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  1. #1
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    Trail use etiquette - outdated and BS

    Talking to others it seems I'm not the only one thinking this way and it really dawned on me when I was explaining trail etiquette to my wife, who has never hiked or ridden off road and she said "that's some BS".
    The rules throghout the US for trail use are that bikers yield to hikers, bikers yield to horses and the downhill biker yields to the uphill rider. In short, as a rider, you're everybody's little bitch.
    Now, I want to emphasize that I play by these rules and I'm a very friendly guy, however my thoughts are free and I think this is outdated and total BS.
    The hiker should yield to the biker as it is way easier to move out of the way than it is for us. The horse obviously still gets the right of way for obvious reasons. The uphill rider should yield to the downhiller, it's way easier to stop and unclip when you're going 3mph than for someone going way faster downhill, needing to slow down and stop, clipping back in and then getting the momentum back, plus he was just in the zone and now it's ruined.
    The rules seem outdated and make no logical sense.
    So when I'm the hiker, I always yield to the biker, when I'm the guy going uphill I yield to the downhiller, because they have the fun part, I'm on the dreadful climb, doesn't matter to me to stop and get back at it.
    The only thing that needs to be done as a rider, let's assume these were the new rules, always slow down, especially for hikers, greet them, ask how they're doing and wish them a nice day, because if you don't and you just fly by, insisting on your right of way, you're just a dick.
    What do you guys think?
    Leave as is or do you agree?
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  2. #2
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    Yeah but you're assuming the only person having enjoyment is the person riding DH, and that its always easier to stop/start going up hill and that a hiker has the first clue that you're about to mow them down. Hence why the rules are the way they are, the onus is on the person potentially going the fastest/causing greatest harm to other users, to be wary and not crash into people.
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  3. #3
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    You're also missing what yielding really means on the trail. It doesn't have the same definition as it does on the road, which more or less means to stop when there's other traffic. Sure, when I'm riding, the VAST majority of the time, hikers step off the trail when they hear me coming. But the onus is on me to slow down and pass by them at a safe speed regardless, rather than trying to set a "passing hikers" KOM. That's the sort of thing that yielding on the trail ACTUALLY means. It's a little different for horses. The last thing you want is to scare one and get stomped, while the horse rider gets thrown. So as a rider, you need to slow down/stop so you can ask the horse rider what you need to do to keep the horse from freaking out about bikers.

    NOT ONCE has following the yield triangle resulted in problematic encounters on the trail for me. Passing other trails users should ALWAYS be done at slower speeds than "pegged" (actual safe speeds during encounters depend on too many things to list a specific number for ALL encounters), so downhill-priority traffic just simply isn't going to work everywhere. Sure, it can and does work on specific trails labeled and managed as such, but many of those are downhill-only trails anyway.

    If you operate a downhill resort, you're free to manage your trails prioritizing downhill traffic. Land managers are equally free to prioritize bike traffic over hiker traffic (and some do on some trails) and bike traffic over horse traffic (really, the only time this happens is when horses are outright prohibited, because horses have a brain of their own and scare easily).

    As a rider, you're free let downhillers have priority on line choice, but that doesn't change that the downhiller still needs to slow down to pass by you at a safe speed, whether you're stopped or not.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    Talking to others it seems I'm not the only one thinking this way and it really dawned on me when I was explaining trail etiquette to my wife, who has never hiked or ridden off road and she said "that's some BS".
    The rules throghout the US for trail use are that bikers yield to hikers, bikers yield to horses and the downhill biker yields to the uphill rider. In short, as a rider, you're everybody's little bitch.
    Now, I want to emphasize that I play by these rules and I'm a very friendly guy, however my thoughts are free and I think this is outdated and total BS.
    The hiker should yield to the biker as it is way easier to move out of the way than it is for us. The horse obviously still gets the right of way for obvious reasons. The uphill rider should yield to the downhiller, it's way easier to stop and unclip when you're going 3mph than for someone going way faster downhill, needing to slow down and stop, clipping back in and then getting the momentum back, plus he was just in the zone and now it's ruined.
    The rules seem outdated and make no logical sense.
    So when I'm the hiker, I always yield to the biker, when I'm the guy going uphill I yield to the downhiller, because they have the fun part, I'm on the dreadful climb, doesn't matter to me to stop and get back at it.
    The only thing that needs to be done as a rider, let's assume these were the new rules, always slow down, especially for hikers, greet them, ask how they're doing and wish them a nice day, because if you don't and you just fly by, insisting on your right of way, you're just a dick.
    What do you guys think?
    Leave as is or do you agree?
    just NO.
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  5. #5
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    I suppose this is a topic for conversation, but on the multi use trails I ride often the down hill or otherwise approaching biker is already typically given the trail as a courtesy. I already see some entitlement where bikers speed by or act rude when other users don't yield. If bikers were given the green light and declared to yield to no one, I think bikers would be viewed as the jerks of every shared trail system. They likely WOULD be the jerks of every trail system.

    The fact is most trail users don't really care if a bike can maintain speed, or if they need to move over, or if they need to dismount. Their enjoyment does not revolve around a biker's ability to zip down a hill, or ride a loop without stopping. Plus the approach speeds many bikers think is just fine, seems quite fast and hurried to many others.

