The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?

Mar 15, 2021 at 13:57
by Mike Kazimer  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

After revealing our most embarrassing mountain biking mishaps in last week's episode, this time we decided to dive into basic trail etiquette. Traditionally, downhill riders have been told that the uphill rider has the right of way. After all, the descender has gravity on their side, and it can be tricky to regain that uphill momentum if you're forced to pull over.

But is that the way it should be? I think so, and so does Sarah Moore, but Brian Park and James Smurthwaite presented their cases to the contrary, arguing that the climber should be the one that yields, since they have more advance warning that someone is approaching. Give this episode a listen and let us know who you think won the debate in the comments below.




THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 53 - SHOULD CLIMBERS STILL HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY?
March 17th, 2021

Asking the important questions.


Hosted by Mike Levy (usually) and featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.



Presented by Michelin Bicycle Tires

This week's Pinkbike Podcast is presented by Michelin Bicycle Tires. Michelin, the French tire brand, has made a successful return to the competition scene over the last few years, with pro teams MS Mondraker and Team Chain Reaction Cycles. The brand relies on its racing experience to develop new tires and is excited to announce the launch of the Michelin Force and Wild All Mountain 2 tires.

Head to motorcycle.michelinman.com/bicycle/mtb for more information







Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments


210 Comments

  • 184 8
 Currently where I ride, everyone does what is appropriate for that section of the trail. Uphill or downhill, if the guy just plodding along sees someone in the flow, they move off the trail so they don’t kill the flow. Whether that flow is a good uphill section or a fun downhill. Feel the vibe of the room and go with it.

I can see how someone on an eBike wouldn’t be able to read the room.
  • 42 22
 It’s not about the bike, as someone once said. There may be a disproportionate number of uninformed trail users on ebikes but they’re still a super minority where I ride and I’ve never had a problem with one. More often than not it’s the spandex-clad XC guys chasing a PR that pose the biggest problem and are often rude and inconsiderate of others.
  • 36 2
 It's a perpetual game of chicken. Winner gets right of way.
  • 17 15
 @gnarlysipes: I find it's the opposite... It's usually the young punks dressed like motocross riders and riding enduro and DH bikes that are the rude and inconsiderate ones... The XC riders are usually older and more reponsible.
  • 5 2
 The trails I ride are densely covered with brush and lots of blind corners and directional trails are almost as rare mtb trails in MD. I also ride pisgah and sc low country trails and on the east coast these trails have limited view as well. It’s much safer for the climber let downhill rider have right of way. On rowdy trails you can easily hear the suspension pumping and tires pounding! It’s time to change the rule, here’s why- E Bikes! This is gonna make it impossible for the downhill rider to yield to a fast climbing E biker. Please set up a poll and let’s get this fixed now because more e bikes will be blasting uphill with ease, make em yield
  • 9 8
 people on ebikes are just like people on mtbs. this made up theory that all ebikers are just lazy assholes just trying to ruin your day doesn't pan out in reality.
  • 5 0
 @BlueClaw: are ebikes really that fast on climbs? I am not a fast climber - easily slowest 15% - if I switched to an ebike would I be faster then all the non power assisted riders? Or am I still going to be slower then 50% of riders on the ups?
  • 11 1
 @onemind123: you’ll be faster than anyone without an eBike.
  • 5 0
 @billreilly: This shows how different each locale is. It’s good to bring this question up because riding culture is quite different from area to area. Where I ride, it’s usually groups of 3+ and XC riders (often the same) who are the rudest trail users. In the area I ride the most, we have 5 or 6 downhill-only trails so that keeps most of the speed nuts (including myself) off in their own areas. But there’s invariable the arse who wants to try for a PR on a multi-use, multi-directional, low visibility trail during peak times.
  • 1 0
 @Jvisscher: Not necessarily. Maybe depends where you ride. We’ve got a lot of high school teams in the area and a few semi-pro and pro riders that have all the KOMs. I’m usually 50th percentile on climbs when I’m in decent shape and the one time I rented an ebike I was about as fast as the 98/99th percentile. Granted, I wasn’t necessarily pushing my hardest and I don’t think any of those speed demons were out riding the trail with me that day. So I was still faster than everyone without an ebike.
  • 1 0
 I tend to follow the same theme. Depends on the section of trail and reading the rider coming the other way. However, I tend tend to think is the is the one area of mountain bikes that truly needs standards. I don't care what your hub or crank spacing is. I do want to know what to expect on the trail. There's so many new riders out there that I think it's important to have a unity of message. It will ultimately help the newbies learn the right of way on the trail, which I feel is being responsible and considerate of other trail users and not focused on maintaining your "flow state".
  • 5 1
 @krisrayner: We have some basic “standards” where I live. Downhill riders yield to uphill and riders yield to hikers and horses. Those are the basics. There are a few nuances with up and down, no-directional trails, for example—there’s not always a clearly prominent direction for large sections of trail but 95% of the time everyone is courteous.
  • 3 0
 Skiing protocol: uphill must yield or miss skiers below.
Biking was always the opposite...at least in the 70s.
  • 3 0
 @billreilly:

Spot on!

That happens too often here at Greece. Spoiled brats who cannot climb the trail, getting rude when crossing way with someone (almost always older) who can...
  • 133 0
 Right of way for bikes is the the same as skiing/boarding and any other gravity sport: you are responsible for not running into anything below you (barring extremes like idiots standing on landings).

On a multi-use, bidirectional trail you NEVER will know what’s around the next corner with certainty. There could be a child, an older person, a hiker, a horse, a deer, someone who crashed and is hurt, a climber, a natural hazard, etc etc. Ride fast but ride in control and be ready to stop at all times.

Yes, directional, mountain-bike only trails would solve this problem. Unfortunately, space is not unlimited and the general public likes to go hiking and walking in the woods too, and they’re no less entitled to use multi-use trails than bikers are.
  • 56 0
 In my opinion, directional trails work well. Ridden a few and it does reduce conflict.
  • 18 104
flag pakleni (Mar 18, 2021 at 7:15) (Below Threshold)
 @tacklingdummy: You know what else reduces the conflict? Moving outside USofA
  • 91 1
 @pakleni: says the guy who is trying to create conflict out of absolutely nothing
  • 12 0
 @pakleni:
You don’t ever encounter uphill riders where you live?
  • 9 1
 @pakleni: lolwut
  • 9 0
 @tacklingdummy: it makes things interesting when people don't follow the directions of the directional trails
  • 5 20
flag pakleni (Mar 18, 2021 at 7:30) (Below Threshold)
 @gafoto: I do. Hikers even more. But we don have any rules about that. You just slow down if needed, give space, be nice, say "Grüezi!" and move on. More or less like @Jvisscher said in the first comment.
No need to discuss over it
  • 9 0
 @pakleni: you just stated the rule.
  • 5 0
 @pakleni: a fairly provocative comment there. Bit out of the neutralian 'no strong feelings one way or the other for beyond living memory' kind of identity there.
Tell my wife, hello. ????
  • 6 0
 @pakleni: So, the US is the only country with trail conflict. Good to know. LOL.
  • 4 0
 @newbermuda: Lol, but it would be rare. At Demo in Santa Cruz, the trails are not designated directional, but everyone goes in exact same direction on all the trails. Even when it is super crowded, you rarely see other riders. Directional signs and ratings would be ideal though. Not all trails can be directional though, just because they are up and back.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy:
This might be a land management issue as well. It’s common for trails to be “two way multi-use” but built and maintained by bike organizations. The land managers look the other way when the construction bends heavily towards a directional bike trail. Common with USFS trails.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: true, not all trails can be directional. but, imagine if you were going down the flow trail at demo, and some guy was climbing up? its very comical to imagine and i actually laughed about it. i've had a few experiences where ive nearly run into people climbing up a trail that is not designated as directional, but it is well understood that it is a descending trail. i think if a trail is established as a descending trail, it should be treated as such and climbers should beware.
  • 2 0
 @gafoto: At Demo in Santa Cruz, the trails that riders go downhill are not really rideable uphill, that is why everyone goes the same direction. Climb the fire roads and descend on the singletrack.

