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Courtesy on the bike paths....

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Courtesy on the bike paths....

Old 08-21-19, 09:41 AM
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stephr1
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Courtesy on the bike paths....

I was curious what people's experience has been when being passed by, or otherwise encounter, other bikers while out on a ride. Specifically, I'd be interested when riding on a multi-use path (MUT/MUP).

I ride a mtn. bike and noticed most people on road bikes rarely ever let me know they are going to pass me (sometimes catch me by surprise And some of these riders pass fairly close at reasonable speeds (for that trail)...like if I turned my head at the moment of their passing, I might get hit by a shoulder I don't see many other mtn. bikes at all where I ride, so I don't have enuf data to draw any kind of inference from that.

Do others see similar behavior? Or do I have the unfortunate luck to cross paths with road bikers who exhibit bad behavior here in Silicon Valley?

Cheers....

"Ride smart. Ride safe. Always have a plan b, c, d, etc."
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Old 08-21-19, 10:07 AM
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In what was once a civilized society, we have deteriorated to the point that many individuals are so wrapped up in their little world(s) that they no longer consider how their actions affect others.

Inconsiderate road bikers, walkers with cell phones, walkers/joggers/riders with earbuds or earphones, dog walkers with extended leashes...the list is endless. Welcome to our modern equivalent of the wild west, the multi-use path.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:20 AM
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Read up on the rules for your path. Chances are, the subject of your complaints is covered but ignored.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
In what was once a civilized society, we have deteriorated to the point that many individuals are so wrapped up in their little world(s) that they no longer consider how their actions affect others.

Inconsiderate road bikers, walkers with cell phones, walkers/joggers/riders with earbuds or earphones, dog walkers with extended leashes...the list is endless. Welcome to our modern equivalent of the wild west, the multi-use path.
MUP = Wild West. That's pretty funny. I like it!

Definitely lots of folks doing their own thing on the MUP. I once saw a guy sitting in a camping chair right in the middle of the MUP. In the same area I once saw someone dragging a kayak. I guess that's where the *multi-use* part of MUP comes from. It seems to me that a walker listening to earbuds has just as much right to be on the MUP as I do.

I have riders sneak up on me from time to time. Some announce and some don't. Honestly, I'm torn between announcing and not. It works as intended less than half the time. At about that same rate, the result is the walker turns around whilst they move directly where I'm trying to pass them.

This is why I prefer riding on the road. But there are parts of town where the MUP is simply easier and safer. So I slow down, expect the unexpected and embrace the "multi". That's my new motto..."embrace the multi."
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Old 08-21-19, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Read up on the rules for your path. Chances are, the subject of your complaints is covered but ignored.
The only rules visible (printed on signs along the path) for any person using the path are:

1. Slower traffic - Stay Right (most joggers are good about this)
2. Speed limit - 15 MPH (again, most joggers are good about this)

Anything beyond that is prob'ly posted on the city/county website...and who goes thru that effort to find out. Apparently, not many.

Cheers....
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Old 08-21-19, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by stephr1 View Post
The only rules visible (printed on signs along the path) for any person using the path are:

1. Slower traffic - Stay Right (most joggers are good about this)
2. Speed limit - 15 MPH (again, most joggers are good about this)

Anything beyond that is prob'ly posted on the city/county website...and who goes thru that effort to find out. Apparently, not many.

Cheers....
I'm not riding any path with a 15 mph speed limit, I'd much prefer the street, but if I were riding faster than that, I'd announce my passes for sure.

The MUPs I ride on don't have speed limits, and I announce my passes almost every time. Other cyclists are definitely hit or miss about this, but there are definitely more fully-kitted roadies among the people who close pass people (including toddlers) at speed without announcing.

