Reaction times and walkers

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  • Reaction times and walkers
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    see it’s all the fault of Strava…….

    There were 3 knobbers pushing up spooky wood that moved quick when I aimed for them if that counts?

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    There’s two things that need considering and they are equally improtant IMO.

    One, your ability to stop, safely in a controlled way, and secondly your perceived ability to do so.

    This second one is the main issue for the walker, as they won’t know much about mtbing they see a wild uncontrolled unpredictable big fast thing. I have some sympathy for that, its not fair to go out and scare people. But some people really do go too far, as per other thread I’ve had people in gardens come running up saying there could be cars coming round the corners on their lane and I know that, I’m going slow, brakes covered for just that reason.

    Also the unpredictable can happen, a walker could take a step back and stumble on something.

    Obviously we need to see the vid as well…

    Junkyard
    Member

    I am surprised no one has ever taken out a walker tbh

    anyone who always says they can stop in the distance they can see is either
    1. Lying
    2. An absolute mincer of the highest order
    My approach…send someone first to scatter them like pins first so you just get the dirty looks and not the danger 😉

    ChrisA66
    Member

    I didn’t really want to link to the video, as it would be a bit like pointing the finger, and it is subjective too. I just wondered how I’d react if I was that walker, and I had my little girl with me, or my two dogs. I know that if I was on my bike I’d be going so slowly that I’d be more likely to fall over myself. Suppose that’s what I mean; how do you know when your’e going faster than you should?

    Also the rider is probably looking where they’re going and saw the walkers, and made a line choice arround them, the walkers probably didn’t see them untill the last second, and therefore panic.

    how do you know when your’e going faster than you should?

    Q) Am I on my bike?
    A) Yes

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Can we have a link to this vid please? Thanks. 🙂

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    Sounds like the rider missed the main rule of shared path usage to be honest.

    rocketman
    Member

    I am surprised no one has ever taken out a walker tbh

    Not proud of it but I once managed to skittle a whole group of school children. They were on a field trip walking along a fire road when I emerged out of a side track right into the middle of them, T-bone style

    As is often the case when going ‘too fast’ it all happened really quickly. One of the children (they were about 14-15) saw me and pulled his mate to one side but in doing so he turned and I caught the end of my bars in his bag shoulder strap and down we went, taking some of the other children with us. It looked bad at the time but fortunately no-one was injured

    Made me wonder how I’d feel if a rider came speeding towards me

    When you’re on foot a bike seems to move really quickly. Unless you’ve already seen them there isn’t really time to assess the situation which is why walkers etc get all panicky.

    stu1972
    Member

    the walkers probably didn’t see them untill the last second, and therefore panic.

    I haven’t seen the vid but would imagine, especially on rocky / technical terrain, that the walker(s) are concentrating on where they are putting their feet and not looking far enough ahead thinking “now is there going to be a mountain bike hurting down this crag” or whatever.

    Premier Icon sheck
    Subscriber

    I was cycling uphill along a local twisty bridleway last friday… 2 guys coming down, neither with any chance of stopping. I had time to stop, but not to get off the trail. 1st one had the skill to ride up the bank and round me, the 2nd one didnt and skidded to a messy, awkward, walking pace collision with me. I probably spoilt his fun, so didn’t say anything, but he didn’t apologise

    legend
    Member

    unklehomered – Member

    Sounds like the rider missed the main rule of shared path usage to be honest.

    Shout “SSTTRRRAAAAVVVVAAAAAA!!!!!” at the top of your voice?

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    Shout “SSTTRRRAAAAVVVVAAAAAA!!!!!” at the top of your voice?

    inappropriate LOL with people in the shop occurence just then… 😳

    IvanDobski
    Member

    I can’t help but think that a walker perceiving a bike to be too close whilst the rider thinks there’s loads of room and they’ve picked a line accordingly is a lot like a rider perceiving a car to be too close whilst the driver thinks there’s loads of room and they’ve picked a line accordingly.

    (Awkward construction but you know what I mean!)

