Do you ride on footpaths?

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  • Do you ride on footpaths?
  • b r
    Member

    We can only ride on bridleways because of people who ‘trespassed’, so fine by me just make sure you observe the ‘code’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinder_trespass

    But come to Scotland, we have none of the nonsense here. 🙂

    loddrik
    Member

    I’ll ride wherever I fancy. Though I’m not a flat out everywhere kinda guy so im not going to wipe out a whole family.

    Ride on pavements lots too, and all the time when I have daughters in tow.

    Yes, it’s that or play with traffic on the commute. Farmers don’t seem to mind on the basis i pass them pretty regularly and they say hello rather than “GEERRRROOOOFFFFFFF MIIIIIII LARRRRRNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDD”

    mrmo
    Member

    what makes a footpath a footpath?

    then you’ll begin to understand.

    I am not saying in all cases but there were agreements made in the 60’s that kept the unwashed off some peoples land, there were agreements that gave only footpath rights rather than the true rights. One track near me is a footpath, but if you read the history it is the old turnpike, so would have been built for horse drawn carriages!

    Use common sense and most people don’t care.

    butcher
    Member

    If I never rode on footpaths there’d be no point in me having a mountain bike.

    Aside from the distinct lack of legal networks though, I see it very much as an extension of my body and treat most of my rides in the same way I would my walks. There is little between them. One’s a bit quicker, is all.

    MX bike is completely different.

    xiphon
    Member

    Yes, and I make an effort to say hellp to every walker/rider (bikes/horses) who I pass along the way.

    rossi46
    Member

    Always have, never had any problems. Of course i keep quiet about it 😉

    fr0sty125
    Member

    I try not to but yes

    I live in Scotland where we have shared access paths which means if we are all sensible we can all use all the paths

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    I ride a lot of footpaths. Our access laws are stupid and outdated, so I ignore them and use common sense instead.

    higgo
    Member

    I ride, run and walk on all manner of trails.

    Some of them are on the ground but not on the map, some are on the map as footpaths and some are BWs but it’s what’s on the ground that’s important to me, not what’s on the map.

    rentachimp
    Member

    Yes. They’re the best bits.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    The thing is it puts me off going for a ride with my mates sometimes as I know they don’t have the same view-point.

    Really? I’ve fallen out with someone for having racist views but I reckon I could join a mate on a ride down a footpath, in fact I do regularly.

    Junkyard
    Member

    depends – I ride responsibly which means i have Bridleways i can rid but wont – boggy moorland paths. I know of footpaths that are double track cart routes and cobbled that i will happily ignore

    The thing is to be responsible the laws and rules that made a footpath or a bridleway are full of discrepancies that make little sense

    In general i dont think a bike does any more dames on hardpack though it might on boggy wet stuff

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    I ride where ever I want, pretty much, but not when ever I want. I’ll swerve the footpaths if I know they’re going to be busy with walkers or if they’re in bad condition with the weather.

    I’m not massively arsed about projecting a responsible mountain bike image, neither am I motivated to express my rugged individuality by riding over the Kinder plateau on a bank holiday afternoon.

    So prob like the majority on here just try to be sensible about it whilst maximising the available ride quality. Just back from some footpath riding in the Goyt valley, as it goes – great ride for a dry, weekday evening. Prob wouldn’t choose to do it on a wet Saturday.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Why don’t you want to come across mtbers? What will ‘they’ do to you?

    I’ve never had any grief riding footpaths (and they’re the good bits round here, bridleways mostly fireroads or wide paths chewed up by hoofs) just recognise that I don’t have right of way so will move aside to let walkers past, or sit and wait for walkers to clear a section before I ride it. And give cheery hellos.

    The ‘damage’ done by a mountain bike on a footpath is comparable to a walker, so the motorcross bike comparison is completely spurious.

    Completely unbiased article 🙂

    I have had a problem on a bridleway, when 4 girls walking their handbag dogs wouldn’t move out of 4 abreast formation to let me past.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I don’t, because I live in civilisation. But if I lived in England, I would- there’s only 2 ways to deal with ridiculous rules like your land access laws, one is to overthrow them and the other is to ignore them. Nobody’s getting anywhere overthrowing them, so.

    bland
    Member

    Yes as in a lot of less trodden parts it actually helps keep them passable!

