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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    486

    Leashes, Dogs and elderly Ladies on the Trails

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    Yesterday, a busy Sunday, I was riding on a trail around one of the beautiful Minnesota lakes. When I came to the beach area, I had to stop and walk my bike around an elderly lady whose dog was on a very long leash. The leash went entirely across the trail. The dog was very large. When I stopped and walked around I politely suggested she may want to pull her dog to her side for safety when she sees roller skaters or bicycles coming toward her. I won't bother to tell you her reply.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,365
    i hate retractoleashes.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
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    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    534

    Leashes, Dogs and elderly Ladies on the Trails

    That is no joke either. A cyclist lost his life up here a few years ago due to the EXACT circumstance. A leash across the trail, he was going down a slight curve downhill and didn't see it. Threw him over the handlebars. So sad. You were smart to walk around. It's incredible that some folks are so totally oblivious to others safety.
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,811
    that's why I won't, don't use multi use trails or paths to ride on. If you are a road biker you belong on the road or somewhere that is not being used by walkers, runners, etc. People are just too oblivious and everyone feels that they are as justified in using the trail however they like in spite of posted rules, suggestions, Because they are safe from traffic, they become oblivious. good for you for taking responsibility for your own safety.

    Even though there is a very strict leash law in our community, people constantly let the little darlings (two foot and four foot) run amuck on the paths that lace the area. I walk two small dogs, one of whom is dog aggressive and non retractable leashes, since I figure I have as much right to the path as the next taxpayer/resident. Yes people get upset with me when I put my dogs in sit and yell at them to please get their damned dogs under control or come get their babies before I sic my dogs on them. I get really tired of being the only one in the area who is constantly driven off paths by the behavior of other peoples dogs and children. Don't even get me started on the teenage boys and their skateboards, who appear out of nowhere and yell at me to "move, move, move!" as I drag the dogs off onto the grass.

    sorry for the vent and thread hijack.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
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    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Nope, I totally agree with you, Marni. We don't have a lot of paths here, but I generally avoid them like the plague. I rode one last week, with a friend, which was just OK.
    Of course, I have often dealt with the dog issue on the road. We also have a strict leash law, which the people in my neighborhood think doesn't apply to them. Then there are the by laws we have regarding dogs at our neighborhood pond/beach. The rule is, no, they are not allowed. Yet, people continue to let their dogs swim in the water and romp around by the shore.
    Because of this, I've been to the pond only 3 times this summer.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    251
    I use the MUP only to get to the road I ride out. It's about 2 miles of path that I use and it's ridiculous, the things I see on the trail. The trail goes through a subdivision, it's literally in the back yard of hundreds of people with young children who dart on and off the path. Most often, I see groups of two or three people (usually women friends walking in the mornings) who string across the path and give no room for people to pass. I just go slow, call out "on your left", thank them and don't say anything else, usually.

    The one time I did say something was at the bottom of a steep hill on a sharp curve where there was a group of women just standing all across the path, talking - no room whatsoever to go around them. I was going up the hill, not down, thankfully. I said something like, "Cyclists, rollerbladers and skaters come down this hill and can't see anyone in this spot. Perhaps if you need to stop and spread out, doing so to the side of the trail would be safer for everyone." Boy did I get told off. It's the cyclists' responsibility to not run into them, yadda, yadda, yadda. I tried explaining that even if a bike is going slow, they can't been seen and it's a hazard, but they didn't want to hear it.

    I really wish people would get fined for improper use of the trails. Then again, I've had my doors blown off by jerk cyclists going 20mph on the trails with no regard whatsoever for other people. So, I guess it goes both ways - inconsiderate walkers/dog owners/parents and inconsiderate cyclists. How hard is it to just think of others?
    The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world. ~ Susan B. Anthony

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    492
    For multi-use paths to work, people have to share and be respectful of others. Unfortunately, that's asking an awful lot of some people.

    I use our trails regularly. Ours are labeled with signs that say "Bike Path." However, city laws, if you look them up, say that they're for use by bicycles and pedestrians, dogs are allowed, and there is a 10 mph speed limit unless otherwise designated. Our city also has a leash law, but a lot of people think it doesn't apply to them "as long as" (insert excuse here). I use the trails for bicycling, running and walking my dog. It seems pretty obvious to me that with others on the trail, you have to be mindful of their going faster or slower, etc. and work around it, and that a little courtesy (ie., sometimes stepping to the side, or completely off of the path to allow room for others) makes it more pleasant for everyone.

    But there are a lot of self-centered jerks who only think about what they get out of it. "Bikes are supposed to yield to pedestrians" (so my kids and I can block the whole path), or bikes that blow past from behind without giving any warning, and runners that wear their stupid earbuds which block out all (or some) of what's going on around them (the "one-budd'ers" think it's o.k. to just shut out "some" - ).

