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  1. #1
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    What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    This last year I've experienced more user conflicts than in all my life before. I hadn't lived in WA, either. Perhaps there is there a correlation?

    In the last year, I've:
    1) been angrily yelled at by a hiker that "you mountain bikers destroy all the trails."
    2) had a couple old ladies with their dog telling me "Thanks for not running us over." as I slowly passed them - and they weren't smiling nor joking!
    3) had a couple hikers looking scared from behind trees as I was coming down a single track behind another group. Saying 'hello' and wishing them a good day didn't do much.
    4) had a couple hikers get really annoyed when they saw me on a bike and telling me to please pass them right away while they went way off the trail for me to pass.
    5) had lots of unfriendly/cold encounters with equestrians.

    BTW: Somewhat ironically, my encounters with motorcycle riders have been mostly positive.

    Before this weekend, I didn't know why hikers would advocate to close trails to mountain bikers. Now I do, and I feel ashamed to be a mountain biker. I rode with a group of mountain bikers on public trails this Saturday who showed little consideration for other trail users. And, I didn't say anything. Shame on me.

    If we want trails to not be closed, we will have to be responsible adults who care for the environment and respect other's right to have a peaceful walk in the woods.

    I realize that there are areas that are considered mainly for mountain biker and I am not trying to rain down on those. Galbraith, Tiger, and Tokul come to mind.

    And, I know there are many bikers who are ambassadors of the sport in WA and who are making an effort to slow down and smile when they encounter someone else.

    Just my 5 cents on this issue. And, yes, I've gone too fast sometimes as well, and I will try to be a more responsible mountain biker in the future.

    Peace.

  2. #2
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    this guy always comes to mind:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What's the public image of a mountain biker?-bush_lite_mtb.jpg  


  3. #3
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    I am all for courtesy, but at the end of the day what really counts is getting new legal places approved and built for us to ride. That dissipates traffic on shared trails, and creates mountain bike specific trails where conflicts are a non-issue.

    Otherwise... on legally open trails we have as much right to be there as they do. People who don't like the resulting dynamic (MTB's included) will just need to find some other place to recreate.

  4. #4
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    In 20+ years of mountian biking, I've had very few negative encounters with other trail users. I always slow down, and try to say something pleasant. For example, equestrians seem to like it if you stop and complement their horse.
    I have been the victim of some of the angry comments you mentioned, and honestly it ruins my day. Perhaps the mere sight of me ruins their "peaceful walk", but their nasty comment ruins my entire day.
    All you can do is slow down and be nice and friendly. Some folks are just angry people. It's too bad, but in my experience most people out in the woods, hiking, running, bird watching, or any thing else are in a pretty good mood, and fairly nice.

    I once got yelled at by an equestrian, because of the noise my SPD made when I unclipped while yeilding the trail to her. The funny part was the horse was as calm as any horse I've ever seen.

    In all aspects of life all you can do is try. You'll never make every one happy.

  5. #5
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    I have experienced a lot of grief on my dirt bike on established motorbike trails. Hikers were always mad at us. Enviro groups will do anything to shut down a trail. Next they will move on to mountain bikers.

    Why? I think it's because they're partly crazy. Anything that isn't pure nature is a target. They care very passionately about this topic and are motivated to lobby and gather funds. Whereas most of just wanna be left alone.

    I suppose they'll require no hiking boots eventually - you gotta go barefoot! Nevermind millions of cars driving around every day.

    Anyway for the most part the crazy ones are rare. I just be careful and always pull over for hikers. Try to stay clear from the horses. Slow down a bit on the blind corners if it's a shared trail. Be nice.

  6. #6
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    The only acceptable place to ride as fast as you want is at a lift resort. Image you are railing a berm feeling awesome and around the corner you plow over some little kids out for a hike with their dad. I think about that all the time and yes it does ruin the experience. Duthie at least has signs warning people. Tiger does not. St Eds does not.

    But mountain biking (aside from mellow bike path riding) is a selfish, self-centered and egotistical activity so I doubt anyone will change their riding habits. Thats also why we get along so well with the dirt bikers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Otherwise... on legally open trails we have as much right to be there as they do.
    We have a right to be there _because_ the trail is open. That is a privilege, not a right. Trails can and do get closed by land managers. The 'Leave if you don't like the way I ride' attitude is what ends up as
    a) 'Trail closed to mountain bikers', or
    most definitely b) animosity and hostility.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstlog View Post
    But mountain biking (aside from mellow bike path riding) is a selfish, self-centered and egotistical activity so I doubt anyone will change their riding habits. Thats also why we get along so well with the dirt bikers.
    What are you talking about? Mountian bikers have never got along with dirt bikers, and it's no more selfish than any other hobby. In fact, I can argue, it's less selfish that others, due to the amount of trail work we do.