    Premier Icon Mal-ec
    Subscriber

    Pretty much what Lifer + Junkyard said. Use a bit of common sense, respect + ride sustainably. Scotland shows that it can work fine.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I ride on a lot of paths and tracks which are not public footpaths but neither are they bridleways or boats. I’m luck enough to ride in Surrey Hills where there are plenty of places to ride other than public footpaths. All that being said from time to time I’ll ride or indeed walk/push bike along a footpath. Its all about being considerate and sensible.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    used to till I left the UK. But only when dark/quiet/taking care to understand the potential issues of riding there.

    Use based on case would be better, not everything is suitable for bikes (or people, or dogs) complete open access put the reliance on common sense and personal responsibility, something society seems to be lacking these days.

    Putting the question out there as I’m curious to know how people feel about this in general.

    My wheels are firmly in the “I don’t ride footpaths” camp. As a cyclist I don’t have a right of way on those paths, and feel that being there on a bike is detrimental to the efforts of others who work hard to secure better access rights for MTBers. If I’m walking on a footpath with my family I don’t want to come across MTBers, so won’t inflict that on others either.

    The thing is it puts me off going for a ride with my mates sometimes as I know they don’t have the same view-point. Ironically, one of them will happily ride on footpaths, but take great exception to finding a motocross biker on a bridleway … double standards surely?

    Anyway, those are some of my reasons for not riding on footpaths. What do you do and why? Not looking to start a heated debate. Just curious about other’s views.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Yes, of course I do. You English really need to sort yer laws out, and attitudes, the countryside is for everyone not just certain bits for certain people.

    A hotly debated topic on here. I ride trails. Some are currently classified as PFs, BWs, BOATS etc according to historical vagaries and nothing to do with reasonable use. Tell you a secret: many are not classified at all. Few trails actually follow the line of the ROW on the definitive map. The landowners don’t care about your “rights” either but will tolerate you if you are respectful. And you can’t assert a right to ride a trail by avoiding it. Reclassification requires evidence of use going back years. ROWs only really exist because people trespassed. Oh, and a bicycle is not a horse or a motorcycle. A bicycle has far lower environmental impact than a dog. And AFAIK, there isn’t a track record of walkers or farm animals injured or killed by cyclists. The only people doing any trail maintenance around here is us cyclists. The visiting dog walkers mainly contribute dog eggs and the occasional arsey remark.

    I’m not giving you permission to make a nuisance of yourself. Just don’t beat yourself up about taking a few liberties.

    Ambrose
    Member

    “A bicycle has far lower environmental impact than a dog.”

    Please explain.

    retro83
    Member

    I keep it to a minimum, to avoid annoying others.

    To be fair I’ve only had grief about it a few times, far less than when riding on bridleways actually.

    Never give it a second thought. Never had any problems either. But I am at pains to respect other users – horses, dog walkers, hikers. As butcher said above, if I didn’t ride footpaths I’d have to drive to ride off road, which is plain stupid.

    antigee
    Member

    Ambrose – Member
    “A bicycle has far lower environmental impact than a dog.”

    Please explain.

    cyclists on leads don’t run off into the bushes and disturb birds?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Ambrose – Member
    “A bicycle has far lower environmental impact than a dog.”
    Please explain.

    Again a need to differentiate between dogs with responsible owners and dogs with irresponsible owners, same with bikes really.
    Bikes can cause a heap of damage by riding through wet & boggy ground “Because it’s a Bridleway on my route” so can people by going round said boggy bit. There was a video from the lakes of some guys where 1 missed the hard formed path all together and went round on the (now becoming eroded) grass, not a very good advert for access regardless of the name given to the path.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    “A bicycle has far lower environmental impact than a dog.”

