Etiquette on NorCal trails- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Etiquette on NorCal trails

    This has been bothering me for weeks, at first I dismissed it to one bad
    experience, but it just keeps happening.

    Why doesn't the downhill rider yield to the uphill rider, I thought this
    was one of the cardinal rules of the trail.

    Last weeks ride I saw three you riders brush past me, riding with no helmets
    basically forced me off the side of the trail to let them by. The stopped at
    the swtichback locking their tires to skid out. Later on another helmetless
    rider came from behind without a word, rode past on his downhill rig and
    as he went by bunnyhopped to scrap the uphill side of the trail bringing down
    rocks and such (why i don't know).

    This week every encounter with a rider on an incline left me yielding as i was
    climbing. Its frustrating, why don't people yield?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tron
    Why doesn't the downhill rider yield to the uphill rider, I thought this
    was one of the cardinal rules of the trail.
    You know, this has happened to me quite a bit as well... and since this is my first season riding, I'm no singletrack expert, so I can't always pass safely on narrow, cliff-side trails without someone yielding.

    My only guess is that in the cases that bugged me, the guys were coming downhill on the inside of the trail... they probably felt pretty comfortable and in control. I was going uphill on the outside, not too fast, and balance was definitely an issue. As they passed, I nearly had to put my right foot down... but of course nothing was there but air. Would have sucked to go tumbling down through what inevitably would have been poison oak.

  3. #3
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    I don't live in Norcal but I have the same experience. I have been riding MTB since the 80's and this was a known rule but now, no one obeys it. Did I miss something?

  4. #4
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    lack of courtesy usually. if your climbing just hold your ground. if folks want to pass and i can't find a good pull out or i'm in a groove, it's there job to figure out how to get around. same for folks going down. if someone's coming down and i'm climbing and on a smooth line and no where else to go but the rocks, they need to take the rocks or stop cuz i ain't pulling over unless i need a rest. then it's a win/win for me. i rest and look like a nice guy.

    it's what i do when i'm the other rider too. let the folks working the hardest have the easiest line.

  5. #5
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    If they don't yield, stop in such a way that they have to take the downhill side of the trail.
    When they pass by, push them off their bike and down the side of the hill.

  6. #6
    jrm
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    They dont know any better

    Or dont care. yeah it kinda sucks...

  7. #7
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    Put this on the freeride board

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Or dont care. yeah it kinda sucks...
    I engaged in a discussion on this on the freeride board. They're working on the assumption that downhill rules. I told them to go %$^&**$ and they should appreciate the effort taken in climbing. They told me to go %$^&**$ and that they had momentum and armor and did I want to risk a collision. My guess is that the freeride crowd see themselves as the bad boys and act accordingly. Marketting is an ugly thing.

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    Hope none of those freeride guys run into me, because their going going to find that my 230 pound fat ass doesn't respond well to momentum. Seriously, I have been fortunate enough that here in the Bay Area (at least were I ride), 99% of riders are still curtious and even say hi.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  9. #9
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    Youth, the two edged sword. Ya need em to keep the sport going, yet the little buggers are so full of....well ...youth!! My take is that if they werent wearing helmets, they probably are'nt serious riders and there's probably no way to reach them, they don't understand us, they're outsiders. Being into snowboarding, I've heard this before, how skiing was so great and now snow boarders have f-d up everything from the slopes we ride to being responsible for the space shuttle disaster. Is it the sport it self? Of course not! It's kids, you know the ones speeding down the street. News flash... They're unresponsible, just like you were when you were younger and slimmer The point is not to cannabalize each other " those damn "freeriders" have no respect" ?? A few individuals maybe but not all of us. Last month I got *****ed out for shuttleing up a perfectly legal road at SDF. I had'nt shuttled the road in months, yet somehow I was the one who had cut off and pissed off some guy who had been riding up the road. WTF??? The guy started out yelling. That's where the whole thing deteriorated before it began then it turned in to lame name calling and a bunch of "Neener neener neener". Maybe if he had pulled over to my truck, asked how it was going and even made the slightest attempt to ask my perspective it could have gone a lot further. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but the point is, to talk to people in a positive way, granted there are assh*les everywhere you go and if you try to stop some one going downhill to talk to them, no, they probably are'nt going to stop.
    The next time you see some black diamond extreem jibbin freeriders suiting up in the parking lot, just go talk to them, don't go over with the preachy voice of reason, just go shoot the sh!t for a few minutes. I think you'd be surprised at the result, and you never know, it may be contagious. Guys- we have enough percieved enemies, do we need to make more out of ourselves with PETTY generalizations and LAME stereotypes? The only time youre going to win is to get rid of all teenagers ( hey- not a bad idea!! )
    Does anyone see my point? It's ok to disagree, and I probably did'nt express it as well as I could ( but my boss is coming so I gotta cut it short!)

    And Masher- are you absoulutely sure you wanna play human road block with someone who's probably close to 40 pounds heavier than you and barreling downhill like a frieght trane?

  10. #10
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    &^%**() teenagers !

    Quote Originally Posted by MVRIDER
    Youth, the two edged sword. Ya need em to keep the sport going, yet the little buggers are so full of....well ...youth!! My take is that if they werent wearing helmets, they probably are'nt serious riders and there's probably no way to reach them, they don't understand us, they're outsiders. Being into snowboarding, I've heard this before, how skiing was so great and now snow boarders have f-d up everything from the slopes we ride to being responsible for the space shuttle disaster. Is it the sport it self? Of course not! It's kids, you know the ones speeding down the street. News flash... They're unresponsible, just like you were when you were younger and slimmer The point is not to cannabalize each other " those damn "freeriders" have no respect" ?? A few individuals maybe but not all of us. Last month I got *****ed out for shuttleing up a perfectly legal road at SDF. I had'nt shuttled the road in months, yet somehow I was the one who had cut off and pissed off some guy who had been riding up the road. WTF??? The guy started out yelling. That's where the whole thing deteriorated before it began then it turned in to lame name calling and a bunch of "Neener neener neener". Maybe if he had pulled over to my truck, asked how it was going and even made the slightest attempt to ask my perspective it could have gone a lot further. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but the point is, to talk to people in a positive way, granted there are assh*les everywhere you go and if you try to stop some one going downhill to talk to them, no, they probably are'nt going to stop.
    The next time you see some black diamond extreem jibbin freeriders suiting up in the parking lot, just go talk to them, don't go over with the preachy voice of reason, just go shoot the sh!t for a few minutes. I think you'd be surprised at the result, and you never know, it may be contagious. Guys- we have enough percieved enemies, do we need to make more out of ourselves with PETTY generalizations and LAME stereotypes? The only time youre going to win is to get rid of all teenagers ( hey- not a bad idea!! )
    Does anyone see my point? It's ok to disagree, and I probably did'nt express it as well as I could ( but my boss is coming so I gotta cut it short!)
    OK, so rather than generalizing about freeriders let's generalize about teenagers ! Hey, at least it's something we can all relate to. Yes, it's the exception. But it's the exception that has the potential to ruin it for everyone. Whether it's dog owners failing to pickup, or pilots refusing to fly friendly, or freeriders 'declining' (sic) to yield. Meanwhile the other day I was climbing a fireroad and a guy in some huge truck stopped and waived me by. Thanks, that was nice. Now if only our teenagers could learn some respect

  11. #11
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    Those type people (riders who do not share)

    aren't too bright. Why piss someone off by not sharing the trail, when the person you are pissing off knows exactly where you're going. It's real easy to turn my bike around and point it downhill and follow any jackas$ that shoulders me or runs me off the trail in that scenerio...