  9. #9
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    Sell your bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by firstlog View Post
    But mountain biking (aside from mellow bike path riding) is a selfish, self-centered and egotistical activity so I doubt anyone will change their riding habits. Thats also why we get along so well with the dirt bikers.
    I'm not sure if you own a bike or not, but my advice is to sell it. It's doing nobody any good right now.

  10. #10
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    The first decade of my mountain biking was spent in Western WA. Much more contentious there it seems than out here in Idaho. I wondered back then if not part of the problem was that all the most of the hiking guide books (published by The Mountaineers) were written by a couple guys that were totally anti-anything that was not hiking, and basically included what seemed to me like inflammatory remarks regarding any other allowed users at various trails. Or so it seemed to me. I always felt that that contributed to the WA attitude.

    There is a much more collaborative culture here in Idaho. but I think that is easier here seeing as there are a lot fewer people here too. I do everything in my power to be polite and courteous to other users to try to preserve the collaborative attitude as long as possible.

  11. #11
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbonguy View Post
    We have a right to be there _because_ the trail is open. That is a privilege, not a right. Trails can and do get closed by land managers. The 'Leave if you don't like the way I ride' attitude is what ends up as
    a) 'Trail closed to mountain bikers', or
    most definitely b) animosity and hostility.
    Missed my point completely.

    Right or Courtesy, trails are OPEN to us because we have shown a commitment to advocacy, trail building & maintenance. Commitment = funding, representation, physical resources.

    Once the trail says open to bikes, you have a RIGHT to ride your bike on that trail.

    Every user group may be mostly polite and have a few bad apples. Land managers aren't running a popularity contest.

    Anyways. Hope to see you at the DNR & Parks Dept meetings, that will provide more benefit than another MTBR thread.

  12. #12
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    I agree with FM, get involved. Working swing shift and a lot of Saturdays it is hard to get to many meetings. But I do as much as I can. That means being a member of my local bike club (Evergreen) contributing money and time when I can. Sunday the 27th I will be out at St Ed helping with the trail re-route. Up from the South End. The more we do the more, IMHO, ability we have to have a say. I would have loved to go to the Black Diamond planting party tonight but I can't.

    Having said that my encounters with other people are usually pretty good. Most of the time they smile, say hello, and step out of the way. I even had a trail walker urging me on as I was riding up a hill; "you can do it". I also keep an eye out for others, slow way down when necessary, and announce my presence when coming up from behind. Check out Evergreen's video "It Pays To Be Courteous" video on youtube.

    If I have any complaint about hikers it's when their dog comes charging at me and they are saying the whole time "he is such a nice sweet dog".

    And how close should we be when we announce our presence? I sure don't want to sound like I am yelling at them.
    Slim

  13. #13
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    The further you get away from King county/I90 the less user conflict I here about.

    The Seattle/ King county superiority inferiority complex makes people do funny things here. Yes I said superiority inferiority complex.
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ser jameson View Post
    What are you talking about? Mountian bikers have never got along with dirt bikers, and it's no more selfish than any other hobby. In fact, I can argue, it's less selfish that others, due to the amount of trail work we do.
    I disagree with the above statement. At least in the Inland NW and Idaho, if it weren't for guys on motos with gas cans and little chainsaws clearing the downfall some trails would NEVER get cleared. From what I've seen the guys that like to ride motos in a reasonable manner hate the bad examples of their own sport too.

  15. #15
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    People. Western WA peeps are mostly left-wing socialists... This brings along with it all kinds of silly "protect" everything and discuss everything in group meetings ********. I have a lady in my neighborhood that keeps going through my recycling to make sure I don't put anything in there that's not recyclable (I once tried to recycle a a small BBQ to get her gears going ). Crap like that never happened when I lived out east. It's all this pretentious righteous mentality. Everyone feels like they need to tell me how to ride, where to ride, what to ride, etc because some dumb ass bird is going extinct or a hiker doesn't have the common sense to stay out of the way of bigger things. I'm exaggerating but not by much... Trails are just dirt and organic crap, they regenerate extremely quickly, just go walk around a trail that's been re-routed or closed a year ago and you'll see. I don't buy this whole mountain bikes destroy nature talk, it's just a way for people who have too much time on their hands to make themselves feel important and unfortunately there's a lot of those out here.

    Also, I'm not an ******* on trails to others, I just mind my own business so don't assume I'm ruining your "image" or "swagger" as a mountain biker.

  16. #16
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    Re: What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    The IMBA "rule" is "always yield the trail"

    I've heard some creative definitions of yield and even Oxford makes a mess of it:

    http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie...nglish/yield_1

    Intriguing about "yield" is that the yielder has to give up something. In the definitions they mention yielding to the faster lane and to someone's demands. No wonder we all have a hard time. We are faster, The history of "always yield the trail" is the hikers out number us at least 10:1.

    In 1995 I created the BBTC boot camp because I wanted to look you in the eye and explain we had never won a battle for a park once negative publicity takes hold. On shared trails this will always be the case.

