Public Footpaths - cycling?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
rareposter
Posts: 226
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby rareposter » 21 Jul 2020, 7:59am

A helpful guide to riding footpaths (taken from a slightly tongue in cheek cycling website)

After 6pm every trail is available to cyclists.
Before 6pm caution is to be advised.
Restraint is to be observed in sensitve areas eg. National Parks.
Restraint is not to be observed in areas that no one else ever uses eg. ugly countryside.
Skids are for kids.
If the trail has no classification but walkers have been seen on it then it’s fair game.
Mind the English daffodills and bluebells (only wreck the Spanish ones).
When encountering walkers behave like we are meant to do on bridleways ie. stop and yield trail unless they’re the landowner in which case you flee asap.
If you continue to encounter walkers reconsider the value of the said cheeky trail and when best to do it if at all.
The closer the cheeky trails are to civilisation the more acceptable it is to ride them.
The fewer the amount of bridleways an area has the more right we have to get cheeky with it.
Alarmingly garish clothing is to be discouraged.
Squealing brakes are not allowed.
Do not ride where and/or when your presence will be easily detected.
At no time should the cheeky percentage of your ride total more than 50%.
Do not hang around on the cheeky trails.
Do not race on cheeky trails, just enjoy the cheek instead.
Stop looking so guilty!
Ride with a confident smile knowing that what you are doing is not wrong.

If someone says “bikes are not allowed on here” reply with “yes, I know, silly isn’t it?”

As mentioned above, it's a civil offence, not a criminal matter. Technically, as you're not the landowner or an appointed representative of the landowner (like a gamekeeper, warden etc), it's actually none of your business.
I quite routinely ride footpaths and while I'll always yield trail, hold gates, be nice etc, anyone trying to tell me rights of way gets fairly short shrift.

pwa
Posts: 13259
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby pwa » 21 Jul 2020, 8:41am

rareposter wrote:A helpful guide to riding footpaths (taken from a slightly tongue in cheek cycling website)

After 6pm every trail is available to cyclists.
Before 6pm caution is to be advised.
Restraint is to be observed in sensitve areas eg. National Parks.
Restraint is not to be observed in areas that no one else ever uses eg. ugly countryside.
Skids are for kids.
If the trail has no classification but walkers have been seen on it then it’s fair game.
Mind the English daffodills and bluebells (only wreck the Spanish ones).
When encountering walkers behave like we are meant to do on bridleways ie. stop and yield trail unless they’re the landowner in which case you flee asap.
If you continue to encounter walkers reconsider the value of the said cheeky trail and when best to do it if at all.
The closer the cheeky trails are to civilisation the more acceptable it is to ride them.
The fewer the amount of bridleways an area has the more right we have to get cheeky with it.
Alarmingly garish clothing is to be discouraged.
Squealing brakes are not allowed.
Do not ride where and/or when your presence will be easily detected.
At no time should the cheeky percentage of your ride total more than 50%.
Do not hang around on the cheeky trails.
Do not race on cheeky trails, just enjoy the cheek instead.
Stop looking so guilty!
Ride with a confident smile knowing that what you are doing is not wrong.

If someone says “bikes are not allowed on here” reply with “yes, I know, silly isn’t it?”

As mentioned above, it's a civil offence, not a criminal matter. Technically, as you're not the landowner or an appointed representative of the landowner (like a gamekeeper, warden etc), it's actually none of your business.
I quite routinely ride footpaths and while I'll always yield trail, hold gates, be nice etc, anyone trying to tell me rights of way gets fairly short shrift.

Your legal status riding on anything not designated for cycling is the same as your status riding across your neighbour's garden. You have no right to do that, but if they allow it you can do it. My own experience when walking and meeting cyclists on country paths is that they almost never stop for me, they expect me to step to one side to allow them to keep riding, and that is annoying.

Jdsk
Posts: 3827
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Jdsk » 21 Jul 2020, 9:07am

thirdcrank wrote:Over the years I've devoted quite a bit of time to explaining my interpretation of this bit of the law. I've now realised I might just as well have gone and shouted down Queensbury Tunnel.

I wouldn't conclude that because of this thread... I'm sure that lots of people have listened and learned. It will be only a few who've argued from ignorance.

Jonathan

Barks
Posts: 296
Joined: 14 Oct 2016, 5:27pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Barks » 21 Jul 2020, 9:32am

I don’t mind cyclists on footpaths but I do expect common courtesy towards others which as a minimum includes slowing down (and on narrow paths stopping) and passing safely - the same applies to bridelepaths. And that courtesy extends to dogs be they on a lead or off it. In practice, rapid bell ringing and shouting are very common, particularly on down hill sections - but not always, many are very courteous which just shows the belligerent types in an even worse light.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3637
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 Jul 2020, 9:36am

Pete Owens wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:I agree. Our four-fold classification of non-highway rights of way: footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic -- is frequently not fit for purpose. It needs simplification and in many cases reclassification.

First off - all those things are examples of highways.
And the system has been fairly recently simplified - there used to be a lot more obscure categories.
We now have:
Rights of way for pedestrians.
Rights of way for the above + horses and cycles.
Rights of way for the above + non-motorised vehicles (this one was introduced because of abuse of inappropriate rights of way by 4x4 drivers)
Rights of way for the above + motors.
I'm not sure what simplification you would want to achieve.

Restricted byways are the oddest category to my mind. I'm sure some people do drive horse-drawn waggons down them but very rarely; I've certainly never seen it or seen any trace of it having happened. Essentially they're bridleways with an extra right that is virtually unused.

