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Old 08-02-07, 03:27 PM   #1
NotAsFat
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I am Through Trying to Ride Fast on MUPs

A week ago last Saturday, I was smokin' along my local MUP, well on my way to a personal best time, when I overtook a doofus walking down the middle of the path, with his leashed dog at the right edge of the path. Another bike is coming the other way, so instead of passing on the left, I took to the grass to the right of the doofus. The other cyclist, for reasons unknown, decided to take the same evasive action and we head-on with a combined speed of well over 20 mph. I went over the bars, crunching my helmet (thankfully, not my head), and cracking a rib. We both rode away from the accident, but I haven't spent much time on the bike since then. I'll probably work back into the saddle this weekend, but to hell with MUPs! I will never again use them as anything but a way to get to the start of my workout.
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Old 08-02-07, 03:29 PM   #2
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Never too old to learn a valuable lesson - MUPs are for toodling, if you want to go fast, get on the road.
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Old 08-02-07, 03:40 PM   #3
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The only bike crash I ever had that drew blood was on a MUP. I was trying to go around a group of joggers. I hit a water pipe, and flew over the handlebars. The joggers didn't take a second glance at me as they shuffled by.
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Old 08-02-07, 04:08 PM   #4
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Glad you're not seriously hurt, NAF. It's a good reminder for us all that fast doesn't work well on MUP's.
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Old 08-02-07, 04:17 PM   #5
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Yep. We have one here that's clearly marked "Bike Path" and yet you get the MUP heads who walk in one lane with their dog in the other and a leash running between them. OK, I'm a dog guy so it's hard to get too mad at these illiterate idiots but you get the couples walking along, too, evenly spaced so as to take up both directions. I mean, come ON, presumably you know each other... walk a little closer together.

I like to buzz right between them
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Old 08-02-07, 04:21 PM   #6
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Well, I think the jury's out as to who the doofus(es) are in this scenario.

But I agree with OP that MUP's aren't (generally) a way to get a good workout. Never too late to learn, although it seems like three culpable people in this one.

Last edited by Camilo; 08-02-07 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 08-02-07, 04:53 PM   #7
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I resemble that remark!
But if the path is marked as a Bike Path and folks don't want to heed that, then...
I mean how can the pretend that a bike might not come along?
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Old 08-02-07, 05:03 PM   #8
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I like to buzz right between them
That sounds like a very responsible action. Three people risk being injured.
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Old 08-02-07, 05:21 PM   #9
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Never too old to learn a valuable lesson - MUPs are for toodling, if you want to go fast, get on the road.
+1
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Old 08-02-07, 06:04 PM   #10
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I just holler HEY! MOVE OVER! and then slow down to see which way they jump. Actually not. But I feel like hollering some days. As much or more so at the dummies on bikes that are silent when they pass as at the dual lane pedestrians and the dog leash boston terrier stranglers.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:18 PM   #11
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MUPs are good for a lot of things. Riding fast and going for personal best times are not among them.
Hit the road, Jack.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:28 PM   #12
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Glad you were okay.

Riding on a MUP can be dangerous with all the walkers, skaters, dogs, kids, etc. Many of the trails in our area run from town to town and once you get a couple miles out of town you never see anything but bikes. I really prefer riding on the roads.
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Old 08-02-07, 09:20 PM   #13
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Did I read this correctly? You passed someone on the right, while the other bike crossed over the wrong lane?
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Old 08-02-07, 09:44 PM   #14
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Amen brother! Both of my crashes were on a MUP in the area. The first one was a single-bike wreck and my fault. I was whipping around a 180-degree turn on a concrete part of the MUP and went down hard. Bike survived OK, and I took all of the abuse. Second crash involved some guy coming up the wrong side of the MUP on a blind corner on some sort of bicycle/rowing machine contraption. Head on crash. Bent the front wheel and fork on my Specialized Hard Rock. I haven't frequented the local MUPs since, but I do miss the flora and especially some of the fauna.
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Old 08-02-07, 11:45 PM   #15
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Last weekend, I was riding along an MUP (properly it's "a MUP," but that doesn't sound right) at a very slow speed because of the traffic ahead of me. I came up on one of those four person rental bikes, and slowed even more. I couldn't have been more careful unless I started walking my bike...which I should have. The four person bike ahead of me dropped a picnic basket off the back end, and I ran right over it and crashed.
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Old 08-03-07, 04:29 AM   #16
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Is it a bike path or a MUP. If the latter, then pedestrians have the right of way and bikers are cars. Personal bests simply have to wait for another day if there is risk of collision. All those peds have votes and far to many biking places have been lost already.

Remember. The world is run to the law of the lowest common denominator.
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Old 08-03-07, 04:42 AM   #17
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Did I read this correctly? You passed someone on the right, while the other bike crossed over the wrong lane?
Yes. That's what happened. Had the other cyclist stayed on "his" side of the path, no one would have been hurt.
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Old 08-03-07, 05:06 AM   #18
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Yesterday, I used the trail system around a local reservoir in a nearby state park. Didn't see one pedestrian in the 14 mile loop. Generally around here, there are peds on certain portions of the 40 miles of local trails, and anyone who doesn't slow down when approaching a ped is out of their minds, IMHO. You've got to adjust to the circumstances.

