So despite my bad shoulder which makes UPDs incredibly painful, I decided to take the Muni into the forest for an hour or two.

So here’s me riding along a winding and undulating track, mainly dry mud, but with occasional mudbaths. It’s wide enough for one cycle, with occasional passing places.

I hear clicks and squeeks behind me. The clicks are badly adjusted gears; the squeeks are a dry chain.

Two bicycles approaching. No word of warning, no polite request to let them pass. I know they’re there only because I’m listening for them.

I’ve been riding for about 28 minutes cross country without a UPD and, me being me, I’d prefer not to dismount. So I’m scanning the trail ahead for a passing place.

I see it: the path diverges and then rejoins. The right hand branch is smoother, easier. The left hand branch is easily rideable, just slightly bumpy, and I’m not sure I could idle on it. With two bikes to get past me, and only 3 - 4 metres of opportunity, idling will be necessary.

I shout, “Pass on the left” and wave them through (painfully, with my bad arm) and I move onto the smooth bit, slow down and make to idle.

And a front wheel appears parallel to mine, and almost touching. I hear noises consistent with a bicycle rider not fully undertanding how to operate his brakes. I dismount. He puts his foot down and stops.

I seethe.

“I said, ‘Come through on the left!’” I say, with some asperity.

“I couldn’t get up there,” he explains.

I consider a wide range of options and reply, “Perhaps you have too many wheels.”

No apology, no comment. Not even a retort. He rides past, followed by his companion. Both are on full suspension multi-geared mountainbikes, both fully kitted out, with full face helmets - they look ready for the Paris-Dakar.

I could have ridden my single speed road bike or even my 700cx23mm unicycle along the four metres of path that he couldn’t get up.

On reflection, I expnad on my earlier comment. I add, “Ar*ehole.”

They ride on.


That is a funny story.

They still have a training wheel, what’dyu expect?
. . . so wait, the were in downhill garb on non-downhill singletrack? O.o?

Just remember, it’s posers like that who help pay for the R&D to develop newer and better products for us non-posers to ride. :slight_smile:

I’ve found that as I’ve become more skilled at riding (bikes and unicycles) I’m less concerned about the quality of the vehicle, provided it functions properly. I guess I’ve realized what makes a difference and what doesn’t, as well as becoming confident in my ability to handle situations with little help.

So I don’t hold it against riders with expensive equipment and little skill they need the help they can get, and they don’t know what is important. They have passion though so I don’t want to kill that with issues of frugality. They also are unlikely to understand trail etiquette issues.

As somebody with experience, you are at an advantage and have fewer excuses for feeding a conflict.

So I add “foolish”.

That’s an interesting point : )

When I got into road biking, I started off liking my single speed, then migrated and felt the need for a high speed carbon bike (which I couldn’t dare afford) and then finally saw where the bicycle really shined : ) Touring bikes can do everything, and are the ultimate all around machine. Wally world (walmart) I will stand firm in saying is crap, but overall, if you pay 1000 bucks for a bike, you’re getting a very nice machine, you don’t have to spend 7000 to get a nice bike that does less. and isn’t that much faster.

oh, and then I found the 36er and saw that it was truly superior to all :smiley:

At first I thought he was being a jerk, but after re-reading, I think he is probably just inexperienced, and likely didn’t mean to offend you. I’m sure the bicyclists (at least around here) get annoyed at those of us one one wheel going ridiculously slow (from there perspective, anyway) on the narrow trails, forcing them to slow down and wait for us to get out of the way so they can go by. If he couldn’t ride up the other side, the polite thing would have been for him to stop farther back and explain that he couldn’t go that way (without crowding you). Then you would have had time and been able to decide what to do. However, I don’t think it was fair to bite his head off because he didn’t do what you told him to do if it was outside his comfort/skill level. You must remember, bicyclists don’t know how annoying it is to have to dismount and get mounted again. They stop all the time. It doesn’t actually mean that they’re stupid or rude, they just don’t know. Probably the guy was confused/embarrassed and likely thinks you’re as much of as “ar*ehole” as you think he is.

It does suck to have to get down and re-mount (especially when you are tired, mounting gets harder and harder), but sometimes it’s a fact of life when sharing the trails. The same thing may have happened if you were on a bike.

We generally try to go with the policy of the slower vehicle yielding to the faster vehicle, dismounting and moving out of the way when necessary. We like to think that by being polite to the cyclists around here on the trails, they will get a generally good impression of unicyclists. Thus far, we’ve never had any rude experiences.

Here’s hoping the next guy you encounter on the trials is nicer and a little more experienced :slight_smile: And that you’re nicer the next time you encounter someone on the trails :slight_smile:

If he lacked the skill to get past, that didn’t give him the right simply to barge through.

If I had not been expecting him, and looked down in time to see his front wheel next to my leg, we would certainly have collided.

He knew his limitations as a rider and should have ridden within them.

Basic courtesy would have been to give a polite warning of his presence and to ask if he could come through. That is nothing to do with being an experienced biker, it is just good manners.

It is always the overtaker’s responsibility to make sure that it is safe to overtake, whether it is on the trail, on the road, or at sea.

This was the second worst piece of bad riding and bad manners I have seen in many years of riding in that area of the forest.

Also, bear in mind that when I write up these things in the forum, it is with one eye on the entertainment value, so allow for a small amount of poetic licence and a huge amount of missing out the boring details.

P.S. Thanks to everyone for their kind inquiries about my injured shoulder. :wink:

Ok, I thought you did it because you were asking for trouble. :stuck_out_tongue: