Keep the singletrack single (suggestions please)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Keep the singletrack single (suggestions please)

    Post your recommendations on how to keep our already wide singletrack single! I've made the following recommendations but for some reason, it's considered too extreme...

    Actually, the best way is to teach people that yielding to the uphill rider means stopping, and leaning the bike over to give the rider enough room to pass safely. Yielding does not mean, going off the trail. This does nothing but widen the trail. We try to teach people this when we teach our classes and during patrols but it needs to be taught before that (like- when people purchase a mountainbike)... What do y'all think?
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  2. #2
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    Multi-Use v.s. SingleTrack

    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    Post your recommendations on how to keep our already wide singletrack single! I've made the following recommendations but for some reason, it's considered too extreme...
    If a trail is Multi-Use how can it be Single? Don't get me wrong I like SingleTrack I just don't think it's practical in most of the lower foothill trails.

    Stopping and leaning a bike over just creates more conflict - I think this is asking for trouble between user groups.

    Does a runner/hiker get to go "off trail"?

    Don't even get started with the dog issue - try telling a biker to stop lean the bike and let the dog pass.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    Actually, the best way is to teach people that yielding to the uphill rider means stopping, and leaning the bike over to give the rider enough room to pass safely. Yielding does not mean, going off the trail. This does nothing but widen the trail.
    Oops...sorry, but I'm guilty of doing this especially on Bucktail. I'll do better next time!

    So it it ok for a rider to be off the trail...ie when leaning the bike over and say using one of your legs to prop yourself up?

    We try to teach people this when we teach our classes and during patrols but it needs to be taught before that (like- when people purchase a mountainbike)... What do y'all think?
    I don't know what other retailers are doing, but I know with us, it's wham-bam-thank you-ma'am type of thing. Wasn't it smilycook that proposed handing out that SWIMBA pamphlet with every bike sale? At one time we did have that at the rental counter, but now it's mixed in with the rest of the pamphlets and other stuff at Customer Service. I don't remember what it said with regards to being off-trail in the type of situation you are describing.

    Unfortunately I don't think alot of people read MTBR and know about some of the issues out there regarding Foothills usage and etiquette. However, alot of people do end up reading something like the Statesman or Boise Weekly or Thrive. So what about some sort of media campaign next spring when the nice weather hits and people are wanting to be outside.

    I know you R2R Ranger folks were profiled at one time in the Statesman. Thrive has put out an annual bike issue the past couple of years. The Weekly has done bike related articles before.

    I say get R2R or SWIMBA or whomever hooked up with one of the Statesman's writers like Zimo or Natalie Bartley or Chad Dryden (btw...he's open to story ideas via the Idaho Outdoors Yahoo! Group) to do an article on trail etiquette and stuff.

    Oh yeah....it seems like every year we have a couple of Foothills/mountain biking clinics at the store...I usually attend those and will make it a point from now on to bring up the whole "keeping it single" thing.

    Nick

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Burn
    If a trail is Multi-Use how can it be Single? Don't get me wrong I like SingleTrack I just don't think it's practical in most of the lower foothill trails.

    Stopping and leaning a bike over just creates more conflict - I think this is asking for trouble between user groups.

    Does a runner/hiker get to go "off trail"?

    Don't even get started with the dog issue - try telling a biker to stop lean the bike and let the dog pass.
    there is a hierarchy to multi-use trails and unfortunately, we are low man on the totem pole... so technically, we yield to all other trail users (going uphill or downhill)... in this example, if we're biking uphill and a runner is coming downhill, the biker yields... luckily, where we live, most of the runners/hikers also bike and know how difficult it can be to get started on an uphill and more likely than not, they will yield the trail to you (either that or they've been almost hit by enough bikers that they're not taking the chance anymore).
    the dog issue is a separate matter... owners should be able to control their dogs. If not, the dogs should be leashed.
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    Hi Nick

    So it it ok for a rider to be off the trail...ie when leaning the bike over and say using one of your legs to prop yourself up?
    Yes, that is the best way. Basically keep the wheels on the inside edge of the singletrack (our singeltrack is plenty wide) leaning the bike over and tripoding with your release foot. We (R2R folks, SWIMBA, IMBA, experienced riders, etc....) probably need to do a better job at educating other than saying "Yield" since that word is ambigous (heck-going off trail to let someone pass is technically yielding).