    I am with you on one thing. The rules are outdated. In a modern society we should just expect to yield to everyone. I expect that I need to slow down and move over for every trail user. Often I don't because they yield too and we share. But even if I had to move over or dismount for everyone, it isn't then end of the world. But I know that isn't what you meant.

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    Everyone on the trail should yield to everyone on the trail, be civil and acknowledge their existence. Most hikers and runners will step off, if I let them know I’m coming, and I always thank them and acknowledge them as fellow trail users. I always stop for horses, I don’t want to be responsible for spooking an unpredictable animal and killing someone. The down rider? Meh, multi-use, multi-directional trails are not a closed race course, you should be alert and expect to have your dh flow interrupted at any time.
    On a uni-directional, mtb only trail the only things yielded to are slower riders, injured riders, and deer.

  7. #7
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    Our local trail is directional and has signs throughout for reminders. Hikers and runners go counterclockwise and bikers ride clockwise. Bikes have right of way and people on foot yield to the bikers. Works very well, but there's an occasional person who won't bother to read the signs or just doesn't care.

  8. #8
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    Trail use etiquette - outdated and BS

    However, if a hiker or runner is wearing earbuds and can’t hear my repeated shouts? F ‘em, they get passed and if they freak out and fall off the trail, oh well.

  9. #9
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    There are already too many riders who expect hikers to jump out of their way or risk getting mowed down. Nix and double nix on changing that rule. As for uphill/downhill right of way, it's usually much harder to restart a climb going up than down. And again, if downhill riders think they don't have to slow down because the rule says the uphill rider has to get the hell out of their way, well, I see bad things happening. Safety for all and consideration for others are the paramount concerns, and are much more important than you being able to speed along unimpeded on a multi-use trail.
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  10. #10
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    Expecting someone to restart an uphill climb, with no momentum, is just ridiculous.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowpoker View Post
    Expecting someone to restart an uphill climb, with no momentum, is just ridiculous.
    Yup, lots of climbs around here are over if you stop, there will be no restart. Let alone on a SS. There's a reason the rules are the way they are.

    Yes, most of the time hikers move aside, but I'm happy to let them go if they choose. Yes, if I'm on a climb and it's convenient, I'll let the person going down hill have their fun and maintain momentum, especially if there's a group of riders, but most know the guy going uphill has the right of way.
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  12. #12
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    In my experience, most people do what seems sensible at the time, irrespective of any actual rules, confrontations are few and the guilty party obvious. Why does common sense seem to be such a rare commodity today?

  13. #13
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    Yep, as others have posted above, the rules are as they should be. I find most hikers do yield to bikes even though they have the right of way, easier for them to step off the trail but the rules serve to ensure that the faster moving biker properly slows down to safely pass. I do ride some mtb trails where bikes have the right of way but you still want to be careful and not hit anyone. Last weekend I came around a corner and jammed on the brakes when I saw a young woman trail runner close by and let out a little "ahh!" She smiled and laughed and had already stepped out of the way.

    On multi-use paths on my road bike, I sometimes have to remind myself that although I know I can safely pass someone close and at a fast pace, they probably are not comfortable with that and I need to slow down.
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  14. #14
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    I think that 99.9% of the time the existing rules work just fine.
    One improvement, at least on the Colorado Front Range, would be some directional, bike only trails.

    If bike access had evolved at the same time as hiker and equestrian access, then I could see a different system - one that I would support:

    The downhill user always yields right of way to the uphill user, regardless of mode of transportation, unless the uphill user acts first. Easy for hikers. The same as it currently is for bikers. Runners and dog walkers - easy if they are paying attention. Horses? Well, if your horse can't handle it, then maybe you shouldn't bring your horse out in public.

    Downhill riders never have the right of way. Not even at a resort/bike park. You still might have to slow down for someone else and make a safe pass.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    In my experience, most people do what seems sensible at the time, irrespective of any actual rules, confrontations are few and the guilty party obvious. Why does common sense seem to be such a rare commodity today?
    This!

    Common courtesy applies. My local trails are all multi use and they all have horses, the only bad encounter has been with another rider wearing earbuds, and one hiker. Between being vocal, and having my bell I think I make myself be heard/seen and I have no problem stopping if I have to, and I always stop for horses.

    Also, I try to avoid times when hikers are going to rule the trail..church groups all across the trail.

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    I yield to the situation. Every one is different.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    The rules throghout the US for trail use are that bikers yield to hikers, bikers yield to horses and the downhill biker yields to the uphill rider. In short, as a rider, I'm everybody's little bitch.
    The uphill rider should yield to the downhiller, it's way easier to stop and unclip when you're going 3mph than for someone going way faster downhill, needing to slow down and stop, clipping back in and then getting the momentum back, plus he was just in the zone and now it's ruined.
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  18. #18
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    Why, on every one of these "downhill yielding to uphill is bs" conversations, its always the " downhillers are in a zone, andd it should not be interrupted" Did you, and anyone like you ever concur that maybe the person riding uphill is in "they're zone" also? sometimes the uphill rider, if they had to yield may not be able to resume riding and may have to walk the rest of the climb.
    Personally, I like downhill more than riding uphill, but yielding to uphill traffic is safer and is just plain common sense...something that is lacking as of late.
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  19. #19
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    No. The current rules aren't perfect, but they are a very good starting point. You actually think getting started again after stopping uphill is easier than getting started again downhill? You think hikers with kids should jump out of YOUR way?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I have no problem stopping if I have to, and I always stop for horses.
    This seems to be the major problem people have with the yield rules. They are NOT okay with slowing or stopping. It was said here once before, but it bears reiterating. Public trails are NOT your personal race course.

