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Old 08-03-10, 03:05 PM   #1
stoogeswoman
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"Bikes Only" path full of non-bikers - is this common?

I took my very first bike ride down an OFFICIAL bike trail today - from Playa Del Rey (CA) down through Dockweiler State Beach (did about 5 miles each way).

If you were there, that was me, pedaling nervously but proudly on my Schwinn Hinge Folding Bike, doing my best to keep out of your way!

Had an enjoyable ride and would go there again - HOWEVER, there was one big problem - I was on a path that was clearly marked (like every few feet!) "Bikes Only!" - yet I kept having to dodge skaters, joggers, and baby carriages the whole way.

I found myself getting rather curmudgeonly towards the end of my ride, after having to maneuver through a few of these non-wheeled roadblocks - my bike skills got a major upgrade today, I must say! - because, you know, to me, "Bikes Only" means - Bikes Only!

But to be fair to the pedestrians, I also noticed a lot of bikers were using the walking/jogging path just a few feet away. So there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of respect on either side.

Not sure if this is anything anyone can really do anything about - just wanted to "vent" a bit and also ask: is this normal? Should I just expect all the bike trails to be filled with baby carriages and plan accordingly? Or are some better than others - and if so, where are they (in Southern California)?

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 08-03-10, 04:01 PM   #2
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I can't tell you how many times I say "bike lane, please" down at our local boardwalk.
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Old 08-03-10, 05:18 PM   #3
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I tried that, but everyone out today had headphones/earphones and didn't hear me (or at least pretended not to!).
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Old 08-03-10, 06:01 PM   #4
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Try early morning weekday rides. The LA beach paths are usually OK then.
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Old 08-03-10, 06:03 PM   #5
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stoogeswoman,

I don't know about your area, but here in St. Pete I've lost count of the number of times that I've encountered pedestrians either walking dogs or pushing baby strollers, or rollerblading on the bicycle side of the Pinellas Trail. Not too long ago when I was on the trail even though it is clearly marked that all dogs must be on a leash (it's even a city and possibly a state law) no longer then 6'. I came across a woman walking her dog without a leash, to be "fair" to her she did have a leash in her hand. But I think that it was one of those "stupid" retractable leashes, also fortunately I think (if I remember correctly) that she had a relatively small breed dog. But even so, how can anyone exercise any amount of control over there dog with one of those retractable leashes?


If they run, particularly if they're a medium to large breed dog isn't there a good chance of them stripping the gears? Or even stripping the gears if they (the owner) has to really pull back on the leash to pull the dog back and away from whatever.
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Old 08-03-10, 06:12 PM   #6
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I took my very first bike ride down an OFFICIAL bike trail today - from Playa Del Rey (CA) down through Dockweiler State Beach (did about 5 miles each way).

If you were there, that was me, pedaling nervously but proudly on my Schwinn Hinge Folding Bike, doing my best to keep out of your way!

Had an enjoyable ride and would go there again - HOWEVER, there was one big problem - I was on a path that was clearly marked (like every few feet!) "Bikes Only!" - yet I kept having to dodge skaters, joggers, and baby carriages the whole way.

I found myself getting rather curmudgeonly towards the end of my ride, after having to maneuver through a few of these non-wheeled roadblocks - my bike skills got a major upgrade today, I must say! - because, you know, to me, "Bikes Only" means - Bikes Only!

But to be fair to the pedestrians, I also noticed a lot of bikers were using the walking/jogging path just a few feet away. So there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of respect on either side.

Not sure if this is anything anyone can really do anything about - just wanted to "vent" a bit and also ask: is this normal? Should I just expect all the bike trails to be filled with baby carriages and plan accordingly? Or are some better than others - and if so, where are they (in Southern California)?

Thanks for your thoughts!
You can go the whole length of that bikepath and if it is after 10:00 just about the only area without pedestrians will be when it hits the street. Even there you will get skaters, but to be fair the skaters who do the road are usually good enough that they are less bother than many bikes.

If you feel adventurous take the path all the way to the South end and lok for the ramp going straight up. Take it (likely walk your bike up) and then turn right exiting the parking lot. Follow that road to the 'top' and turn right on the major road. For a path rider that road will be intimidating, but there is a bike/pedestrian walk on hte right just before it would seem like you are on a freeway interchange. When that ends continue straight/right. Follow the other bikes going up the hill. The hill does end and the views are worth it.
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Old 08-03-10, 06:31 PM   #7
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There's a bike path near my house with a similar issue. The footpath next to it is cobbled so all the young mothers go for a stroll with the baby carriage on the bike path because the bike path is smooth. What happens when I come around the bend? I get angry mothers hissing at me to be more careful.
I'm also a BMXer. Do you know how many people bring their kids to the skatepark to LEARN how to ride a bike? In the middle of the skatepark?
"Excuse me sir, my son is still getting used to the skatepark could you please be careful around him?" "No, it's my day off and I'm going to ride the piss out of this skatepark."
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Old 08-03-10, 08:18 PM   #8
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I tried that, but everyone out today had headphones/earphones and didn't hear me (or at least pretended not to!).
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Old 08-03-10, 08:27 PM   #9
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I second Spooner. Get an Airzound. Do a google search and buy an Airzound and just blast it whenever there is a non-biker on the path. The only way to get them off is to educate them and let them know that its a big deal.
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Old 08-03-10, 08:33 PM   #10
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I second Spooner. Get an Airzound. Do a google search and buy an Airzound and just blast it whenever there is a non-biker on the path. The only way to get them off is to educate them and let them know that its a big deal.

