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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
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    Right of way on FS roads?

    My wife and I were riding in West Mag yesterday, climbing the 105 on the way to riding some nice singletrack, when we almost got run over by a moto - the guy literally came around a blind turn at 20+mph, and almost hit us on the right side of the (narrow) dirt road. We waited for the guys buddy riding behind him and asked him to tell his friend to slow down, be courteous, etc, and his reply was "this is a forest service _highway_, which means when you hear us coming, you have to get off the road and out of the way".

    Was this guy just an idiot, or do motorized vehicles really have the right of way on one-lane dirt roads like this? At the very least, I would assume that you'd have to ride in some kind of safe/sane manner (I mean, if I'd parked my jeep around this corner and turned off the engine, this guy would have been splattered all over the hood). If I hear a moto coming, I'll get to one side and be prepared to let them pass - but I'm not interested in trying to dodge some idiot screaming around a blind turn.

    As someone who raced both enduros and motocross, and at one point had more dirtbikes than my garage could hold, I have no inherent bias against riding motorcycles offroad. But I would *never* ride a speed that was too fast for the trail or conditions, and I was always ridiculously careful not to upset other trail users - we'd always pull over for hikers, horses, mountain bikes, etc, (and often shut off our engines as well) no matter what.

    Sarah was also pretty upset because on our way up the little trail from the high school, some bozo on a MTB blasted by us coming downhill and didn't yield, then yelled "downhill has the right of way, baby!" to her. What a day!

    Guess I just wanted to vent. I suppose I could complain to the forest service, but that probably wouldn't make any difference - you can't make a rule against being an idiot.

    -Walt

  2. #2
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    Reputation: jugdish's Avatar
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    Good question about the FR, I'd like to know as well. As far as ""downhill has the right of way, baby!" -nothing says "there's no f-ing way I'm yielding the trail" more than hearing this while climbing.

  3. #3
    Rolling
    Reputation: lidarman's Avatar
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    Rider be warned. West Mag FS roads are full of motor bikes and atvs. They can't hear you coming over their loud machines so you have to look out and it sucks when you are bombing down a road at 30. But it's reality and my advice is, you know about it so stay on the singletrack. There is enough single track up to there to not waist energy on the roads.

    Sure it's not right, but its the way it is. I'm sure those moto guys are annoyed by bikers being in the way on the roads just like a lot mtbers are annoyed by hikers taking up the trails. They prolly think, WTF don't the bikers stay on all that nice singletrack.

    As far as the DH mtber, sorry to hear that! Sounds like a moron

  4. #4
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    That sucks.

    I moto up at west mag all the time and always look out for the bikers on the roads.
    I have no desire to smash into some guy and get sued. As far as who has the legal right away, I don't know the answer, but am interested to hear it.

    Last time out me and my group saw a bunch of MTBers on the roads and single track and we all got along and waved and had a good old time!

    Anyway, not all motoers are bad!

  5. #5
    DSR
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    Yeah, I can't imagine that the rules are any different for FS roads. If so, I'd love to see the govt legal speak for "hear us comin!" and "git outa the way!" I hit the 5:15am RTD to Ned on Fri and rode for hours without seeing a soul (read: idiot). Walt - You gotta get on the "with kids" schedule. Seriously, that's a bummer though. Always especially disappointing when fellow mtb-ers act like jack@sses.

    Not to totally change the subject, but for folks who've done the RTD-Ned shuttle and then rode back down Mag into town, isn't that just the worst ride back? I've done it several times now, but somehow I'm always surprised by how long and UPHILL that Mag ride is back to town. It's really not until just the last 5 or so miles that you hit the pavement and bomb. Anyway, I rode hard for a solid 2.5 hours around Ned before pointing back towards town and it took me a solid 1:10 to get back to north Boulder. But with gas prices where they are and with the gas mileage my old Jeep gets, I kinda like paying $3.75 and then snoozing all the way up the canyon. I just have to factor the ride time home into the energy supply equation. S

  6. #6
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    Interesting

    I was also riding 105 yesterday in the afternoon and we heard motos coming up and they turned out to be ATV's. Granted, this was no blind corner and we pulled way over to the right and we could have both kept going without too much hassle. But, they stopped for us so we could ride by, they were very courteous and we moved on. It sounds like the motos were in the wrong, because couldn't they also have blindsided one of their own coming up the trail? Or an ATV person? Sounds like they would have offended quite a few people acting that way..

  7. #7
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    At least in the 4x4 world, it's also yield to uphill users. I'm sure that if you found a trail moto website, they'd advocate the same thing.

    In years of heading to the forest land west of here, I've had only a very few instances where moto's have made me nervous. Most of them have been super cautious, and very friendly whenever I've had a chance to talk to them. Most of the mentality seems to be "4 wheels bad, 2 wheels good!"

    The one nervous experience I've had that's stuck with me: I pulled over on my uphill climb and moved to the side of the road. The moto looked at me, and then launched a hump in the road flying a few feet away from me. Looking back, he was probably in full control, but it still scared me. It also taught me a little about how mtb's might appear to hikers...
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  8. #8
    Rolling
    Reputation: lidarman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSR

    Not to totally change the subject, but for folks who've done the RTD-Ned shuttle and then rode back down Mag into town, isn't that just the worst ride back? I've done it several times now, but somehow I'm always surprised by how long and UPHILL that Mag ride is back to town. It's really not until just the last 5 or so miles that you hit the pavement and bomb. Anyway, I rode hard for a solid 2.5 hours around Ned before pointing back towards town and it took me a solid 1:10 to get back to north Boulder. But with gas prices where they are and with the gas mileage my old Jeep gets, I kinda like paying $3.75 and then snoozing all the way up the canyon. I just have to factor the ride time home into the energy supply equation. S
    It's amazing how much uphill there is on the way back...and of course it hits you when you are worn out from the other riding. People never believe me when I tell them that you really don't drop any elevation on the Blue Dots from Peak-to-peak till you hit the Magnolia pavement, but it's basically true. However, I love doing the RTD thing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser
    Most of the mentality seems to be "4 wheels bad, 2 wheels good!"
    He he, that about sums it up!!

  10. #10
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    Walt, I think that if you look at one of the F.S info boards at west mag, you might see something about trail ettiquette written there. Not that many off the moto riders there read it, and unfortunately, many of them don't care. I'm not anti-moto, I use to have one, and rode it there. Many of the weekend warrior moto guys who ride there just don't give a sh!t about any other trail users, and they ride like no one else is on the trail. Some of them are bitter at the mtb community because the moto's can no longer [legally] ride the single track trails. I ride the f.s. roads just long enough to get to the single tracks, to avoid confrontations like yours.
    As for the mtb rider who thought he had the right of way, well, if that had happened to me instead of your wife, there would have been an accident at west mag yesterday, if you know what I mean. I like descending MORE than most people, but I yield to the uphill rider, because those are the guidlines we mtb riders have agreed to so we can keep "law and order" amoungst ourselves.
    Funny, I rode there saturday afternoon, and allthough there were a few cars in the parking lot, I saw NO ONE all day. On a weekend. What a treat.
    Don't let that experience sour you from riding there.

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