    This sermon ends with all of us nodding our heads agreeing the best practice to keep our precious access is to dismount and be a hiker for five seconds and pass merrily such that life is but a dream.

    My advice is either ride where "they" ain't, avoid busy times of day, use a bell, and its the best part of your day so enjoy it with all trail citizens.

  17. #17
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    This:

    My advice is either ride where "they" ain't, avoid busy times of day


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalm111 View Post
    People. Western WA peeps are mostly left-wing socialists... This brings along with it all kinds of silly "protect" everything and discuss everything in group meetings ********. I have a lady in my neighborhood that keeps going through my recycling to make sure I don't put anything in there that's not recyclable (I once tried to recycle a a small BBQ to get her gears going ). Crap like that never happened when I lived out east. It's all this pretentious righteous mentality. Everyone feels like they need to tell me how to ride, where to ride, what to ride, etc because some dumb ass bird is going extinct or a hiker doesn't have the common sense to stay out of the way of bigger things. I'm exaggerating but not by much... Trails are just dirt and organic crap, they regenerate extremely quickly, just go walk around a trail that's been re-routed or closed a year ago and you'll see. I don't buy this whole mountain bikes destroy nature talk, it's just a way for people who have too much time on their hands to make themselves feel important and unfortunately there's a lot of those out here.

    Also, I'm not an ******* on trails to others, I just mind my own business so don't assume I'm ruining your "image" or "swagger" as a mountain biker.
    If you live in the Lake Union floating home community, I know which recycle nazi your talking about.
    I'm sure there are plenty of others...

    Back on topic,
    my quiet little backyard loop of DNR land recently got a nice fancy new parking lot built and now I'm dealing with a whole new influx of the off-leashers that never knew this spot existed before.
    It really sucks, but I just try to keep slower around the corners, smile and make nice, dodge the poo and stick to Galbraith on the weekends.

  19. #19
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    Aside from Grand Ridge, I have to say my experience has been pretty positive too.

    I don't yell out orders at strangers. I just say "hello." When I'm on access routes choked with stroller mommies, I sit up and go slow.

    While I often want a workout and an adrenaline kick on my rides, I'm not out to prove anything. It doesn't really hurt my workout to slow down for a moment.

    And most of the time, my bike lets me get further up the mountain faster than the crowds. The runners and hikers at higher elevations seem a lot more mellow.

    I did have a bell on my bike for a while. Seemed to help along the I-90 corridor. My usual haunt lately is Galbraith, and I just don't see a lot of people on foot there.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
    Justin Vander Pol
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    carbonguy, totally the opposite of my trail experience. I find that most trail users are really nice and friendly to me, but I do take extra effort to reach out and be friendly. Maybe we ride in different places? I do avoid busy areas like Grand Ridge at peak times, and ride slower around corners there since it has poor sight lines.

    I'm pretty fast (and controlled) on DH segments, but I always yield to all other users, both up and down (I figure I'm the expert and they're the average rider, so why not?). I smile, say hi. I find people out on the trail generally to be cool people, especially mt bikers.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunvalleylaw View Post
    The first decade of my mountain biking was spent in Western WA. Much more contentious there it seems than out here in Idaho. I wondered back then if not part of the problem was that all the most of the hiking guide books (published by The Mountaineers) were written by a couple guys that were totally anti-anything that was not hiking, and basically included what seemed to me like inflammatory remarks regarding any other allowed users at various trails. Or so it seemed to me. I always felt that that contributed to the WA attitude.

    There is a much more collaborative culture here in Idaho. but I think that is easier here seeing as there are a lot fewer people here too. I do everything in my power to be polite and courteous to other users to try to preserve the collaborative attitude as long as possible.
    Did you know the authors of those books(100 hikes) are also founding members of the Issaquah alps hiking club? That's where the I90 attitude comes from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    Did you know the authors of those books(100 hikes) are also founding members of the Issaquah alps hiking club? That's where the I90 attitude comes from.
    I have been toe to toe with Harvey Manning about the mountain bike issue in 1992 when Tim Hill was county ex. The angry old hiker is usually the Alpers mentality of they are the chosen ones. I've been a hiker , Mt biker, Moto biker, Horse rider. Even now the one with attitude are usually ones with out street cred. The horse riders who hassle me about maintaining trails don't maintain themselves, Because I am side by side with my horse friends doing so and they are not. The hiker groups who complain are the first to pick up their dog crap and leave the bag of plastic and poo along side the trail saying they will get it later. It never happens. The moto guys are a mix bunch of either rednecks asswipes or people who are over zealous trying to please everyone just to loose everything.(Goldbar as an example) I have learned from my dad who was instrumental in Capital forest being a multi use since the 70"s, about attitudes and conflicts of different users. Look at recent history and how so much has changed. We used to ride horses everywhere, we used to ride motorcycles every where, 4x4 everywhere, mountain bike everywhere. Now we are so restricted even with recent trail openings it feels crowded..

