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Two things to clarify...

twotommos's picture

By twotommos - Posted on 31 August 2010

I was riding at Terrey Hills on the weekend and was pretty much keeping to the left of the fire trail...came round the bend as was nearly taken out by another rider on the same side of the track as me. Is there an unwritten protocol here for us?

Coming back, two horses riders were coming along the trail in our direction. I could see the front horse rider looked quite P/O. We dismounted off our steeds, greeted them and let them pass....I'm assuming that because the trail was quite busy, some riders once again might have just thundered past? Once again is there an unwritten protocol for us to follow?

I'd love to hear your comments...

VC's picture

I do the same, i tend to keep left on those types of trails, and i also stop for horses. I think the horse riders appreciate this.I often have other bike riders nearly take me out cause they are on my side of the track.(the left)

Lach's picture

always stop for horses - have a conversation. Some riders and horses are fine, others very skittish. Most appreciate not having to deal with the possibility that their horse is suddenly wanting to bolt off in fright at the sight of you.
left vs right is more problematic - if there was a good line on each side, it'd be simple, stay left. But there is usually only one good line, so the best rule is the more popular the ride time, the more vigilant you need to be. Take it easy if you're out on a fine Sunday morning, 'coz that's when the families, newbies and others (bikes, walkers, horses) are most likely to be out on popular tracks like Perimeter.

muvro's picture

If it's a blind corner, I keep left regardless of how good the line is. I found pedestrians seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to trail/shared path ettiquette..

nix85's picture

ive spoken to horse riders about this, they are extremely grateful when u get off ur bike and walk past because some horses will rear up and bolt with the potential of throwing the riders if they get scared by someone rocketing past their horse on their bike... as for the left i tend to stay left if i can and the lines decent....

Noel's picture

In Australia we keep left at all times unless in a boat. Not sure about planes or submarines.

Best to get off when you see horses and wait for directions from rider.

philberesford's picture

just in case.

Hop fiend's picture

don't like being told that the big lump of horse crap on the trail is not the reason I am getting off my bike & walking past!

jimnobob's picture

Ah... I think that could have been me so my apologies once again if it was (I did try and shout out an apology after the "incident"). Sunday morning around 8:30ish?

I do try and stick to the left where possible but a mixture of sand, rocks & adrenalin pushed me over to the right. A few of us were in heads-down training mode and enjoying getting out on a dry track for the first time in months. A good reminder to be more careful on these tracks.

twotommos's picture

Sometimes when we're heads down we tend to zone out for sure....... guilty's a learning process thankfully!

hawkeye's picture

doing this myself. Sad

It's been whilst riding in company. You're riding side by side having a conversation, there's a sandy patch in the middle, you find yourself each going to the firmer edges on opposite sides of the trail so as to maintain momentum, your head's down focussed on what's in front of your wheel and ... a "situation" arises.

Last weekend a guy I was riding with on the way back from the end of Long Track got caught on the wrong side facing a guy coming the other way in exactly these circumstances.

After that, whenever I found myself moving over on the right hand side because of the line I made sure I looked well ahead for oncoming guys. Don't want to give someone a nasty surprise. On blind corners I stayed left regardless.

It was a useful reminder.

Noel's picture

If I'm coming around a blind corner on a fire trail (typically much faster than single track) and it's 'one of those corners' I'll sometimes make a very silly loud "ding- ding" sound (as I don't have a bell). I also do this approaching walkers from behind but more cheerfully. "Ding ding" in my best bell imitation sound. The blinder/faster the corner the louder the "ding-ding".

If a rider is coming towards me and is not keeping left on a regular flat fire trail I'll stay to my left and warn him pretty clearly, as I'm approaching (and pointing to my left) "I'm on my left, I'm on my left" and I'll hold that line even if it means I'm running over bits of sticks and rocks on the edge of the trail, or make my try and bunny hop his head. I've had mixed responses, but I don't give $hi7. The crew I ride with feel pretty strongly about staying to the left, giving way to people who are riding up hill on ST, not riding ST in the wet, not leaving rubbish in the bush, keeping dogs on leash, no dogs in NP, not skidding, greeting walkers nicely.

We slow to walking speed and yield to walkers no matter what they are doing. The older they are and the more anti-recreationist they look, the more happier and smiling a greeting they get. The differences in culture is funny. The average old Asian walkers inspect the bike with interest and admiration, while the average old Aussies generally look at us like we just burnt down an RSL club or something. They get the warmest greeting. We giggle at each other if we get no response back.

Sinkes's picture

Thanks for the ride back on Sunday from the Long Trail/Perimeter.
I enjoyed the your company and the stack in the sand Eye-wink
Good luck in your upcoming ride.

hawkeye's picture

LOL, yes that was embarassing. Too much focus on the conversation and not enough on the trail!

There's a bit of a theme developing there re: concentration over recent weeks that I need to reverse - getting complacent. Sad

I enjoyed your company as well. Congratulations on surviving the birthday party. Smiling

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