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Rule 1 give way to everyone else, nobody has to get out of your way.
    Rule 2 don’t be a knob
    Rule 3 See 1 & 2

    about it really, if they see you then you have a start, if they can’t see you then you have to either let them know politely or back off.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    ChrisA66 – fair enough, I understand that. I live in Wiltshire so was just curious.

    stu1972
    Member

    It’s a tricky one like,

    I’ve met some proper arseholes when out walking on the fells. I’ve seen walkers walking on purpose built bike trails, but i’ve also seen folk on bikes acting like dicks in the lakes as well.

    I can only think of one occourance in 15+ years of riding where I’ve felt bad about it. Coming down Skiddaw there’s a section of singletrack after the car park which then widens out to a gravel track before dissapearing seeply down into the woods. I completely missjudged my speed going back into the woods and there’s a bit of a water bar at the top so I came over almost blind it flying (the path had widened out giving a perception of safety). So I came at them mid air, sideways in what would at any other time been an impressive whip and the only options were to land it sideways in a cloud of dust and hope to get off the track while they scattered the other way.

    Not proud, but equaly no one died, and I probably deal with three of four similarly close calls with drivers every commute.

    ChrisA66
    Member

    Good. not me being ‘over sensitive’ then!

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    There’s two things that need considering and they are equally improtant IMO.

    One, your ability to stop, safely in a controlled way, and secondly your perceived ability to do so.what I used to think, but since some threads on here I’ll add a third
    even if you can stop safely how pissed off will the other person be to see you barrelling towards them, saying “see I stopped 1′ away from you” doesnt really cut it if they have to go change their undies. you’re bigger and more imposing on a bike even if travelling relatively slowly.

    and of course if the other person is a horse rider you will spook the horse so the rider is screwed even if you don’t actually hit them.

    ChrisA66
    Member

    I was watching a video of a group ride last night, which lasted about 5 minutes (the video, not the ride). The rider with the head cam was going at a fair lick in places. This was on bridleways in Wiltshire. On a downhill he flew past a couple of walkers who looked a bit surprised, and were leaning out of the way. Made me wonder how I’d feel if a rider came speeding towards me, and what the riders reaction times must be like. I can’t believe that it’s safe to go that fast and be able to anticipate who may be coming the other way. Obviously were all different, but has anyone ever come out the worst in a situation like this? Either on foot or wheels.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    there’s a bit of a water bar at the top so I came over almost blind

    same section I went passed a lady, not airborne but saw her grabbed a handful of brake* saw there was plenty of room went passed her by a fair margin shouted hi or something went on my merry way. A mate was behind me, at the bottom he told me I’d scared her, at the time I thought she was probably being overly sensitive but I can see the problem now and it’s not really on. But again it’s still a perception thing I pass slower and wider now but no doubt there’ll still be some walkers who would consider me to be unsafe or scary, you’ll never please everyone and there’s a few walkers who will always hate bikers no matter what their speed.

    *skidding or atleast audibly scuffing up the ground on heavy braking again doesn’t ingratiate yourself to walkers

    xiphon
    Member

    Assuming you’re going too fast to safely stop without skittling the oncoming walkers, being able to safely pick out an alternative line is another skill which many riders lack…

    stick_man
    Member

    Lots of other posts with riders complaining that someone in a car drove at them / didn’t give them room / squeezed them off the road etc.

    Same as THISISNOTASPOON I nearly took a family out coming down off Skiddaw once. Had a word with myself and try to be more considerate these days.

    If you’re out walking an a bunch of mountain bikers come barrelling at you it’s not nice. Especially if you’ve got children with you who don’t realise the need to get out of the way.

    People just need to be considerate and give everyone a bit of space.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    I think you will always need to give yourself time to react to animals especially dogs and horses. When it comes to people as long as you don’t hit them all is good but it should be the rider’s responsibility to make sure that this is the case and people shouldn’t have to make way to avoid a crash.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    This happened to me a while ago, riding down a long track, it goes in an out with the hillside and I saw two people ahead of me by many hundred yards. Anyway I get closer and as I’m at the point where I need to start thinking about them [70 yrdish] the man looks in my direction, I’m not bombing as I knew they were there so no point mashing the pedals, the man whos looking at something in the hedge looks in my direction. They carry on walking away from me, and both move right over the RHS of the track. But I’m not really convinced they’ve seen me, call out a greeting but its windy. I shed some more speed. As I get about 20 yards away they both start to veer back into the middle of the track, they haven’t seen/heard me after all loose more speed, 10yrds out, about twice walking speed now, tuck in the LHS call out a cheery hello.

