Sunday, August 25, 2013


We ride our bikes on trails as often as we can, it is safer than the street and sometimes more scenic.  Most trails are MUTs (Multi-Use Trails) so there are people jogging, rollerblading, walking, being walked by dogs and biking all in some semblance of harmony.

Saturday morning there were a lot more people on the Iron Horse trail than there were last week.  We decided it is because school is starting on Monday so lot's of people were out and about.  This made our ride more challenging.  There are a lot of people who don't seem to know how to behave on a MUT.

Sometimes I think it is a cultural thing because it seems many of them may be immigrants and perhaps in other countries traffic doesn't keep right as it does here. It would seem obvious that they are coming face to face with disgruntled, curious and frustrated people approaching them as they walk on the left and we are all on the right and trying to get around them safely...

Other times it is a simple lack of concern for others - those off leash dog people allowing their pets to dash all over the road; others with dogs on the leash but allowing the dog to wander across the trail (I have seen other trail users tripped and nearly garroted.)  The chatting walkers, two and three abreast without moving in the face of oncoming traffic, the cross country team which seems to think they need to run in a pack, 4 and 5 abreast; the large family on a multitude of transportation forms
Why okay for pedestrians but not bikes?
wandering back and forth across the road. Don't get me started on people with strollers!

And lest I come off as some sort of trail ogre, I generally remain friendly and just deal with stuff as it comes.  I thanked a family last week for verbally reminding their kids to stay to the right when there were other trail users coming.  I call out "on your left" and use my little bell to warn others I am behind them. I had one older woman grab her meandering husband and pull him out of the middle of the trail.  She said "he can't hear"  I suggested she walk on the inside and keep him on the far right of the trail and she kind of had that "light bulb moment."

That said, I do ride in fear when we are around others on the trail -  that someone will knock me off my bike or run me off the trail  - or worse, hurt someone else.  When we rode in Monterey last month the trail was clearly marked with lines and directions and reminders to keep to the right and leave the center of the trail for passing but people just don't pay attention or care or What?  I don't get it.

Anyway, we had another good day on the bikes.  I can feel  Fall coming.  Soccer teams have replaced the baseball and softball teams out on the fields.  Acorns are starting to drop and the leaves are losing their greenness.  The first apples arrived at the Farmer's Market and a big garden we pass all the time has some whopping big pumpkins on the vines.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I ride around our lake frequently and sometimes down at Mission Bay--inattentive parents who don't teach their kids the rules--and therefore put them in danger--really frost me.

smalltownme said...

Don't get me started on inattentive people. You know I live in a tourist town. I can't even get to the market or post office without someone doing a crazy.

shrink on the couch said...

My most recent trail experience - two strollers stopped to feed the babies - jar food and spoons. One mom appropriately pulled over to the edge, the other parked smack dab in the middle of the trail. With so many dangerously fast bicyclists (another post entirely), what was this mom thinking?

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

This is one of my biggest frustrations as a walker/runner -- people who don't pay attention.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

This is why I primarily stayed off the MUT near us in NoVA. Weekends were especially crazy.
When I do go on the Centennial Trail here, I ride in on a weekday during the school year. It's much safer!