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  1. #1
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
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    Trail Etiquette...or a lack thereof

    In lil' ol' Boise, Idaho, we are having a problem with people who lack basic trail etiquette/courtesy. It is bad enough that land managers have asked the local MTB group to help with the problem before it becomes a BIG problem that will require them to provide a solution for the non-riding community.

    What have all of you done to change your bike culture? Does anyone have any ideas on how to change our culture of riding to one that instills the notion that a courteous, in control rider is a skilled rider?

    Any ideas (short of cattle prods, tazers, and electroconvulsive therapy) are welcome.

    Al
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  2. #2
    mtnjam
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    you mean like what happened to me last night on Shanes, three guys all on cheapo bikes not yielding to uphill traffic and playing "chicken" with me until I HAD to move off the trail to let them pass

    so whaddya do when people like these pass you....do you bark at them and tell them that uphill traffic has the right-o-way, tell them to stay on the F&%#ing singletrack, jam a piece of sagebrush in their spokes, mace

  3. #3
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
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    that is the dilemna...developing effective, non-confrontational communication before situations like these ruin it for all of us.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  4. #4
    Witty McWitterson
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    Get IMBA rules of the trail hang tags that go with every mountain bike sold. If shops know whats good for 'em they'll do it. Nothing like trail closures to cause a collapse of mountain bike sales. With the decline in road bikes, that totals a problem for some shops.
    Just a regular guy.

  5. #5
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    We have an email list that goes out about once a month to local bikers with various items of interest.

    I've put things in it like
    "swinging bridge area is a walk zone, let’s try to lead by example".

  6. #6
    mtnjam
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    on a different note to my previous post...

    While coming down Shanes last night I did make it point to get to the side of the trail for some uphill traffic and made sure that they knew they had the right of way. They said thanks and I replied with "you're welcome, uphill traffic has the right of way"

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    we have an opportunity

    At Lewis and Clark Caverns, we have volunteered to create a bike etiquette insert for the park brochure. We have also suggested a pair of signs at the tops of the two trails there.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  8. #8
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    If your trails are worth the continued privilege to ride, you may want to organize group rides, where trail etiquette can be discussed. If you're experiencing trail user conflicts, you may want to establish trail patrols, comprised of all trail user groups, to proactively enforce trail rules and to educate all trail users.

    I've personally experienced that formal trail patrols will be able to reign in inconsiderate trail users more effectively than casual one-on-one encounters.

    The key here is proactive. It sounds like you have problems now, so you need to address trail users on the trails before you experience more conflicts. Passive education, although valuable in most situations, will not be as effective in your present situation. Good luck.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  9. #9
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    Post Rules of the Trail prominently at trailheads. Resources permitting, set up tables at problem trailheads on weekends (also good for recruitment). Flyers on windshields.

  10. #10
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    Etiquette info at the kiosks, in brochures, club websites and taught on guided rides are great low cost ways to spread the word.

    We recently created a self guided beginners interpretive trail that has twelve sign stations. At each station you learn an environmentally friendly bike riding tip, a socially responsible trail etiquette tip and something about the local flora and fauna. It's based on the "rustlers loop interpretive trail".

    You can also pick up a few of these decals from www.rockartsigns.com

    They have other etiquette decals as well:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB President
    www.CLIMBonline.org
    www.IMBA.com
    NY State Trails Council Member

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    Get IMBA rules of the trail hang tags that go with every mountain bike sold. If shops know whats good for 'em they'll do it. Nothing like trail closures to cause a collapse of mountain bike sales. With the decline in road bikes, that totals a problem for some shops.
    I'm glad to know I'm not alone on this approach. I've advocated this for quite a while, Thank You!
    # 1. The bike and component mfgrs should supply the necessary literature with every purchase.

    # 2. The LBS is the only time a noob must come face to face with someone representing the bike industry. They should step up and review trail etiquette with them.

