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MountainPeteMountainPete Posts: 418
edited September 2009 in MTB general
Swinley forest has seemed really busy with 'bikers as of late. I usually ride there early on Sunday mornings and there are definitely more people around than there has been! The problem with the busy trails is not at all helped by runners, and I have been bowled over by the apparent stupidity of some in recent weeks.

Why do they run up purpose built singletrack in large groups? What part of their mind thinks that this is a sensible idea? I have no problem with them running on the larger tracks around the forest, but to run up fast and technical singletrack and then be surprised when a rider comes up and nearly collides with them is beyond my belief. The other problem is that they are sure they are in the green; I've had abuse thrown at me left right and centre from a couple of groups who obviously thought that I shouldn't be there at all, which just doesn't seem right. It's clear that this forest is busy enough already, and it gets tricky with cyclists coming head on around singletrack that is barely big enough for one bike, but to then be swarmed by runners? I think it's a bit much.

They don't think they should get out of the way because they've been running a while and cyclists are more nimble than they, and I don't feel I should move because I've picked my line, I'm going too fast to really do much about anything and I'm not expecting to have a bunch of runners in my way.

Has anyone else noticed this problem? Or am I just over reacting?

Posts

  • AndyAndy Posts: 8,207
    Is it an actual marked bike trail or is it just a bit of singletrack you use to ride on?
  • Kaz01Kaz01 Posts: 37
    I've noticed walkers more so then joggers on routes, although everyone i've come across so far has been quite willing - and quick - to get out of the way (they have been heading the wrong way up a red route). BUT saying that yesterday i was at sherwood and there was a PUSHCHAIR heading towards me! On the red route! Luckily (or not) i'm fairly new to MTBing so i wasn't going very fast or that could have been a very nasty accident as i met them on a corner so had very little time to react!
  • andrew156 wrote:
    Is it an actual marked bike trail or is it just a bit of singletrack you use to ride on?

    AFAIK, the routes aren't marked at all at Swinley. They are just 'there'.
  • fitch28fitch28 Posts: 155
    i had this problem today (not swinley). in the hour or two i was on the trails i met the same jogger twice (on a red route) a dog walker on the blue, then the red and then the green (same man!), a young couple walking down the blue trail, an older couple walking up the blue trail, another jogger on the green and the on the blue downhill i neary hit awee girl of about 3 or 4 who was standing on the trail while her mum was standing at the side! to top it off i saw the same mum and daughter at the bottom of the trail a while later and yes, they were still standing on it!

    The worst thing was the mother knew it was a mtb trail as she told her daughter to move (as i was nearly on top of them) because it was a mtb trail!!! :evil:
  • andrew156 wrote:
    Is it an actual marked bike trail or is it just a bit of singletrack you use to ride on?

    Nothing is marked around Swinley, but it is more than obvious what is a mountain biking trail and what isn't. There are so many bikes around that you don't have to be around the end of a trail long to see someone enter or leave it.
  • FullyFully Posts: 257
    I don't think that there's a lot you can do tbh at Swinley, unless the trailbuilders put signs at the start/end of each section. Trail runners like running on singletrack as much as mtb'ers do, i hate running on fireroads as much as i hate riding on them. I wouldn't run on trails marked specifically for mtb'ers, but at Swinley they're not, so it's fair game imo.
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  • AndyAndy Posts: 8,207
    andrew156 wrote:
    Is it an actual marked bike trail or is it just a bit of singletrack you use to ride on?

    Nothing is marked around Swinley, but it is more than obvious what is a mountain biking trail and what isn't. There are so many bikes around that you don't have to be around the end of a trail long to see someone enter or leave it.

    If its not an official mountain bike trail as such, you have no leg to stand on in your argument.
  • Swinley has a MTB skills zone though so if you're in that you may have a case. I say chil the f**k out though - were talking 100m vertical max (and that is a massive over estimation in most cases) so get down ride back up and do it again if you have a problem.

