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Old 09-26-09, 12:33 PM   #1
Palomar01
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Another Bike (MUP) Path Rant

Sorry. I just needed to get his off my chest.

My home is located on a very long hill. The last mile of my fitness rides is a climb and that last 1/8 of it is a 10% grade. Not exactly the best way to warm down on a hard ride. There is an alternative, which takes me across this park with an MUP in one section, then a final 200 feet of wide pathway bordering a grassy field. This area is flat so I can use it to warm down before I get home. It is way better than struggling up a hill when I am suppose to be winding down.

My problem is the amount of activity that has been occurring in this park lately. Every weekday afternoon, there are these little kids (ages 6-9) who play an organized little soccer practice session in that empty grassy field. Their parents watch them and stand/sit around with their coolers and chairs in the way of passersby using the Pathway. The parents can choose to stand/sit on the grassy area, which they have plenty of room to do, but for whatever reason they choose to block be on the paved path and partially or fully block passersby! This has been happening for about three weeks now since school started. At first I was pretty nice, slowing to a stop until the parents see me and open up a path for me ride on. But this is getting old! Yesterday, I had to walk my bike because there were so many parents, with their kids, all blocking the pathway and they were all busy yacking. Some of the parents seemed embarassed that I had to get off my bike and walk around their fat-asses blocking the path. Some parents couldn't care less while they sat on their folding chairs while drinking sodas. I used to smile and say excuse me and thank them. Now, I'm so annoyed I just give them the look and say "Watch out!" in an assertive voice. Some of them move over, other times, they just stand there ambivalent to what is happening around them. Everyone, including joggers and dog walkers have to tiptoe around these parents and it just bugs me. I'm not sure whether I should just say what's on my mind when I encounter them next time or just bite my tongue and tiptoe around these people. I'm afraid I might say something that is rated R and regret it later.

How would you handle it?

I suppose I can simply avoid the path and suffer the long hill home. But I do enjoy riding that small stretch of path because it is usually peaceful and devoid of inconsiderate, self-absorbed, deaf people. Today, I had to yell at someone who just would not budge and I had no place to go! She still just stood there! I wanted to just ram her but of course, it would end up being my fault! It's not like I ride at speed. On the contrary, I'm going barely faster than walking speed when I get to the crowded area.
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Old 09-26-09, 12:47 PM   #2
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Old 09-26-09, 12:49 PM   #3
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Unless the park authority posts rules for the use of the trail/MUP, you may be out of luck. As it is, it appears to be mob rule. Who is the park authority? City? County? Contact your local rep for whatever entity has authority. If that rep likes soccer more than cycling, though, or sees more votes from the soccer fans than cyclists, you may still be out of luck.

If it appears mob rule is the only workable solution, recruit some more cyclists to assert themselves on the path. Even better, find some wheelchair-bound folks to assert themselves on the path. Just some ideas.
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Old 09-26-09, 01:05 PM   #4
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My condolances; I live in "the OC" too and have to deal with parents who think their kids sports programs are the sacred saving grace of humanity.

First, contact the league's HQ or regional HQ, if you can find it and address it with them.

You could also ask the parents (nicely) if they could move off the pavement so everyone in the neighborhood could enjoy the park, but don't expect that to work too well. Might not work, but it might help with the next . . .

Is it a public park/greenbelt? Contact whoever has jurisdiction (the City or County parks dept) and ask them about addressing it. Usually a kids sports league will have a limited use agreement to use a certain area at certain times for certain activities in a park/greenbelt, but they can't block public access to all areas. If a league gets too assertive with neighbors their use privileges can be canceled. Maybe hang around, see if anyone else is inconvienienced (joggers, stroller pushers, walkers, etc) , take a few pics, and send them in with your concern to the jurisdicational authority.
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Old 09-26-09, 02:18 PM   #5
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Unless the park authority posts rules for the use of the trail/MUP, you may be out of luck. As it is, it appears to be mob rule. Who is the park authority? City? County? Contact your local rep for whatever entity has authority. If that rep likes soccer more than cycling, though, or sees more votes from the soccer fans than cyclists, you may still be out of luck.
^^This. If the city has a Parks & Recreation department, you can contact them. It seems stupid for them to have to post signs telling people not to sit on the MUP, but you can't assume everyone has common sense.
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Old 09-26-09, 03:05 PM   #6
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I would assume that the soccer games are orgnanized. You could try contacting the organizers of the games and inform them of this activity. A MUP is there to be used and not as a grand stand. There is a chance that the game organizers would curb this activity. It is just the responsible thing to do.
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Old 09-26-09, 03:46 PM   #7
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The soccer games/practice is definitely organized. They were wearing uniform and they had coaches. The other issue is that grassy field was NOT designed to host such games and have an audience--it has no facilities to accomodate an audience like a sitting area or bleachers. It's just an open field. Ironically, there is a designated soccer field, about 100 yards away. That has bleachers. But they are not using that for whatever reason.

