Forum Index > Trail Talk > What to do when hiking and approached by a mountain bike on a narrow trail?
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Downhill
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 4:22 pm 
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I am both a hiker and a mountain biker.  I've biked the 4th of July-Icicle Ridge loop and hiked the former many times.

I yield to everyone on the trail unless they've already moved off to the side for me to pass.  I find it less confusing and more friendly.  Most of all, I just like to have a nice 30-second rest to catch my breath, maybe stretch or get a sip of H2O.
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Bowregard
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 4:25 pm 
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I am not really worried about who SHOULD yield. As we all know everyone doesn't always play by the same playbook. With hikers that means sometimes people get upset but seldom does it create a hazzard. There is plenty of time for one party or the other to find a wide spot in the trail to pass. But bicycles move faster and get unstable at slow speeds so if a cyclist is not inclined to stop you get that awkward moment when both try to figure out which side of the trail the other is going to move towards. For me there is no ambiguity - I am moving towards the safe side of the hill regardless what the cyclist does. But I am a pretty big guy and I'm not sure if my wife and kids would be better off staying in the center (hopefully forcing the cyclist to stop). I expect some cyclists coming downhill from behind with the hillside on the left would chirp "on your left" and expect people to move toward the edge but avoiding that reaction is what I am trying to avoid. What would you advise your hiking partner to do?
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 4:30 pm 
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If some maniac is gunning for you, get out of the way any way you can.  Obviously.  Whatever looks safest is going to be different everywhere.

It seems like you are trying to dream up conflict.

If you see a person... runner, hiker, biker, horse, unicyclist coming towards you or gaining on you acknowledge them and start thinking about how you will pass each other.  Step off the trail if there is a good spot.  Keep going if they step off the trail.  If you dont see a safe place discuss options with them.  One of you may have to back track.

It really isnt brain science.
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 5:19 pm 
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When biking I always yield to hikers. Otherwise there will soon be nowhere to bike. Besides I will get serious injury if I bike down an inappropriate trail because I am old and not not that skilled.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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treeswarper
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 5:49 pm 
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Curl up in a ball and play dead.  Hopefully the bike rider will go on by looking for fresher game.

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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texasbb
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Pahoehoe wrote:
texasbb wrote:
camut wrote:
Unless a trail is designated otherwise, bikes are to yield to all other users.

But if they don't, and they're moving fast, I find it best to jump high enough to clear the hard, pointy handlebars and instead impact the soft, flexible human.

What does "yielding" look like to you?

Like "the mental faculty of discovering, expressing, or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous : the ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny"...no wait, that's humor.  Yielding would be the biker's responsibility, not mine.  smile.gif
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RumiDude
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 6:57 pm 
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texasbb wrote:
Like "the mental faculty of discovering, expressing, or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous : the ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny"...no wait, that's humor.  Yielding would be the biker's responsibility, not mine.

I yeild to thy humor!
*bowing and moving to the side*

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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RumiDude
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 7:13 pm 
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The strict rule that a bike rider "always" yields to the hiker or equestrian has a rather obvious flaw. That flaw is when a faster moving bike rider overtakes either a hiker or equestrian. How does yielding work in that scenario? It not only doesn't work, it can't work. Unless of course by yielding in that situation you mean that the bike rider simply slows down to the speed of a hiker or equestrian.

In that scenario, as a hiker I always try to find a place to safely step off the trail. That may mean that the bike rider has to stop initially so I can get off the trail. I have the double whammy of a vision and hearing deficit. I have to hike looking down at the trail a lot because I am legally blind. And because I don't hear well I also don't hear others (hikers, bikers, and equestrians) approaching, especially from behind. I have become accustomed and simply accept that some people will be annoyed with me. Nothing I can do about it.

If the bike rider is coming towards me, it is their responcibility to yield to me. I expect them to ride under control and be looking to yield the trail.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Pahoehoe
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PostMon Nov 11, 2019 10:22 pm 
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texasbb wrote:
Yielding would be the biker's responsibility, not mine.  smile.gif

And, again, I will ask, what does that mean to you?
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BigBrunyon
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PostTue Nov 12, 2019 12:03 am 
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I would them know VERY WELL who I am and how known I am!!! And that they're a threat to my rhythm and pace!!! No WAY these lazy dirtbike types ever gon' be competitive with ME going up!

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i ALWAYS camp at the upper lake!
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Bowregard
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PostTue Nov 12, 2019 7:22 am 
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Thanks everyone for the input - really not trying to create conflict here. As stated in the original post our interaction with the cyclist was positive but I had never seen one on a trail like that before. Seeing the bike brought back images of busy multi-use trails where the wheeled folks (bikes and roller blades) don't even slow down. Put that together with a few extreme mountain bike videos and my imagination probably got the best of me. It makes sense that cyclists want to preserve their access and take care to be very careful when approaching others.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Nov 12, 2019 8:43 am 
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Pahoehoe wrote:
And, again, I will ask, what does that mean to you?

It means he hopes he gets the opportunity to assault somebody for enjoying the outdoors the wrong way:

texasbb wrote:
But if they don't, and they're moving fast, I find it best to jump high enough to clear the hard, pointy handlebars and instead impact the soft, flexible human.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Nov 12, 2019 9:47 am 
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Seems applying the golden rule in any circumstance makes it simpler.

It's counter productive to get too hung up on the details and instead be nice to others even if you think they aren't following the rules.

Don't be like this woman that ended up being banned from Greenlake for 3 months after she took it on herself to enforce the rules as she interpreted them ( incorrectly)

https://kuow.org/stories/whats-right-way-go-around-green-lake/
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RumiDude
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PostTue Nov 12, 2019 10:39 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Seems applying the golden rule in any circumstance makes it simpler.
It's counter productive to get too hung up on the details and instead be nice to others even if you think they aren't following the rules.

Almost every literate society that we know of has some form of "the golden rule". And yet all these societies have also needed a judge of some form or another to decide disputes. The reason being is that most people think that they are the ones following the golden rule and that it's the other person who is breaking it. It's just human nature. It seems easy for us to judge the situation for others but more difficult when we are a party involved. Again just human nature.

Additionally, almost every society has a form of "an eye for an eye".

The vast majority of people are able to navigate through the world without escalating disputes into physical confrontations. But that doesn't mean that there are no ill feelings involved. And sometimes those ill feelings result in a bad attitude towards other individuals and groups.

A few years ago a few mtn bikers joined NWHikers for the express purpose of debating the bikes on the PCT and in Wilderness proposals. They often pointed out that the hikers here had a distorted and bad attitude towards mtn bikers on trails. They invited us to visit their forums, which I did. I discovered that the mtn bikers had a distorted and bad attitude towards hikers. They even had their own special term for hikers, HOH, Hateful Old Hikers.

Anyway applying the golden rule isn't as simple as it sounds, mainly because emotions/attitude get in the way.

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ~~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Nov 12, 2019 11:02 am 
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RumiDude wrote:
The reason being is that most people think that they are the ones following the golden rule and that it's the other person who is breaking it.

Sorry I don't think the woman who was jumping out of the bushes blowing a bear whistle at folks walking around Greenlake "the wrong way" believed that she was "treating others has she would like to be treated".

The general problem is that many people are stuck in only seeing the world from their own knothole.  People that are able engage their imagination to consider another person's perspective are the exception.

Hillel summarized it well when asked to explain Jewish philosophy while standing on one foot:

Hillel wrote:
What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
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