    You probably have the permit to ride there like I always do dont you.......?
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  • You probably have the permit to ride there like I always do dont you.......?

    Does anyone ever check these?

    Apparently children don't need them because they are their parents' responsibility, which I couldn't quite understand and am not sure if it is legally accurate either.
  • KiblamsKiblams Posts: 2,423
    Can't comment on Swinley, but this does seem to be an issue with official trail centres in the midlands. :?
  • You're not alone here. Some months ago I was at Innerleithen with a few friends. We were happily blasting down the DOWNHILL course when we rounded a berm to find a man in his thirties and his elderly father walking UP the downhill course!

    By pure luck we managed to avoid a collision, but verbals were exchanged, with the man in his thirties becoming quite belligerent and aggressive, even after we'd pointed out how f*cking stupid they'd been. A heavy DH bike plowing into an old man at speed could easily have killed him or at least put him in hospital.
  • On officially sanctioned and posted MTB trails I certainly sympathise (walking up the innerleithing DH track is about as sensible as crossing the M8 on foot) but on trails that are "just there" everyone needs to watch out and beware that the trails are shared use and those runners that irritate so have (sadly) exactly as much right to be there as anyone else and in many cases more right (in the case of a trail that is not a bridleway but where a blind eye is turned; what is the formal situation in Swinley?).

    The upshot of a crash involving a bike and a ped on a trail that was not sanctioned and posted as a mtb only trail would be clear; the biker would be blamed and accused (probably correctly) of not being in control of his/her bike.

    Sounds like Swinley is getting busy enough that some local petitioning for mtb specific routes may be called for.
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
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    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
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  • Swinley's bike trails are just that. They are generally specific routes cut into the woodland for biking - some are a lot more specifically built than others with hardcore and dirt packed surfaces, berms and jumps others are a bit more like natural trails. There is also a mtb skills area marked out although a lot of people ride outside that area as well since some of the good longer loops go out of there.

    I rode there yesterday and nearly ran into a biker climbing a patently down hill oriented run (with the berms and the jumps) luckily for us both there was a wider part and a decent bit of visability where I met him.
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  • mac_manmac_man Posts: 918
    You're not alone here. Some months ago I was at Innerleithen with a few friends. We were happily blasting down the DOWNHILL course when we rounded a berm to find a man in his thirties and his elderly father walking UP the downhill course!

    By pure luck we managed to avoid a collision, but verbals were exchanged, with the man in his thirties becoming quite belligerent and aggressive, even after we'd pointed out how f*cking stupid they'd been. A heavy DH bike plowing into an old man at speed could easily have killed him or at least put him in hospital.

    No accounting for the stupidity of some people. :roll:
    That could have been a VERY nasty accident. Flying down a hill on 30+ pounds of bike you'd have colossal kinetic energy. Hitting someone head on at speeds of 20-30mph (or more) just doesn't bear thinking about.

    Did they just carry on their merry way or did they have the good sense to get off the trail?

    They are probably the same people who hog the middle lane at 55mph on the motorway :x
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  • yeah, but my question is; is this formal or do peds also have right of way on these trails? It's the unusual case where bikes are the *only* ones allowed and all others are excluded. They do exist in trail centres, but it's not the norm (and actually I don't understand the access mechanism, but I suppose it's because FC land is technically "private"). Anywhere else, no matter how the trail is built, you have to share based on the formal rights of way (which, btw, give horses and peds priority over bikes)

    it seems that the legal status of the Swinley trails is unclear, at least to folks on this forum. If they are formally "Bike only" then it is reasonable to officially mark them as such, then the runners can censored off somewhere else but without that you have no rights to restrict them, from what I see.

    If you want to judge based on what a trail "looks like" (ie; it's got jumps and berms, so it's clearly a bike trail) then, by the same token, we would have to agree with car drivers that want us off their roads because they are so obviously built for cars....
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
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