    I don't know what other retailers are doing, but I know with us, it's wham-bam-thank you-ma'am type of thing. Wasn't it smilycook that proposed handing out that SWIMBA pamphlet with every bike sale? At one time we did have that at the rental counter, but now it's mixed in with the rest of the pamphlets and other stuff at Customer Service. I don't remember what it said with regards to being off-trail in the type of situation you are describing.
    I know what you mean by this. I was just chatting with a couple of wrenches yesterday (yeah, you know who you are) and we were talking about how anyone can come in with a wad of cash and buy a mountain bike and never hear about trail etiquette. We actually tried to get a new bike pamphlet printed up last year that will go with a "new owner package" for the LBS but that fell through. We'll try again this year.

    So what about some sort of media campaign next spring when the nice weather hits and people are wanting to be outside.
    This is in the works for late spring. We'll try a more concentrated approach next year once the usage sky rockets. Education is key. I'm hoping that we can partner with the trail sponsors but if not, we'll go at it alone.

    Oh yeah....it seems like every year we have a couple of Foothills/mountain biking clinics at the store...I usually attend those and will make it a point from now on to bring up the whole "keeping it single" thing.
    Thanks- every little bit helps. We start off all our wrenching and intermediate, beginner, rock clinic classes with trail etiquette and demo how it should be done.

  6. #6
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    I try to avoid the 'ol two-way traffic issue by intentionally avoiding riding UP trails that are predominantly ridden DOWN during peak hours (i.e. I don't ride up Bob's at 7pm on a Thursday night in May when half the riders in town are riding down it). I'm sure I'm fooling myself, but every little bit helps...

    Something I'd like to see is some coordinated volunteers at popular trailheads doing a little trail-use education and maybe handing out some "Keep It Single" stickers or some simple trinket that won't get thrown out like a pamphlet- maybe I'll put the sticker on the fairing of my Thule rack and it will be really cool . It seems to me there are a lot of trail-users (all types of users) that just don't know the etiquette and would be happy to comply if things were explained to them. A few volunteers on peak weekends could spread the word very quickly.

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    Fruita is a good example...

    Check out these links:

    http://www.fruitamountainbike.com/trails/
    http://www.otesports.com/visit/trails.cfm
    http://www.otesports.com/advocacy/

    Keeping singletrack single is one of the Fruita biking community's mantra. Of course, since Fruita is known as a mtb destination, most of the riders are looking for an "experience", and are aware of the value of singletrack. I don't think that the population of Fruita has passed the 7,000 mark, either, so they don't have the day-to-day pressure that our trail system has.

    I just checked the SWIMBA and R2R sites and didn't see any mention of keeping it single in the trail etiquette sections of either site. Perhaps some people with influence over those two sites can suggest adding some mention about it?

    It's funny (odd, really) - about a dozen years ago (pre kids, so I had some time on my hands) I talked to shop owners about working with SWIMBA and R2R and putting pamphlets on bikes. We got a less than lukewarm reception. Two replies stuck with me. One was about labor. The shop owner wanted to know if we would come in on a regular basis to replenish the supply of brochures and put them on the bikes. The other was that the shop didn't want to take the stance of "preaching" to their customers.

  8. #8
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    I yeild to EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING!!!!! cuz thats the way we save our trails. As far as creating a conflict? I actually get thanked and the other users are suprized that a mtn biker "cared enough to slow down let alone stop, thank you". I f we dont yeild we loose our trails! its that simple. get in the habit of it. I work at a shop, we handed out those little fliers with every mtnbike sale, I contacted swimba to get more and couldnt, we need to implement that again. But half of the sales people in this town dont even ride so they dont care to follow through.
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  9. #9
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    I am doin' it with the help of Crash-Burn. I actually spoke to R2R about it, and got a for the idea of education. I'll probably start it with you and Jason B., if that works. I hope it doesn't cost too much.

    I'll keep you updated.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  10. #10
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    "Achtung! Minen!" Has a nice ring to it.

    I try to lean the bike and step off the trail with one foot (yes, I have fallen over doing this) when I yield, unless the trail is already wide enough for two people.

