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Bike Path Riding - I think it should be banned.

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Bike Path Riding - I think it should be banned.

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Old 03-25-12, 09:34 AM
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magohn
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Bike Path Riding - I think it should be banned.

So I got out yesterday for a ride that incorporated a few miles on the local bike path. Youve never seen anything like it. The "bike path" is actually a "walking path" that stretches from Redmond all the way into downtown Seattle. Its specifically created to allow families to be able to walk/picnic alongside the river but recreational bikes are allowed (speed limit 15 mph). Well, the last time I was on it, it was early-morning, cold and raining so there was nobody on it - I very rarely ride bike paths. Yesterday, I hit it at lunchtime and it was a sunny day. What an experience. It was full of families walking, strollers, little kids learning to ride, pensioners strolling and other "normal" life. I adjusted my speed to be extra careful. Too bad others didnt. No joking, there were PACE LINES of middle-aged, overweight men BLASTING thru the crowds in full race "team" colors. So many "teams" on a WALKING PATH it was unbelievable, they were easily hitting 20+mph and riding like lunatics. At one point, I was behind a pair of pensioners who were walking as best they could. As I got ready to pass them "Team Garmin" BLASTS passed them on the other side of the path and they stop dead in front of me shocked by the teams sudden appearance. I hit my brakes (thankfully I was going super slow to safely pass them), they notice me behind them and say "Were so sorry, so sorry" I said "No - Im sorry. these cyclists are lunatics. Its you guys who should have the right of way" - I was so embarrased for other riders.

There was incident after incident of super dangerous riding. A "pro" riding at 20+mph shouting "ON YER LEFT" to a 5yr old learning to ride her bike with her dad - really!!! She doesnt even know what "left" is!

As Im leaving the path to ride on actual ROAD, "Team Shimano" are in the car park loading their bikes into their SUVs. All red-faced and breathless and saying stuff like. "Awesome ride guys, meet back here tomorrow and lets take it easy as we pushed it out today and we need a recovery ride" - THEIR RIDING ON A FOOTPATH - its completely flat for 30+ miles! You can imagine them in the bar "Yeah I cranked out a 50 mile ride today - I maintained a 20mph average - not bad, not bad" - they need to take their skills to Mount Rainier.

Im almost tempted to write to the local paper and ask for bikes to be banned from the footpath. Its like driving your car at 25mph through an indoor shopping mall at Christmas - ridiculous.
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Old 03-25-12, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
So I got out yesterday for a ride that incorporated a few miles on the local bike path. Youve never seen anything like it. The "bike path" is actually a "walking path" that stretches from Redmond all the way into downtown Seattle. Its specifically created to allow families to be able to walk/picnic alongside the river but recreational bikes are allowed (speed limit 15 mph). Well, the last time I was on it, it was early-morning, cold and raining so there was nobody on it - I very rarely ride bike paths. Yesterday, I hit it at lunchtime and it was a sunny day. What an experience. It was full of families walking, strollers, little kids learning to ride, pensioners strolling and other "normal" life. I adjusted my speed to be extra careful. Too bad others didnt. No joking, there were PACE LINES of middle-aged, overweight men BLASTING thru the crowds in full race "team" colors. So many "teams" on a WALKING PATH it was unbelievable, they were easily hitting 20+mph and riding like lunatics. At one point, I was behind a pair of pensioners who were walking as best they could. As I got ready to pass them "Team Garmin" BLASTS passed them on the other side of the path and they stop dead in front of me shocked by the teams sudden appearance. I hit my brakes (thankfully I was going super slow to safely pass them), they notice me behind them and say "Were so sorry, so sorry" I said "No - Im sorry. these cyclists are lunatics. Its you guys who should have the right of way" - I was so embarrased for other riders.

There was incident after incident of super dangerous riding. A "pro" riding at 20+mph shouting "ON YER LEFT" to a 5yr old learning to ride her bike with her dad - really!!! She doesnt even know what "left" is!

As Im leaving the path to ride on actual ROAD, "Team Shimano" are in the car park loading their bikes into their SUVs. All red-faced and breathless and saying stuff like. "Awesome ride guys, meet back here tomorrow and lets take it easy as we pushed it out today and we need a recovery ride" - THEIR RIDING ON A FOOTPATH - its completely flat for 30+ miles! You can imagine them in the bar "Yeah I cranked out a 50 mile ride today - I maintained a 20mph average - not bad, not bad" - they need to take their skills to Mount Rainier.

Im almost tempted to write to the local paper and ask for bikes to be banned from the footpath. Its like driving your car at 25mph through an indoor shopping mall at Christmas - ridiculous.
Just laugh at them and move on. And find a different time of day to ride so you miss the office racers.
 
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Old 03-25-12, 10:00 AM
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Hi Neil,

As I say - I rarely ride a bike path as I like to test myself on at least some local hills. My point is that yesterday afternoon I was embarrassed to be a cyclist. These guys were bullies of the footpath and I actually "got" why cyclists are viewed negatively by some of the general public. It was a dangerous situation. Somebody WILL get hurt one day.