I've passed literally thousands of people while announcing "passing on your left." As of last weekend, the number of people who have gone left instead of staying or going to the right stands at 3.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:01 AM
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Unfortunately the bike paths here in Denver have become almost as dangerous as the roads... and trust me, being on both for many years, people need to be more courteous. There was a disastrous head on bike crash on the main Cherry Creek path downtown and serious injuries between the two riders ensued. Slow down and lay off the excess testosterone.
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Old 08-21-19, 11:21 AM
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I find about 5% of riders announce they are passing me. I try to keep an eye on what's going on behind me as being passed unannounced often startles me. Most of those that pass me are the spandex crowd and they are generally plugged in. People are rude on the road, no reason to expect them to be polite on the trail. I even encounter people on my pre-dawn commute with off-road head lights blasting 5,000 lumen at me and all the dog walkers. Unreal.
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Old 08-21-19, 12:26 PM
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Old 08-21-19, 12:32 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Makes me feel "it's not (necessarily) me....."

To add to my original post.....

I usually announce myself ~15 ft. before and typically if it's 2 people jogging together. They are mostly likely talking to each other and actually would hear me. If it's 1 person (who, 99 times out of 100, has on headsets, earbuds, etc.) I usually won't announce unless they are meandering towards the center and/or there is on-coming traffic (like a bike). Because of the width of the lanes, I almost always announce my passing when it's another biker.

Cheers.....
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Old 08-21-19, 12:40 PM
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One thing I've started doing- If I'm planning to significantly slow down at a non-obvious stopping point (either because I want to relax at a nearby park, or if I don't particularly want to hammer through a blind corner on a narrow MUP unlike the guy behind me on a TT bike, I like to very deliberately unclip one pedal and dangle the leg- I figure people get the message.

If this is some kind of severe bad idea, let me know, but I'm guessing nobody wants to ride behind someone who's going to suddenly slow down without warning.
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Old 08-21-19, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
In what was once a civilized society, we have deteriorated to the point that many individuals are so wrapped up in their little world(s) that they no longer consider how their actions affect others.

...
Yes, and when someone offers some consideration or random act of kindness, he is labelled a nicetard.
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Old 08-21-19, 12:44 PM
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I generally call out "on your left" before passing, except if the person is wearing headphone or ear buds. Wearing them means you won't hear me, so why bother. If I have to constantly slow down, then I shouldn't of chosen to be on the MUP.

Cyclists need to remember to share, the path with others.

But others need to remember to keep right, step off the path and not block it if they decide to stop and keep their children/dogs withing reach.
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Old 08-21-19, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
One thing I've started doing- If I'm planning to significantly slow down at a non-obvious stopping point (either because I want to relax at a nearby park, or if I don't particularly want to hammer through a blind corner on a narrow MUP unlike the guy behind me on a TT bike, I like to very deliberately unclip one pedal and dangle the leg- I figure people get the message.

If this is some kind of severe bad idea, let me know, but I'm guessing nobody wants to ride behind someone who's going to suddenly slow down without warning.
Do you do this because you found that the hand signal for slowing/stopping was ineffective? Not everyone understands common signals. I will signal if someone is close behind and it seems to communicate my intentions. I wish there was a signal for joggers about to do a sudden 180 at a specific target point known only to themselves.
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Old 08-21-19, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Do you do this because you found that the hand signal for slowing/stopping was ineffective? Not everyone understands common signals. I will signal if someone is close behind and it seems to communicate my intentions. I wish there was a signal for joggers about to do a sudden 180 at a specific target point known only to themselves.
I do that as well, but the main issue is that it has to be done in advance, because it requires taking my hands off the front brake lever.

I think for whatever reason I also kind of differentiate between "I am stopping" and "I am going to slowly coast through this section because there are like 20 people milling around the path ahead, and roughly 3 of them seem to be paying any attention to their surroundings"
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Old 08-21-19, 12:58 PM
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Do unto others

Our rules are welded to the pavement on the MUP's here, and are boiled down to: 1) Be considerate of other users 2) Signal to pass (could be an extension of 1, but it's separately stated). Signs are posted at major intersections announcing NO MOTOR VEHICLES. I bought bells (Oi Knogs, highly recommended) for the signaling part.

I always use my bells, and give two or three dings as I approach to give my target a way to judge closing speed. I don't expect them to hear me, or even move, because it's incumbent on me to overtake safely, the same standard of care used in any public right of way. It's always worked out, even when a numbskull is staring at their phone standing on the right side of the path while his dog has stretched its leash across the path. I just went around after yelling to get his attention and made preparations to stop if I had to.

