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Old 10-12-09, 07:23 AM   #1
wb_dad
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MUP Etiquette?

Took the whole family on the local rail trail this weekend. Generally, we had a great time and put in about 10 miles round trip. The troops were pooped at the end. Weather was lovely and the trees are just starting to turn around here. Saw a cranberry bog being wet-harvested. Neat stuff.

Is there a posting around somewhere that describes the do's and don't's of these kinds of paths? General etiquette and such? We ran into a couple of really cranky people actually yelling at us as we tooled along. I thought that we were pretty courteous and tried to follow the general rules of the road. There seemed to be a few people out there that were under the impression that the bike path was "theirs" and that we should "get out of the way" and "move over". A few people really seemed to be traveling too fast and would have been better suited to be on the road if they wanted to go that fast. This was few and far between and I hate to focus on the negative, but I just want to be sure we're following as many rules as we can and cause as little stress for other riders (and ourselves) as possible. This is a pretty heavily traveled route and there are bikes, walkers, joggers, and occasional equestrian traffic. Not conducive -- in my mind -- to the speed some people seemed to be trying for on this path and/or their expectation of others bike control.
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Old 10-12-09, 07:41 AM   #2
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The rules can vary based on the actual MUP, but following the general rules of the road and having basic good manners is pretty universal. For the most part peds are at the top of the right-of-way food chain, cyclists at the bottom.

Yes, there are those that think the MUP is the place to train, race or show off to the chicks, (I call em Muppets or Muppies). While it is good manners to yield so faster traffic to pass, you are not obligated to do so unless it is safe to do so. Indeed, it is the responsibility of the passer to pass safely.

Bottom line...f em, enjoy the day with your family and don't sweat it if some Muppet gets their feelings hurt.
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Old 10-12-09, 10:14 AM   #3
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It might be an occasion to take an introspective look to see if, in fact, the specific circumstances dictated that you probably should "get out of the way" and "move over". Whenever I see families biking together I always give them a wide berth since there are typically one or two members of the group riding erratically, turning without looking, or stopping in the center of the path.
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Old 10-12-09, 02:14 PM   #4
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As a frequent MUP rider, small children ALWAYS have right of way. Athough parents should teach them to move to the side to let a faster rider pass. But I NEVER will pass a small child that is unsteady until it is 100% safe. I'd rather slow down, than to give them a bad experience. In a few years they will be passing me!
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Old 10-12-09, 03:27 PM   #5
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Never hurts to keep right. My 8 yr old is narrow enough that we can overlap one wheel and get some side-by-side-ish conversation while still fitting onto half-ish of the trail.

People can't expect to pass anyone on a trail at full-speed though.
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Old 10-13-09, 04:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
As a frequent MUP rider, small children ALWAYS have right of way. Athough parents should teach them to move to the side to let a faster rider pass. But I NEVER will pass a small child that is unsteady until it is 100% safe. I'd rather slow down, than to give them a bad experience. In a few years they will be passing me!
I feel the same. Far to often they are paying attention to something else besides riding. Like my daughter for example, she likes to pull those fuzzy tipped weeds and try to tickle us with them. my son on the other hand would fail a "walk the line" sobriety test at any given time while riding. so because of them, I've learned its best to slow down and wait until someone is paying enough attention to let me pass safely. But when I'm riding with my kids, if I see someone coming from the front or back, I always tell and point my kids to the side and then watch them like a hawk until everyone passes.
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Old 10-13-09, 07:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. It didn't ruin the trip for the kids at all and they're ready to go back, which is great. I just wanted to ensure I was doing what I could. It sounds like we were pretty courteous and they will learn better etiquette as we go. If those that feel they own the "road" want to give us a hard time, they're going to either be ignored or hear it right back. It's not a time trial track.
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Old 10-13-09, 01:42 PM   #8
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Let's see. Keep to the right, if passing, yell "on yer left!", so people know your passing, pass only when safe. Stop at stop signs. Be courteous. Use common sense. That's it. Have fun!
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Old 10-13-09, 03:48 PM   #9
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Many bike paths will have signposts similar to this posted every few miles. The mileage will be listed and the rules will be posted.


Here are the rules for bike paths in the Atlanta area. They should be about the same where you live/ride.
http://www.pathfoundation.org/index....TrailEtiquette
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Old 10-13-09, 07:17 PM   #10
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http://denver.yourhub.com/Parker/Sto...ry~644049.aspx
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Old 10-13-09, 09:58 PM   #11
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The person at the back of your group should watch for riders coming up behind, and shout a warning to the family "Bikes passing" to ensure they keep a steady line to the right of the path. Before passing slower bikes or peds, the leader of your group "Should give warning "5 bikes passing" (or howere many in your family. The "on your left" warning confuses many as they dont know whether you are passing on their left or you want them to move left, so just say "passing". Just be courteous and dont get upset if others are less courteous than you.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:32 PM   #12
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Bad manners are the reason I rarely ride the beautiful, 20-mile riverside MUP in my home town. It's great for walking, jogging and CASUAL bike riding, with the kids or grandma. But on weekends it's taken over by arrogant roadie prix who slalom around the old ladies in their walkers and the kids on training wheels. Those a$$wipes have the whole world to ride in, but they like to dress up like Mighty Mouse and terrorize the civilians.
Have I made myself clear here? If you're a serious cyclist on a serious ride, stay off the MUP. Save it for your easy days.
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