    We all need to chill out on the trails and be nice to each other. I have generally not had a problem with other riders not being courteous, but I have had a couple incidents. The vast majority of the time, riders really do handle right of way and yielding questions in a common sense case-by-case manner.

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  21. #21
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    What climb is so steep that you can't resume? Let alone ride that for hours?
    Every climb, steep and technical I can resume and if it's so steep, then I carry my bike on my shoulder and hike up or that trail is already a one way designated trail.

    Anyway, in the end it doesn't really matter if it gets changed or should be changed. Most hikers actually yield, I don't know if they're just friendly or if they don't realize they have the right of way and I always slow down, I ask how they're doing and wish them a nice day.
    Where I ride, climbs are dreadful, so I yield to the downhiller and getting back at it is no problem at all.
    Again, I play by those rules and I do yield for the uphill guy, I greet, I wish a nice day.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    This seems to be the major problem people have with the yield rules. They are NOT okay with slowing or stopping. It was said here once before, but it bears reiterating. Public trails are NOT your personal race course.

    We all need to chill out on the trails and be nice to each other. I have generally not had a problem with other riders not being courteous, but I have had a couple incidents. The vast majority of the time, riders really do handle right of way and yielding questions in a common sense case-by-case manner.

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    This!
    I also have yet to have a really issue with anybody.
    It's usually the strava racer, the inconsiderate fly by and the "no word" guy who agitate people. Slow down, be prepared to stop and be friendly and considerate. As a matter of fact, do that in other aspects of life and the world will be a better place.

  23. #23
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    The rules of the trail are for safety.

    Following the rules of the trail/yielding is not a “dick move”. Other people and riders, especially less experienced/more ignorant riders see you/us and they learn from what we do. You and I may have the care and judgement (and equipment for that matter) to ride within our bounds, but can you really say that for everyone? Everytime riders play chicken till the other party moves out of the way, you are teaching the other riders that this is how things work. In your group and the opposing group. The rules are there for safety, not to stop your “flow”. If you need more unmolested downhill, you need to ride somewhere less crowded or directional, but the “I don’t want to mess up someone’s fun” is a cop-out. It’s no fun being run off the trail or run into, which is exactly what you are teaching. If you are not prepared to stop and yield on the downhill, that is the “dick move”. If you don’t have to for whatever reason, resting cyclists, hikers moved off (and you didn’t play chicken with them), etc., then you count your blessings. That is the true trail steward.

    If your trail system is too crowded for you to show some common courtesy, then you need to slow the F-down or find another place to ride further away. There are plenty of places where you can ride downhill relatively unmolested, but zero F-s are given if you ride in a crowded trail system and expect it to be that way.

    The rules are the way they are because the DH rider is carrying more energy and has the responsibility to not harm people with that energy. End of story. The rules aren’t there just for your enjoyment, they are there so everyone can have a good time.

    And I am a DH junkie.

    If this is really causing you to get your chamois wedged up tight in your crack, work with your local groups for some directional trails, or move to some place where such trails exist or can be built. We have directional trails here just for this purpose. I know there are directional trails at N* and others.
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  24. #24
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    The fastest moving object in the equation is responsible for yielding - to eliminate potential... and everyone yields to an unpredictable 500+ lbs animal.

    It would seem like simple common sense, but... that is long gone.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    What climb is so steep that you can't resume? Let alone ride that for hours?
    Every climb, steep and technical I can resume and if it's so steep, then I carry my bike on my shoulder and hike up or that trail is already a one way designated trail.

    Anyway, in the end it doesn't really matter if it gets changed or should be changed. Most hikers actually yield, I don't know if they're just friendly or if they don't realize they have the right of way and I always slow down, I ask how they're doing and wish them a nice day.
    Where I ride, climbs are dreadful, so I yield to the downhiller and getting back at it is no problem at all.
    Again, I play by those rules and I do yield for the uphill guy, I greet, I wish a nice day.
    Dude. Your profile says you live in Kansas City.

    Please tell us more about these dreadful “climbs”.


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  26. #26
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    the actual rule is 'be aware of people around you, your surroundings and don't be a d!ck'

    This covers all situations, unlike the IMBA rules. I understand that there are a lot of people out there that need guidance on how not to be a d!ck. I think that's more a societal problem than one specific to mountain biking/other trail users.

    If 'unclip' and 'clip back in' are part of your thought process for starting and stopping, you're clearly so new to clips that your opinion doesn't hold much weight. Much like skiing, you are responsible for what's downhill; if that's a climbing rider, or another rider descending slower than you. Now it sounds like your climbs aren't steep enough that stopping while climbing isn't a big deal, but if it's even possible to climb a trail, then stopping on the descent isn't a big deal either.