  23. #23
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    Re: What's the public image of a mountain biker?







    Like I said yield is confusing especially these signs so if you have any questions who is required to yield we are here to help.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    Did you know the authors of those books(100 hikes) are also founding members of the Issaquah alps hiking club? That's where the I90 attitude comes from.

    Doesn't surprise me based on the tone of the unnecessary comments in the books. I remember thinking it was just odd that they went so far out of their way to throw a whole category of people under the bus without regard to individual users. When I got to Idaho, I was really pleasantly surprised by the multi-user ethic particularly in the Sawtooth National Rec Area, used by hikers, horse folk, bicyclers and motos. As someone else said, without the motos and their trail work, it would take a long time to get the trails open each year.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    I have been toe to toe with Harvey Manning about the mountain bike issue in 1992 when Tim Hill was county ex. The angry old hiker is usually the Alpers mentality of they are the chosen ones. I've been a hiker , Mt biker, Moto biker, Horse rider. Even now the one with attitude are usually ones with out street cred. The horse riders who hassle me about maintaining trails don't maintain themselves, Because I am side by side with my horse friends doing so and they are not. The hiker groups who complain are the first to pick up their dog crap and leave the bag of plastic and poo along side the trail saying they will get it later. It never happens. The moto guys are a mix bunch of either rednecks asswipes or people who are over zealous trying to please everyone just to loose everything.(Goldbar as an example) I have learned from my dad who was instrumental in Capital forest being a multi use since the 70"s, about attitudes and conflicts of different users. Look at recent history and how so much has changed. We used to ride horses everywhere, we used to ride motorcycles every where, 4x4 everywhere, mountain bike everywhere. Now we are so restricted even with recent trail openings it feels crowded..
    Sad to hear, but not all that surprising. Capitol Forest was some of my favorite cycling. Thank your Dad for me. I also loved Tahuya back in the day. I was Tacoma based and did not often bike much near the I90 corridor. But it did bum me out that so much of the Gifford Pinchot forest was restricted to cyclists.

    I hope the multi-user ethic can hold on here. As more people move in and bring their attitudes, separation of users seems to get brought up a lot. I always argue against it, and instead for courtesy and reasonable use by all. But I suppose when enough folks are here, those ways will fade away. And now we have to re-build a bunch of trails after last years fires. Not so looking forward to that as I think the trails will be over IMBA'ized in terms of grade, curves, etc. and the whole separation of use thing will come up again. At some point, some more separation is inevitable. Not without a fight however. To me, unless it is lift assist or flow trail and you have to separate traffic flow, it should all be multi-user.

  26. #26
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    Over the last few years, I have racked up over 900 hours of trail riding, almost all of it at Grand Ridge, Duthie, Tiger, and Soaring Eagle. Maybe I am just lucky, but I have not had a single negative experience with a hiker.

    Actually, I don't think I am lucky, but I am fortunate to be able to ride most of the time during non-peak use times of the days, and I rarely ride on weekends. I realize that not everyone can do that, but there are still some common sense tactics that can be used to reduce conflict.

    As soon as I am within earshot of a hiker, I offer a friendly "hello" using a very upbeat tone of voice. I slow down...duh. As I go by, I always find something complimentary or friendly to say. Not many people will scowl at you after you just told them what a beautiful dog they have. . I'll say that even if the dog is off leash and an out-of-control PITA.

    Perhaps most importantly, as I encounter sections of the trail with poor sightlines (mostly at GR), I call out "Bike" as I approach the corner. I wish I had a dollar for every time a hiker or runner has thanked me for giving them a heads-up, and a dollar for every potential head-on with another bike averted.

    When I do ride when I know the trails will be busy, I throttle it back. I try to focus on riding smoothly rather than fast, and I may work on different techniques, etc. This won't work for everybody, but it sure seems to have worked for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    carbonguy, totally the opposite of my trail experience. I find that most trail users are really nice and friendly to me, but I do take extra effort to reach out and be friendly. Maybe we ride in different places? I do avoid busy areas like Grand Ridge at peak times, and ride slower around corners there since it has poor sight lines.

    I'm pretty fast (and controlled) on DH segments, but I always yield to all other users, both up and down (I figure I'm the expert and they're the average rider, so why not?). I smile, say hi. I find people out on the trail generally to be cool people, especially mt bikers.

    With Grand Ridge in mind, I am a polar opposite to Dave S. when it comes to trail building, I would rather see extreme difficult areas, such as logs and rocks and mud controlling speed of mt. bikers on the trail as needed. Expert riders can ride fast and control their speed and be safe to others in corners and down hill sections. Last time I was at GR, I was was dodging squids out of control and it made for a lame ride. Have not been back since. (About a year or so)
    I do respect Dave, which may not be reciprocated but that is ok, but "dumbing down the trail" creates a speed issue for those who cannot control it.