    I'd rather use the path because "sharing" the road with cars is a lot more intimidating. If only it were possible to fix stupid -
    Last edited by Deborajen; 08-13-2013 at 06:30 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    49
    Riding on a bike path is really no different than riding on the road in the sense that you still have to be aware of your surroundings. Just like in the road, you can't assume that anyone is watching out for you, you have to watch for yourself. People's unwillingness/ignorance to "share the path" is no different than people's unwillingness/ignorance to sharing the road. The difference now is that you are the fast traffic, not the cars. That said, the bike path is no place for a cyclist to "train". Consider it a recreational ride and enjoy the scenery.
    2011 Cannondale CAADX 105
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    2012 Jamis Xenith Endura Comp

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    i hate retractoleashes.
    Yeah, those things should be illegal. I say this as a dog owner -- they are a horrible way to walk/train your dog, there is potential for injury to both person and dog, not to mention that dogs who are on them are often so hyper that my dog is all too happy to steer clear of them.
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,232
    Shared paths are just that. I don't expect to control what others do....that just gets me frustrated! Thatís why I usually donít ride on paths used by walkers/casual users. I also always ride defensively on any route Iím on. As I walked around her I would have asked how she would feel being held financially liable for the damage and pain and suffering her actions caused a cyclist and left it at that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    I don't get the hate on retractable leads. Sure, there are people who don't use them appropriately, but that goes for bicycles, cars and strollers too. I can reel in a dog faster and more securely on a retractable lead than I could on a 4' fixed lead (AND still have my other hand free for carrying something, holding a child's hand, or walking another dog) - which, 4' of fixed lead is more than long enough to cause problems for cyclists and runners. I surely don't expect people on the MUPs to be walking their dogs on show leads.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    I think a lot of people use retractable leads because they think that they will tire their dog out by letting the dog run circles around them, instead of just taking a longer walk and teaching the dog how to walk properly without pulling. I was absolutely guilty of this when I was a new dog owner. I have two instances of near-injury with these things:

    1. When I was learning how to walk my dog, maybe that first couple of weeks, I tried this because I wanted to walk the dog less (he's really my husband's dog) and have more time for cycling. There was a moment when we were in a park, dog saw a squirrel and took off at breakneck speed, all the while the leash is letting out more line. This is a 50-lb dog running at top speed. Me, 110-lbs and standing still. I had to make a quick decision to either hold onto the lead cartridge or let it go -- because either the dog was going to pull my arm out, or if I let go the cartridge would get caught on something and the dog would get hurt at the neck, or the dog would stop running and the cartridge would retract and hit him in the head. I quickly fixed the lead length as best I could and let go. Thankfully neither of us got hurt.

    2. About 6 months later my dog was impeccable on a 6' leash. While out on a walk, we slowed to exchange greetings with a random other dog walker walking two small hyper dogs on retracto-leashes coming the other way. One of the little dogs proceeded to run circles around my dog, resulting in two wraps of very thin line around my dog's neck. Thankfully I was able to untangle him before the line got tightened around his neck. Henceforth, when I see someone with this type of lead, I will go out of my way to stay out of their range. My dog already had enough trauma before we adopted him, he doesn't need any more from people who don't know how to handle their dogs. This is why I hate retractable leashes.
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
    2008 Rodriguez Rainier Mirage / Terry Butterfly Tri Gel
    2007 Dahon Speed Pro TT / Biologic Velvet
    1998? GT Rebound / Serfas Gel

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    662
    Kajero, I pretty much avoid the multi-use trails around the Twin Cities during the summer months, especially the ones around the lakes, for just this reason. There are far too many self-centered idiots on those trails and it's just not worth it. The roads - especially wide-shouldered or with bike lanes - are safer for a cyclist. I do wander over to those trails in early spring (but not this year!) and late fall as then I can enjoy the scenery without being worried about the hordes of clueless wonders.

    2001 Trek 7500 FX, converted to a hauler - Serfas
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    2004 Trek 5200 - Avatar
    2011 Trek 6.2 Madone - Ruby

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    I don't get the hate on retractable leads. Sure, there are people who don't use them appropriately, but that goes for bicycles, cars and strollers too. I can reel in a dog faster and more securely on a retractable lead than I could on a 4' fixed lead (AND still have my other hand free for carrying something, holding a child's hand, or walking another dog) - which, 4' of fixed lead is more than long enough to cause problems for cyclists and runners. I surely don't expect people on the MUPs to be walking their dogs on show leads.
    I feel like I can train the dogs better with the retractable lead. I can keep it shorter and keep the dog closer to me without cutting the circulation off to my fingertips by . But it does require looking ahead of time to reel the dog in when the situation might warrant (which, in our case, is any other animal, a street, or a person working in the yard - to name only few).

    Blame the owner, not the equipment. (Just like inconsiderate cyclists - it's not cycling, it's the rider.)
    "Susie" - 2012 Specialized Ruby Apex, not pink/Selle SMP Lite 209

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    329
    It is not just multi-use trails that are abused by ignorant ______..... Our fav IMBA built trails are in a park that boasts multi-use trails and BIKE ONLY (freeride features); both clearly marked by signs and on the trail maps. Twice I have screamed around a berm to find hikers sauntering near the bottom of a jump! Additionally, last week -there was an older couple walking up and down a seesaw... it would be funny except as I explained to them...the young adult males who fly past here are going WAY faster than I....and when they cream you whose fault is it? The signs say "biking only!"

 

 

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