Maybe that is the key to solve the problem of trail conflict, make trails impossible to climb so people only can go one direction. Haha.
  • 8 0
 @tacklingdummy: Eh, you could climb Flow Trail but it would suck a whole lot. One mans downhill trail is another 56-year-old-man-with-an-XC-bike-and-a-lefty-forks climbing trail. It's almost a rule.
  • 2 0
 @gafoto: I'm not a fan of flow trail. Braille, Sawpit, and Ridge for me. Sulphur Springs climb.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy:
I enjoyed Braille quite a bit when I biked there back in November. Did the full loop up the road to the east and then down Braille and that was way longer than it looked on the map.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy:
This is a good thought; does Trailforks suggest a direction or route for a given park? Generally there's a loosely agreed "best loop" for a given system. Maybe a suggested route for new visitors might help keep everyone going the best way.
  • 71 4
 Yes!!!!........ If I am climbing, No if i am going downhill.
  • 7 0
 As long as you shreik "STRAVA" at the top of your lungs people will give you right of way in any direction.
  • 48 10
 I don't have time to listen to this so sorry if this has been addressed- What about e bike vs normal/regular/acoustic/awesome bike climbing etiquette? For example, if I'm climbing single track and an e bike is behind me wanting to pass, what is the protocol? I'm of the mind that I'm not gonna pull over, especially if it's a difficult section, since it's hard to get going again. I think they should bide their time and wait until the trail widens or at least, politely ask to pass. I've been buzzed and even dethroned on a climb by a person on an e bike without so much as a warning. I get mad when this happens. With the rise of e bikes, this scenario is becoming more and more frequent.
  • 52 1
 Whoever wants to pass, has to find a way. You cant obstruct him/her, of course, or you'd get penalized. I speak from a place of authority on this, given the fact that I went to Bike Law School for two years, but then I dropped out.
  • 17 43
flag chriskneeland (Mar 18, 2021 at 6:10) (Below Threshold)
 If this ever happens to me, I can guarantee they're ending up on the ground.
  • 37 2
 I don't think this needs to be e-bike vs non-e-bike, I think it could be simplified to faster vs slower. If someone is behind you a climb etiquette dictates they sit back and wait until there is space to pass, or the person in front chooses to pull over. That's my take on it anyway. For sure in many more cases these days e-bike vs non-e-bike is more likely, but the same point is still valid for just reducing it to faster and slower.
  • 38 4
 I let ebikes pass when it's convenient, never before. I let a fast rider on a bike pass when they catch up to me, unless I'm mid obstacle and then it's just a short wait.
  • 35 0
 E-bikes should ask for permission to pass just like a stronger climber would ask to pass a newbie. If it’s a double track climb then they should at least give you an “on your right/left” before they speed up to pass.
  • 36 24
 @codfather1234: Ya, this needs to be an e-bike vs non e-bike differentiation. If someone on a real mountain bike is climbing behind me, and can take a line past me that I can't clean, all the power to them. But if you're on an e-bike, you can sit your ass back and chill with your handicap assistance device.
  • 24 1
 I've had the situation arise where an inexperienced rider was on an ebike. We were riding flowy single track that gains and loses elevation pretty frequently. He'd catch up to me on the climbs, but block me on the descents. It was a very frustrating experience, and it kinda ruined my ride, or at least my enjoyment of that segment. I suppose I could have taken a break to let him get away, but I was on a 'lunch loops' type ride and didn't have time for that. I eventually buried myself staying ahead of him on the climbs, but that wasn't the purpose of my ride... so yeah, I think there should be some sort of basic étiquette specifically for ebike riders: if you're blocking other riders on the downs don't pass them again on the climbs.
  • 8 0
 I give e-bikes the right of way when safe to do so because they can climb faster than me. The other week when I was riding, an e-bike rider and I arrived at the start of a singletrack climb at the same time. He told me to go on ahead, and I was like, bro you're on an e-bike. That being said, it's nice that an e-bike rider has courtesy even though he probably knew I wasn't going to go ahead of him.
  • 7 7
 @Almazing: That guy was just dumb. Polite, but dumb. I'd insist that a decrepit grampa start the climb before me if he had an ebike.
  • 26 26
 If someone is climbing faster than you are, you let them pass at the first possible opportunity. It doesn't matter what type of bike they're on. If you treat them differently just because they're on an ebike, you're being a dick.
  • 35 14
 @Explodo: If you're on an ebike and using your throttle to crowd and pass someone doing the real thing you're a dick.
  • 10 17
flag youseeus (Mar 18, 2021 at 8:27) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: haha take er easy, tough guy.
We got a baad auss in here.
  • 9 27
flag steveczech (Mar 18, 2021 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: Throttle? What are you talking about, dude--there's no throttle. Admit it, you're uninformed and biased. You can crowd someone regardless of bike type.
  • 19 11
 @steveczech: I guess if you put a throttle in the cranks, morons will think it doesn't exist.
  • 13 10
 @chriskneeland: Does your electric toothbrush have a throttle? Or, are you too much of a purist and just stick to your analog toothbrush (because e-toothbrushes are cheating when it comes to oral health)?
  • 20 7
 @steveczech: By your logic, I guess an electric car doesn't have a throttle either? Or an electric dirt bike?

