Poll: Which statement is best for a trail head sign?

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  1. #1
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    Trail Etiquette Poll

    COTA is working on the best way to state "right of way". All three options say uphill has the right of way, but which would be best on a trail head sign?

    We have devised a few other messages, so this poll is really seeking only info on your opinion about which one of these three options BEST states the guideline.

    Thanks for your participation.
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  2. #2
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    I started to click option #3 -- "Uphill Riders have the Right Of Way" but then I thought about it. Shouldn't it be "Uphill Traffic has the Right Of Way"?

    I mean, what about hikers? Equestrians?

    So I didn't vote.

    In fact, it got me to thinking. If we're talking about a mountain-bike-exclusive trail network, I'd seriously consider changing the rule for that... to downhill has right of way. Let me make it clear that for downhill right of way I'm ONLY talking about a trail network that is open EXCLUSIVELY to mountain bikes -- ZERO other users.

    My comments here might open a can of worms. Just for the record I'm a staunch supporter of uphill right of way on multi-user trail systems. That's why the word "rider" in option #3 hit me oddly.

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  3. #3
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    Sparty. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    I also think there is a bit of irony in the title "trail etiquette poll" and the rule that one party has the right of way. If everyone exercised a bit of etiquette, there would be absolutely no need for a right of way rule. When I am out on the trail, I try to let the situation dictate my response. I try to be prepared to pull over for others in every situation, whether its uphill, downhill, or flat. If I'm grinding up a sweet downhill section, I almost always try to pull out of the trail to let downhill riders keep the fun up. When I'm going down and run into folks going up, I slow down and pull off to where I can stop to let them by. If they volunteer to move out of the way and tell me to keep going, I thank them and keep on. If they keep going, I let them through.

    Moral of the story, be nice to people and use some etiquette and everyone usually stays happy. Unfortunately, it really seems to be the folks that either completely ignore the rule (downhill riders not stopping and forcing uphill riders out of the way) or rigidly adhere to it with no exceptions. Classic example of this is the guy that gives you a dirty look like you didn't get far enough out of the way while he climbed by only to see him stop for a break 10 feet up the trail.

    Sooo, back to the poll, if I had a choice, I'd do an option 4: Common courtesy is the best way to ride. Otherwise, uphill has the right of way. Since that's not available as an option, I voted for 2 because provides a standard of conduct that downhill riders must observe rather than giving "rights" to uphill riders.

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    Thorkild, I know that you have ridden Falls Creek in SW WA. I cannot imagine getting off the bike on that early climb for some dude that most likely shuttled it. Even if said rider did climb up that should only make him more aware of the situation. Overall this topic is a slippery slope. Each situation is different and I most certainly agree in regards to common courtesy be the starting place for most decisions. BTW, this is kinda funny considering that there is no climbing in Bend. Sparty, I don't care for horsey types. I don't cause any trouble with them, but I don't consider them since they should be riding in the Wilderness anyway. I must mention again that it should depend on the situation. If I had to choose what is available it would be number three. For the shuttle types that I have repeatedly offended... sorry.
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  5. #5
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    I try to climb the road on Falls Creek to avoid conflicts and because I prefer loops. I also rarely ride it because I usually run into hikers through the best parts and there other less crowded places to ride. Same goes for coming down Ape Canyon--sweet trail, but not worth the stop and start. If I ran into you on Falls Creek, I'd be ready to stop regardless of which direction you were headed and I'd say hello and have a nice ride. I'm only snarky when someone rudely insists on their uphill right of way and then stops for a break after they get by me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    I try to climb the road on Falls Creek to avoid conflicts and because I prefer loops. I also rarely ride it because I usually run into hikers through the best parts and there other less crowded places to ride. Same goes for coming down Ape Canyon--sweet trail, but not worth the stop and start. If I ran into you on Falls Creek, I'd be ready to stop regardless of which direction you were headed and I'd say hello and have a nice ride. I'm only snarky when someone rudely insists on their uphill right of way and then stops for a break after they get by me.
    I would chat with you anytime. As far as Ape I am confused due to my desire to always complete it with Smith Creek... thus, a loop. You miss the best descent at Falls Creek by only doing the uphill on McClellan Meadows too. We agree about the courtesy issue period, no arguement at all. See you out there sometime. BTW, I tend to start Falls Creek in the late afternoon to avoid conflicts. If you start around 3 or so it's a lonely place...
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    I would chat with you anytime. As far as Ape I am confused due to my desire to always complete it with Smith Creek... thus, a loop. You miss the best descent at Falls Creek by only doing the uphill on McClellan Meadows too. We agree about the courtesy issue period, no arguement at all. See you out there sometime. BTW, I tend to start Falls Creek in the late afternoon to avoid conflicts. If you start around 3 or so it's a lonely place...
    Good to know about the late start for Falls Creek. On Ape, the Smith Creek loop is by far my favorite way to do the ride. One of the best in the region. But, coming back down Ape is an absolutely amazing trail that rivals Oakridge in my opinion if you can avoid the people, which is nearly impossible.

  8. #8
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    Getting back to COTA and the Phil's trail area, I'd vote for big "TRAIL CLOSED" signs during muddy spring conditions.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    Sparty. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    ...
    Thanks, Brutha.

    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    ... Common courtesy is the best way to ride. ...
    And I agree with you here. Only problem is I've discovered that common courtesy isn't so common. It's the yokels that rules are written for, so the rules have to be spelled out pretty clearly. Even then, there's a good chance the yokels will do whatever they want anyway.

    Kinda like locks don't do much besides keep honest people honest. Thieves don't give a chit, they just up their game.

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  10. #10
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    By putting a rule in-place you are effectively granting someone superiority over another.
    I loath the biker->hiker->equestrian signs, it creates 3 classes of users. Signs should simply say "pay attention and be considerate of others."

  11. #11
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    I voted for option 2. I don't like option 1 since it states that downhill riders need to stop, which in most cases really isn't necessary.

