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Tracks

murcomurco Posts: 14
edited December 2007 in MTB beginners
Hi i'm new to mtb and i'm wondering if anybody can tell me which tracks i can go on legaly
eg.byways, bridalways etc. :)
Cheers
Murco

Posts

  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Can O worms time.

    In England & Wales you have access to bridleways (OS 1:25000 dashed green line), BOAT (Byway open to all traffic, 1:25000 line of green crosses) and RUPPs (Road used a s a Public Path, 1:25000 dashed green line with dots on alternate sides of the dashes). The recent open access legislation doesn't apply to cyclists. Note that legally you have to give way to just about every other user of bridleways including pedestrians. :evil:

    Scotland has it's own rules.

    You can't cycle on footpaths, there is also a lot of debate whether you can even push or carry your bike on footpaths, depends which bit of the law you want to apply.

    The law currently states that a pedestrian on a footpath is allowed to have a 'natural accompaniment" with them, whether a bike is a natural accompaniment is yet to be tested in law (Ramblers etc don't reckon it is).

    However there are precedents for saying that a bike is a natural accompaniment for a pedestrian. In Cranks Vs Brooks a judge ruled that a pedestrian pushing a bike across a pedestrian crossing who was knocked was a pedestrian and not cyclist.

    Needs some case law to clarify the point :( .

    It's worth noting that riding on footpath is not a criminal offence, only a the civil offence of trespass and damages fines etc. have to in line with whatever harm you cause the land owner by trespassing. Most courts don't reckon tyre tracks constitute much harm.

    If you want some more detail here's a lnky to a good article.

    http://www.thebikezone.org.uk/thebikezo ... adlaw.html

    Links to OS map keys:

    1:25000

    http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsi ... legend.pdf

    1:50000

    http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsi ... nd-Eng.pdf

    It's all a bit complicated and I'm sure I've not got it fully right. Most of us also ride where we aren't supposed to, but I don't personally see what damage we could be doing. However a word of warning, if there are lots of no cycling signs up it probably means the land owner is a bit paranoid about bikes so best to give it a miss (or get chased by a mental farmer like I did :oops: ).

    All the above applies to off road routes, pavements are another kettle of worms altogether :roll: .
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Bet you wished you'd never asked :( , I've meaning to start a thread on this for a while and now it's all gone and spilled out.

    Bloody farmers, think they own the counrtyside :evil: :evil: :evil:
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • WoodywmbWoodywmb Posts: 888
    Cycle anywhere you want but be responsible, conscious of other road or path users and doing it in Scotland. The courts have to grant no access orders to halt you - and there are only half a dozen in place for the whole of the country.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    stumpyjon wrote:
    Pavements are another kettle of worms altogether :roll: .

    Or even a can of fish....

    Anyhoo, a few tips for you...

    1. In England and Wales stay off public footpaths. Period. No ifs no buts. Anywhere else you should be fine. The only exception to this rule that I ever make is if it's an absolute, no other alternative screaming for mummy emergency. Public footpaths are for pedestrians. We as MTBers have a duty to uphold the (generally) good image of the sport. Riding on public footpaths causes conflict and is not good. If you are in any doubt about the status of a route, DON'T USE IT until you've checked it out on the map.

    2. Buy yourself a copy of the Ordnance Survey Explorer map for your area. You can find the correct sheet by visiting The Ordnance Survey Website. Then buy it from Above & Beyond. LEARN HOW TO READ IT. You can get books of instruction for your local library, or get someone who knows how to teach you.

    3. Just because a trail is shown on a map as a bridleway or a byway, doesn't mean that it actually is. The only sure fire way to tell is by consulting the definitive map held by the local authority for the area. Also, never assume that a trail is well defined, signposted or even rideable. Many are not and you need to have good navigational skills to find or ride them.

    4. When you are out riding, get your priorities right. If you are off road, you MUST give way to pedestrians and horse riders. This means that if you are riding towards them and they towards you, unless the track is wide enough for you both to pass easily, you should stop and let them pass. It's best to stop with horses anyway. Always greet anyone you meet with a smile and a "good morning". Even if they don't respond it creates a good impression. If you are approaching from behind, let them know that you are coming well in advance and again be prepared to stop if need be.

    5. Don't get into arguments with other trail users. Just walk (or ride) away. Simple as.

    Rights of way is a very big and confusing issue. It will take time to learn all the nuances. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if they seem pretty simple.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • dave_hill wrote:
    1. In England and Wales stay off public footpaths. Period. No ifs no buts. Anywhere else you should be fine. The only exception to this rule that I ever make is if it's an absolute, no other alternative screaming for mummy emergency. Public footpaths are for pedestrians. We as MTBers have a duty to uphold the (generally) good image of the sport. Riding on public footpaths causes conflict and is not good. If you are in any doubt about the status of a route, DON'T USE IT until you've checked it out on the map.