you guys don't quite understand how packed these paths become and no one cares to move

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Old 08-03-10, 08:55 PM   #11
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you guys don't quite understand how packed these paths become and no one cares to move
http://stores.biketac.com/-strse-12/...ter/Detail.bok Strap a 12V SLA battery to the rack so you can lay on it longer than 9Vs will last. When the alternative is continuing pain, they'll move.
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Old 08-03-10, 09:14 PM   #12
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There's a bike path near my house with a similar issue. The footpath next to it is cobbled so all the young mothers go for a stroll with the baby carriage on the bike path because the bike path is smooth. What happens when I come around the bend? I get angry mothers hissing at me to be more careful.
I think that that is kind of the same reason that pedestrians on the Pinellas Trial walk on the bicycle side of the trail as well. It's marked out as being wider then the pedestrians side of the trail. The person who was pushing stroller took up nearly the whole bicycle side of the trail with their stroller.

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I'm also a BMXer. Do you know how many people bring their kids to the skatepark to LEARN how to ride a bike? In the middle of the skatepark?
"Excuse me sir, my son is still getting used to the skatepark could you please be careful around him?" "No, it's my day off and I'm going to ride the piss out of this skatepark."
Hmm, shouldn't they be learning to ride a bike in their yard and/or neighborhood streets, and not the local skatepark? I mean even if the skatepark is/was empty and no one was "harassing" their little ones isn't a child (or anyone who is) learning how to ride doing so at a skatepark more likely to injure themselves in a skatepark vs. learning to ride in their yard? Why would anyone in their right mind think that taking their child a skatepark to learn how to ride is a smart idea?
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Old 08-03-10, 09:17 PM   #13
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you guys don't quite understand how packed these paths become and no one cares to move
That's where some sort of air horn or loud buzzer would come into play. If it's loud enough it will penetrate their iPod earphones.
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Old 08-03-10, 09:20 PM   #14
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http://stores.biketac.com/-strse-12/...ter/Detail.bok Strap a 12V SLA battery to the rack so you can lay on it longer than 9Vs will last. When the alternative is continuing pain, they'll move.
That looks impressive, how long does the battery last? Without upgrading to a 12v SLA?
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Old 08-03-10, 09:26 PM   #15
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That looks impressive, how long does the battery last? Without upgrading to a 12v SLA?
Haven't got one yet, but I did get to see one in action, and it's LOUD! The guy said the 9V was fine for the occasional beep in normal commuting, but it ran down pretty quick when he had to lay on the horn a few times to "redirect" drifting drivers.
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Old 08-03-10, 09:41 PM   #16
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With the Airzound... they will move. You will get a dense pack of cyclist drafting behind you so as soon as people start to move there is no going back. It will be like a bicycle freight train and the women with strollers are walking on the tracks. If anyone starts to yell at you just press the Airzound button until they stop. They may think your a jerk but eventually they will figure it out. Maybe point at the signs as your ride by or get a sign on the back of the bike that says "bikes only!"
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Old 08-04-10, 02:04 AM   #17
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If they run, particularly if they're a medium to large breed dog isn't there a good chance of them stripping the gears? Or even stripping the gears if they (the owner) has to really pull back on the leash to pull the dog back and away from whatever.
Having used them with German Shepherds, I can say I've never had a problem with it at all. It's very strong. Actually, I think the thing would rip out of your hand due to the sudden stop before it would break (I always wished they made them with a sort of brake to slow the dog down first before engaging the full stop).

However, I would never dream of using one to walk a dog on a sidewalk or any other sort of path. It's much harder to have strong control over your dog in a situation where you need it. They are really great for situations where it's okay to let the dog run around, but you still need some minimal control, like open spaces in a park or something like that. Then you "reel in" when you go around more people. Works great for situations where minimal control is okay, and that's about it.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:25 AM   #18
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Having used them with German Shepherds, I can say I've never had a problem with it at all. It's very strong. Actually, I think the thing would rip out of your hand due to the sudden stop before it would break (I always wished they made them with a sort of brake to slow the dog down first before engaging the full stop).
I can see where some sort of break would be a plus on those things.

