/ Cyclists and rights of way on Footpaths / Bridleways

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davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
I’m interested to know what the general view of Climbers / Off Road Cyclists have on my recent experience: I regularly use Public Footpaths (as designated on OS Maps) to get across the Countryside. I have a Working Gundog who is almost always accompanying me. She is always under control and walking to heel although not generally on a lead. Some of the paths I regularly use are fairly narrow with hedgerows either side. There are a number of “blind” bends. I have on several occasions had to move quickly out of the way of inconsiderate Cyclists who insist on riding extremely fast round these bends with no warning of their approach. I’m concerned for my own safety and for that of my Dog. Whilst I would receive Hospital treatment free of charge my Dog (if injured) would incur Vet bills which can be extremely high for a serious injury.
What are people’s thoughts on this? I understood that Cycling on Public Footpaths was not allowed and on Bridleways that Cyclists should give way to Walkers (not the other way round).
Tony the Blade on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Cycling is not permitted on footpaths, you are quite right.

And imho cyclist should be cautious when rounding blind bends, and should be tolerant of other path users, and imho walkers should be cautious when rounding blind bends, and should be tolerant of other path users.

There now, can we all just share a public space and enjoy the outdoors without it being an us and them scenario? I'm a cyclist, walker, runner and sometimes dog walker, if that helps.
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:
> (In reply to davidjglover)
>
> Cycling is not permitted on footpaths, you are quite right.
>
To be more accurate: Cyclists do not have a right of way on public footpaths, but are not committing a crime. They are committing the tort of trespass against the landowner, who is the only person who can seek a judicial remedy - i.e. damages. If you aren't doing any damage (and not having a rave) then all the landowner can do is ask you to leave. Should you refuse, they can call the police.

Or put it another way, a cyclist on a FP is committing the same act a Trespass as Benny Goodman and his orchestra up on Kinder in the 30s, and for much the same reason. The laws are out of date.

Having said that, any cyclist riding recklessly, whether it be a road, BOAT, BW or FP, is an arse. You should never ride at a speed whereby you cant stop for an unforeseen obstacle - could be a walker, a horse, a dog or even a fellow rider on the ground (and I've got a scar from when someone went into me).
ChrisJD on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

> What are people’s thoughts on this? I understood that Cycling on Public Footpaths was not allowed

It all depends what you mean by 'not allowed' or "not permitted" (Tony the Blade).

In England & Wales, generally:

- Cyclists have no 'right of way' on a footpath
- Accessing land on a bicycle where you have no 'right of way' may be an act of Trespass
- Trespass (without aggravation) is typically a Civil Law Matter between the Landowner and the trespasser.
- Riding a bike on a footpath is not a criminal offence
- It is a criminal offence to ride on a pavement beside a carriageway and also where a traffic regulation order or a bylaw is in place to prohibit cycling.
- A dog owner allowing their dog to wander off a right of way is also Trespass
- The Police should not get involved in acts of simple Trespass

Scotland is a different matter again. Don't know about Northern Ireland.
elliptic on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:


> Cycling is not permitted on footpaths

Not quite. There's no legal right to cycle on footpaths but if it doesn't bother the landowner then no-one else has standing to object.

That said the classification of rights-of-way in England is so archaic, arbitrary and unrelated to actual suitability for different users (especially cyclists) that many people just ignore the whole mess.

Some common courtesy and a give-and-take attitude does help. I certainly try and be cheerful and avoid running people over wherever I'm riding :-)
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade: Thanks for your reply. I wish we could all share these open spaces and be tolerant with one another but it’s very difficult to be tolerant of people who show complete disregard for other peoples safety. Or is it that they just don’t see the obvious danger that they’re putting themselves / Walkers in?
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD: But Walkers do have right of way over Cyclists on a Bridleway I think? My dog does not wander off a right of way unless I have the Landowners permission which I obviously would have for the purposes of Beating and Picking Up.
sdawson1 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover: Sound like the cyclists were just being selfish gits out for there own pleasure. Should have given them a mouthful. It could have been a kid not a dog and therefore less likely to get out the way quickly enough.
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to sdawson1: I don't think "giving them a mouthful" solves anything does it? Other than to cause more trouble. You're quite right it could be a Child. This is not a "one off" it happens regularly where I walk. Don't really understand what you mean by "out for their own pleasure? What's the point if not for pleasure? Or are you trying to be sarcastic?
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
> (In reply to ChrisJD) But Walkers do have right of way over Cyclists on a Bridleway I think?

Do you expect Cyclists to pull over as you walk past ? I do notice that some groups of walkers seem to think it OK to walk several abreast and get huffy if I want to pass them.

As a walker, dog-owner and cyclist I never assume I have more right to be somewhere than anyone else (exceptions - give horses plenty of room, and don't get me started on 4x4s). Try and be considerate and friendly at all times. Yes there are arseholes out there, some on bikes, some on foot, some with dogs.

But I bet I've been bitten by more dogs in the last year than cyclists have run over your dog.
Nic on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

To divert slightly, does anyone know whether dogs are legally allowed on footpaths? (i.e. does the law say "humans" have a legal right of way, and therefore dogs do not? I ask as I have a footpath which crosses my land, which doesn't bother me much as its well out of sight of the house...but frankly I hate dogs!!
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: I didn't say I expected Cyclists to move over to let me past. I was merely seeking clarification on what the law was. I don't walk in a "group" just to be clear and I never implied that the Cyclists (or anyone else for that matter) were "Arseholes". If you've been bitten a number of times in the last year by dogs could I ask what the circumstances were and what sort of Dogs? I've worked with / owned Dogs most of my life and I've only ever been bitten once and that was only because I was trying to break up a fight between two Testosterone fuelled Black Labs!
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Nic: No, I don't know if it applies to Dogs. Be strange if it didn't though as I guess men (and Women) have had dogs for a lot longer than Footpaths have existed? Shame you don't like Dogs. Do you have a Cat...I hate Cats.
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
It was a West Highland Terrier !!

I was on a BW when it started chasing me, but because I was close to a road and didn't want to risk it following me, I stopped and it bit my leg !

We have a terrier ourselves, and it's a pain with cyclists !

My point is that when I'm on my bike I always slow down and say hello. Most walkers reciprocate, but some are grumpy. Most cyclists are considerate, but some aren't. Most dogs are well-behaved, but some aren't. Nothing to do with ROWs, it's just about sharing the space so we can all enjoy it.

