TRAIL ETIQUETTE, WHY??
Now we have been down this trail before on MtnBikeRiders.com, trail etiquette is important to all users and there are three basic groups you will encounter on any given trail depending where you are at.
You have Hikers, Equestrians, and Mountain Bikers. It’s not uncommon that these three groups will bump into each other on any given trail here in our local area or your local area for that fact.
Multi use trails have simple rules, they are not hard rules to understand and if you can’t heed these rules of the trail, I will be the first to tell you to leave the trail no matter who you think you are.
I have been all three of these users at one time or another and it blows me away that some people think they can do as they please on the trail while not giving a rat’s ass about others.
OK I’m not going to single out any one group yet, but I must say I have encountered bad Hikers, Equestrians and Mountain Bikers. These bad apples all thought they were God’s gift to the trail and we all should bow down to their wills, more like their rules of their road.
“NOOO, SORRY!!” It doesn’t work that way. SHARE means SHARE, MULTI USE you idiots.
We have all seen the simple sign the shows you the “YIELD” to triangle (see sign above). Hiker yields to Horses; Mountain Biker yields to both Hiker and Horses. Simple, right?? Well not for some unfortunately.
We wanted to share with you a story told by Wendy Engelberg from “Girlz Gone Riding” that happened this past holiday while she and her group were out riding on the local trail.
This incident has to do with one mountain biker and a group of hikers, where bad trail etiquette was shown by one Mountain Biker and why we as Mountain Bikers are all lumped in the same group of “ALL MOUNTAIN BIKERS ARE BAD”.
“This morning’s ride was an unfortunate adventure for part of it.
We came up on 4 hikers on Westridge fire road. One of them was sitting on the ground with something obviously very wrong, so we slowed down, pulled over and asked what the problem was to see if we could help.
He said a mountain biker took him out and he went down on his hip, can’t stand up or walk. He said the biker only stopped to yell at him for not having his dog on a leash. (Westridge dogs are actually permitted OFF leash. There is a huge sign at the trail head stating so). The biker did not slow down or call out what side he was going to pass on, so instead he just took the hiker out.
Naturally these 4 people were pissed off, especially the older gentleman Jeffrey who got injured. The 1st thing he did was lump the mountain bikers into being all bad. Lena and I stayed with them proving to him that was not the case and I think he was grateful that we did. He told 911 that Lena and I were going to ride up and meet the fire trucks to let them know where he was located on the trail. (after calling the biker who hit him an asshole many times over to the 911 operator, he let them know that the cyclists that were going to ride up… Lena and myself… to meet them were not). I gave him my card as well just in case.
5 fire trucks and 2 helicopters later he was rescued, so the firemen had to cut the locks on the gates to get through.
THIS is one of the reasons hikers don’t like mountain bikers. This happens more than you think. It only takes a few bikers conducting themselves as tools and feeling they are entitled to the entire trail and not sharing the trails…to shut down the trails.
Yes, dogs off leash are a pain, yes, hikers don’t pay attention a lot, HOWEVER……we must SHARE the trails! SLOW down when you see others, smile and say hello! Let them know we are good people and will ride safely around them and their dogs.
I’m glad Lena and I were there because no other bikers stopped except for the riders in our group, only hikers stopped. Please, please be mindful and respectful to ALL other trail users. Just yesterday on Rogers Joanne and I came within inches of being taken out while we were climbing with another out of control biker. Saw us climbing and still didn’t slow down or pull over on a narrow single track.
Everyone I ride with is absolutely awesome and respectful thank goodness. However, there are those out there that are not and this is what happens. Here is a reminder of some basic trail etiquette. Thank you for listening and please be respectful to all trail users!”
WE’RE NOT ALL BAD SEEDS
Just as if I were riding a Harley in a leather vest with patches on down the highway I am thought of as a member of a biker gang.
Remember this, “1%”, the one percenter. This would be the number that each group has with the bad apples in it. Not all of us are idiots, but each group has them and that 1% sure does make up the whole when a bad taste is left in the mouth of the other groups due to bad judgment.
HOW TO HANDLE YOURSELF
As Wendy put it, if you come around a corner and startle someone, say hi, apologize, make sure they are okay and if someone gets hurt, help them be courteous and exchange information.
Remember if an accident occurs, stop and help, don’t run. This goes both ways for all parties and we all have a responsibility to one another on the trails we love.
Making the trail safe for all of us starts with all of us. We all love the outdoors and we all love being on the trails, so let’s all work together to make it great for all.
Thanks to Wendy Engelberg from “Girlz Gone Riding” for letting us share her story.