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Thread: Trail Safety. Dogs, Hikers, Right of Way?

  1. #1

    Trail Safety. Dogs, Hikers, Right of Way?

    I am hoping someone can put me in the right on this topic so that i do the right thing. Last Saturday morning I encountered probably a dozen hikers on P2 and 3 dogs off leash. Most of the hikers stepped out of the way to yield. However, a couple of the dog walkers were visibly alarmed by my approach and began yelling "There are dogs on the trail, There are dogs on the trail". I slowed down the best I could to avoid a darling pooch happily zig-zagging all over the place (just like a mountain biker). My immediate thought was that dogs should probably be on a leash? Or are cyclists supposed to yield to hikers? I am sure this is posted somewhere by the trail but I thought I would ask it here for the record. Trail runners seem to have this understood and ALWAYS yield every time I have come upon them, and they usually run in the opposite direction which is helpful too. Hikers/Walkers with dogs seem confused, or I am confused. What is the proper etiquette here? I am happy to share the trail with everyone, and I want to keep it safe.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetp View Post
    I am hoping someone can put me in the right on this topic so that i do the right thing. Last Saturday morning I encountered probably a dozen hikers on P2 and 3 dogs off leash. Most of the hikers stepped out of the way to yield. However, a couple of the dog walkers were visibly alarmed by my approach and began yelling "There are dogs on the trail, There are dogs on the trail". I slowed down the best I could to avoid a darling pooch happily zig-zagging all over the place (just like a mountain biker). My immediate thought was that dogs should probably be on a leash? Or are cyclists supposed to yield to hikers? I am sure this is posted somewhere by the trail but I thought I would ask it here for the record. Trail runners seem to have this understood and ALWAYS yield every time I have come upon them, and they usually run in the opposite direction which is helpful too. Hikers/Walkers with dogs seem confused, or I am confused. What is the proper etiquette here? I am happy to share the trail with everyone, and I want to keep it safe.
    I was hiking P2 with my dogs on Saturday morning ( I'm currently sidelined from riding) and my dogs are pretty good around bikes as they do ride with me, they are familiar with bikes. I also use remote training collars to add additional means of re-enforcement. (They respond to tones, not zaps, so calm down any training collar haters.) Anyway, I get myself and dogs out of the way of bikes, sometimes both parties zig instead of zag so it causes a bit of hesitation. As a rider, I've never had an issue.

    I do recall one rider, he was clearly a new rider and afraid of dogs, he actually hugged a tree as we walked by, to stay upright (he was standing on his feet, straddling the bike), yelling, "Get your dogs, get your dogs!" There was no threat, they stayed away, he just had some issues with bike handling and dog fears.

    I think if a rider is trying to set a PBR on a Saturday morning, they should realize that there will be lots of other trail users out there (bikes, hikers, fisherman) and they should try that PBR when there will be less interference. I agree that etiquette is that riders have right-of-way.
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  3. #3
    According to IMBA Rules of the Trail cyclists yield to non-motorized trail users (pedestrians) unless the trail is for bike-only travel.

    Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you're coming a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
    It would also seem that pets must be on a leash in Ohio state Parks

    Bring Your Pet to an Ohio State Park

    Pets are permitted in most day use areas, with the exception of swimming beaches, and must be on a leash. Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches.

  4. #4
    There are many designated mountain bike trails where pedestrians yield to bikes since the trail is designated primarily for bike use, such is the case on the Alum bike trails. There is a recent IMBA newsletter story about this about 2 month ago.

    I'm not going to dwell on the "Bring Your Pet to an Ohio State Park" because I have found that written policy and local opinion differ, in short, if you and your dog are cool, we're cool.

  5. #5
    I haven't had much of a problem with hikers and dogs. Most of they time, they just step to the side even though they don't have to. I just smile and give 'em a "thank you! One more comin' behind me!"

    But other cyclists on singletracks are the worst. I had one guy run my girlfriend off the trail on her second time out. He didn't even stop. Almost scared her away from the sport. I would have had words with him but I'd have never caught him. I have been down a couple of times because of someone coming the other way. I really wish that all trails were one-way for MTBs.

  6. #6
    OST Noob, I need to post more jerry_atus's Avatar
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    Fox:

    From my experience, it doesn't matter if the trail is one-way or not... you're always going to come across people riding in the wrong direction. People tend to break the rules. Some do it because they just don't care, some because they are ignorant (unaware). What steams me the most are those who never consider stopping - apparently they feel that everyone else is less important than they are. Perhaps they know that they most likely will never have to explain themselves... because I could never catch them either!

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