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Getting run down by runners on Multi Use trails(39 posts)

Getting run down by runners on Multi Use trailsbimini
Sep 29, 2003 8:12 AM
Does anyone else have problems with runners forcing you off multi use trails?

There is a casual fun run on Saturday & Sunday mornings by a running club that uses my favorite Multi use trail. It is a small group that gets scattered out on the trail so it's not like a big pack race or anything.

There are quite a few of members of this group that refuse to give ground to bicycles coming the opposite dirrection. They stay 3-4 across the entire trail and it seems they just dare bicycles to hit them.

I believe that "pedestrians" have the right away over bicycles but is blocking the entire path justified? Many times I have had to pop the front wheel off the path and into the grass to get around and then hop the front wheel back on, a fairly dangerous manuver. At other times, if there is not a shoulder, I have been forced to a stop. I always try to keep my wheel inches from the right when passing but this is not good enough for them. They want the entire path.

The last time it happened it P#$$ed me off. A pair off runners kept to the left and refused to move right one bit even though I motioned with my right hand that I was keeping right well in advance. I came to a stop in front of them and recognised one of them as a Triatholon guy I did a century ride with earlier in the year. I know he knows better.

It seems to me this group has the belief that they own the path and everyone needs to get out of the way. I am tempted to inform the running store that organizes these runs of the problem, but would like to do so in a constructive way. Is there information, web sites or handouts I could use to communicate the need to share the path? Or do we have an issolated group here?

I always slow down and give plenty of room for the walkers, kids, etc that use the trail system. But, what I am seeing from this group of runners is starting to bother me. It's like they want to play chicken with the folks on bikes.
re: Getting run down by runners on Multi Use trailsRusty Coggs
Sep 29, 2003 8:28 AM
They are just being Azzholes. Direct ommunication with the store could result in something positive, as they likely may not condone the behavior and surely don't need the negative image it promotes. Otherwise,consider getting a tanklike beater and some body armour and playing 'chicken' with them.
It's not out of line for you to...biknben
Sep 29, 2003 8:32 AM the store about the situation. I don't know of any rules/regulations that give one user right-of-way over the other. Everyone should be respectful of each other. That's why they are called Multi-Use Trails.

I'd contact the store or the organizer of the weekend group. They may not be aware of the problem. They may be ignoring it for fear of having to disipline themselves. I little nudge from an outsider may set them straight.

If that doesn't work...I shoulder to the chest at high speed should work.

Disclaimer: I do not condone the use of violence or terroristic threats to maintain order on the bike path.
body check 'emgtx
Sep 29, 2003 8:34 AM
You're carrying more speed. Put 'em back where they're supposed to be. I don't give an inch and find that people will move when forced (though I have nudged a few people at times). Yelling and whistling/bird calls helps, too. I agree about kids--I slow way down around kids and dogs, but yes, runners should know better.
that is the answer...mohair_chair
Sep 29, 2003 8:51 AM
Running into them is a bad idea, but if you stop in place and put your foot down, they will run into you, and that makes it their fault. It's a charging foul. If nothing else, they are forced to go around you, which is what they should be doing anyway. It's really effective if you come to a stop just a few feet in front of them. It's good for shock value.

If you don't want to stop, a good trick is to look away or down as you approach, so they can't even make eye contact. No eye contact means they can't try to intimidate you. They'll move, believe me.

I never yield to anyone (riders, runners, skaters, mothers, etc.) going double-wide on the trail. You get your half, and I get mine. It's a very simple rule. You can take it all when nobody is around, but you have to share otherwise. I'm amazed that anyone would actually pull off the trail to let these idiots take the whole trail. Might as well put a sign on your back that says "kick me."
I agree, can taken a step farther too, if you're up for it.Kristin
Sep 30, 2003 6:07 AM
Body checking sounds like fun. Sort of "bowling for runners." :)

Most MUTS have posted rules. If there is a yellow line on the path, then I garantee there is a rule about staying in ones lane and passing, etc. Confront the group a couple times the way Mo suggests. Tell them to stay out of your lane. If they don't, contact the president of the running club and let them know you will file a complaint with the Park District if they cause problems in the future. Then be prepared to follow through. Tell the district what time of day this happens and ask them to send a ranger to ticket the runners.
You've got it right!Steve98501
Sep 30, 2003 2:35 PM

The rules of right of way require that a bike yield to a pedestrian, but the rules don't require a bike to leave the trail. Your suggestion is right on.


Stay on the trail. Just come to a stop before you collide. A panic stop from 20 mph to a complete stop about a foot before colliding with the first runner would be a good effect. Then politely say, "would you mind keeping to the right?" If the runner hits you, he's at fault. These runners seem like they know the rules, by your description, and are just counting on intimidation by their numbers. You only encourage them by leaving the trail. If the runners escalate things, then the recommendation about bayonets welded to handlebars sounds entertaining.

