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rant: MUT gladiators(14 posts)

rant: MUT gladiatorsgeckotb
May 26, 2003 9:26 AM
after commuting in relative peace and quiet all winter, the summer riders are now out in force and i'm starting to think it would be a good idea to have some sort of MUT etiquette class. i don't understand why some riders think a crowded MUT at 5:30pm, full of kids, dogs, peds and bladers is the best place for time-trialing, or believe thay have more right to the path than slower users, swerving between people, making other users jump on to the grass because they can't be bothered to slow down long enough for the on-coming lane to be free so they can pass. most people don't drive their cars like this; why do some think it's okay when they're on their bikes? i see this at least once a day lately. myself, i love going fast on my bike, but know that a crowded path is not the place to do it.
friday, after biking home, i went out on my rollerblades with some friends and with no warning at all was actually knocked off my feet by a cyclist. my friends yelled at him to get a bell or say "on your left". he barely slowed down to look over his shoulder, then took off, no "sorry" or anything. i was ashamed to have this jerk be part of the cyclist community. besides some road rash on my arm and a slightly twisted knee, i wasn't badly injured, but this guy didn't even stop to check!
I know that these gladiators are not representative of the majority of cyclists, but their presence on the paths does seem to be growing, at least around here.
maybe not their responsibility, but do LBS's do anything to educate new bike buyers/riders on cycling etiquette? would it be worth-while asking Bicycling magazine to run an article on safe urban cycling, or are most readers of that mag seasoned enough to know how to conduct themselves?
good luck palcollinsc
May 26, 2003 9:58 AM
but you arent going to change a thing.
Not a bad idea...biknben
May 26, 2003 11:19 AM
I think your idea of asking the Mags to do a MUT etiquette article is a good one. These hard core MUT riders are exactly who these mags target. Serious enough to go fast, but not so serious that they are above the mag's articles.

If you make a habit of riding the MUT you may want to consider a helmet mirror (assuming you wear one while blading). It'll give you an idea of who is coming up behind you. Better yet it will give you an idea of when to stick your arm out and take these idiots down. JKOC!
then there is the other side of the story...Kvonnah
May 26, 2003 3:40 PM
I too was used to being the lone rider on the MUT all winter. Now that summer is here there is definitely more traffic. I usually run around 19.5 to 20 mph and have no problems when people stay in there lane (i.e. to the right) I always call out warnings but invariably there will be that skater or weekend warrior on the MTB that is wearing there headphones and not paying attention to which side of the path they are on. Then of course there is the classic "on your left!" and the person just freezes in the middle of the path. Let's not forget the group of people that decide that the middle of the path is the best place to stop and have a conversation. People would not drive on the road like this! I never get snotty or yell at these errors because I want everyone to love cycling and cyclists but it does get pretty annoying sometimes when I have to come to a complete stop because someone is walking there dog on the left side while they are on the right.

I think you are correct in the driving analogy. Everyone should keep to there right unless passing etc.

P.S. The reason I feel a sense of entitlement to the path is because I ride it all winter long in all weather (if it snows I switch to my MTB) and the rest of the weather weenies don't come out of the woodwork until the weather is perfect :-)
how about...Frith
May 26, 2003 4:51 PM
The pedestrians that walk 4 abreast and look shocked at you when you call out a warning.
How about parents that let their kids meander all over left and right, to and fro, willy and nilly.
How about dog on one side, owner on other, leash in between. Love those conversations that require blocking the entire path usually in the busiest spots.
How about the parks wherin there are families bbqing on one side and playing soccer on the other and wondering between the two without looking.
How about rollerbladers that are so bad at what they're doing that when you pass them they get so shocked they fall on their asses.
These are some of the reasons I try to avoid the path when the weather is nice. It's a shame too because it opens up alot of rides for me that are otherwise too dangerous to get to. Great having them to myself in the winter though.
You must be from my area! :) (nm)Kerry
May 26, 2003 5:22 PM
then there is the other side of the story...Bike Nut
May 26, 2003 5:32 PM
I agree totally with you. I drive a cab and when I am on the highways at night I usually drive at 75 to 80 MPH. But, when those commuters hit the road in the morning they will not stay on the right so I am able to pass those sluggards. I always use my horn to warn them of my approach but they are so stupid that they don't get out of my way quickly enough forcing me to slow down. I too feel a sense of entitlement because I use thoes roads at all times of the day and night and they only come out at rush hour. THE NERVE!
Great Point!Uncle Tim
May 26, 2003 7:04 PM
Althought the point was made through sarcasm, the writer rips apart the argument of the "other side of the story".