  27. #27
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    I've willingly stopped and unclipped while climbing, but on a SS it is sometimes a pain in the ass to get started again. For the most part the current trail rules work just fine. As has been stated, just be polite and let Karma kick some a-hole ass from time to time.
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  28. #28
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    LOL

    Sorry a few of those responses triggered that. I’ll give a full review of my thoughts on this later when I have more time.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    the actual rule is 'be aware of people around you, your surroundings and don't be a d!ck'
    This. The rules are a guideline for some people I guess, but on my busy MUT's, everyone yields to the rare horse, hikers almost always step off, especially if you are curteous and use a bell, and the rider who can most easily get out of the way does, regardless of if they're descending or climbing. My rule of thumb when encountering another rider is if he's having more fun than me, I don't want to spoil it, I'll get out of the way.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Dude. Your profile says you live in Kansas City.

    Please tell us more about these dreadful “climbs”.


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    I get what the OP is saying but the rules need to work in all situations and only the existing rules do that.

    After all we are the biggest threat to everyone else on the trail and so with great power comes great responsibility...

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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    The fastest moving object in the equation is responsible for yielding - to eliminate potential... and everyone yields to an unpredictable 500+ lbs animal.

    It would seem like simple common sense, but... that is long gone.
    I agree!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    I agree!
    You realize your OP and the post you agreed with run counter to each other, right?




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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    What climb is so steep that you can't resume? Let alone ride that for hours?
    Every climb, steep and technical I can resume and if it's so steep, then I carry my bike on my shoulder and hike up
    Literally just answered your own question.

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    Leave everything in place except the horses. F them and their poop piles.

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    I brake for stinkbugs but that's about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    You realize your OP and the post you agreed with run counter to each other, right?




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  38. #38
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    OP, some of your points are valid.

    Although, these set and well known rules have been in place since the early 1990’s. Fighting for change now would be shooting our sport in the foot. We are already and have been for decades in trail use disputes with other trail user groups over use of trails. The wiser choice would be to follow the set of well known rules and be cordial to other trail user groups. The name of the game is to avoid conflict. What you are proposing is conflict 10 fold. To fight for this now would set out sport back at what little respect we’ve gained over so many years.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
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  39. #39
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    Great. Just what we need, more entitled mountain bikers screaming through the woods “in the zone”. Not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I brake for stinkbugs but that's about it.
    How about cow poop? Do you brake for cow poop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    Shouldn't have watched soccer and post at the same time.
    lol! Yeah, those guys are pros!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    How about cow poop? Do you brake for cow poop?

    I bunnyhop that $hit.
    I brake for stinkbugs

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    Hilarious. My favorite part is that only the DH is the only fun part. I hate downhill sections, and will gladly stop for an uphill hiker/biker to pass, and I expect the same when I am ascending. I do stop on an uphill if it is safe to do so, and I will be able to get going, I don't want to be a total buzzkill, but the assumption that I am nto enjoying myself on the climb is ridiculous.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    What climb is so steep that you can't resume? Let alone ride that for hours?
    Every climb, steep and technical I can resume and if it's so steep, then I carry my bike on my shoulder and hike up or that trail is already a one way designated trail.
    wow sorry you have crap places to ride. MY trails and a lot of peeps here have insane technical climbs that are just barely rideable and one fart you are walking. we are ten times more in the zone on these climbs than any tool coming down them that is for sure. and no, having to stop on them may mean 100 yards walking up or down to be able to remount.

    downhiller has to stop and then remount ? just has to let go of brakes. how do you not get it ?

    get out of the mall parking lot....try riding some real stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    ...The rules throghout the US for trail use are that bikers yield to hikers, bikers yield to horses and the downhill biker yields to the uphill rider. In short, as a rider, you're everybody's little bitch.
    ...
    What do you guys think?
    Leave as is or do you agree?
    The current etiquette rules are fine just the way they are and when one adds personal responsibility and being aware of one's surroundings, the rules work great. My general rule is that I am responsible for my safety and the safety of the person I am sharing the trail with at that moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    OP, some of your points are valid.

    Although, these set and well known rules have been in place since the early 1990’s. Fighting for change now would be shooting our sport in the foot. We are already and have been for decades in trail use disputes with other trail user groups over use of trails. The wiser choice would be to follow the set of well known rules and be cordial to other trail user groups. The name of the game is to avoid conflict. What you are proposing is conflict 10 fold. To fight for this now would set out sport back at what little respect we’ve gained over so many years.
    Actually this opened my eyes, you are right, we already don't have the best reputation and insisting on our way of right would make it worse.
    I will follow the rules, I already do as stated above, but I will also change when I'm the hiker and uphill rider and follow the rules there as well.
    People say arguing on the internet never changed anybody, but I see now how this is not a good idea. I can also understand that uphill riders are in the zone and enjoy that. For me, it's not the favorite part of the sport, the downhill is my treat, my reward.
    Happy trails everyone and let all trail users get along and respect each other.

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    Rules are fine the way they are...