    Please explain.
    It’s fairly widely accepted that dog/walker/dog walker has the greater impact on flora and fauna. Bikers are transient, won’t stop, in and out in a flash, will stick within the trail. A dog will invariably extend 5-10m or more either side of the trail, foraging, chasing anything that moves, criss crossing, dumping and laying their scent.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    It’s fairly widely accepted that dog/walker/dog walker has the greater impact on flora and fauna. Bikers are transient, won’t stop, in and out in a flash, will stick within the trail. A dog will invariably extend 5-10m or more either side of the trail, foraging, chasing anything that moves, criss crossing, dumping and laying their scent.

    Hmm? Not trying to steer this into a dog thread but not really convinced.
    Again the differentiation between a dog under control and not, dogs on leads don’t tend to be able to chase anything that moves. The behaviour you describe of dogs is fairly similar to Foxes, Badgers, Rabbits, Sheep, Cows and Essex Mountain Lions.

    I have also seen bikers extending either side of the trail (way more than 10m depending on how vague the route is, chasing other bikers and disturbing wildlife, criss crossing, not seen anyone taking a dump yet but it does happen and on a longish ride there is plenty of bushes and walls marked by the riders 😉

    I applaud the scottish methods but also look at them with caution, some paths are not suitable for walkers or riders and should either be closed or repaired.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Again the differentiation between a dog under control and not, dogs on leads don’t tend to be able to chase anything that moves.

    most people see the countryside as an opportunity to let their dog off the lead and to forage about.

    The behaviour you describe of dogs is fairly similar to Foxes, Badgers, Rabbits, Sheep, Cows and Essex Mountain Lions.

    the question was specifically about dog v bike impact

    antigee
    Member

    [bennyhill]chasing other bikers[/bennyhill] 😀

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    I used to stick to bridleways, but not now as the bridleway network is pretty poor round here and some of bridleways get pretty mashed up by the horses to the point of unridability and having to be be maintained.

    And the final straw was when some local bridleways starting getting marked as ‘Horses only – no cycles’ a few years ago.

    All the bridleways round here have been churned up by horses.
    You’re better off riding on footpaths.

    Premier Icon Mugboo
    Subscriber

    I would die of boredom if I didn’t ride footpaths. As has already been said, if its busy or boggy avoid, if not its fair game if you are respectful to other users.

    And I never see walkers cutting back foliage to stop trail creep or sorting drainage.

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    Yes I ride footpaths and so does everyone else I know that MTBs. You need to be sensible though some paths are just not suitable due to condition, build or traffic.
    Right, I’m off to work via some footpaths…

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    bridleways get pretty mashed up by the horses to the point of unridability

    All the bridleways round here have been churned up by horses.

    Bridleways are ‘as seen’ for us, just because your recreational vehicle of choice can’t cope with the prevailing conditions is not horse-riders fault.

    Having said that, I ride where I want. I’m not massively concerned about the ‘image’ of cyclists, I’m respectful and considerate. I’ll not ride popular fp during a sunny Sunday, but TBH even if I did, I rarely meet folk, who either a. complain, or b. know whether i’ve a legal right to be there, or c. care particularly much.

    Having been riding for a while, I remember the foot and mouth outbreak, it was an eye opener when we could get back on the trails, all the fp that I thought were sneaky were covered in hoofprints…I’ve felt considerably less guilty about using them ever since.

    Being old enough to remember a lot of changes in legislation, its funny to think that cycling on Bridleways was only added as an after thought, also that riding on footpaths was dismissed more on the basis of “Nah no one would want to” ass there wasnt such a thing as MTB’s’ Cyclist use to ride BOATS and RURPS as they were in good condition as 4x4ing as a “Sport” didnt exist.
    So I ride anything I fancy as long as my impact is low also funnily enough its not against the law to ride the footpaths on my local moors 🙂

    Premier Icon mrelectric
    Subscriber

    Mrmo & others.
    Recording as a footpath doesn’t mean higher rights don’t exist . The old turnpike is a good case in point. We have a lot packhorse routes around here, some have been changed to BWs.
    I’ve also asked the local Council for certain footpaths to be reassessed; it takes time but have had some success. (Re OP: yes there are some FPs I ride but at off-peak times; sensibly).
    I’m a member of the Local Access Forum (Bradford) but anyone can ask for a new PRoW or a change to an existing one.
    In the long term, the law needs changing but we all need to be making the case.

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