MUT's are for all cyclists. Riding fast on an MUT is insanity. If you are determined to ride 19.5 to 20 mph on the flats, get on the road. The absolute limit on an MUT should be 20mph, and that's when there's nobody else on the thing. In traffic, you have to slow it down or someone will definitely get hurt.

Not getting enough of a workout? Ride a heavy bike, or weigh the bike down with a rack and panniers and carry around a picnic lunch and a couple bottles of wine.

Leaning on the aerobars and playing time trial on the local MUT is nothing short of selfish and foolhardy.

You wanna hammer on your "road bike"? Save that for the road. Ride smart.
re: the other side of the story...geckotb
May 27, 2003 7:03 AM
I agree, it's extremely annoying when i see people standing in a line, blocking the entire path, or other bikers who can't pull off to the side to tie their shoe, or any of the other million things that people do to create havoc on the paths, but i don't think it gives me the right to run them down or force them out of my way.
re: the other side of the story...Kvonnah
May 27, 2003 2:52 PM
I certianly agree, I would NEVER run anyone down or yell at them etc. as I stated, I want people to enjoy cycling and cyclists!
Ahh, the famous MUT time trialistsSpoiler
May 26, 2003 9:27 PM
These are the superstars that think they're practicing their time trialing skills at 20 mph. TTing at 20 mph will get your ass kicked in all but the USCF 80+categories. It's like practicing your mountain climbing skills on the slope up your driveway.
The narrow MUT path and slow traffic give them an ego boost. It's like riding in the dark, it makes them think they're going faster than they really are.
The open road is too dangerous for them. To heal their bruised ego, they make parks and paths too dangerous for families.
You are SO RIGHT!rollo tommassi
May 27, 2003 6:04 AM
This is why I don't take bike paths between the end of May thru September. It's safer in the street!

I know that in some areas a MUT is the only or best route...but, I suppose just as we (the board) suggest advocacy in road access issues, this could be an advocacy issue too, to keep it safe for everyone. Cyclists becoming the bullies would be bad, so anything you can do to promote safety and courtesy only furthers 'the cause'.
most bike paths are worthlessDougSloan
May 27, 2003 7:24 AM
The only benefit from them is to connect two places that otherwise are really inconvenient or unsafe to get to. Beyond that, they are worthless.

There is a really nice path here leading out of town from a large park. As you describe, it is in good weather flooded with bladers, walkers 5 abreast, dogs on long leashes, etc. I'd rather ride down the middle of Los Angeles freeways.

What I don't understand is that here in Fresno there must be about 5,000 miles of sidewalks, and about 10 miles of bike paths. So, where to all the walkers (with baby buggies, dogs, kids, etc.) go? They clog up the bike paths. I don't get it.

You *should* be able to ride 15-20 mph on the bike paths, and even faster if people would pull their heads out of you know where and paid attention to minimal "road rules" and common sense.

All I'd write if doing an article in a bike magazine about bike paths is "stay off them, or be prepared to stop every 50 feet and under 5 mph." Since the article won't reach non-cyclists, the real problem, what's the point?

Totally agree...JL
May 27, 2003 10:48 AM
The major MUT around here, Philly to Valley Forge and beyond, is almost worthless, except to get around major traffic, in the summer months. I also think it has posted speed limits of around 15 mph, which no one follows. I try to avoid this path if at all possible, but sometimes it's a necessity. When the USPro series comes to town, you can always see the teams riding back and forth, but I'm sure they get really frustrated with all the "obstacles" this trail presents.

There are better ways around this path, so I do try to avoid using it especially on weekends. I know of one or two organized rides that utilize it to get in/out of Philadelphia to get to the suburbs with less traffic. It's too bad people can't be considerate of others on these paths, because they are a great way to get aound some very congested areas safely. I don't know that an article in a magazine would change anything.

Happy riding.

John L.