Throttle: device controlling the flow of power to a motor

When you pedal an ebike, you're not pedaling the bike, you're pedaling a throttle.
  • 12 3
 @steveczech: And now that you mention it, my electric toothbrush does have a throttle.
  • 4 9
flag steveczech (Mar 18, 2021 at 14:42) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: I can't believe I'm still responding to such a dumb debate...yet here I go.

Yes, an electric car and dirt bike both have a throttle. Have you ever ridden an e-bike? It's not at all like a car gas pedal or a dirt bike throttle. You still have to consistently exert power on an e-bike. There's an algorithm in an e-bike's computer that basically makes it that if you don't exert energy, the motor won't either. I basically responds to how much effort you put in. Is it like pedaling a normal bike? No. But it sure as hell isn't the same as a dirt bike throttle.

I ride regular bikes (most of the time), e-bikes (to self-shuttle DH runs), and dirt bikes (because they're rad); and in no way would I classify an e-bike as being the same as a dirt bike.
  • 7 0
 When I come up on a rider when on my e bike, I will always let them know I’m behind or just chill till they notice me and then let them know I’ll get by whenever the decide it’s safe and good for them! Now if I’m polite and the person is being a dick and won’t let me by because they hate e bikes I will let them know I’m gonna pass and put it in turbo and be on my way Smile
  • 4 3
 @steveczech: But...still a throttle.
  • 1 0
 @slyfink: happened too often to me, so frustrating.
  • 1 5
flag AsherJacoby (Mar 18, 2021 at 16:30) (Below Threshold)
 @steveczech: So if you can afford an e-bike, and a dirt bike you probably own a yeti, right?
  • 4 4
 @AsherJacoby: It's called having a job, Asherrrr. You'll figure it out once you stop relying on an allowance from mom and Brad.
  • 1 0
 I wait till I get to a flat enough spot, pull over and let them pass. Same thing that is decent to do when descending... if someone were to buzz up behind me fast, I'll move over for him.. dont muck up someone elses faster flow.
  • 2 2
 Never yield to the ebike!
  • 1 1
 @motdrawde: to be fair.. i only have the descending rule so i can expect others to get out of my way.. I can count on one hand over the last decade that I've had to let someone past.
  • 37 5
 For better or worse, when on multi-use trails we as bikers need to yield...to everyone...no matter the direction IMO. Its just common courtesy and gives bikers a better name. I've started riding with a Timber Bell on multi-use trails - yea yea, I know - I can't tell you how many hikers thank me for having that bell on. Every single ride someone thanks me for it...and its really nice, they hear you coming and usually get out of your way and let you pass without having to stop.
  • 11 1
 We've got a lot of mtb specific trails here that people will get out and walk on which is fine as long as its not a dh only trail.. On flat or uphill sections I'll pull over for those folks every time as approach speed isn't super high. When I'm headed down those folks step out of the way for me every time as approach speed is a lot higher for the bike. It just seems to make the most sense for all involved this way. Everybody is considerate this way and honestly bikes aren't like a second rate trail user who always has to move for everyone else. Just situation dependent.
  • 10 0
 Same experience. And emotions are contagious. It's nice to see how happy and thankful hikers can be when they heard you coming, and realized you went out of your way (by putting a bell on your bike) to try and make them safer. It makes everyone feel good.
  • 12 1
