Boise Trail Etiquette- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Boise Trail Etiquette

    I moved from Bozeman, MT about 4 months ago to Boise and have been enjoying the sheer number of choices for trails with a pretty good variety of conditions and difficulty (although nothing that really pushes me other than Lucky Peak). One thing I have noticed however is the percentage of other mountain bikers with poor trail etiquette is much higher than I've been used to. A week doesn't go by when at least one biker coming downhill refuses to yield to me coming up. Frankly I'm getting sick of it and I find myself avoiding the Foothills because of it (although I have encountered multiple riders up at Bogus that refuse to yield, just not the number I have in the Foothills). I've started to play chicken with riders coming down that look like they aren't going to stop, and they ****ing look annoyed when they are forced to pull off to the side. What the hell is going on Boise?

    Is the problem not just localized to Boise? Am I just used to more secluded trails in Montana? I definitely see a lot more riders here I guess. Some of the riders that have refused to yield were definitely experienced enough to know of proper trail eitiquette, and if they weren't they shouldn't be on the trails.

  2. #2
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    can you barely blame them?...maybe if they stopped it would mess with their heart rates and screw wit their entire ride...it would totally screw up how righteous they are on their ridged single speed....or totally mess up their cadence on their less than 21 pound hard tail....it's tough to say. Come ride in the trees with the guys with the big bikes...at least mountain biking hasn't lost its soul up there...faster...faster...faster, we go....
    DON'T EXTINGUISH THE STOKE.

  3. #3
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    counter culture or roadie mentality or just plain dumb
    when it cools down, you want see these riders anymore till next summer

  4. #4
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    Normally they jump off the trail and keep going.
    Idaho

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiz1ct
    What the hell is going on Boise?
    Yes, there is and has been (and likely will always be) a problem with poor trail etiquette in the foothills, not only among the cyclists, but also the hikers/runners/dog walkers, etc.... Either refusing to yield, walking side by side, not controlling their dogs and other behaviors.

    As for the other mountain bikers, cruiserman is correct - it seems that most riders ride off trail in order to avoid stopping, which in turn results in 5 foot wide singletrack or braided singletrack. See, for instance, Bucktail, which is getting wider and wider and more braided each year. Heck, there are even new braided trails that go on and right on top of the signs posted "this is not the trail!" And, if you politely call the off-trail riding or non-yielding offender on it, they usually get angry or just ignore you. This has happened so often that I quit saying anything. Now I just glare at them if they go off trail and then comment (after they pass) to "stay on the f*&king trail."

    It boils down to two groups - those who don't know and those who don't care. This is despite all the education and signage up there about how to properly yield. The footies have a fair share of newbie/inexperienced riders who don't know the rules, racer @sshats who, as noted by another poster, are afraid that their heart rate may go below 180 and their lycra may get chilly, or simply jackholes who don't want to stop.

    IMHO, It's part of a larger, cultural problem of selfishness and lack of courtesy. All the signage and education in the world isn't going to fix that. I've found that the only solution is to ride higher in the foothills - "the second tier" (ala Corrals, 3 Bears, Hard Guy, Shanes, trail 6, etc....) is usually less crowded and the riders who venture up there are usually more experienced and know the rules of the trail.

  6. #6
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    With a little creativity you can ride our beloved footsies at peak times and not see another soul on the trails you ride. Just know that the crowded routes are not really trails but rather are merely dirt pathes.

    If you do have to play chicken - which is always good fun - it's best to do so with 4130 CroMo (natch) or a bike overbuilt for the footsies - like an SC Bullit. Something that will crack to offending rider's pony in half.

    Then enjoy the ensuing slapfight.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  7. #7
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    BSNYC must read this forum.

    Cycling, in its "recreational pastime" incarnation, is an activity of which griping (or, if you prefer, grousing) is an integral part. Roadies gripe about hairy legs; urban fixed-gear riders gripe about brakes; and freeriders gripe about how they need even more travel as they loiter at the trailhead not riding their bikes. And, of course, all of these people gripe about each other.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    IMHO, It's part of a larger, cultural problem of selfishness and lack of courtesy. All the signage and education in the world isn't going to fix that. I've found that the only solution is to ride higher in the foothills - "the second tier" (ala Corrals, 3 Bears, Hard Guy, Shanes, trail 6, etc....) is usually less crowded and the riders who venture up there are usually more experienced and know the rules of the trail.
    I figured as much. I do completely avoid the lower foothills, but generally use them to get to the stuff up top (Three Bears, Shanes). The lower stuff isn't steep enough anyway . Hard Guy is fun, too. Only one group of riders so far didn't yield on that trail (and I ride it at least once a week).

