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Almost had a MUP fight yesterday...

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Almost had a MUP fight yesterday...

Old 10-13-14, 08:40 AM
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Jarrett2
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Almost had a MUP fight yesterday...

My girlfriend wanted to get in 20 miles yesterday and it was really windy. There area I normally ride is fairly hilly and with the wind, it can be a beating. So we along with another friend decided to load up and go to the local MUP for an easy ride.

At the 10 mile mark, we stopped at the trail head to go to the restroom and get some water. A larger group of riders started ahead of us. After a few minutes, we started back. We came across the larger group of riders blocking the MUP at two points. We made it past them and didn't say anything. I jokingly said to my girlfriend, "we'll see them blocking the path on the way back."

Sure enough, we come around a blind turn on the way back and there is half of their crew. Turned sideways on the path, blocking the whole trail. They move in time, we again didn't say anything to them. We made it back to the beginning of the MUP at the trailhead where there is a small exit path that leads to the parking lot and you guessed it, the other half of their group was standing there off their bikes, blocking the path exit. I said apparently in a gruff tone, "move your bikes so we can get off the trail."

We exited the trail and did three loops around the park to round out our ride to 20 miles. We stopped back at the trailhead where I was parked. The same group was there, they said nothing. We talked for a couple of minutes and started putting up our bikes to leave when the other half of their group came pedaling up fast to my truck and jumped off their bikes saying, "you don't have to be a dick!"

And I looked around. I thought he was talking to someone else. He said it again, I asked him if he was talking to me and he said yes. I asked him why and he said his wife told him that I had yelled at her. And I told him he was mistaken, that I told them to move their bikes so we could exit the trail and that was it. And he said, "Well I'm going to believe her over you," and he started walking towards me to fight. Another male from his party started yelling and walked towards me as well.

At that point, I realized there was no talking to be done here. I immediately started shaking my head and loading my bikes. They turned and started walking back to their group still yelling expletives at me. My girlfriend threw a few words at them, that riled them up again. I just kept loading the bikes.

My other friend started talking to them again saying, what you want? An apology? And the guy said yes. So he said, we're sorry. I kept loading my bikes. He told my friend to apologize to his wife. My friend apologized to his wife and that seemed to diffuse them a bit. I shook my friend's hand and he got in his truck and left. I got into my truck with my girlfriend and left as well.

It was a tough one for me. To walk away. I've trained martial arts all my life and spent some time working as a bouncer in my youth. I'm very familiar with the pre stages of a fight and I'm fairly sure I could have ended a physical conflict with the guy in short order, but he was there were his family for Sunday evening ride. Wires just got crossed. I wasn't going to play into his itch to fight me and make it a bad day for everyone. But I can't say I didn't want to

I guess I just posted this to say, be careful when dealing with newbs on the MUPs

Last edited by Jarrett2; 10-13-14 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 10-13-14, 08:42 AM
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This post reminds me why I avoid the MUP on the weekends.
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Old 10-13-14, 08:42 AM
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There were jerks in any case since they were ready to start a fight.
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Old 10-13-14, 09:03 AM
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yeah ppl HATE being corrected in public. I've learned over time that when "advising" others on etiquette it pays to sugar coat it over abundantly. even then, ppl get riled. you might have tried this instead: "oh hi can we squeeze by please, thank you"

Last edited by rumrunn6; 10-13-14 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 10-13-14, 09:14 AM
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I don't ride MUPs (because there are none in my area), but between this, a cyclist/cyclist collision ending in a death in Troy NY, tickets for not stopping, teen gangs, dogs, earphone joggers, and etc., I think I'm safer on the streets...
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Old 10-13-14, 09:24 AM
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Without a fight for dominance there is no way to determine who is King of the MUP.
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Old 10-13-14, 09:24 AM
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My wife and I ride the SRT in Montgomery County PA 2 or 3 times a week. Never on weekends. Even during the week you will see groups of riders blocking the trail. Most look at the trail as if it is only a recreation thing with no rules. Some you can educate and some you cannot. Few grasp that trail use rules are similar to public road rules. I have been threatened a few times when I asked for a clear trail. A large canister of pepper spray on the top tube changes attitudes in a hurry. My wife and I joke that if you ran a CAT Scan on most of them all you would get would be a forwarding address for the brain that used to live there.

Then some MUPs run through areas where the locals make a game out of blocking the trail for selected trail users. Specifically old white trail users. We had one Thursday evening where a group of 7 or 8 local youths blocked the trail by laying bicycles across the trail. Then got nasty and combative when we asked nicely for a clear path through. A canister of pepper jelly settled that nonsense.
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Old 10-13-14, 09:30 AM
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I don't ride MUPS on weekends. Too many issues with knuckleheads. Glad your martial arts avoidance mentality came into play. Best not to beat the crap out of someone because it usually ends up in court. And that costs money, time and much aggravation.