    Can't say that I agree with the idea of giving downhill riders the right-of-way even on MTB only trail systems. If all riders were considerate, skilled, and responsible sure, but downhill right-of-way seems like a bit of a license for inconsiderate riders to behave badly. Not only that, but going against a fairly universally applied standard will likely lead to issues, especially on a trail system that gets tons of use from people from out of town/state.

    I generally move over to let a downhill rider pass when I'm climbing unless it's really steep and technical and getting started again is an issue. If it's too narrow for both to pass, and I'm in a spot that is easier for me to stop than the downhill rider, then I'll stop and move off the trail. Same goes for a situation when I'm riding solo and I come across a large group coming the other way. Easier for me to yeild than for 5 other riders to do so.

    Pretty simple really when all invovled are being courteous and using common sense.

  12. #12
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    I'll go with #2 but only if you change it to, "Downhill riders yield to others."

    On a multi-use trail network "uphill riders have right of way" gives uphill bike riders ROW over people on foot and horseback, which can lead to confusion.
    Last edited by Nat; 01-18-2013 at 06:06 PM.

  13. #13
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    Oregonians at a 4-way stop courtesy of Portlandia:
    Portlandia "No You Go" clip - YouTube

    Odd that doesn't translate often enough to the trail.

  14. #14
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    I still think the uphill rider has the right of way if we are talking about a cross-country trail. To be clear, I believe most trails around here are cross-country trails. But if a trail is designated as a down-hill or otherwise one-way trail (e.g. Sandy Ridge), then it's clear who has the right of way there!
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    Sparty. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    I also think there is a bit of irony in the title "trail etiquette poll" and the rule that one party has the right of way. If everyone exercised a bit of etiquette, there would be absolutely no need for a right of way rule. When I am out on the trail, I try to let the situation dictate my response. I try to be prepared to pull over for others in every situation, whether its uphill, downhill, or flat. If I'm grinding up a sweet downhill section, I almost always try to pull out of the trail to let downhill riders keep the fun up. When I'm going down and run into folks going up, I slow down and pull off to where I can stop to let them by. If they volunteer to move out of the way and tell me to keep going, I thank them and keep on. If they keep going, I let them through.

    Moral of the story, be nice to people and use some etiquette and everyone usually stays happy. Unfortunately, it really seems to be the folks that either completely ignore the rule (downhill riders not stopping and forcing uphill riders out of the way) or rigidly adhere to it with no exceptions. Classic example of this is the guy that gives you a dirty look like you didn't get far enough out of the way while he climbed by only to see him stop for a break 10 feet up the trail.

    Sooo, back to the poll, if I had a choice, I'd do an option 4: Common courtesy is the best way to ride. Otherwise, uphill has the right of way. Since that's not available as an option, I voted for 2 because provides a standard of conduct that downhill riders must observe rather than giving "rights" to uphill riders.
    Completely agree with most of what you have to say here.

    It always made sense to me to have the right of way coming down hill. I usually stop, get out of the way, and make sure to yell "keep it goin bra" or something to communicate to the downhiller to keep going. But again I simply let the circumstances dictate cross traffic...... if I am on a really techy climb I'm trying to nail I'll have at it. I always ALWAYS completely stop for hikers, smile, say hello, and let them decide what's next, same for horses, and vehemently insist anybody riding with me do the same.

    I feel a little to much emphasis is put on signage and etiquette. After 30 some years out on the trails I've come to the conclusion either your a toolbox or your not. No sign is going to change that.

    And oh yeah, I almost always ride Falls Creek as loop and use the road, and you haven't ridden ST. Helens untill you've started down at Smith Creek and ridden the Ape Canyon loop counterclockwise
    Last edited by WHALENARD; 01-20-2013 at 02:24 PM.

  16. #16
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    I believe the right away should always be to the person moving the fastest, like the DH rider as the climber can usually move aside much easier than the descender in most circustances. All riders should yield to all other users going either direction unless the other user (hiker) steps aside and let you pass by of course. So, I vote for none of the above.

    Oh, I guess if I had to pick between the three, #2 would get my vote as the DH should yield and pass with precaution or as indicated by the uphill person to do so.
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  17. #17
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    I hate to see a DH rider lock it up to slow down enough to get off the trail when I can so easily move over at climbing speed. I would retain the ROW for the uphill rider, but I frequently wave the DH rider through.

  18. #18
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    Voted for #2.

    I usually will get over when climbing if I see someone heading downhill as that is what I would like someone to do for me - keep the flow going. That said, there are a few spots around where if I stop on my SS while climbing it most likely means I get to walk to the top. Been called a few classy names which usually gets me to stop anyway for a discussion.

    Like the four-way stop video, ROW is important so that everyone knows what is expected. The person with the ROW can always defer.

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    the 3 choices are all goofy to me
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockin View Post
    That said, there are a few spots around where if I stop on my SS while climbing it most likely means I get to walk to the top.
    Too me, this is the obvious, most self-evident reason. Hard to believe there really is a discussion on this at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
    I hate to see a DH rider lock it up to slow down enough to get off the trail when I can so easily move over at climbing speed. I would retain the ROW for the uphill rider, but I frequently wave the DH rider through.
    If a rider has to lock it up they are riding out of control & are in need of a little instruction, which often takes place as I ride past them & say, "No skidding, please."


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorgedon View Post
    If a rider has to lock it up they are riding out of control & are in need of a little instruction, which often takes place as I ride past them & say, "No skidding, please."

    Great point. See this all the time...
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    We need to stick with one rule IMO or it will get all muddled up. I voted uphill riders have the right of way, but I voted too quickly, because option 2 might be the better choice.

    "Bend with the trail, don't brake it"

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    I agree with TheSchwagman about larger signs being posted to keep trail users off during muddy conditions.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Too me, this is the obvious, most self-evident reason. Hard to believe there really is a discussion on this at all.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sans soucie View Post
    COTA is working on the best way to state "right of way". All three options say uphill has the right of way, but which would be best on a trail head sign?
    "Ascending rider has the right of way." That way there's none of that "but I'm uphill of you, therefore I'm the uphill rider" discussion.