BTW- Im following your recovery thread - great job We need cyclists such as yourself out there promoting the good side of the hobby/sport.

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Old 03-25-12, 10:09 AM
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I ride the Mt. Vernon trail to work every day and it's pretty tame. On the weekends it's a exactly like the OP described except with large animals and SUV strollers thrown into the mix. The office racers are pretty funny, though, especially when they're decked out.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:22 AM
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I pretty much agree with the OP. Multi-use paths are for people travelling at <10mph. Cyclists who want to ride, as opposed to pootle, should use roads. High-speed weaving around pedestrians, mobility scooters, dogs etc. is dangerous and discourteous. I almost never use these paths for this reason.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
Hi Neil,

As I say - I rarely ride a bike path as I like to test myself on at least some local hills. My point is that yesterday afternoon I was embarrassed to be a cyclist. These guys were bullies of the footpath and I actually "got" why cyclists are viewed negatively by some of the general public. It was a dangerous situation. Somebody WILL get hurt one day.

BTW- Im following your recovery thread - great job We need cyclists such as yourself out there promoting the good side of the hobby/sport.

magohn
I think it much more likely the office racers will moan on their private email groups, much like Bike Club of Philadelphia members do periodically about the walkers, children, and pets cluttering 'their' Schuylkill River Trail or West River Drive. (Pacelines are important to such folks for some reason.) I don't disagree that its a dangerous situation at times, but I think the danger is an assumed risk for the cyclist.
 
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Old 03-25-12, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
Im almost tempted to write to the local paper and ask for bikes to be banned from the footpath. Its like driving your car at 25mph through an indoor shopping mall at Christmas - ridiculous.
"This mall has everything!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oMtdXaqBx4

Sadly, my proposal for an indoor bike race at the mall fell on deaf ears.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:47 AM
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Pacelines going fast should be banned on MUP's ! I can ride pretty fast on a MUP and then slow down when I approach families, kids and dogs when I am alone. In a bunch with adrenalin pumping many of us are not to be trusted !
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Old 03-25-12, 11:00 AM
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Magohn, don't be so heavy handed in your thinking, don't ban everybody for the actions of a few, manage the actions of the few. Our MUP has a bike lane in addition to a walking piece, not that the walkers ever stay on their side oft the path. It's not safe to ride like that near children, you just can't assume they won't dart out in front of you and that's probably the reasoning behind that speed limit in the first place.
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Old 03-25-12, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
Im almost tempted to write to the local paper and ask for bikes to be banned from the footpath. Its like driving your car at 25mph through an indoor shopping mall at Christmas - ridiculous.
Do this...don't complain here...you're preaching to the choir.

Nothing will change if we don't change it. As a cyclist, you have more credibility than someone who doesn't cycle. Take a few videos, post them on Youtube and then write letters and make phone calls including to the Mayor and other legislators. You could end up saving someone's life.
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Old 03-25-12, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Magohn, don't be so heavy handed in your thinking, don't ban everybody for the actions of a few, manage the actions of the few. Our MUP has a bike lane in addition to a walking piece, not that the walkers ever stay on their side oft the path. It's not safe to ride like that near children, you just can't assume they won't dart out in front of you and that's probably the reasoning behind that speed limit in the first place.
I see your reasoning but respectfully disagree. I for one, am fine with stopping bikes mixing with pedestrians on a narrow path. As a community, if we cant self-regulate and adopt common-sense then we deserve everything we get. I was the exception to the rule on the path as I remained around a 10mph average. Most bikes made me look like I was standing still and were easily above the 15mph limit.

Even at the 15mph limit, the possibility of a 200lb rider and bike slamming into a 30lb toddler feeding the ducks isnt worth the risk
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Old 03-25-12, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
Pacelines going fast should be banned on MUP's ! I can ride pretty fast on a MUP and then slow down when I approach families, kids and dogs when I am alone. In a bunch with adrenalin pumping many of us are not to be trusted !
How is said "ban" to be interpreted or enforced?
 
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Old 03-25-12, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
Do this...don't complain here...you're preaching to the choir.

Nothing will change if we don't change it. As a cyclist, you have more credibility than someone who doesn't cycle. Take a few videos, post them on Youtube and then write letters and make phone calls including to the Mayor and other legislators. You could end up saving someone's life.
I agree but it takes a village...
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Old 03-25-12, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
I agree but it takes a village...
Meh...if everyone had that attitude nothing would ever change. Someone has to get the ball rolling. Why not you?
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Old 03-25-12, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
Meh...if everyone had that attitude nothing would ever change. Someone has to get the ball rolling. Why not you?
I have already submitted a "letter to the editor" for our local rag "The Woodinville Weekly" - your turn.
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Old 03-25-12, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
I have already submitted a "letter to the editor" for our local rag "The Woodinville Weekly" - your turn.
I don't live there and am taking you at your word that this all happened. Believe me when I tell you...I *am* the squeaky wheel in my area.