    If you don't want your flow interrupted, go ride park ^^

    Now the road is a different story.

    Had finished riding with by budz & a women was walking 5 large dogs on my side of the road (with head phones in/on). I spot her & her herd as I come around this blind corner. Things are pretty tight on my side of the road i.e. if I try and pass her, I'd likely clip a dog (they were more walking her, than she was walking them). As stated earlier, it was a blind corner, on downhill piece of road. Stopping in time was nigh on impossible. Due to the lack of room on my side, I head to the opposite side where there appears to be room on the far edge. Just as I begun to vere to the far edge, low and behold... she starts moving the herd in that direction. I've got no time/room to head back to my right of way side. I had to actually contemplate bunny hopping the lead dog, or at least it's lead. The lead dog, straightened itself up for a micro second and a shot through. To which the headphone wearing, I'll wonder all over the damn road, pack walking lady, let out an 'Oh Shit!!'

    It would've been 'Oh Shit!!' alright, if I had of been a vehicle!

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  48. #48
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    Perhaps more of these are needed in popular riding areas -

    Trail use etiquette - outdated and BS-descending.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    Actually this opened my eyes, you are right, we already don't have the best reputation and insisting on our way of right would make it worse.
    I will follow the rules, I already do as stated above, but I will also change when I'm the hiker and uphill rider and follow the rules there as well.
    People say arguing on the internet never changed anybody, but I see now how this is not a good idea. I can also understand that uphill riders are in the zone and enjoy that. For me, it's not the favorite part of the sport, the downhill is my treat, my reward.
    Happy trails everyone and let all trail users get along and respect each other.
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    Whatever you decide to do, just be in control and be able to stop or avoid others if necessary.

    There is an unintended consequence of the “rules based” “right of way” approach, but I won’t get into it in this thread as it may only be used recklessly by the OP or others.

    But try riding with the mindset that you are most responsible for your own safety and the safety of others with respect to your actions.

    Try yielding when you have the almighty right of way, as it may change your perspective.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Whatever you decide to do, just be in control and be able to stop or avoid others if necessary.

    There is an unintended consequence of the “rules based” “right of way” approach, but I won’t get into it in this thread as it may only be used recklessly by the OP or others.

    But try riding with the mindset that you are most responsible for your own safety and the safety of others with respect to your actions.

    Try yielding when you have the almighty right of way, as it may change your perspective.


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    This is a great post. Someone mentioned common sense earlier. Rules or no rules common sense will either prevail, or we will die. Plain and simple.

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    One good thing is that the prevelence of kid-after school riding and race teams is increasing dramatically in many places and these kids are being taught correctly in regards to trail use and to be courteous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Whatever you decide to do, just be in control and be able to stop or avoid others if necessary.

    There is an unintended consequence of the “rules based” “right of way” approach, but I won’t get into it in this thread as it may only be used recklessly by the OP or others.

    But try riding with the mindset that you are most responsible for your own safety and the safety of others with respect to your actions.

    Try yielding when you have the almighty right of way, as it may change your perspective.


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    I wouldn't use it against you, I know what you mean and like I stated, I sometimes do exactly that, yield when I have the right of way.

    On the weekend I came across a bunch of hikers and a family. I realize they have the right of way BTW.
    They all moved to the side, yet I stopped and said, no no, keep going. We chatted a bit and wished each other a nice day.

    Anyway, I'm out, I changed my mind after reading some good and insightful posts, everything has been said and after getting insulted here, it just shows there's "those folks" on here and out there on the trail and that's exactly why conflict arises. More respect, more consideration, and good manners are what matter, regardless of the rules. See ya and happy trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    I wouldn't use it against you, I know what you mean and like I stated, I sometimes do exactly that, yield when I have the right of way.

    On the weekend I came across a bunch of hikers and a family. I realize they have the right of way BTW.
    They all moved to the side, yet I stopped and said, no no, keep going. We chatted a bit and wished each other a nice day.

    Anyway, I'm out, I changed my mind after reading some good and insightful posts, everything has been said and after getting insulted here, it just shows there's "those folks" on here and out there on the trail and that's exactly why conflict arises. More respect, more consideration, and good manners are what matter, regardless of the rules. See ya and happy trails.
    To me it is the way your post started out that can easily give the wrong impression about intent. Still, i thought you raised a valid point. Hey, traffic laws are amoral and change all the time, I don’t think you are a bad person for questioning the rules and their outcomes.


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    I think the current rules are good as a fail-safe but if followed to the letter they often cause awkward trail encounters. As mentioned common sense is king and thankfully it most often prevails, at least it does around here.

    Just because someone disagrees with these trail laws doesn't mean they're an out of control hooligan or that they don't follow them, some of the responses to the op seem uncalled for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    Actually this opened my eyes, you are right, we already don't have the best reputation and insisting on our way of right would make it worse.
    I will follow the rules, I already do as stated above, but I will also change when I'm the hiker and uphill rider and follow the rules there as well.
    People say arguing on the internet never changed anybody, but I see now how this is not a good idea. I can also understand that uphill riders are in the zone and enjoy that. For me, it's not the favorite part of the sport, the downhill is my treat, my reward.
    Happy trails everyone and let all trail users get along and respect each other.
    I’m glad what I said hit home. Our sport is in a fragile way with other trail groups, always has been. The worst thing we could do is cause an uproar of entitlement to the long standing yield rules.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    You insult me and my wife and apparently didn't read my posts. There's also a forum etiquette and rules.
    I thought your OP was fine and inviting opinions and I agree with a lot of what you said though I have come to understand why it has to be the way it is now.