Apart from that Westie - they'll be trouble when I see it again.....
elliptic on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Nic:

> does anyone know whether dogs are legally allowed on footpaths?

Yes, under control. However (as ChrisJD pointed out above) letting it wander off into the bushes is technically trespass.
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: Vicious little devils those Westies!! If I see Cyclists coming I always get my Dog to heel and sit (the Dog not me) while they pass. Generally I get a thanks or a thumbs up. Sometimes I get completely ignored for my consideration. The other problem is Cyclists approaching from behind and having no means of alerting the person they are approaching. If it’s raining or windy it’s almost impossible to hear them coming.
Neil Williams - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Cycling is not permitted on footpaths. On bridleways, consideration on both sides is appropriate, e.g. cyclists using their bell (or their mouth - but politely!) to make walkers aware they are there and slowing down as they pass, and walkers either not walking N abreast blocking the whole width of the path or being aware of their surroundings and ready to move out of the way for cyclists, horses, runners or simply faster walkers.

As for dogs, again either don't use the extending leads, or if you do be ready to pull it in so it does not cause a hazard to other users. And if your dog is known to chase or run in front of cyclists, keep it close at heel and on a short lead.

Live and let live, essentially.

Neil
deepsoup - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> To be more accurate: Cyclists do not have a right of way on public footpaths, but are not committing a crime. They are committing the tort of trespass against the landowner, who is the only person who can seek a judicial remedy - i.e. damages. If you aren't doing any damage (and not having a rave) then all the landowner can do is ask you to leave. Should you refuse, they can call the police.
>
> Or put it another way, a cyclist on a FP is committing the same act a Trespass as Benny Goodman and his orchestra up on Kinder in the 30s, and for much the same reason. The laws are out of date.
>
> Having said that, any cyclist riding recklessly, whether it be a road, BOAT, BW or FP, is an arse. You should never ride at a speed whereby you cant stop for an unforeseen obstacle - could be a walker, a horse, a dog or even a fellow rider on the ground (and I've got a scar from when someone went into me).

^^^
Exactly this!
andrewmcleod - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

The Internet suggests that a dog is a 'usual accompaniment' and can normally be taken on a public right of way, provided that the dog is under control (not necessarily on a lead) and is wearing a collar showing the name and address of the owner (still a legal requirement in public!).

Dog Control orders and local bylaws can change this.

On CROW land around sheep and at certain times of the year there are additional restrictions which include the use leads, or occasionally a complete restriction on non-assistance dogs.

Google answers all...
http://www.bobw.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=legal%20position25984

Also to answer your hypothetical situation, if you were injured by the negligence of a individual cyclist, you could make a civil claim in the same way as if you had been hit by a car. But basically cyclists never kill anyone other than themselves, which justifies the lack of regulation...
Neil Williams - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

"Or put it another way, a cyclist on a FP is committing the same act a Trespass as Benny Goodman and his orchestra up on Kinder in the 30s, and for much the same reason. The laws are out of date."

I disagree. Some footpaths are too narrow to accommodate cyclists and walkers at the same time safely, or do not have surfaces suitable for cycling. Cycling should not occur on those.

If a particular footpath is wide enough and has an appropriate surface to be a bridleway, a local campaign to reclassify it would seem sensible.

Neil
victorclimber - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover: now where I live we have Cycle paths ..I share them with dogs ,joggers ,family partys etc oh and horses ,,if only people didn't suspend there brains when there on the tracks ,there would be less problems ..
Neil Williams - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Why's that? I've never been bitten by a dog and I've done enough walking and cycling in my life...

Neil
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: Extending leads should never be used (under any circumstances) it sends out completely the wrong message to the Dog and means you’ll never have control of the Dog “off the Lead”. Some off the Paths I use are only wide enough for a maximum of two people to walk side by side (or one person and a Dog) so it’s impossible to leave a space for unseen Cyclists approaching from behind.
The New NickB - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>
> "Or put it another way, a cyclist on a FP is committing the same act a Trespass as Benny Goodman and his orchestra up on Kinder in the 30s, and for much the same reason. The laws are out of date."
>
> I disagree. Some footpaths are too narrow to accommodate cyclists and walkers at the same time safely, or do not have surfaces suitable for cycling. Cycling should not occur on those.

Chris didn't say they should, he said the laws are out of date. Although I don't really agree with the Kinder Trespass comparison.

> If a particular footpath is wide enough and has an appropriate surface to be a bridleway, a local campaign to reclassify it would seem sensible.
>
> Neil

davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod: Yes, but the problem is: do all Cyclists have a Third Party Insurance that I could claim against (as Cars do. To replace a fully trained working Dog with another fully trained one would cost around £2,500. you don't have to be Killed to incur huge expenses. I'm self employed so if I don't work I don't earn. A month off for an injury would cost me about £3000.
elliptic on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Some footpaths are too narrow to accommodate cyclists and walkers at the same time safely, or do not have surfaces suitable for cycling. Cycling should not occur on those.

Some bridleways on my local patch are arbitrary lines on the map drawn over rough heathland or through impassable bogs. Meanwhile there are well-used trails nearby going to actual points of interest which don't even have footpath status.

> If a particular footpath is wide enough and has an appropriate surface to be a bridleway, a local campaign to reclassify it would seem sensible.

The thing is, the system for reclassification is incredibly tortuous and pays almost no attention to objective judgements of appropriate use. One of our local drove roads got stuck in the process for nearly thirty years.
ceri - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
> Extending leads should never be used (under any circumstances) it sends out completely the wrong message to the Dog and means you’ll never have control of the Dog “off the Lead”.
I disagree. My part blind senile dog takes a lot of comfort from knowing she is on her extending lead. Off lead she panics and gets herself lost very easily.
We've always used flexileads and been able to train our dogs to know the difference between on and off lead. An extending lead as a tool for off lead training is not as good as a long line, but use of a flexilead doesn't prevent off lead training.
balmybaldwin - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
> (In reply to Tony the Blade) Thanks for your reply. I wish we could all share these open spaces and be tolerant with one another but it’s very difficult to be tolerant of people who show complete disregard for other peoples safety. Or is it that they just don’t see the obvious danger that they’re putting themselves / Walkers in?