I don't know of any "bikepath only" trails around here. But if we did have any, my guess would be that most peds wouldn't truly understand that meaning, and would figure - "There's a path, I can walk on it."
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Old 08-03-07, 06:22 AM   #19
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Where I live there is an extensive MUP system, and cyclist routinely cruise it at 18 to 20 mph. There are park service vehicles that patrol large sections of the MUP and they are usually traveling between 10 to 15 mph. Almost all riders pass them. In fact, prior to the yearly race in Philadelphia that brings the pros in, many of the pro teams use the path as part of their training ride. So, you can get a very good workout on this MUP and most folks who use it have come to respect the fact that the primary users are cyclist moving at a pretty good clip. With that said, there seem to be very few accidents in large part because when someone is blocking the path folks slow down until they can pass safely.
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Old 08-03-07, 07:14 AM   #20
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MUPS are Ok if you pick the right time of day. I would not plan on riding fast at the time the dog walkers are out. Middle of the day during the week is generally pretty quiet and early mornings on weekends. But even then MUPs generally have visibility issues. Use to ride them fairly often, none in my neck of the woods now so I am always on the street.
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Old 08-03-07, 07:34 AM   #21
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We just spend a week cycling on Root River MUP's in MN. There are three paved trails from Lanesboro. (Total about 150 miles of trail) My routine was to do one of the trails at high speed with a Madone. There may be a very few walkers at 7:00 AM but most of the trail you can go all out with speed.
Afternoon We go on a Tandem. There were any number of people, kids, dogs, bikers, skaters around Lanesboro. So you need to bike under full control which means being able to stop in visible distance.
Away from Lanesboro by say 5 miles there was only an occasional biker, no walker, no kids or dogs.

All and all, we feel much safer on an MUP with our Tandem than on a Road. (Much safer)
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Old 08-03-07, 08:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAsFat View Post
A week ago last Saturday, I was smokin' along my local MUP, well on my way to a personal best time, when I overtook a doofus walking down the middle of the path, with his leashed dog at the right edge of the path. Another bike is coming the other way, so instead of passing on the left, I took to the grass to the right of the doofus. The other cyclist, for reasons unknown, decided to take the same evasive action and we head-on with a combined speed of well over 20 mph. I went over the bars, crunching my helmet (thankfully, not my head), and cracking a rib. We both rode away from the accident, but I haven't spent much time on the bike since then. I'll probably work back into the saddle this weekend, but to hell with MUPs! I will never again use them as anything but a way to get to the start of my workout.
Four mammals in this scenario; excluding the dog, we have three (presumptively) sentient beings to whom the attributive adjective 'doofus' could be applied. I would in fact exclude the pedestrian in this instance. Take "smokin' along" and "personal best" attempts on the road, where they belong.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:27 AM   #23
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When you are on the road in your automobile and you encounter "doofus" pedestrians what do you do? Do you slow down for them?

Or do you "smoke" by them?

Once, I encountered four teenage girls on a MUP walking four across so that they took up both sides of the path. Even though I said, "On your left" several times they did not hear me. They were too engrossed in their conversation. So, I just slowly came up behind them and said, "Do you mind if I cut through?" And, I am not making this up, they said in unison, "Oh my gawd! We didn't even hear you!!!" And then they all jumped in four different directions. I almost fell off my bike.

Sure pedestrians on a MUP can be irritating but they are the slowest on the path, so shouldn't they have the right of way? Especially, if you can see them and they don't see you.

Doesn't MUP stand for Multi-use Parkway? Give 'em a break.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:30 AM   #24
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This is why I'm going to buy one of those little bells for my bike. A ting! ting! in time saves 9 :-)
I've been on some shared ped/bike paths overseas where the ring of the bell is the last thing a ped hears before getting run over. And then cursed for being a fool. I've been on both sides and believe me, as a ped you learn to jump really fast the minute you hear a bell ring. It took me awhile to get up the nerve to "honk" at people when coming up on them, but it works to promote safety for everyone.

The worst shared path I've ever been on is the river trail in Brunswick, Maine. It's a single paved path with white line painted down the middle, 1/2 for peds, 1/2 for bikes. The problem is that people are continually confused about which side of their half of the path they should be on, particularly when everybody keeps changing sides due to the confusion. It's like trying to drive around a rotary on the opposite side of the road you're used to. A simple strip of grass between 2 clearly marked trails, 1 for peds, 1 for bikes, would have helped a lot. I've been on right side of the bike path, with someone else coming down the left side, with a group of peds in the middle absolutely refusing to yield, thinking they should stay to the right even though they are clearly on the right side of the bike side, not the ped side.

The dog walkers are another story. We've managed to walk 5 large dogs without endangering the public. All you need is short leashes and leash couplers + training and common sense. There's no excuse for the folks who let their dogs wander all over, never mind the groups of people who refuse to separate to allow anyone else to pass (a la mall walkers). Maybe what we need is safety courses for pedestrians as well as cyclists.
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Old 08-03-07, 09:28 AM   #25
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The most confusing has to Cook County in Illinois. Contrary to everywhere I've ridden the county forest preserve paths all have signs indicating that peds are on the right and bikes are on the left. It confuses everyone and most just ignore and stay right.

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