    You probably have run into a few d-bag MTBrs on the trail so shouldn't be a surprise to run into a few here...

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I’m glad what I said hit home. Our sport is in a fragile way with other trail groups, always has been. The worst thing we could do is cause an uproar of entitlement to the long standing yield rules.
    I don't know that I agree with that given the amount of money that we spend on our Sport and the effect that it has on the economy I think we probably have more clout than we might think...

  59. #59
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    I think the fact that we are going faster than hikers and horses, on a 30lb -/+ bike has a lot to do it, so in my case I'm aware I can hurt someone if I'm not responsible with my actions and share the trail.
    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    I don't know that I agree with that given the amount of money that we spend on our Sport and the effect that it has on the economy I think we probably have more clout than we might think...
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    I yield to the situation. Every one is different.
    The situation IS the boss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    I don't know that I agree with that given the amount of money that we spend on our Sport and the effect that it has on the economy I think we probably have more clout than we might think...
    It isn't about how much our bikes cost.

    How much do you give to advocacy groups? How much time do you spend on trail maintenance? How often do you talk to government officials about trail issues? Do you donate to any campaigns?

    Those things are where clout comes from.

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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    It isn't about how much our bikes cost.

    How much do you give to advocacy groups? How much time do you spend on trail maintenance? How often do you talk to government officials about trail issues? Do you donate to any campaigns?

    Those things are where clout comes from.

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    My point our sport is far from being in a fragile state....

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    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    My point our sport is far from being in a fragile state....
    Depends on location. it's more fragile in some places than others.

    But even if it seems fairly secure in your area, it is more tenuous than you think, and that does not give you a license to be an asshole.

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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Depends on location. it's more fragile in some places than others.

    But even if it seems fairly secure in your area, it is more tenuous than you think, and that does not give you a license to be an asshole.

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    Guess your definition of an ahole is someone who doesn't agree with you. Grow a pair bruv..

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    Trail use etiquette - outdated and BS

    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    Guess your definition of an ahole is someone who doesn't agree with you. Grow a pair bruv..
    He’s not calling you or anyone else here an asshole.

    He’s saying that feeling secure in our access does not give us the right to be rude to others. Whether those “others” are different user groups or pathetic sane user group using trails in a different manner.


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    Enlightening. You disagree with DJ, who says that our status is tenuous enough on the trails that we need to NOT be assholes, to ensure we are viewed, at least by land managers, as a good user group. Folks except you are pretty widely agreeing with him.

    I say that it doesn't matter if you think our status on the trails is secure, that acting like assholes has consequences. And you choose that comment to get butthurt over?
    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    Guess your definition of an ahole is someone who doesn't agree with you. Grow a pair bruv..
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    You have to have a system....case by case doesn’t work, so if everyone knows downhill riders yield to uphill, then it keeps things working. It’s not changing. If people buck it, it will make things difficult and create conflict, but it’s not changing. Threads complaining that it should be case by case just cause a-holes to disregard protocol and create havoc. It’s not a big deal, sometimes you yield and sometimes you don’t, but everyone knows when you’re supposed to. It becomes a big deal when arguments are made to overthrow the long established and well known trail courtesy protocols.

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    The comment I quoted was not about individual clout, though that does matter, too. It seemed to be more about collective clout of all mt bikers.

    Using what clout we may or may not have to change guidelines of who yields to whom, to favor mt bikers is a great way to burn up what clout we do have. That is NOT a hill I want to die on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    Nah.. It's about the money; how many grants you can get, and maybe to only a slightly lesser extent the purchasing power of the consumers, who drive the sales economy. Think REI and adventure sports tours, etc.

    I've done all the things you mention, and truly if I want to get anything done I just do it myself. I don't donate money to causes that I can't have some say in how they are managing my donations. I only have clout because everyone knows me, whether they actually like me or not is a whole other question. I'm sort of ok with that for the time being.
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    Some great minds here... lol

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    Harold we have as much right to be there as the next group. The sky isn't falling..

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    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    I don't know that I agree with that given the amount of money that we spend on our Sport and the effect that it has on the economy I think we probably have more clout than we might think...
    Spending $5k a year on your personal bike stuff doesn't entitle you to trail access, the right of way, or behaving like a jerk.