    # 3. Online and mail order retailers should supply the necessary literature with every purchase.

    # 4. Postings at every trail head.

    But then again, I see stickys for bunny hopping, bike maintenance and dept.store bikes on the beginners corner but not a word about etiquette. (shame on MTBR & IMBA)

    All of the above make money on mountain biking, they should be on the front line.

  12. #12
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    This may sound awfully Ned Flanders-ish of me, but I really enjoy yielding to other riders on tight singletrack.... provided I don't have to get off my bike. It's fun to give as much room as possible while slowing down/track-standing and trying to avoid dabs. Most riders are very appreciative and we wish each other well.

    I have noticed a decline in groups indicating how many more riders are behind them... I can understand if you're gasping for breath, but there have been times when I've asked and still, no response. That's pretty much my only gripe.

  13. #13
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    I'm glad to know I'm not alone on this approach. I've advocated this for quite a while, Thank You!
    # 1. The bike and component mfgrs should supply the necessary literature with every purchase.
    Other option is the local club can provide this in conjunction with the local shops. Local donations/membership info in said packet to help offset the cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    # 2. The LBS is the only time a noob must come face to face with someone representing the bike industry. They should step up and review trail etiquette with them.
    And they should make sure the local race scene is thriving, send their people to local trail maint, put out for demo days and food at trail days... The local shops DO get asked for a bunch of stuff already. We shouldn't forget that. We should make sure we're working with them and not just begging for them to do extra stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    # 3. Online and mail order retailers should supply the necessary literature with every purchase.
    In an ideal world - yup! But then they're bound to get someone complaining about killing the trees with extra paper in every order, and extra postage due to all that extra paper. Yeah I know it's reaching, but it takes all kinds, and if I'm already online - I SHOULD already know about IMBA... I'd rather that the online shops have a prominent link to IMBA on their home pages.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    # 4. Postings at every trail head.
    Should be done, and up to the local bike club and parks depts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    But then again, I see stickys for bunny hopping, bike maintenance and dept.store bikes on the beginners corner but not a word about etiquette. (shame on MTBR & IMBA)

    All of the above make money on mountain biking, they should be on the front line.
    The beginner forum should have a sticky with something about trail ettiqute in there. I didn't see a moderator to email or PM... but if someone writes up something good and can post it over there - it can be stickied. Some stuff does come down to local issues, but the basics are normally all the same.

    JmZ
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  14. #14
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    Hey jmZ thanks for responding.

    I understand that many bike and component mfgrs contribute to IMBA and thats great, BUT they make far more than our local LBS and have a global reach.

    IMO the more money a company makes from bikes and components the larger their responsibility, especially for literature at the point of purchase of their product.
    Sure the LBS should be involved, at the local level, but trail etiquette is world wide.

    I recently purchased some new components, a Fox RP23 shock and a Thompson seat post. Both came with draw string, fabric bags. Both bags are worthless to me and I'm sure the money spent one bag is far more than one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper.

    I enjoy using trail etiquette, it shows self discipline, education, pride in ones craft and cultivates respect with other trail users.

  15. #15
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    i give up.

    can't fight stupid.

  16. #16
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    With the increase of gas prices, the increase in the amount of cyclists on the street has been dramatic. You don't have to look very far ahead to see we will have a large influx of OHV users joining our ranks as gas prices continue to rise.
    Who will teach them etiquette, and when?

    Time is of the essence.

    Edit; I would like to add, there are two types of riders who don't use trail etiquette.
    The uneducated. (those who don't know about trail etiquette)
    The Entitled. (those who know about trail etiquette, never practice it, but insist on it when it benifits them.)
    Last edited by Shelbak73; 06-13-2008 at 07:53 PM.

  17. #17
    the Dude memorial aviator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    # 1. The bike and component mfgrs should supply the necessary literature with every purchase.