    I also agree that the descending rider should have ROW at places like Blackrock and Sandy Ridge, but that it should be clearly stated that that's an aberration from The Rules [tm].

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  28. #28
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    Like Sparty and others, I initially thought #3 made the most sense. But I ultimately voted for #2 as more appropriate to a multi-use trail. And I agree with Nat that it should be "yield to others" not "yield for others."
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielle View Post
    "Ascending rider has the right of way." That way there's none of that "but I'm uphill of you, therefore I'm the uphill rider" discussion.
    Great point. We understand "uphill" and "downhill" as terms referring to the motion of the bike rider but someone new to the trails could misinterpret the terms as referring to the relative position of the bike rider.

    Therefore, I think "Descending riders yield to others" would be most accurate.

  30. #30
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    That's it

    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy View Post
    Like Sparty and others, I initially thought #3 made the most sense. But I ultimately voted for #2 as more appropriate to a multi-use trail. And I agree with Nat that it should be "yield to others" not "yield for others."
    I'd vote for option 2.1 -- "Descending riders yield to others."

    Er... if option 2.1 were there, anyway. Meanwhile should I vote for option 2 just to be counted?

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by imadumas View Post
    skidders know no rules...
    I believe the proper term is "skidiot".

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    I voted because I know you are just trying to put the right words on a sign (#2). Since this is a discussion, however, I would like to suggest that we consider the implementation of more one-way trails. I love that Whoops is a one-way trail. While I have ridden in Bend since about 1993, I currently reside in Rotorua New Zealand. The trails here are almost exclusively one-way. I am blown away at how effective this system is. Firstly, rider conflict is almost eliminated with one-way traffic as you only need to ever pass or be passed riders of different paces. You can really let it rip here! Secondly, even though the trails in Rotorua areas sees huge amounts of users, the lack of oncoming traffic makes the place seem almost empty. Couldn't this relieve congestion in the Phil's Triangle? Thirdly, trails can be designed for the designated direction of traffic. The trails here have crazy flow. The riders here, in general, have very little conflict and are much happier for it. While I am excited return to Bend riding, I do not look foward to the "looks" I get from uphill riders. The entire discussion of "right of way" implies that an uphill rider is more "righteous" than the downhill one--a feeling I get often from the indignant glares of my fellow riders. I am respectful of other riders but sometimes I can't help but feel that my downhill direction is sinful in the eyes of my uphill counterparts. Instead of a discussion of "right of way" lets just ride the right way--one way!

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    I've heard that about New Zealand ... even some of the long-distance hiking tracks are one-way, right?

    I experienced what you're talking about a couple of years ago on the Lebanon Hills trail system in Minnesota: a hugely popular network, but you run into very few other people because everyone's going the same direction. What I didn't like about Lebanon Hills was that almost everyone seemed to be in hammer mode, with most people treating it more like a technical racetrack than a ramble through the woods, and to me that's a whole lot less fun. So if you're a "just ride" type like me, you still end up seeing a fair number of people - as they pass you. It seemed that the one-way system encourages that behavior (at least if usage is high) because who wants to be getting passed all the time? But overall, even with the hypercompetitiveness of riding there, it still beat having the same number of people on the trail and running into oncoming riders every 30 seconds (which IS what you would have at LH if it weren't one-way).

    But while this can work great for MTB-specific trails, I don't realistically think you can get multi-use trails designated one-way. If you have other users, like hikers, you're always going to have people who want to do an out-and-back as far as they feel like hiking that day, without being committed to a huge loop. You're only going to pull off one-way trails if they're MTB-only, and we have damn few of those.
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 01-23-2013 at 10:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschmid View Post
    I voted because I know you are just trying to put the right words on a sign (#2). Since this is a discussion, however, I would like to suggest that we consider the implementation of more one-way trails. I love that Whoops is a one-way trail. While I have ridden in Bend since about 1993, I currently reside in Rotorua New Zealand. The trails here are almost exclusively one-way. I am blown away at how effective this system is. Firstly, rider conflict is almost eliminated with one-way traffic as you only need to ever pass or be passed riders of different paces. You can really let it rip here! Secondly, even though the trails in Rotorua areas sees huge amounts of users, the lack of oncoming traffic makes the place seem almost empty. Couldn't this relieve congestion in the Phil's Triangle? Thirdly, trails can be designed for the designated direction of traffic. The trails here have crazy flow. The riders here, in general, have very little conflict and are much happier for it. While I am excited return to Bend riding, I do not look foward to the "looks" I get from uphill riders. The entire discussion of "right of way" implies that an uphill rider is more "righteous" than the downhill one--a feeling I get often from the indignant glares of my fellow riders. I am respectful of other riders but sometimes I can't help but feel that my downhill direction is sinful in the eyes of my uphill counterparts. Instead of a discussion of "right of way" lets just ride the right way--one way!
    Great points. This is especially true with the increased use of tracking tools like Strava. Folks are out there to ride fast and furious! To be candid, I am a Strava user and my enjoyment of riding has increased by using it. That being said, I am very conscious of other riders and work hard to be polite and treat people with respect. The Phil's Triangle is very busy and one way trails might make sense. Of course the question will be, which ones? Kent's uphill and Phil's downhill, etc.... Tough to resolve. I think the signs will be a big help.

    I look forward to the opportunity to ride in New Zealand soon. The company I work for is based in Wellington. Sounds like an awesome place! Cheers!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Great points. This is especially true with the increased use of tracking tools like Strava. Folks are out there to ride fast and furious! To be candid, I am a Strava user and my enjoyment of riding has increased by using it. . . .
    Maybe Strava needs a tool so you can put an asterisk on those runs where you weren't quite King of the Mountain, but had to slow down for some other users.