  12. #12
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    hmmm, I don't know if it's just that

    Quote Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
    I engaged in a discussion on this on the freeride board. They're working on the assumption that downhill rules. I told them to go %$^&**$ and they should appreciate the effort taken in climbing. They told me to go %$^&**$ and that they had momentum and armor and did I want to risk a collision. My guess is that the freeride crowd see themselves as the bad boys and act accordingly. Marketting is an ugly thing.
    I have to agree, this situation sounds like some young hot heads (no helmets and all that) and probably have no idea what trail ettiquite is.

    On he other hand, I personally prefer to have the right of way on a downhill. Of course, I don't demand it forcefully. I'm not a freerider (hit a 2ft jump last week though, wooo hooo ) but climbing is absolutely my least favorite part of a ride. I work hard and suffer through climbing just so I can have the reward of a down hill. Sometimes it really sucks to have to keep yeilding for people climbing up.

    Not to say I think the fu attitude is the right one. I do think the sport has changed alot though. Going down hill has become the draw of the sport. In most case, I tend yield no matter what directin I'm going in, but that's just kinda how I am. If I had my choice though, I'd rather have right of way going down.
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  13. #13
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    This trail conflict comes up often and in my opinion is simply a matter of ignorance of etiquette on the part on the DH/FR people (me and my friends fall into that catagory, but
    try to be ambassadors of goodwill). HOWEVER, something to keep in mind is the fact
    that it is HIGHLY unlikely that the DH rider would risk hitting the uphill rider as that would
    simply wreck their flow. Maybe it takes a little faith on the part of the uphill rider in the fact that the 2 can pass safely. As a former urban skateboarder, I was always suprised that peds would freeze and scream or jump out of the way of a closely passing skateboarder, never considering that the skater would NEVER purposefully hit the ped - that would ruin/delay/bum the fry of the ride. Same with a segment of the MTB community, they perceive the armor-clad rider as barely in control, going too fast, or (sometimes true) discourteous. Unless the uphill rider is trying to clean a SUPER technical narrow climb, I don't see any reason why an uphill and DH rider cant pass safely. I don't feel the need to come to a stop and wait unless there is no room to safely pass. I DO always say 'Hi'.....this IS NorCal, not Laguna Canyon.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfunk
    I have to agree, this situation sounds like some young hot heads (no helmets and all that) and probably have no idea what trail ettiquite is.

    On he other hand, I personally prefer to have the right of way on a downhill. Of course, I don't demand it forcefully. I'm not a freerider (hit a 2ft jump last week though, wooo hooo ) but climbing is absolutely my least favorite part of a ride. I work hard and suffer through climbing just so I can have the reward of a down hill. Sometimes it really sucks to have to keep yeilding for people climbing up.

    Not to say I think the fu attitude is the right one. I do think the sport has changed alot though. Going down hill has become the draw of the sport. In most case, I tend yield no matter what directin I'm going in, but that's just kinda how I am. If I had my choice though, I'd rather have right of way going down.
    Maybe that's the problem. People do what they "prefer" to do as opposed to accepting current rules.

    I prefer to have an uninterrupted downhill ride, too. It doesn't change the fact that the downhill rider should yield to the uphill rider. When going downhill is super important to me, I ride when there is less of a chance of encountering other riders. I know that's not always possible.

    Also, the downhill rider is typically more maneuverable than an uphill rider. The uphill rider may only be going 3mph...barely still moving. Trying to steer out of someones way can mean falling. At the very least....getting started again may be difficult. It's usually easier for the downhill rider to get moving again. The downhill rider has maneuverable speed. If the downhill rider can't stop in time......they were going too fast for the conditions

    Oh well. Sometimes we just can't do everything we want...exactly when we want it. We should accept that. It's called being an adult.

    When I'm climbing, I usually stop for the downhill rider.......just to be nice, especially if I see that the rider is starting to slow down for me. I appreciate that. If I see that the rider has no intention of stopping or moving.....I just continue climbing.

  15. #15
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    Rules? Taught by who?

    In order to ski or board downhill at a resort you have to learn and follow rules. It is either that or you sit in the car.
    A few weeks ago I contronted a contirbutor to this forum about riding with headphones. He stated pretty clearly that he believed that everyone should be able to determine how they want to ride.
    The continuum (sp) of ride behaviors between headphones and downhill is pretty elaborate but all along these modalities are behaviors which are a challenge to safe riding and the enjoyment of the groove.
    Hence, Miss Manners.
    The challenge we face is that there is no facility for teaching these nearly arbitrary rules and no way to enforce them. One would hope that each rider would be able to determine co-operative behavior for themselves but that's just dreaming. If you are in the way of someone's groove you are just in the way, regardless of the right of way or consideration of other riders.

    In order to ride with my High School Racing Team the members must observe a very strict code of behavior. We still manage to hang it out there pretty far and have a lot of fun. And these kids outride most adults you know.

    Our local trails council, and all members of the new umbrella group, works hard to broadcast a sense of comportment. Amongst that group in Northern California are some of the best riders you will ever see.

    I guess what I am understanding is that it is more effective to enrich ettiquette in a group than laying on the side of the trail by yourself.

  16. #16
    Ebo
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    It's hard to understand what they are thinking. A friend I used to ride with all the time got to the point where he would not yield the trail to the downhillers if he felt they were pushing their way through. This led to a couple of encounters that were not too fun, but I grew to admire his stance. The only time some riders got under my skin was while I was slowly yielding to some riders grunting up a long climb and had three guys from behind pass me right between the uphill riders. I totally blew up and chased down all of them and told them to basically fck off. Got face to face with one of them and fortunately, he backed down. I'm sure he could have kicked my ass, but I was almost psycho at the time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebo
    It's hard to understand what they are thinking. A friend I used to ride with all the time got to the point where he would not yield the trail to the downhillers if he felt they were pushing their way through. This led to a couple of encounters that were not too fun, but I grew to admire his stance. The only time some riders got under my skin was while I was slowly yielding to some riders grunting up a long climb and had three guys from behind pass me right between the uphill riders. I totally blew up and chased down all of them and told them to basically fck off. Got face to face with one of them and fortunately, he backed down. I'm sure he could have kicked my ass, but I was almost psycho at the time.

    WHO has the problem?

  18. #18
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    It is a funny society

    where the person confronting a scofflaw is considered the one who has the problem.
    Sorry DH, you haven't a leg to stand on. Downhill yeilds to uphill. If we don't follow that one rule then there is confusion between a gravity assisted route at speed and a grinder weaving for traction and progress. This isn't rocket science. It is about giving for the sake of everyone.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    where the person confronting a scofflaw is considered the one who has the problem.
    Sorry DH, you haven't a leg to stand on. Downhill yeilds to uphill. If we don't follow that one rule then there is confusion between a gravity assisted route at speed and a grinder weaving for traction and progress. This isn't rocket science. It is about giving for the sake of everyone.
    So is chasing someone down for a possible physical confrontation what you teach to your H.S. racing team? Please tell me what school this is so I can make sure my kids never go there!! Do you guys go bomb logging companies on your field trips? I have to agree with DH40 on both of his posts. True, if it's a super narrow single track, as a courtesy ( not really a rule ) the person going down should show some concideration, slow down, what ever. But I think if you're on anything wider, double track, fire road etc, remember it's not just your mountain, and expecting someone to come to a dead stop may be setting your self up for dissapointment. I know what I said in my other post may sound kinda contrary, but I gotta agree with him on it. Not to go beating on my snowboard/ski comparison drum again, but I can't count how many times I've been passing someone ( usually on skis) and I go out of my way to avoid them, basically just as in DH'ing I don't want to run into them as much as they don't want to be run into. Time and time again, there I am sometimes as much as 10 yards to the side of them, as they hear me pass they start paying attention to me and not where they're going, boom! down they go, then it's my fault. I think it's the same here, there's always going to be reckless a-holes, but for the most part the guy going downhill did'nt wake up in the morning and start trying to figure out the easiest way to f- himself and his bike up.
    Last edited by MVRIDER; 06-16-2004 at 09:42 AM.

