I agree with Neil. I have never had any bad run ins with them. I even stop, move out of the way and get my dog out of the way so they dont have to stop! I ride as well, though far less than I am out on foot, so know its nice not to stop all the time for people. When Im on the bike I am always friendly and courteous and thank people when they move... I actually find the people on foot to be far less accommodating. Most don't even look or acknowledge you, some just pretend you are not there and just keep walking in the middle of the path. And I am still nice even to them... It just really p*sses me off when they do it on a cycle track where bikes actually have priority!
I agree with Nick - as someone who spends a lot of time walking, running and biking I find that although there are a few aggressive cyclists, they are unusual, whilst a lot of walkers are far more discourteous, they just do it passively - by walking 4 abreast across the full width of a cycle / bridle path, ignoring cyclists bell pinging or walking on one side with a dog on the opposite side on the end of an extending lead.
>>Are the walkers, in the case you mention doing anything 'wrong' though?
No they are not doing anything 'officially' wrong, just being discourteous, but "Right of way" on a shared path doesn't mean "exclusivity" - it means that a cyclist should slow down and give them plenty of opportunity to let him past without inconveniencing them, but doesn't mean that they should be obstructing the cyclists route.
>>Those on foot/horse have the 'right of way'.......
In any case, walkers like that are just as likely to be obstructing me when I am walking or running as when I am on a bike, and I'm certain that horse riders would be pretty frustrated with them too.
I use a mountain bike and I walk. Often on the same journey. My experience has been that the overwhelming majority of bikers are polite and considerate of others using the route. OK, a few aren't but no group is perfect.
As a cyclist, however, my experience is different. I really do ride carefully when walkers are about and give ample warning if I'm coming up behind them. I've been sworn at on many occasions and, last week, had a stone thrown after me [it missed]. I think there's a set of expectations built into certain groups of walkers [and it does seem to be the groups, rather than families/individuals who have most aggression] that say that mountain bikers are always, in some indefinable way, in the wrong.
So, what do we do to shift perceptions?
> The countryside code states bikers must give way to walkers on bridleways which never seems to happen.
How hard is it for you to step aside to allow a bike through? I assume you'd step aside to let another walker through.
That said, there's no excuse for bikers not taking account of walkers, and it's not acceptable to fly past them unsafely.
> Many bikers now use footpaths as mountain bike routes .Do Omers think this is Ok?
No, it's not acceptable.
I walk, ride, climb, ski, etc...
I posted the following on MtNUK, 03/05/2001:
"So, a plea for consideration on all sides. Walkers: do you step aside on narrow paths for other walkers? Okay, so how hard is it for you to do the same for cyclists? And cyclists, do you slow down to negotiate trees, rocks or sharp corners? Okay, so why not treat walkers the same. Oh and a friendly greeting or thanks for their consideration as you go doesn't damage your 'cred'. You can be bigger than that."
Here's an admission - I cycle on footpaths when appropriate. By which I mean cycling won't churn the path up, and won't inconvenience others. I usually dismount 20yds from walkers. Always been met with smiles.
As a walker I'm often blissfully unaware of my immediate surroundings - getting lost in the countryside and my thoughts is part of the reason I'm there anyway!
I suspect grumpy walkers would - if they were cyclists - be grumpy cyclists instead.
But yes, some cyclists need a Jolly Good Telling Off. You know the ones I mean - they probably drive white vans by day judging by their cycling style. I wouldn't want to ban cyclists because of the few selfish gits - it's a great pass time, and very healthy. I've got scars to prove it.
On the whole, most cyclists I come across are polite and courteous and I try to be the same when I'm cycling. You get rude people everywhere unfortunately.
I believe that using a footpath on a bike invalidates your right of way over the land and so it shouldn't be done. Some footpaths seem large enough to comfortably accomodate both bikes and people so I have sometimes cycled on those. Overall though, especially on non-gravel paths it's not really OK - it's a footpath for a reason.
I use footpaths to cycle and I also use footpaths to ride my bike.
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