The Thinking Rider is the "King of the MUP!"
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Old 10-13-14, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Without a fight for dominance there is no way to determine who is King of the MUP.
Strava.

-mr. bill
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Old 10-13-14, 10:09 AM
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Yep... I've got a MUP as one of the easier routes to get through a portion of my commute, and I absolutely hate being on it during the weekends. Seems like it's doubly bad late summer / early fall, as the fair weather cyclists (and I use that term loosely) are out there getting their last rides in with the family before the weather turns south.
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Old 10-13-14, 10:15 AM
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You did the right thing. Guys in a pack always seem to try and show who's the alpha male of the pack. Had the guy and his wife been alone I doubt he would have been as brazen.
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Old 10-13-14, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
We made it back to the beginning of the MUP at the trailhead where there is a small exit path that leads to the parking lot and you guessed it, the other half of their group was standing there off their bikes, blocking the path exit. I said apparently in a gruff tone, "move your bikes so we can get off the trail."
Let's face it. That is pretty dick-ish compared to a polite, "Excuse us, please." You may not have intended it as such, but it shouldn't be hard understand how it would come across that way. A little courtesy goes a long way. Sure, they were blocking the path, but two wrongs don't make a right.
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Old 10-13-14, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
Let's face it. That is pretty dick-ish compared to a polite, "Excuse us, please." You may not have intended it as such, but it shouldn't be hard understand how it would come across that way. A little courtesy goes a long way. Sure, they were blocking the path, but two wrongs don't make a right.
No, but three rights make a left.
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Old 10-13-14, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
This post reminds me why I avoid the MUP on the weekends.
+1
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Old 10-13-14, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Without a fight for dominance there is no way to determine who is King of the MUP.
You should organize a Muplympics.
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Old 10-13-14, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GP View Post
You should organize a Muplympics.
You mean OlyMUPics?
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Old 10-13-14, 12:30 PM
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Sure, there were more delicate ways you could have phrased it, but they were obviously in the wrong.
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Old 10-13-14, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
You mean OlyMUPics?
Open to pathletes from around the globe.
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Old 10-13-14, 12:37 PM
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Old 10-13-14, 12:44 PM
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Sounds to me like the OP's friend was the only person there with an ounce of common sense. We're in the 20th century USA, not the Samurai era in Japan where people fight to the death over minor insults.

Just out of curiosity, was your friend's wife or girl friend present on scene? If so, he gets bonus points.
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Old 10-13-14, 12:53 PM
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You should have started snappin' your fingers and ballet dancing around them...

Seriously, this is why I never correct anyone unless it involves a direct threat to my immediate well being.
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Old 10-13-14, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
We're in the 20th century USA, not the Samurai era in Japan where people fight to the death over minor insults.
Good manners and courteous behavior evolved as a social lubricant to allow people to exist in crowded circumstances with a minimum of deadly conflict.
Not so long ago the signs of conflict escalation were clear enough and well codified to send signals that were mutually understood by our society.
That has changed on the streets, and perhaps MUPs, where a simple "Dis" is immediately responded to with deadly force.

Brings a whole new meaning to Mom's exhortation to be polite in public.

Heinlein may not have been correct when he said:
"An armed society is a polite society".

As always, do as you please.

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Old 10-13-14, 02:04 PM
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Much depends on where you are riding. On rural trails we find pleasant and polite people. When asked to clear the trail they usually apologize and move quickly. But around big cities they tend to be nasty and combative if you suggest they are in error in blocking the trail. We have had a few that simply refused to move. We were expected to dismount and walk around them through the muddy grass trail margins.

Such behavior is covered under Pennsylvania law. The section on General Principles Of Justification. Use of force to pass wrongful obstructor. Basically if the "obstructor(s) want to get combative the law would be on your side and allow you to use sufficient force passage.

In the case of the original post in this thread when the people asked to move then came after him and started their mouths going they were engaged in harassment and could have been cited for that if police got involved.
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Old 10-13-14, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Sure, there were more delicate ways you could have phrased it, but they were obviously in the wrong.
That's hard to say, given that we've only heard one side of the story, and even that version portrays the OP as the instigator.
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Old 10-13-14, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
...... you might have tried this instead: "oh hi can we squeeze by please, thank you"
+1
Sounds to me like you were a bit of.... what was it they called you? Yeah. People are a pain in the butt. But be nice!
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