    First and foremost, I'm a walker, and I have dogs. Secondly and thirdly, I'm also a MTBer and road biker - what really peeves me is the "born again" MTBers around my area (you know who you are, in you're 40's, flashy full suspension for a simple footpath? get a life), treating the footpaths around the reservoirs as a MTB playground :evil: , creating weirs so that you can cycle through the stream :evil: rather than flipping your bike over rocks :lol:

    I believe in the MTB routes that are being created around the country - but for MTBers to get annoyed at walkers for using them, is a tad hypocritcal when there are hundreds if not thousands of MTBers who are abusing footpaths up and down the country, and if a walker informs them of the wrong doings, they get abused, or "what are they whinging at?" to their fellow MTBers when they then ride on.

    Now I realise there are few bridleways in this area, a particularly good one is from Crowthorn to Ramsbottom, but I cannot forgive MTBers for nearly mowing myself and dogs down whilst walking on FOOTPATHS.

    Rant over.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Sorry, are you agreeing with me or having a pop?

    Just for the record, I agree with you entirely that there is no excuse for MTBs to be on public footpaths (other than, IN MY OPINION, the circumstances that I have mentioned above). Generally this is either through ignorance or wilful disobedience - but again, there is no excuse for either in my book, on anyone's part.

    It should be noted however that there is also no excuse for bad behaviour from anyone, be they walker or cyclist, on any shared right of way, such as a bridleway.

    Dedicated MTB tracks such as those provided in the various forest parks up and down the country are just that, and in general are signposted as such. They are NOT public rights of way, and to try to compare them with such is non-sensical. If you come a cropper whilst walking on the black run at Llandegla then you've only got yourself to blame.

    If I come across persons walking on such tracks, I will POLITELY give them the benefit of my experience and suggest that if they are genuinely unaware that they are on a dedicated cycle track that they bring up the issue of proper signposting with the forest authorities.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • I wasnt having a pop at your post, it was an excellent piece of work. But some MTBers really wind me up. I have always politely stated that "this is a footpath" but people who you would expect to know best, not children or teens, but adults in their 30s/40s, must be speaking a foreign language, be illiterate. or plain ignorant. And yes, I'm a MTBer having a gripe about MTBers!

    btw, I've never known a single MTBer (yet) aside from myself to allow pedestrians their right of way on a bridleway. Many pedestrians are not familiar with this commandment as was evident when I rode around Kielder a few months ago and stopped to allow a couple right of way - only for them to stop and allow me to pass.
  • dave_hill wrote:
    1. In England and Wales stay off public footpaths. Period. No ifs no buts. Anywhere else you should be fine. The only exception to this rule that I ever make is if it's an absolute, no other alternative screaming for mummy emergency. Public footpaths are for pedestrians. We as MTBers have a duty to uphold the (generally) good image of the sport. Riding on public footpaths causes conflict and is not good. If you are in any doubt about the status of a route, DON'T USE IT until you've checked it out on the map.

    First and foremost, I'm a walker, and I have dogs. Secondly and thirdly, I'm also a MTBer and road biker - what really peeves me is the "born again" MTBers around my area (you know who you are, in you're 40's, flashy full suspension for a simple footpath? get a life), treating the footpaths around the reservoirs as a MTB playground :evil: , creating weirs so that you can cycle through the stream :evil: rather than flipping your bike over rocks :lol:

    I believe in the MTB routes that are being created around the country - but for MTBers to get annoyed at walkers for using them, is a tad hypocritcal when there are hundreds if not thousands of MTBers who are abusing footpaths up and down the country, and if a walker informs them of the wrong doings, they get abused, or "what are they whinging at?" to their fellow MTBers when they then ride on.

    Now I realise there are few bridleways in this area, a particularly good one is from Crowthorn to Ramsbottom, but I cannot forgive MTBers for nearly mowing myself and dogs down whilst walking on FOOTPATHS.

    Rant over.

    Hmmm, never been mowed down by an out of contol biker but both myself and my children have been attacked by dogs not on leads when it clearly states 'Please keep dogs on leads lambing time/sheep in fields AND more than once had to clean [email protected] from my kids shoes because dog owners have not performed their duty and cleaned up their dogs sh!te.

    Out of control dogs create more problems than out of control bikers born again or not!
  • creamsoda wrote:
    Hmmm, never been mowed down by an out of contol biker but both myself and my children have been attacked by dogs not on leads when it clearly states 'Please keep dogs on leads lambing time/sheep in fields AND more than once had to clean [email protected] from my kids shoes because dog owners have not performed their duty and cleaned up their dogs sh!te.

    Out of control dogs create more problems than out of control bikers born again or not!

    I'm please to say my dogs are always under control (unlike the border collies that attack anything with 4 legs or two wheels, or even 4 wheels has been known), and are always cleaned up after (free bags available from the village PO). I'm not one of these poo baggers either that bag it and stuff the bag into a wall or leave it on the path.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    btw, I've never known a single MTBer (yet) aside from myself to allow pedestrians their right of way on a bridleway. Many pedestrians are not familiar with this commandment as was evident when I rode around Kielder a few months ago and stopped to allow a couple right of way - only for them to stop and allow me to pass.

    Looks like you and I are a dying breed then. If I meet walkers or horseriders on a piece of single-track, I stop and allow them through without fail. As you state, it would seem that most walkers are unaware that they have a right-of-way - equestrians seem far better informed.

