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10. People who decide to have their conversations in the middle of the trail rather than moving over to the grassy portion.
9. Long dog leashes.
8. People who don't believe that you are really there when you say passing on your left. They tend to look back, and still don't move to the right.
7. People that think its funny to break glass on the trail.
6. Poor design that actually creates dangerous situations. ie. Barriers to keep cars out. Some of these are very dangerous.
5. Inattentive people that ride on the wrong side and they don't see you coming.
4. People with their iPods up too loud.
3. People that tend to hang out on blind corners.
2. People that don't know their right from left, and move into your path when you call out that you are trying to pass.
1. Irresponsible parents that bring their three and four year olds out as if it were a playground. They have every right, but they better be ready for their child to get hurt one day. Bike trails are not the places to teach the three year old how to drive the battery powered Barbi car on.
 

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Most of them are MUTs not Bike Trails.

Multi Use Trails. That means cyclists are normally the fastest moving users of the MUTs and it is therefore incumbent on cyclists to watch out for other users and slow down well in advance of any interaction with other users.

You will find the things much easier to deal with if you forget all about going fast while MUTing.
 

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MB1 said:
Multi Use Trails. That means cyclists are normally the fastest moving users of the MUTs and it is therefore incumbent on cyclists to watch out for other users and slow down well in advance of any interaction with other users.

You will find the things much easier to deal with if you forget all about going fast while MUTing.
The NCVC ride out and back on the WOD is a good example. Packs of fast-moving cyclists running up on unsuspecting joggers 2-3 wide, people with their dog's leash across both lanes of trai, rollerbladers in full leg extension mode, etc. all made me ride the last part of the ride home either solo or with a small group going slowly. Not worth it.

'Course, I'd rather ride on the roads with the cages too. At least they're semi-predictable. Sometimes you just never can tell WTF a jogger's gonna do... Had em do u-turns in front of me. There's something about 'no traffic' that makes people pay attention less. Go figger.

M
 

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I agree with MB1 for the most part, but I do find it annoying when other people seem not to expect bicycles to be on MUTs, and thus don't behave as though it's a roadway of sorts. Is it really so hard to keep right, except when passing? Is it really too much to ask you to keep your dog on a leash and/or on the right side of the path? I avoid MUTs (even going slow) because this is such a problem here.

MB1 knows this semi-MUT well, I bet: Beach Drive on Rock Creek Park in DC. On weekends and holidays the whole road is closed to cars for quite a lot of its length, and it's got a big creek and picnic areas all up and down it, making it very popular with cyclists, runners, families, etc.

This road is a full two lanes wide, which should mean plenty of room for everyone, and yet it's pretty hazardous to cyclists (and by extension, everyone else). Unleashed dogs are common. Equally common is people letting their dogs get to know each other--one dog owner stands on either side of the road, and the dogs stretch their leashes across the road to meet in the middle and sniff each other. I see this exact thing every other weekend at least.

People regularly walk on the left side of the road, or even down the centerline, often three- or four-abreast, forcing me to buzz them close, pass them on the wrong side, or ride my whole group well into the opposite lane, where we're likely to encounter other cyclists coming the other way, or other walkers.

The cyclists I see there, without fail, all treat Beach Drive as though it were a road (which it is, really)--they keep right unless passing, and resist passing on the right. Probably 50% of all pedestrians ignore this simple concept, making the whole place more dangerous for everyone.

Is the idea that anything that looks vaguely like a road ought to be treated like one such a crazy idea? Is it really so hard to do without cramping your style or ruining your good time? Is it really so important that you walk wherever the heck you want to that you have to make me responsible for your safety just because I'm riding a bike?

Whew. That turned into a rant, didn't it?
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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This is why I don't yell "on your left!"

Some figure it out and move right. Some just stand there confused. Others look left, and so move left.

yeah, I yield to 'em. Usually I pass peds on the gravel / grass.
 

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Oh yea, we know that one.

bikeboy389 said:
MB1 knows this semi-MUT well, I bet: Beach Drive on Rock Creek Park in DC. ...Whew. That turned into a rant, didn't it?
Whenever we ride there on one of our bikes that doesn't have a bell we are hating life.

Actually a having a bell really helps on MUTs but I keep looking for one of those air powered boat horns to really get folks attention (of course I would try the bell first but if that doesn't work.......).

This should do the trick.... http://www.preparedness.com/ecoblasrecai.html
 

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Easy way to avoid this...

FaustusTheRoadie said:
10. People who decide to have their conversations in the middle of the trail rather than moving over to the grassy portion.
9. Long dog leashes.
8. People who don't believe that you are really there when you say passing on your left. They tend to look back, and still don't move to the right.
7. People that think its funny to break glass on the trail.
6. Poor design that actually creates dangerous situations. ie. Barriers to keep cars out. Some of these are very dangerous.
5. Inattentive people that ride on the wrong side and they don't see you coming.
4. People with their iPods up too loud.
3. People that tend to hang out on blind corners.
2. People that don't know their right from left, and move into your path when you call out that you are trying to pass.
1. Irresponsible parents that bring their three and four year olds out as if it were a playground. They have every right, but they better be ready for their child to get hurt one day. Bike trails are not the places to teach the three year old how to drive the battery powered Barbi car on.
The easiest way to avoid this is to ride your bike on the road. Problems, solved.

As others have said, MUTs are just that, MUTs. They're not made for your exclusive right to go blasting down the road with a ton of other people on it and things like that. Since there are tons of people all on it and stuff, just ride the road, it's easier.
 

