To think people walking their dogs on cycle paths should make sure they don't run up to bikes!

(63 Posts)
bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 20:28:24

I live in a part of the countryside that is quite popular with tourists. So, there are plenty of special cycling trails, walkers only and running trails.

I like to go out cycling on the designated cycling trails. When ever I go out on my bike, there is always that one dog walker who doesn't seem to care that they are on the cycle trail. They just let their dogs run towards bikes.

Don't they realise that this is a little bit dangerous and inconsiderate? It's dangerous for their dog as much as anything. There are loads of routes they could take if they want to let their dogs run about. Why do it on the cycle trails?

I almost went into someone's dog today. She didn't even call it back when she saw it running head on towards my bike. This isn't an anti dog gripe, just a gripe about clueless dog walkers on cycling trails.

AIBU to think people like this could just use the other trails?

bettycocker Mon 01-Jul-13 08:42:41

I'm totally shocked that someone would mow a puppy or child down on their bike! That's sociopathic behaviour.

SpanielFace Mon 01-Jul-13 08:41:13

Diddl, it was one of the most upsetting things I've seen. They had small children with them as well, who saw it happen. There are no licence plates on bikes either - it's a legal obligation to stop if you hit a dog in a car, and you can be fined if you don't, but there's no way of reporting a cyclist - how would you ever trace them?

As an aside, DH broke his leg as a toddler when he was hit by a cyclist (30 years ago now!). From what DMIL tells me of what he was like as a child, it's highly likely that he ran into the bike - but another good reason for cyclists to slow down on shared paths.

bettycocker Mon 01-Jul-13 08:34:47

What annoyed me yesterday was the fact that I slowed down as the dog was running towards me and I did think that the woman would call it back. Obviously, I stopped once I realised she was happy to let it run right up to me. The dog then stood right in front of my bike and started barking at me.

I do slow down when I see people with dogs and small children, or anyone else. I still think dog owners should call their dogs to heel when people are approaching on bikes, especially if the bike is heading towards them on an open path!

The worst time was when a deer ran across the path and the owner just let their dog tear off after the deer. I was on my bike and that could have ended badly for me and the dog! It probably wasn't very nice for the deer either.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 01-Jul-13 08:28:16

Sustrans do actually say (or used to) that on shared used paths dogs should be on leads.

I'm a cyclist and a dog walker. I've had a dog charge at me and knock me off my bike. I swore under my breath, not directed at the dog or the owner but just in shock. Another dog walker passing by shouted abuse at me for saying "bloody dog" and said he was sick of cyclists on the cycle path. hmm

I do have a bell and I do use it.

When I'm on the path walking I must admit I don't have my dog on the lead. However I will grab her and hold her as cyclists come by. But I can't do this if a cyclist comes up quietly behine me and the first I know of them is as they zoom past my shoulder.

diddl Mon 01-Jul-13 08:23:30

Jesus Spaniel, that's awful.

Over here many paths (pavements) are shared & it is often shown which part for bikes, which for pedestrians.

Doesn't mean that a pedestrian walking on the bike part can expect to be mown down FFS!

SpanielFace Mon 01-Jul-13 07:59:46

I'm a vet, and saw a young puppy (about 12 weeks) killed while being walked on a lead on a cycle path. The cyclist just mowed it down, swore at the owners, and carried on going. It broke its spine and two of its legs. sad

Yes, responsible ownership includes keeping your dog under control in public, especially around traffic of any sort. But some cyclists seem to be entitled and arrogant users of cycle paths, as well as the road. And this is said as someone who is married to a mountain bike fanatic!

Cycle paths, like bridleways, are for shared use, and cyclists should treat other users courteously & give way where needed, and be aware that dogs & children are unpredictable at times. Slowing down & making sure they've seen you is surely just common sense?

longjane Mon 01-Jul-13 07:58:48
Needtostopbuyingcrap Mon 01-Jul-13 07:55:28

Dogs should be kept on leads in a public place and that comes from a dog owner.
Most dog owners i know are so self entitled it's unreal.

longjane Mon 01-Jul-13 07:41:40

I do own a dog that hate bikes at our local park .Where cyclists like to take a short cut even if the place is heaving with dogs . The best cyclists there are the school kids as you see them every morning and you know who is coming .
I would like to remind cyclists that not every walker / dog owner/ dog can see that well. Or can hear.
As a cyclists you are using something that can kill so you you need use all senses to watch out for danger . On the road you watch out for cars and people crossing the road . On paths you have to watch for others.

Bournemouth prom has a speed limit for cyclists as people have been injured there.

Branleuse Mon 01-Jul-13 07:26:44

I generally call my dog when i see or hear cyclists, not because she runs up to them, but generally because she bumbles along the path without realising that they will go into her.
On the other hand, ive seen cyclists go screeching round the corners at great speed and knocking into children, dogs, runners etc several times over the years.
My pet hate is when they silently come up behind you without ringing a bell and then nearly go into one of the children who may move direction. We dont have rear view mirrors, and bikes are silent and fast, so this can be really scary.

Im in favour of cycling but I think its a shame that so many people ust get a bike and go,, without learning about safety and etiquette

MidniteScribbler Mon 01-Jul-13 07:24:59

I don't know the law in the UK bettycrocker. I only know the law in Australia, and pedestrians have right of way on a shared use path.

bettycocker Mon 01-Jul-13 07:20:07

I must admit that I actually thought the cyclists had right of way on cycle paths. I feel a bit foolish now. blush

MidniteScribbler Mon 01-Jul-13 07:07:37

bettycocker, ringing your bell is fine and a polite "excuse me", and I have no problem moving aside. It's the ones that ring, ring, ring then bellow "coming through!" that bring out my passive aggressive side.

