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Hikers Vs Bikers

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 12:57 pm
I feel I might be too close to this issue to see this fairly. A conservation area in which I hike has a route for mountain bikers and several for foot hikers. The mt bikers will go onto the foot trails to have a richer experience. They're not supposed to as per the usage guidelines. Hikers generally go off the trail to let them pass, but sometimes bikers stop to let hikers pass. Recently the discussion was opened up. I didn't know about the discussion until after the initial commentary period. I went to this website (the biggest one for bikers at this conservation area) to get a bead on their side and found posts like this. I was pissed off. Does it seem like he is saying all hikers are biker-haters?

Quote:

It remains to be seen if the DCR is just stringing mountain bikers along with the promise of fairness, or if this really is just a small speed bump on the road to real, fair change in the Fells.

But we should all go to these meetings ANYWAY. Even if the deck is stacked: if only bike-hating tree-huggers show up to these meetings, it won't look like the deck is stacked, And it won't look like mountain bikers got fed up from 20+ years of getting **** on. It will just look like bike-haters care and mountain bikers don't. So go to the meetings!


 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 01:03 pm
In Toronto, there is a lot of animus toward bike-riders. They tend not to obey traffic regulation (or at least a large, noticeable minority don't), but they also show a great deal of hostility toward drivers. They are dangerous to pedestrians, and i see them going the wrong way down our one way street all the time. CBC is a big promoter of bike riding, and if you call or send e-mails to them to complain about bike riders, they don't get aired.

They anger me because so often bike riders have endangered the little dogs when i'm out walking them--so i may be prejudiced, but i feel that a lot of bike riders have a big chip on their shoulders. I can't, of course, say if this is in operation in your situation.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 01:16 pm
We have a lot of bike riders in the city here. I think most of them are quite good about obeying the rules. The few who don't are the stand-outs. I also live on a one-way where bikers go the wrong direction. As I am not used to looking 'up' the street before pulling out, this is dangerous. Generally speaking I applaud city riders (and fear for their lives!). I also applaud mt bikers. But this guy got even my back up which can't help his cause.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 01:24 pm
I think it's the vocal minority. Some of them seem to have a sense of entitlement. I was crossing Danforth Avenue one evening with the little dogs, crossing with the crossing light, and as we got to the other side, two bike riders blew by, missed the little dogs by inches, and only because i jerked them back by the lead. I hollered at these guys to watch out, and they looked back, and then laughed and rode on (they had just run a red light). It's against by-law to ride your bike on the sidewalk if you're over 18, and although i try to give people the benefit of the doubt, some people are obviously over 18, so i'll point out to them they're violating the law. One guy began screaming at me that my dogs were blocking the sidewalk, spread out, he said over 90 feet. Well, both sidewalks and all four lanes of the street are not 90 feet wide, but i just pointed out to him that he's not supposed to be riding his bike on the sidewalk. He followed me down the street (going in the opposite direction to the direction he had been riding before), screaming at me and at one point threatening me with physical violence. And i'm not out looking for trouble, if i see someone on the sidewalk who isn't a problem, i don't say anything to them--and i have said something to joggers on the sidewalk who show no regard for the other pedestrians. One jogger began yelling at me about the dogs (as though i have eyes in the back of my head), and while he was ranting, he ran full tilt into an elderly gentleman, and almost knocked him down. There's a lot of creeps in this world.

I think the ones who rant and rave are operating out of resentment for a world who doesn't pat them on the back for being so "green," or have just stored up a world of resentment for the people who don't pay any attention to them.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 09:34 pm
In my opinion, a possible partial solution would be for the local governement to require bike riders, over the age of 18 probably, to register and take out insurance for an accident, and then display a small license plate on the back of the seat. In this way, non-compliance for not having insurance can be easily enforced, where there is no plate.

Once there was the possibility of having one's insurance raised, if there was an accident, with injury to human or animal, I would think the riding would be more safety oriented. Regardless, it could be an uphill battle for such an ordnance. Perhaps, insurance companies would like the idea?

Also, I remember a time when bike riders used their "bell" to alert pedestrians. That social custom seems to have ended?