You probably already know that MUT users include all kinds, many, if not most, of whom don't know the rules of right of way (kids) or don't know that ROW rules apply. The best thing you can do as a trail user is help others learn to observe the rules of ROW by your own example. So hold your line, stop if necessary, and force the offender to abide by ROW.
body check 'emSao
Sep 29, 2003 9:05 AM
"Just body check 'em. Put 'em back where they're supposed to be."

Maybe your tongue is firmly implanted in your cheek, but that attitude sounds a lot like car/truck drivers around road cyclists. Maybe you could carry empty Yoo Hoo bottles to throw at them as you pass..
I don't carry Yoo Hoo bottlesgtx
Sep 29, 2003 9:18 AM
Only half-eaten power bars. ;)
LOL - even worse!Sao
Sep 29, 2003 9:21 AM
Hey, when they've been sittin' around awhile, you can pound nails with 'em!
Maybe I could call a Shock Jock and convince all the cyclistbimini
Sep 29, 2003 9:53 AM
to "nudge" the runners on the trail or at a minimum throw the water bottles at them when going 25 MPH. Or, maybe a wack with the good old tire pump. But, Once you nail one runner, there is always the next one.

But, come on guys and gals. Who are we sounding like. The goal is not to win the game of chicken, the goal is for us to Share the Trails

I will probably stop by the store and mention the problem and then see what type of reaction I get. I sould be able to tell if they are people we can work with or see if they are a part of the problem.

Again, are there good sources of "share the trails" info out there so I can go in prepared and make a good impression with the shop owner and runners.
Sources of info....biknben
Sep 29, 2003 10:27 AM
I googled for "bike trail etiquette". Here's what I got.

There were many more but this will get you started.
In the game of chicken, be the winner!Spoiler
Sep 29, 2003 9:37 AM
I agree, simple physics.
By and large, runners aren't the most intimidating people. But on a path, they think it's their territory. They certainly don't treat others like they want to be treated.

These are the same skinny dudes that got shoulder blocked into the janitor's closet in high school. Now they think it's revenge of the nerds-time.
Next ride out, crank out the song, "Let the bodies hit the floor."
Stiffen up the shoulder. Keep pedaling. Coasting just sends the message that you're hesitant. I usually crank it up a couple gears and explode THROUGH the hit. If you're feeling a bit mean, snap the left elbow through and take the clown's head off.
PS: don't be a sexist. Women are just as obligated to give you your room as men. Once you get the rep as someone who isn't afraid to lay out a snotty gal runner, you'll be getting all sorts of room on the path.
Sep 29, 2003 9:41 AM
now there's coffee on my computer screen
Yer all just spandex cladded Whimps, this is how it's done.Fred Fredricks
Sep 29, 2003 12:34 PM
I strap it on! The aerobars I mean.

Then I put on my helmet. I got seven runner stickers with lines through them on the front.

Strap the boom box on the handlbars and put my Flight of the Valkeries tape on (ahh, love the smell of chain lube in the morning, smells like victory!).

Then head out to the lonely trails at the crack of dawn.

Some light weight pansy SOB runners get in the way, just TOO BAD. Time to REV up the engine to redline and then drop down the clutch. It's kind of like racing for the finish in a crit, instead of side by side, HEAD ON. If I try hard (and I always do) I get the bike up to 40 MPH by the time I hit the line. If they are smart runners, they are running in fear. If they are stupid runners, well it's another sticker on the helmet.

The stupid ones are normally fast enough to get to one side, so only get clipped by the bars or elbows. Got to brace yourself for the impact. I find if I put my head down and keep my impact hand braced on the top bar away from the hit works best.

One of these days I will find a slow stupid runner and drill em with the aerobars. Teach the lame @ss pansy runner one permanent lesson in manners.
In the game of chicken, be the winner!spankdoggie
Sep 29, 2003 7:50 PM
Spoiler, you surprise me, but we are in complete agreement here. I have never backed down on the Golden Gate Bridge from the Olympic Club roadie jackasses. They ride two abreast, and you will be surprised how fast the jackass on the wrong side moves when he sees the head on collision with me coming... I was a marked man, because I beat a few of them on my mountain bike a year or two ago...

Spoiled rich bastards... If the jackass won't move, after he gets out of the hospital, I will kick him in the ass and sue his father (These Olympic Club riders have no money, and they ride on the coattails of their parents)...

Never back down, unless the other party is being friendly, or you are in the wrong. Hey, if you are driving down a one way street, and someone comes down the wrong way, and tries to force you off the road, will you act like a woman (figure of speech, ladies) and back down? Hell no, you bastard!