I'm not sure it's that they don't see it, I think it's more a matter of perspective. Much in the same way that if a car is approaching a pedestrian at speed, it will worry the pedestrian until they see signs of the driver reacting/taking avoiding action/slowing down where as the car driver may be very sure they'll be able to stop, I think the difference is that many regular cyclists ride their bikes a lot faster than a non-cyclist would ride, and therefore it is incomprehinsible to the walker that a bike coming towards them at "that" speed, with brakes squeeling etc could actually be under a great deal of control and easily be able to stop or take avoiding action. (That doesn't mean it's acceptable to go around blind bends at speed)

I know I've scared walkers in the past, mainly making them jump coming up behind them slowly rather than terrifying them, but at no point have I been unable to stop in time, and I am always courteous to other trail users (although it doesn't stop me getting wound-up about other people's behaviour on the trails)

I do feel it needs saying that there is a small (but vocal) element of walkers in the countryside that seem to go out of their way to annoy other trail users, and rightly or wrongly, I associate most of these individuals with the ramblers association. (I've even been pushed off my bike by a walker convinced he was on a footpath - he wasn't it was a bridleway - it caused me to crash breaking my arm, and my front forks) - these incidents are few and far between thankfully in the 20 years I've been riding this was the most serious, and I can only recall a couple of other incidents.

An example for you is last year when my mtb club decided to have a go at riding up and down snowdon following the lifting of the voluntary restrictions at the end of the summer season. On the whole it was a great trip, and most people we met were friendly and encouraging, yet one older gentleman decided it was his duty to berate every cyclist he saw about how "huge numbers" of walkers are hurt each year on Snowdon by cyclists, and that we shouldn't be there etc etc including vocally trying to get other walkers to do the same. We had the misfortune of meeting him on the way up which meant meeting him multiple times as we stopped and waited for slower members of out party etc. He ranted at me on 4 seperate occasions, to the extent that if he had chosen someone else he might not have gone home with all his teeth. Each time, we talked to him calmly and made it clear we understood his concerns, and explained we had no intention of coming back down the Llanberis path anyway for the very reason that it was too busy with walkers, yet still he kept on.

To me this kind of behaviour is just as bad whoever it comes from... cyclists ranting at motorcyclists on byways, walkers having a go at horseriders, horseriders with cyclists, car drivers and cyclists etc.

FWIW I never ride FPs in this country, however when riding in the Alps in france (where cyclists are allowed to use footpaths) I have to say the atmosphere was spectacularly different and mutually respectful (This could of course be lucky or just because there's more space), but I got the impression that there just wasn't the same animosity between trail users
Toby_W on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover: as a multiple bike owner (and dog owner) in the situation you describe I'd give way to you or go very slowly round any blind corner. If I'm walking with my dog and I see bikers I call him to me (partly to show off) so they know he won't run into them.

Basically I always try to do the considerate, sensible thing. This seems to be hard for a lot of people.

Cheers

Toby
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
> [...]
>
> Chris didn't say they should, he said the laws are out of date. Although I don't really agree with the Kinder Trespass comparison.
>
The access situation in the 30's hadn't been reviewed to take into account the advent of rambling and the notion that many people might enjoy the hills simply for fresh air and view rather than killing something. Since then when we've had the expansion of the FP network, creation of NPs and the CROW act (all bloody good things).

Cyclists were given the right to use BWs in the mid 60s. Mountain biking was invented in the mid-70s and hit these shores in the early 80s. 30 years on and nothing has changed legally, despite the fact that ramblers are no longer restricted to FPs.

Putting cyclists in the same category as horses is clearly a nonsense - size, impact and requirements are completely different

davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Toby_W: You're a Gentleman Toby! Take care of yourself- There aren't many of us left!!
balmybaldwin - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Membership of British Cycling, or CTC gives 3rd party insurance, as do most bike insurance policies, household insurance also tends to cover this so the chances are any cyclist that may run into you is likely to be covered one way or another, but no it's not mandatory, just like it's not mandatory for you to have 3rd party insurance when you are walking about, despite the fact that you could walk into an old lady and cause her to fall.
deepsoup - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> I disagree. Some footpaths are too narrow to accommodate cyclists and walkers at the same time safely, or do not have surfaces suitable for cycling. Cycling should not occur on those.

Some bridleways too. Around here (Eastern Peak) for example there are plenty of bridleways barely suitable to be a footpath, and some footpaths clearly capable of being a bridleway. (And more that would be suitable for cycling, if not for horse-riding.)

(As well, obviously, as footpaths that really shouldn't ever be ridden. I don't think anyone is suggesting that all footpaths are ok to cycle on.)

It's all a bit arbitrary and out of date. Not least of all the assumption that a bicycle is the same as a horse.
Neil Williams - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

"but the problem is: do all Cyclists have a Third Party Insurance that I could claim against"

You just sue them. Whether they have insurance is their problem, though in practice most actually do as the third party aspect of home contents insurance tends to cover liability as a pedestrian or cyclist (mine definitely does, I've checked).

Neil
Horse on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
> (In reply to andrewmcleod) do all Cyclists have a Third Party Insurance that I could claim against.

Do all dog owners have Third Party insurance I can claim against when the dog causes me harm or damage to my bike? It cuts both ways.
Neil Williams - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Fair point, thanks for explaining further.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Horse:

Again most probably yes, via home contents insurance.

Neil
sdawson1 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
Maybe I should clarify. Ask them to be more considerate of other users and as you point out 'it isn't a one off' so more than time for you to speak your mind even if its not the same cyclists. Maybe next time they might still have 'pleasure' but engage brain and be more considerate thereby reducing potential risk to other users.

> (In reply to sdawson1) I don't think "giving them a mouthful" solves anything does it? Other than to cause more trouble. You're quite right it could be a Child. This is not a "one off" it happens regularly where I walk. Don't really understand what you mean by "out for their own pleasure? What's the point if not for pleasure? Or are you trying to be sarcastic?

davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: I agree, most home Insurance would cover a Third Party accident. Can you tell me if it covers just the Policyholder or anyone permanently residing at the Insured address? My experience of trying to get money from people who owe it to me but don't have it is that your not going to get it.
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Horse: I certainly do. Most if not all policies that cover Vets Bills have a Third Party inclusion.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Neil Williams - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Depends on the policy. But you can't (unlike motor insurance) claim directly anyway, you have to sue (or threaten to sue) the person and their insurance will, if it covers them, indemnify them.

