Pittsburgh/Frick Park Riders- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pittsburgh/Frick Park Riders

    I just wanted to reach out to riders with some issues I've had in the park.

    I moved to Pittsburgh from Erie almost three years ago. When I was looking to move down here I asked for help from people from this forum and Dirt Rag to find a good place to live near good riding, and everyone mentioned Frick. Nearly two years ago, my wife and I found a beautiful place where the park is literally our back yard.

    From the first time I rode in Frick, I was in love, and now all I have to do is ride down my driveway, up Kensington Street, and there I am.

    One major issue I've encountered in the park is dog owners blatantly disobeying the leash law. I was raised to be ultra considerate of others and I have a real problem with these people letting their animals roam free and approach me when I don't want them to. I have fallen on a couple of occasions because of this, and have had multiple verbal confrontations with these folks.

    I found an online "Dog Meet up group" for the Pittsburgh area and began posting to their message board, just to find out why these people feel they are so priviledged to let their animals roam free and break the law. Overall I haven 't had a lot of feedback, but there are quite a few people who support me, and a few that don't. I was recently challenged by someone who found an old rule for Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation that states bicycles are only allowed on pavement in our parks. I contacted the Mayor's office about this and they confirmed the rules were made long ago when the pavement rule would have applied. The respondent from the Mayor's office also noted they are currently working on revising these rules to meet the usage of the parks these days. They claim they are following up on complaints from walkers and joggers in the parks over run in's with bikers. They told me they are working on limiting riding to marked trails only.

    I also mentioned about the many encounters I've had with dogs and their owners, and they told me they are passing my complaint on to animal control, who apparentlly handle the disobeying of the leash law.

    What I am hoping and asking for is help in keeping our presence in the park alive, such as using good trail etiquette, and reporting any run ins you may have with law breakers. When I get animal control info, I will pass it on.

    I'm sorry this is so long, but it means a lot to me, and hope it means a lot to you too.

  2. #2
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    I think it is a problem for every biker who rides at frick.I moved here about 2 1/2 years ago and have started riding there lately.It's kind of funny how some people expect you to stop while their dog is chasing after you! Meanwhile, they are yelling chasing after their dog! It gets a little annoying when you are not breaking any rules and yet people still have something to complain about!

  3. #3
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    A friend and I were on Iron Gate last week and a lady had 7 dogs with her and all of them were off the leash. If you have ever been on Iron Gate you know that you can fly on the trail. The dogs were everywhere and caused us to stop for about 2 minutes while she gathered the dogs upÖ It wasnít that big of a deal but a small inconvenience. But, if the dogs were on a leash it would have been much better. Btw, doesnít Frick have a fenced in area just for unleashed dogs?

    I love dogs and would hate to hit one, I would rather hit the dog owner!

    Just my .02

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    A friend and I were on Iron Gate last week and a lady had 7 dogs with her and all of them were off the leash. If you have ever been on Iron Gate you know that you can fly on the trail. The dogs were everywhere and caused us to stop for about 2 minutes while she gathered the dogs upÖ It wasnít that big of a deal but a small inconvenience. But, if the dogs were on a leash it would have been much better. Btw, doesnít Frick have a fenced in area just for unleashed dogs?

    I love dogs and would hate to hit one, I would rather hit the dog owner!

    Just my .02
    There are actually two off leash areas.

    I love dogs too, they really aren't the problem though. It's their moron owners who wear the leashes around their neck or carry them in their hand. I love approaching a dog owner who scurries to control their dog when I approach, knowing if they were leashed, there would be no problem.

    I was riding a few days ago and there were some guys trying to set up the soccer field. The lady that owns the Square Cafe had her dog down there running on the soccer field while these guys were trying to set the field up. That's the kind of ignorance these people possess.

  5. #5
    TheGoat
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    I live a block away from Frick and I love to ride there. I also own two dogs and take them to Frick and always have them on the leash unless in a marked area where dogs are allowed off the leash.
    I had a friend riding with me at Frick and we were heeded to a trail head on the gravel path when we came around a corner on the right side of the trail and a lady had her dog off the leash on the wrong side of the path. I was lucky enough to dodge her and the dog but my friend lost control on the gravel and went down. Do you think that lady stopped to see if he was ok? NOPE! She just kept on going like she owned the place. These are the people that I cannot stand.