I am going to contact the city since they run and manage the park. As nice as it is to live in the OC, many people here, especially parents with kids are quite self-absorbed. I'm sure it is similar in other suburbs. You should see how they behave when picking up their kids from school. I dare not even ride my bike anywhere near school zones when kids are getting out! Yikes!
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Old 09-26-09, 03:46 PM   #8
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See if there are by laws concerning this path. If so, contact the by law office and ask for some enforcement.

Alternative, make up some authoritative looking signs and post them. ( don't get caught! )

I hear your pain, I get similar things on the paths I use. I had 3 people with dogs just stop, for a conversation, right at the beginning of the pathway. I had to go up and around them on a banked piece of grass. I gave them a look, one looked embarrassed, one looked blank, (i.e. "what's his problem?") one didn't notice.

The problem is, there are too many people, and too many of them are just plain dumb, know nothing, non-caring waste of space.
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Old 09-26-09, 04:09 PM   #9
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Just ride around them as best you can. They could care less about you and your bike. If you really feel the need, schmooze those who do move for you about the hassle and most if not all will accomodate you. The ones who don't are just asses and you can ride around them for sure. I personally just ride around people. That's the nice part about being on a bike. Also, a good bell pinged ahead of time - a bunch of times - does the trick. Good news is, soccer season will be over shortly. Where is the OC?
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Old 09-27-09, 03:55 PM   #10
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Just ride around them as best you can.....Good news is, soccer season will be over shortly. Where is the OC?
Gosh! Yes! I'm hoping soccer season will be over soon as I know as soon as the weather gets cold most of them will stay indoors for a bit.

I'm sorry for ranting. I was having a bad day with parents and kids for a week and it just came to a head on Friday. For the most part, 80%-90% of the people in the MUP where I live are polite and do go out of the way when I come up behind them. I don't even use a bell--I just loudly say, "coming up behind you!". I found the Bell on my MTB to be 50% effective.

The OC is Orange County, CA. Very similar to the community of Tiburon north of the GG Bridge (nice place BTW). Except, everyone here drives SUV's!
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Old 09-27-09, 04:10 PM   #11
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Ride your bike through the soccer game
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Old 09-27-09, 04:30 PM   #12
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the last mile of my fitness rides is a climb and that last 1/8 of it is a 10% grade. Not exactly the best way to warm down on a hard ride. There is an alternative, which takes me across this park with an mup in one section, then a final 200 feet of wide pathway bordering a grassy field.

How would you handle it?
climb the hill.
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Old 09-27-09, 04:57 PM   #13
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Sorry. I just needed to get his off my chest.

My home is located on a very long hill. The last mile of my fitness rides is a climb and that last 1/8 of it is a 10% grade. Not exactly the best way to warm down on a hard ride. There is an alternative, which takes me across this park with an MUP in one section, then a final 200 feet of wide pathway bordering a grassy field. This area is flat so I can use it to warm down before I get home. It is way better than struggling up a hill when I am suppose to be winding down.

My problem is the amount of activity that has been occurring in this park lately. Every weekday afternoon, there are these little kids (ages 6-9) who play an organized little soccer practice session in that empty grassy field. Their parents watch them and stand/sit around with their coolers and chairs in the way of passersby using the Pathway. The parents can choose to stand/sit on the grassy area, which they have plenty of room to do, but for whatever reason they choose to block be on the paved path and partially or fully block passersby! This has been happening for about three weeks now since school started. At first I was pretty nice, slowing to a stop until the parents see me and open up a path for me ride on. But this is getting old! Yesterday, I had to walk my bike because there were so many parents, with their kids, all blocking the pathway and they were all busy yacking. Some of the parents seemed embarassed that I had to get off my bike and walk around their fat-asses blocking the path. Some parents couldn't care less while they sat on their folding chairs while drinking sodas. I used to smile and say excuse me and thank them. Now, I'm so annoyed I just give them the look and say "Watch out!" in an assertive voice. Some of them move over, other times, they just stand there ambivalent to what is happening around them. Everyone, including joggers and dog walkers have to tiptoe around these parents and it just bugs me. I'm not sure whether I should just say what's on my mind when I encounter them next time or just bite my tongue and tiptoe around these people. I'm afraid I might say something that is rated R and regret it later.


How would you handle it?

