Author Topic: Cycling/Trail Etiquette  (Read 5553 times)

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Cz. Burrito

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Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« on: April 12, 2010, 11:56:01 AM »
I'll preface this by reminding you that you should keep up-to-date on your local laws with regard to trail/sidewalk/road usage by bicycles.  I've generally left things out that relate solely to legal matters.  The lefts and rights apply to countries where driving is done on the right side of the road.

On trails (applies to dedicated bike trails as well as multi-use trails):
1) As with the hiking etiquette mentioned in another thread, be sure to check that you are on a trail appropriate for your use.  Don't walk on bike trails and don't bike on walking trails.    
2) Give an audible warning before passing.
3) Ride as far to the right as possible (may be different in countries that drive on the left?)
4) Do not ride more than two abreast.  Ride single file when alerted to a passing bicyclist or if there is an oncoming cyclist.
5) Indicate stops or turns if there are cyclists behind you.
6) If you are a pedestrian on a multi-use trail, be aware of bicyclists and heed their warnings.  Try to not walk more than two abreast.  
7) If you are walking your dog on a multi-use trail, keep a short leash on your pet, as animals can become unpredictable if a fast-moving cyclist passes.  Some dogs will be fine, some will not; the cyclist does not know which category your pet falls into.
8 ) Whether you are walking, biking, rollerblading, etc. on a trail, do so in a predictable manner.  Don't weave across the path.
9) Do not use headphones.  This reduces your awareness to your surroundings, which makes it harder for passing cyclists and such to communicate their intent to you.    

On roads:  Most road etiquette is covered by laws, but here are a few important ones...
1) Indicate turns and lane changes.
2) Keep yourself visible and ride in a predictable manner.  Don't weave in and out of the parking lane, even though it seems like a good idea to ride over there when there are not parked cars, you are reducing your visibility to the motorists, which is unsafe for everybody.
3) Ride in the rightmost lane (bike lane if available) unless making a left turn.
4) If you are a motorist passing a cyclist, move into the left lane if possible.  When this is not possible, provide ample space.
5) If parked on the side of a road, check for approaching cyclists before opening your car door.  
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 12:02:36 PM by CzarinaBurrito »

Wulfie

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 12:25:27 PM »
I'll preface this by reminding you that you should keep up-to-date on your local laws with regard to trail/sidewalk/road usage by bicycles.  I've generally left things out that relate solely to legal matters.  The lefts and rights apply to countries where driving is done on the right side of the road.

On roads:
1) Indicate turns and lane changes.
2) Keep yourself visible and ride in a predictable manner.  Don't weave in and out of the parking lane, even though it seems like a good idea to ride over there when there are not parked cars, you are reducing your visibility to the motorists, which is unsafe for everybody.
3) Ride in the rightmost lane (bike lane if available) unless making a left turn.
4) If you are a motorist passing a cyclist, move into the left lane if possible.  When this is not possible, provide ample space.
5) If parked on the side of a road, check for approaching cyclists before opening your car door.  


Here are ones I see on a near daily basis here in Seattle:

6) Remember that cars have as much right to be on the road as you do. Please do not try to pass them on the right or grab onto the tailgate/trunk when they are stopped at a light and then scream at them when they didn't see you when the light suddenly turns green.
7) If there is a bike lane/trail use it. Don't hold up long lines of traffic because you are too special to use the lanes provided for your use.
8) Obey the traffic laws. Stop lights and signs apply to you as well.
9) Pedestrians have a right to use the sidewalk as well. (we had a pedestrian killed when a bicyclist kicked them off the sidewalk in front of a bus.)
10) When locking up your bike, make sure that you are not blocking doorways or sidewalks. If there is a sign saying "No Bike Parking" they mean that. Don't lock up your bike there anyway and throw a fit when you find that your lock has been cut and your bike removed.

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 12:28:48 PM »
Here are ones I see on a near daily basis here in Seattle:

6) Remember that cars have as much right to be on the road as you do. Please do not try to pass them on the right or grab onto the tailgate/trunk when they are stopped at a light and then scream at them when they didn't see you when the light suddenly turns green.
7) If there is a bike lane/trail use it. Don't hold up long lines of traffic because you are too special to use the lanes provided for your use.
8 ) Obey the traffic laws. Stop lights and signs apply to you as well.
9) Pedestrians have a right to use the sidewalk as well. (we had a pedestrian killed when a bicyclist kicked them off the sidewalk in front of a bus.)
10) When locking up your bike, make sure that you are not blocking doorways or sidewalks. If there is a sign saying "No Bike Parking" they mean that. Don't lock up your bike there anyway and throw a fit when you find that your lock has been cut and your bike removed.

This one really depends on the area.  Around here, bike trails sometimes have speed limits of 8-10 mph.  Bicycles moving faster than that have to use the road.  I only mention this because most motorists around here are not aware of the limitations placed on trail use, so, while it may look like the bike has a better option, they really do not.