Neil
Fredt on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to elliptic:
> (In reply to Tony the Blade)
>
>
> [...]
>
> Not quite. There's no legal right to cycle on footpaths but if it doesn't bother the landowner then no-one else has standing to object.
>

Round my way, just about every footpath has signs at each point of entry, saying 'No cycling'. For this reason I concentrate my running and walking on these footpaths, and avoid the bridleways. So where do I stand if I wish to challenge a cyclist on one of these footpaths?
Hirosim - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Tony the Blade)
> [...]
> To be more accurate: Cyclists do not have a right of way on public footpaths, but are not committing a crime. They are committing the tort of trespass against the landowner, who is the only person who can seek a judicial remedy - i.e. damages. If you aren't doing any damage (and not having a rave) then all the landowner can do is ask you to leave. Should you refuse, they can call the police.
>
> Or put it another way, a cyclist on a FP is committing the same act a Trespass as Benny Goodman and his orchestra up on Kinder in the 30s, and for much the same reason. The laws are out of date.
>
Nice attitude, why don't you ride where u want to, perhaps over some fragile bogs on kinder.
> Having said that, any cyclist riding recklessly, whether it be a road, BOAT, BW or FP, is an arse. You should never ride at a speed whereby you cant stop for an unforeseen obstacle - could be a walker, a horse, a dog or even a fellow rider on the ground (and I've got a scar from when someone went into me).

Hirosim - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Fredt:

You should challenge them. In sheffield the MTB's on paths are really pleasant and enjoy sharing the outdoors so much they usually tell you to 'f**k off
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Fredt:
If it is really causing you a problem, you could try asking them politely. I do that to people riding on the wrong side of the river in Whitely Woods, but that's because there a perfectly good alternative.
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
> Nice attitude, why don't you ride where u want to, perhaps over some fragile bogs on kinder.

Nicer attitude than yours !

I would never ride over fragile bogs - there has been more than enough damage done to them by ramblers. In fact there are a number of BWs - e.g. Cutgate and Derwent Edge that I only ever ride in either very dry or frozen conditions

alasdair19 on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: interesting analysis, one consequence of this legal situation is that if there is any collision the cyclist is very unlikely to escape liability.

cyclists also tend to FU foot paths, an interesting clear damage done by a user group where the land owner has no effective re-dress.

just out of interest to Mountain bikers as a user group have trail repair sessions very often?
MHutch - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Exactly, there are plenty of BWs which are far less suitable for cycle traffic than many footpaths. Unfortunately they often get ridden on in poor conditions because the network of ROWs for bikes is extremely limited.

A sensible approach to classification would spread cyclists over a far wider network.

Agree that the behaviour of the cyclists reported by the OP is pretty poor, but it would be out of order on a BW as well.
MHutch - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to alasdair19:
>
>
> just out of interest to Mountain bikers as a user group have trail repair sessions very often?

I know of a few locally. Probably as many as there are conducted by walkers' groups.

There's one BW locally which I'd love to make a few modifications to to stop it becoming a complete bog-fest in winter, but the landowner won't allow it.

So to avoid carving great holes in the BW during the wet months, I ride down the well surfaced track (footpath) on the other side of the hill.

ChrisJD on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Fredt:
> (In reply to elliptic)
> [...]
>
> . So where do I stand if I wish to challenge a cyclist on one of these footpaths?

Legally (civil law tort), unless you are the landowner, its none of your business as its a matter between the cyclist and landowner.

Voice your opinion as you see fit of course (within legal limits). But whatever you do, don't block their way, don't touch the bike or the cyclist, else you could get accused of criminal damage or assault.
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to alasdair19:

> just out of interest to Mountain bikers as a user group have trail repair sessions very often?

Ride Sheffield does a lot of trail repair work

http://www.ridesheffield.org.uk/

I know the local horse group (Hallam Riders) are also very active, but not so sure about the local ramblers or running groups. Maybe they believe that walkers don't cause erosion.

And seeing as I've mentioned Ride Sheffield, I might as well give this a plug

http://www.ridesheffield.org.uk/2013/11/lady-cannings-trail-crowd-funding-project-phase1/

(Yes folks, MTBs in Sheffield raising money to build a trail)


davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim: There have been several posts regarding challenging the sometimes reckless behaviour of Cyclists. That may well be the right thing to do in some cases. For me as the holder of both a Firearms Certificate and a Shotgun Licence getting involved in any form of confrontation is risky. In the unlikely event that things turn nasty and the Police are involved there is a very good chance (whether I get convicted of any crime or not) the Police are likely to take the attitude that I am unable to control my anger and as such might be a risk to the Public if I have Firearms in my possession. They then have the right to confiscate any weapons I have and suspend my licences indefinitely. I know this to be the case because I know of someone who exactly that happen to him. Don’t think it involved Cyclists though!
wintertree - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Cyclists can keep of footpaths, and horse riders can damned well keep off footpaths as well. The later annoys me more as a) it does far more damage to the surface in wet weather and b) the horse riding transgressors tend to be much more arrogant when going about it. Some of the cheek I have had from riders on unsuitable public footpaths beggars belief. I say this as a keen walker and country cyclist. Mind you a bigger problem round here is scum ripping up the footpaths and bridleways on unlicensed motorbikes.

As far as cyclists on footpaths, either in the country or the town, if they cycle at me and assume I am going to get out of the way, they may be in for a shock. It's unnecessarily rude and it's frankly not my fault if they run in to me. I normally stop when I see someone doing this and make sure I am positioned such that if they keep cycling at me, I am not injured. A couple of times the muppets have carried on and ended up spilling along the path. Their fault, they had plenty of time to slow down or go around me, but just assume i will get out of their way.

Fredt on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Fredt)
> [...]
>

> Voice your opinion as you see fit of course (within legal limits). But whatever you do, don't block their way, don't touch the bike or the cyclist, else you could get accused of criminal damage or assault.

I must confess you're too late with that warning. On a narrow path, (by the Redmires Conduit) a MTBer was approaching. I didn't step aside, so he was forced to slow right down. I politely pointed out to him that cycling was not allowed on this path. His carefully considered reply was, "F*** Off".

Fortunately he had not got up sufficient speed again to prevent me pushing him over, and wouldn't you know it, he tumbled right into the filthy conduit. After ascertaining that he wasn't hurt, (he was struggling to climb out) I politely clarified that I had not pushed him over for riding on the path, but for telling me to F*** off.
MHutch - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to wintertree:

Cyclists on pavements in town is a criminal offence, of course, and I take a pretty dim view of that under most circumstances. I don't get out of the way either.
wintertree - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to wintertree:

> but just assume i will get out of their way.