  20. #20
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    You have confused a few entries into this thread

    There is no need to be obtuse with you examples nor to make negative, unsubstantiated, references about the Team and it's ethic. We're talking about a trail where flow was challenged, efforts were being made to co-operate, and bozo-ness happened creating danger. It must have been enfuriating. I can't say I encourage chasing the culprits down, grabbing them by the collar and screaming some sense into their faces, but I can understand the sentiment. If you recall, that is what started this thread; bewilderment and frustration at riders flaunting a right of way issue.
    I'm not sure I understand your reaction in the first part of your response as I have never advocated such behavior but mentioned a curious social foible. I do appreciate you point, however, in the second part.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    There is no need to be obtuse with you examples nor to make negative, unsubstantiated, references about the Team and it's ethic. We're talking about a trail where flow was challenged, efforts were being made to co-operate, and bozo-ness happened creating danger. It must have been enfuriating. I can't say I encourage chasing the culprits down, grabbing them by the collar and screaming some sense into their faces, but I can understand the sentiment. If you recall, that is what started this thread; bewilderment and frustration at riders flaunting a right of way issue.
    I'm not sure I understand your reaction in the first part of your response as I have never advocated such behavior but mentioned a curious social foible. I do appreciate you point, however, in the second part.
    Ok, then I appologize for misconstruing ( sp ) your post. Given the context of the thread and your title and opening words, I think it could be mistaken for words of encouragement to those who may be thinking of chasing down any scoflaws. Check Ebo's post, he does mention someone "backing down" in my mind that term has some pretty serious implications, and to tell the truth, no I can't even imagine chasing someone down just for passing me and cutting it close. Is it really worth it? Especially when there's much more serious stuff going on on the trails. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen in the similar threads section. "Jogger pepper sprays rider"! , old_dude trying doggy style rite in the middle of the trail ( literally) much bigger battles to be fought.

  22. #22
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    bombing down or slowing down???

    I think that speed is relative. To one person riding up, a rider coming down may be going too fast, but to the rider going down, they may have slowed to safely pass another rider.

    Myself, I know that when I riding up a singletrack, and I hear a bike coming down, I get out of the way (move to the side). When I am going down, if I see another hiker or biker coming up, I will slow down and if the hiker or biker yeilds, I pass with what I consider a safe speed. Now that safe speed is relative.

    What is safe for me, may not feel safe to others, or what others feel is a safe speed, may seem too fast for me. It's all in the eye of the beholder. If I see a horse, I stop. Always.

    A couple months ago, I was riding down a popular trail, and passed a biker who was off the the side fumbling with their derailleur. At the bottom of the trail, the rider came up to me and said that I didn't slow down nad passed him with too much speed. I countered that I did slow down, and felt it safe. He replied with, "I guess it's in the eye of the beholder" True words.

  23. #23
    Ebo
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    Quote Originally Posted by MVRIDER
    Ok, then I appologize for misconstruing ( sp ) your post. Given the context of the thread and your title and opening words, I think it could be mistaken for words of encouragement to those who may be thinking of chasing down any scoflaws. Check Ebo's post, he does mention someone "backing down" in my mind that term has some pretty serious implications, and to tell the truth, no I can't even imagine chasing someone down just for passing me and cutting it close. Is it really worth it? Especially when there's much more serious stuff going on on the trails. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen in the similar threads section. "Jogger pepper sprays rider"! , old_dude trying doggy style rite in the middle of the trail ( literally) much bigger battles to be fought.
    Let me further explain. The 3 riders who rode with complete disregard between us, not only put us all in harms way, they did not even give a damn. These were not teenage downhillers either. Just 3 aholes. They treated me the same when confronted. Sorry, but in this situation I am not going to be the passive victim. Put yourself in my shoes and then tell me what the answer is. Thank god they are in the minority.

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    Meeting head-on at China Camp

    Last Saturday my friend and I went to ride China Camp, arrived at 8am, and rode up the backside. As the morning passed we saw riders and runners more frequently.
    We ride here for the groove. You really can have some fun on both the Shoreline and Bayview Trails but it is too crowded there to really let loose and there are too many blind turns. We generally run at about 65-70% tops so it's pretty mellow. What I found interesting this weekend was the espressions on the faces of riders we confronted head on. Some riders are working pretty hard, due to skill levels, so when you come upon then they are startled and we give them alot of room. Some guys hammer and, while they don't startle they get busy and serious real fast, there is more skidding and closer calls. The funny thing is that while the former group isn't very highly skilled, and the latter is, they are both dangerous. We ran into 4 11-12 year old boys doing an pretty nice job down Backranch. It was pretty cute; tennis, knarly t-shirts, helmets, gloves, standing up out of the saddle in attack position, eyes wide open, chains a-bangin' and rocks popping. At that junction near Bayshore where it becomes Owl the trail is wide and there was little danger. Behind them were a couple of dad's, one clearly skilled the other not so, and we kidded them about getting dropped by their boys. Smiles all around.
    The thing which charmed me most, though, was running into the Luna Chix ride. There were about 8-9 of them coming down Owl strung out into a couple of groups. These girls know how to ride as did their guests. What was really cool about it was that the Chix were in their kit and they all, to a gal, were smiling and riding briskly and returned our greeting. It was like a fresh breeze and one of my favorite things to see in this sport. There was no sense that everyone else would have to sacrifice for their ride, that their down was more important than our up, that we had collided with their groove, or that they were working so close to their limits that an encounter with them might become a hazard.
    More of an exhaltation than an assault.

  25. #25
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    Eye of the beholder

    Quote Originally Posted by Katana
    I think that speed is relative. To one person riding up, a rider coming down may be going too fast, but to the rider going down, they may have slowed to safely pass another rider.

    Myself, I know that when I riding up a singletrack, and I hear a bike coming down, I get out of the way (move to the side). When I am going down, if I see another hiker or biker coming up, I will slow down and if the hiker or biker yeilds, I pass with what I consider a safe speed. Now that safe speed is relative.

    What is safe for me, may not feel safe to others, or what others feel is a safe speed, may seem too fast for me. It's all in the eye of the beholder. If I see a horse, I stop. Always.

    A couple months ago, I was riding down a popular trail, and passed a biker who was off the the side fumbling with their derailleur. At the bottom of the trail, the rider came up to me and said that I didn't slow down nad passed him with too much speed. I countered that I did slow down, and felt it safe. He replied with, "I guess it's in the eye of the beholder" True words.
    I agree with you to a point. If you are passing someone and there is plenty of room (a couple of feet or more), then I agree with you. If you're talking about going downhill and passing with a foot or less, then slowing down to a fast walking pace, or slower, is prudent. I guess the bottom line with me is.......How much injury will you cause (to the other person) if you hit them?