I suppose I can simply avoid the path and suffer the long hill home. But I do enjoy riding that small stretch of path because it is usually peaceful and devoid of inconsiderate, self-absorbed, deaf people. Today, I had to yell at someone who just would not budge and I had no place to go! She still just stood there! I wanted to just ram her but of course, it would end up being my fault! It's not like I ride at speed. On the contrary, I'm going barely faster than walking speed when I get to the crowded area.
Sounds good.
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Old 09-27-09, 05:40 PM   #14
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My problem is the amount of activity that has been occurring in this park lately. Every weekday afternoon, there are these little kids (ages 6-9) who play an organized little soccer practice session in that empty grassy field. Their parents watch them and stand/sit around with their coolers and chairs in the way of passersby using the Pathway. The parents can choose to stand/sit on the grassy area, which they have plenty of room to do, but for whatever reason they choose to block be on the paved path and partially or fully block passersby! This has been happening for about three weeks now since school started. At first I was pretty nice, slowing to a stop until the parents see me and open up a path for me ride on. But this is getting old! Yesterday, I had to walk my bike because there were so many parents, with their kids, all blocking the pathway and they were all busy yacking. Some of the parents seemed embarassed that I had to get off my bike and walk around their fat-asses blocking the path. Some parents couldn't care less while they sat on their folding chairs while drinking sodas. I used to smile and say excuse me and thank them. Now, I'm so annoyed I just give them the look and say "Watch out!" in an assertive voice. Some of them move over, other times, they just stand there ambivalent to what is happening around them. Everyone, including joggers and dog walkers have to tiptoe around these parents and it just bugs me. I'm not sure whether I should just say what's on my mind when I encounter them next time or just bite my tongue and tiptoe around these people. I'm afraid I might say something that is rated R and regret it later. I had no place to go! She still just stood there! I wanted to just ram her but of course, it would end up being my fault! It's not like I ride at speed. On the contrary, I'm going barely faster than walking speed when I get to the crowded area.
Sounds to me like the soccer moms are stageing a critical mass event.
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Old 09-27-09, 05:44 PM   #15
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ride your bike through the soccer game
+1
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Old 09-27-09, 05:54 PM   #16
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Contact the Parks and Recreation department for your area and find out what the laws are regarding the MUPs.
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Old 09-27-09, 06:17 PM   #17
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Go out in your underwear and tell them to get the hell off your lawn
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Old 09-27-09, 07:12 PM   #18
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Sounds to me like the soccer moms are stageing a critical mass event.
Good point. How is what they are doing any different?
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Old 09-27-09, 07:53 PM   #19
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Go out in your underwear and tell them to get the hell off your lawn
+10

As they are blocking your egress, block theirs. Set up lawn-furniture on their driveway, with a bunch of your friends, pop some soda's open - and prevent them from leaving/entering their driveways. When they go berserk, tell 'em why.
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Old 09-28-09, 02:06 PM   #20
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Sounds to me like the soccer moms are stageing a critical mass event.
Ahahahahahahaha! Hilarious.
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Old 09-29-09, 09:23 AM   #21
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Start riding through the middle of the kids' soccer practice. Maybe they'll get the message.
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Old 09-29-09, 11:09 AM   #22
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Find out if there are laws. If there are, copy them from the legal law books, laminate them, and post them up all over where they are standing. Next time you encounter them, kindly point out they are breaking the law and pull out a cell phone, dial law enforcement.

Sometimes, ya gotta make an example.

If there are no laws against it, good luck.
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Old 09-29-09, 12:24 PM   #23
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Grow up. It's a kids soccer game. In a park.


Man up and figure it out.
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Old 09-29-09, 01:17 PM   #24
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Every weekday afternoon, there are these little kids (ages 6-9) who play an organized little soccer practice session in that empty grassy field. Their parents watch them and stand/sit around with their coolers and chairs in the way of passersby using the Pathway.
Count yourself lucky. Around here they drive their vans and SUVs on the clearly marked "No Motor Vehicles Allowed" path to get close to the fields so they don't have to shelp their coolers and stuff all the way from the parking lot a whole 50 yards away.
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Old 09-29-09, 03:16 PM   #25
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Find out if there are laws. If there are, copy them from the legal law books, laminate them, and post them up all over where they are standing. Next time you encounter them, kindly point out they are breaking the law and pull out a cell phone, dial law enforcement.

Sometimes, ya gotta make an example.

If there are no laws against it, good luck.
I'm thinking "Good Luck" anyway. I just can't visualize police cars pulling up with lights and sirens going because some soccer moms are sitting on the bike path. Not gonna happen.

While I agree with you and I think that you're right, I'm also thinking this is a battle that you're not very likely to win. My advice is to get over it.
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