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Your M.U.P. Rules of the Road

Old 02-08-17, 02:09 PM
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goose70
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Your M.U.P. Rules of the Road

What nice weather...70s in February in Maryland! I'll go for a ride that's not on an indoor trainer. And I'll take the local walking/jogging/dog/horse/cycling trail for part of that ride!


Bad idea.


This day reminded me why I only use the local MUP when necessary. Everyone decided to use the trail today. No surprise; I'm glad that they're out enjoying the day. But constantly shouting "passing on your left" is annoying enough, but having walkers/joggers/dogs on leashes strung out across the entire trail and most people wearing ear buds makes the "on your left" exercise futile. Worse, one woman jumped to her left as I announced that I was passing, causing me to go into some shrubs to avoid her.


So this brings me finally to the point of this post. Do any of you ride on MUPs where the posted rule is for pedestrians to walk against cycling traffic, instead of with their backs to it? This is what I learned to do from the time I was in kindergarten. It's what AAA and many states advise. So why, on my MUP, does nearly everyone walk/jog/stroller with their backs to cyclists, plus with earbuds in their ears?


I also walk and run on our MUP, and lately I've begun doing so on the left. What a world of difference. I can see cyclists coming, never get buzzed or surprised, it doesn't matter if I'm listening to music and everyone seems happy. Well, everyone except for the one cyclist and one group of joggers who yelled at me to get on the right.


I took this concern to the MUP Ranger station today and their response was as follows: (1) If pedestrians walk facing cyclists, they'll be in the cyclists' way. And (2) we plan to put up a sign forbidding the use of earbuds and headphones on the MUP. Yep, I'll bet that goes over well. And it's so much more practical than just asking peds to walk facing traffic.


Obviously, this is more of a rant than anything, but I am genuinely curious if you've experienced a different situation on your MUP.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:25 PM
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The only local trail near me I don't think has any posted rules like that. I think people tend to stay on the right because that's the way we drive and it's just a habit.

But that's why I have a bell on my bike, so I don't have to be yelling at everyone I'm passing, and not having people jump to the left when you call out "On your left."
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Old 02-08-17, 02:27 PM
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don't do mup (don't have one), but when walking on the road, always face traffic
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Old 02-08-17, 02:32 PM
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Did other riders wave at you?
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Old 02-08-17, 02:34 PM
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When two or three walkers are coming towards me in my lane, and they're walking by a group on their right where they're supposed to be, what then? You've got to stop and wait for them to sort themselves out. Walk facing motor traffic, but with bike traffic it works best when everyone is going the same direction.

People don't follow MUP rules enough to be worth the aggravation of worrying about them. When it's busy and crowded like that, the only thing I'm thinking about is my plan for getting off of it.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:44 PM
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I love riding on my local MUP as it's essentially endless, it's well engineered and it's maintained. In cool weather or early AM, I can do 20 MPH on it all day without issue. I live in a densely populated region but surprisingly the MUP is almost always sparsely used or even deserted. At 10am on a summer Saturday, forget it.

Walkers and cyclists use the same side so I'm very familiar with the issues you mention. I've found that if you use a bell people are very respectful and reactive. A bell is non threatening and people seem to like it more than "on your left". About one out of every five runners is completely dead to the world and nonreactive when I ring the bell / call on your left. You have no idea if they've heard you so you're forced to creep by giving lots of room. Still, I'll take that risk any day over the insanity of local drivers.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:45 PM
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I don't think I've seen posted rules to walk (or ride) to the right. But, I think everyone generally walks or rides to the right... except for the few who will walk wherever they please (or groups who use the whole path). People also tend to move right when being passed... except when they move left.

Very few "lane markings" here on MUPS.

We have several sawdust paths that are popular with joggers, and gets them away from bikes (not mandatory, but it helps). Walkers tend to stay on the paved areas. Beware of them coming from off the path onto the path without looking.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:50 PM
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Our local mup's have different rules about this depending on jurisdiction... frustrating!
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Old 02-08-17, 02:53 PM
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LOL excellent rant. been getting used to riding one near me this winter. guess I'll have to stop when it warms up again. one strategy is to get off it early before the numb-nutz start swarming all over it like drunken sailors


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Old 02-08-17, 02:55 PM
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Rule 1: Only use MUP when its too early/late/hot/cold/rainy/windy/whatever for the walkers, kids, gawkers, etc to gum it up.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:55 PM
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I avoid MUP's like the plague. And we have plenty around here. Everyone to the right, too. And yes, ear buds. We have lots of nice , quiet country roads, that most, serious cyclists prefer to use. KB
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Old 02-08-17, 02:58 PM
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Sorry I am a little late with the snacks.
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Old 02-08-17, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by goose70 View Post
I took this concern to the MUP Ranger station today and their response was as follows: (1) If pedestrians walk facing cyclists, they'll be in the cyclists' way. And (2) we plan to put up a sign forbidding the use of earbuds and headphones on the MUP. Yep, I'll bet that goes over well. And it's so much more practical than just asking peds to walk facing traffic.
What kind of uniforms do MUP rangers wear? I always assumed lycra.

Also, why would they ban earbuds? I've always thought riding with them on a MUP is nice because you don't have to worry about cars and can zone out.
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Old 02-08-17, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
What kind of uniforms do MUP rangers wear? I always assumed lycra.

Wrong. Rapha jeans:


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Old 02-08-17, 03:21 PM
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Worse, one woman jumped to her left as I announced that I was passing, causing me to go into some shrubs to avoid her.
She must have been one of the Knights (or Ladies) who say "Ni". OP didn't hear the injunction: "None shall pass."
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Old 02-08-17, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
What kind of uniforms do MUP rangers wear? I always assumed lycra.