Simplification might be desirable because those differences are not entirely understood - as the existence of this thread demonstrates - and because those classifications are not always suitable. There are many footpaths where cycling or maybe even horse riding would be quite appropriate and bridleways where one or the other, or both, is not. There are lots of BOATs where IMO motor vehicles are out of place, and some bridleways where they might cause less damage. The TROs placed on some BOATs indicate that many LAs recognize this (eg seasonal restrictions on parts of the Ridgeway, m/cs only on parts of Fosse Way, etc). And the way those and many other paths change legal status as they cross from one jurisdiction to another is another indicator of the slightly arbitrary historical origins of these classifications.

Jdsk
Posts: 3827
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Jdsk » 21 Jul 2020, 9:39am

Barks wrote:I don’t mind cyclists on footpaths but I do expect common courtesy towards others which as a minimum includes slowing down (and on narrow paths stopping) and passing safely - the same applies to bridelepaths. And that courtesy extends to dogs be they on a lead or off it. In practice, rapid bell ringing and shouting are very common, particularly on down hill sections - but not always, many are very courteous which just shows the belligerent types in an even worse light.

Well said.

Jonathan

pedals2slowly
Posts: 222
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 7:50pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby pedals2slowly » 21 Jul 2020, 9:50am

Pete Owens wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:I agree. Our four-fold classification of non-highway rights of way: footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic -- is frequently not fit for purpose. It needs simplification and in many cases reclassification.

First off - all those things are examples of highways.
And the system has been fairly recently simplified - there used to be a lot more obscure categories.
We now have:
Rights of way for pedestrians.
Rights of way for the above + horses and cycles.
Rights of way for the above + non-motorised vehicles (this one was introduced because of abuse of inappropriate rights of way by 4x4 drivers)
Rights of way for the above + motors.
I'm not sure what simplification you would want to achieve.


I think you've demonstrated the point Bnblbzzz was making - what he heck is the difference between a bridleway and 'Rights of way for the above + non-motorised vehicles' ? There are also dozens of different categories from those you have shown above due to local bylaws and landowner rights.
Clarity would help but is an impossible task, with local authority civil servant heel dragging work ethic, Country Land and Business Association involvement, national and local politics, etc.

reohn2
Posts: 40129
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 21 Jul 2020, 9:55am

Jdsk wrote:
Barks wrote:I don’t mind cyclists on footpaths but I do expect common courtesy towards others which as a minimum includes slowing down (and on narrow paths stopping) and passing safely - the same applies to bridelepaths. And that courtesy extends to dogs be they on a lead or off it. In practice, rapid bell ringing and shouting are very common, particularly on down hill sections - but not always, many are very courteous which just shows the belligerent types in an even worse light.

Well said.

Jonathan

+1

The problem is,and this applies to motors,some people on wheels expect not to have to slow down or alter their pace when encountering pedestrians.It's a crass attitude by some cyclists which is a left over from their driving attitude.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Jdsk
Posts: 3827
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Jdsk » 21 Jul 2020, 10:11am

reohn2 wrote:It's a crass attitude by some cyclists which is a left over from their driving attitude.

How can you know that?

Isn't it a behavioural trait that might be expressed in a wide range of activities, including cycling, walking, driving and things that are nothing to do with transport at all?

Jonathan

reohn2
Posts: 40129
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 21 Jul 2020, 10:18am

Jdsk wrote:
reohn2 wrote:It's a crass attitude by some cyclists which is a left over from their driving attitude.

How can you know that?

Isn't it a behavioural trait that might be expressed in a wide range of activities, including cycling, walking, driving and things that are nothing to do with transport at all?

Jonathan

I don't know for sure but I do cycle on roads as much as I cycle off road and I'm met by a minority of morons who treat me in the same way when I'm riding

I've seen the same behaviour in some cyclists toward pedestrians,particularly on narrow towpaths.
Perhaps I'm wrong but it's a conclusion I draw from from the attitude I see.
-----------------------------------------------------------

slowster
Posts: 1719
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby slowster » 21 Jul 2020, 10:33am

The footpaths and bridleways largely have not changed over the last 30 years, but the off-road capability of bikes has increased enormously. That and the large sales of MTBs has hugely increased the number of people riding off-road. Very wide tyres and suspension have made tracks which were previously unrideable very attractive to a lot of MTBers, especially downhill. A significant number of those people not only want to exploit the ability of their bike to ride very quickly on rough terrain, they also do so without basic consideration for others they encounter.

francovendee
Posts: 1595
Joined: 5 May 2009, 6:32am

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby francovendee » 21 Jul 2020, 4:55pm

When we lived in the UK we'd cycle as a family on foot paths. The children were always told to pull over and stop when they met a pedestrian. We only ever had one old grouch who started on about us cycling on a foot path. After trying to explain why we prefered the safety of the path to the road and him getting angrier I told him to go and join the Foreign Office. The kids has cycled on by then :evil:
I'm sure the OP has reasons to complain about cyclists but it's possible for everyone on foot or cycle to share if you try and see it from the other's view and not want exclusivity.

hemo
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby hemo » 21 Jul 2020, 5:52pm

The odd cyclist will be the least of worries, soon it will be scroats on e - scooters.

Steve
Posts: 231
Joined: 2 Apr 2007, 1:42pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Steve » 21 Jul 2020, 6:49pm

I'm not too bothered about cycles on paths, but it really annoys me when people call them trails!

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3637
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 Jul 2020, 10:58pm

Steve wrote:I'm not too bothered about cycles on paths, but it really annoys me when people call them trails!

Time to go, gotta make tracks! :D