    I know that we're all "great" riders, but we all lose control and crash occasionally. If the rider climbing runs into the downhill rider(who is allowing the uphill rider to pass), there won't be much damage. If the downhill rider clips or hits an uphill rider, without slowing down to a fast walk, there can be considerable damage.

  26. #26
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    I was thinking about this thread yesterday when I was riding because something wierd happened. I'm not a Dh'er and I'm not even all that fast DH and I'm usually very polite. I'm coming down some singletrack and there is a rocky spot off to the right and a guy coming up the nice line in teh middle. So, nice and slow and in control I roll down the rocky part, because there is plenty of room for him to keep climbing if I do. He however stops! I felt bad - I would have happily stopped to let him climb but in my eyes there was tons of room - obviously it was uncomfortable for him.

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    I never understood people that won't yield to uphillers. A month or so ago on a ride at Santa Teresa my buddy and I yielded to a group of 3 guys climbing up Rocky Ridge. Then about 30 minutes later as we drop into the middle valley on Stiles Ranch I see a guy pop out on the top of the other side. We get to the bottom and then start climbing and about halfway up the same 3 guys come down the trail full speed. Wouldn't you at least yield the trail to people have already yielded to you? I guess some people are totally clueless.

    -Derek

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebo
    . Thank god they are in the minority.
    I agree with that. I agree with Katana, too. There are definately *ssholes in the MTB scene,
    but in my opinion chasing them down and exposing them to a bulging vein on one's forehead will probably do little to educate them. I am safe and courteous, but I may not appear to be that way to 100% of the riders I encounter on the trail. That said, I rarely ride on trails that are used by the vast majority of cyclists. When we go up the hill we are often
    pushing because it's too steep or rocky to ride. When we hear a rider coming down it means JUMP IN THE BUSHES!!!!!!!!!! because I do not expect them to stop.

    There's no excuse for being a kook on a multi (riding style) use trail, though, and luckily
    the *ssholes are in the minority. I just don't think anyone can reasonably expect 100% of people to know what to do in a given trail encounter. Chasing someone down seems akin to having a spaz.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40
    I agree with that. I agree with Katana, too. There are definately *ssholes in the MTB scene,
    but in my opinion chasing them down and exposing them to a bulging vein on one's forehead will probably do little to educate them. I am safe and courteous, but I may not appear to be that way to 100% of the riders I encounter on the trail. That said, I rarely ride on trails that are used by the vast majority of cyclists. When we go up the hill we are often
    pushing because it's too steep or rocky to ride. When we hear a rider coming down it means JUMP IN THE BUSHES!!!!!!!!!! because I do not expect them to stop.

    There's no excuse for being a kook on a multi (riding style) use trail, though, and luckily
    the *ssholes are in the minority. I just don't think anyone can reasonably expect 100% of people to know what to do in a given trail encounter. Chasing someone down seems akin to having a spaz.
    Agree. Spazz like indeed.. It was the only time it has ever happened and I wasn't totally proud of my behavior. I had "sleep deprivation" going on at the same time. Newborn and a 2 year old at home. But sometimes, too much is too much. Everyone has their boiling point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebo
    Agree. Spazz like indeed.. It was the only time it has ever happened and I wasn't totally proud of my behavior. I had "sleep deprivation" going on at the same time. Newborn and a 2 year old at home. But sometimes, too much is too much. Everyone has their boiling point.
    Damn, you have 2 at home and you still get to ride?

    I have a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old and have resorted to fulltime bike-commuting to get in more than 1 ride a month! At least they sleep all night........

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    what if the uphill bound rider is pushing? will downhill person still yield?
    : )

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    Quote Originally Posted by East Bay Rich
    what if the uphill bound rider is pushing? will downhill person still yield?
    Good question.....I wouldn't feel the need to. I would expect the uphill pusher to make an effort to step to the side if feasible or at the very least just stand still and trust me to pass safely. I would say 'thanks' and that would be it.

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    there is your clue ...

    Quote Originally Posted by tron
    stopped at the swtichback locking their tires to skid out. Later on another helmetless
    rider came from behind without a word, rode past on his downhill rig and
    as he went by bunnyhopped to scrap the uphill side of the trail bringing down
    rocks and such (why i don't know).

    same thing that used to peeve me about some skaters when i was a skater ...there are some jerks that spoil it for every one ...and give the whole crowd a bad rep ...i've seen this discussion on the dh board and i've seen some nut cases but most of them are fairly respectfull it's just that the jerks stand out more ...

    blowing out the turns for fun and no helmets two things you'd get ripped for by most here ...bunch of hot shots who think it's their trail ...
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    HEY, ride w/ a couple of us CLYDES...

    we'll show em what the term "Gravity Kills" is all about. No need to be rude and unsavory out there. if you wanna hav a lil fun, as they scream past, yell..RANGER AHEAD ! that will put a lil paranoid streak in em as they grip their disk brakes to a reasonalble crawl, HEHEHE.

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    I don't get it, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by derek
    I never understood people that won't yield to uphillers. A month or so ago on a ride at Santa Teresa my buddy and I yielded to a group of 3 guys climbing up Rocky Ridge. Then about 30 minutes later as we drop into the middle valley on Stiles Ranch I see a guy pop out on the top of the other side. We get to the bottom and then start climbing and about halfway up the same 3 guys come down the trail full speed. Wouldn't you at least yield the trail to people have already yielded to you? I guess some people are totally clueless.

    -Derek
    A few weeks ago in West Marin my friends and I were doing a long road ride. Upon reaching a junction at the bottom of Wilson Hill there was a group of people who had just finished their ride and were swapping stories and thoghts as they put up their bikes in a happy post ride high. We stopped there to munch and drink and then started to get back on the road. As we got about 50 yards down the road the former riders, now SUV Drivers, just about ran all 6 of us into the drainage ditch. We were all blown away and just laughed because it was so rediculous .

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tron
    This week every encounter with a rider on an incline left me yielding as i was
    climbing. Its frustrating, why don't people yield?
    Because they are goddamned *******s. Put your elbow out and drop the sucker into poison oak. If he complains, break his nose.

    But really, downhill numbnuts did not bother me. I just keep moving uphill and so far nobody expressed a desire to shove me aside.

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    I find it funny that people are trying to find a "them" to blame - be it freeriders, teenagers, or whatever. The rudest riders on the trail I've encountered are neither freeriders nor teenagers. They have generally been people in their 20s to 30s. They wear helmets. They ride Ellsworths, Santa Cruzs, or Tituses. They often wear logo jerseys. They try very hard to pretend you don't exist when you say hi.

    But I also know people who are in their 20s to 30s who wear helmets ride Ellsworth/Santa Cruz/Titus wear logo jerseys who are quite nice.

    My opinion is that for any given sample of human beings, there will always be a percentage of a$$holes. That's true whether it's a profession, a sport, or a neighborhood.

    Although, Marin County seems to have a particularly high concentration.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lighty_
    I find it funny that people are trying to find a "them" to blame - be it freeriders, teenagers, or whatever. The rudest riders on the trail I've encountered are neither freeriders nor teenagers. They have generally been people in their 20s to 30s. They wear helmets. They ride Ellsworths, Santa Cruzs, or Tituses. They often wear logo jerseys. They try very hard to pretend you don't exist when you say hi.

