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I know this concept contradicts generally accepted trail etiquette but hear me out. What is the big danger when a downhill rider meets an uphill rider on singletrack? A collision which could possibly produce massive injuries. Which rider is most able to avoid a collision? The uphill rider is moving slower, has a greater chance of hearing and seeing the approaching downhill rider and therefore can quickly and safely stop the bike, dismount and move off the trail. I understand the arguement about uphill rythym, cadence and working up the trail but this is the most logical way to avoid a collision. The downhiller may not see the uphiller soon enough and if he does, he may have to lock up the wheel to stop in time. I'm a 215 lb. Clydesdale so when I have no other choice but to climb singletrack, I always stop for downhill traffic using the pause as a rest break. When going down I also stop for uphill traffic when I see them because I'm courteous and at first glance, I think it may be a hiker. If they are mtb'ers, they usually show no intention of stopping for me so I stop for them. Rarely, I encounter a rider who clears the trail for me, the downhill rider, for which I thank them profusely. Nevertheless, when I stop a fun downhill run for uphill riders, the best part of the ride is interrupted. Don't assume I'm a shuttle-loving downhill maniac. I'm a cross-country rider on a 3 inch travel Rocky Mtn. Element or a Bianchi Denali steel hardtail. I mostly do loops with a dirt or paved road climb (being gravitationally challenged, I always choose the easiest way up even if it's a bit longer) followed by a singletrack descent. One other reason why I favor uphill riders yeilding is to not disrupt the funnest part of any ride-the downhill. Stopping a great, flowing, in rythym downhill ride for hikers and horses is obviously mandatory but to do so for fellow mtbers seems ridiculous to me. The uphillers should yield to not mess up another riders' fun knowing that the downhiller probably rode up also and that the uphiller will soon be going downhill as well and does not want to stop unnecessarily. While I'm on the subject, let me suggest that on any loop ride which offers a dirt or paved road climb rather than climbing up the singletrack, please choose to climb up the road especially on busy weekends. I'll give two examples. One is the Mt. Pinos trail system in SoCal. 3 sections of great singletrack totalling about 7 1/2 miles with a gradual paved road to the top. I always go up the road for previously stated reasons but routinely encounter uphill riders (sometimes in groups of 10 or more) who started well before me, on the downhill sections after I have pedalled to the top. The road is about 2 miles longer but it takes less time and you won't mess up the downhill fun of other riders which to me is the most fun of our sport. When I point the wheel down I want to get into the flow of the trail but on this trail I inevitably encounter uphill riders, most riding but always the last 3 or 4 are walking their bikes, who never even consider yielding to me. So I wait for several minutes while the last bike walkers huff and puff past me. By the way, although many do, I have never shuttled Mt Pinos. I've encountered the same situation on the Shultz Creek trail in Flagstaff AZ. This is a great trail with a smooth forest service road which goes up right next to the trail. You can see the trail from the road most of the way and the road is no longer than the trail. Yet when I started down after the dirt road climb, I encountered several uphill riders who showed no sign of yielding. I'm sure there are other examples in every significant mtb area in the country so my appeal is for uphill riders to yield to downhillers on singletrack for primarily safety reasons but also to not mess up the true fun of mtbing which is the downhill and for all mtbers to climb up the road alternative when there is one rather than up the singletrack in order to avoid uphill/downhill encounters. Thank you for your time.
 

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Yummy
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Paragraphs are so helpful when reading a huge block of text. It allows the eyes to track the flow of the text so much better. If I can't follow the flow of text, then it destroys the fun of reading. Writers should yield to the common sense of paragraphs in order not to spoil others' fun of reading.

Basically, you're wrong. Fun or not, it's about unselfishly thinking about the other trail users. What if another descending cyclist has crashed just around a corner and has a broken leg? If you aren't in control of your bike at all times and able to stop at any point within your range of view, you could hurt someone badly. If it's too difficult to stop for another rider coming up the hill, how would you stop for a hiker, horse, dog, small child in the trail?