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    I've never had much conflict of deciding who has the ROW, In my experience the major problem is the person giving up the ROW ( which ever direction) does so by riding off the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Muesl View Post
    Maybe Strava needs a tool so you can put an asterisk on those runs where you weren't quite King of the Mountain, but had to slow down for some other users.
    LMAO!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in Bend View Post
    I've never had much conflict of deciding who has the ROW, In my experience the major problem is the person giving up the ROW ( which ever direction) does so by riding off the trail.
    Agreed 1,000%!!!
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorkild View Post
    Sparty. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    I also think there is a bit of irony in the title "trail etiquette poll" and the rule that one party has the right of way. If everyone exercised a bit of etiquette, there would be absolutely no need for a right of way rule. When I am out on the trail, I try to let the situation dictate my response. I try to be prepared to pull over for others in every situation, whether its uphill, downhill, or flat. If I'm grinding up a sweet downhill section, I almost always try to pull out of the trail to let downhill riders keep the fun up. When I'm going down and run into folks going up, I slow down and pull off to where I can stop to let them by. If they volunteer to move out of the way and tell me to keep going, I thank them and keep on. If they keep going, I let them through.

    Moral of the story, be nice to people and use some etiquette and everyone usually stays happy. Unfortunately, it really seems to be the folks that either completely ignore the rule (downhill riders not stopping and forcing uphill riders out of the way) or rigidly adhere to it with no exceptions. Classic example of this is the guy that gives you a dirty look like you didn't get far enough out of the way while he climbed by only to see him stop for a break 10 feet up the trail.

    Sooo, back to the poll, if I had a choice, I'd do an option 4: Common courtesy is the best way to ride. Otherwise, uphill has the right of way. Since that's not available as an option, I voted for 2 because provides a standard of conduct that downhill riders must observe rather than giving "rights" to uphill riders.
    I agree, if all of us would show some common courtesy then there would be no discussion about this subject. Being a rider who lives for the down, if I am climbing up I always pull over for the down so they can enjoy it but just like thorkid said, common courtesy is the best way, so if I am blasting down I always stop for the uphill.

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    Didn't vote all 3 options I don't like.

    Its easier for the person going uphill to move over so thats my vote. But I usually move over going either direction..so whatever...its not that big of a deal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTMDirtFace View Post
    Didn't vote all 3 options I don't like.

    Its easier for the person going uphill to move over so thats my vote. But I usually move over going either direction..so whatever...its not that big of a deal.
    Without intending to be disagreeable, you're wrong, KTMDirtFace. It is a big deal and those that don't see that it's a big deal are part of the problem. We're talking about a strategy to reduce trail conflict here; that's why it's important.

    Here's an extreme illustration, unrelated to trails: let's eliminate all traffic signals on roads and just tell drivers to "be nice and do the right thing" whenever they approach an intersection. Nope, that ain't gonna work. There's a good reason to have red and green lights.

    Sometimes rules confine us, other times rules provide us with freedom. This trail etiquette thing falls into the latter. It allows people to establish expectations, just like someone has when they're driving their car and they approach a green light -- people need to understand who has the right of way so something bad doesn't happen (at worst, like a collision) and avoid conflict (at the least).

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    I meant its not that big of a deal to me I yield both directions. So whatever some sign says is not going to matter to me.

    So if I had to pick one I would pick #2

    Where is the option that uphill yield to downhill
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTMDirtFace View Post
    I meant its not that big of a deal to me I yield both directions. So whatever some sign says is not going to matter to me.

    So if I had to pick one I would pick #2

    Where is the option that uphill yield to downhill
    Thanks for clarifying and I'm sorry I didn't understand the intent of your previous statement. I wouldn't have gone on such a tear.

    Part of the problem I see with trying to change established etiquette / user priority / whatever people want to call it is historic use. Throughout history, uphill trail traffic has enjoyed the right of way, so this is the current situation whether we like it or not. Then, in a relatively short time span (~20 years) along comes a "new" user group (mountain bikers) who, during that short span of time has become the predominant user group on many if not most trails. What to do? Change a longstanding and respected rule of etiquette just for the new (current) predominant user? Maybe. Maybe not. Who's to say who'll be the predominant trail user group in another 20 years? If mountain bikes had been around since the very beginning, maybe downhill right of way is the way things would have gone from the get go. Wouldn't that have been nice? I personally think so.

    But changing things now... whoa... what an uphill battle, if you'll forgive the pun. Everybody would have to be on board... the hikers, the equestrians, everybody. I just don't see this happening anytime soon, except on mountain-bike-only trail networks, where it's easy to do with trailhead signs &/or uphill-only and downhill-only trails.

    Meanwhile I'm frustrated by those folks who seem to feel we can change the uphill/downhill priority just be agreeing to on our own. I'm not saying you're one of those folks.

    I'm even more frustrated by those who simply ignore the rules. They seem to think they're effecting change when all they're really doing is making haters out of other trail users, including some people within their own ranks. Too bad.

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    Holly smokes Sparticus....overreact much? Last time I checked a mountain bike is not 2000+ pounds and deadly and your analogy is pointless. I've been mountain biking for over 25 years and guess what....the whole right of way thing (directional trails aside) is NOT a big deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big JC View Post
    Holly smokes Sparticus....overreact much? Last time I checked a mountain bike is not 2000+ pounds and deadly and your analogy is pointless. I've been mountain biking for over 25 years and guess what....the whole right of way thing (directional trails aside) is NOT a big deal.
    So we've been riding about the same amount of time you & I... well, I've been at it couple years longer than you but who's counting?

    I agree it's not a big deal at the moment. I'm convinced that's because currently people respect the "rule" for the most part. But it'll become a big deal if mountain bikers, one by one, begin to simply disregard it. My concern stems from the fact that I know people who ride mountain bikes who do disregard it. They think the uphill right of way rule is inconvenient so they ignore it. In most cases they're relatively new to the sport (maybe to trails in general?) so I guess they either don't know / don't care or they simply think it's time things changed so they'll change them in whatever way they want by doing whatever they want. Maybe these are the same folks who get into the left lane on the freeway and just park there while traffic stacks up behind them? You know, the ones who disregard those inconvenient "Keep right except to pass" signs.

