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Bad etiquette to break speed limit on bike paths?(22 posts)

Bad etiquette to break speed limit on bike paths?scottfromcali
Jan 6, 2003 11:02 PM
Here in the Sacramento area we are blessed with a wonderful bike path called the Ameriacan River Bike Trail, 60 some miles of paved trails. There is a 15mph speed limit with sighs posted everywhere. I rountinly ride anywhere from 15 to 25 depending on conditions. When coming up on another rider I usually say "on your left.." there are numorous families, joggers, seniors, pets and slower riders to deal with. Is it ok to fly by? do I need to slow down? If Im not riding too close to a family with children I will continue at my current speed. Most people dont obey the sighs telling foot traffic to be on the left, and are usually in the way. I have no patience for these people and fly by. Am I in the wrong? I wouldnt want to look bad, and especially give other cyclist a bad rap. Also, as the trail winds along the river there are lots of stop signs giving vehicles access to the river most cyclist run through them, in fact, I have never seen anyone come to or make an effort to stop other than to look for cars and go. Thanks
Jan 7, 2003 3:45 AM
I ride the Am River Bike Trail 3 to 4 times a week and never worry about "speeding". It is polite and safer to warn people as you approach (I try to do it most of the time).

Most out on the trail are nice about it.

Oh, I don't stop at those stop signs either.
re: Bad etiquette to break speed limit on bike paths?Akirasho
Jan 7, 2003 5:06 AM
... locally, sections of the Little Miami multi have speed restrictions, generally in congestion areas. The only limits I've seen posted are 20 mph... which in some communities along the route are radar enforced...

Personally, I believe it's up to the individual to assess the conditions and ride appropriately... I see no need for a limit (with respect to 99% of riders) when conditions allow... however, you do run that risk...

Multis round here run through several jursidictions and depending on how gung ho the enforcement officer (from local police to park rangers) is... you could be stopped... even ticketed. Indeed, I was once threatened with a citation and points against my Driver's License for a rolling stop (along a route I was quite familiar with... and knew the risks involved at the intersection).

Naturally, at choke points, congested zones or when overtaking or approaching users of dubious skills (most casual adult users of trails have a limited appreciation of the speeds attained by some cyclists... let alone their kids...) you'd slow appropriately.

There may be no overt ettiquette involved... but it could be a legal issue.

Be the bike.
re: Bad etiquette to break speed limit on bike paths?SingleThreaded
Jan 7, 2003 6:42 AM
Of the half-dozen or so bike paths that I've been on in recent history I don't recall ever seeing a speed limit sign. The fact that one is posted may signify a historical problem or some legal protection against an anticipated problem.

Fifteen mph is awfully slow and it sounds like it is posted to keep the average road cyclist off the paths and on the road. This is not necesarily a bad thing, but rather recognition that 20 mph cyclists on the same path as unaware pedestrians is in fact dangerous. As for 15 mph, that seems like a threshold speed at which collisions take on a more serious nature, (i.e., fractured bones or other internal injury), it would seem prudent to restrict overtaking a person of close proximity to speed differentials of less than 15 mph.

As for me, my road bike would fall over at speeds that slow. I wouldn't go on it with my road bike. But I would use it for a relaxing walk or on a ride with my kids.
re: Bad etiquette to break speed limit on bike paths?bugleboy
Jan 7, 2003 10:23 AM
Wow, your skills suck. Maybe you should go to a grassy area and practice going really slow. Be sure to where your sons pee-wee football pads just for insurance.
Care to explain yourself bugleboy?scottfromcali
Jan 7, 2003 10:44 AM
Was I the target or your critisim? If so, my original post has nothing to do with cycling skills but rather a question of eiquette.
Care to explain yourself bugleboy?bugleboy
Jan 7, 2003 10:43 PM
The comment was aimed at single thread so calm down. But since your in huff. I think that you do show bad etiquette. Those signs are there for a reason. What makes you think that the law doesn't apply to you? Wait till that one faithfull day when it is you and your child are out for nice walk and some arrogant ass like yourself goes blazing by. Maybe then you might rethink your position. The community bike paths are for the "community". If you feel the need for speed, find a nice road or highway outside the city to ride on where you are only a threat to yourself. peace out
Read the coarse print buggerboySingleThreaded
Jan 7, 2003 11:03 AM
Only time I've done 15 mph was during braking.
Im a whole 3 months into the sport, chill out.scottfromcali
Jan 7, 2003 11:17 AM
If you think you can hold 15- 18 for a 45 mile ride with the Sacramento Valley winds, more power to you.
Im a whole 3 months into the sport, chill out.bugleboy
Jan 7, 2003 10:51 PM
Your right, Sacramento is the only place with wind. Try the midwest plains. I'm not going to say that it's worse because I don't know. Since you are new then now is the time to learn. What you do on the community trails good or bad is remembered, especially the bad. Road cyclists are looked down upon quite a bit. Usually it is because one only a few that decide that they are above the rest of us and the laws. Don't be one of them. Enjoy the community trails for what they are meant for.If you feel the need for speed I'm sure that your LBS has or knows of some local group rides. Join in, it's a lot of fun and it is the best place to learn. No hard feelings
Jan 7, 2003 6:51 AM
IMHO, it is totally obnoxious and very dangerous to go > 15 mph on MUT's. MUT's are for leisure not serious training. I usually commute on one using my comfort bike, leisurely riding past power walkers, dog-walkers, rollerbladers, half of whom have earphones plugged into their heads. There are also lots of kids riding there bikes or walking with their folks. If you want to ride fast use the street. Again, opinion, are like a$$holes...everybody has flame on.
No flames from me...biknben
Jan 7, 2003 9:27 AM
IMO, the MUT is not place for training. Too much uncertainty when dealing with other users. 20' dog leashes, children running/biking, headphones, etc. It's a recipe for disaster.