    But I also know people who are in their 20s to 30s who wear helmets ride Ellsworth/Santa Cruz/Titus wear logo jerseys who are quite nice.

    My opinion is that for any given sample of human beings, there will always be a percentage of a$$holes. That's true whether it's a profession, a sport, or a neighborhood.

    Although, Marin County seems to have a particularly high concentration.
    Yep, come across the GG bridge a few miles south for some good ole NorCal hospitality...........
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    Oh, sure, but

    Quote Originally Posted by DH40
    Yep, come across the GG bridge a few miles south for some good ole NorCal hospitality...........

    will you share!?

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    The person that intentionally blocks the path of an oncoming downhiller is just as bad as a person that blazes downhill putting the uphiller at risk. There is a simple solution to all this, but it takes transcendence of your pride and that which you have been taught to think is 'proper': Both yield to the downhiller and slow down for the uphiller.

    Of course not everyone is going to take this course of action. That doesn't matter. Do it anyways. Be altruistic. For, the world will be a better place by it.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    will you share!?
    Yes, but something better than Bud for the guests!
    Bud is akin (as in a near relative, a kin - never though about that) to water to me.

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    Upset Etiquette ?

    Perhaps you all have forgotten your position in the orbit around " ME " !!
    Yield to me if I'm climbing or if I'm going downhill , for "I" , am far more important than you are .

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    Quote Originally Posted by tron
    This has been bothering me for weeks, at first I dismissed it to one bad
    experience, but it just keeps happening.

    Why doesn't the downhill rider yield to the uphill rider, I thought this
    was one of the cardinal rules of the trail.

    Last weeks ride I saw three you riders brush past me, riding with no helmets
    basically forced me off the side of the trail to let them by. The stopped at
    the swtichback locking their tires to skid out. Later on another helmetless
    rider came from behind without a word, rode past on his downhill rig and
    as he went by bunnyhopped to scrap the uphill side of the trail bringing down
    rocks and such (why i don't know).

    This week every encounter with a rider on an incline left me yielding as i was
    climbing. Its frustrating, why don't people yield?



    No helmuts?, no problem, I make em slow down and I ride in the middle of the trail (trail hog)
    after all what if they crash in front of you? No helmut are you going to be the responsible type ? YES make them slow down safely and say something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chap
    No helmuts?, no problem, I make em slow down and I ride in the middle of the trail (trail hog)
    after all what if they crash in front of you? No helmut are you going to be the responsible type ? YES make them slow down safely and say something.
    To block others and preach your take on safety is definitly not cool. Both the uphill and downhill rider should be prepared to yeild, if the downhill rider is looking at falling off the side of the hill and the uphill rider can move over a bit then it is the responsibility of the uphill rider to yeild. I find that with competent riders both can pass safely even on single tracks, however if both decide to yeild please move to the right. I don't know how many times i've tried to yeild only to have someone try to occupy the place I was heading.

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    Downhillers ALWAYS should yield...

    ...to uphillers. In all the mountain climbing, hiking, and mountain biking I've done, it is common etiquiette/practice/courtesy for those going down the trail to yield to those going up the hill when the trail is too narrow for people to pass each other. I know it sucks when you're flying down a hill to have to slow it down. But, think about how hard it is to get going again when you have to stop on a steep hill climb. It's just plain mean to make someone either push their bike up the hill or ride to the botom and start over again when they are forced to stop to yield to a downhiller who doesn't want to play by the rules.

  46. #46
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    I always yield to the uphill rider unless it's a fireroad or something wider than a single track. I mean why not? In ten feet I'll be going just as fast as I was before I stopped.

  47. #47
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    Most of the time I am riding, I've had the good luck of most people going downhill yielding to me. Whenever I see them coming, if the trail allows, I'll move over to the side to give them room to go past. Only once have I been literally run over by some downhillers, (going the wrong way on a one way trail). When I go downhill, if I can see a good distance in front of me, I'll get some good speed, if I am approaching a turn, I slow down so I won't hit anyone. If I come apon a hiker, or another biking going uphill, I pull over and let them pass unless they wave me by. Life is to short to cause problems and piss people off.
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    Ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemonkey
    Most of the time I am riding, I've had the good luck of most people going downhill yielding to me. Whenever I see them coming, if the trail allows, I'll move over to the side to give them room to go past. Only once have I been literally run over by some downhillers, (going the wrong way on a one way trail). When I go downhill, if I can see a good distance in front of me, I'll get some good speed, if I am approaching a turn, I slow down so I won't hit anyone. If I come apon a hiker, or another biking going uphill, I pull over and let them pass unless they wave me by. Life is to short to cause problems and piss people off.

    Same for me. A little common sense is all that is required. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of people who were watching WWF Wrestling when they should have been in line to get their helping of it. I started life as a throttle twister and it was always understood that the guy coming up hill had the right of way. Unless I'm wrong, that is how the traffic laws for cars/trucks on one lane road is as well.
    Cheers

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    Just today.....

    Was thinking about writing a note today and then saw this thread. Was riding Saratoga Gap today. Definitely, a multi-use, nondownhill trail. Two riders in full downhill gear and bikes came blowing by me at full speed. One said hello after running me off the trail and the other just blew by me at full speed. I stopped (no real choice) and let them pass. I had two problems with their behavior. First, was they passed me at a speed that was dangerous to me. What was the point? What was gained that was so important to risk injury? Second, was that their behavior threatens the future of mountain biking on this trail. I have no particular problem with downhillers. I just spent three days in Downieville last week having a blast. But, to "downhill" on a trail that is this busy (hikers, occasional horses, and other bikers) runs the risk of trail closure. Why not go to a trail that is more appropriate for downhill riding? Way too many blind corners and too many users on this trail. My fear is that this type of behavior will ruin it for all of us. We need to get this kind of behavior under control somehow. Unfortunately, "somehow" is the $64,000 question. Should I have turned around and confronted them? I don't know. I do know that by doing nothing, I tacitly condoned their behavior. Just like the old movie, "Gentleman's Agreement." And, that isn't right.

    So, I guess my point is that uphill and downhill is all good. But, when done in inappropriate places with disregard for others, it has some very bad consequences for all of us. I believe that trail closures are a real threat. So, we can argue all we want about what should be (e.g., who has the right of way), but disrespectful behavior such as what I observed today will ultimately close the trail for all of us. Then, we can blame the government or whoever for screwing us and closing the trails. In reality, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. The sad thing will be that the real culprits will be clueless, just like the two buttheads I encountered today.

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    The challenge is....

    reaching the buttheads with some consequences. Such self-righteous behavior in elusive culprits is hard to manage. It is a group of thugs running away laughing at you because you can't catch them or do anything to them.
    However, if a community decides that a behavior is unacceptable it can exert pressure to extinguish that behavior. The problem is the tacit tolerance of the behavior bolstered by the probability that many mtb riders rush downhill whenever they can;
    "it's such a sweet downhill"
    "I earned that downhill after that climb"
    "I needed to get my jones."
    "I'm in control, don't worry," (then why are you wearing armor?)

  51. #51
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    Which trail were you run off of at Saratoga Gap? I got ran off of Table Mountain while I was trying to go up. From the places I've been riding, Saratoga Gap seems to have the biggest problem with it. (i've been to SG, Santa Teresa, Henry Coe, Grant Ranch, and Skeggs so far)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobietom20
    I just spent three days in Downieville last week having a blast. But, to "downhill" on a trail that is this busy (hikers, occasional horses, and other bikers) runs the risk of trail closure. .
    The 'Downieville Downhill' run is NOT a dedicated downhill trail either, no matter what popular perception is.

