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Sharing Trail With Walkers-Joggers

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Sharing Trail With Walkers-Joggers

Old 10-10-03, 04:13 PM
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Portis
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Sharing Trail With Walkers-Joggers

I ride my bike on a trail that is meant to accomodate walkers,joggers and bikers. Bikers are to yield to walkers and runners, keep to the right and pass on the left. The problem is getting around these people. I can get right up on the back of most people and they never hear me.

Some have headphones on but most simply don't hear me. It is amazing how poorly humans hear. If the wind is right I can bike within a couple of feet of people for 10+ seconds and they just continue to stay in the middle of the path right in my way. It is because they don't hear me. I want to be respectful and maintain the rights of the walkers/joggers as well but am getting tired of having to slow down to a crawl and finally say, "excuse me" just to get around people.

It is always awkward because you can tell the people get irritated having to move. I also they they get upset because they feel stupid for having been running in front of you for some period of time without even knowing it. Today some moron finally said something to me. I think he was trying to tell me i was wrong, but i was long gone before he ever got finished. (I was right....said excuse me and passed him on the left.)

Now to my question: Can someone recommend a SUBTLE way of notifying people in advance without annoying them worse than i already do? I don't want some loud blow horn or whistle, I just want something subtle. How about a bell? Will this work on a MTB that is bouncing all around? I don't want one of those big horns that has the air deal that goes in the water bottle holder or any other fancy gadget. I suppose a bell would be best? Any recommendations?
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Old 10-10-03, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Now to my question: Can someone recommend a SUBTLE way of notifying people in advance without annoying them worse than i already do? I don't want some loud blow horn or whistle, I just want something subtle. How about a bell? Will this work on a MTB that is bouncing all around? I don't want one of those big horns that has the air deal that goes in the water bottle holder or any other fancy gadget. I suppose a bell would be best? Any recommendations?
I think you've answered your own question. A simple bell is the way to to I'd say!
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Old 10-10-03, 04:33 PM
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A bell is absolutely the way to go. I still do some path riding once in a while and have found a bell to be perfect for letting people know you're approaching. Calling "On yer left" or something similar sometimes works, but it seems to confuse some percentage of people out there and you end up with them doing something unpredictable. If you are one of those people who knows how to whistle loudly (one of my great regrets in life is that I've never mastered this...) then that makes a good backup in case the bell doesn't do the trick or they have headphones on.
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Old 10-10-03, 04:34 PM
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I don't know if they still do but Kona was selling a "cow bell" to mount on a mtb.
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Old 10-10-03, 04:59 PM
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I had that problem. The solution I found was to ride at a different time of the day.

I know it's not the solution you were looking for at all, but I find that riding early morning means I run into hardly anyone, and I don't have to spend all my time shooting off fireworks and smoke signals to get these folks attention.

Just a thought...

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Old 10-10-03, 05:04 PM
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I just yell "Biker up" (kind of an abreviated slang for Biker coming up ) and have no problem, but I do it while I'm a good ways behind them. It gives them more reaction time. If they are wearing headphones I just blow by them and hopefully scare 'em a little.
A bell on my bike? Eeeeeew! Maybe if I could find a nice carbon fiber and Ti bell.....

The ones that drive me CRAZY are the runners that run on the wrong side of the trail. (like they would on a street) Those I just yell "MOVE" at.
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Old 10-10-03, 05:26 PM
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From one of your previous posts I see that you live in the same town in Kansasas I do. I used to ride the dike all the time too, I also had lots of problems with walkers, jogger and dogs. My solution was to buy a road bike and now I ride on the road! I found I fair better with the cars than I did the the walkers. What time of the day do you ride? I always found right after work, it was crowded up there. Once it gets cold, you will notice the traffic will let up.
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Old 10-10-03, 05:26 PM
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I use the Incedibell ($10). It is black, loud, and small. So it hides well. They have been dinging them in Europe for a century or more with great effect. They work great. Politeness and smiles win friends for us all.