    I was pretty miffed when I posted this thread. I was finishing up a ride (Eastside/Sinkers/Stack Rock) and nearly to the parking area when a group of 3 riders forced me to pull off to the side on a straight section of the trail at a decent incline (not super steep). I started to play chicken to try and force the leader off to the side but he didn't budge. As they passed I said something along the lines of "Stay off the trails if you aren't aware of proper trail etiquette, you are supposed to yield to uphill riders." It was a husband/wife/son group and the thing that pissed me off the most is the parents were teaching their son bad ****ing habits, not to mention the dad barked back at me when I barked at them as they passed me. A shitty ending to a absolutely perfect Saturday ride.

  9. #9
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    I understand the 'rules' but I also understand physics... just get out the way, man unless of course you want to risk injury. 90% of people are in it for the down - accept it or go at off times.

  10. #10
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    My riding buddy and I have gotten so sick of it that we've resorted to yelling at the offending parties. Most ignore.
    Most people in general are just inconsiderate a$$hats that don't care about other people or their surroundings.
    Really sad, and it just isn't tied to mountain biking.
    I, too, try to stay on the second tier as much as possible when in the foothills.

  11. #11
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    Negate!

    Here's an oldy but a goody.
    Last edited by TwistedCrank; 09-21-2010 at 07:48 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    I understand the 'rules' but I also understand physics... just get out the way, man unless of course you want to risk injury. 90% of people are in it for the down - accept it or go at off times.
    Really? Remind me to run your @ss over the next time I see you. Oh yeah, and then I'll steal your bike, kick your dog, and leave you in a puddle of your own drool. All against "the rules," but apparently rules mean nothing in your world.

    FAIL.

    (OP - this is exactly the kind of ignorant, irresponsible, selfish, rule-breaking and inconsiderate POS rider I referred to above. Apparently, the new rule is "physics over courtesy." )
    Last edited by Earthpig; 09-21-2010 at 11:23 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    I understand the 'rules' but I also understand physics... just get out the way, man unless of course you want to risk injury. 90% of people are in it for the down - accept it or go at off times.
    We will see how the rule of physic's work out for you when you run into me and my GSD takes offense and is hanging from your neck.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    I understand the 'rules' but I also understand physics... just get out the way, man unless of course you want to risk injury. 90% of people are in it for the down - accept it or go at off times.
    "Accepting" it is like accepting masturbation and masturbation, as we all know is lust and lust is sin. The Tea Baggers told us so.

    Being in it "for the down" is like being into sex just for masturbation. It may be fun but it's really not the real thing.

    So wankers like you should go back to Delaware, where the Tea Baggers will treat you right and immoralize you. That is, if they can find what's left of you after Earthpig and Fred Smedley are done tickling you.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    I understand the 'rules' but I also understand physics... just get out the way, man unless of course you want to risk injury. 90% of people are in it for the down - accept it or go at off times.
    90% are in it for the downhill? I don't think so. You also obviously do NOT understand the rules.

  16. #16
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    earthpig

    your post seems kind of confusing. People are supposed to have commons sense and move out of other riders way, but can't get off of the trail? Becasue the trail might get wider. How are people supposed to get out of the way if they don't get off of the trail?
    not bashing or trying to incite anything, just curious

    and when meeting horses, they prefer you off of the trail below the horses. the horses won't take you as predators that way.

    tim

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208
    earthpig

    your post seems kind of confusing. People are supposed to have commons sense and move out of other riders way, but can't get off of the trail? Becasue the trail might get wider. How are people supposed to get out of the way if they don't get off of the trail?
    not bashing or trying to incite anything, just curious

    and when meeting horses, they prefer you off of the trail below the horses. the horses won't take you as predators that way.

    tim
    Bike is on edge of trail with one foot off of trail

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208
    earthpig

    your post seems kind of confusing. People are supposed to have commons sense and move out of other riders way, but can't get off of the trail? Becasue the trail might get wider. How are people supposed to get out of the way if they don't get off of the trail?
    not bashing or trying to incite anything, just curious

    and when meeting horses, they prefer you off of the trail below the horses. the horses won't take you as predators that way.

    tim
    Oh, Lord. Where to begin.