    The Goat

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGoat31
    I live a block away from Frick and I love to ride there. I also own two dogs and take them to Frick and always have them on the leash unless in a marked area where dogs are allowed off the leash.
    I had a friend riding with me at Frick and we were heeded to a trail head on the gravel path when we came around a corner on the right side of the trail and a lady had her dog off the leash on the wrong side of the path. I was lucky enough to dodge her and the dog but my friend lost control on the gravel and went down. Do you think that lady stopped to see if he was ok? NOPE! She just kept on going like she owned the place. These are the people that I cannot stand.

    The Goat
    You must live close to me, I live on South Braddock and go in to the woods off of Kensington.

    People like you describe don't get past me without being approached.

  7. #7
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    Been riding Frick for a few years now and I love it. The fact that there are parks within the city limits that offer great trails is one of the main reasons Iíve stayed in PGH.

    Guess, Iím gonna be the odd man out and say the dogs donít bother me that much. Itís not my park, Iím just using it. College aholes trashing Oakland make me a lot angrier than sharing Frick with oblivious jagoffs. Not to further minimize, but compared to what the horses do to South Park single track, dodging hounds is a minor hassle.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by breathing dirt
    Been riding Frick for a few years now and I love it. The fact that there are parks within the city limits that offer great trails is one of the main reasons Iíve stayed in PGH.

    Guess, Iím gonna be the odd man out and say the dogs donít bother me that much. Itís not my park, Iím just using it. College aholes trashing Oakland make me a lot angrier than sharing Frick with oblivious jagoffs. Not to further minimize, but compared to what the horses do to South Park single track, dodging hounds is a minor hassle.
    The parks are probably the biggest reason I moved here.

    I understand your point, but I take it more seriously.

  9. #9
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    I understand your point, but I take it more seriously.
    it's all good. we all have things that drive us totally insane. funny how these ideas make total sense to us, but often don't quite click with others.

    me, i have a fixation on a coworker. what i call a little low level surveillance, others see as restraining order worthy harassment. now i can't use the copier at work cause it's within 20 yards of her office. i'm just kidding about that one folks.

    but seriously, people who let their cats outsde drive me nuts. so do people who ride horses in thew woods and then have the audacity to yell at me for trashing the trails.

    sadly, stupid humans who don't accept responsibility for the impact they have on others is a cross we all must bear.
    .

  10. #10
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    It seems like this a big problem in the general western pa area. I rarely go for a ride without having to stop once or twice for a dog. Last fall I had a scary encounter with 2 unleashed pitbulls at laurel mountain. Their owners were so far behind them I could barely hear them yelling for the dogs.

    I agree its not a problem with the dogs its a problem with the owners. Its a lack of common courtesy IMO. I go out of my way to yield to hikers, horseback riders etc, so they won't have their enjoyment of the park effected by me. I just expect them to take the most basic step to ensure my enjoyment and safety by having their dogs leashed or very well controlled! Unfortunately, I don't know what action there really is to take. But to this day I believe that if those owners were a few seconds slower to get to their dogs, I would have been injured by an attack

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dascro
    It seems like this a big problem in the general western pa area. I rarely go for a ride without having to stop once or twice for a dog. Last fall I had a scary encounter with 2 unleashed pitbulls at laurel mountain. Their owners were so far behind them I could barely hear them yelling for the dogs.

    I agree its not a problem with the dogs its a problem with the owners. Its a lack of common courtesy IMO. I go out of my way to yield to hikers, horseback riders etc, so they won't have their enjoyment of the park effected by me. I just expect them to take the most basic step to ensure my enjoyment and safety by having their dogs leashed or very well controlled! Unfortunately, I don't know what action there really is to take. But to this day I believe that if those owners were a few seconds slower to get to their dogs, I would have been injured by an attack
    I'm glad you are ok.