Rah Rah for Kansas! Salina is cool town. I love that Italian place downtown. Moukuldi and Ashish at the Holiday in Express in Abilene are bike friendly and sweet people - tell them you know Sujata's husband. Try the Brookville Inn in Abilene for a great stick to your ribs chicken dinner.

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Old 10-10-03, 05:37 PM
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Kathy

Hi Kathy.

When I hit the dike sort of depends. The problem I had today was around noon. At this point, I am not ready for the road. I am a kid from the country and don't like cars whizzing around me. Too many idiots on the road for me.

I think "The Dike" is really pretty cool. Espescially if you get on down by Schilling. THat first stretch up to Magnolia is not maintained and a pretty fun ride. Right now, I am just getting into biking and expect that I will at some point grow tired of the dike but right now I like the solace it provides. I have also noticed that early AM is much better.

I certainly won't let anyone scare me off of the dike. As long as I am obeying the rules, they can K.M.A. (so to speak) I certainly won't be ran off the dike by a couple Yuppies walking a little poodle.

Joe: I've eaten at the Brookville Inn. Too bad it no longer fits into my diet! Massive plates of fried chicken is a thing of beauty.
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Old 10-11-03, 07:18 PM
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A bell? I used on Hilton Head for a time. People just turned around and looked at me and wouldn't move. I just pass them and let them deal with it.
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Old 10-11-03, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Grampy™
The ones that drive me CRAZY are the runners that run on the wrong side of the trail. (like they would on a street) Those I just yell "MOVE" at.
I was on a section of path once going over a bridge and had a mom-daughter couple (I guess) heading towards me on the same path. Now this isn't a very wide path and they were walking side-by-side, basically cutting off the path, and since we were on a bridge at that point I had no way of bailing to get around them. So, I dinged the bell (no response), dinged it again (now the girl closest to my approach is at least looking at me but not giving any ground), dinged one more time just so I can say I gave them a chance, and then finally cut loose with a "MOVE DAMMIT!!!" that startled the girl enough that she almost climbed OVER her mom and into the street! Now, keep in mind that all this time they're looking right at me and the only way I could have avoided them would have been to stop the bike and jump off the bridge. When I feel the need to holler I can do a drill instructor proud, so I save that only for the most 'special' cases.
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Old 10-12-03, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Grendel
So, I dinged the bell (no response), dinged it again (now the girl closest to my approach is at least looking at me but not giving any ground), dinged one more time just so I can say I gave them a chance, and then finally cut loose with a "MOVE DAMMIT!!!"


I bet that felt good! I think it goes back to that pedestrian mentality. I used to spend a lot of time driving around college campus. It was always amazing to watch people walk right in front of my car while they have their eyes locked right onto mine. The message they are sending is, "you better not run over me or you are going to be in BIG trouble." That always seems ironic to me because it seems like to me that the 180 lb human getting hit by a 3000 lb missile or a 200 lb speeding bike/rider combo is going to be in bigger trouble.
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Old 10-12-03, 11:34 AM
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The only thinkg that annoys me.. When walkers walk in multiples, use up the whole trail. Have on ear phones...Won't, dont listen. Can't pass. I always try to get their attention.. & Won't listen..
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Old 10-13-03, 06:14 AM
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You could lash a great big "boom-box" to your handlebars and get a cassette tape like the ones used by ice-cream trucks (Greensleeves or something equally annoying), and play it *real* loud. Instead of riding to the right and passing on the left, aim straight for them and let out a Rebel Yell as you are about to mow them down.

You will be infamous in no time and everyone will avoid you at all costs.

OR

you could get a bell, though sometimes a whistle works better. It is an unusual noise and folks notice it better.


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Old 10-13-03, 07:37 AM
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I tried bells and politely bellowing “on your left” and “this is a multi-use trail” etc and most people will not budge. The worst offenders are parents with carriages, dog walkers and people who are new to walking. In some places, trails are painted with a cyclist symbol on one side of the trail and a pedestrian on the other. This seems to work as everyone knows their place.
 