Also, why would they ban earbuds? I've always thought riding with them on a MUP is nice because you don't have to worry about cars and can zone out.

They wear standard, green/brown forest ranger uniforms (seriously). The MUP is technically a county park, so....
And the earbud ban is, I assume, directed more towards peds and slower cyclists who are unable to hear faster cyclists coming up behind them.


A bell has been on my list for awhile (not sure why it needs to be on a list rather than just bought already). I'm not sure that really solves the fundamental problem, though. I also get the "avoid the MUP" sentiment. But on the other hand, it's the only safe route for several multi-mile stretches and my tax dollars help pay for it. Having peds walk towards cyclists strikes me as such an easy solution which keeps everyone safe and happy on what should be an easily sharable space. I guess I'm having trouble figuring out what great obstacle prevents this from being implemented. Lord knows, we already have a slew of MUP rules around here. This one rule would probably allow us to get rid of most of the others.
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Old 02-08-17, 03:27 PM
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We have MUP's all over the place around here to the point that I don't ride in the street any more . In Long Beach Ca.one of my favorite trails has a path for wheels and a path for walkers . I have had some interaction with clueless people though . One time I came up on this lady , I was going pretty fast and I couldn't see her in tell the last 30' she was just standing there looking up at the sun with arms out stretched . So I yelled bike , she jumped about 3' off the ground by the time I passed her we were both laughing .
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Old 02-08-17, 03:27 PM
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The last thing I'd want to encounter on a trail is a grizzly in pants that has weaponized a shovel.


Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Wrong. Rapha jeans:


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Old 02-08-17, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by goose70 View Post
So this brings me finally to the point of this post. Do any of you ride on MUPs where the posted rule is for pedestrians to walk against cycling traffic, instead of with their backs to it? This is what I learned to do from the time I was in kindergarten. It's what AAA and many states advise. So why, on my MUP, does nearly everyone walk/jog/stroller with their backs to cyclists, plus with earbuds in their ears?


I also walk and run on our MUP, and lately I've begun doing so on the left. What a world of difference. I can see cyclists coming, never get buzzed or surprised, it doesn't matter if I'm listening to music and everyone seems happy. Well, everyone except for the one cyclist and one group of joggers who yelled at me to get on the right.


I took this concern to the MUP Ranger station today and their response was as follows: (1) If pedestrians walk facing cyclists, they'll be in the cyclists' way. And (2) we plan to put up a sign forbidding the use of earbuds and headphones on the MUP. Yep, I'll bet that goes over well. And it's so much more practical than just asking peds to walk facing traffic.

People walk/ride/run on the right. If they were to walk/ride/run on the left, then riders would constantly play chicken with those off the bike.
Thatd be dumb.


I havent ever heard of those off the bike being on the left on any MUP. I cant imagine having to deal with that.
Off the bike users should have their backs to bikes as you are all traveling the same direction. You wont run into them.

As for leashes crossing the path and whatnot, well thats what you deal with for a MUP. its a MULTI USE path.

Here is a hierarchy for using the MUP.
- kids take most importance
- walkers take next importance
- runners take next importance
- dog walkers take next importance
- cyclists are least important

Cyclists yield to all others.
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Old 02-08-17, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by goose70 View Post
The last thing I'd want to encounter on a trail is a grizzly in pants that has weaponized a shovel.
Sig worthy
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Old 02-08-17, 03:30 PM
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In my area MUP's are used by everybody and although there are not too many rules I can see more being applied down the road. I think more and more people are getting into outdoor fitness around here and our county has really put a lot of money into our area MUP's. The way our trails are designed everyone goes in one direction and stays to the right curb. People passing acknowledge or dont and yes many do wear earbuds and tune out...

But I think speed is an issue particularly with "cyclists" around here. I believe they belong on the highways or roads where they dont have to worry about people. Its not a popular statement at all but in my area, from what I am seeing, these old people walking, young children on bikes, dog walkers etc, have no clue of cycling and these cyclists around here tend to treat it like a race course where they are almost two inches from lance Armstrong's butt lol....

So I expect them to do something with speed., Music...well now your micromanaging a little too much here...it is a recreational trail indeed.. But I think our mups are getting extremely more active and I could see them instituting new rules...


I am fortuate to have the Erie Canal system run right thru where I live. Imo its one of the best mup's....where you have little traffic and basic "shared" trail rules. (per the sign below) It goes 400 miles across the state with plenty of history along the way..

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Old 02-08-17, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post

Here is a hierarchy for using the MUP.
- kids take most importance
- walkers take next importance
- runners take next importance
- dog walkers take next importance
- cyclists are least important

Cyclists yield to all others.
What about roller blades, skates and skateboarders, dogs without leashes, and utility guys in pickup trucks? Who is less important/yields? I understand where you're coming from and agree, but I had to ask.
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Old 02-08-17, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by EnjoyinTheRide View Post
I am fortuate to have the Erie Canal system run right thru where I live. Imo its one of the best mup's....where you have little traffic and basic "shared" trail rules. (per the sign below) It goes 400 miles across the state with plenty of history along the way..
But you don't really stay under 5 mph there, do you? I'd need a new bike for that!
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Old 02-08-17, 03:44 PM
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I use Hope hoops wheels which have a nice buzzy freewheel. When I come up behind pedestrians they hear the freewheel and move, easy!
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Old 02-08-17, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddie72 View Post
I use Hope hoops wheels which have a nice buzzy freewheel. When I come up behind pedestrians they hear the freewheel and move, easy!
But how do they know which way to move?
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