    OK, here's a shot:

    Uphill rider has the right of way.

    Downhill rider must give said way.

    Horses leave big poops on the trails and wear metal shoes.

    Are we no longer confused?

    In the immortal words of that great Amerikan poet, Jello Biafra: "When there's people on the other side of the room trying to wipe out your life and things are stacked against you, you can get nervous."

    Don't make me nervous.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208
    earthpig

    your post seems kind of confusing. People are supposed to have commons sense and move out of other riders way, but can't get off of the trail? Becasue the trail might get wider. How are people supposed to get out of the way if they don't get off of the trail?
    not bashing or trying to incite anything, just curious

    and when meeting horses, they prefer you off of the trail below the horses. the horses won't take you as predators that way.

    tim
    Tim - we are lucky. we don't have the high volume of users the Boise folks have..and we have miles of uncrowded singlegrack. I think the folks in Fruita had a public service announcement on how to yield to other users with creating a dirt superhighway. I believe that it what Earthpig is referring too. The Fruita crowd did this because they were actually losing singletrack...and it was become more like dirt roads.

    As for the etiquette with horses, you are very correct, but I think the frequency of that interaction is so small compared to other types of encounters that the comparative effect is small.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208
    earthpig

    your post seems kind of confusing. People are supposed to have commons sense and move out of other riders way, but can't get off of the trail? Becasue the trail might get wider. How are people supposed to get out of the way if they don't get off of the trail?
    not bashing or trying to incite anything, just curious

    and when meeting horses, they prefer you off of the trail below the horses. the horses won't take you as predators that way.

    tim

    The double track is created when people RIDE off the trail without stopping. The appropriate method is to stop in the trail, move your bike off the trail, and let the uphill rider pass.

  21. #21
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    visi

    thanks for the clairfication, becasue i am truly trying to understand what the big deal is for moving out of the way of someone. But than agian, being politically correct is not my way at all.
    tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    Tim - we are lucky. we don't have the high volume of users the Boise folks have..and we have miles of uncrowded singlegrack. I think the folks in Fruita had a public service announcement on how to yield to other users with creating a dirt superhighway. I believe that it what Earthpig is referring too. The Fruita crowd did this because they were actually losing singletrack...and it was become more like dirt roads.

    As for the etiquette with horses, you are very correct, but I think the frequency of that interaction is so small compared to other types of encounters that the comparative effect is small.
    Exactly correct on both points, as was millerlynx on his post. Al, this post reminds me of that old saying about blind squirrels and nuts.

    I run into [email protected] downhill riders who fail to yield and/or ride off trail nearly every ride. Horses, I might seem them once or twice a year. I don't care which way the horse is moving - I ALWAYS yield to horses so as not to spook them. It's more for my own safety than anything else.

  23. #23
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    I have been guilty of not completely stopping and putting a foot down. On wider single track (wide enough for two riders to pass) I will track stand or slow roll on the right edge. Some riders are fine with it, others are not. I need to do the stop and foot down thing.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    I have been guilty of not completely stopping and putting a foot down. On wider single track (wide enough for two riders to pass) I will track stand or slow roll on the right edge. Some riders are fine with it, others are not. I need to do the stop and foot down thing.
    GJ, I personally think that when the trail width allows, it's OK to continue downhill without stopping. The downhill yield rule applies when there isn't room to pass safely, or you'd have to ride off trail to do so. It's all a judgment call, but there are trails where it's OK to pass an uphill rider when heading downhill (Kestrel and Freeway are two that come to mind.) That said, I've had my bars clipped more than once by DH riders trying to stay on the trail and still pass. (Usually, those are the more experienced riders, not the newbies. Newbies are more likely to ride totally off trail.)