    Same attitude.

    Anyway, these folks are out there, within the sport I love but they don't represent me. I fear they're gaining ground. In fact, I'm afraid just a few of them can ruin things for the majority. For me. For all of us. What are they teaching the friends they bring into the sport of mountain biking? So call me an overreacter or whatever you want, but I'll continue use this forum to point out the self-absorbed, self-serving attitudes of such mountain bikers so long as I'm convinced it threatens access to even one trail.

    But yeah, for the record, I'm in a mood today. Sorry if I've come across a little overly fervent. Cheers!

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    Well I said over 25 years, been on a bike in the woods since I was 6 which was a looong time ago. I see your point but from my experience a percentage of mountain bikers are just tools as is a certain percentage of society at large. Over those many years on a bike I don't really see that percentage of mountain bikers that are tools growing or shrinking, it remains a constant..... signs or no signs. As many people pointed out on this thread trail etiquette is really unique to specific circumstances. I personally don't think signs have much of an impact safeguarding our mutually beloved sport. I feel being a good trail steward, advocating, etc. is energy better spent (which I know you do plenty of, and commend you for sir).

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    Quote Originally Posted by big JC View Post
    Well I said over 25 years, been on a bike in the woods since I was 6 which was a looong time ago. I see your point but from my experience a percentage of mountain bikers are just tools as is a certain percentage of society at large. Over those many years on a bike I don't really see that percentage of mountain bikers that are tools growing or shrinking, it remains a constant..... signs or no signs. As many people pointed out on this thread trail etiquette is really unique to specific circumstances. I personally don't think signs have much of an impact safeguarding our mutually beloved sport. I feel being a good trail steward, advocating, etc. is energy better spent (which I know you do plenty of, and commend you for sir).
    You know we agree there and I thank you for all you do to advance the sport and support mountain bike riding areas and the people use them. Hope to see you on the trail soon, my friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I'm even more frustrated by those who simply ignore the rules. They seem to think they're effecting change when all they're really doing is making haters out of other trail users, including some people within their own ranks. Too bad.

    --sParty
    This.

    The signs should read "Uphill riders have the right of way - even if you are a Strava dork, or there is a Super D next weekend or you are on a group ride with 17 other a-holes." Seems like that would clear up a few problems.
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    None of the above - Uphill riders yield to downhill. When are we going to get it Mr and Mrs MTB? Downhill yield to uphill is based on driving on ice covered roads. It is plain stupid in MTB.

    Uphill can see farther ahead. Uphill can hear more. Uphill can stop faster and more safely. Uphill can clear the trail faster. You work too hard to get to enjoy the downhill for too little time to have your line and rhythm messed-up by self-justified climbing riders, or walkers, or anything else.

    Interruption of short-term and harmless MTB enjoyment is the realm of narcissists, bureaucrats and s#itheads. Someone should post a meaningful poll. This one is like choosing which of your relatives gets to rape you.
    Last edited by Ridnparadise; 02-12-2013 at 03:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gorgedon View Post
    If a rider has to lock it up they are riding out of control & are in need of a little instruction, which often takes place as I ride past them & say, "No skidding, please."

    I bet they really respect that with you on your kiddie tricycle, or maybe your winged horse. Locking up on dirt - that must be easily as bad as a plane crash? I'd never have started riding MTB if I ever thought I might skid - arrrgggghhh!

    What do you guess might happen if you force someone to take evasive action to avoid splattering your self-opinionated, egocentric, cycling instructor arse? I say guess, as "think" is clearly a limited commodity in your attitude.

    Get out of the way and help someone else enjoy their day! Ever tried that? You may get a friendly response.

    Just one more thing - do you ever lift a tool to build trail, or do you just lecture people on how to ride to your (limited) level?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Without intending to be disagreeable, you're wrong, KTMDirtFace. It is a big deal and those that don't see that it's a big deal are part of the problem. We're talking about a strategy to reduce trail conflict here; that's why it's important.

    Here's an extreme illustration, unrelated to trails: let's eliminate all traffic signals on roads and just tell drivers to "be nice and do the right thing" whenever they approach an intersection. Nope, that ain't gonna work. There's a good reason to have red and green lights.

    Sometimes rules confine us, other times rules provide us with freedom. This trail etiquette thing falls into the latter. It allows people to establish expectations, just like someone has when they're driving their car and they approach a green light -- people need to understand who has the right of way so something bad doesn't happen (at worst, like a collision) and avoid conflict (at the least).

    --sParty
    You sound like a Sunday morning TV preacher. Who gives you the right to say that enforcing rules is good for anyone but you? Maybe you are a lawyer, or you wrote Mau's Little Red Book? When you dictate a rule that makes no sense in terms of the physics of the situation, all you do is open the doors to conflict and litigation.

    In case you hadn't noticed - this post is conflict and written by someone who builds and works on dual-direction MTB trail. Conflict may not happen at every encounter on trail (although it sure sounds like there are plenty of grannies here prepared to test that out), but the entire premise of having right of way in a natural environment is counter-intuitive and generates irritation within a like-minded community.

    Historically you yield and get away from what is coming to consume you. That's evolution. God and the court can't help just because you harbour the misguided belief you are in the right.

    Signposting on trail systems should be constructive. Downhill yielding to uphill traffic is the opposite.

    Just for the record, I first rode bush trails 45 years ago and have never stopped for long - big deal.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    ... Who gives you the right ...
    Thanks for clearly identifying yourself as The Problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    Mau's Little Red Book?
    I think you mean Mao, in case you care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gorgedon View Post
    I think you mean Mao, in case you care.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Thanks for clearly identifying yourself as The Problem.