The original post sounds like a troll post. I cannot believe any biker, male or female, gay or straight, could act so gay as to get run off of the trail...

P.S. Spoiler, you are still a jackass in my book, so do not take my agreement with you as an extended hand of friendship...
Umm....get off the MUTs?ColnagoFE
Sep 29, 2003 8:58 AM
The only time I used MUts in town was for commuting and cruising around with my kids. Forget MUTs for any serious riding or training. Between the dogs, clueless skater with headphones and kids wandering all over it is a accident waiting to happen to ride one of those.
Agree...MUTs are a hassle, no place for a serious ride on wkndsMg1
Sep 29, 2003 9:09 AM
because of the dogs, skaters, kids, and I'd add packs of ladies lost in deep conversation. But the runners know better and should get out of the way. No excuse for taking the whole lane.
re: Getting run down by runners on Multi Use trailsBeaver
Sep 29, 2003 9:19 AM
Back when I was mountain biking more, I used to regularly come across a high school cross country team running 8-10 abreast on the fireroads in the local state park. Usually only the outer 2 or 3 would give way while the rest would keep their line.

Their coach approved of the behavior and even said something to me once when I was passing them. I told him I was sharing the trail and they weren't. Too bad I never found out what school they ran for because I would have talked to the principal.

But that's one thing I don't understand about people that run 2 abreast. I think they should take a page out of the cycling book and form a paceline. Seems like they would go faster and as far as I know, the only time you need to run 2 abreast is when you are passing someone. Any runners want to enlighten me on why running 2 abreast is better than a paceline?
Running a paceline on a fireroad = ankle sprainMg1
Sep 30, 2003 5:49 AM
Hit a surprise pothole on your bike - you let out an expletive or two and keep riding. Do the same on a run and you may hear your ankle make a snapping sound. Run over.

So it is not a good idea to run right behind another runners. Slowing down / dodging is not nearly as easy as on a bike - slower response, harder on the legs. Plus footing is even more important than watching for a pothole.

Point remains however - runners should share the trail.
I have the opposite problem on Singletrackboyd2
Sep 29, 2003 9:58 AM
I do alot of cross country running (and of course MTB). I have great trails in my back yard that connect to a large state park, so if I run these trails are my first choice. There is nothing that bothers me more then an arrogant MTBer racing up, yelling "rider up" or some nonsence and trying to push me off the trail. I will gladly yield to a polite request but refuse to move for arrogance. Especially while on my property! This really bothers me while hiking with my kids. I force MTBers to yeild to me if I am running. This is of course a different situation then the thread topic. In double track I will always keep right and let folks pass.

I also agree with those that stay off the MUT's. I only use them as a very last resort to get where I need to go.
My experience also.dzrider
Sep 29, 2003 10:17 AM
MTB'ers aren't the most gracious about sharing the trails. I only go on MUT's very early in the morning or when I'm willing to ride slowly. A rider going > 15 mph is an anomaly on one.
"rider up"litespeedchick
Sep 29, 2003 10:17 AM
Don't you think the MTB'er is warning other riders behind them when they yell "rider up"? I know you're not a rider when you're running, but sometimes it's hard to think what to yell out (car up, rider up, hiker up, horses up, runner up, etc.) I always yell out for the people behind me in case they aren't paying attention.

If they really are yelling at YOU to get off the trail, then they are MAJOR a$$holes.

What I hate is when cross country runners come up BEHIND me on a hill. So embarrassing!
"rider up"boyd2
Sep 29, 2003 11:47 AM
The only time I get bothered is if the "rider up" is yelled at me and clearly means get off the trail. I don't need to be warned that someone is comming. I really don't care if you are there, only if you want to pass. Personally when I come up behind a hiker on my MTB I slow down and say "do you mind if I pass?" it always works out. When approaching head on I usually stop my bike. Most bikers keep comming assuming the runner (or hiker) will jump out of the way. I seldom jump out of anyones way. Afterall I am out there training too. I must say though I always move over if there is room to pass.

And BTW I absolutely love passing MTBers while I am running. Especially those free rider guys with all the body armor. I pass them on the climbs and hold them off as long as I can.
plenty of cyclists do it too. nm.Steve_0
Sep 29, 2003 10:10 AM
snot-rocket them "by accident" as they go by (nm)irregardless
Sep 29, 2003 10:28 AM
Get a ten foot pole and do some jousting. (nm)Turtleherder
Sep 29, 2003 10:30 AM
runners are in the wrong--complain to sponsoring storecommuterguy
Sep 29, 2003 10:32 AM
MUT rules are generally as follows:

slower traffic has right of way
stay to the right
warn before passing
obey speed limit

The runners you describe are very much in the wrong. I would recommend complaining to the store that sponsors the events. They are endangering everyone who has a right to use the path.