  12. #12
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    I used to live in Point Breeze and rode Frick a lot.
    Personally, never had a major run in w/ dogs or owners, but often had to slow or stop for them. I didn't mind...I like dogs (though not necessarily the owners).

    I now live in Philly and sometimes ride the Wiss. Same issue. This will occur whenever you have a multi-use trail in a metro area.

    Unfortunately, we will always be at a perception disadvantage. The only 'solution' is to take the high road, yield and be courteous...I'm not saying that is the 'right' or fair thing, but a nasty confrontation is more likely to result in bikes being banded from the trails then for leash laws to be strictly enforced.

    Yeah, it stinks, but not having Frick to ride is worse.

    Good luck.
    I'd hate to have bikes banned...I hit Frick whenever I am in da Burgh to visit friends.
    The Iron Gate rules!

  13. #13
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    At the very top of Frick, ride past the playground and then ride past the baseball feild. It starts with a small grass hill.

    Iron Gate is very fast pace with brims and drops, it also has some very small teeter-totter.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie
    I used to live in Point Breeze and rode Frick a lot.
    Personally, never had a major run in w/ dogs or owners, but often had to slow or stop for them. I didn't mind...I like dogs (though not necessarily the owners).

    I now live in Philly and sometimes ride the Wiss. Same issue. This will occur whenever you have a multi-use trail in a metro area.

    Unfortunately, we will always be at a perception disadvantage. The only 'solution' is to take the high road, yield and be courteous...I'm not saying that is the 'right' or fair thing, but a nasty confrontation is more likely to result in bikes being banded from the trails then for leash laws to be strictly enforced.

    Yeah, it stinks, but not having Frick to ride is worse.

    Good luck.
    I'd hate to have bikes banned...I hit Frick whenever I am in da Burgh to visit friends.
    The Iron Gate rules!
    Which trail do you call the "Iron Gate"? Very few of the trails are maked/named except for "Nine Mile", "Braddock", "Homewood", "River View", "River View Extension", "Kensington". Please advise me of where the Iron Gate is.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    At the very top of Frick, ride past the playground and then ride past the baseball feild. It starts with a small grass hill.

    Iron Gate is very fast pace with brims and drops, it also has some very small teeter-totter.

    To be even more specific, ride up the small hill (baseball field on your right; you're beyond the outfield). As the trail starts to descend, there is a trailhead on the left, over a big section of roots, then an iron gate bridges two mounts.
    On the first downhill section, follow the berms. You can short cut it and go directly down, but its' not as fun . Enjoy!

  16. #16
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    When I ride Frick, I occasionally bring my dog to run with me while I ride, off leash. Generally don't even see anyone on the trails as I'm normally out there during the day, mid-week while everyone else is working. Aside from that, he's not an issue with other people - if I'm moving, so is he - he'll keep right on going if we pass people or other dogs, not paying them much attention. Aside from that, he's also super-friendly. He's only a year old and listens quite well - he listens even better with each outing.

    Don't worry, this year I'm out at Bavington more than Frick, so the chance you'll run into my dog or I is pretty slim.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  17. #17
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    apart from the one encounter mentioned on iron gate above, most of the time you will only run into dogs while on the jogging paths. get into the woods on the actual singletrack and dogs are very rare.

    i'm more bothered by the effect that the unleashed dogs have on other people mainly using the jogging paths, runners, families with kids, people just going for a walk, etc. while the owner may know that their dogs are friendly and wouldn't attack without serious provocation, how does the person in the woods suddenly being charged by a strange dog know this?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie
    To be even more specific, ride up the small hill (baseball field on your right; you're beyond the outfield). As the trail starts to descend, there is a trailhead on the left, over a big section of roots, then an iron gate bridges two mounts.
    On the first downhill section, follow the berms. You can short cut it and go directly down, but its' not as fun . Enjoy!
    I suspect you are talking about the playground and ball fields off of Beachwood?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdburch
    apart from the one encounter mentioned on iron gate above, most of the time you will only run into dogs while on the jogging paths. get into the woods on the actual singletrack and dogs are very rare.

    i'm more bothered by the effect that the unleashed dogs have on other people mainly using the jogging paths, runners, families with kids, people just going for a walk, etc. while the owner may know that their dogs are friendly and wouldn't attack without serious provocation, how does the person in the woods suddenly being charged by a strange dog know this?
    Thats my point. You see these dogs, most are very well taken care of, so you know all of this time and effort has been put in to them, but let them roam free in a 600 acre park full of strangers.

