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Old 07-17-08, 02:01 PM   #1
Alathea
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Hmmmm.....difference in thinking, or am I not there yet?

Good reasons not to use MUP's.

I like to use the trails we have, rather than the street when all possible and when they go the way Im going. Does this put me in the minority? It seems so, from the above.....

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Old 07-17-08, 02:11 PM   #2
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I think it's a difference in communities. In ours, we're pretty lucky to avoid most of that. I will say, though, my current annoyances are:
1.) Ninja Dog Walkers - Those @#!#@!@# with the invisible dog "rope" that's 30 feet long. Those things should be outlawed.

2.) Roadie Pelotons - There is one group of roadies who travel as a group, and who are wholly inconsiderate of the rest of the trail users. I've seen them regularly run other people off the trail, blow through stop signs, and just generally act like asses. They make the two other really good local roadie groups look bad, and that sucks.

3.) Roadies in training - Kind of follows with 2, but these are the guys who think that buying a $2,000 bike entitles them to use the entire trail, and to use it as their personal training ground. There's three or four that I really, REALLY get irritated at, as they have complete disregard for everyone's safety.

4.) Jogger groups - The ones that think, again, they own the trail. Look, moving together a bit so someone can pass is curtosey.

THat's about it. I too prefer the trails, to the point where I go way out of my way so I can use them in the morning.
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Old 07-17-08, 02:15 PM   #3
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Commuters just want to get to work with the least amount of hassle involved. Sometimes that means taking the streets and riding with traffic rather than a MUP with dog walkers, joggers, roller bladers, slower moving cyclists, parents with baby carriages, etc., using the MUP and slowing the passage of someone trying to get to work quickly. IOW, MUPs are for slower moving traffic and streets are for faster moving traffic. You wouldn't want a paceline of cyclists riding at 30 mph on the same MUP where kids walk with their parents.
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Old 07-17-08, 02:24 PM   #4
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Riding is what you make it. No difference in my opinion. Idiots on the trails and idiots on the streets. I ride safely on the street, I ride safely on the trail. If I'm on the street, I watch for cars. If I'm on the trail, I watch for others!

That include MTB trails. I was shocked at some of the disputes that go on up there!

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Old 07-17-08, 02:41 PM   #5
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Good reasons not to use MUP's.

I like to use the trails we have, rather than the street when all possible and when they go the way Im going. Does this put me in the minority? It seems so, from the above.....
My sense is that it would put you among the minority among commuters, but you don't say whether you're a commuter or not. A lot of recreational riders stick strictly to MUPs. In contrast, commuters, for the most part, ride daily, don't have the option to ride at lower traffic times of day, and need to get to where they're going by a set time. That tends to push commuters away from MUPs, for several reasons:
  • MUPs tend to be scenic and/or out on the fringes rather than direct routes to commuter destinations.
  • MUPs are Multi Use Paths, and most of the users are moving at a pace significantly below the pace that a commuter wants to go at.
When I first started commuting, I tried a MUP. What a nightmare. Walkers joggers baby strollers little kids on tricycles dogwalkers jugglers inline skaters street theater performers YOU NAME IT, and a lot of them. I stuck with it for about four days, then one day I zigged to avoid a collision and ended up on a city street. It was a lot faster, safer and more peaceful. No-brainer, really.
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Old 07-17-08, 02:44 PM   #6
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You wouldn't want a paceline of cyclists riding at 30 mph on the same MUP where kids walk with their parents.
Hah, that's PRECISELY what those roadies I refer to do. Asshats.

(And for those who are from Lincoln, I"m NOT referring to the Great Plains Cycling Club or Team FIRE. Both of those two groups are awesome and respectful on the MUP, they save their "fun" for the highway.)
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Old 07-17-08, 02:48 PM   #7
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MUPS are fun if you aren't in a hurry. I can cruise pretty fast on our MUP if I go when there's absolutely no one on it. Otherwise I stick to the road.
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Old 07-17-08, 03:13 PM   #8
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I like off-road trails that I do with my mountain bike but I avoid, as much as possible, bike path which here are actually "multiple use trails". This means they are also used by old ladies walking their dogs on those zip-line collars (someday I'm going to run into one of those and take Fluffy's head off!), kids on trikes or skateboards, cruisey riders, walkers etc. It's much safer to ride on the street especially if there is a bike lane.