I am not an attorney, but I would suspect it would be a mistake for you to lower your shoulder and hit someone intentionally, even if they were not following the rules.

I have observed similar behavior, and I believe some sort of group psychology is at work. No one individual feels responsible if the "group" is doing something. Roadies do this sometimes, when a big pack blows through an intersection against the light.
If slower traffic has right of way, how are the runners wrong?russw19
Sep 29, 2003 6:59 PM
I am personally of the opinion that the most agile should move over since it is the easiest. Runners should move slightly over for cyclists, and cyclists should move for horses (yes, we have MUT's that have horse path access in my area) buy only because it's easier that way. But if you say that slower traffic has the right of way in your first "rule" then how can the runners possibly be wrong? They would only yield to walkers and turtles.

If slower traffic has right of way, how are the runners wrong?commuterguy
Sep 30, 2003 6:18 AM
Sorry, I should have stated the obvious--in a two way, two-lane bike path, you have to stay in your lane until you can safely pass the slower traffic that has the right of way. As is the case on a two lane, two-way traffic road, you have no right to get in the way of oncoming traffic.

Slower traffic has the right of way means that, if a conflict develops between a 4 mph jogger and a 20 mph biker, it is the biker who has to slow down and wait for a passing opportunity. The jogger isn't obliged to speed up or get out of the way. ---nmgf99
Sep 29, 2003 10:39 AM
pretend to check your bike while blocking the road...uksrfr
Sep 29, 2003 10:48 AM
this way if they say something about taking up the whole road, you can tell them you know how they feel....
Final word - All sides consideredjrescpa
Sep 29, 2003 11:32 AM
I run, hike, mtn bike and road bike on multi use paths and trails.

My thoughts: As cyclists we need to watch our speed since we are sharing the path or trail. Running someone over is not a good option even if they're being obnoxious and blocking the trail. Oterwise we need to ride on the road.

As runners/walkers/bladers etc. We need to realize that for our own safety we should stay alert and stay on the right side of the path. Four abreast is simply asking for trouble.

In conclusion, multi-use means respecting others and slowing down if that's the only way to ride safely.
More ideasHot Carl
Sep 29, 2003 2:01 PM
Multi-use means many uses.
This includes running, shoulder-blocking, cycling, snot-rocketting, phony-bike-repairs, walking, and the forced breaking up of 4-wide running posses with a front wheel mounted battering ram.
The old shoulder brush works toojmr986
Sep 29, 2003 2:30 PM
First off I only resorted to it once!!!! I use our MUT for my long, slow, rides. When your away from the trailheads it affords me a nice 50+ mile ride throught the woods with only a handful of roads.

I've resigned myself to the fact that we have to share. Everytime I think I've seen it all I witness another attack of the "Path People." You have to accept it or find another venue. Now there was a time these two guys would not budge, did not acknowledge my call out. Ended up going off the path and almost ended in the canal. Well here they were again on my ride back. Same attitude. This time an elbow to the side got their attention. Turned around asked them politely to share the road and road off. Oh BTW they both were smoking away too! No offense to the nice smokers on the forum.
More ideasspankdoggie
Sep 29, 2003 10:57 PM
Nice. Just keep it polite Hot Carl, because many newcomers to this great forum may also sign up as Gay Carl, Miss Carl, Fat Carl, Pregnant Carl, Welfare Carl, Unemployed Carl, Transexual Carl, etc...

I appreciate your efforts to tone it down, and to stop flaming regular people here. Hot Carl? Did you star in Saturday Night Fever?

Good for you Spoiler.
Dedicated bike lane is what makes me nuts.Scot_Gore
Sep 29, 2003 2:26 PM
Where I live we have miles of trails that have a bike path and a foot traffic path. They are seperated by a foot or two of grass (in general). the runners have taken over the bike path and don't use the foot path. I've gotten to where I don't even ride these anymore, but it's shame since they were built to make both groups happy.

Build a Road WarriorSpoiler
Sep 29, 2003 5:38 PM
This is your solution. Build yourself up a beefy cruiser with Texas longhorn handlebars. At both ends of the handlebar, Weld a survival knife to either end of the handlebar, like a pair of bayonettes.
As the runners approach, ride erratically, like a drunk child, swerving the handlebars from wide to side with HARMFUL intent.
Ride this route at the same time each day. Pretty soon, the other runners will catch wind of "The Road Warrior" and you'll have the path all to yourself.
He could just get a DH bike and do the same thing! nmTNRyder
Sep 29, 2003 7:36 PM