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    Saratoga Gap

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemonkey
    Which trail were you run off of at Saratoga Gap? I got ran off of Table Mountain while I was trying to go up. From the places I've been riding, Saratoga Gap seems to have the biggest problem with it. (i've been to SG, Santa Teresa, Henry Coe, Grant Ranch, and Skeggs so far)
    The single track between Highway 9 and 35. Right before it crosses Charcoal Road. So, very close to where you are talking about. I agree that it is a problem which is a real shame because it is such a nice singletrack for xc riding. Have seen more rangers there recently which likely means they see it as a problem as well.

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    Last month I passed a group of old ladies (10 of them, about 60-70yrs old) hiking in that area. I obviously stopped for them, but they waved me on and they all said hi as I came by. I'd hate to see what wouldof happened if those guys had plowed into them, probably wouldhave gotten trails closed to us
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masher
    The 'Downieville Downhill' run is NOT a dedicated downhill trail either, no matter what popular perception is.
    Not sure what your point is. My point is that the Saratoga Gap trail is too crowded, narrow, and has too many blind corners to be used as a downhill course. To use it as such threatens safety and trail closures.

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    let's see....

    you guys have some experience with the location and tendancy of the offending riders and now there are interested Rangers in the area. How about building some alliances with the rangers, as you are both interested in the safe usage of the area, and helping them out.
    Would mountain bikers turn in other mountain bikers or does that go against the code of brotherhood?
    Now, lets ask the question again: "why does this behavior continue?"

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    you guys have some experience with the location and tendancy of the offending riders and now there are interested Rangers in the area. How about building some alliances with the rangers, as you are both interested in the safe usage of the area, and helping them out.
    Would mountain bikers turn in other mountain bikers or does that go against the code of brotherhood?
    Now, lets ask the question again: "why does this behavior continue?"
    Point well taken and have thought about it quite a bit. Would have absolutely no problem doing so if the violation were egregious enough. However, violations can be used as data to prove that bikers are being reckless and should be banded from the trails. So, we could be working against ourselves. Better to educate when possible. When to verses when not to is obviously a tough choice as evidenced by many comments herein. Have said things to people in the past with mixed results. Often get a blank stare. Sometimes get a reasonable response. Only once was I told to f__ off. Am sorry I didn't say something the other day. Unfortunately, there will be another chance. Sounds from your responses that you are being active too. Feels like spitting in the ocean but it is still better than the alternatives.

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    Soiling our own nest.

    I understand the hesitation to damage the reputation of our sport. However, when I hear people defend our sport they always say something like "try not to blame all mtb'ers for the poor behavior of the few."
    I have a feeling the the public would be pleased to understand that the mtb community tries to act responsibily and work with the authorities and that there were substantial elements within mtb who want to corral dangerous behavior.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    I understand the hesitation to damage the reputation of our sport. However, when I hear people defend our sport they always say something like "try not to blame all mtb'ers for the poor behavior of the few."
    I have a feeling the the public would be pleased to understand that the mtb community tries to act responsibily and work with the authorities and that there were substantial elements within mtb who want to corral dangerous behavior.
    Absolutely. However, I have a bit of experience with how statistics are passed forward. Not sure if the data would be interpreted as such. Anyhow, it sounds like you and I are in agreement with respect to being more active in addressing problematic behavior. I know that we must but am not sure how to go about it. To reiterate, a very old movie called, "Gentleman's Agreement," showed how supposedly nonprejudice people inadvertently supported prejudice by not wanting to make waves. We are likely doing the same here. It is not an "if we should" but a "how should we" in MHO. BTW, I have been in constant communication with the rangers to try to make sure that they know that the 'buttheads" are a minority.

    Peace. I am going away biking for a week. I appreciate the exchange.

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    Ride well.

    See you on the trails.

  61. #61
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    ask the rangers in those parks to post signs saying dh'ers please yield to uh'ers, but only on the singletrack trails. or post them yourself, in a manner that is environmentally friendly. .

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    Wink Be Reasonable - Safe & Reasonable -----Rules Rules Rules

    I ride Nor-Cal trails and have had no problems.

    Depending on the down hill or up hill either

    * I stop and let the down hiller go by
    *I slow down and we both pass each other
    * the down hiller stops and I go by.........

    It all depends on the width of the trail or how fast the down hiller is going.

    Confrontation just for the sake of not abiding by some RULES is a bonehead manuever.
    This is reflected in our society ie..... Bush asserts that Iraq was not abiding by rules, well Bush has bigger weapons and uses them.

    If your a guy who confronts rule breakers, then expect to be clocked one of these times... Is it worth it...????????

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    An interesting response....

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzo
    I ride Nor-Cal trails and have had no problems.

    Depending on the down hill or up hill either

    * I stop and let the down hiller go by
    *I slow down and we both pass each other
    * the down hiller stops and I go by.........

    It all depends on the width of the trail or how fast the down hiller is going.

    Confrontation just for the sake of not abiding by some RULES is a bonehead manuever.
    This is reflected in our society ie..... Bush asserts that Iraq was not abiding by rules, well Bush has bigger weapons and uses them.

    If your a guy who confronts rule breakers, then expect to be clocked one of these times... Is it worth it...????????
    Many skilled riders genially negotiate their way through uphill/downhill encounters. I had 4 of them at Tamarancho last night and the vibe is so cool; we are all out ther having a blast and sharing the scene. We aren't talking here about those kinds of intractions.

    We are talking about thoughtless, speeding, downhill riders encountered by uphill riders who have the right of way.This sort of interaction falls in the category of road rage and is about as successfully confronted by other automobile drivers. That is what cops are for and any police department freely acknowledges that they need a community's eyes and ears to help them do their job. Confronting a guy in full face helmet and armor is doomed to failure. Helping a ranger snag him is a better use of time than whining. Do you think I'm going to let some clown endanger my hundreds of hours per year of joyous riding just so he can get his jones? Not bloody likely. This isn't rocket science. I'll turn him in in a NY minute.

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    On another courtesy related subject, it also REALLY bothers me when you see someone on the trail, you make hi contact, you say hi and yield, or pass or whatever you do...and they don't say anything. It also bothers me when I'm hiking or backpacking. I'm not an etiquette officer, I just wonder what would happen if I was hurt and stuck in the wilds --- if someone can't be bothered to say "Hi" or "thanks", can they not be bothered to help someone out?


    edit: "hi contact" should be "eye contact" but it's a good typo so I left it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    On another courtesy related subject, it also REALLY bothers me when you see someone on the trail, you make hi contact, you say hi and yield, or pass or whatever you do...and they don't say anything. It also bothers me when I'm hiking or backpacking. I'm not an etiquette officer, I just wonder what would happen if I was hurt and stuck in the wilds --- if someone can't be bothered to say "Hi" or "thanks", can they not be bothered to help someone out?


    edit: "hi contact" should be "eye contact" but it's a good typo so I left it
    Yeah that kinda bugs me too. Last week I encountered Levi Leipheimer at Annadale and said howdy, and got no response. Not to bag on him he seems like a nice enough guy but it would have been cooler if he said howdy. Oh yeah, not to beat a dead horse but everyone please move to the right when you encounter someone on the trail. Hikers are the worst at this, I don't know how many times I had to duck and weave to avoid a head on collision.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padge
    ...but everyone please move to the right when you encounter someone on the trail. Hikers are the worst at this, I don't know how many times I had to duck and weave to avoid a head on collision.
    Que? I really don't understand this. Please explain. Public trails are not paved streets. MTB's are not automobiles (nor are road bikes for that matter). I've had people mention this after I've pulled over at a clear area to my LEFT in order to allow them to pass on their way up or down hill.

