanie, co-owner of Cog Wild was part of the Trail Etiquette committee that came up with the Trail Love campaign. Lev, the other co-owner, is who made COTA's Trail Love video. We have posted info on our Facebook page and include Trail Love details in our emails we send locals. We find this issue very important and do everything we can to help keep the trails a positive place.

    The best thing everyone can do is to make a point of sharing the Trail Love details to your friends. Post this link on your Facebook page: ****Welcome to Central Oregon! Here?s how we roll:. Tell your friends before you start each ride and when you know friends are going riding. It is going to take some time, but the word will spread as the COTA sign committee continues to put up new signs through the trail network and more education is done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cog Wild View Post
    For day and multi-day tours, the answer is yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cog Wild View Post
    Every tour starts with a pow-wow that goes over these important details.
    Yes, I remember this in the parking lot at the start of the ride as well, now that you mention it.

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    My weekend in Bend on Labor Day weekend had my buddy and I completely confused at ROW. Sure, we know to always give ROW to the uphill traffic, and did so on every occasion. At the same time, nobody seemed to give us ROW when we were climbing. I felt like I was playing a game of chicken every time, and out of being courteous, I yielded every time, even when I really shouldn't have. I just wanted to avoid conflict as we are "tourists", I guess, with us being from the valley visiting your trails.

    Our conclusion was that it was "just how it is" over there. I didn't take the time to get too butt-hurt over it, as I was too busy enjoying the ride and the trails themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorgedon View Post
    . . . . the boorish behavior occasionally seen on most trails.
    Wrong time to discuss cyclists riding singletrack with unleashed dogs?

    Kidding -- let's let that one go.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropped68 View Post
    Wrong time to discuss cyclists riding singletrack with unleashed dogs?

    Kidding -- let's let that one go.
    We covered that earlier this season, I believe. Still an issue, but why beat it to death....
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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    We covered that earlier this season, I believe. Still an issue, but why beat it to death....
    Um, that was my point. Reminds me never to try humor on a message board, though.

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    Sounds like Cog Wild is doing their bit. Nothing is ever perfect, but they are giving it the old post-graduate try.

    I like my handlebar bell at blind corners. Eight bucks at REI. Big help (but again, nothing's perfect).
    Whining is not a strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropped68 View Post
    Um, that was my point. Reminds me never to try humor on a message board, though.
    So true!! I certainly want to stay away from the K9 subject....... Both in this forum and on the trail.
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    It's always at the worst possible moment isn't it>

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    COTA Rules posted at Phil's TH. Large type that is easy to read. If this was printed on attention grabbing brightly colored fluorescent paper and posted at each TH many more riders would be educated on the ROW.

    Bend Trails - Rigtht of Way Rant-cota-rules.jpg

  43. #43
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    Putting up signage is one thing but getting people to follow the recommendations is another task altogether. I think most people believe that the rules don't apply to them.

    Good on Cog Wild for informing their customers, but I don't think anyone should be pointing their fingers at them. Like they said, the number of people that they shuttle up the mountains is a fraction of those who go out there on any given day. Cog Wild should not be made some kind of scapegoat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    COTA Rules posted at Phil's TH. Large type that is easy to read. If this was printed on attention grabbing brightly colored fluorescent paper and posted at each TH many more riders would be educated on the ROW.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    While the full list is nice, the fact that it is a long list makes it more likely to be ignored. Large, very simple signs saying something like "Downhill Traffic Must Yield to Uphill Traffic = Good Juju" should also be employed, as that one rule kind of implies all the rest, anyway. THEN, you can have the more complete lists.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    While the full list is nice, the fact that it is a long list makes it more likely to be ignored. Large, very simple signs saying something like "Downhill Traffic Must Yield to Uphill Traffic = Good Juju" should also be employed, as that one rule kind of implies all the rest, anyway. THEN, you can have the more complete lists.
    True. Too much text makes people not read.

    A simple "Descending riders stop for others" sign without any other text would be the most effective way to communicate the idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    True. Too much text makes people not read.
    Few words that travel with you. Reversible jersey.

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    I have to put my $.02 in here. Seems like COG is getting a bit hammered in this thread, unfairly. What about the Spandex Jockeys on the MBSEF "team"? I was making a few runs down Lower Whoops (a downhill specific trail) and a few riders were riding UPHILL. I had to bail out and came close to absolutely crushing them. I stopped at the bottom and discussed what happened with the groups "leader" and he just laughed it off and saying they were all taking photos on a few of the jumps. I was also told that I needed to chill out and watch my speed so it wouldn't happen again.
    Just say NO, to climbing!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by GratefulMTB View Post
    I was making a few runs down Lower Whoops (a downhill specific trail) and a few riders were riding UPHILL. I had to bail out and came close to absolutely crushing them. I stopped at the bottom and discussed what happened with the groups "leader" and he just laughed it off and saying they were all taking photos on a few of the jumps. I was also told that I needed to chill out and watch my speed so it wouldn't happen again.
    Very lucky that you noticed them in time to bail without having a horrific accident. There are many riders that rip down Whoops at speeds that would be deadly if they had a head-on collision with a rider going UP!

    The MBSEF website lists Seth Gehman as the head cycling coach. IMO you should send him an email describing this incident. Whoops is designated DH only for a reason SAFETY and MBSEF makes a point of having their coaches and athletes act in a courteous and safe manner.

    sethwgehman@gmail.com

    And CC

    John Schiemer, Executive Director

    john@mbsef.org

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GratefulMTB View Post
    I have to put my $.02 in here. Seems like COG is getting a bit hammered in this thread, unfairly. What about the Spandex Jockeys on the MBSEF "team"? I was making a few runs down Lower Whoops (a downhill specific trail) and a few riders were riding UPHILL. I had to bail out and came close to absolutely crushing them. I stopped at the bottom and discussed what happened with the groups "leader" and he just laughed it off and saying they were all taking photos on a few of the jumps. I was also told that I needed to chill out and watch my speed so it wouldn't happen again.
    Ridiculous. "leader" sounds like an ass.

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    I climbed up South Fork and Flagline last week, and I was so freaking alert, trying to get out of the way as SOON as I heard anyone descending. Fine, I had the right of way, but I would rather do the safe thing and just be out of the way before anyone see's me. I was even afraid to coast, because I thought someone would sneak up on my when the freewheel was clicking. If you are climbing up something steep, chances are someone will be coming down fast, and in my opinion, you can't just be lazy rocking out with your ear buds because you "have the right of way" climbing. Gotta use common sense too.... Oh and yes common sense says I shouldn't have been climbing South fork and Flagline then, but thats why I was bein extra steath.
    Bend, Oregon

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