 I use a Timber bell on crowded trails. It may annoy people, but holy crap is it effective. Most hikers and riders get the f* out of your way when they hear the Timber bell.
  • 6 0
 @dthomp325: Bell is the move on any multi-use trail IMO. Its better for you as a rider, people hear you and get out of the way which is nice not only cause you don't have to stop but safer in case they are around a blind corner.
  • 2 9
flag fullendurbro (Mar 18, 2021 at 10:56) (Below Threshold)
 Judging from your username you live in Montana? I'm guessing your opinion would be different if you lived in a state with more than 14 people. You probably have to yield what, like once a month? I've had 4 mile downhills where you can get more than 20 seconds of uninterrupted riding.
  • 9 0
 @fullendurbro: Sounds like you need a Timber Bell my friend! I'll look past your 'insult' and simply say...every joey knows that to ride in the front range without huge crowds you gotta get out early in the morning...move to MT...it will make it 15 people total...and you can peel off the Colorado Native sticker for a MT Native one 3
  • 1 4
 @MikeyMT: What insult are you referring to? I wasn't aware I made an insult?
  • 2 0
 I also use a Timber Bell and have mostly the same experience, however, there are some people that seem to delight in ignoring it. Came around a blind corner last summer, bell banging like crazy, stopped right in front of a hiker who proceeded to shove me off my bike, literally stomping his feet like a toddler, and screamed at me, for a few minutes that he has the right of way. So, your mileage may vary haha
  • 32 1
 If you can't stop safely for a rider who is climbing, you're not going to be able to stop for a hiker, or wildlife.
  • 3 1
 Was it Montana(?) a couple years back that a guy came around a blind corner and T-boned a grizzly? Bear chomped his head and ran away, cost the rider his life. Incredibly rare, but these sorts of things do happen. When you don't have clear line of sight, it's always best to exercise caution, you make a very good point.
  • 1 0
 @mikealive: yep and it killed him.
  • 29 1
 Hasn't been mentioned, but Fuck Horses. Even if I am running, aka the most basic, accessible form of locomotion, they demand that I follow their rules whether I am going uphill or downhill. Not to mention they destroy the trails and leave their shit everywhere.
  • 1 0
 Save a horse, ride an ebike.
  • 20 0
 I don't mind yielding to uphill riders, its the hikers that can take one step left or right and don't that bother me. Or people with headphones in that can't hear anything...
  • 18 0
 Ride trails that are too steep for someone to climb up if you don't want to yield during your downhill run.
  • 13 0
 If Im climbing and its easy enough to pull over and give way to the downhill rider, I usually do that. However if Im navigating a challenging uphill section, I keep going. Last year I was forced off the trail as I rode up by two a-holes waiting, not even riding, at the top of the downhill portion. They told me I was going the wrong way on a trail that I helped build. Etiquette in sport seems to have gone by the wayside, and the more popular a riding/skiing area, the less of it there is. I guess it could be just a numbers game, but regardless, Ive observed having ridden trails in 20+ states, that there are certain riding areas that have a higher percentage of entitled folks riding.
  • 16 3
 Have we still not come to the conclusion that all yielding is situational? I move over for a DHer if I see them having a blast and don't want to ruin their flow, but if I'm grunting up a climb I also just don't want to move over. It's all situational and putting defined ideas into place is silly
  • 6 1
 If only common sense were common.

