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?

NUFC69 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:34:39

I have a problem with this, too. I don't mind dogs, but I just wish the owners would call them to heel when I am approaching on my bike. I try very hard to be considerate of other users on the paths (and the paths I use tend to be multi-use) - l just wish it was reciprocated. My DSis was actually knocked off her bike by a boisterous dog, so I think I am right to be cautious.

I had this as well, the dog went totally mad and jumped up at me - his owners excuse was ...wait for it..." he doesn't like bikes"!!!!! WTF are you doing on a cycle path then - you arse!!!

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 20:43:25

NUFC69 That's shocking about your DS! I agree about being considerate on multi use paths. Then again, I use the cycle ones so I can just happily bimble about on my bike.

Justforlaughs, what a tit!

It's not even as though people don't know they are on the cycle path. The little diagrams of bikes and cycle trail signs usually give it away.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Sun 30-Jun-13 20:49:07

I am a careful dog owner who always recalls my dog when bikes approach.

But tell me this, do you have a bell on your bike and ring it when approaching dog walkers/pedestrians from behind? Because that happens quite a lot to me. Bikes do not generally make much noise so it's a surprise and danger when they don't warn me.

Oh and by the way, the last time I looked cycle paths weren't for the exclusive use of bikes.

Fortheloveofsocks yes I have a bell and yes I ring it when approaching from behind, and yes I get out of the way for everyone else, cars on the roads, pedestrians and other cyclists on footpaths etc, etc. No, cycle paths are not for the exclusive use of cyclists, but they should have priority, and neither are they for the use of idiotic dog walkers, or even walkers with young children or large groups of people who do not move for cyclists.

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 20:54:40

I've not got a problem with sensible dog walkers, just the ones who see people on bikes and think it's fine to let their dogs run towards them. Obviously cycle paths aren't just for cyclists, but I just think it seems silly to let dogs jump up at bikes or to let them run towards them.

Yes, I do use my bell. I don't want to be involved in a collision!

MrsBertMacklin Sun 30-Jun-13 20:58:13

I was just in the middle of posting, that I get on my bell at the first sign of a dog up ahead: 6/10 times it works, 2/10 times it works if there's no movement from the owner but I follow it up with a cheery bellow of 'bike coming through', but there are still owners who are in their own little world, unfortunately.

OP YANBU, but I think this applies to everyone who wonders into cycle paths, not just dog owners.

imademarion Sun 30-Jun-13 21:00:32

I love walking my dog on the path that cyclists also use. We have a sign at the entrance reminding users that it is to be shared and we must show each other courtesy.

In the six years I have been using it, the most fabulous displays of ignorance have come from cyclists who do not use their bells and who wobble off shrieking indignantly after shooting up silently from behind.

We dog walkers (who moonlight as cyclists with bells and a positive IQ) laugh at your blustering crossness and snigger if it looks like you might fall off.

Team Woof ftw.

MothershipG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:01:29

And I have a dog who is petrified of bikes because he was chased down a canal tow path, water on one side, thick bushes on the other, by a twat of a cyclist.

There are idiot dog owners, there are idiot cyclists and life would be much easier for all of us if there was a bit more mutual consideration.

MothershipG but do you take your dog for walks on cyclepaths?

LillethTheCat Sun 30-Jun-13 21:04:13

Was coming on here just to ask the same question Fortheloveofsocks has asked. Or more a request.

Please can all bike riders ring their bell when approaching a dog walker from behind.

I live in the country too and walk my dog down the country lane. Its not a cycle path, but just a normal country road. Yesterday when out walking a bike came from behind me. Now obviously I did not hear this and I hadn't looked round at that point (I usually do try to keep looking behind me to check) and the first I knew of this when my dog (who was on a lead) tried to chase said bike. The rider gave me a right dirty look as if I had no right to be there.

Anyway I agree with the OP in saying that dog walkers should be considerate to other people, but so should other people. Dogs should be called back whoever they run up to whether they are on a bike or not.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Sun 30-Jun-13 21:04:47

No, cyclists are not a priority. You have an equal right of way with pedestrians FFS.