    On these matters I agree with Harold, Chaz, DJ, J.B. Weld, Jayem, CJSB, Le Duke, and the like. People who have common sense and a clear understanding of what's realistic and in the best interest of the MTB community and others that enjoy the trails we all share.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    You, my friend, have rights. In my world, I've had to earn just about everything. The moment I start to think I actually have rights, I lose what little privilege I've managed to gain. Sometimes I break the "rules" to achieve what believe to be progress, though, and sometimes I even step over the line, but if my goal is to leave this place a little better then I found it, well, then I've done my due diligence. It has absolutely nothing to do with my rights. There is too much bloodshed involved with securing a person's rights, and I would prefer to have no part of that. Good men have died for such an illusion, and it does not good to have not learned from their mistakes. If we want to honor those good men, we should continue to fight for progress with the least amount of collateral damage as humanly possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Spending $5k a year on your personal bike stuff doesn't entitle you to trail access, the right of way, or behaving like a jerk.
    Ok thanks for explaining that... f**k me

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    f**k me
    Lol. Yes, do that. Probably the only way it’s gonna happen.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    Man, sometimes I just open my mouth and let whatever roll out. It's never really done me much good. I don't think this will be much different, but maybe someone somewhere will discover what it means.
    I liked it.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  76. #76
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    On another topic, it's good to read that some people still enjoy climbing!! In an industry that seems to increasingly be "gravitating" towards trails that point downhill, I'm one of the few who enjoy a long grind, a nearly impossible technical challenge, wicked switchbacks, uphill log-overs/step-ups, piles of impossible roots, or anything else pointed up. I've never met a climb I didn't like. Bring it on!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Lol. Yes, do that. Probably the only way it’s gonna happen.


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    Very hurtful... lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    Please explain.
    Nothing to explain really. I just think you have a way with words and you should be [if you are not already] a writer.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    I don't know that I agree with that given the amount of money that we spend on our Sport and the effect that it has on the economy I think we probably have more clout than we might think...
    I don't think that's coming off the way you meant it. It sounds a lot like what a few of the ebikers have said, something to the effect of "we'll get access to the trails because we're going to be spending a lot of money so they'll eventually have to give us access".

    My SORBA chapter maintains trails in a NPS park. We have work parties that are a mix of our members and park volunteers. As the parties are lead by the mountain bikers, we focus on the mtb allowed trails, but they are the most used trails by all. And when we have guys with chain saws after a big storm, we've cleared hike only trails as well. While working, we get thanked by mountain bikes, hikers and trail runners. And the NPS rangers like us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    Damn, DJ. Are things really that bad? I've been noticing a real lack of creativity in writing these days. Not that there aren't really good messages out there, but we used to be a people who could wrap up a good message in a fun story...ya know?
    Apparently it is lacking as of late, on here anyways. Otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed your posts that stick out like a lava rock in an ocean of gravel.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Well, I was going to disagree with you but then your wife chimed in and since she doesn't ride or hike and is on your side, well sure, lets change all the rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    Well, I was going to disagree with you but then your wife chimed in and since she doesn't ride or hike and is on your side, well sure, lets change all the rules.
    Methinks you didn't read the middle. OP now understands what's up and we're now reading the meandering thoughts of DJ's future biographer.

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    So what happens when two mountain bikers encounter each other on flat ground? Personally, I try to stop for everyone, unless they beat me to it. Of course, I have a timber bell on my bars so I sound like an angry mob of Salvation Army Santas chasing a grinch though the forest. I've found that most people have already stopped by the time I get to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    So what happens when two mountain bikers encounter each other on flat ground? Personally, I try to stop for everyone, unless they beat me to it. Of course, I have a timber bell on my bars so I sound like an angry mob of Salvation Army Santas chasing a grinch though the forest. I've found that most people have already stopped by the time I get to them.
    Depends. Who sees whom first? Is the trail wide enough for both to continue riding at a careful speed? Is it more or less a gravel road where both riders can pass at more or less full speed? If narrow, who reaches a spot to pull off first? Is there even a spot where that's possible? Is one of the riders new and more nervous than the other, pulling over sooner/farther than necessary? Is one of the riders more courteous than the other, pulling over sooner? Are they both jerks pushing for a strava KOM?

    When approaching someone else head-on, regardless of whether the trail is going up or down, closing speeds are faster, so it's important to be more careful as you get closer together. Sometimes you can both keep riding if you both slow down and move to the edge of the trail. Sometimes not. It's very situational. More often than not, when I am on a two-way trail that's too narrow for both riders to keep going, the riders tend to battle for being most courteous. Both stop and go back and forth telling each other they can go until the less stubborn rider starts riding. Sometimes the encounter is a surprise around a blind corner or something and neither rider does much except exclaim "shit!". This is one good reason why it's important to be able to hear EVERYTHING on the trail. Oftentimes you can hear riders long before you see them, and can preemptively stop if you find a good place to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    So what happens when two mountain bikers encounter each other on flat ground? Personally, I try to stop for everyone, unless they beat me to it. Of course, I have a timber bell on my bars so I sound like an angry mob of Salvation Army Santas chasing a grinch though the forest. I've found that most people have already stopped by the time I get to them.
    This should not be confusing.

    If you are on a trail section where you do not have the right away, you prepare to stop every time you encounter someone on the trail. If no one has the right of way, you prepare to stop when you encounter someone on the trail.