    I was told on one of the dog meet up groups I had posted on that my posting my feelings on the internet has cut down on dog meet ups in the park, and that a neighborhood dog group (FIDO FRICK INVOLVED DOG OWNERS) has disappeared because they were really all about preserving the park for their use, although their former website stated otherwise.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottRPriester
    I suspect you are talking about the playground and ball fields off of Beachwood?
    You are correct, sir!


    Try to stay off the brakes as much as possible, and let it roll. It is a blast.

    Despite the earlier post, you will very rarely run into people or dogs in that section...I don't think I ever have.

  21. #21

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    Can I just say Hello! I miss frick like you wouldn't believe. I used to live in Homestead and I just rode across the Bridge and slag dump and right in off commercial for lots a variety of riding any combination you could want was there to be created by you. I have recently moved to Brasil near the Capital Brasilia. I was initially really exited to be here but the language barrier and the fact that really really have to join a group to find the trails here made it hard. I have found some trails and joined a group, and don't get me wrong it's great but I still miss Frick and all it's Variety. I am a mediocre rider back home but I schooled the guys in the technical stuff going up and down is not their specialty but they can haul ass on the flats. Anyway I just got excited to see Frick mentioned, and not to get preachy but don't take it for granted no matter how many times you ride it. It is a rarity to have such a nice place to ride in an Urban area so close to home. Say hello to the spring mud for me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie
    Despite the earlier post, you will very rarely run into people or dogs in that section...I don't think I ever have.
    Out of all the times I have rode Iron Gate, I only had that one encounter. As a matter of fact, I can only remember seeing dogs 2-3 times on the MTB trails and that is out of 50-60 times out at frick.

  23. #23
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    Please stop complaining about other trail users we worked incrediblly hard for the right to mountain bike ride @ Frick if you cannot tolerate unleashed dogs @ frick then stop rideing frick and try one of the county parks which offer better trails with less traffic.

  24. #24
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    the issue isnt tolerating an annoyance. its the safety of both the dogs and ALL user groups. i wont take my dog to Frick because i don't want random dogs running up to us when we are jogging in the woods. That is what the TWO off leash areas are for. Just because it was hard to get biking in Frick in the first place is no reason to not try to continue improving the park for bikers as well as all other user groups.

  25. #25
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    ^^ +1 We obey the rules, shouldn't they?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloppy second
    Please stop complaining about other trail users we worked incrediblly hard for the right to mountain bike ride @ Frick if you cannot tolerate unleashed dogs @ frick then stop rideing frick and try one of the county parks which offer better trails with less traffic.
    WHO are you and what have YOU done to work so hard to keep biking alive in the park?

    I'm trying to keep the park safe and enjoyable for EVERYONE. I'm trying to make everyone aware of the obviously stated rules and trying to teach ALL users good trail etiquette.

  27. #27
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    I agree 100% but I also know the world is not always fair, I dont like the un leashed dogs and as the weather gets warmer will even be cutting back on Frick on the weekends but I dont think we want to start a fight with the dog walkers (even though they are in the wrong) because there are just to many of them.... I dont see that one going well at all.

    I know they are breaking the rules and its not fair but at 20 of them to 1 of us its not going to go smoothly.

    I know everyone will disagree with me but I think I would just walk away from this hornets nest..... off road bikers VS. animal lovers ..... going to be a real tuff sell

    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    ^^ +1 We obey the rules, shouldn't they?