Which would be fine I hasten to add, except this is assumed even when getting out of the way involves jumping into the road with traffic (in town) or going into a ditch or nettles or bog (countryside)

If you're going to flout civil law and cycle where you shouldn't you really shouldn't push your luck by treating people with a legal right to be there as if they're beneath you.
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to wintertree: Yes, we have a similar problem with uninsured off road Motorbikes on some Footpaths. I tend to stay well away from them. in fairness the Police where I live have been quite pro-active in rounding them up and crushing them (the Bikes not the Riders)
MHutch - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Fredt:

But I'm struggling to sympathise much with you. He slowed right down for you then you gave him a lecture. You're not the landowner, so whether or not he's allowed to ride there is none of your business.

OK, he overreacted, but you were the one who physically attacked him.

Alternative scenario - he slows down, you find a way to pass each other without the aggro, you both go on to have a nice day in the countryside?
Fredt on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to MHutch:
> (In reply to Fredt)
>
> But I'm struggling to sympathise much with you. He slowed right down for you then you gave him a lecture. You're not the landowner, so whether or not he's allowed to ride there is none of your business.
>

Your definition of 'lecture' seems a bit weird, read what I said.

And by your reasoning, if he'd been chopping all the trees down and pouring oil into the conduit, it would still be none of my business?
wintertree - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
> (In reply to wintertree) Yes, we have a similar problem with uninsured off road Motorbikes on some Footpaths. I tend to stay well away from them. in fairness the Police where I live have been quite pro-active in rounding them up and crushing them (the Bikes not the Riders)

Yes I give this brigade a wide berth. It doesn't seem to be a police priority round here but the farmers certainly aren't keen on it to say the least. I sometimes wonder what happens when an arrogant horse rider who won't make space for walkers meets two scallies on motorbikes on a public footpath...
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Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to MHutch:

> Alternative scenario - he slows down, you find a way to pass each other without the aggro, you both go on to have a nice day in the countryside?

It's what any rational person would do, but some people enjoy a confrontation and the chance for some aggro
Hirosim - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to MHutch:
> (In reply to Fredt)
>
> But I'm struggling to sympathise much with you. He slowed right down for you then you gave him a lecture. You're not the landowner, so whether or not he's allowed to ride there is none of your business.
>
> OK, he overreacted, but you were the one who physically attacked him.
>
> Alternative scenario - he slows down, you find a way to pass each other without the aggro, you both go on to have a nice day in the countryside?

Sorry he's cycling on a footpath, that he shouldn;t be on. Fredt is well within his rights
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to wintertree: Our Police have been equipped with a couple of very fast flashy Quad Bikes to chase the little so and so's. Never actually witnessed a chase but I bet even the most arrogant Cyclist would get out of the way of that!!
Trangia - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

One of the worst places for inconsderate cyclists going too fast round blind bends on a mixed footpath/cycle way is the circuit of Bewl Water in East Sussex. This is not helped by the fact that its mostly gravel and when they brake they slide. It can be quite scary being a walker here.
Hirosim - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to MHutch)
>
> [...]
>
> It's what any rational person would do, but some people enjoy a confrontation and the chance for some aggro

Its okay for you to cycle on a footpath, but not for a scramble bike?
Hypocrite.
If you didn;t cycle on a FOOTPATH, there would be no confrontation.
Simon_Sheff - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Its an increasing problem in the Peak

Some cyclists (some on here) think its fine to say cycle on a footpath like the green road at burbage, but as that becomes more common, some MTB's are cycling over Carlwark, down from Houndkirk to Burbage (On what is an SSCI) etc. Like the previous poster is hinting at, the same people would be the first to complain about illegal 4x4 use, but its okay for them on their bikes?

Fortunately the Peak Park and Sheffield Council are putting up more no cycling signs (MTB's like to smash them off!) and trying to educate.
Knitted Simian - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Fredt:

Not that I cycle on paths nor tell randoms to f*ck off (rude, but hardly crime of the century), but if you pushed me off my bike I would rip your head off and shit down your neck.

ChrisJD on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:

> Its okay for you to cycle on a footpath, but not for a scramble bike?


Riding a scramble bike on a footpath or bridleway is a criminal offence. Riding a cycle on a footpath is Trespass. (England & Wales)


If you react physically to the latter, then you could end up with a criminal charge against you.

Whether the cyclist is on or off a footpath is irrelevant to the act of Trespass.

Your right of way as a walker on a footpath does not confer you with any extra legal rights to deal with a trespasser on land that is not yours!
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Knitted Simian: Now now children let's play nicely.
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)

As has been discussed above, cycling on a footpath is a civil tort, riding a scramble bike is a criminal act. Use of reasonable force may be acceptable to prevent the latter, but not the former, so no, he is not within his rights. It's common assault.

> If you didn;t cycle on a FOOTPATH, there would be no confrontation.

I believe that in Saudi Arabia any car accident between a Saudi national and a foreigner is automatically the foreigners fault, because if he hadn't been in the country, the collision wouldn't have occurred. In the UK the law is different.
Hirosim - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
I'm no advocating confrontation.
Just pointing out the irony that you guys think its okay to trash footpaths as its not a 'criminal offence', yet would be the first to complain if someone else broke the rules.
Your utter hypocrites
The New NickB - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to MHutch)
> [...]
>
> Sorry he's cycling on a footpath, that he shouldn;t be on. Fredt is well within his rights

To commit assault! Moron
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: You're absolutely right about Saudi. I've witnessed it first hand. I did decline an invitation whilst in Jedda to visit "Chop Chop Square" to watch a be-heading and the removal of a couple of Hands. In the UK the Law is certainly different!
Knitted Simian - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:

Advocating a wider discussion about the use of footpaths for cycling does not a hypocrite make. Nobody is claiming that it should be open system on footpaths for bikers, what they are saying is that it is based on archaic (and arcane) law.

The result of consultation may be that riders are not corralled into particular routes, but can be dispersed over wider area.

As to damaging footpaths, there same argument works for areas such as the Three Peaks which are riddled with duck boards where freedom to roam would result in lower concentrations of walkers(and thus damage).

A good example of how it works is Ilkley Moor. It is open access land with historic footpaths and one bridleway. To reduced the intensity if use the Council allow riding on the paths, but trust the riders to use common sense (they do). No riding on wet bogland, defer to walkers and play nicely. Ironically this is an area suffering duck board rash from over use of particular footpaths by walkers, the bikes act to open up secondary paths which reduce use rates. .....
Chris the Tall - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
Ever climb in limestone quarries like Harpur Hill or Halldale. Or Horseshoe before the BMC bought it. Ever leave a public footpath in the days before CROW. By your rational that would be the same a driving a 4x4 across the top of Stanage.