    I agree that handing out a trail etiquette brochure with new bike purchases would be a good idea. I can't imagine why any of the LBS's would be opposed to that, but there is the question of funding. Would R2R be able to fund free brochures?

    TF

  11. #11
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    lead by example

    I participated in some trailside education sponsored by SWIMBA last spring at the bottom of Hulls Gulch - very tough to get MTBers to stop and pay attention to what you have to say, even when you step into the trail - many just swerved off the trail to avoid having to talk.

    At one of the SWIMBA meetings prior to this, I urged people (assuming that those in the meeting were leaders in the MTB community) to NOT avoid the busy trails at popular times of the day and to practice good etiquette on those busy trails as a means of leading by example. The more people we have on the trails acting properly, the better it is for the MTB community as a whole, and the more other folks are likely to see not only MTBers acting responsibly but also the more folks will see the proper way to yield. So I would ask folks to reconsider avoiding those trails during those busy times, at least sometimes, and do the right thing when you meet other trail users. It is a small sacrifice that can go a long way.

    Also, anyone that has tips on nice ways to intervene while on the trail, I would certainly appreciate it. I am both a rider and a runner, and when I am on foot, I generally try to yeild to MTBers, but to often, even if I step lightly off the trail, the biker goes off trail to avoid me, so there's nobody on the trail! The impact is worst now that the grass is not growing. What's the best way to ask people to stay on the freaking trails without coming off as a jerk?

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    * Hey Gary...what kind of approach are you Ranger folks using with riders when it comes to discussing trail etiquette? Are you guys actually stopping people and talking to 'em while riding around? Do you guys speak with everyone that you run into? Or do you just wait at a certain spots like the top of Kestrel? Do you quiz 'em on whether or not they know proper trail etiquette?

    * One big reason why the original SWIMBA brochure was pulled from our rental counter was because our manager objected to the pic of smilycook riding in the Boulder-White Clouds . That whole "wilderness" thing. Like I said earlier, the brochure is now in the back in Customer Service and I think it's been modified so that the original pic is no longer on there.

    * Gary (or any other Ranger)...would you be willing to come into the store during one of our clinics to go over trail issues and etiquette? Over the past year we've had Stuebner and Dave Gordon and Jenny come in and talk about mountain biking and the Foothills. They've talked about trail etiquette (with Dave probably doing the best job). Maybe a more expanded talk during these clinics would be better. Heck...maybe a handout would be good too. I'd be willing to do it, but give me a list of talking points first. I'll also shoot Sylvia (our clinic coordinator) an email and bounce this idea around with her (I'm pretty sure she'll be receptive). And I can get a hold of Jenny and Stuebner and toss that idea around with 'em. Errr...not sure about Jenny though...she is in Cincy now working for P&G.

    * surly' quote....
    But half of the sales people in this town dont even ride so they dont care to follow through.
    I'd say this is true in our store or they would just be classified as Greenbelt or commuter type of riders. This is probably true for our typical mountain bike purchaser as well. I guess what I'm trying to say is that perhaps the passion for mountain biking just isn't there among the majority of the folks both shopping there and working there. That's not an excuse though for not educating new buyers on etiquette. I'll have to bring this up at our next big meeting (which I think is in Nov. or Dec.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlhrd
    Something I'd like to see is some coordinated volunteers at popular trailheads doing a little trail-use education and maybe handing out some "Keep It Single" stickers or some simple trinket that won't get thrown out like a pamphlet- maybe I'll put the sticker on the fairing of my Thule rack and it will be really cool . It seems to me there are a lot of trail-users (all types of users) that just don't know the etiquette and would be happy to comply if things were explained to them. A few volunteers on peak weekends could spread the word very quickly.
    I think it was either earlier this year or last year that something like this was coordinated through smilycook and I know a couple from here volunteered to man the tent.

    If smily or Ted Tokomoto (new SWIMBA prez) or R2R or someone wanted to coordinate that in 2007 and if my schedule works, I'd definately sign up for it.

  14. #14
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    Another good opportunity for education

    would be the New Belgium Fat Tire Festival. SWIMBA had a booth set up this year, but it was rather off the beaten path. I would certainly volunteer to man a booth and hand out literature, either at an event or at a trailhead.