Why is this so hard? You shouldn't 'race' on public streets in your vehicle, so why would a MUP be different?
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Old 08-21-19, 01:08 PM
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Normally I just ring my bell when I'm about 15 feet or so behind someone, whether they be on foot or on another bike. I don't have a loud enough voice to yell "on your left," and most people don't know what it means anyway. A bell gets the message across loud & clear that a bike is coming up behind you.

I can't say that I've noticed other cyclists ringing bells or saying "on your left" on the trail much, since I haven't been passed much. Not humble-bragging, it's just that the rail trail I ride is not that heavily populated, and usually it's me, a somewhat serious rider, doing the passing of slower, casual riders. However, on group rides I have noticed others in the group using "on your left" when passing me, which is to be expected.

Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Do you do this because you found that the hand signal for slowing/stopping was ineffective? Not everyone understands common signals. I will signal if someone is close behind and it seems to communicate my intentions. I wish there was a signal for joggers about to do a sudden 180 at a specific target point known only to themselves.
I don't like using the hand signal for stopping, because I need to be using both hands for braking. However, I feel that one leg down should be enough of an indication that someone is planning on stopping. If I notice someone putting a foot down I figure they're going to stop, and I will brake or move around them as necessary. Hopefully they'll realize the same thing if I put a foot down.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:09 PM
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There is a huge problem with Cyclists that are riding TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS on these multi-use/bicycle paths!
Many ignore the speed limit and just fly way too fast at near 20mph during the most congested and populated times on these multi-use paths.
These jerks are giving Cyclists a bad name.
These offenders tend to be all male in the 18 to 35 year old age group according to the local police.
These folks are old enough to know better but since most of them are single and without any children, according to the police officer, they have no concept of the importance of slowing down and not being a potential reckless menace. Usually once these young bucks finally have children of their own, they will instinctively then realize that they have been a menace to the pedestrians and families with strollers and the dog on the path, as well as joggers, older children, and the elderly people that use the paths for walking. These 18 to 35 year old idiot road bike "serious" cyclists are just as bad as the 16 year old kid with a new drivers license that likes to drive 40 to 45 mph through the Walmart or Kroger parking lot where they are employed and are earning minimum wage. These 16 year old morons with their new licenses do not realize just how dangerous this is as they believe now that it is harmless to accelerate rapidly through crowded parking lots, and speed through school zones. They believe that Nothing bad will happen. The worst that they believe that could happen is that they might receive a TICKET or a Warning from the local police. They do not forsee the possibility of an accident with another car or hitting a pedestrian. They tailgate too and they believe that they can control their car. We all know of stupid accidents by 16 year old drivers, whether it was in 1954, 1965, 1972, 1979, 1999 or whatever year. You might have been lucky but my bet is if you are male and you were 16 when you started driving, that you were likely as horrible as everyone else in any era.
The important thing is that in the case of these "serious" road cyclists that have to use the PATH, are childish and obviously must feel that it is somehow a threat to their manhood if they must SLOW their cycling speed on the PATH to a very moderate 9 to 11 mph and even slower when Dogs, Old People, and runners going in both directions are blocking the way. Most of these offending "jerk cyclists" refuse to use a bell. They feel that a bell is somehow only for the girl or elderly lady on a cruiser bike with a front mounted wicker basket.
My opinion is that there are now too many of these "jerk cyclists" that the perhaps the time has come again for municipalities and or States to require a large visible license plate to mounted on every bicycle that is ridden on public roads, paths, trails, and public parks. I did not think that would ever be necessary ever again but now I'm not sure. It would be an excellent way to quickly identify Cyclists . I have a friend who is an attorney and his belief is that instead of a plate or sticker for each bicycle, that there should be a State issued bicyclist REGISTRATION NUMBER that is identifies the bicyclist. He/she would be required to display that number placard on the bike like for example competition numbers are displayed in a triathlon. He says that every cyclist's helmet should have a sticker with that same State registration number. Bicycle helmet use would be required at all times on public roads, trails, parks, and paths.
He says that children under 18 violating the registration display policy would incur a potential $50 fine for the parents of said child. The fine for those 18 and older (adults) cyclists who violate the registration display policy would incur a potential $250 fine. I know his idea sound like madness but perhaps this method of madness will improve things. Just as folks can now capture video and identify cars on the video by their license plate, so too would it be possible to identify the cyclist on dash cam video or other video by their individual state issued bicyclist REGISTRATION NUMBER no matter what bicycle that person decided to ride on that particular day. I am beginning to see that this may not be too crazy after all. In certain areas, there are just too many jerk cyclists that are misbehaving. It is certainly not the homless folks that are flying down these paths on weekends when everybody is walking the family, jogging, cruising with the kids, etc. The folks messing things up are the young male "serious" road bike riders that do use the paths. They aren't riding Salvation Army specials, as many are seen on things sporting the names Specialized and others. It isn't grandpa on his Specialized. These dumb--- young fellows need to respect the lower speed necessary on the PATHS or they need to just Not Use the PATHS when high pedestrian, dog traffic, and elderly walkers are present! It can be okay for them to ride as fast as they wish to IF YOU HAVE NOBODY THERE with 1000 meters of visibility, but these young bucks need to think about what they are doing. It might be a good suggestion: Make America Think again.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:11 PM
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Is there etiquette for following another rider? I don't like, attempt to impromptu draft off anyone, but I occasionally get one of those situations where my turnoff is close enough that overtaking someone only to stop 100 meters later seems silly, but because of my gearing/their speed/whatever, it's hard to not accidentally creep up on them from behind.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Welcome to our modern equivalent of the wild west, the multi-use path.
Not limited to cyclists of course. I run more than I bike, and I've had all kinds of run-ins with people that think they can run three-across on a multi-use path. Add cyclists who want to ride side-by-side or who want to get some speed going while there are pedestrians, children, skateboards, etc.