Cyclists climbing the hill aren't the only thing you may encounter, you know. Also, on steeper hills, it can be quite difficult to get re-started after stopping on a climb. The descender can always restart easily.

The only exception would be trails designed and marked as "one-way" trails. There are a few of those around, and in that case, it's up to the climber to yield to the descender. Lift-accessed riders should be aware that, if they want to walk back to re-try a section of the DH, they are responsible for staying out of the way of descending riders.

Is it really that tough to give up 4 1/2 seconds of descending fun, just to show a little courtesy to others?

Kn.
 

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That's all fine and dandy, and if you come across a uphill rider who follows this thinking, it makes it doubly nice. But the rule of downhill rider yeilding to uphill rider is because on some uphills, it's very difficult to get started again once you stop. If you have a long climb, I don't see why the uphill rider should have to walk his bike up the hill just because he wants to avoid a collision.

I know bombing down a hill is a blast, but if you are riding a multi-use trail--especially one as popular as Shutlz--I think you need to scrub a little speed, 1) because the chance of coming upon a uphill rider is likely (especially on the weekend) and 2) most mtbrs won't yield, because they assume you know the rule of thumb or, they want to prove a point. I won't even mention the hikers and horsebackers, who have a lot of clout when complaining to the forest service about some out of control biker.

Personally, unless I'm at a place that will make it impossible to remount, I typically yield to downhill riders since I know they enjoy the momentum. What pisses me off about Shutlz as you mention above is the group of riders bombing downhill, who spread themselves out, and who don't tell you how many are behind them. Last time I was there, I had to dismount at least 4 times within 2 minutes because there was a group of maybe 10 riders (I'm assuming they were together since they were so close to each other) spread out enough to where once I let a couple go by, I remounted, only to get off again 10 yards later. It takes very little energy to yell "5 back." That way, I can just get off and wait for everybody to pass.
 

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Maddog said:
Which rider is most able to avoid a collision? The uphill rider is moving slower, has a greater chance of hearing and seeing the approaching downhill rider and therefore can quickly and safely stop the bike, dismount and move off the trail.
If you can't stop before the farthest point you can see ahead, then you are going too fast for conditions.
Also, cranking uphill, your front tire is barely in contact with the ground half the time, coupled with extremely slow speed, this makes it extremely difficult to do any sort of manuevering. Stopping and dismounting while riding clipped in gets even harder in this situation.

Maddog said:
The downhiller may not see the uphiller soon enough and if he does, he may have to lock up the wheel to stop in time.
Too fast for conditions

Maddog said:
When going down I also stop for uphill traffic when I see them because I'm courteous and at first glance, I think it may be a hiker. If they are mtb'ers, they usually show no intention of stopping for me so I stop for them.
They don't have to show intention of stopping for you, they have the right of way.

Maddog said:
Rarely, I encounter a rider who clears the trail for me, the downhill rider, for which I thank them profusely.
You're going so fast that uphill traffic ruins your day, but you stop and thank someone 'profusely' when they yield? I'm guessing it's more of a 'Thanks' yelled over your shoulder while the yielder is thinking 'knucklehead'.

Maddog said:
Nevertheless, when I stop a fun downhill run for uphill riders, the best part of the ride is interrupted.
In your opinion, the people going uphill may think the opposite.

Maddog said:
I always choose the easiest way up even if it's a bit longer) followed by a singletrack descent.
Alot of people would rather prefer the singletrack climb, and the easier way down.

Maddog said:
One other reason why I favor uphill riders yeilding is to not disrupt the funnest part of any ride-the downhill.
Downhill sucks, uphill climbing is the best part

Maddog said:
Stopping a great, flowing, in rythym downhill ride for hikers and horses is obviously mandatory but to do so for fellow mtbers seems ridiculous to me.
So, in a car, I should only give consideration for other 4 wheeled vehicles?

Maddog said:
let me suggest that on any loop ride which offers a dirt or paved road climb rather than climbing up the singletrack, please choose to climb up the road especially on busy weekends.
Let me suggest the opposite 'cause a hard climb is better for you than an easy one.