0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 10:56 pm
They're already saying they are treated unfairly. Having bikers pay insurance and hikers not wouldn't work either. Besides that there is no one policing the woods.

Standard practice around here is for bikers to shout "On your Left!" or right as the case might be. Most bikers in the conservation area do that (maybe 60% of the time).
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 11:20 pm
@littlek,
Quote:
It will just look like bike-haters care and mountain bikers don't


Care about what? What is the issue that is generating the animosity between hikers and riders? Is it the damage to the trails, the congestion on the paths, the need for more paths for both types?

littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 11:21 pm
@Butrflynet,
Care about who gets what usage rights. I think.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 11:27 pm
@littlek,
If that's the case, then they aren't being all that conscious about what the surrounding natural habitat requires in order to be conserved.

If accommodating both means having to widen paths or add more paths, that won't be good for the area they are trying to preserve.

The park needs to decide what their main objective is. Also, they should determine who is doing the most damage to the trails and charge fees accordingly to cover repair and clean up costs.

littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 11:37 pm
@Butrflynet,
What little research has been done says that mt bikers don't do more damage to trails than hikers do. I find that a little hard to believe, but that's what I've found online. I agree that widening paths would be a problem. I also agree that there needs to be a decision made about the ultimate point of this conservation area is.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 12:00 am
@littlek,
littlek wrote:

Standard practice around here is for bikers to shout "On your Left!" or right as the case might be. Most bikers in the conservation area do that (maybe 60% of the time).


HAH! Double HAH! I've tried the "on your left" thing, and barring two cyclists, and one guy carrying a kayak, it provokes one of three reactions: they pretend not to hear, they get mad, or best of all, they think it means "Jump to your Left"! Really, the bell option works best, if you have the right bell. Mine is a little single dinger. Not loud, but so unusual the peds hear, look, and smile - usually.

Where I ride, the trails are multiple use, meaning bikes, peds, dogs, and horses. None of them are predictible, least of all toddlers with training wheels who are trained to perform as Roger seeking missiles. It simply isn't possible to go full bore on a twisty trail and limited sight distance. On the other hand, it isn't really necessary for three people on foot to occupy a section of trail 15' wide. Nor do a half dozen need to congregate on the approaches to the foot bridges.

You say there are foot paths only for walkers. You need a wee bit of enforcement up there. Here, we have occasional bike police, members of the police department, I mean. Not often enough because it's not often a major crime area, though.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 05:41 am
wellll..... i do know bikers who are bikers and tree huggers at the same time, so let us just say that the loud bikers as the one who was quoted do not represent the entire mountain biking community. there are bikers who go a repair trails etc. i can actually imagine that mountain bikes don't do more damage as they need only a very narrow path - no need to widen paths for mountain bikers. the wheel is thinner than your two feet.

it is more about the cohabitation of bikers and hikers. maybe there are too few paths designated for bikers, maybe not, i don't know, i suppose it would be to the benefit of all if they stuck to trails designated for biking. if there are enough trails and they still use hiking trails then it is indeed a matter of some policing. all in all, sounds like there could be a solution found by communities talking together, which seems to be planned.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 10:36 am
Dasha, I was hoping you'd come. One of the ideas was to widen the trails so bikers and hikers could pass each other. I agree that we should be talking which is why I am peeved that the biking guy cut off our online discussion.

Roger, I think the bells would be less pleasing in the so-called wilds. I loved this:
Quote:
None of them are predictible, least of all toddlers with training wheels who are trained to perform as Roger seeking missiles.

Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 11:27 am
I both hike and mountain-bike. Out here the biking in a lot of regions is downhill. This means that you get going at a pretty good clip, and stopping on a dime is impossible. When you run across someone who is on the trail, you don't exactly have a lot of options - and much of time, bailing out means ramming a tree or taking a significant fall. It is an inherently dangerous sport to begin with and when you add moving objects onto the tracks it gets worse.