I just gave up on the multi-use path on weekend mornings because of the crowd and the huge variety of people doing their own thing. Weekday evenings on the path . . . Weekend mornings, I might as well run/ride on the road and explore new ground.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:24 PM
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Old 08-21-19, 01:30 PM
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I avoid the paths. Much safer on the road. Cars hardly ever stop suddenly, turn unexpectedly, or amble three across oblivious to other users.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:33 PM
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A couple of weeks ago the park district did on-site surveys of the MUP trail users. I spent some time visiting with the person who oversees the trails and was heading up the survey. I asked him what they found to be the biggest complaints. He said the most frequent comment concerned "high-speed" bikers. More people complained about being endangered by this than any other issue. A secondary complaint was just lack of trail etiquete - the typical issues we all encounter on the trails.

I was not surprised by his comments. The only times I have been concerned about my safety on the trails have been caused by some hotdog in spandex riding like they were training for the T de F. Weaving through traffic at high speed, taking blind corners on the wrong side of the trail, and as the OP indicated, speeding past without announcing. I have also had occasion to help pick up two or three of them when they overcooked a tight corner on their carbon bike and dumped it into the trees.

Riding at a speed that is appropriate to a MUP trail, I can usually dodge a wandering jogger/dog walker/family groups, etc. but it is hard to dodge a biker doing 20+ mph in the wrong lane on a blind curve.

But the most unique situation I have encountered on the trails was last Sunday. A girl in her early teens had spread out a beach towel on one lane and was laying there in the sun getting a tan.

The park district posts trail rules but I have never seen any enforcement, so the random craziness continues.
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Old 08-21-19, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I've passed literally thousands of people while announcing "passing on your left." As of last weekend, the number of people who have gone left instead of staying or going to the right stands at 3.
This shocks me. When I say "on your left" very high percentages of people apparently hear that as "move left" because that's what they generally do. So I stopped announcing for a while and just relied on slower speed and getting as far over as I can.

Recently I've been saying "coming around" and that seems to work much better, but some still move to the left and whip around in confusion.
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Old 08-21-19, 02:33 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
This shocks me. When I say "on your left" very high percentages of people apparently hear that as "move left" because that's what they generally do. So I stopped announcing for a while and just relied on slower speed and getting as far over as I can.

Recently I've been saying "coming around" and that seems to work much better, but some still move to the left and whip around in confusion.
I say "passing on your left". Putting the verb in seems to help. I think "On your left" is inherently confusing, and even "I'm on your left" would be better.
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