Burbage Valley is a good example - yes I ride up it occasionally (it's been sanitised so it's very tame) but only when it's very quiet - riding it on a weekend would be very anti-social
ChrisJD on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to ChrisJD)

>you guys think its okay to trash footpaths as its not a 'criminal offence', yet would be the first to complain if someone else broke the rules.

Err, can you point me to anywhere where I have said this?
adam11 - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
Spot on. Like you, I hold a shottie certificate and a FAC, and more than once I've retreated from a confrontation with aggressive members of the RA (identified by badges). I live down a long bridleway, some of which I own, and I've had these idiots link arms to prevent me passing whilst telling me motorbikes aren't allowed on Bridleways. Afer explaining I own the land, I carry on my way - but I really want to use them for grip :)

Lots of folk go over other parts of my gaff on wheel and foot, and I've never had it cause a problem.
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover: Sorry, before I'm corrected it was Riyadh not Jeddah.
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to adam11: Yes, wouldn't it be nice not to have the worry of loosing your Licences and just smack em in the teeth!!
davidjglover - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to adam11: I used to go out with a Girl from the Ramblers Association but I dumped her in the end......She just kept going on and on!!!......Sorry.
MHutch - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to MHutch)
> [...]
>
> Sorry he's cycling on a footpath, that he shouldn;t be on. Fredt is well within his rights

When climbers were trespassing up at Bamford, would the gamekeepers be well within their rights to assault them? If anything, surely they'd have more of a right, given that they are the landowner's representative?

Orgsm on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Hirosim:

The right to use a "way" is not based on impact. I cyclist trashes a footpath no more than walkers. In fact walkers cause far more damage to footpaths. Look at all the repaired paths with flagstones in the national parks.
Fredt on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Beat me to it!:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
>
> The right to use a "way" is not based on impact. I cyclist trashes a footpath no more than walkers. In fact walkers cause far more damage to footpaths. Look at all the repaired paths with flagstones in the national parks.

So why does the landowner put up 'No cycling' signs on all the footpaths?
The New NickB - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Fredt:
> (In reply to Beat me to it!)
> [...]
>
> So why does the landowner put up 'No cycling' signs on all the footpaths?

Because its a footpath, so they can't put up signs that "You can all f*ck off".
wintertree - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Beat me to it!:

> a cyclist trashes a footpath no more than walkers

Not necessarily true you know. It depends upon the makeup of the path, the current wet/dry conditions and all sorts of other variables.

In wet weather cyclists do much more damage to the public footpaths round here - ancient ways, grassed over paths in spoil heap woods and edges of fields.

The f-----g horses bugger them up worse though. Which annoys me as there is a really good public bridalway network as well as long distance paths on old railway lines.
brokenbanjo - on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

I do cycle on footpaths, mainly in the high fells of the Lakes. I have never once been challenged. I'm usually met with good grace, with the walkers usually having banter about getting a bike up there and what not. Get on a bridleway in the low fells and the woolly hat brigade go nuts over nothing.

The way I see it is that in Scotland, you are free to ride anywhere, so why not in England? Life is too short to get angry over trivial things. I am out enjoying the countryside, deal with it. If I am riding on a footpath, then I'll go slow and let people pass.

What status is afforded to someone that has permission of the landowner to use a particular footpath?
ChrisJD on 09 Nov 2013
In reply to brokenbanjo:

> What status is afforded to someone that has permission of the landowner to use a particular footpath?

They have right of way!
Tricky Dicky - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD: Just because it's a footpath doesn't mean to say that bicycles aren't 'allowed'. There's a footpath near me where the landowner has given permission for cyclists to use the path (and has put up signs). They don't want it changed to a bridleway as they don't want horses churning it up.
ChrisJD on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Tricky Dicky:

We need more landowners like this ;-)
johnjb on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
According to my memory it is a criminal offence (i.e., against statutory law) to cycle on the pavement alongside a carriageway. There is no law against cycling or riding a horse on a public footpath, but you have no express right to do it without permission from the landowner, and so it could be a trespass. The public footpath is a Public Right of Way (PROW) and in law is a type of 'public highway', but only walkers have the RIGHT in law to use public footpaths. Their use is covered by various Highways Acts. It is an offence of nuisance to interfere with anyone's right to walk on a PROW. The reckless cyclist, with or without permission, might be committing an offence as a public nuisance and a persistent offender could possibly be prosecuted if you could be bothered to pursue the matter.
johnjb on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:
I have just seen your postings on 8th November. I suggest that your girl from the RA was well rid of you. Do you think that public rights of way appear on maps by magic? RA members tramped up and down the land logging the existance of PROWS in 1948-51 onwards which were then recorded on the first Definitive Maps by Local Authorities. Volunteers hired coaches to get out into the countryside to do the work. Volunteers continue to establish the existance of unrecorded PROWs to this day. Volunteers from the RA and the BMC put in a vast amount of background work for 'Right to Roam. The same is happening for the Coastal Path. What have you ever done for Public Rights of Way except moan about cyclists?
wintertree - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to johnjb:

> Volunteers continue to establish the existance of unrecorded PROWs to this day.

Do they? Every time a well bankrolled developer has applied to close of an unrecorded by customary right of way around here, various groups submit reams of evidence of its continuous use over the request number of years. This has a similar effect to the developers application as a fly on a windshield.



garycrocker - on 14 Nov 2013
All mountainbikers should have a bell and give it a couple of pings when approaching walkers from behind or bends but even then you always need to expect something coming the other way. I have to say that despite being a very experienced mountainbiker who always treats other trail users with absolute consideration, I can't count the number of times groups of walkers, usually in their 50s or 60s, have steadfastly stuck to walking across the trail (bridalway) and refused to move aside. A while back I was descending on an amazing section of singletrack in the Quantocks and a woman with her husband refused to get off the track even though her husband stepped onto the grassy bank quite happily and this despite seeing me coming for a long way.Why do people have to be such tools?
Bulls Crack - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to davidjglover)
> [...]
>
> Do you expect Cyclists to pull over as you walk past ? I do notice that some groups of walkers seem to think it OK to walk several abreast and get huffy if I want to pass them.
>
> Section 30 of the Countryside Act 1968 permits the riding of bicycles on public bridleways, the act says that it "shall not create any obligation to facilitate the use of the bridleway by cyclists"...... Cyclists using a bridleway are obliged to give way to other users on foot or horseback.
garycrocker - on 14 Nov 2013
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]

That maybe the wording of the act but why should someone be so against letting other people enjoy the trail as well? To quote Miss World 1978 "Why can't we just all get along?"
In reply to wintertree:
Have you been on Snowdon recently...
Earlier today I wrote about this on my blog, http://airdrierambler.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/petty-and-ill-informed/

Some of the links from that page cover things like cycling on pavements/footpaths and may be of use to those who actually wish to learn some facts about cycling.