    --sParty
    The problem? You have to be kidding. I don't have any issues or conflicts on the trail. I think it was 4 stops to give way to descending riders and 2 for ascending this last week. Common courtesy is not about rules, but if you have to make them, then make them sensible. IMBA has got it all wrong supporting yield to ascending riders. As I said somewhere earlier, it is a rule based on driving cars on icy roads, not MTB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gorgedon View Post
    I think you mean Mao, in case you care.
    .....
    Last edited by willem3; 02-12-2013 at 07:57 PM.
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    The problem? You have to be kidding. I don't have any issues or conflicts on the trail. I think it was 4 stops to give way to descending riders and 2 for ascending this last week. Common courtesy is not about rules, but if you have to make them, then make them sensible. IMBA has got it all wrong supporting yield to ascending riders. As I said somewhere earlier, it is a rule based on driving cars on icy roads, not MTB.
    "When arguing with a fool, be certain he is not similarly engaged."

    I apologize to everyone on this forum for going off earlier. I might have been as self righteous as Ridnparadise appears to be. I hope I wasn't as insensitive as he was when he burst onto the scene telling people how stupid they are, but perhaps I was. If so, please forgive.

    Outta here to chill for a while,
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    Sparty -- No such problem, my friend. i saw you as the voice of reason, which isn't always appreciated, as you may have noticed.

    The rules simply are: downhill yields on 2-way XC trails. If you don't like it, join IMBA and tell them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    .....
    China has a strong economy too.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    China has a strong economy too.....
    Not going into a back and forth on this. Not a political forum!! Need to stay on my best behavior.... ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Not going into a back and forth on this. Not a political forum!! Need to stay on my best behavior.... ;-)
    Thank you.

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  63. #63
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    Just curious why "Descending riders stop for others" was chosen to represent the new creed. It clearly got the fewest votes, and seems a tad too far, IMO. Seems like option two would be the most logical and user friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Just curious why "Descending riders stop for others" was chosen to represent the new creed. It clearly got the fewest votes, and seems a tad too far, IMO. Seems like option two would be the most logical and user friendly.

    Calling All Graphic Artists!
    Dam good question there, DF. Was this like one of those govamint "public comment period" deals where they already know what they wanna do in advance but they're required to ask, just so they can say they asked? Hmmm... or maybe they posted the same poll on a whole bunch of other forums besides MTBR and on all those other forums, "DH stop for others" won?

    That's probably it.

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    Poll = FAIL. Anyone promoting uphill MTB over downhill is a knucklehead. Common sense dictates the opposite, but don't let that get in the way of your righteous indignations (and rules)........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    I bet they really respect that with you on your kiddie tricycle, or maybe your winged horse. Locking up on dirt - that must be easily as bad as a plane crash? I'd never have started riding MTB if I ever thought I might skid - arrrgggghhh!

    What do you guess might happen if you force someone to take evasive action to avoid splattering your self-opinionated, egocentric, cycling instructor arse? I say guess, as "think" is clearly a limited commodity in your attitude.

    Get out of the way and help someone else enjoy their day! Ever tried that? You may get a friendly response.

    Just one more thing - do you ever lift a tool to build trail, or do you just lecture people on how to ride to your (limited) level?
    You are completely off base here. A little mad, maybe?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeMan View Post
    You are completely off base here. A little mad, maybe?
    If by mad you mean angry at the concept of uphill riders owning some right to make downhill riders skid to avoid collision, when they clearly knew they were coming, then correct. If by off-base you mean that there is actually sense in the faster rider who can see less, hear less and cannot stop as easily being responsible for some uphill dork getting in their way, based on rules rather than common sense, then I disagree.

  68. #68
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    let's just make all the trails "one way" - then ya'all can check your manners at the trail head and not worry about impacting other riders. our "me first" society is amazing...and we wonder why we need etiquette rules in the forest?
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    First off, I'd like to thank everyone for voting and for voicing their opinion in this Poll. Clearly the "who should yield" is a hot issue.

    COTA wanted to conduct this poll (here and elsewhere) to gauge opinions and get you all talking about the question of trail etiquette on two-way trails. We succeeded in that.

    We started out with these assumptions:
    1. The uphill mountain biker does have the right-of-way over other mountain bikers. It's this way everywhere in the country on two-way trails, IMBA and many other clubs promote this guideline and we didn't want to try to reinvent this "rule".
    2. We are only suggesting this for two-way trails, because for now, almost every trail is two-way. One-way trail designations is an ENTIRELY different discussion.
    3. Even though most of the trails West of Bend are "primarily" mountain bike use, they are in fact multiple-use trails - runners, hikers, kids and families all use these trails.

    Moving forward from those points: Many mountain bikers need to be educated about trail etiquette as regards EACH OTHER just as much as they do about OTHER TRAIL USERS.

    There's a well-established triangular yield sign that shows bikes must yield to others (equestrians and hikers). Again, we did not set out to change this guideline.

    So, this brings us to your questions; Why did COTA decide to adopt the least popular statement (at least on here) regarding bikes yielding? Here's why:

    The term "Yield" is insufficient, we felt, because it CAN be interpreted as "give-way" or "go-around". See where I'm going with this? We want to keep bikes ON THE TRAIL. "Yield" has a way of implying it's OK to go off the trail and it's just not OK.

    Also, saying "Uphill Riders Have The Right of Way" is actually only partially true on multiple use trails. They do not have the right of way over hikers, runners and / or horses. We didn't want to imply that bikes have the right-of-way over everyone if they happen to be going uphill.

    This leaves us with Descending Riders Stop for Others. (of course, only on two-way trails, do I really have to repeat myself?). If anything this gets your attention, correct?

    Others did vote for this option, in fact people told us it was the clearest example of the three.

    We also realize no amount of signage, publicity or stickers, etc. will have any impact on those who disregard the guidelines anyway. COTA isn't into enforcement, either. We are hoping to educate the trail recreating public by just posting a clear set of simple, easy to understand trail etiquette rules for those who care about their behavior as it effects other trail users.