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However, I would never dream of using one to walk a dog on a sidewalk or any other sort of path. It's much harder to have strong control over your dog in a situation where you need it. They are really great for situations where it's okay to let the dog run around, but you still need some minimal control, like open spaces in a park or something like that. Then you "reel in" when you go around more people. Works great for situations where minimal control is okay, and that's about it.
Unless you happen to be the "lucky" person who is trying to enjoy the park and ends up with someone's dog wrapping the leash around their legs causing them to fall. Where I live I have several neighbors who have dogs of all size and a lot of them use those retractable leashes. THe only dogs that I don't mind seeing on those retrable leashes or even off their leash are the real small dogs like the "tea cup" sized dogs. Although they can end up wrapping their leashes around a person's legs and causes them to fall.
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Old 08-04-10, 02:28 AM   #19
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Like I said, only in a situation where there aren't lots of people around. The more people, the shorter that leash gets!
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Old 08-04-10, 03:21 AM   #20
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Like I said, only in a situation where there aren't lots of people around. The more people, the shorter that leash gets!
It'd be nice if more people felt that way. I can't tell you how many times I've seen neighbors of mine walking their dogs on those retractable leashes not caring who is around. And sadly few if any of them have any real control over their dog(s). And then they act all surprised when their dog runs up to someone and starts jumping on them. Or are trying to pull 'em back, but of course at that point the dog has completely run out all of the leash and the owner/walker can't really pull back on the leash and get their dog off of the person.
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Old 08-04-10, 09:09 AM   #21
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There are no paths here that are designated for the exclusive use of cyclists. Dogs, kids, and obliviots notwithstanding, the most dangerous MUP denizens are the lycra-clad racer-boy wannabes who seem to think these paths are their own, personal cycling time-trial courses. That's why I pretty much stick to the roads, where things are more orderly and predictable.
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Old 08-04-10, 09:53 AM   #22
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I ride that bike path almost every day. Boy, could I tell you some stories.

I'm surprised you found it to be so much of a problem from Playa Del Rey to Dockweiler. That is one of the least crowded sections of the South Bay bike path. It's much more crowded further south, and much more crowded on weekends.

I feel your pain. For some reason, pedestrians and joggers have it in their minds that "bike path" means foot path, and that it's OK for them to walk/run on it. Even more enfuriating are the ones who walk right down the center of it ... and have headphones on to boot. Incredibly stupid. And rude.

Then there are the ones with small children. And of course, they are not walking behind the children so they can watch them. Very nice.

California law states:

21966. No pedestrian shall proceed along a bicycle path or lane where there is an adjacent adequate pedestrian facility.

So if there is an adequate adjacent pedestrian facility, pedestrians are supposed to use it. In the section you mention, there is a frontage road that might be used, but it's arguable whether that qualifies. I think it does, but no one made me king.

But notwithstanding all that ... here is the bottom line:

You're on a bike path that is right on the beach/ocean. With that comes skateboards, helmetless flipflopped beach cruisers with cellphones jammed in their ears, people carrying surfboards ... and none of them paying much attention. That's the way it is. One of the problems is that enforcement along the majority of the path is left up to the county, and the only county enforcement officers in the area are lifeguards, and you can imagine how concerned they are about ticketing pedestrians in the bike path. The exceptions are in Hermosa (where the local constables have jurisdiction) and the Redondo Beach pier. And in both cases, I have never .... in over 20 years riding the path ... seen a single pedestrian so much as given a warning. But I have seen many cyclists ticketed. I've even had a friendly chat with a couple of policemen in Redondo about it. Trust me ... don't expect any kind of enforcement in the near future.

You can either buy a Zounds horn and fight it, or you can go with the flow. I recommend the latter. If you approach a pedestrian and they are where they should be (on the right) and you can simply pass safely, just do it. If they are in the center or appear to be unpredictable in their motion, call out "bike on your left" so they know you are coming. I do that and the response is:

90% say and do nothing ... but at least I tried.
9% wave or say thank you.
1% say f*ck you.

But you'll get a better response with a polite (and loud) "on your left" than you will with any horn.

And relax. Take in the sights. There's a lot of eye candy out there.
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Old 08-04-10, 10:26 AM   #23
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That's where some sort of air horn or loud buzzer would come into play. If it's loud enough it will penetrate their iPod earphones.
No..seriously. Hairnet is right. The beach bike paths around here are useless for anything more than just cruising at beach cruiser pace..

I took this pic a few weeks ago, and this is without the pedestrians..
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Old 08-04-10, 10:40 AM   #24
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I feel your pain. For some reason, pedestrians and joggers have it in their minds that "bike path" means foot path, and that it's OK for them to walk/run on it.
On many parts the pedestrians can only walk on sand if not the concrete bike path. I have no issue with the pedestrians as long as they don't walk like 3 or 4 abreast. I used to run on it from Marina Del Ray to El Segundo, it's a nice path

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Old 08-04-10, 11:09 AM   #25
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No..seriously. Hairnet is right. The beach bike paths around here are useless for anything more than just cruising at beach cruiser pace..

I took this pic a few weeks ago, and this is without the pedestrians..
If it's a dedicated bike path why are there pedestrians on it in the first place? And maybe y'all need to get the local advocacy group involved to motivate the right people to start ticketing pedestrians for being where they shouldn't be in the first place.
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