It's a whole lot easier here in Scotland. We have decent access laws, so the whole footpath/bridleway argument is null and void.
fantamic - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Can one one of the mountain bikers who have commented here please explain why they feel obliged to *remove the bell* that their bike was sold with (by law)?! Is it because it doesn't look cool enough or rattles a little (in which case maybe buy another one!)? Some people seem to think it's okay to shout a warning just before they come speeding through but surely nothing says "bike" like a bell?

http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/regulations/safety-regulations
Ramblin dave - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to fantamic:
Surely nothing says "bike" like someone shouting "bike"?
Chris the Tall - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to fantamic:
To me a bell is like a car horn and is saying "get out of my way"

I prefer to shout "Hello, Cyclist", which lets you know I'm here, but is more polite and friendly. And despite being friendly, you still get the odd person who shouts "where's your bell", which just shows they are looking for an excuse to have a dig.

A couple of other problems with bells - one is that they are difficult to operate whilst braking, which you are usually doing when you see a walker. Another is that the walker may have headphones on, be on the phone, or be busying chatting to others and still won't hear you. A air horn would be more useful.
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Marek - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to fantamic:
> (In reply to davidjglover)
>
> Can one one of the mountain bikers who have commented here please explain why they feel obliged to *remove the bell* that their bike was sold with (by law)?! Is it because it doesn't look cool enough or rattles a little (in which case maybe buy another one!)? Some people seem to think it's okay to shout a warning just before they come speeding through but surely nothing says "bike" like a bell?
>
> http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/regulations/safety-regulations

Simple. With all the other controls on the bars, the only place for the bell is near the stem, which means I would have to take a hand off the bars to use it. Seems better to maximise control and just call out "on your left/right" which also provides more info than "ting".
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

"A couple of other problems with bells - one is that they are difficult to operate whilst braking, which you are usually doing when you see a walker."

Maybe needs some thought in bell design. I like the position of them on the Boris bikes, easy to operate with your thumb while pulling the brake with your fingers.

Neil
Chris the Tall - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> Section 30 of the Countryside Act 1968 permits the riding of bicycles on public bridleways, the act says that it "shall not create any obligation to facilitate the use of the bridleway by cyclists"...... .

This shows how outdated this legislation is - it's saying "Cyclists can use bridleways, but don't expect us to make them rideable".

50 years on and the bike has evolved almost beyond recognition and rather than expecting bridleways to be sanitised to make them rideable, we live in fear than anything remotely interesting can be smoothed out at the request of a single horse rider.

Someone above suggested that cyclists should lobby for suitable paths to be upgraded to bridleways. The problem with that is that it seems that this means it must be make suitable for a horse and cart. There's a track through Lady Cannings in Sheffield that has just been upgraded, it was perfectly rideable on bike or horse as it was, but it has now been widened and as smooth as, well, if not a babies then at least my arse. You could use it for wheelchair racing!

Would walkers be happy if every footpath were made wheelchair friendly? Would climbers be happy if we were told "VS is hard enough for everyone" ?
Timmd on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover:

Speaking as an off road and on road cyclist and climber and walker I think the cyclists you encounter in this way aren't being safe and considerate.

Timmd on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to fantamic)
>
> A couple of other problems with bells - one is that they are difficult to operate whilst braking, which you are usually doing when you see a walker. Another is that the walker may have headphones on, be on the phone, or be busying chatting to others and still won't hear you. A air horn would be more useful.

If you plan ahead it's not so difficult to be going slowly enough to not make them jump or perturb them as you go past, I slow right down and say hello.
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Timmd:

Or ring your bell well in advance so they know you are coming, not just as a "move out of the way, I am now braking hard" warning?

Doesn't *always* work, but I reckon it does a lot of the time.

Neil
ChrisJD on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to johnjb:
> (In reply to davidjglover)
> I have just seen your postings on 8th November. I suggest that your girl from the RA was well rid of you.

Just checking, like - but you did see the joke in Davids posting?
ChrisJD on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to fantamic:
> (In reply to davidjglover)
>
> Can one one of the mountain bikers who have commented here please explain why they feel obliged to *remove the bell* that their bike was sold with (by law)?!

From your link:

"After sales alterations: All of this applies only at the initial point of sale. The customer, once they own the bike, is free to make (or have made by the dealer) whatever alterations they wish. "

No requirement 'by Law' to keep on.
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:

Must admit I wish they had made it law that you must have one fitted on any bicycle ridden on public roads.

Neil
Chris the Tall - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
> If you plan ahead it's not so difficult to be going slowly enough to not make them jump or perturb them as you go past, I slow right down and say hello.

So do I. I even say hello to their dogs. I would be mortified if I so much as touched either a walker or a dog, and have a 100% success rate in avoiding either in 25 years of cycling. And 90% of walkers are friendly and say hello back, and let me past. But there are always a few grumpy ones.
Ramblin dave - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
So what you're saying is that with a bit of effort you can mitigate some of the disadvantages of using a bell compared to just shouting?

This still doesn't convince me that the bell is particularly worth having or using, and particularly that it isn't worth expending the time and money to fit one on a bike that doesn't already have one (eg anything more than about ten years old or anything not sold fully assembled).

To be honest, I've got plenty of minor cycling gripes of my own, but getting worked up about people not having bells really feels like scraping the barrel...
Timmd on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> Or ring your bell well in advance so they know you are coming, not just as a "move out of the way, I am now braking hard" warning?
>
> Doesn't *always* work, but I reckon it does a lot of the time.
>
> Neil

I don't have a bell, and I like to chat to people anyway...
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Shouting has the big disadvantage that it comes across as rude. It is better to give a warning from a distance rather than shouting up close.

I don't find the bell aggressive. It is more like the friendly toot of the trams in Manchester (they can also make a massive, loud screeching noise if someone gets too close) than the aggression of a car horn.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

(Shame, in some ways, that cars don't have a similar less aggressive-sounding "excuse me" noise separate from the current highly aggressive "shift or you're going to die" type noise)

Neil
Timmd on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Timmd)
> [...]
>
> So do I. I even say hello to their dogs. I would be mortified if I so much as touched either a walker or a dog, and have a 100% success rate in avoiding either in 25 years of cycling. And 90% of walkers are friendly and say hello back, and let me past. But there are always a few grumpy ones.