I occasionally use a MUT at a park where I MTB. I use the MUT to connect sections of trails. I'll ride on the grass to avoid other users. I'd feel very uncomfortable passing people on my road bike. A 15 MPH limit seems appropriate to me.
basic common sensemohair_chair
Jan 7, 2003 7:21 AM
The answer is no, unless it is yes. I can cruise much of my local trail at 20 mph, even though the limit is 15 mph. And I won't even mention the idiocy of the "Slow to 7.5 mph when passing" signs they have along the way.

I don't know the trail you are talking about, but if it's like most others, there will be lots of people around on certain parts at certain times. It's not OK to exceed the limit there. It's not OK to do it when kids or dogs are around, either. But I think we all know that already. It's not just for their benefit, it's for yours, too. You don't want to crash, I hope.

As for giving cyclists a bad rap, give me a break. No one on the MUT will even notice, unless you are scaring people and riding wildly. Don't do that.
No, hell, you're a ROAD CYCLIST. Laws don't apply to you.retro
Jan 7, 2003 8:54 AM
I admit that I often break those limits, too, but this is the kind of crap that perpetuates the bad feelings between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The fact that we even debate the question ("Do we have to obey a rule if it's inconvenient for us?") is evidence that the Arrogant Roadie Pr!ck really does exist.
No, hell, you're a ROAD CYCLIST. Laws don't apply to you.bugleboy
Jan 7, 2003 10:25 AM
Amen to that.
Double Amen!Uncle Tim
Jan 7, 2003 7:41 PM
I've ridden on a number of these MUT, such as the Little Miami in southern Ohio, and I think it is irresponsible to ride faster than 20mph.

Retro speaks to the amazing idea that road cyclists think that rules just don't apply to them. It is uncanny.

I know you can cook on these trails. But you can also chill out, sit up and smell the roses. If you want to rev up the heart rate, get out on the roads and attack some hills.

Another great option is to weigh the bike down. Put some panniers on the bike, pack a lunch with a bottle wine, some hiking boots and a heavy lock. Please remember that the trail is for everybody and, if cyclists want more trails, they are going to have to be considerate all of the other users.
Why'd the subject come up? (nm)Spoke Wrench
Jan 7, 2003 10:05 AM
Why'd the subject come up? (nm)scottfromcali
Jan 7, 2003 10:29 AM
I was curious to know what others thought about going past the speed limit around different users of the bike path. As I said in my initial post I rountinly ride past the 15mph posted speed limit. One person said that most people use the path for leisure, this is true. I usually ride at 16-19 (with the wind) and there are a few riders that fly by me. There are riders out there that use the path for training, I know I do.
Here in Calgary it is 20 km/h and neverPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 7, 2003 10:09 AM
I believe in riding with common sense over obeying the speed limit. You can be going 20 km/h and be riding more dangerously than someone riding 50 km/h. Then we have a bell bylaw too. \But then again a person without a bell can make their presence known far easier than someone with a bell.

I did however get a speeding ticket once on my mountain bike... although he gave it to me for no bell and not actually speeding... in hindsight I should have almost just raced past the cop since he was stopped anyway. But 20 kmh is like 12 mph... a ridiculous speed limit that even rollerbladers frequently break.

re: Bad etiquette to break speed limit on bike paths?commuterguy
Jan 7, 2003 10:32 AM
My commute is along an MUT that has a 20 mph limit. I am proud/ashamed that I go faster than that, but only when it is safe. However, under some conditions, 20 mph (even 15 mph) is way too fast. Primarily, early summer, when everyone feels either overweight or intoxicated by suddenly warm, balmly conditions. When this is going on, you're best off walking.

I just posted a long treatise on road rage, during which I felt compelled to note that I am NOT an attorney. THis is still true, but it might be worth noting that an accident that happens at or under the speed limit might not have legal implications for you, but one that occurs above it does. Suppose Fido comes bounding out of the woods, onto the path directly in front of you: even though you couldn't do anything about it no matter how fast you were going, if you were demonstrately over the posted legal maximum speed, you may end up paying punitive and/or compensatory damages to Fido's estate. Or something like that.
In NYC the answer isbike4tennis
Jan 7, 2003 1:14 PM
most people here have not been hit by a taxi, ran off te road by a car door or double parcked cars. and lets consider how much your bike cost. road bikes were not ment to go 15mph theyy are ment to go much faster otherwise they wouldnt cost so much. would you buy a car that went 55 mph on the highway max, and it only went 25 on the street. hell no. the difference is that most people who drive dont bike. so it is your responcibilty to view safety. if they are too many people in your way and you cant make a safe pass wait. your doing the right thing. consider on how bad drivers are to one another and you are on a bike. who has more weight and power so guess who is going to get hurt.
Real Road Cyclists Dont Ride on Bike Paths...jrm
Jan 7, 2003 4:05 PM
Just kidding.. i used to allways haul major butt threw the american river trail. i found that the best time to ride there is during the week, weekends suck unless your there @ the crack of day.