  28. #28
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    I only yield when my dropper post is in the up position.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  29. #29
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    Re: What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I only yield when my dropper post is in the up position.
    :thumbsup!

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    Sven, speed (AKA "flow" to many) is the trendy thing nowadays though. It's good to see that this tide may be turning a little though with recent Tiger additions, etc. I've had this conversation with in particular, equestrian groups who I feel have a higher risk of issues with bikes going faster. And, let's face it, we can go down the PRT a lot faster now than back in the fully rigid mid '90s. No kidney belt needed.
    As for the OP, I originally thought, and still do somewhat that this was a classic troll and perhaps they are actually a fanatic hiker wanting us to get some in-fighting going so they could use it against us. Me, I usually have really great or at least pleasant encounters all over the state. But, the few bad ones definitely resonate more. I remember some from years ago like they were yesterday. But, they are definitely in the minority. Current mtb issues are more from people that are new to the sport and just don't get it yet.

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    What's the public image of a mountain biker?-feeling-about-walkers.gif


    What's the public image of a mountain biker?-feeling-about-runners.gif


    What's the public image of a mountain biker?-feeling-about-bikers.gif


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    What's the public image of a mountain biker?-mntn-bike-vs-hiker-2.jpg


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    The thing with horse people is they each have a different expectation of how you should behave/yield for them.

    "Tell me you're coming sooner, don't tell me you're coming you startled my horse, get off your bike, don't get off your bike, don't make any sudden movements, you're standing too still you're scaring the horse."

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    What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    Having been a former horse owner too, I can tell you for sure it is always a good thing to talk in a calm voice as you approach each other. This lets the horse know you're human and aren't going to be threatening.

    I don't know what the big deal is - It's really pretty easy to pass each other. When I see a horse & rider I do the following:

    1) Stop and pull over on the low side of the trail, smile and say hi.
    2) Then ask the horse rider what they want me to do as we pass.
    3) Then whatever it is they want, I just do it. Usually this involves simply moving my bike out of the way on the low side and waiting until they pass.
    4) Then I exchange pleasantries (nice day, great looking horse, etc), and continue shredding on down the trail.

    No biggie! - and I've never, ever had a negative issue with a horseman using this protocol.

  34. #34
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    I got called a 'cougar' by one horse woman after I stopped, yielded the trail, and spoke to her and horse as they neared. Funny, I'm not in my 50s nor female.

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    I don't encounter too many horses, and and have not had any problems, but I would like to comment. Stopping and pulling over on the low side of the trail is not a good idea. If the horse were to lose its footing, it will fall to the low side. You don't want to be there if it does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyturbo View Post
    I don't encounter too many horses, and and have not had any problems, but I would like to comment. Stopping and pulling over on the low side of the trail is not a good idea. If the horse were to lose its footing, it will fall to the low side. You don't want to be there if it does.
    Ahh, therein is part of the problem. Seems like a lot of horsefolk want you down below the horse, and that seems to be the suggestion, as it is less intimidating to the animal is the logic as I understand it. I get your safety point though. I usually just talk calmly and normally and ask what they want me to do and do what they want.

    Then later, out of ear shot, I complain to myself about all the horse crap they leave around, where if I were to bring my dog, I would be expected to pack his little pile out, and the general hypocrisy of it all. Kinda just kidding, but kinda not as far as my feelings go there. But I always strive to get along.

  37. #37
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    Sick of hikers and their bs that we ruin trails. Ask them for the data.

    Plus, on all trails I've seen the digging action of foot/boot ruins the trail tread far more than rolling wheels.
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    To be honest, I am not totally sure why I started this thread. I guess I wanted to hear that there are people out there who are really concerned about this issue. Some have expressed that opinion strongly, but it's the internet, so a broad range of opinions and ideas came back.

    I realize that this is an ongoing problem and no silver bullet exists to resolve user conflicts - other than the more and more frequent signs "Closed to XX due to user conflict".

    Trail advocacy and public image are different. I was trying to get an ideas of how mountain bikers think they are perceived, i.e. what my fellow bikers think their own public image is. Freakybro posted some interesting charts on that issue of how users groups perceive each other. Really sad for us, but unfortunately, I think I'd tend to think that that's not far from the truth.

    I think Len put his finger on how we should deal with the public image with his story about an early BBTC boot camp meeting. And I'd like to boil it down further: I do object to people riding however they like - whatever their justification: "i just did xx hours of trail work." or "I just went to a trail meeting", or "10 mph isn't fast because I am an expert rider". Because what happens is that the next biker who comes along gets categorized as an a**hole. And that ruins my day.

    Anyhow, I do appreciate everyone taking the time to share their own views and helping me along in my own thinking on this issue. It's a big issue that no one person can tackle alone, and it will only get worse with time I suppose. But, I'll be the change that I want to see.