The problem with any of these arguments is that the general "rule" is that downhill rider yields to the uphill rider. In some places (like here in Boulder, CO) its a trail rule mandated by the trail owner. There are signs that convey this. So even if you have 9 riders displaying common sense, pulling over letting a DH rider go down because the climber can easily stop/restart there will be the 1 time the climber doesn't stop because it's their "right" then you have a collision.
  • 15 3
 “Should” doesn’t really matter anymore. The safest choice is almost always the choice the other person expects. Climbers having right of way is the established default. Trying to change that would just lead to less predictable behavior from other riders. Had it been established that descending riders have the right of way, that would have been fine too. But it wasn’t...
  • 5 6
 Safe is very arguable when expecting someone going a lot faster to always be the one to stop. Many areas have kind of went over to the decent preference when on mtb trails. That being said anyone descending doesn't have the right to run someone over whether they are moving out of the way or not.
  • 12 0
 I'm surprised so many conflicts occur. I know I'm supposed to yield to hikers and I am willing to do so. However, they almost always step off the trial. Their being nice and recognizing it is easier for them than me. My fellow mountain bikers are (almost always) very polite and considerate. Horseback riders......, well if you can't say something nice....
  • 13 2
 Kaz and Sarah are right. The problem with Brian's position on this is that it is inherently more dangerous of a precedent. If riding on an open, two way trail the downhill rider should be riding within their ability to stop if there is a person around a blind corner. It is absolutely NOT safer for the downhill rider to have right-of-way. Also, Brian said that all mountain bikers should yield to other trail users, so if the downhill riders need to expect to yield to a hiker or equestrian, they should also expect to yield to climbing riders. Really we need to encourage our community to ride more responsibly on multi-use bi-directional trails. This is an issue that is on us as a community as we aren't holding the new riders to the existing rules. Ultimately, we should work to build single-direction trails. They are safer, more fun, and better. I do feel like the new part of this is e-bikes climbing... I feel like there is an argument that e-bikes don't have right-of-way anywhere. They are climbing much faster than most people can normally ride. I often find riders climbing the common descent trails because they can.
  • 15 5
 Climbers should have right of way by default on multi-use, multi-direction trails because it’s the safest option. Bad things happen when dh riders expect people to get out of their way and they don’t for whatever reason. That said, try to be courteous, I voluntarily pull over for dh riders all the time when I’m just out cruising. No reason to ruin someone’s flow if it can be avoided. The best solution is direction trails so we don’t have to worry about it.
  • 15 2
 uphill rider should have right of way. The downhill rider should be looking far ahead for their own safety.
  • 11 0
 Always agreed with the original rules, Up hill riders have the right of way. New rules should include that E-bikes yield to everyone.
  • 13 5
 I don't think it's reasonable to expect the downhill rider to stop every time, because of the physics involved with stopping momentum from higher speed on a downhill slope. It almost invariably results in at least some brake lock-up, which causes trail erosion, and is vastly less safe for the downhill rider and potentially the uphill rider/hiker, because emergency braking reduces control. I know I've crashed at least once or twice trying to stop for hikers/uphill riders. That said, on multi-use, multi-directional trails, I don't ride 10 tenths in either direction, because I feel I need to leave some margin for error. Those trails often have more blind corners and elevation changes up and down. You just never really know what could be around the next bend or over the next rise. I save my highest effort and speeds for downhill-only, bikes-only trails (basically bike park trails). In my experience on multi-use trails, hikers almost always just step to the side for me before I can stop, which I feel is pretty reasonable, given that it's harder for me to stop than for them. There are times and situations where I will stop, but I always have to wave the hikers through, because they expect me to have right-of-way for some reason. If I'm climbing on a singletrack trail, I yield to downhill riders so as to not interrupt their flow. I don't mind taking a break for a few seconds to let someone pass. And that saves everyone time: The downhill rider, going faster, passes by quickly, whereas the if the downhill rider stops, the time spent waiting on the climber is significantly longer. I think the old IMBA-style right-of-way etiquette probably worked when mountain biking was a relatively new sport, and hikers thought all of the trails were theirs primarily, and we needed to sort of bow to them so as to not lose access to trails. These days, I think most of the trail building is being done for and by mountain bikers, and (controversially, I know) the trails are tending to be wider and more open and flowing, with better sight lines. This, combined with the increased speeds that mountain bikers can easily achieve (especially on those wider, more open trails), has changed the formula for that etiquette.
  • 8 0
 Rules like right of way make things more predictable, but only to the extent that they are followed, and this one has never been even close to universal -- so how effective is it really? How many of us have been at a 4-way stop sign and still had to make eye contact and wave to one or more drivers to get everyone into an order?

