No Unicycles, or ELSE!

A friend of a friend took this picture a few years ago, somewhere on the Northern portion on the Appalachian trail. At this point, I have no idea which state.

So, who among you has been riding on the Appalachian trail to provoke such wrath?
What do you suppose “ELSE” refers to? Has anyone out there been "else"d? What was it like?

Personally, I’m keeping my distance.


No unicycles or else.bmp (568 KB)

I think that there is a similar sign locally that was put up because of me and my BC wheel, but I’m pretty sure it just says “No Wheels,” not “No Unicycles.”

Probably the dog on the pic knows what “ELSE” means :wink:

Maybe “Else” is his girlfriend who goes up there and occasionally cheats on him with unicyclists.

Given the crude nature of the sign, I doubt it’s anything official unless it’s a local owner of the property. There could be good reasons though. Wheels in general can create erosion issues. It can also be quite surprising for a person out for a “quiet walk/hike” to bump into to any fast moving mechanical object. Add into that that unicycles are just deemed unusual and you can get some pretty interesting fear and knee-jerk based reactions. Given the “or else” I’d guess some minor incident, possibly repeated, is causing an issue.

My general view is that if the trail has any kind of “no cycling” sign on it, respect that. There is probably a good reason that has nothing to do with the number of wheels but more to do with either the nature of the trail, such as environmental sensitivity, or the expected use of the trail is strictly for walking or hiking. It could also be an insurance regulation too if there is an overseeing body that has some liability to trail maintenance.

It’s going to be a bit of a challenge for all of us as unicycling increases in popularity. The real issue isn’t about the object a person is using. It’s about how they use it. Long board skateboarding, unicycling, downhill mountain biking are all sports out of the “normal” range and they are causing bizarre reactions (unicycling being by far the smallest). As noticed by the thread on Whistler, most people don’t understand unicycling at all. I emphasizes locally that the object in use isn’t what should be questioned, it’s the behavior of the individual rider.

To be realistic, its probably bikers that are pissed off at having to slow down because of unicyclists…

This just in: The sign was spotted in New Hampshire, just East of Hanover.

Most of the no cycling signs around here are just at places that have a higher number of pedestrians, so they don’t want fast bikes going by them. In some of these places I figure a slow unicycle isn’t a problem, and the trail is not rutted out or anything then I ride it.

Thanks. I wondered where I left that. I’ll go pick it up in a couple of days.

The general advice to follow “no biking” restrictions is probably good. However, it is absolutely not the case that “no biking” restrictions exist for good reasons. There are numerous studies which show that biking impacts are similar to hiking impacts on trails, and far less than equestrian impacts. Most of the unofficial short-cut trails around here are created by off-trail hiking, not off-trail biking.

Mountain biking restrictions are political, not ecological.

That being said, the kind of people who will give you a hard time for unicycling on a no-bikes trail will not be swayed by the argument that it’s not a bike. So if you do it, be courteous, be aware of your impacts and minimize them, and don’t do it at noon on the first nice Saturday of the springtime. Most trails, even in heavily populated areas, get very little use outside of a few prime hours; if you want to poach them, do it when there aren’t many people around.

Also, trails are much prettier in the early morning light :slight_smile: There will be birds and bunnies out, little frogs and lizards! I love it.

Agreed. Rules are meant to be understood, and then broken appropriately.

It is too bad though that we are not more detailed in the reasonings for our signage. “No biking due to high pedestrian traffic” Is that so difficult?