    Cheers, and again, thanks everyone!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstlog View Post
    Tiger does not.
    Yes it does. The older trails explain that bikes will be present and bikers are supposed to yield to other users. The new trails explain that they were built for bikes and are primarily intended for bikes. Hikers must yield to bikes and I believe horses are not allowed on those at all.

    On Preston and NW Timber I am sweet as pie with all the hikers I see. If they are hiking across berms on the other trails then...well they really shouldn't be.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunvalleylaw View Post
    Then later, out of ear shot, I complain to myself about all the horse crap they leave around, where if I were to bring my dog, I would be expected to pack his little pile out, and the general hypocrisy of it all. Kinda just kidding, but kinda not as far as my feelings go there. But I always strive to get along.
    LoL, it's a valid point. I really hate riding through horse shat. How about those clowns that shovel out their horse trailer at the trailhead.

  41. #41
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    I always just ask myself: WWJD? (What Would Juice Do?) . Seriously, ditto what Juice said. Negative experiences are really rare for me. But I do think our sport is growing and a lot of new riders aren't as educated or serious about trail etiquette. I don't have any data, but my gut tells me it's having an impact on the perception of mt bikers. It's a pain, but we've got to self-police and speak-up when we see the negative stuff happen.

    And stay cool and matter-of-fact when other users whine at us. "Mt bikers ruin the trail!" Wrong. Studies show that's incorrect. A tire track may me more visible in the mud on a trail that doesn't drain, but tires don't do any more damage than boots. Horses on the other hand... I won't go there.

    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    carbonguy, totally the opposite of my trail experience. I find that most trail users are really nice and friendly to me, but I do take extra effort to reach out and be friendly. Maybe we ride in different places? I do avoid busy areas like Grand Ridge at peak times, and ride slower around corners there since it has poor sight lines.

    I'm pretty fast (and controlled) on DH segments, but I always yield to all other users, both up and down (I figure I'm the expert and they're the average rider, so why not?). I smile, say hi. I find people out on the trail generally to be cool people, especially mt bikers.

  42. #42
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    I know that this is sort of off topic, but does anyone wonder why hikers use trails that see heavy MTB use? I hike as well as ride, live in Issaquah, and walk or ride to the trails. If I want to hike, I go to West Tiger 1, 2, 3, or Squak. If I want to ride, I go to GR/Duthie, or in the summer, sometimes the Tiger Summit area.

    If my wife and I want to go for a nice walk, GR is not even on the radar. I like to have a view or two when hiking, and I'll admit that I don't like walking on trails where there are a ton of bikes.

    That being said, my bike/hike ratio these days is about 1000:1
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyturbo View Post
    ...does anyone wonder why hikers use trails that see heavy MTB use?
    I've always wondered the same. Cougar, Squak, West Tiger, Rattlesnake, Si... no bikes allowed. But the # of hikers on NWT and hiking up the road to E Tiger Summit is growing. I think it's:
    • Convenience
    • Most hikers are OK sharing the trail
    • We need more trails for all users!!!!

  44. #44
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    What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    Don't kid. Horse crap really pisses me off too! Nothing worse than rolling over a pile accidentally and getting sprayed with it by your tire.

    I seriously think it should be a requirement on shared trails that ALL users must pick up their pet's feces. It's disgusting, inconsiderate of other users who have to (hopefully) dodge huge piles of horse crap, and an historical precedent that's gone on far too long and is no longer appropriate for multi-user trails.

    nuff said.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwestra2 View Post
    I think it's:
    • Convenience
    • Most hikers are OK sharing the trail
    • We need more trails for all users!!!!
    Plus, they run into way fewer heinously obnoxious Issy Alps folks.
    Rolland

  46. #46
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    I declare your next ride on Tiger to be national "Hug A Hiker Day". Just give em a big old uncomfortable hug and tell them how much we all love them all. There's no way that could backfire.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwestra2 View Post
    I've always wondered the same. Cougar, Squak, West Tiger, Rattlesnake, Si... no bikes allowed. But the # of hikers on NWT and hiking up the road to E Tiger Summit is growing. I think it's:
    • Convenience
    • Most hikers are OK sharing the trail
    • We need more trails for all users!!!!
    I agree that we need more multi-use trails, and that most hikers (all in my case) don't have major issues with bikes. I can understand the appeal of the convenience of GR for hikers, but Tiger Summit seems to me to be about the most inconvenient TH around. If you drive there, you have to use 900, and that is something I think a lot of people try and avoid.
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  48. #48
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    Re: What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyturbo View Post
    I know that this is sort of off topic, but does anyone wonder why hikers use trails that see heavy MTB use? I hike as well as ride, live in Issaquah, and walk or ride to the trails. If I want to hike, I go to West Tiger 1, 2, 3, or Squak. If I want to ride, I go to GR/Duthie, or in the summer, sometimes the Tiger Summit area.
    I think it's a convenience/crowding/sometimes, for lack of a better descriptor, outsider thing.