    Thanks.
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    Thanks Sans. Well said.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sans soucie View Post
    First off, I'd like to thank everyone for voting and for voicing their opinion in this Poll. Clearly the "who should yield" is a hot issue.

    COTA wanted to conduct this poll (here and elsewhere) to gauge opinions and get you all talking about the question of trail etiquette on two-way trails. We succeeded in that.

    We started out with these assumptions:
    1. The uphill mountain biker does have the right-of-way over other mountain bikers. It's this way everywhere in the country on two-way trails, IMBA and many other clubs promote this guideline and we didn't want to try to reinvent this "rule".
    2. We are only suggesting this for two-way trails, because for now, almost every trail is two-way. One-way trail designations is an ENTIRELY different discussion.
    3. Even though most of the trails West of Bend are "primarily" mountain bike use, they are in fact multiple-use trails - runners, hikers, kids and families all use these trails.

    Moving forward from those points: Many mountain bikers need to be educated about trail etiquette as regards EACH OTHER just as much as they do about OTHER TRAIL USERS.

    There's a well-established triangular yield sign that shows bikes must yield to others (equestrians and hikers). Again, we did not set out to change this guideline.

    So, this brings us to your questions; Why did COTA decide to adopt the least popular statement (at least on here) regarding bikes yielding? Here's why:

    The term "Yield" is insufficient, we felt, because it CAN be interpreted as "give-way" or "go-around". See where I'm going with this? We want to keep bikes ON THE TRAIL. "Yield" has a way of implying it's OK to go off the trail and it's just not OK.

    Also, saying "Uphill Riders Have The Right of Way" is actually only partially true on multiple use trails. They do not have the right of way over hikers, runners and / or horses. We didn't want to imply that bikes have the right-of-way over everyone if they happen to be going uphill.

    This leaves us with Descending Riders Stop for Others. (of course, only on two-way trails, do I really have to repeat myself?). If anything this gets your attention, correct?

    Others did vote for this option, in fact people told us it was the clearest example of the three.

    We also realize no amount of signage, publicity or stickers, etc. will have any impact on those who disregard the guidelines anyway. COTA isn't into enforcement, either. We are hoping to educate the trail recreating public by just posting a clear set of simple, easy to understand trail etiquette rules for those who care about their behavior as it effects other trail users.

    Thanks.
    So, basically the poll was kind of pointless. Given that it doesn't sound like you/COTA were going to deviate from the gold standard rule of, "uphill gets the right away" afterall. I should of known better to have partook in this silly poll.
    Ride On!

  72. #72
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    Trail Etiquette Poll

    Sorry to say I feel a bit manipulated by a "poll" that asked for input and then ignored it apparently in favor of a predetermined choice. It seems the biggest accomplishment of this exercise was a flame war. Too bad about that.

    However Sans, I love this:
    Quote Originally Posted by sans soucie View Post
    ...
    We also realize no amount of signage, publicity or stickers, etc. will have any impact on those who disregard the guidelines anyway. COTA isn't into enforcement, either. We are hoping to educate the trail recreating public by just posting a clear set of simple, easy to understand trail etiquette rules for those who care about their behavior as it effects other trail users.

    Thanks.
    Especially your comment about not reaching the self-righteous who disregard established, acceptable behavior because they think their opinion trumps everyone else's. Nope, not gonna reach 'em, as the exchanges in this thread clearly demonstrates. Anyway, thanks for giving this a try & hope to see you on a trail soon.

    --sParty
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  73. #73
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    There is no climbing in Bend. That is the pointless part. ha
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    I am new to this forum and I signed up specifically to talk about trail etiquette. I realize this is an age old discussion and the new "rules" have already been chosen but........1.) if you already spent time peddling uphill, didn't you earn the downhill fun? 2.) if you are going downhill and have to stop or move for the person going uphill; does that not disturb the trail everyone is always so worried about? 3.) Why are people peddling up difficult trails anyways? I realize its rewarding to "climb steeps", but seems a little lame. In my opinion, the differences people have between who has right of way is between Old folks and young folks. I seriously think they are jealous and it seems selfish to me. 4.) it can be incredibly dangerous for someone going downhill to stop or give right of way to uphill. Happened to me dozens of times and I try really hard to give up the right of way.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredeverything View Post
    I am new to this forum and I signed up specifically to talk about trail etiquette. I realize this is an age old discussion and the new "rules" have already been chosen but........1.) if you already spent time peddling uphill, didn't you earn the downhill fun? 2.) if you are going downhill and have to stop or move for the person going uphill; does that not disturb the trail everyone is always so worried about? 3.) Why are people peddling up difficult trails anyways? I realize its rewarding to "climb steeps", but seems a little lame. In my opinion, the differences people have between who has right of way is between Old folks and young folks. I seriously think they are jealous and it seems selfish to me. 4.) it can be incredibly dangerous for someone going downhill to stop or give right of way to uphill. Happened to me dozens of times and I try really hard to give up the right of way.
    Please do a forum search for relevant answers to your questions. Not just in the "Oregon" sub-forum, but forum-wide. This is discussed ad nauseam.

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    wow, just like on the trail...sorry bro. made a mistake. this is what im talking about, all ya'll "hardcore" bikers are so rude. Why did you start riding? for fun right? Ill keep off the forums for ya

  77. #77
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    Umm... was I rude? Care to elaborate?

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredeverything View Post
    I am new to this forum and I signed up specifically to talk about trail etiquette. I realize this is an age old discussion and the new "rules" have already been chosen but........1.) if you already spent time peddling uphill, didn't you earn the downhill fun? 2.) if you are going downhill and have to stop or move for the person going uphill; does that not disturb the trail everyone is always so worried about? 3.) Why are people peddling up difficult trails anyways? I realize its rewarding to "climb steeps", but seems a little lame. In my opinion, the differences people have between who has right of way is between Old folks and young folks. I seriously think they are jealous and it seems selfish to me. 4.) it can be incredibly dangerous for someone going downhill to stop or give right of way to uphill. Happened to me dozens of times and I try really hard to give up the right of way.
    I know of only a few marked one way trails; lower whoops, dirty ole pirate, lair and the jump and slalom area at Phils. Their may be others but you can "shred" those all day long.