Old 10-13-03, 08:06 AM
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For the most part, our trail rules are well posted, Bicycles yield to pedestrians, and everyone yields to horses, have yet to see one on the trail, but the rule is there. Dogs should be on SHORT leashes, not those 25' roll-up things that are so popular. For the most part people will move, and on a few close calls, folks have apoligized. BUT there are the few exceptions that just don't get it. It's not worth it for me to get bothered about them, every dog has it's day, and their's will come sooner or later. I interact with people on the trails alot, and they are often thankfull for the bell on my bike and say thank you for the warning. Little kids enjoy the sound it makes, and go ding ding back at me while smiling. The fact they are so thankful for the bell 1eads me to believe there are too many people who hadn't warned them, and probably far too many people who just blew by with no consideration at all! I don't ride the trails when I want to get some serious miles on, I take to the streets, or I ride at night, when the only thing I have to worry about is the 4 legged wildlife.

To me a bell does the trick, it's pretty universally accepted as the sound a bike makes. I don't have one of those newer bells that just go ding, I have a lever actuated bell that brrrrrings and if done just right, can be irritatingly loud should the need arise. Looks like **** on my bike but is worth it for the effectiveness. It works far more effectively than announcing on the left which seems to confuse far too many people, children and adults alike!

I share everyone's disdain for the oblivious few who wear headphones and couldn't hear a Mack truck pulling up behind them, but only because they are jeapordizing innocent people who are sharing the trails by their selfish disregard for others.
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Old 10-13-03, 08:31 AM
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i saw someone with a mini cow bell once, i thought it was a great idea, if i ever see one in a shop i'll pick it up. as for me i usually just say on your left as i get close. i try not to shock folks, doesnt always work, but its better than the shock of squeezing past i think.
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Old 10-13-03, 01:09 PM
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Bell Update

I bought a cheap bike Bell/Compass combo at Wally World. It is black so it blends in with the bike and doesn't really look to bad. Plus I learned that my house actually faces SW instead of South. (Learn something every day)

Well to anyone who is following this or stumbles upon it later: The bell is a good solution. I have used it for a couple days and it has worked. I would probably prefer a better sounding bell as this one sounds a little off key but hey it works. I have had to "bang" on it pretty good for a few of the less conscious walkers but at least it has gotten me around most of them without breaking cadence to much.
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Old 01-29-04, 09:23 PM
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Jerk cyclist?

Today, two of my co-workers and I were walking on a multi-use trail. This trail is commonly used by cyclists, pedestrians, and horses which yield to each other respectively. We were standing around a plant on the left side of the trail and when we started heading up the trail again, we noticed a bicycle coming from the opposite direction. Rather than scramble to the correct side of the trail, we stayed on the left edge of the trail and left the cyclist plenty of room to pass. He was wearing no shirt and no helmet, but he did have a huge "breathe-rite" strip over his nose. As he approached us, he let out a loud sigh, looked over his shoulder, and veered left to avoid us. As he rode by he shouted, "You should be on the right side of the trail," and after he had passed a safe distance, he added, " IDIOTS!"

Being a cyclist myself, I was highly offended. What had we done to deserve that? We weren't spread across the trail. In fact we gave in plenty of room to pass. If it was such a chore to look over his shoulder, perhaps this cyclist should have worn a helmet and a MIRROR.

-Shimpie
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Old 01-29-04, 10:29 PM
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The 'cyclists yield to pedestrians' is a fair enough rule. The trouble is, most pedestrians interpret this to mean 'I can walk where I want and the cyclists just have to deal with it'. There are clear rules in place here for shared paths that include the 'cyclists yield to pedestrians' one, but also one about path users not unreasonably obstructing other users, but they never put that one up on the signs.

There is also the problem that the vast majority of shared paths are far too narrow. I think pedestrians should be able to walk three or four abreast, but there should be room on the path to do it and still let other traffic pass safely.
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Old 01-31-04, 05:12 AM
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I think the whole concept of multiple use paths is terminally flawed.