Number 8 I specifically did not mention because I don't want to this to turn into a bikes/cars flamewar.  Everybody should follow the laws relevant to their mode of transport.  Fun side note: red lights don't always apply to bikes the same way that they apply to cars-- some localities have laws that allow vehicles that do not trigger the light to turn green to treat red lights as a stop sign, that is, they can proceed after stopping if there is no cross traffic.  It all comes down to knowing the laws where you live.   
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 12:33:06 PM by CzarinaBurrito »

Shea

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2010, 03:49:19 PM »
I would like to add a note regarding cyclists and equestrians on multi-use trails where horses are permitted.

1) If you see someone on horseback coming toward you (moving in the opposite direction), come to a complete stop and remain so until passed by the rider. It is not necessary to move off the trail unless the trail is so narrow as to be impassible by both a bike and a horse at the same time.

2) Do NOT pick up speed to move past the rider. This may spook the horses.

3) If you dimwitted enough to find it amusing to attempt to spook the horses, be aware that the horse, an animal weighing upwards of 1000 pounds, has no qualms whatsoever about kicking or trampling you. The riders will also not be amused if you deliberately spook the horses, and if rider or horse is injured as a result, they will be justified in bringing charges against you.

4) It is good form for the equestrian to loudly announce "Horses coming!" when entering a main trail. This will give people on bikes or ATVs a chance to stop.

5) If you, the horseback rider, see a pedestrian, move off the trail for him or her if the trail is very narrow, a pedestrians may be intimidated by the presence of the horse.


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Cz. Burrito

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2010, 04:37:49 PM »
I would like to add a note regarding cyclists and equestrians on multi-use trails where horses are permitted.

Good tips. The trail that I bike on most frequently has a path for horses right next to it (which also doubles as a mountain bike trail); before this trail I had never seen bike/horse trail before.

Kaymyth

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 03:16:50 PM »
 
2) Give an audible warning before passing.



More specifically, it's a good idea to indicate which side you're going to be passing them on; i.e., "To your left!" or "To your right!" 



Pinky830

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 04:00:56 PM »
"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints." Never, EVER throw trash on the trail, and don't decide that the ladyslipper you just passed will look great in your yard and you just have to dig it up. Ladyslippers have become a threatened species in Georgia for that sole reason.

JoanOfArc

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2010, 04:05:38 PM »
 
2) Give an audible warning before passing.



More specifically, it's a good idea to indicate which side you're going to be passing them on; i.e., "To your left!" or "To your right!" 

In the US, you should really pass on the left, as you do on the highway.   
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Kaymyth

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2010, 06:54:54 PM »
 
2) Give an audible warning before passing.



More specifically, it's a good idea to indicate which side you're going to be passing them on; i.e., "To your left!" or "To your right!" 

In the US, you should really pass on the left, as you do on the highway.   


This is, in general, true.  Though there are enough international folks on the board to warrant listing both, methinks.

Also, the trails DF and I ride are for cyclists and pedestrians, and we do sometimes encounter the latter clustering on the "wrong" side of the trail, or people who are just a step off the side of the trail and could conceivably step back on if not given the verbal warning.



RooRoo

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2012, 01:21:05 PM »
Jumping in late!

Thank you to all the cyclists who have sung out "On your left!" as they came up on me from behind. I really appreciate it.

When approaching someone from behind who has a dog on one of those long leashes,
1. announce yourself.
2. slow down to give them more time to get their dog under control.
3. be prepared for the human to cross to the side their dog is on. (I don't want my dog to run in front of your bike when I call him/her to heel.)

(Note: I've never had a problem with this. In fact, I've had several say "thank you" when I've called my dog to heel.)

Horse note: I can't speak for other states, but in Oregon (23 years ago) and Colorado, if a horseback rider puts one hand in the air, it's a warning that the horse might spook. By law, the operator of the approaching vehicle must swing wide or do whatever it takes to avoid the horse.
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

snowdragon

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 06:38:44 PM »
Dear Cyclists do not spread across the road and bring traffic to a crawl...do not take your feet off the pedals and see how slow you can go because you think you own the road. Mr Policeman behind you will be unamused. So will every car drive you hold up while daring someone to run you over.  Making people stop their cars til you're good and ready is rude.

 In my area this stuff as well as riding on the sidewalk is illegal....illegalities are rude.

kherbert05

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 07:21:15 PM »
If you move to a new area find out the rules. If there are signs that clearly say


Hike and  Bike Trail




and other signs that say


No bicycles on the road - Stay on Hike and Bike Trail.


follow them. Don't call the kids following the rules nasty names. Don't call the cop that stops because you are screaming at 2 kids calling them nasty names - he will give you a ticket.
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JadeAngel

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 08:49:04 PM »
6) Remember that cars have as much right to be on the road as you do. Please do not try to pass them on the right or grab onto the tailgate/trunk when they are stopped at a light and then scream at them when they didn't see you when the light suddenly turns green.

 :o  People actually do that?

When passing a cyclist on a bike lane give them as much space as possible. The force of your car passing can create a draft which will pull them off course. It's very much like what happens to your car when you're passed by a B-double truck on the freeway.

Miss March

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Re: Cycling/Trail Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 08:49:36 PM »
While it may be fun to chat with your fellow bikers, please don't ride down a narrow road side by side, making it impossible for cars to pass you without fully going into the on-coming lane.
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