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Thread: trail etiquette

  1. #1
    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    trail etiquette

    i dont know if anyone else has this problem:

    i recently went riding with 3 of my freinds. so we were riding along a easy part of the trail and someone comes past us, so i ask him if anyone is behind him, no answer just takes a breath and pedels on. not far after there is a short downhill part so i barrel down it. it turned to the right a bit and then required you to make a sharp left turn around a tree. right after the tree-wow-a guy comming right at me, and i got 3 other people comming down right behind me. immediatly he is like wtf. i hit the brakes hard put my left foot down and stop. while he brakes right in front of me not allowing me much space to get by so one of freinds come down and goes right in between me and the other guy practically knocking both if us off the trail. then the last one comming down probobly heard all the yelling and slowed up to stop behind me. i said sorry becasue i was the one that almost ran right into him, and he said no problem.

    my point is this could all have been avoided if that other guy would of just said "yea there is one more behind me"

    anyone else have problems with people on trails sometimes?

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    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Well, while I agree that the guy should have told you one more back (assuming he knew), you and the third guy did the right thing by riding in conrtol and being able to stop even if just in time, but the second guy was obviously not in control of his riding since he couldn't stop in time and, from your description, just barely avoided taking out not just the other rider, but you, too.

    I always try and tell riders I pass - same or opposite direction - how many more behind me (usually, being the slow poke I tell them I'm the last one ). And I appreciate it when others do the same, but even if they don't, you gotta ride so that you can stop if you need to.
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  3. #3
    ride like theres not 2mrw chris_pnoy's Avatar
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    woah. I guess I need to read up on trail etiquette.
    Pagdating ng panahon.
    Speak concisely lest thou shalt be rectified
    by the grammar or thought police.

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    Oh, so THAT'S what "edetic" translates as...God help us...

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    I ran into this today...I was coming down a hill into a 180 blind switch and a guy was coming up...I jammed the brakes and stopped...he scrambled since he heard me coming and fell over unable to unclip in the process. I said sorry and made sure he was OK even though it was no way my fault that he fell over and then took off.

    As for being able to stop at all times means "in control" I dont buy that. When the grade is steep with ruts, rocks, gravel etc...even my 8inch hyd brakes arent stopping my 330lb ass very fast. The only way I was able to stop for the guy I talked about above was that it was a 180 blind switch, I was alone, and I was taking it easy but if I had a bud with me and we were battling it out this could have got ugly but thats what happens sometimes. Its easier for a guy going 2-3mph uphill to get out of the way then it is for somebody barreling down a hill. I worked for an hour to get to the top...im gonna enjoy the trek down and that means going fast.

    I always say how many behind me...thats good trail manners.

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    330? Man, if anybody runs over me on the trail, I hope its you. I won't feel a thing. Everything'll just go to black...

    Oops, didn't mean to presume anything - You ARE a male, are you not?

  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx108
    i dont know if anyone else has this problem:

    i recently went riding with 3 of my freinds. so we were riding along a easy part of the trail and someone comes past us, so i ask him if anyone is behind him, no answer just takes a breath and pedels on. not far after there is a short downhill part so i barrel down it. it turned to the right a bit and then required you to make a sharp left turn around a tree. right after the tree-wow-a guy comming right at me, and i got 3 other people comming down right behind me. immediatly he is like wtf. i hit the brakes hard put my left foot down and stop. while he brakes right in front of me not allowing me much space to get by so one of freinds come down and goes right in between me and the other guy practically knocking both if us off the trail. then the last one comming down probobly heard all the yelling and slowed up to stop behind me. i said sorry becasue i was the one that almost ran right into him, and he said no problem.

    my point is this could all have been avoided if that other guy would of just said "yea there is one more behind me"

    anyone else have problems with people on trails sometimes?
    You're supposed to call out "rider up" and tell him how many are behind you as well.
    As for the rest of your post

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    ride like theres not 2mrw chris_pnoy's Avatar
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    Holy cow... if someone yelled rider up, I wouldn't know what the hell he/she would be saying.
    Pagdating ng panahon.
    Speak concisely lest thou shalt be rectified
    by the grammar or thought police.

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  9. #9
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_pnoy
    Holy cow... if someone yelled rider up, I wouldn't know what the hell he/she would be saying.
    This is why you come here - TO LEARN
    I've also taken to using a bell on my trail bike when I come up behind someone

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    I thought thats what people say who rope steer.

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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kritter
    As for being able to stop at all times means "in control" I dont buy that. When the grade is steep with ruts, rocks, gravel etc...even my 8inch hyd brakes arent stopping my 330lb ass very fast.
    Actually being in control does mean being able to stop. If you are unable to stop in a reasonable amount of time then you are riding out of control. What if it was a child that you could not stop to avoid?


    Quote Originally Posted by kritter
    Its easier for a guy going 2-3mph uphill to get out of the way then it is for somebody barreling down a hill. I worked for an hour to get to the top...im gonna enjoy the trek down and that means going fast.
    That way of thinking is one of the things that gives so many mountain bikers a bad image. Whenever one person is descending the hill and another person is climbing the person climbing has the right of way. It is much easier for the rider going down to get clipped back in and back in rythm than it is the climbing rider. The climber needs to be able to keep his/her momentum.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  12. #12
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    edited title.
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    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    Of course, there is always a chance that that first rider wasn't with the others and didn't even know they were behind him, or just didn't hear you

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    "Actually being in control does mean being able to stop. If you are unable to stop in a reasonable amount of time then you are riding out of control. What if it was a child that you could not stop to avoid?"

    Define reasonable amount of time. 3-5 seconds or 25 to 50 feet depending on speed and grade to come to a dead stop going downhill is more then reasonable...how fast does your car stop which has a ton more traction? The speeds are the same so the time/distance to stop should be the same.