    Unfortunately, with respect to Kestrel, it didn't used to be wide enough (I remember when you could barely see the trail), and only is so now because of overuse.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    GJ, I personally think that when the trail width allows, it's OK to continue downhill without stopping. The downhill yield rule applies when there isn't room to pass safely, or you'd have to ride off trail to do so. It's all a judgment call, but there are trails where it's OK to pass an uphill rider when heading downhill (Kestrel and Freeway are two that come to mind.) That said, I've had my bars clipped more than once by DH riders trying to stay on the trail and still pass. (Usually, those are the more experienced riders, not the newbies. Newbies are more likely to ride totally off trail.)

    Unfortunately, with respect to Kestrel, it didn't used to be wide enough (I remember when you could barely see the trail), and only is so now because of overuse.
    Well, I obviously agree with you ... up until recently. I think my behavior lends to a general relaxing of the rules of etiquette by anyone I encounter. Less experienced (or thoughtful) rider may not see (or agree) with my assessment that the trail will allow two without clipping or damage. I have also noticed that uphill riders, that do not agree, will tend to stop and let me pass. I feel a bit guilty in these cases, because I firmly believe they have the right-of-way, and I did not intend to force them to stop for me.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley
    Bike is on edge of trail with one foot off of trail
    is this realy that hard to understand with all the sinage we have out there.. There are even pictures on the signs that show you how to do it. but there are d bags out there that just dont care.
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

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    You all assumed I don't stop while going down...shame on you, and obviously reading > you.

    My claim was simply that I would rather not risk injury and stop if I am going up or down...if that's against the rules...lol...I hope Darwin catches up with all of you.

    Good luck out there...spandex wearing d-bags.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    My claim was simply that I would rather not risk injury and stop if I am going up or down.
    So, you consider this before you go screaming down a (potentially crowded) shared multi-use trail?

  29. #29
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    yes. I stop or at least slow down when I see other people on any trail no matter what direction I am going or they are going.

    Again with the assumptions...who says I'm 'screaming' down any trails, maybe I ride a XC hardtail and have a intense fear of speed. It's no wonder Boise has trail etiquette issues...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    yes. I stop or at least slow down when I see other people on any trail no matter what direction I am going or they are going.

    Again with the assumptions...who says I'm 'screaming' down any trails, maybe I ride a XC hardtail and have a intense fear of speed. It's no wonder Boise has trail etiquette issues...
    Mikey, you are not communicating very clearly or you are the DB. One of these is true. So you are saying that everybody should slow down regardless of direction, which leads to everybody should maybe stop and yeild to everybody regardless of direction also? How is any progress made in either direction if everybody is to be confused about right of way?

    These rules or guidelines are to provide a standard answer. There are ALWAYS exceptions to any standard answer but they are there as a baseline and for good reason. Maybe playing chicken is not the safest idea but it is a free world and if that is how you want to communicate, the downhilling person is not innocent either as they are the ones in the wrong so there will be no victim. But every action has its consequences, good or bad.

    Nobody wants to see conflict out there as we all lose access because of it. All of this can be avoided by proper etiquette and courteous riding. mikeymt is part of the problematic mindset as well as far too many others. It is an uphill battle to say the least but I find a majority of people are good out there, we just more clearly remember the bad apples.

  31. #31
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    Don't clog the drains, boyeez.
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  32. #32
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    I'm saying not everyone knows the rules, so I would rather be safe than sorry. I slow down either way. I love going up and I love going down. But not enough to risk injury at the hand of someone not yielding properly.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    I'm saying not everyone knows the rules, so I would rather be safe than sorry. I slow down either way. I love going up and I love going down. But not enough to risk injury at the hand of someone not yielding properly.
    That is too funny. No wonder you are unsafe on the bike!
    BoiseBoy

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    Man, how many lame Boise threads can there be at one time? Place sounds like LA without the benefit of good Mexican food.


    -Schmitty-

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    we have some good mehican food roach coaches




    Quote Originally Posted by Schmitty
    Man, how many lame Boise threads can there be at one time? Place sounds like LA without the benefit of good Mexican food.


    -Schmitty-

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoiseBoy
    That is too funny. No wonder you are unsafe on the bike!

    ....I see what you did there...