Labradorwhisperer Mon 01-Jul-13 07:01:55

QuintessentialOldDear.... Pleased to meet you.

Now do please toddle along.

bettycocker Mon 01-Jul-13 07:00:51

I know what you mean about feeling as though ringing your bell is aggressive, but I just want people to know there's a bike coming.

MidniteScribbler Mon 01-Jul-13 04:24:41

Out here, pedestrians have right of way on a shared use track. That doesn't seem to stop the cyclists thinking that ringing their little bell and a "coming through" means that everyone should dive out of their way. I take great pleasure in walking right down the middle with my five dogs in front of any entitled cyclists smile

I have encountered walkers on bike only trails at a trail centre (Coed Llandegla) and at Cannock Chase. On one occasion they were on the boardwalk and kicked up fuss about mountain bikers using the er... bike trail which is clearly marked as a bike trail and not for walking.
We live next to a canal that attracts a lot of cyclists as well as walkers plus locals with kids and/or dogs. Never seen or had any problems when riding on it or when walking the world's stupidest spaniel. But then I also don't go out assuming all cyclists/runners/dog walkers are out to annoy me or are all rude and inconsiderate.

ChasingDogs Mon 01-Jul-13 00:40:53

We all avoid your area QuintessentialOldDear. grin

I have yet to meet a considerate dog owner.....

Lorialet Mon 01-Jul-13 00:17:01

I walk my dog on a local cycle path. It's a public path maintained by the council (to whom I pay an extortionate amount of council tax so I have every right to use it too). My dog always heels if we see a bike coming, but, there are always one or two cyclists who come speeding up behind us without ringing their bells, or come whizzing round corners with no regard for anyone (human or canine) coming the other way. Just because they;re called "cycle trails", it doesn't mean cyclists own them. YABU.

ChasingDogs Sun 30-Jun-13 23:54:40

As for ringing bells, I think it wise. It does annoy me a little when somebody rings their bell 3 microseconds before whizzing past my head, as that rather defeats the point of the bell. But in general I'm all thanks, particularly if on horseback. I've no preference between the ringing of a bell and "coming through!" but then all the wine over the years has chilled me a bit. I'm not all that paranoid about bell ringing cyclists demanding I remove myself from their paths with the power of their bell grin

Extendable leads are the work of the devil in all contexts and should be banned forthwith. I have spoken.

ChasingDogs Sun 30-Jun-13 23:47:06

YANBU as it is common sense to call your dog to you when a bike is approaching (unless it is approaching at speed, and in calling your dog you are likely to call it straight into the path of said bike). And obviously dogs should not be allowed to jump up at cyclists.

To be fair though, I have the opposite problem here. The paths are very narrow (you couldn't walk two abreast), visibility is rubbish due to the trees/overgrowth and getting out of the way of cyclists is almost impossible as the woods we walk on are on the side of a very steep hill. The footpaths are little more than muddy trails running along the hills with the odd set of very, very steep steps to get from the top to the bottom (I like heights but they make even me dizzy!).

Sadly this seems to attract weekend mountain bikers rather than deter them sad Over the summer you can expect to be confronted with a 25mph bike on these narrow paths at least once per walk, and these aren't cycle paths either. Lots of course are as careful as they can be, and will try to avoid you (not easy on a winding path with no visibility ahead!) but there are still those that will scream abuse because you're in the way/have caused them to have to slam on the breaks. How can you avoid that though on such paths? It's like doing 70 down a country lane and then getting pissed that there's a tractor around the next blind bend.

I drive/walk/hike/ride horses in the countryside and have come to the conclusion over the years that the only thing that makes it pleasant is common courtesy and mutual respect. Sadly though this seems to be vanishing and a sense of entitlement from all parties is taking over.

FionaJT Sun 30-Jun-13 22:56:46

I also often get people tutting, or even shouting at me if I ring the bell as I'm coming up behind them, but I still do it because it's safer. I use a cycle path that has a big white line down the middle, with one side marked for bikes and the other for pedestrians, and my particular bugbear are the dog walkers who stay on the pedestrian side and let their dog wander right across the other lane on its extendable lead. (Irresponsible use of extendable leads is a whole other story, though!)

BerylStreep Sun 30-Jun-13 22:43:10

Mushy - I agree - using the bell seems so aggressive and entitled (but I know it makes sense). Quite often I click my shoes out of the cleats and put them back in, and that alerts people to the fact I am there, or I just say, 'excuse me, coming up on your right', but then I'm not usually going particularly fast.

givemushypeasachance Sun 30-Jun-13 22:39:08

As someone who commutes by bike and walking on a shared-use cycle/footpath, I'll just chip in my two cents that whenever I mention cycling at work several colleagues will inevitably complain about the last cyclist who was behaving irresponsibly and nearly knocked them down by passing without warning and the last cyclist who 'dinged' at them with a bell. A lot of people who don't cycle seem to think that ringing your bell is a 'get out of my way' message rather than a 'excuse me I'm alerting you to my presence' message, so it really is impossible to please everyone when on a shared path.

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