  28. #28
    my fun has a hurting
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    i think its more an issue of reaching out to other user groups that also have issues with the unleashed dogs (ie joggers/walkers, families with small children, other dog owners like myself, etc) even if the dog owners who ignore the leash laws are 60% of the park users, the city is not going to ignore the other 40% if we get together. that said a confrontational approach is probably not the best way to go about it. i generally try to ask nicely if walkers could keep their dogs on a leash if they don't heel, pointing out that i am a dog owner as well and that i would feel terrible if i ran over their unleashed dog because they jumped out at the last second or if their unleashed dog got hurt trying to nip at my wheels as i passed by. too many people feel like leashing their dog on the trails is "mean" when its really just looking out for the best interests of everyone, including their dog. letting the dog roam and potentially get hurt or lost so you don't have to feel like you are a big mean person is, in my mind at least, extremely selfish.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottRPriester
    WHO are you and what have YOU done to work so hard to keep biking alive in the park?

    I'm trying to keep the park safe and enjoyable for EVERYONE. I'm trying to make everyone aware of the obviously stated rules and trying to teach ALL users good trail etiquette.
    frick wasnt always as sweet as it is now. altercations -physical and otherwise -with hikers/joggers who didnt want mtn biking in the park wasn't rare. if i remember correctly, mtn biking was banned for a while. it was grass roots support that made it what it is today.
    and if you think the dogs suck, back around 2000 some underprivelidged folks figured out there was a market for stolen bikes and would mug riders. a common urban legend was that gangstas would tag riders with a louisville and pedal their bike to an awaiting van- regardless of the tales veracity, i know a bunch of older heads who still won't ride there cause of that. not really an issue any more tho.

  30. #30
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    The dogs dont bother me much at all cant ever say I have actually seen one on any of the singletrack in frick.

    but yeah people are lame, get over it. I am nice to all of them I dont want to lose the park.

    As for the south park Single track and horse traffic I have no clue what to do about that?

  31. #31
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    You guys have to tell me when you ride at Frick. For me, finding dogs off leash in the trails is routine. Usually I don't bother, just slow down or stop, if the dog doesn't move or wants to follow me.

    The problem is when the dog wants to play, and I don't. When I'm in a good mood, watching the dog owner going in circles around my bike trying to catch the dog (sometimes for minutes) is hilarious.

  32. #32
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    I witnessed something tonight in the park that I've never seen in my two years of living near the park.

    I went trail running after work and as I was running along the edge of the woods, I saw what I thought was someone in a police outfit, which upon my getting closer, was exactly that. It was an Allegheny Sherrif with a K-9 watching dog owners making sure they had their dogs leashed.

    It did my heart good to see it.

  33. #33
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    Two great things in the park today..........

    While coming down the Homewood Trail, I noticed a PPD officer on a mountain bike talking to a woman with a dog not on a leash, and also witnessed a PPD cruiser driving a long the access road. I'm sure most of the extra attention is because of all the extra users for the holiday weekend, but it was nice to see.

    I also finally rode the so called Iron Bridge trail, and it was a blast!

  34. #34
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    My .02 cents...

    I'm glad I found this thread, but where do I start?

    Let me me say, I love dogs. I have owned dogs. Just because I like dogs, I'd never force someone else to interact with my dog, and that's exactly what's happening here.

    sloppy second: Dogs should be on a leash fo their own safety, and for the safety of others (not just cyclists). Dogs seem to naturally like to chase moving objects. You also said, "Please stop complaining about other trail users we worked incrediblly hard for the right to mountain bike ride @ Frick if you cannot tolerate unleashed dogs @ frick then stop rideing frick and try one of the county parks which offer better trails with less traffic." I wonder what makes you think that people are any more considerate anywhere else? I'm sure if Frick dog owners don't think they have to use leashes, nobody else does either.

    Dogs need to be on leashes becuase you can enforce a "leash law." It would be almost impossible to enforce "obediance training law," and it seems lack of obediance is the real issue. If all dogs and owners were well-trained, you wouldn't need leashes.

    This is also a problem at Heartwood Acres, and not just when I ride, but when I go for a walk or a run. Who wants a strange, barking, possibly agressive dog putting their mouth near your crotch? Not I.

    Google "(vicious) dog attacks" and see what you find. I didn't hear anyone getting mention getting bit, which I have. It's not pleasant.