A lot of the best places to ride out here are in Redwood forests - these are naturally attractive places to hike as well. There's a pretty significant problem with people on both ends of the spectrum. We get hikers who are on trails that are clearly marked as mountain bike trails and just don't seem to give a ****. We get cyclists who barrel down every fire road and wider trail as fast as they possibly can. I have zero sympathy for either one of these groups. I think people have a responsibility to:

A, choose appropriate paths to either ride or walk on, and
B, expect to encounter problems if it's a mixed-use area. Don't zone out. Don't jam the trail as fast as you can.

This is no offense to those who have dogs - I love dogs - but people who walk their dogs on mountain-biking trails are the worst. The dogs are either stretching their leash across the trail or, even worse, are off the leash. I've been chased by dogs and bit by dogs while mountain biking, and wrecked into a bush because some dumbass is hiking up a trail they shouldn't be on with 4 small dogs on long leashes.

Re: riding in the city on the bike. I follow traffic laws, except for coming to a full stop at stop signs. I stay really aware of pedestrians b/c I don't trust them - they will do the opposite of whatever you think they will, or should.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 11:29 am
@littlek,
I can't believe that you can't hear mountain bikes coming. They make a good deal of noise. I have a bell but hardly ever see the need to use it.

Widening the trails isn't a great solution for the mountain bikers, because wide trails are boring. Tight, rolling single-track is super-fun. You'd basically be wrecking it for them.

Cycloptichorn
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 03:19 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
she's hard of hearing, hehe.
no, they can come at you really quietly from behind, not even as much as a swoosh. and if you're wearing a hat or a hood,forget it.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 03:52 pm
@dagmaraka,
dagmaraka wrote:

she's hard of hearing, hehe.
no, they can come at you really quietly from behind, not even as much as a swoosh. and if you're wearing a hat or a hood,forget it.


Well, that does make sense, sorry Littlek Laughing

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 04:48 pm
The bottom line is: there is a trail designated for mountain-bikers that
loops through the entire area and mountain bikes are restricted from all
trails but that one.

The mountain-bikers don't like this, so they use all the trails anyway.
They think of anything short of free and unrestricted use of all trails as
being "**** upon." Anyone who thinks bikes and hikers on the same
narrow trail can be dangerous is a "bike-hater."

littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 05:15 pm
@George,
Dasha has a point - I'm a little deaf. But, still, it's not just me. I hike in a group and we make our own noise which can mask biker noise until they're pretty close.

George that's how I read it. We had a short debate about semantics. Finally, he stated that he means ANYONE who thinks bikers and hikers should not use the same trails are bike-haters. I don't necessarily think bikers should be restricted to the one huge loop, but I think there should be some trails that are for use of either/or.

He wants a tough, rocky trail opened to both, but I think that would be problematic. First, there is likely no way a bike could get up some of the rock faces, so the trail would have to be rerouted (environmental impact). Also, the trail has long stretches which are very narrow which would mean that any oncoming or passing traffic would have to either wait out the other group or pass in underbrush. But, I suppose the later scenario would also be the case for oncoming or passing pedestrians.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Feb, 2011 10:39 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Re: riding in the city on the bike. I follow traffic laws, except for coming to a full stop at stop signs. I stay really aware of pedestrians b/c I don't trust them - they will do the opposite of whatever you think they will, or should.


I don't know what it is that you think pedestrians should do. If they are not walking in the street, they are doing what they are entitled to do.

I had not particular feeling about bike riders at all until i came to this city. Here, they seem to think they are a law unto themselves. They don't just run stop signs, they run stop lights, and if they come to a stop light and can't cross the intersection because of traffic, i've seen them turn left and shoot through the pedestrian crosswalk just so they don't have to slow down. In this city, at least, they don't show the slightest regard for pedestrians, and they routinely violate traffice regulation. According to by-law, anyone on a bicycle over the age of 18 is not supposed to be on the sidewalk, or in a pedestrian crosswalk, so if there is a problem with pedestrians, it's because the bike rider is in violation of the law.

Once again, i had no strong feelings one way or the other about bike riders until i lived here. Here, to my mind, they're an arrogant nightmare.
0 Replies
 
 

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