There are, I had a guy letting his dog cr*p where other people walked and played ask me what I thought I was doing riding my mountain bike across a shared field and footpath.

The ground and frozen hard, so I was being less antisocial than he was I reckon. An outspoken friend said I had a god given right to show him my middle finger. (:-))
Sir Chasm - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: "and particularly that it isn't worth expending the time and money to fit one on a bike that doesn't already have one"

£2.50 and ten seconds to screw on to the bars, aye, they're major obstacles.
Chris the Tall - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
>
> Shouting has the big disadvantage that it comes across as rude.

Surely that depends on what you say, which is the advantage of using words rather than a single sound.

If everyone used bells, the grumps would still complain. Just as if everyone wore hi-viz, you'd just get more comments about garish day-glow lycra louts.

Ramblin dave - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
>
> (Shame, in some ways, that cars don't have a similar less aggressive-sounding "excuse me" noise separate from the current highly aggressive "shift or you're going to die" type noise)

But surely the wonder of the human voice is that you can very easily vary choose either of those tones depending on what's appropriate?

Personally I find bells sound ruder than a polite "scuse me", but possibly that's because I live in a town with a greater than average number of self-absorbed students on sit-up-and-beg shopping bikes who ding impatiently at you if you happen to be impeding their progress through a pedestrian area...
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

When you're approaching someone quickly, you tend just to hear a shout. The words tend to be hard to make out until you're up close and much slower, and until you've heard the voice for a bit.

That's why PA systems have a "bing bong" or tend to start "your attention please" or similar. That allows you to tune into what is being said.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

"Personally I find bells sound ruder than a polite "scuse me", but possibly that's because I live in a town with a greater than average number of self-absorbed students on sit-up-and-beg shopping bikes who ding impatiently at you if you happen to be impeding their progress through a pedestrian area..."

One of two places, I guess (aren't both cities?) :)

I definitely prefer a bell to a shout. It also means you know it's a bike, not just an idiot shouting. In the same way as a flashing light says "bike" like no other form of lighting, a bell says "bike" like no other kind of audible signal.

Neil
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Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

"But surely the wonder of the human voice is that you can very easily vary choose either of those tones depending on what's appropriate?"

I'm tall, heavily built and have a fairly gruff voice. Those three put together tend to mean anything I say even vaguely assertively sounds or appears aggressive. This has caused me problems in a number of settings. And to give a warning from far enough back for the pedestrian to look round, see that there is a bike and make a definite movement to one side that the cyclist can interpret to make the opposite and pass with little need to slow significantly, you have to shout.

I hate going up right behind people and braking heavily to talk to them almost as much as I hate other cyclists doing it to me when I'm walking.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

(I'll admit that my experiences here are more on the Milton Keynes Redways than country paths, though. The Redways, while legally shared-use paths, are meant to be treated as carless country lanes (the MK Council "Redway Code" essentially treats them this way), though few actually do. Indeed, one of the greatest irritants is cyclists insisting on cycling on the right rather than the left.)

Neil
Chris the Tall - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
I do have a bell on my commute bike, but rarely use it. Where I need it - to let people know that they are on a cycle path and would they kindly move onto the adjacent foot path - they are generally wearing headphones and completely oblivious to everything around them.
balmybaldwin - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to fantamic:
> (In reply to davidjglover)
>
> Can one one of the mountain bikers who have commented here please explain why they feel obliged to *remove the bell* that their bike was sold with (by law)?! Is it because it doesn't look cool enough or rattles a little (in which case maybe buy another one!)? Some people seem to think it's okay to shout a warning just before they come speeding through but surely nothing says "bike" like a bell?
>
> http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/regulations/safety-regulations



I've found bells to be absolutely useless - they are too quiet, and not heard until far to late giving walkers a shock (especialy those with wires coming out of their ears).

I just slow down, shout a warning to riders behind me (I often find I'm leading a small group) which serves as an alert, and then more quietly as I approach say a cheery good morning to who ever I'm passing, a hello to their dog if they have one, and everyone's happy (except a rather older gentleman had a go at me a few weeks back for not having a bell, but I suspect he's of an age where his hearing was failing, as he had failed to hear first my warning shout to another rider, as well as a few "Good Morinings and Excuse mes"
fantamic - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:

Yes, that's why I said that a bike is "sold with [a bell] (by law)" not "has to have a bell (by law)". I hadn't realised it was such a difficult reading comprehension exercise. Sorry.
ChrisJD on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to fantamic:

Whatever.
johnjb on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to johnjb)
> [...]
>
> Just checking, like - but you did see the joke in Davids posting?

Ooops! No, sorry but I missed it even though it was obvious in hindsight. I was too annoyed to spot it, having just read earlier unreasonable postings moaning about Ramblers.
ChrisJD on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to johnjb:

LOL, that's cool. The red mist descended defending the RA honour ;-)

garycrocker - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to fantamic)
>
> I could not disagree more. I have been biking for more than 25 years. I'm a qualified mountainbike leader and I have mountainbiked in the alps, spain and all over the UK and I have found a simple pinger bell works brilliantly for alerting walkers. OK, some people are using headphones but more often than not a bell works fine. Alpine bike guides would look very disapprovingly at you for not riding with a bell.
>
>
> I've found bells to be absolutely useless - they are too quiet, and not heard until far to late giving walkers a shock (especialy those with wires coming out of their ears).
>
> I just slow down, shout a warning to riders behind me (I often find I'm leading a small group) which serves as an alert, and then more quietly as I approach say a cheery good morning to who ever I'm passing, a hello to their dog if they have one, and everyone's happy (except a rather older gentleman had a go at me a few weeks back for not having a bell, but I suspect he's of an age where his hearing was failing, as he had failed to hear first my warning shout to another rider, as well as a few "Good Morinings and Excuse mes"
garycrocker - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: My simple pinger bell sits next to my shifters and I can ping it with my thumb. I never have a problem doing that at all. I ride wide bars and can easily fit everything on them, computer, dropper controls etc
altirando - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to davidjglover: Bells just give warning of approach but not on which side so they are likely to get someone moving startled into your path as out of it. As someone mentioned earlier, I just call out 'on your right/left' as I come up behind walkers. And of course on a mixed use trail I would not be riding at road speed.

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