    # 2. The LBS is the only time a noob must come face to face with someone representing the bike industry. They should step up and review trail etiquette with them.
    And with rentals, too.

    gabrielle (you do *not* want to get me started on this topic. )
    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    just plain unfriendly and maladjusted.
    "Yes, honey: I do love this bike more than I love you."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielle
    And with rentals, too.

    gabrielle (you do *not* want to get me started on this topic. )
    DOH! Living in SALT LAKE CITY you think I'd........
    [SIZE="1"]You know, it just goes to show ya how a firm slap to the back of the head can improve a persons vision. Thanks Gabrielle[/SIZE]

  19. #19
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    Ever watch Roller Derby???
    IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU'RE NOT RIDING (or building)!

  20. #20
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb777
    Ever watch Roller Derby???
    Hell yeah! We have a roller derby league in Austin and often have one of the girls come help us with trail work. I direct you to The Hell Marys, only one of many teams.

    D

  21. #21
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    I don't think group rides, web site sticky's, etc are the answer. For those to work, cyclists would need to search them out and for them to know they exist.

    I think the answer is the hanging tags on new bikes. Also hopefully the LBS would point them out during the sale so they don't get thrown away like the other stuff that hangs on bikes in a shop

    I also think having a big sign at the trail head would also work.

    And the idea of mentioning it to other riders you encounter on the trail is great, but the problem is you never know if someone is going to get offended by bringing it up.
    Tampa Florida

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  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Hey vis, did you talk through trail etiquette on the beginner ride the other day? I'm sure you did but this post got me thinking on how to tackle this with a coworker/beginner rider I get to influence now.

    I've been riding our trails for a lot of years so I tend to be oblivious to signs... Seems like we have a few yield to uphill signs in places like top of hulls gulch. I wonder if something a couple hundred yards up prominent trails (Kestrel, Hulls, Reserve etc might catch peoples attention?)

    I'm going to ask my coworker about is LBS experience in regards to talking about trails.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    that is the dilemna...developing effective, non-confrontational communication before situations like these ruin it for all of us.
    Sometimes (alot of times) this doesn't work and confrontation is the only issue, or... wait for the trails to close. Get a camera, take pics of them, their cars, license plates and turn their butt in. Money talks, especially if it's theirs paying for their idocracy.
    It's not an adventure until someone BLEEDS!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielle
    And with rentals, too.

    gabrielle (you do *not* want to get me started on this topic. )
    Oh Gabrielle, discouraging news. I Haunted a couple of shops that do very high volume rental business. Two in Park City and one in Salt Lake.
    At one shop in Park City, after listening to three rentals (five bikes) I asked the salesperson if they would consider reviewing etiquette, and she informed me that they were listed on the back of the form, but to review the with the customer would be too time consuming. She was very nice and very polite.([SIZE="1"]no attitude[/SIZE]) The same could not be said about the other two. The other shop in Park City I listened to three rentals (three bikes), and asked the same question, the salesperson merely raised his hand, as if to stop me, turned and walked away shaking his head. This shop wasn't as busy as the previous shop. The shop in Salt Lake was dead slow, but within five minutes a rental had come in, and in five minutes later had left with a bike. I asked the same question as I attempted to buy a chainring bolt tool I had been looking for, his exact response was "[SIZE="1"]Deep sigh[/SIZE]...oh man.... I don't have time for that stuf, is this ( the tool) all you need?" ([SIZE="1"]Copious amount of attitude[/SIZE]) I left without the tool, never to return. this shop was vacant of customers, with four employees.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    that is the dilemna...developing effective, non-confrontational communication before situations like these ruin it for all of us.
    I've been riding mtb's for twentyfive years and I've never had an on trail etiquette advisory about skidding or avoiding obstacles where I thought the offending rider accepted the advise, no matter how friendly and diplomatic I was, but I would take solace in the fact that he/she had now at least heard of the "rule". That being said, I have had positive results when I demonstrate and point out proper right-of-way etiquette when it benefits them.
    People don't like strangers dispensing unsolicited "negative" advice. ([SIZE="1"]Dude, you're harshing my buzz ![/SIZE])

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