    If I am approaching from behind, I make sure that everyone knows that I'm coming well before I get to them.

    I'm a firm believer in the adage that "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". Yes, there is an amazing amount of ignorance and arrogance on the part of many MTBers about where they can and can't ride, and how they should conduct themselves, yet there is also a proportionately larger number of walkers in the same mould.

    I could bore the pants off everyone with the number of tales that I could tell about rude, arrogant, boorish, obstructive and unhelpful walkers who I've come across in 20-odd years of off-road cycling, but I won't because I suspect that there will be ten-fold from the opposite camp. In any case, it's unhelpful and divisive.

    I personally take great pride in my conduct when I'm out riding. I'm probably not perfect, who is? But at least I can return from a ride with a clear conscience knowing that I've kept my end of the bargain.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    northturton wrote:
    btw, I've never known a single MTBer (yet) aside from myself to allow pedestrians their right of way on a bridleway.
    I'm also aware of the rights of way, though I often find walkers giving way to me as it is easy for them to step aside than for me to stop, however I always say thank you as I go past. If I'm approaching walkers who obviously haven't seen me I will slow down to walking pace and then say excuse me. I always give horses a wide berth.

    Part of this due to manners (always get a nice glow when I get a friendly smile back after saying thankyou) and a lot to do with self preservation, both walkers and horses don't aways anticipate well what you're about to do (even if you are riding slowly in a straight line).

    With regards to dogs, I don't believe they have any rights of way status and I do get very p*ssed off with dog owners who obviously can't control their dogs or when they do have them on a lead and stand on one side of the path whilst their dogs on the other side. (don't get me started on free range farm dogs :evil: ).

    I do also get a little sick of walkers rambling on (pun intended) about MTB's using footpaths, yes they are right as the law stands at the moment, but the law dates back to 1967 (I think) and is now very out of date. The number of bridleway fragments that don't lead anywhere is ridiculous.

    It's about time there was a full scale review of rights of way with the intention of openning more routes up to MTB riders and equestrians (could also do with a little more patience from our fellow countryside users, no one group should have anymore rights than any other provided they are not damaging the countrside or putting others at risk).

    To finish my two penneth whilst I am somewhat aggrieved at the MTB bashing that goes on and the government's total disregard for us I would echo Dave's sentiment
    We as MTBers have a duty to uphold the (generally) good image of the sport.
    Two wrongs don't make a right.

    Whoa feel a whole lot better now :D .
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    creamsoda wrote:
    Hmmm, never been mowed down by an out of contol biker but both myself and my children have been attacked by dogs not on leads when it clearly states 'Please keep dogs on leads lambing time/sheep in fields AND more than once had to clean [email protected] from my kids shoes because dog owners have not performed their duty and cleaned up their dogs sh!te.

    Out of control dogs create more problems than out of control bikers born again or not!

    Couldn't agree more, and I've owned dogs all my life. Unfortunately, this is one more example of the law being an censored .

    The Dogs Act simply requires that a person in charge of a dog shall keep it under close control at all times when in public. The problem is that "close control" is not defined, and is thus open to interpretation. Only the Dangerous Dogs Act stipulates the use of muzzles and leashes, but this only applies to certain breeds (yet have you noticed that it's nearly always dangerous dogs that aren't under control???).

    I live very close to a large area of United Utilities Access Land. There are clear notices at all access points on this land about keeping dogs under control especially during lambing time or when livestock is present. Yet the number of people who don't is mind-blowing. And if you challenge them about it, the response is, "oh he won't do anything, he's soft as owt!".

    How do they know? How do they know what's going on in that dog's head? I've got nearly 40 years experience of dogs and I STILL can't read their minds. Mind you I wouldn't be wasting my time typing this if I could...

    I suspect that we're getting a bit off-topic here. perhaps we should get back on...
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • Dogs annoy me, as does the poo.

    I am by nature usually exceptionally courteous, however I do often find that others will stop and move off as they do find it easier. I will always thank them. But what really annoys me is when you do stop for someone, they will rarely thank you, which, even though they have right of way, would still be nice.
  • I understand the law, however unless you are very pedantic, I think it makes sense applying the spirit of the law.

    In towns I find it very annoying cyclists cycling on the pavement full of people, in that situation the law makes sense. However on some country roads the choice can be cycle on a very dangerous road or on a completely empty pavement, I prefer the latter.

    With Footpaths the law is to stop cyclists running down pedestrians, which is correct. If I can I avoid Footpaths I do, however there are times I do use footpaths, these are always rarely ever used by pedestrians, often uphill - so slow, and I always stop for pedestrians. This is breaking the law, however I don't think it breaks the spirit of the law!
  • xcracerxcracer Posts: 298
    I wasnt having a pop at your post, it was an excellent piece of work. But some MTBers really wind me up. I have always politely stated that "this is a footpath" but people who you would expect to know best, not children or teens, but adults in their 30s/40s, must be speaking a foreign language, be illiterate. or plain ignorant. And yes, I'm a MTBer having a gripe about MTBers!

    These are probably the same people who don't understand how zebra crossings work and feel that it's perfectly acceptable to fly across them at top speed when there are people ushering their children across.
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