As I get older, I prefer dirt trails most - quiet, pretty, fun - no traffic, cars, or other people.
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Old 07-17-08, 03:14 PM   #9
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... I was shocked at some of the disputes that go on up there!
If I recall, don't you start some of them?
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Old 07-17-08, 03:20 PM   #10
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If I recall, don't you start some of them?
Nope! I concentrate on training while riding up. On the way down, I cruise and say hi to everyone. I don't care who is on what side or who's on first while descending. The workout is riding up!
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Old 07-17-08, 03:27 PM   #11
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Around here, there are long sections of the MUPs that see nothing but cycles, sections that see mostly cycles and sections where everyone comes out on a sunny Saturday morning to walk, talk and watch the surfers (typically standing in the middle of the path). I ride on the crowded sections to get to the wide open sections.

For commuting, it's all on the streets (mostly 45 - 55 MPH multi-lane roads with a decent bike lane).
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Old 07-17-08, 03:33 PM   #12
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The MUP here is fairly unused, clean and I find it more than safe. I commute on it (and on road too as it only goes about half way to work) and ride it for fun too. I just wish there were more miles of it.

One county up north about 15 miles from me has over 85 miles of MUPs connecting a bunch of small towns. It is almost all MUP with only a couple of on road connectors. (http://www.mcttrails.org/viewer.htm)

You can actually add about another 10 or 20 miles as I can hit a connector for a mile or two and cross the Mississippi (on a pedestrian/bike only bridge) to pick up the MUP in StL and go all the way to the arch. If I ever do a century, it will be a MUP century and I probably won't have to see the same scenery twice. lol

People are few and far between after you get a half mile or a mile from any small town. And even by the towns, there aren't a lot of them The paths very rarely cross or come near a road. Great country scenery and I love riding them too.

I think it depends upon where you live. Some cities suck and are dirty and nasty and dangerous on or off the MUP. Others are nice and clean and safe. Just the way it is.
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Old 07-17-08, 03:33 PM   #13
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Out here I wouldn't ride the mup's along the coast, to crowded. We are lucky enough to have a few that go from surf to the mtns. SGRT is about 39 one way and SART is 30 one way. They head inland so not too crowded. One can ride 5-10 miles without seeing another rider depending on time of day.
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Old 07-17-08, 04:12 PM   #14
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I think it's a difference in communities. In ours, we're pretty lucky to avoid most of that. I will say, though, my current annoyances are:
1.) Ninja Dog Walkers - Those @#!#@!@# with the invisible dog "rope" that's 30 feet long. Those things should be outlawed.

2.) Roadie Pelotons - There is one group of roadies who travel as a group, and who are wholly inconsiderate of the rest of the trail users. I've seen them regularly run other people off the trail, blow through stop signs, and just generally act like asses. They make the two other really good local roadie groups look bad, and that sucks.

3.) Roadies in training - Kind of follows with 2, but these are the guys who think that buying a $2,000 bike entitles them to use the entire trail, and to use it as their personal training ground. There's three or four that I really, REALLY get irritated at, as they have complete disregard for everyone's safety.

4.) Jogger groups - The ones that think, again, they own the trail. Look, moving together a bit so someone can pass is curtosey.

THat's about it. I too prefer the trails, to the point where I go way out of my way so I can use them in the morning.
You forgot:

5) Meat pylons, people who stand in the middle of the trail, yapping with someone, they met on the trail, you don't think they could move off the trail to the side, to allow others to use the trail, naw that would be a major inconvenience, so you need to slow way down, and go off the trail, to go around these bozos.

6) Mini meats, kids where the parents let them play on the trail, when I see one, I want to stop, ask who it belongs to, and then give the parent a knock upside the head, to knock some sense into them. The kid may be too young to know better, but the parent should, Often though the parents are from some third or fourth world country, where if you lose a kid, well you have 6 left.....
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Old 07-17-08, 04:34 PM   #15
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Good reasons not to use MUP's.

I like to use the trails we have, rather than the street when all possible and when they go the way Im going. Does this put me in the minority? It seems so, from the above.....

CAS
Every trail is different, some are really good, and should be used, some are really bad, and should not be used, there is no hard and fast rule. The biggest indicator is who uses the trail, if there are a lot of European immigrants in the area, that are used to bicycles, it works a lot better, then when it's mostly Multiple generation North Americans, who think of a bicycle as a toy.

If the trail is good, and either has good traffic flow, or isn't used much, and it doesn't require going out of your way, then use it. If the trail is in poor condition, and is heavily used with poor traffic flow, or requires going a long way out of your way, then don't use it. Now going out of your way, is sometimes a good thing, especially if your mostly riding for exercise, and are not in a hurry.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:44 PM   #16
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Good reasons not to use MUP's.

I like to use the trails we have, rather than the street when all possible and when they go the way Im going. Does this put me in the minority? It seems so, from the above.....