Maddog said:
Yet when I started down after the dirt road climb, I encountered several uphill riders who showed no sign of yielding.
That's those damn rules again.

Maddog said:
not mess up the true fun of mtbing which is the downhill
uh-huh, whatever
 

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Got to agree with Masher here. Uphill is the best part. So does that make you wrong or me? How about neither, but when using a trail that is multi directional, we should follow rules as they are.
 

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skinny-tire said:
most mtbrs won't yield, because they assume you know the rule of thumb or, they want to prove a point. I won't even mention the hikers and horsebackers, who have a lot of clout when complaining to the forest service about some out of control biker.
As someone who hikes and bikes, it baffles me that bikers are supposed to yield to hikers. Walking, it's easy for me to move off to the side, even if I have to climb a little bank. Biking, it sucks to have to stop, pull off to the side, and wait for little day hikers to dawdle past.
In the end, I yield all over the place, 'cause I'm slow as hell, either uphill or downhill. Not much momentum to lose, so I might as well spare other peeps the effort!

-skink
 

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yielding

its just me, but I yield to everyone I can, up or down...Im never in such a hurry out there that I cant stop what I am doing....#1 It's just out of common courtesy that I do this, and #2 it is the safe thing to do, if I dont yield they may not either....Agreed if you cant stop on a dime (ok maybe a quarter) on a downhill ya probably are a bit out of control
 

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"If you can't stop before the farthest point

you can see ahead...." I love that phrase. Why is it so hard to understand how important that is? The ONLY time you can ignore that rule is on a CLOSED RACE COURSE.
Also, when you do come upon someone coming at you, redeciding what you are going to do is problematic and time consuming. By that I mean you have to make some assumptions about the person coming at you within a quickly collapsing time frame. If everyone knows in advance that the uphill rider gives way to the downhill rider that is all avoided.
I think that what we are confronting here is in the nature of downhill thinking; we like to overcome our fear of speed and improve our skill at negotiating obsiticals which mitigate our speed. I can understand that as a goal to improving the dowhill experience but not at the cost of creating hazards on shared trails.

Yeild to uphill riders.

Keep repeating this phrase.
 

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doesnt common courtesy kind of dictate this?
someone who has gravity in their favor should yield to someone who is busting their ass and needs all of their momentum to keep going?
 

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I'm in total agreement, as are most hikers I bet if you asked, but I don't make up the rules, and I'd sure as hell hate to be forbidden to ride my trails because somebody didn't follow those rules. If I come upon a hiker and it's obvoius they are not going to give me the right of way, I usually dismount, and ignore them. But I would say 90% of the hikers I encounter (either ones I come upon from behind, or we are going in opposite directions) step aside.
 

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Just to chime in here:

1) It is much easier for the downhill rider to stop and start than the uphill rider. This is the reason the general rule evolved as it was the same for horses, carriages, etc.

2) You should never be riding faster than you can stop for any obstruction in the path. What if there are some 80 year old hikers around that blind corner?

3) It is always curtious to announce yourself, and if there are other riders following, the number. This alerts the other party, what to expect.

4) When possible, yield, even when it is not your responsibility. Common curtiousy goes a long ways. I can't stand horses and don't like that they crap all over. I always slow down to a walking pace so as not to spook them. Like them or not, there is a finite amount of open space and it does no good to upset them or their riders (ignoring that a spooked horse has the real possibilty or injuring their rider). Also, the horse lobby is well organized and has a lot of clout. Why give them ammo to ban mountain bikes from the trails, when they can focus on getting more trails opened, potentially to the MTB communities benifit.
 

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Sorry maddog, I've got to disagree. I personally find cleaning a nasty technical climb as satisfying as going down. It is a different type of satisfaction, but not any less. I have stopped for other riders both climbing and descending. It is a lot more difficult to get started again on a trail going up then going down, especially if it is singletrack
 

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This topic's been thrashed to death before, and it still stands that downhill yields to uphill for all the reasons previously posted here and many other times/places. Take it over to the kids on the DH board, Maddog - you'll probably find some sympathy there...
 