1) Even a not so fit cyclist can cruise at 15 mph. That is 5 times as fast as the normal pedestrian who is at 3 mph. A fit cyclist can achieve speeds that are 8 times as fast as the pedesrians. So the mix in speeds is a bit like running the Daytona 500 in the roads in a suburb.

2) Bike paths do not emphasize right of way. Pedestrians naturally assume that bikes can stop and turn as quickly as pedestrians. So the pedestrians follow their normal rules of right of way which is absolutely none. Also pedestrians are conditioned to think only of looking at people and avoiding them when they are very very close such as 3' away. If you are bearing down on a group of pedestrians, as far as they are concerned you are just flat off the radar screens.

3) On our local bike paths, people walk dogs and often on 25' leashes which is to say essentially no leash at all. One day I came upon a lady who was lying dazed on the path next to her bike. A woman had been walking her dog sans leash. The dog had investigated the bushes and then ran out in front of the cyclist who hit the dog went over her handle bars unto her head.

4) Then you have the people with very small children on bike paths. They usually allow the children to mill around. There is no telling what a small child is going to do. Hitting a small child whilst going a high rate of speed is dreadful to even contemplate.

5) Then there are the pedestrians who gather in groups to hold discussions. These people are totally oblivious to everything and they always seem to assume that since they outnumber you, they have a god given right to block the path for as long as they desire.

I suppose multiple use paths could work if they were patrolled and people were given tickets for violations. But that will happen when the infernal regions freeze over.

I sometimes ride on bike paths for short distances. When I do, I have no expectations of riding at any kind of speed. I also expect people to do really, really dumb things and even then they come up with new dumb things that I have not even contemplated. It is my belief that it is much, much safer to ride out on the streets with the trucks and the buses where the people generally follow the rules of the road then to contend with erratic and unpredictable people on these paths.
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Old 01-31-04, 08:36 AM
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Wouldn't ride on trails unless it was out of desperation.

20-25 MPH on a narrow trail shared by bikes, inline skaters, people walking, strollers and dogs is just asking for trouble.

Get on the road!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-31-04, 10:05 AM
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The few times I've been riding on mixed use trails, I've had the same problems with pedestrians.

Even better is a local bylaw that cyclists must yeild to pedestrians on the trails in all cases. A cyclist can be persecuted in court for damages if there was an accident.

I stay away from the trails for these reasons as well as (like in Denver with that cyclist/cyclist collision/fatality) if another cyclist runs into me, there's nothing that can be done.

I'm keeping to the street!
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Old 02-01-04, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Pat
I sometimes ride on bike paths for short distances. When I do, I have no expectations of riding at any kind of speed. I also expect people to do really, really dumb things and even then they come up with new dumb things that I have not even contemplated. It is my belief that it is much, much safer to ride out on the streets with the trucks and the buses where the people generally follow the rules of the road then to contend with erratic and unpredictable people on these paths.
I do the same thing myself. In fact, when I have to travel the short distances you mentioned (such as my trip to the shops), I generally just walk.
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Old 02-02-04, 06:56 AM
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a bell works very well: sound the bell WELL BEFORE reaching the pedestrians so 1) you don't startle/scare them, 2) they have time to react (realize you are a cyclist and move) and 3) if they don't move you have time to go around/stop, etc.

the only real problem with bells is that some people find them rude/unfirendly (in Europe they are standard so it is not unfriendly). something that is much more friendly although a little less effective: "squeaky" toys --- i have a yellow tiger, but there are also cartoon characters, etc -- not sure if you can find them as easily in the US, but here you can buy toy figures with a squeaker in them that mount to you bars -- kids LOVE them and most people find them "cute" so people laugh as you pass rather than think "'@$! cyclist" -- but the range is not as good as a bell... (i have bells on all 5 of my bikes and the squeaker and bell on my MTB bike mainly for when i ride hiking trails where bikes may or may not be allowed...)
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