  67. #67
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    Pass on the left...

    Quote Originally Posted by seasick
    Que? I really don't understand this. Please explain. Public trails are not paved streets. MTB's are not automobiles (nor are road bikes for that matter). I've had people mention this after I've pulled over at a clear area to my LEFT in order to allow them to pass on their way up or down hill.
    Applies to same-direction traffic. Typically the rule about staying on the right except to pass applies to hikers, bikers, horses, cars, etc. Traffic rules do apply to bikes.

    The only exception I have heard to this rule is for pedestrians on streets without sidewalks. The idea is that if you walk facing oncoming traffic in the street, you can see if a car is going to hit you and get out of the way.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Applies to same-direction traffic. Typically the rule about staying on the right except to pass applies to hikers, bikers, horses, cars, etc. Traffic rules do apply to bikes.
    Mountain bikes? Not here http://www.imba.com/about/trail_rules.html . Hikers? Equestrians? I think a well tectured trail will often dictate where a person (or horse) is going to be given the trail conditions and terrain at a given location. When did automotive traffic rules start applying to dirt trails? I've never read this. If I'm cruising my cross rig on a fireroad I certainly aim to stay to the right if possible. Maybe I don't ride the fireroads often enough to have a good feel of the theoretical "stay to the right" rule. Perhaps an extreme (but darn fun if I don't say so myself) example, but if someone would like to demostrate the 'stay to the right' rule let's go hit up Oathill soon. It's been a week or two since I've left any metal on the trail.

    When passing a same direction cyclist or ped on a climb I always aim to give a "hello" and "approaching on the left", but "the rule"? Help me out here - maybe I've been in the dark for a while.

    One rule I'm familiar with that applies to most state and local jurisdiction around here are that bikes yield to horses and peds. Quote from IMBA Rules of the Trail #4 Always Yield Trail: "Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely."

    Where the heck does it say to "stay to the right" for oncoming traffic? In my mind "pass safely" is dictated primarily by trail conditions. See previous posts in this thread by gonzo (be safe & reasonable) and Impy (make "hi" contact) for quality bonus points.

    When approaching a cyclist on less critical terrain, how about a little common sense and yielding to the person A; riding uphill or B; working hard through a technical section, or C; someone who is "in a groove" on the downhill and you need a breather anyway - no not necessarily someone "bombing" out of control, but just enjoying a brief moment of gravity fed bliss. That bliss works pretty well on road bikes too...or so I've been told.

    A couple of things jump out at me that I maybe misplacing - please correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure someone will). Peoples perception when climbing (slowly) perhaps because they're tired, spaced out (mind wandering), angry, or whatever, often places the oncoming downhill traffic (most often cyclists) at a higher rate of speed than is often occurring. I've been there and will be there again. It's something else to have the sh*t scared out of you when you're not "in the now" so to speak, perhaps thinking of something at home or work.

    That said, I don't think that someone riding downhill should be crucified or perceived as threatening or a maniac if they are riding safely, in control and aren't having to "duck and weave to avoid a head on collision" to avoid as Padge said he/she has had to do. If someone riding is having to use this type of maneuver regularly to avoid hikers they may need to look a little closer to home to find the reasons for these encounters, that or go ride in less densely populated areas, get a season lift pass to Northstar, start riding a road bike (a few close calls with cars is pretty sobering) or take up golf. Check it - cyclists yield to everyone in the dirt - left or right.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasick
    Mountain bikes? Not here http://www.imba.com/about/trail_rules.html . Hikers? Equestrians? I think a well tectured trail will often dictate where a person (or horse) is going to be given the trail conditions and terrain at a given location. When did automotive traffic rules start applying to dirt trails? I've never read this. If I'm cruising my cross rig on a fireroad I certainly aim to stay to the right if possible. Maybe I don't ride the fireroads often enough to have a good feel of the theoretical "stay to the right" rule. Perhaps an extreme (but darn fun if I don't say so myself) example, but if someone would like to demostrate the 'stay to the right' rule let's go hit up Oathill soon. It's been a week or two since I've left any metal on the trail.

    When passing a same direction cyclist or ped on a climb I always aim to give a "hello" and "approaching on the left", but "the rule"? Help me out here - maybe I've been in the dark for a while.

    One rule I'm familiar with that applies to most state and local jurisdiction around here are that bikes yield to horses and peds. Quote from IMBA Rules of the Trail #4 Always Yield Trail: "Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely."

    Where the heck does it say to "stay to the right" for oncoming traffic? In my mind "pass safely" is dictated primarily by trail conditions. See previous posts in this thread by gonzo (be safe & reasonable) and Impy (make "hi" contact) for quality bonus points.

    When approaching a cyclist on less critical terrain, how about a little common sense and yielding to the person A; riding uphill or B; working hard through a technical section, or C; someone who is "in a groove" on the downhill and you need a breather anyway - no not necessarily someone "bombing" out of control, but just enjoying a brief moment of gravity fed bliss. That bliss works pretty well on road bikes too...or so I've been told.

    A couple of things jump out at me that I maybe misplacing - please correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure someone will). Peoples perception when climbing (slowly) perhaps because they're tired, spaced out (mind wandering), angry, or whatever, often places the oncoming downhill traffic (most often cyclists) at a higher rate of speed than is often occurring. I've been there and will be there again. It's something else to have the sh*t scared out of you when you're not "in the now" so to speak, perhaps thinking of something at home or work.

    That said, I don't think that someone riding downhill should be crucified or perceived as threatening or a maniac if they are riding safely, in control and aren't having to "duck and weave to avoid a head on collision" to avoid as Padge said he/she has had to do. If someone riding is having to use this type of maneuver regularly to avoid hikers they may need to look a little closer to home to find the reasons for these encounters, that or go ride in less densely populated areas, get a season lift pass to Northstar, start riding a road bike (a few close calls with cars is pretty sobering) or take up golf. Check it - cyclists yield to everyone in the dirt - left or right.
    The idea of moving to the right is to make encounters with other riders easier. If you are approaching someone, going the opposite direction, on a single track with enough room to pass. It makes sence for both riders to have a predetermined direction they are going to head, otherwise you may end up with both riders moving to the same side and possibly hitting each other. The 'duck and weave' I was speaking about is not because I am a irresponsible rider, it is due to what I described above. And I did have a pass to Northstar when I lived in Tahoe but it sucked, garbage and soil erosion everywhere, the regular trail system is soo much better throughout the Tahoe basin I don't know why anyone would want to ride at a screwed up ski resort.
    And Oathill sounds like a good idea, I think i'll head over there right now, it's only 20 min from my house. Cheers!

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    you guys have some experience with the location and tendancy of the offending riders and now there are interested Rangers in the area. How about building some alliances with the rangers, as you are both interested in the safe usage of the area, and helping them out.
    Would mountain bikers turn in other mountain bikers or does that go against the code of brotherhood?
    Now, lets ask the question again: "why does this behavior continue?"
    The best way to avoid quasi judicial police action, such as closing trails to bicyclists, would be to create an organization which it self-policing and recognized by government authorities.