    Which other trails would you like us to avoid climbing? You can't go anywhere around here without climbing, even if you shuttle. It's only dangerous for you to yield going downhill if your going to fast or beyond your capabilities.

    If the downhill rider was given the right of way on all trails it would give the green light for everyone to go as fast as they desire and I believe you would have much greater conflict.

    The difference between us old folks and young folks is wisdom.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in Bend View Post
    I know of only a few marked one way trails; lower whoops, dirty ole pirate, lair and the jump and slalom area at Phils. Their may be others but you can "shred" those all day long.

    Which other trails would you like us to avoid climbing? You can't go anywhere around here without climbing, even if you shuttle. It's only dangerous for you to yield going downhill if your going to fast or beyond your capabilities.

    If the downhill rider was given the right of way on all trails it would give the green light for everyone to go as fast as they desire and I believe you would have much greater conflict.

    The difference between us old folks and young folks is wisdom.
    Thanks for your (un?)common sense response, Jeff.

    Calling riders who enjoy the challenge of climbing steeps "lame" revealed shredeverything's inability or unwillingness to perceive trail use from any perspective but his/her own. But I wince at the thought of this issue being (mis)labeled "young vs. old." Though I'm old by nearly anyone's definition, I love rippin' the downs and anyone who's ridden with me can tell you that I'm a capable descender. Anyway the issue here is respecting all trail users which transcends age, though I agree it takes wisdom to see and respect the perspectives of others.

    Personally I'd love it if descending cyclists had the right of way. But this could only come at the cost of the rights of other trail users, and I'm not just talking about other cyclists. So until all trail users agree to a change, we've got what we've got and everyone -- cyclists, equestrians, hikers -- need to respect long-established etiquette as well as one another.

    =S
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredeverything View Post
    I am new to this forum and I signed up specifically to talk about trail etiquette. I realize this is an age old discussion and the new "rules" have already been chosen but........1.) if you already spent time peddling uphill, didn't you earn the downhill fun? 2.) if you are going downhill and have to stop or move for the person going uphill; does that not disturb the trail everyone is always so worried about? 3.) Why are people peddling up difficult trails anyways? I realize its rewarding to "climb steeps", but seems a little lame. In my opinion, the differences people have between who has right of way is between Old folks and young folks. I seriously think they are jealous and it seems selfish to me. 4.) it can be incredibly dangerous for someone going downhill to stop or give right of way to uphill. Happened to me dozens of times and I try really hard to give up the right of way.
    I'll just simply answer your questions, and this is coming from a 'Descender at heart'.

    1) Sure did earn the DH, but how do you tell if someone shuttled or not?
    2) Someone has to move over regardless, if singletrack, so this is kind of a ignorant question in my opinion.
    3) What you find fun, others may not, and vise versa. Does not make your judgement the correct view.
    4) I agree, and I feel you need to take into account some common sense. If I am hauling the mail down a trail, and I see someone up ahead, half the time they pull over as it's just easier, being that they are going slower. I DO THE SAME. If you are descending, and the climber pulls over for you, at least throw out a big thanks and a smile as they just did you a favor. I can't stand when I'm climbing, pull over to be cool and let people have fun as I see them early, and a train of stone face jackasses fly by like I'm not even there.
    Bend, Oregon

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    Question #3 baffles me. There is nothing steep in Bend. thuren's answer to #4 is right on... give a big smile when someone set's you up on "your" descent.
    Master of Laundry...Lord of Cleaning!

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in Bend View Post
    I know of only a few marked one way trails; lower whoops, dirty ole pirate, lair and the jump and slalom area at Phils. Their may be others but you can "shred" those all day long.

    Which other trails would you like us to avoid climbing? You can't go anywhere around here without climbing, even if you shuttle. It's only dangerous for you to yield going downhill if your going to fast or beyond your capabilities.

    If the downhill rider was given the right of way on all trails it would give the green light for everyone to go as fast as they desire and I believe you would have much greater conflict.

    The difference between us old folks and young folks is wisdom.
    It's not wisdom Jeff, it's recalcitrance. The rule to give way to uphill is based on driving vehicles on icy roads and has no place in MTB where you can re-start after yielding. For the reasons shredeverything gives and others, including uphill riders, walkers and for that matter equestrians being able to see and hear downhill riders more easily than the other way round, the current rule makes no sense to anyone other than those who like rules. Sparticus suggests shredeverything is anti-climbing, but I read the comment about climbing being lame as being a lame excuse to have justification for claiming the trail and not as a comment on climbing. The only common sense is not having a rule unless it is specific to the trail being ridden.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    It's not wisdom Jeff, it's recalcitrance. The rule to give way to uphill is based on driving vehicles on icy roads and has no place in MTB where you can re-start after yielding. For the reasons shredeverything gives and others, including uphill riders, walkers and for that matter equestrians being able to see and hear downhill riders more easily than the other way round, the current rule makes no sense to anyone other than those who like rules. Sparticus suggests shredeverything is anti-climbing, but I read the comment about climbing being lame as being a lame excuse to have justification for claiming the trail and not as a comment on climbing. The only common sense is not having a rule unless it is specific to the trail being ridden.
    I agree with you and Sparty that the rule makes no sense. I've always thought it should be the other way around, but since it's the established convention it only works if everyone abides by it. If you have a few people ignorant or purposely defiant of the rule then we end up with conflicts because people are expecting other people to act a certain way and when they don't it throws off the expected normal flow of traffic.

    It's kind of like what happens when a driver takes a left and goes the wrong way through a roundabout. It causes chaos because everyone was expecting everyone else to go through the roundabout counterclockwise.
    Last edited by Nat; 05-20-2013 at 03:26 PM.

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