CAS
It depends on the trail. Lil Brown Bat sums up the commuter viewpoint very well. That said, some multi-use paths are more like 'bike highways' than scenic trails. The 26 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail from Philadelphia to Phoenixville, for instance, connects to Oaks, Audubon, Valley Forge, King Of Prussia, Norristown, Conshohocken, Manyunk, and center city Philadelphia, and via the connecting Perkiomen Trail to Collegeville. I can't imagine anyone visiting Norristown because of the scenery. Come to think of it, I can't imagine visiting Norristown at all unless you work there. But I digress..... I commute on the SRT for five miles when I commute, because it is the fastest route to my job, I don't need to climb up and down the local rollers, and I don't have to put up with auto traffic and its exhaust. The trail serves as a bike highway for me and other commuters.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:57 PM   #17
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Our trails aren't that bad though. In the last few weeks Ive found them to be relatively uncongested, clean, and maintained. Maybe that is Great Plains keeping them up, maybe its because Lincoln isn't that bad, maybe I don't hit them at the 'bad' times (before 7 am-8am). *shrug* Of course the one(s) that I take go pretty much right where I need to, with about 500 yds added distance, and I don't have to listen to the cars on Old Cheney in the AM.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:58 PM   #18
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Im a new commuter, a few weeks in. I drive 1/2 way, and ride the other half, about 5 miles one way. It is scenic, sure, but really, Lincoln isn't laid out that badly that taking one over the other will take any longer. Maybe we are just lucky. Bdinger can vouch for more than I can, he's on them or on the street every day. I havent seen any of the stuff he has yet, and I haven't seen any of the dog walkers and roadies-but im sure I will as I progress.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:02 PM   #19
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.) Ninja Dog Walkers - Those @#!#@!@# with the invisible dog "rope" that's 30 feet long. Those things should be outlawed.
If you read most leash laws they say 6 foot leash, around here at least . So they are outlawed they just don't enforce it
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Old 07-17-08, 10:18 PM   #20
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I find here by my house, there is a WIDE variation in the MUP. Closest to my house, the trail is winding, has lots of people, and you don't want to go over 13 or 14 mph, and better be prepared to hit your brakes then. But a mile down the road, it's open, straight, and nobody ever on it. You could ride 40 down there. So to say you shouldn't ride on MUP's in general because one somewhere is bad in one way or another is pretty meaningless.
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Old 07-17-08, 11:09 PM   #21
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I hate trails, nothing but trouble.
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Old 07-18-08, 08:03 AM   #22
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I guess I'm really one of the lucky ones. The local trail picks up a couple of blocks from the house in one of the parks and has a trailhead ending a very short distance from work. I only cross one highway and that is right before I get to work. This is a dedicated trail system so there are no bike lanes and such to deal with. During the commute in I rarely see over 5 people in 9.5 miles so congestion is not an issue at all. The ride home has more people using it - mainly people working out jogging or rollerblading. There is some nice eye candy so I don't complain about it. But the main thing is that during the week the people on the MUP really are regular users so there isn't much of a problem at all. Now weekends are something else differently and I usually avoid it then.

I guess it depends on where you are at.
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Old 07-18-08, 08:06 AM   #23
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Im a new commuter, a few weeks in. I drive 1/2 way, and ride the other half, about 5 miles one way. It is scenic, sure, but really, Lincoln isn't laid out that badly that taking one over the other will take any longer. Maybe we are just lucky. Bdinger can vouch for more than I can, he's on them or on the street every day. I havent seen any of the stuff he has yet, and I haven't seen any of the dog walkers and roadies-but im sure I will as I progress.
It will probably take a while, because honestly, the VAST majority of the folks on our path (the RI at least, others in town are not so good) are very considerate. I think my face muscles get sore from smiling back and returning a "good morning" by the time I get to work.. hah .

The only times I run into problems, it seems is on the return trip after 5pm, and south of Highway 2 (even if by inches south). The roadie group I refer to is out on Wednesdays, usally between 5 and 5:30. Don't worry if you see a group sitting after 5:30 at the 27th benches, that's Team FIRE, and they're a great group.
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Old 07-18-08, 09:39 AM   #24
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Time of day is important... at 5AM all I have to do is keep right so I
don't get run over by other commuters that go faster than I do
and I need to keep an eye out so I don't get rolled by the bunnies
that seem to like to hang out on the trail On the way home
the trail is full of everything mentioned in this thread so far with
the exception of bunnies. I still take the MUP for about 10 miles
because it is more direct than the road and I don't feel safe
trying to ride on the nonexistent shoulder of the highway.

Ruckin.
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