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    That response makes much more sense MikeyMT, thanks for the follow up. There is signage everywhere detailing procedures and explaining right of way. That is why it is so frustrating. There has been a lot of education efforts made by local cycling organizations (SWIMBA and Ridge to Rivers), it just seems that people are choosing to ignore to the risk of causing conflict and subsequently losing access. It angers those who work hard to keep the trails open and maintained. It is a select few riders who do lot sof work only to deal with the self absorbed, entitled feeling masses who can't bother to be safe and courteous. This thread, I am assuming, is a way of dealing with those frustrations.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    This thread, I am assuming, is a way of dealing with those frustrations.
    WTF? That's not what the memo I got said. The one I got said hum along to animated gifs of your favorite movie clips.
    Last edited by Visicypher; 09-24-2010 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Inappropriate Content
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmitty
    Man, how many lame Boise threads can there be at one time? Place sounds like LA without the benefit of good Mexican food.


    -Schmitty-
    If you do a quick scan through this forum you will notice that about 6-7 people from Boise and 1 guy in Montana do the majority of the posting for the thread. They are not a representation of the riders in Boise or Montana by any means, not even close, not even by a fraction. This is simply a free area to air out their thoughts, their own humor and sometimes useful information.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    That response makes much more sense MikeyMT, thanks for the follow up. There is signage everywhere detailing procedures and explaining right of way. That is why it is so frustrating. There has been a lot of education efforts made by local cycling organizations (SWIMBA and Ridge to Rivers), it just seems that people are choosing to ignore to the risk of causing conflict and subsequently losing access. It angers those who work hard to keep the trails open and maintained. It is a select few riders who do lot sof work only to deal with the self absorbed, entitled feeling masses who can't bother to be safe and courteous. This thread, I am assuming, is a way of dealing with those frustrations.

    That is a bummer for sure - population growth is a pain for sure...throw sticks in their spokes? lol

  41. #41
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    Late to the party, but I'll share my most recent encounter. Did Sidewinder, down to Crestline and was heading up 4 toward 8th st. You know, just about to get away from the crowds. A guy came blasting down, knocked me off my line and tossed a "sorry!" over his shoulder. I was annoyed but still on the bike so not too annoyed. Five seconds later his buddy came around the corner. This one did get me off my bike. Does no one think to let the uphill rider know someone else is coming?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMT
    I'm saying not everyone knows the rules, so I would rather be safe than sorry. I slow down either way. I love going up and I love going down. But not enough to risk injury at the hand of someone not yielding properly.
    Let's all find out about the "RULES" together. But before the "RULES", when I see mooks that don't get out of the way I whip out the backup BBQ sauce I keep in my jersey pocket and spray such aforementioned offenders in the eyes. It is an effective deterrent, and when I see them a couple of days later they stay on the trail and stop for people with the right away. Same way I trained my dog, except I used water, it was more humane.

    Back to the rules
    http://www.velominati.com/blog/the-rules/
    Ride & Smile

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    That response makes much more sense MikeyMT, thanks for the follow up. There is signage everywhere detailing procedures and explaining right of way. That is why it is so frustrating. There has been a lot of education efforts made by local cycling organizations (SWIMBA and Ridge to Rivers), it just seems that people are choosing to ignore to the risk of causing conflict and subsequently losing access. It angers those who work hard to keep the trails open and maintained. It is a select few riders who do lot sof work only to deal with the self absorbed, entitled feeling masses who can't bother to be safe and courteous. This thread, I am assuming, is a way of dealing with those frustrations.
    Ditto. Ditto, ditto, ditto. It's the potential loss of access to the trails for ALL bikers due to the lack of etiquette of the few that concerns me the most.

  44. #44
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    I never run into these poor manners when I ride the upper trails, ie Watchman, Orchard, Scotts,Three Bears, or Hard Guy. I think some of these fools just don't know.
    Ride & Smile

  45. #45
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Matt
    I never run into these poor manners when I ride the upper trails, ie Watchman, Orchard, Scotts,Three Bears, or Hard Guy. I think some of these fools just don't know.
    It only happened to me once (run off the trail by people going downhill) as I was climbing Devil's Slide.

    Interestingly enough, the offending group included our very own overzealous moderator.

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