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This is the way I see it:

If you're riding a trail that's commonly ridden uphill, then you ought to follow the rule and yield to uphill riders. The trail you're on is most likely not very steep, you should be able to stop easily somewhere where the uphill riders can pass. The same goes for trails that are ridden in both directions frequently.

Now, if you're riding a trail that is rarely ridden uphill, perhaps the trail would require a lot of walking with the bike to get up, the uphill riders BETTER yield to you if you're coming downhill. Anytime the uphill rider is off his/her bike, they should be the ones yielding...

My rule of thumb in most situations is: Riders off the bike yield to those on the bike. This makes sense, if they can ride the uphill, don't ruin their rhythm by making them get off. If you're bombing a drop or steep section, and somebody's walking up it, they ought to yield to you. Same goes for very technical sections, if you have to get off and walk, get over to the side for any oncoming or passing riders. If you can't ride it, don't screw those up that can.

The moral: If you're off the seat, yield to those still riding, or get beat.
 

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Yeah. I was being stupid one day before I learned of this rule. I was bombing down a hill on my local trail and there is a lowhanging log you have to duck for. I being the idiot that i am lockup both front and rear tires (luckily they both slide). The front tire eventually digs in and i do a major endo. the guy riding the other way doesn't eevn care. He just flys by on his hideous orange Cannondale. aargh... I always yield to other people going down. Going up I have seen some very pissed off hikers because I thought they would move over.

Do you get that you are simply wrong (unless you are talking about on a lift hill for DH)?
 

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I would have to agree with most of the replies here. On a tough singletrack climb its a biatch to restart. How hard is it to restart going down?

I too love a fun downhill section and if I'm climbing and have room to get out of the way of a descending rider without stopping, I'll happily give way - bomb away bro. If I don't have room when climbing, I'm sticking to my line.

As far as hikers, I will always yield if needed but most are pretty courteous where I've ridden and step aside before I can even start to yield. (I always make sure they hear my thanks).

The thing I have noticed is that if you ride on the weekends, you face the crowds and the traffic jams on the single tracks. Ride before work in early AM (before it's hot) and you can usually climb up and bomb down unimpeded.

The last thing we need is more people giving our community a bad name.
 

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Now why doesnt everybody just ride in one direction, that would make so much more sense....


|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
^start ^finish
 

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Why can't we all get along?

There's no question, any trails shared with hikers, horses....etc, safety first should always prevail. We have a fairly new multi-use trail near my house and alot of the horses sharing the trail are not used to seeing bikes and get all bent-out-of-shape when they are encountered. One of the equestrians I talked to bought a Wal-Mart bike just to help introduce her horse to bikes.

As far as hikers go the same rules should apply, If you see there is a hiker in your path make sure they see you coming and get out of the way. If not, slow down! If they're hiking on a bike-only trail don't be afraid to let them know. But if it's a multi-use trail, deal with it or ride somewhere else.

But, on the other hand, hardcore XC riders need to realize that the sport and equipment has evolved and there are alot of people riding trailworthy freeride bikes. These riders are riding 30-40 # bikes around because they don't mind climbing slower and enjoy flying down knarly decents. Stopping in the middle of the decent sucks for these riders.

Do we need to adopt a one-way policy on all public mtn bike trails? If an XC rider is not in a race why would it matter if he got out of the decenders way? How frequently does it happen? Alot of trails have room for two bikes to pass. I alway yield to decenders because I like to see comrads have fun. Even if I have to stop I can easily start back up almost any climb and my bike weighs 38 lbs.

United we stand, divided we fall. I guess this sums it up.

HAVE FUN!
 

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Slugger said:
its just me, but I yield to everyone I can, up or down...Im never in such a hurry out there that I cant stop what I am doing....#1 It's just out of common courtesy that I do this, and #2 it is the safe thing to do, if I dont yield they may not either....Agreed if you cant stop on a dime (ok maybe a quarter) on a downhill ya probably are a bit out of control
That's my policy as well. I yield to everyone out of safety sake. I just don't want to get smacked. AND I don't want my bike to get messed-up ;)
 
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