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A bike mounted police officer, who came to our neighborhood bike safety day last year, had an air horn mounted on his bike. He said it was for when he was riding in traffic and not on the trail.

MB1 said:
Actually a having a bell really helps on MUTs but I keep looking for one of those air powered boat horns to really get folks attention
 

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Actually, I find the WOD ped traffic to be the most disciplined I've found in the area. IMO they will usually stay right, and don't wander left or go squirrley when I call behind them. Peds on the 7100 trail and trails around the big DC tourist attractions are pretty useless... wander around, freak out when I call, and wander left when I'm trying to pass.
 

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#11 -- Pedestrians/joggers/skaters who can't figure out which part of the #&$%in' path to use. The Orange Line express bus lane in L.A. has a dedicated, parallel bike path which has a very clearly marked two-way set of lanes for bikes, with a separate pedestrian lane that's at least 3' wide. There are signs clearly indicating where the bikes go and where the pedestrians go. Does this help these halfwits who shuffle along the bike lines and appear completely baffled by the concept that it's they who should move to accommodate people on bikes?

Rant off....
 

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They are dirty!

I find MUTs to be dirty. If I ride on one for any lengh of time my drivetrain looks like I dipped it it grit, sand, dirt & leaf bits.

I don't think I'm really anal about it, but it does bug me when I have to try to clean all that crap out from deep inside my cassette.:mad:

I think the cars & trucks blast all the crap off the roads, so everything stays much cleaner, longer.

If I ride on the MUT near me - the Little Miami Scenic Trail, I ride early in the morning, before all the families or dog walkers are out. It is more rural so I think that makes it easier.
 

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It is possible to build these differently

This is the Cedar Lake Trail in Minneapolis
Picture is taken from the East bound bike lane, West bound bike lane is off on the left, foot traffic lane is off to the right.

We have two trails built this way in town and it really makes a difference.

Scot
 

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Linear parks

I generally treat MUTs for what they really are - linear parks. Most users use them the same way they use a park - its a nice place to ramble with family or friends, out of traffic, and enjoy the weather/day/scenery/etc. The only difference is that, rather than being some square or oblong shape with criss-crossing paths like other parks, they are long and narrow with their path running straight down the middle. Trying to treat a MUT like a travel route will only lead to trouble.

If you were to ride down a path in a city or town park, would you expect all users to be constantly moving, keep to one side of the path, and instantly get out of the way when you yelled "on your left" or some such? Probably not. You shouldn't expect that on a MUT either.
 

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In Pinellas County, FL we have a ton of excellent county parks, but only one MUT, the Pinellas Trail. Given the absolutely unsafe nature of riding in the densely populated county with zero bike lanes, ignorant drivers and no paved road shoulder outside the line, I don't think its too much to ask to make the lone MUT and lone place for long distance cycling, relatively safe for cyclists.
 

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That's funny...you sound like your own worst nightmare. Most of these issues are likely caused by your excessive speed. If you are spooking other trail users, you are going to fast. Get on the road with the rest of us.

Frankly, I ride the trails with my kids because they are not experienced enough to ride on the road. If that causes a problem for you...Too Bad!!!

 

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MShaw said:
The NCVC ride out and back on the WOD is a good example.
M
Is that who that is? I thought it was the Reston Bike Club. Seriously, those folks need find somewhere else to ride before there's a real tragedy. 15-20 riders in a pack barrelling down the path like it's a road race is out of hand IMHO.
 

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dscottj said:
Actually, I find the WOD ped traffic to be the most disciplined I've found in the area. IMO they will usually stay right, and don't wander left or go squirrley when I call behind them. Peds on the 7100 trail and trails around the big DC tourist attractions are pretty useless... wander around, freak out when I call, and wander left when I'm trying to pass.
I'd agree with you on this point. I ride the W&OD quite a bit as I live practically right next to it. Most people are pretty responsible users, but yeah, there are some idiots. That's life. I can't control what they do, only what I do. So, I always give an "on your left" when passing - too many cyclists don't - and keep an eye out for what I call "unpredictables:" dogs, kids, people with headphones, people merging from other paths, etc. I've had some close calls, but so far so good (knock on wood).
 

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Look at how much space that thing takes up.

Not too many places that have a demand for MUTs have space for something like that (although it does look sweet).
 

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Agree with #s 1-10, + #11, but let's formalize something implicit in a couple of replies, and add #12: full-on roadies (single or group) who treat MUTs as 'roads', spiced with a little arrogance. Example (a couple of days ago): riding along our local riverside MUT. It's admittedly archaic (narrow, AND divided with a clear yellow line), but it's what we got, and the rules are clearly posted (i.e. cyclists yield to everyone, stay in your lane, no riding two+ abreast, etc.). A group (one guy, two women) in full kit, coming at speed down a sweeping curve at a good pace, riding three abreast across the path. First (ahead of me), I watch as a rollerblader is forced off the path and into the grass verge; she manages this without falling, somehow. I decide to hold my lane as they approach; sure enough, no effort whatsoever to fall back into file; I squeeze right as far as possible, but as they pass one woman yells to the effect 'hey, out of our way' as she has to move slightly to get by. Enough said, to my mind. Between stuff like this and the way some of us behave in traffic, it's no bloody wonder, I often think, that many think of us as idiots, or worse.
 

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I'm with a group going into a tunnel. Traffic ahead and comming and the two front knuckleheads decide to split them. I slowed and apologized. They were unconcerned for everyone else in order to save 5 seconds.
 
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