    I dont go down with a bad attitude and def dont give attittude as im the opposite...im the only one that says hi to people coming and going and relays how many are behind me...I havent had one person relay that info to me yet. If anybody has an attitude its the "fast" guys on the climb who say nothing and grunt by as if im in the way when the climb trail is 6 feet wide.

    If a child was riding up this particular downhill I use they would be going pro soon.

    Its not like im barreling down the board walk on my mtb at the beach getting mad at people in the way...im on a downhill single track trail in the mountains going between 20-upper 30s and its rare that somebody is coming up the trail due to the difficulty.

  15. #15
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kritter
    Define reasonable amount of time. 3-5 seconds or 25 to 50 feet depending on speed and grade to come to a dead stop going downhill is more then reasonable...how fast does your car stop which has a ton more traction? The speeds are the same so the time/distance to stop should be the same.

    I dont go down with a bad attitude and def dont give attittude as im the opposite...im the only one that says hi to people coming and going and relays how many are behind me...I havent had one person relay that info to me yet. If anybody has an attitude its the "fast" guys on the climb who say nothing and grunt by as if im in the way when the climb trail is 6 feet wide.

    If a child was riding up this particular downhill I use they would be going pro soon.

    Its not like im barreling down the board walk on my mtb at the beach getting mad at people in the way...im on a downhill single track trail in the mountains going between 20-upper 30s and its rare that somebody is coming up the trail due to the difficulty.
    I was actually referring to a child hiking in the woods and having a good time with mom and dad.

    As far as time stopping I would think that if you can't stop your bike within about ten to fifteen feet then you are out of control for a multi direction trail. This is nothing more than an opinion though. It doesn't have to be a pretty stop. Skidding is going to be involved. Granted this does not necessarily apply for actual downhill courses when speed is very high. This goes for trails such as the one this thread is about where there are other riders climbing. If there are other riders climbing then this is not a "downhill" course. If the trail is 6 foot wide then there is no reason for either rider to stop. There should be plenty of room for everyone.

    If the rider was aware of the other riders behind him he should have told the other rider. That pretty much goes without saying.
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  16. #16
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    Trail etiquette states that a rider going down should yield to a rider going up, as mentioned above.

    If you choose not to follow that, that's up to you. I've been in both situations many times. I will tell you that to be climbing a steep grade and look up and see some crazy out of control rider flying towards you is enough to make my blood boil.

    I've also been that out-of-control guy and seen the terror in the eyes of the guy I'm about to slam into. Luckily for both of us, I was able to stop in time. O.k. I slowed down enough to where I could not so graciously crash. To the amusement of us all. That was what convinced me to upgrade my canti-levers to vee brakes.
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    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx108
    not far after there is a short downhill part so * i barrel down it.

    * This is the point, like Raiyn sez, at which you -shout- "Rider Up" even if you can see and hear no one else. Even if there is a new rider that isn't familiar with this your tone will likely indicate your intentions. However yelling it doesn't neccesarily give you right of way, if you see them but they don't see you hesitate and make sure they hear you. Even on a one-way as it won't matter much if you're both injured which way is one way.

  18. #18
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    When I take a newbie riding on the trails, I make sure to inform them of trail etiquette. From right of way on hills, to "rider up", to "3 back". I even go through this when taking them to the Jack Brooks trails, which are one way trails.

    I have adopted a section of trail down at Jack Brooks. I even plan to make a sign to put at the start of my trail. This way cyclist will now to look out for me. My luck nobody will ready it.

    This is just the "conspiracy guy" in me. Multi use trails have to be a device of the people wanting to stop Mountain biking. Its only time that will tell when that "major accident" will happen. The enemies of Mountain biking will be sure it gets good media coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    This is why you come here - TO LEARN
    Hey, that's great! I'd never seen that FS bike in the other post you were PMSing about either. Thanks to whoever posted to the old thread I did get to see it and LEARN something.
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    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    No matter what you're doing, you always need to be on the lookout for "up" riders as they ALWAYS have the right of way. As for the guy that past you, you have to consider a couple of possibilities besides the notion that he was just being a putz:

    1) He may not have heard you regardless of how loud you yelled.
    2) He may have been so out of breath that he tried to respond but couldn't manage a complete response (this has happened to me).
    3) He may not have known that there was anyone back there.

    You also have to ride "in control" at all times. If you know that there is a possibility for riders to be coming up in an area where you can't see too far ahead (like a switchback or a ridge) then it's YOUR responisibility to slow down and take that section at a reasonable pace and if that pace is a dead stop, then so be it. If you do come over a blind section too fast, then you have to be willing to suffer the consequences of taking a header into the bushes and you can't try to blame anyone e
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    The Land of Living Skies
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    Where would be the best place to learn the essentials of trail etiquette?

  22. #22
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    you are right that he might not known if he was back there.

    i would say i am in control MOST of the time and this was one of the times.

    mybe i should have made this clearer-i was at the end of the downhill part and around the tree was pretty much flat. i probly should have been slowing up a little before going around the tree. ah you learn from your mistakes.

    as for the second guy, i am hard up for people my age to bike with. so i pretty much rally up people that have a bike and can ride. in hopes i can convince them to take it up as a hobby and get better.

  25. #25
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kritter
    Define reasonable amount of time.
    A reasonable amount of time is that which allows you to comply with the rules of the road.

    So, since the uphill rider always has the right of way over a downhill rider, you must always be prepared to stop, if required, when you find this situation. If you're going around a blind corner, you need to be going slow enough so that when you can see down the trail - even if it's immediately around the blind corner - you can stop or avoid another rider who may have crashed or have the right of way.

    As for comparing this to cars, you're out to lunch on that one. The differences are so great as to make it not even an apples to oranges comparison.
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