    TF

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    Hey Gary...what kind of approach are you Ranger folks using with riders when it comes to discussing trail etiquette? Are you guys actually stopping people and talking to 'em while riding around? Do you guys speak with everyone that you run into? Or do you just wait at a certain spots like the top of Kestrel? Do you quiz 'em on whether or not they know proper trail etiquette?
    My special approach is to ride or run up Hulls at 6pm on weeknight when it's busiest since that is when we have the most yahoos. For those people that yield correctly, I say "Thanks for stopping". For those that go off the trail, I try to stop them and show them the proper way to "yield" (however, most of the time, they're past me and 100 yards down Hulls before I can even say "Whoa!"). I also take it a step further in that if a hiker or more rarely, an equestrian yields while I'm riding up or down Hulls or any other trail, I stop, move over and tell them that "You have the right of way". I'm hoping that little act makes up for the other times they're probably buzzed by a rider that doesn't know better. The good news is, that since summer has ended, MOST riders I encounter while climbing up Hulls have been super nice! I don't talk to everyone (although I say Hello to everyone) on the trail. However, when it's busy, I always tell folks if I see a group of hikers, bikers or runners coming up a trail they're about to bomb down on...

    * Gary (or any other Ranger)...would you be willing to come into the store during one of our clinics to go over trail issues and etiquette? Over the past year we've had Stuebner and Dave Gordon and Jenny come in and talk about mountain biking and the Foothills. They've talked about trail etiquette (with Dave probably doing the best job). Maybe a more expanded talk during these clinics would be better. Heck...maybe a handout would be good too. I'd be willing to do it, but give me a list of talking points first. I'll also shoot Sylvia (our clinic coordinator) an email and bounce this idea around with her (I'm pretty sure she'll be receptive). And I can get a hold of Jenny and Stuebner and toss that idea around with 'em. Errr...not sure about Jenny though...she is in Cincy now working for P&G.
    Absolutely- that would be fun! David is also a R2R Ranger so you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone with him.

  16. #16
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    Schools in Session Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    the dog issue is a separate matter... owners should be able to control their dogs. If not, the dogs should be leashed.
    I'am completely aware of hierarchy - I practice it every time I ride.

    If Dave wants SingleTrack in the lower foothills it going to take a hugh educational effort - other posters here have pointed out inadequacies in the current effort.

    My suggestion is to Design and Designate a particular NEW trail as Singletrack. One that flows and that is directional.

    Do you consider Bucks as Single? If you do then Dave needs to put a sign at the top and bottom that says - Entering SingleTrack "ride it like you love it"

    Once riders begin to appreciate SingleTrack then they can start practicing riding single.

    In my opinion Rock Island is a mistake to try and keep it single.

    The reason being is that you have lines that people need to stop and assess how and if they can make it. This type of riding requires getting "off trail" to evaluate an obstacle.

    Take a look at Fruita! When a rock section needs to be negotiated by a rider the trail is wide!

    Showing them a trail that deserves to be ridden single then you will start to change riding styles.

    P.S. I stop for dogs cause I love to see their smiling faces - cause you now their happy running around in the foothills, Wohoo.

  17. #17
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    i think we need to start with the hikers in the lower foothills as well. i'm out there every morning, at least 6 days a week. more and more frequently i'm coming across people who dont shift to single file when they pass me. this morning was a shining example of this crap- 3 ladies walking 3 abreast (couldnt pass that up!) and they did not file in to pass me. in some weak a$$ attempt the move over, one lady pulled her arm in behind her. umm. hello. thanks for sharing the trail. maybe there needs to be some trail etiquette info handed out to runners and hikers as well. the problem doesn't seem like its just bike related.
    i might be going to hell in a bucket, but at least i'm enjoying the ride

  18. #18
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    Dogs

    So what is the official stance on dogs. I know that pedestrians have the right away, but what about their dogs that don't move off trail. How many times have you passed a couple of people off the trail talking while their dog(s) are sitting on the trail? Many pedestrians are kind enough to move over for you, especially when climbing, but their dogs remain in the way. When you almost run them over, or they stop you in your tracks they just sit and laugh, "oh that silly Rover".

    I have also come across more and more pedestrians with MP3 players and they don't pay any attention to the trail. You can holler "on your Left" all you want and they don't move. It is only when you pass them and they get startled do they realize anything is going on outside of their ears.
    BoiseBoy

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