So now dogs and children are not permitted?? How bloody ridiculous

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 21:05:08


If my dog is off lead I'll call her back to me and stop walking until the cyclist has gone by. I'm as much worried for their safety as I am for hers. I'd hate for her to run in front of a cyclist and them come off their bike trying to avoid her and hurt themselves/her.

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:05:38

I enjoy walking and cycling. I do assume that in areas with cycle paths, the idea is that it keeps paths clear of bikes for walkers, and the cyclists get their areas for cycling.

The funny thing is, that all the issues I've had with errant dogs have happened when I'm oncoming.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 21:06:47

Agree with the bell ringing though. Helpful for everybody.

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:09:18

Yes, people should always use their bell when approaching from behind.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:11:38

Our paths are multi use. I cycle on them and walk with the kids and dog on them. I always slow up behind groups of people and ring the bell, but plenty of people don't. Its quite scary when bikes speed up behind with no intention of stopping. Toddlers can't always get out of the way in time. I don't think one group has more rights than the other, it should be equal respect for other users of the path, walking or cycling. I always keep the dog on the lead though.

MothershipG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:12:55

Just Are there country cycle paths for the exclusive use of bikes? I've only seen mixed use ones but I stand ready to be corrected.

We avoid the tow path now, I always used to call my dogs to me to ensure they didn't get in the cyclists's way but I can't count the number of cyclists who seemed to think I have eyes in the back of my head, coming up behind us with no warning and not even saying thank you for getting out of the way.

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:15:54

MothershipG We have cycle paths round here. There is also an area that is meant to be for the use of bikes only. There is also an area that is meant to be just for walkers. There are also mixed paths. I think the idea is so that various outdoors enthusiasts get to enjoy their hiking or mountain biking unabated.

I have the opposite problem. We live along a canal path in the middle of town. It's very busy with dog walkers, children on the way to school and cyclists.

DD, the dog and I are walking there almost every day and it's an almost daily occurrence that DD, the dog and I are almost knocked over by someone on a bike going too fast.

DD is now petrified of bikes. Either that or they frighten the bejesus out of you by ringing their bell behind you and then whissing past.

Burmobasher Sun 30-Jun-13 21:21:03

Agree that dogs shouldn't run up to cyclists, i am a considerate dog owner who will call my dog over and pop them on their lead whilst waiting for bikes or walkers to pass.
Not so easy when said cyclists zoom up silently behind you, ring bell impatiently at the last minute expecting you to leap out of the way then shake their head disapprovingly when dog accidentally wanders near bike.
Must try harder to explain to my bewildered dog that cyclists are much higher up the pecking order than we lowly creatures who travel by foot and we should always defer to their right of way

MothershipG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:21:06

So are there signs up saying it bikes only? No walking? Maybe some visitors don't realise?

Although really that's beside the point, to reiterate what I said earlier, dog walkers shouldn't allow their dogs to be a hazard to cyclists and vice versa, consideration all round is what is needed, unfortunately what we have both experienced is that the world is full of numpties!

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:21:20

Wholetthedogin that sound just as bad. I think this is why some places have cycle paths. I've also been on the other end when someone speeds past you on a bike like that.

freddiefrog Sun 30-Jun-13 21:22:59

Yanbu, but our local cycle ways give me the rage.

All the cycle paths near me are for shared use, with big signs at the beginning and end, and in several places along the path that it is shared use, and everyone should treat each other with courtesy

There are always several cyclists who display extreme twattishness down the path, they think they have priority and we're all expected to jump out of their way. They don't. My wobbly, still learning to cycle confidently 7 year old, and dog have as much right to be on that path as they do

It would be lovely if they could use their bells to warn us of their presence, instead of mowing down anyone in their way.

Surely on a shared path, it would be sensible for some of these cyclists use their bells and to slow down when approaching pedestrians, wobbly kids on bikes, families walkin dogs, etc, rather than charging down it like a bat out of hell, hellbent on beating last weeks time, shouting and swearing at anyone else who dares to set foot on the path and get in their way.

Canidae Sun 30-Jun-13 21:23:19

My dogs are trained to sit by my side at when bikes or horses are passing by and will even do so if I haven't seen the bike but they have! But I don't have eyes in the back of my head so a bell ring from a suitable distance is helpful for everyone.