    Grand Ridge is walkable for people in the neighborhoods nearby. I'd be surprised if anyone drives any real distance to get there. I feel like I usually saw people in street clothes with dogs there, or runners.

    I feel like when I see more than a few hikers on East Tiger, it's that the West Tiger access road, and presumably the parking lot, are packed. I think people either see all the parked cars or can't find a parking spot, and roll on to the 900 interchange. What's the most obvious hike if Tiger's full? Tiger, by another access point. But I also see people who don't look quite like the West Tiger (and other hiking spots) crowd at East Tiger. So I think they found out about the trails from a book or a DNR map or something, and not by word of mouth.

    It's less odd to me to see hikers on Galbraith. There are several access points that are walkable from some of the neighborhoods and there are some good views. Also, no Discover Pass required and more available parking.
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  49. #49
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    I've always wished to live "out West" in the wide open spaces, and every time I've come to ride there its always been a blast.

    However, I've been captive to the NE for about all of my 43 years of life. But, in all that time I've never had a negative run in with anyone when on my bike. Most areas I've lived in, or at least rode in, are very remote. I can take my pulaski or Stihl out for a walk pretty much whenever I want and do trail work or build as I like - within reason.

    A few times I did run into groups of hunters. Last year ran into a clan that really looked like something out of Deliverance. They looked very poor and were likely looking to fill the freezer. Must admit I was a bit concerned as all had loaded guns. I apologized for potentially ruining their hunt, and they respond by thanking me for helping by pushing the deer around as there weren't enough hunters out. Furthermore, they were genuinely interested in my bike and had all sorts of good questions about the machine. (I always tell folks I meet in the woods to consider it a motorcycle and I'm the motor.) We had a good time talking and parted ways. They, like most people I run into out in the woods, act surprised, or baffled, as to why the heck would I be out here in the middle of nowhere pedaling around - so, I don't think there is much "opinion" at all about us in the places I've lived... well, except that we may be a bit "touched" in the head.


    FM, by the way, really cool pics.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    I've always wished to live "out West" in the wide open spaces, and every time I've come to ride there its always been a blast.

    However, I've been captive to the NE for about all of my 43 years of life. But, in all that time I've never had a negative run in with anyone when on my bike. Most areas I've lived in, or at least rode in, are very remote. I can take my pulaski or Stihl out for a walk pretty much whenever I want and do trail work or build as I like - within reason.

    A few times I did run into groups of hunters. Last year ran into a clan that really looked like something out of Deliverance. They looked very poor and were likely looking to fill the freezer. Must admit I was a bit concerned as all had loaded guns. I apologized for potentially ruining their hunt, and they respond by thanking me for helping by pushing the deer around as there weren't enough hunters out. Furthermore, they were genuinely interested in my bike and had all sorts of good questions about the machine. (I always tell folks I meet in the woods to consider it a motorcycle and I'm the motor.) We had a good time talking and parted ways. They, like most people I run into out in the woods, act surprised, or baffled, as to why the heck would I be out here in the middle of nowhere pedaling around - so, I don't think there is much "opinion" at all about us in the places I've lived... well, except that we may be a bit "touched" in the head.


    FM, by the way, really cool pics.


    The main problem is Mt. bikes have had a history of being lumped in with motos. Motos used to ride on Tiger, Squawk, Cougar, Victor Falls, anywhere you could log or mine. The deceptive tactics of lies between hiker groups and DNR of the time, banned as much trails as possible to mountain bike. The old BBTC kept fighting for access to Cougar while losing Tiger, basically overnight. King county, DNR, and the hiker groups effectively conspired to get rid of any rubber tired mode off their land. The county's position of time was to get rid of mountain bikers then the horses were next. When they finally met with enough opposition they backed down to what we have now...

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    I'm pretty fast (and controlled) on DH segments, but I always yield to all other users, both up and down (I figure I'm the expert and they're the average rider, so why not?). I smile, say hi. I find people out on the trail generally to be cool people, especially mt bikers.
    A great philosophy to ride by.

  52. #52
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    Re: What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    Mr. Carbonguy I knew when we met last year when you rode the middlefork from north bend all the way out and back to dutch your tremendous mileage (50+) subjects you to populations most of us never see. Stay thirsty my friend and your thread has inspired more pages than anything in a long time (including new Tiger trails).

    We all know that no one abides by rules they don't believe are important so its a small subset of us that sense and feel the fear of the spooked walkers which doesn't matter to most of you. To me this is the tip of the spear that can mortally wound our access to trails near to 2 million souls.
    Last edited by Len.Francies; 04-16-2014 at 10:03 PM.

  53. #53
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    I think a lot of it is the mind set of "I didn't realize that there would be other people out here" and more over "you're recreating in a different way than I expected people to be if I did encounter. and I don't know how to react" All purely unscientific conjecture, but backed up by talking with co-workers that hike and why they immediately jump to the 'bikes are bad' mind set when encountering riders. Someone mentioned earlier "kill them with kindness". It works.