    In a worst case scenario, such a self-policing organization could issue "licenses" or "permits" to its members which could be used by the rangers to show that this person is authorized to use certain crowded or protected trails. Members could wear some kind of distinctive Jersey with a number on it just like a car license plate. While this would be better than banning all bike traffic on the trails, this would not be ideal since it would work to exclude visitors who do not have time to secure such a permit.

    Nevertheless, if establishing such an organization would help open certain trails, I think it would be worth it. What bothers me particularly are the easement fire roads which go through private property but are marked on the map as off limits to bicyclists because the easement agreement with the property owner does not permit bicyclists. What? These are fire roads. The property owner expects to benefit from government emergency services over these roads at the expense of allowing a few hikers through? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. I think if there was a reliable nonprofit volunteer self-policing bicyclist organization which the park authorities trusted, it would give them more confidence to bargain with these private property owners to allow hikers AND bicyclists from this organization to pass through the easements. Has anybody been on the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail beyond where bicyclists are allowed? I wonder why it is not open to bicyclists all the way up to skyline. Seems like an awful long distance to hike. I wonder how we could get that trail open to cyclists.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padge
    The idea of moving to the right is to make encounters with other riders easier. If you are approaching someone, going the opposite direction, on a single track with enough room to pass. It makes sence for both riders to have a predetermined direction they are going to head, otherwise you may end up with both riders moving to the same side and possibly hitting each other. The 'duck and weave' I was speaking about is not because I am a irresponsible rider, it is due to what I described above. And I did have a pass to Northstar when I lived in Tahoe but it sucked, garbage and soil erosion everywhere, the regular trail system is soo much better throughout the Tahoe basin I don't know why anyone would want to ride at a screwed up ski resort.
    And Oathill sounds like a good idea, I think i'll head over there right now, it's only 20 min from my house. Cheers!
    I agree with your revised comment. Moving to the right for oncoming cyclists is preferred when reasonable. But one shouldn't assume that it's always possible or a rule. Practice 'staying to the right' today on the nice wide Oathill fireroad. That should be interesting. (Oh, and post some ride pics darn it!).

    Actually, your 'duck and weave' statement said that "Hikers are the worst at this, I don't know how many times I had to duck and weave to avoid a head on collision". Sounds like you may not be yielding right-of-way to the peds who are out strolling and not worrying about automotive traffic rules and 'staying to the right'. Where does the trail enable the approaching trail user to be at a given location? The Right? Left? Middle?

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasick
    I agree with your revised comment. Moving to the right for oncoming cyclists is preferred when reasonable. But one shouldn't assume that it's always possible or a rule. Practice 'staying to the right' today on the nice wide Oathill fireroad. That should be interesting. (Oh, and post some ride pics darn it!).

    Actually, your 'duck and weave' statement said that "Hikers are the worst at this, I don't know how many times I had to duck and weave to avoid a head on collision". Sounds like you may not be yielding right-of-way to the peds who are out strolling and not worrying about automotive traffic rules and 'staying to the right'. Where does the trail enable the approaching trail user to be at a given location? The Right? Left? Middle?
    Actually I didn't get to Oat HIll today due to time constraints but I was able to ride Annadale (Annadale is a few min. on bike from home). I only encountered six other riders, kinda odd for a saturday. Maybe i'll hit up Oat Hill tomorrow eve after climbing at Mt. St Helena. Off subject, but how many rock climbers are out there that ride in Sonoma County.
    I always give right of way to hikers, horses, and uphill riders. it's just that when you encounter someone (riders included) and try to move to the right to let them by, often they will move to the same side. This leads to an akward moment where both people are stopped and end up having a difficult time passing. Now as far as passing someone from behind, i'll usually click by breaks as I approach to let them know i'm coming, then ask if its OK to pass on the left/right (dependant on the trail conditions).

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padge
    I always give right of way to hikers, horses, and uphill riders. it's just that when you encounter someone (riders included) and try to move to the right to let them by, often they will move to the same side. This leads to an akward moment where both people are stopped and end up having a difficult time passing. Now as far as passing someone from behind, i'll usually click by breaks as I approach to let them know i'm coming, then ask if its OK to pass on the left/right (dependant on the trail conditions).
    I agree with you about moving to the right when approaching other cyclists where the trail conditions allow. That said, the trail doesn't always allow that and shouldn't be assumed it does. When encountering a ped or horse they always have right-of-way. They may go left, right or middle if they need/want to. Right-of-way. Horses are only able to be parked wherever an adequate amount of space is available. BTW, clicking your brakes behind skittish horses might get you decked. A "howdy" and "OK to pass?" or some such verbal greeting is preferred.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasick
    I agree with you about moving to the right when approaching other cyclists where the trail conditions allow. That said, the trail doesn't always allow that and shouldn't be assumed it does. When encountering a ped or horse they always have right-of-way. They may go left, right or middle if they need/want to. Right-of-way. Horses are only able to be parked wherever an adequate amount of space is available. BTW, clicking your brakes behind skittish horses might get you decked. A "howdy" and "OK to pass?" or some such verbal greeting is preferred.
    OK, this subject is about played out. Later.

  75. #75
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    check out www.romp.org
    They are a bicycle org that is in the area and many of them ride Saratoga Gap. I would also like to mention that some of the problems on this particular trail seem to stem from the fact that at the corner of hwy 9 and hwy 35 there are trails that leave on all 4 corners. Cyclists are only allowed on the trails on one of the corners( Saratoga Gap). This leads to over crowding and more conflict. The land managers around here really need to get a clue and only lots of people getting involved will help. The gap trails should be closed to hikers or the other trails should be opened to bikes. You people need to go to some meetings and get involved. I have been and it's pretty lonely.

  76. #76
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    lets try not to generalize

    Quote Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
    OK, so rather than generalizing about freeriders let's generalize about teenagers ! Hey, at least it's something we can all relate to. Yes, it's the exception. But it's the exception that has the potential to ruin it for everyone. Whether it's dog owners failing to pickup, or pilots refusing to fly friendly, or freeriders 'declining' (sic) to yield. Meanwhile the other day I was climbing a fireroad and a guy in some huge truck stopped and waived me by. Thanks, that was nice. Now if only our teenagers could learn some respect
    now see here is were it becomes a touchy issue. personally i don't think it would be right to generalizes about teenagers because unfortunatly i fall into that group, can't much help when i was born, but i also enjoy to "freeride" from time to time, but i still enjoy xc and a good climb. maybe i don't get out enough or it's just that no one like the trail i ride, probably more the later, but i never see other people when i'm out on the trail. not to justify people not yeilding but i think there should be a designated direction on some trails, could solve the problem if it only goes one way. just a thought. kinda reminds me why i don't own a motorcycle, to many stupid people doing stupid things that ruin it for me and many others i'm sure. damn punk kids!!

  77. #77
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    Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by DH40
    Damn, you have 2 at home and you still get to ride?

    I have a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old and have resorted to fulltime bike-commuting to get in more than 1 ride a month! At least they sleep all night........

    I know this is a tangent (is there a "Dad" forum?), but to encourage you, my kids are 3 and 1.5, and I ride 3-4 times a week near Santa Cruz. IT CAN BE DONE, especially when the little tykes get a bit older!
    paulbug

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