BerylStreep Sun 30-Jun-13 21:29:36

I must say that on our local Greenway, most dog owners are fabulous, they hold their dogs in whilst I pass, and I always say thank you to them as I go by. If I see a dog either not on a lead, or the owner hasn't seen / heard me, I slow right down so that no-one is likely to get injured. Obviously same applies to children!

cumfy Sun 30-Jun-13 21:30:22

But there aren't really any cycle-only paths are there ?

They are all cyclists and pedestrians.


bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:31:49

freddiefrog I know what you mean. I see a lot of families out with young children on their bikes. So, this means slowing down. In fact, it's just considerate to slow down when you pass pedestrians.

I'm not suggesting that cyclists have priority over everyone else. But, they kind of do on a cycle path.

RobinBedRest Sun 30-Jun-13 21:36:31

Paths named cycle paths indicates cyclists may use them in addition to walkers (who shock horror may bring their small children out to enjoy the countryside).

A footpath is only for walkers, so the 'higher' grading of cyclepath or bridleway idicates other uses, not the priority use.

No dogs shouldn't be out of control in any situation but YABU to think your use as a cycle take priority.

DownyEmerald Sun 30-Jun-13 21:38:23

We bought dd a bike the other weekend. First go on her new bike on the cycle track and some idiot with a dog that basically was running between his bike and any other bike passing, and jumping up to the riders. DD understandably shoved on her brakes and I nearly ran over her (her brakes a lot better than mine!).

Met them coming the other way after we'd turned round - exactly the same thing happened again.

It wasn't entirely clear who was in charge of the dog (due to it's free ranging habit) so DP possibly shouted at the wrong person!

RobinBedRest Sun 30-Jun-13 21:38:41

Oh and YABU to say their are other routes they could use, if it is a right of way, they have a right to use it.

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:40:48

I wouldn't want to walk along the cycle paths round here in the summer. It gets rammed with avid cyclers. I learned that when I first moved here and almost got mown down a couple of times.

MiaowTheCat Sun 30-Jun-13 22:03:14

Oh and btw... "OI GERROUTOFTHEWAY" doesn't constitute a suitable substitute for having a bell on your bike.

Have nearly been mown down several times on the local canal towpath walking along to be suddenly mown down by someone who thinks if they shove themselves in enough lycra they'll suddenly shed the beer gut and become Bradley Wiggins.

And if you're deciding you're going to plough along the pavements of the local high street, scattering pensioners, pushchairs and all and sundry in your wake - please, at least pull your trousers up, because doing so and leaving people with four inches of arsecrack smirking at you as you pull yourself out of the gutter is just adding insult to injury.

I hate selfish cyclists who think the world should scatter in their wake... somewhat like the OP seems to be really.

freddiefrog Sun 30-Jun-13 22:19:03

I'm not suggesting that cyclists have priority over everyone else. But, they kind of do on a cycle path.

Except, they kind of don't. A cyclepath is simply a path where cycling is permitted. They are shared. No one has priority.

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 30-Jun-13 22:25:37

we have had 2 incidents like this this weekend with cyclists on a shared pedestrian/cycle path going way too fast and having to shriek to a holt for my DC who were just walking along. Some cyclists seem to think they have the right of way, not that on a shared path we ought to beware of one another. If you want to whizz along, use the road

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 30-Jun-13 22:36:08

and the cyclists who was have encountered this weekend have been horribly aggressive. Shouting 'get out of the way' and similar. In fact on the way home we all agreed that all and any problems were prob to do with cyclists. Some think they are a higher breed, honestly

TinaSurrey Sun 30-Jun-13 22:38:29

My children like to cycle/scoot along the promenade at the seafront. Half is marked as a cycle lane. If my little one goes on her bike in that lane (wobbling & weaving about) she would be sent flying or cause an accident to the adults whizzing along at the speed of light. If she cycles on the pedestrian side she may weave slightly in front of a pedestrian. I never know which lane is correct for children!

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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.

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.

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

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

We all avoid your area QuintessentialOldDear. grin

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.

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

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.

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

QuintessentialOldDear.... Pleased to meet you.

Now do please toddle along.

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.

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 07:24:59

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.

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

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.

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 07:58:48
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?

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!

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.

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.

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 08:42:41

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

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