Good on you for doing something to represent us in a positive light!
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Old 03-25-12, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
...Good on you for doing something to represent us in a positive light!
Thanks - I guess the hard thing for me was the realization that the complaints I had heard previously about "inconsiderate cycling habits" from friends etc actually had a basis of truth. I always thought the complaining was some weird conspiracy against the nature-loving cyclist. Yesterday was an eye-opener!
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Old 03-25-12, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
Do this...don't complain here...you're preaching to the choir.

Nothing will change if we don't change it. As a cyclist, you have more credibility than someone who doesn't cycle. Take a few videos, post them on Youtube and then write letters and make phone calls including to the Mayor and other legislators. You could end up saving someone's life.
Be prepared to earn calumny from the 'bicycle advocates' in your community. I've been there.
 
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Old 03-25-12, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
Thanks - I guess the hard thing for me was the realization that the complaints I had heard previously about "inconsiderate cycling habits" from friends etc actually had a basis of truth. I always thought the complaining was some weird conspiracy against the nature-loving cyclist. Yesterday was an eye-opener!
Yep....we have one, 2 mile path here which generally keeps it safe for kids and walkers, but occasionally there are some idiots there running 20 mph back and forth. I've been in a few heated arguments with some of these folks...as a Clyde, I generally have a nice advantage while in a face to face with a rude cyclist. I outweigh most of them by 90 pounds or so and I use it to my advantage.

Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
Be prepared to earn calumny from the 'bicycle advocates' in your community. I've been there.
No doubt, Neil, but at my age I couldn't care less what they think of me. I'm more concerned what others think of us as a group.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
Do this...don't complain here...you're preaching to the choir.

Nothing will change if we don't change it. As a cyclist, you have more credibility than someone who doesn't cycle. Take a few videos, post them on Youtube and then write letters and make phone calls including to the Mayor and other legislators. You could end up saving someone's life.
Or, you could end up screwing up every responsible cyclists life.

That's just like saying, I saw a guy on the freeway doing over 100 mph is his porche...I am going to write a letter and have driving on freeways banned.

Just because there a few idiots doesn't mean we need to ban an activity, we do need to change the inappropriate behavior.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
Or, you could end up screwing up every responsible cyclists life.

That's just like saying, I saw a guy on the freeway doing over 100 mph is his porche...I am going to write a letter and have driving on freeways banned.

Just because there a few idiots doesn't mean we need to ban an activity, we do need to change the inappropriate behavior.
Poor comparison as people, kids and others aren't expected to be able to use a highway to walk on in safety. Also..we have traffic police that are dedicated to monitoring this type of activity. Who monitors a MUP?

Self policing works only if someone has balls enough to step up and do it. I agree that the behavior needs to change...wouldn't bringing this issue to the attention of the proper authorities be a step in the right direction?
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Old 03-25-12, 12:32 PM
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I will both agree and disagree.

People, kids, pets, etc are traveling on the highway and should/do have an expectation of safety. When driving, or being a passenger, they are following the intended use of the freeway. When another person acts in an irresponsible manner, it endangers the other motorist.

Yes there are police to enforce these rules, and no, i suspect there are no officials to enforce the rules on trails.

However, calling for an outright ban of one of the intended uses, from an observation by a user, seems excessive and unfair.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post

However, calling for an outright ban of one of the intended uses, from an observation by a user, seems excessive and unfair.
Sorry...I'm not for a ban per se....rather a more careful clarification of how cyclists should behave and then some process to enforce a consequence on the folks behaving badly. If people would simply use common sense this issue wouldn't exist, but there are too many selfish and or stupid people out there to allow that to happen.
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Old 03-25-12, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
If people would simply use common sense this issue wouldn't exist, but there are too many selfish and or stupid people out there to allow that to happen.
Could not have said it better. I also dont want a ban but would not oppose it after what I witnessed yesterday. From the faces of the riders trying to maintain their 20mph average as they went around another annoying obstacle (a person), I dont think things are likely to get better anytime soon. As stated, I did write a letter to the local paper. I did not suggest a ban but rather a reduction of speed limit from 15mph to 10mph MAXIMUM. In the letter, I also apologized as a cyclist to the people out there just trying to take a stroll in the rare sunshine.

Im not expecting things to change anytime soon but I want to be on the record to the public and state "that a'int me".
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Old 03-25-12, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by magohn View Post
Its specifically created to allow families to be able to walk/picnic alongside the river but recreational bikes are allowed (speed limit 15 mph).
So it's not exclusively a "WALKING PATH." It's an M.U.P. and they can be dangerous places do to inconsiderate users of all types. The speeding "get out of my way" cyclists and the "I am walking my dog on a 20' leash while talking on the phone and not paying attention to what the hell my dog is doing" sort. Then there is my favorite. The group of people, whether on feet or on bikes, who stop to chat smack in the middle of the trail as if they are the only folks in the universe. Unfortunately, the lack of courtesy and lawlessness abound. I see it all the time. Drivers not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. Pedestrians crossing against lights when traffic is approaching. People trying to bull their way onto elevators while a group is trying to exit. The list goes on.

I think raising hell is a good thing. If discourteous trail users feel they might be banned completely, perhaps many of them will clean up their acts.
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