    What it shouldn't be is a "ride at the other group/person and play chicken to see if you can get them to get out of your way".
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Methinks you didn't read the middle. OP now understands what's up and we're now reading the meandering thoughts of DJ's future biographer.
    This made my morning. I read it at 5am before work and it made for a great way to start my day, thanks for the chuckle.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 06-28-2018 at 09:40 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  87. #87
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    I know some of you wrongly thought I was advocating acting like an a-hole. Lets just say you're sorry and I forgive you..

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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    So what happens when two mountain bikers encounter each other on flat ground? Personally, I try to stop for everyone, unless they beat me to it. Of course, I have a timber bell on my bars so I sound like an angry mob of Salvation Army Santas chasing a grinch though the forest. I've found that most people have already stopped by the time I get to them.
    Where I ride it usually starts with "Hi, great day for a ride", then nerding out about each other's bikes and ending with "have a great ride!".

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncbuster View Post
    My point our sport is far from being in a fragile state....
    Maybe in AZ. New England? Different story for me in some areas. How about lots of trails being lost to new wildernuts designations? Housing and suburban sprawl everywhere?

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    He’s not calling you or anyone else here an asshole.

    He’s saying that feeling secure in our access does not give us the right to be rude to others. Whether those “others” are different user groups or pathetic sane user group using trails in a different manne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Can you post this on a few hiker/equestrian sites now.
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Methinks you didn't read the middle. OP now understands what's up and we're now reading the meandering thoughts of DJ's future biographer.
    You are correct, I did not read the whole thing before posting. In my defense, of the hundreds of these that i have read, rarely, if ever has anyone changed their mind.

    I yield to the down hill rider most of the time if I am climbing because if they yield to me, for some reason I think I need to double my cadence until I pass them.
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    So what happens when two mountain bikers encounter each other on flat ground?
    This scenario could lead to a tear in the space-time continuum causing the formation of a black hole that will devour the universe.

    The only way it can be resolved is if the two oncoming combatants engage in an epic* rap battle.

    Or, you know....both riders could just slow to a safe pace and the rider that has an easier place to pull over does so.

    *The term epic is a registered trademark of the Specialized Bicycle Corporation, any improper use of this trademark will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
    No dig no whine

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    What climb is so steep that you can't resume? Let alone ride that for hours?

    Lot's of them.

    I see that you're from KC, MO. Do they have mountains there now?
    Scarlett Johansson loves my hummus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    ...
    The only way it can be resolved is if the two oncoming combatants engage in an epic* rap battle.

    ...

    *The term epic is a registered trademark of the Specialized Bicycle Corporation, any improper use of this trademark will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
    LoL on Specialized! Rap battles take me back, way back.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogdaysunrise View Post
    Talking to others it seems I'm not the only one thinking this way and it really dawned on me when I was explaining trail etiquette to my wife, who has never hiked or ridden off road and she said "that's some BS".
    The rules throghout the US for trail use are that bikers yield to hikers, bikers yield to horses and the downhill biker yields to the uphill rider. In short, as a rider, you're everybody's little bitch.
    Now, I want to emphasize that I play by these rules and I'm a very friendly guy, however my thoughts are free and I think this is outdated and total BS.
    The hiker should yield to the biker as it is way easier to move out of the way than it is for us. The horse obviously still gets the right of way for obvious reasons. The uphill rider should yield to the downhiller, it's way easier to stop and unclip when you're going 3mph than for someone going way faster downhill, needing to slow down and stop, clipping back in and then getting the momentum back, plus he was just in the zone and now it's ruined.
    The rules seem outdated and make no logical sense.
    So when I'm the hiker, I always yield to the biker, when I'm the guy going uphill I yield to the downhiller, because they have the fun part, I'm on the dreadful climb, doesn't matter to me to stop and get back at it.
    The only thing that needs to be done as a rider, let's assume these were the new rules, always slow down, especially for hikers, greet them, ask how they're doing and wish them a nice day, because if you don't and you just fly by, insisting on your right of way, you're just a dick.
    What do you guys think?
    Leave as is or do you agree?
    I think that the hikers and equestrians have been around longer, that the hikers are greater in numbers, louder and more well organized/represented and equestrians in particular tend to have a shitload of money, which is how policy gets made. I think equestrians should have to yield to all other users as they are riding atop massive dumb beasts and most of them lack the ability to think beyond fear/flight. And yes, there are horse people in my family, and I have done a bit of horseback riding and still occasionally do.

    Ah, the downhill rider. The downhill rider yielding, I think, comes from the working world where the guy carrying a full load of working has the right of way which is how it should be. I may also be biased because I like savage climbs, but I still know how to point the bike downhill and giddy up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder View Post
    Lot's of them.

    I see that you're from KC, MO. Do they have mountains there now?
    But, you have gears now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodino View Post
    LoL on Specialized! Rap battles take me back, way back.
    Yeah, that kind of took me by surprise too.

  98. #98
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    And why do all the newbies expect that you always pass on the right regardless of uphill/DH smoothest line etc....


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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhotrotor View Post
    But, you have gears now.
    Hard to ride up 3 Guns Spring without them.
    Scarlett Johansson loves my hummus.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    And why do all the newbies expect that you always pass on the right regardless of uphill/DH smoothest line etc....

    The one yielding should pull off on the right regardless of up or down. On this side [Northern Hemisphere] of the equator anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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