    Woman, few yards behind the chap looks over her shoulder, eyes go wide. “Fred! FRED!” with real alarm and panic, so much so she makes me jump. Fred looks over his shoulder, of course already alarmed from her voice, nearly jumps clean out of his skin when he sees me. I’m trying to smile cheerily, while hugging the opposite side of the track, Fred steadies himself (I thought he might fall down the hill at one point), I appologise to Fred for startling him, woman shouts accusingly at me “HE’S DEAF!” with the implied suffix “You heartless brute!” as i tootle gently past Fred, missing him by well over 2 metres. Don’t see what more I could have done, still think mostly the womans fault – she didn’t take me in at all, I was sat up, right in the side, going slow. But maybe they’d had a run in knobbish rider previously. But i did think if I’d just slid by them without saying anything I’d have caused Fred less stress.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    that’s the thing unkle, walkers and other people get lost in their own world chatting away or just contemplating the scenery, at somepoint even if it’s after you’ve silently safely ridden by they will get snapped out of their reverie often with a jolt and no doubt the accustomed grumpiness. I was riding behind some old ladies near ullswater, said hello a couple of times, no response, so slowed and matched my speed to theirs a few feet back, said hello again and all of them nearly jumped out of their skin and started asking where my bell was. I use a bell quite often now but sometimes people just don’t hear and they will get the same “jolt” when they do finally become aware of you. Dunno what you can do in those circumstances, apologise for your own presence?
    Tricky one.

    Grizla
    Member

    A guy I ride with uses a bell with everyone he comes up to, just so they’re not startled. I keep meaning to get one myself.

    Kind of feels like you’re asking them to get out of your way though, which is not (always) the intention.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    Kind of feels like you’re asking them to get out of your way though, which is not (always) the intention.

    Yeah I don’t like that, its easier when you’re riding with someone as you can just start a conversation as you approach. Could do that on my own I suppose…

    I’m always amazed how long it can take people walking towards me to see me, again, if I wasn’t just tootling, but pumping, hopping and having it, the motion would probably draw their attention quicker… 😆

    PJM1974
    Member

    There’s a good reason why cyclists are obliged to give way to pedestrians on bridleways. It may well be a colossal pain in the a***, but the countryside is there for everyone to enjoy. Would you rather old folk were left locked up without access to the outdoors?

    Well…maybe on Saturdays? 😉

    I’ve had to endure the inevitable dog walker saying “This is not a cycle-path!”, oblivious to the blue sign six feet away that stated otherwise. I’ve been stopped by a crazed woman in a Corsa who wanted to know where I was planning to ride as cyclists weren’t allowed on the trails nearby – clearly signposted as bridleways. In amongst that there’s been a lot of pleasant conversations, smiles, friendly dogs and envy expressed by walkers that’s far outweighed the bad experiences.

    It’s give and take. I can enjoy myself on my local trails but I also try to behave like an ambassador for my sport. Sometimes you really do have to suffer ignorance and smile.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Can I just point out that rights of way in Wiltshire aren’t exactly busy in my experience. Frequently I don’t see a soul when riding and have never experienced the shenanigans as one does, for example, at Swinley Forest with Strava louts.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    I often don’t get the chance give way. There should be a universal sign/call/signal that means the following:

    “Hello walker far off in the distance. I have seen you, however you are as yet, a long way away, but please be assured that when the distance between us is less, say about 7 -10 metres, I will give way, and tuck myself in to allow you to pass as is your right, and my obligaiton. So while we’re hundreds of yards apart there is no need for you to fling yourself into a bramble bush and then give me the evils for it for the 60 seconds it will still take me to reach you. Yours respectfully, approaching cyclist.”

    No its not often that extreme, but that is based on a true and not unusual story from one of my old riding haunts. But people will often give way before you reach them, and I feel bad about that sometimes, as I would give way, when i got closer to them.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    I can understand why some footpath users could get annoyed by bikes. They can perceive cyclists as an annoyance or danger (sometimes they’re right), they go somewhere where according to “the rules”, cyclists shouldn’t go, yet the walkers still experience the problem.

    They want to walk in peace and safety, they have every right to do that, and they think cyclists are compromising that.

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