    Ray Lee: In reference to "I know everyone will disagree with me but I think I would just walk away from this hornets nest..... off road bikers VS. animal lovers ..... going to be a real tuff sell" I feel the issue here isn't off road bikes VS. animal lover, but CONCERNED people VS. INCONSIDERATE people. We're not saying we're anti-dog. We're not saying we're we don't want dogs on the trail. I think everyone would agree we just want the dogs on their leashes and keep under control, and a little common courtesy from their owners .

    We should write letters to the mayors office and animal control. I believe if we present this intelligently, they would agree
    "I can only assume chan slap is what happens when you get assaulted by Jackie Chan. I don't think anybody can prevent that."

  35. #35
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    I have to admit - I'm guilty of having my dog off leash when I'm out biking, it's true. That said, I normally don't take my dog to Frick or other highly populated areas, not because I'm worried about him, but rather that I'm worried about other dogs.

    I know my dog will happily continue chasing me, and me only. If I'm moving along (even slowly) he wants to only follow me. However, I have no idea what all these other dogs off leash will do.

    Fortunately, I'm off Mondays and Tuesdays and lots of places empty out then, but still are patrolled, making one with a dog off leash a fairly easy target, especially in the summer. So far this year, I've pretty much restricted taking my dog out to the trails at Bavington.

    I was actually out at Frick this past Sunday and think that each and every dog I saw was off leash. Apparently no one was around to enforce the leash laws.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  36. #36
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    OMG I road Frick yesterday and it was so aweful. I had to stop my bike for unleashed dogs like three different times. One actually stood in the trail and wouldn't move out of the way until it's owner came. I mean if I wouldn't have used my brakes I would have so hit that dog because it was right in the middle and I couldn't go around. It so ruins my day when someone doesn't obey the rules. I also saw some jay walking and some driving at least 10 MPH over the speed limit. I posted to the we like to drive real fast forum but they are all jerks.

  37. #37
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    Ok sorry for the sarcasm and yes I actually did run into several unleashed dogs on the trails yesterday but what annoys me 100 times more than unleashed dogs is intolerance for other trail uers. Too few of you know or have forgotten when Mountain Biking was banned in the park and they were serious about it. In every local bike shop there were signs letting bikers know that Moutain Biking was not allowed.

    It was this same kind of belly aching and unfounded drama that got a push for the city to get serious about the off road bicycle bann and here on these forums I see the same kind of thinking and attitude. It drives me crazy.

    Unleashed dogs it's really it's not that big of a deal for us but because there is a rule about you feel so indignant when you run across one that you got to make a big stink about it and post up all the forums.

    If you see a dog leashed or otherwise slow way down and pass at little more than a walking pace. Same should go for hikers. Smile and greet them and continue on. Yes mountain bikers have a huge image problem. We often scare the bajesus out of other trail users when we run accross them. I do what I can to try and improve it a little.

    And hey, if you crashed because of a dog then maybe you need to rethink they way you ride. What if that would have been a small child. Dear god think of the childeren! No really the last thing we need is a mountain bike / hiker / jogger collision. Thank god it was just an unleashed dog and not a hiker.

    BTW if you run into a big old mean off leash dog and he chases you down the trail. Kick it in the face for me. I hate mean dogs. Why the hell would you take one to the park.

  38. #38

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    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    56
    i don't see any reason to have an unleashed dog in a public space. there is that chance it could turn on someone. my son was attacked by a border collie mix when he was 4. not a rot or pit bull, it was our neighbors collie. it can happen and does happen.

    but being on a bike i feel more protected than say a jogger. I have not had the chance to ride there yet. I am looking foward to making a trip with my bike and checking it out.

    is it right for them to have loose dogs? nope! but the sqeaky wheel does get the grease and some times that wheel justs gets taken off.

    I would keep an open eye for loose animals, joggers, toddlers and what not just to be able to enjoy the time on your bike.

    I almost hit a deer last year on a gas well road, I was doing 30mph+. it was a situation I had never thought of, i love to just rip full speed, but that was an eye opener for me. Granted it seems off topic but you just need to be aware of what is around, and adjust to deal with it.

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