    If you let their being an ass to you, assuming you weren't one first or in rebuttal to their actions ruin your day, that's on you. If, however, you let it slide and keep the higher ground and continue the cool mountain biker ways you'll be better off. The jerks have a tendency to get weeded out in almost any society.

  54. #54
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    This is quite the thread. This thread is not about the "public" image of MTB it's about some hiker's image of MTB. Mountain Bikers are the public. I know many more people that mountain bike than hike or do both. They are from a broad array of socio-circles, professions, and lifestyles. They are engaged and leading in the community. They are everywhere. They are the new world order...

    And while I don't feel responsible for hikers' personal happiness, I try to be friendly and courteous and 90% of the time it's appreciated. The 10% are just grumpy so whatever, be like that, I'm having fun.

    I will never understand why a hiker (like me) would choose to go to one of the few MTB trails like Tiger, when there are so many other hiker only trails available. To each his own but that's like choosing to get on the freeway in rush hour for fun. Even if every biker went granny gear slow and stopped for every hiker; its still traffic...avoid it.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I think it's a convenience/crowding/sometimes [...] I feel like when I see more than a few hikers on East Tiger, it's that the West Tiger access road, and presumably the parking lot, are packed.
    While I wouldn't argue the point, I also haven't noticed a correlation between crowding and hikers.

    I have noticed a growth in hikers over the years. The clearcut (you can see stuff!) seems to have increased the number of hikers, as has the growth of the community at Snoqualmie Ridge. East Tiger is just as, if not more convenient than West Tiger from there.
    Rolland

  56. #56
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    What's the public image of a mountain biker?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sagebrush Slug View Post
    While I wouldn't argue the point, I also haven't noticed a correlation between crowding and hikers.

    I have noticed a growth in hikers over the years. The clearcut (you can see stuff!) seems to have increased the number of hikers, as has the growth of the community at Snoqualmie Ridge. East Tiger is just as, if not more convenient than West Tiger from there.
    Clear cuts suck. The cutting in the late 70s and 80s detracted from my hiking experience back when I lived over there and was a kid doing long hikes with the scouts. Interesting that some seem to prefer it. Before I move to Idaho I was discouraged that you can only don't like oh RV parks and basically logging roads and clear cuts in Washington.

    Not having Mountain bikedthere in years other than a couple of small little trips in the hood canal area I am not sure how things are now

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyturbo View Post
    As soon as I am within earshot of a hiker, I offer a friendly "hello" using a very upbeat tone of voice. I slow down...duh. As I go by, I always find something complimentary or friendly to say. Not many people will scowl at you after you just told them what a beautiful dog they have. . I'll say that even if the dog is off leash and an out-of-control PITA.
    There was a time when I would offer a "hello" or other friendly greeting as I scrubbed speed to accommodate and share the trail with hikers. Sadly, my "hellos" were often greeted with a somewhat disdainful look or glare. So I now just go about my business of riding my bike, which includes yielding to other trail users, but I rarely offer a greeting to anyone other than other MTBers. Seems like everyone is happier; I know I am since I don't have to be particularly pleasant to someone that likely has already judged me because I am a MTBer.

  58. #58
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    Be courteous, receive courteous. At least that's my attitude. The mtb doesn't speak for me. It's what I do when I encounter others on the trail that dictates how I am perceived. If the hiker or ? comes into the encounter with a chip on their shoulder, I can't control that. I'll try to carry on quickly and get back to enjoying my ride.

    Should I try to change their attitude? Hopefully by being courteous and not diving into any drama I am influencing their opinion of our community.

  59. #59
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    Clear cuts are sort of funny to me. For about two years, it looks like the apocalypse. Then there are wild flowers and views! While my instinct is still that I dislike them and I read that the logging industry is a big polluter, I can't help suspecting that some trails I like for their views would be dark and wooded in if they hadn't been clearcut just long enough ago that they don't necessarily look clearcut. And it does seem that working forests are where we have the most trail access, which I suspect is related to other user groups being less interested in them. Of course I'd like more trail access, but I'm also glad to have what we do.
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  60. #60
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    Haven't read the whole thread but I really haven't had too many negative encounters with hikers. In fact it's been nearly 100% positive and friendly, save for one conspicuous time on Palisades when there was a group of grumpy, Issaquah Alps types who weren't too keen on letting me go by them. No worries, I finally got past them, wished them a good hike and was on my way. Horses on the other hand is a different story. It's all over the place. A lot of time it's friendly and cordial, other times they are indifferent, other times somewhat hostile. I always greet the equestrians so as to not freak out the horses and I let them go by. However some of the equestrians never even try to reply to my overtures or they give me the stink eye. If talking to the horse is so damn important then why don't they at least help me out with the conversation? Don't get me wrong, most of the equestrian interactions are positive, but it seems to be along a continuum of friendliness on their part.
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