The skill that riders would really benefit from is getting out of their own heads and being willing to communicate. Saying hey, how are y'all or good morning when you're far enough back that whatever other trail user has time to hear you, see you, think, and respond. Instead of shouting 'on your left' and blazing by full of the sense that you have some right of way, you can say 'may I pass you?' or if the section is tricky or tight, 'can I pass when you're ready?'
  • 11 0
 If you're descending and aren't capable of stopping safely you're going too fast for your skill level
  • 11 4
 I think Climbers by default should have the right of way just for the simple fact that it's harder to get going again going up than down. That being said this only applies on trails where climbing is allowed also it should be up to the climber if they want to give the right of way to the descender, I know personally if I'm ripping down I'd like to not stop and that's why when climbing I'll move over for the descenders that's my take
  • 7 0
 Downhill should yield to the uphill rider on a bi-direction trail.

My thoughts:

Climbing is a grind, finding the right cadence and working in a zone is an art and an achievement alone. Having to stop screws that up.

It’s not really feasible to see or hear a downhill rider coming towards you, especially when you are working a climb and there are corners

And my final point, what kind of bi-directional trail is really a DH epic where it would be impossible to stop or yield for uphill traffic?

Directional trails are the best. Clears that problem up completely. Typically where I ride the bi-directional trails are used for transportation from one area to another.
  • 14 8
 Total time on trail is longer for the climber than the downhiller. So the Climber would in theory come into contact with more riders causing them to stop and yield more often. I still think that the climber should yield in most situations as they said on the podcast for safety reasons.
  • 6 0
 I enjoy the feeling of having had a great workout after a long climb. But that being said I don’t enjoy climbing enough to be bothered when having to stop and yield to downhill riders.
  • 14 8
 Easier for a uphill rider to pause, move over, or avoid. If encounter happens at a tech section, I will always try to yield to a rider trying to clean a section. Buy a bell everyone. It is the easiest solution to so many problems
  • 6 1
 It's much easier for a dh rider to stop and then get going again, as they have gravity on their side... Uphill there's always a chance that once you stop it's impossible to get going again, so now you have to walk the rest of the climb. The rule was made this way for a purpose!
  • 28 20
 If I'm climbing I'm getting out of the way. Don't fuck up someone's downhill flow.
  • 8 9
 Amen to that
  • 8 0
 Righton! I do the same all the time and it is appreciated! While some are not fans of ripping down a steep jaggedrock section, they will pull over and give me the wave, but i always offer them the DH first.
  • 9 2
 Same here. Everyone around here will pull over to let the dh traffic by pretty much every time.
  • 14 8
 Yes. No reason to change the longstanding etiquette rules just to suit the higher speeds contemporary bikes allow noobs to travel.
  • 9 1
 Pick a direction and be a dick about it
  • 5 1
 My pet peeve is the rider who sees that you've already stopped and moved aside for them, but then they stop and insist that you ride through. WTF is the point of BOTH of us stopping?? F'ing passive-aggressive control bullsh^%.
  • 4 0
 Ebikes should have designated trails and stay off of those trails dominated by regular bikes and pedestrians. They're motorized and that keeps it simple. Directional trails are good for safety in certain situations. The uphill rider always gets right if way because that's how it is everywhere the world over and to change it would be like moving the drivers seat to the RR side of the car for a lot of people. The downhill rider should expect oncoming traffic while riding open trails and never be "surprised".
  • 5 2
 At least for me, not exactly, I normally will get out of the way when the climb is not too difficult during the section. I mean it is always a good excuse to take a break right? On the other hand, it kind of suck when you are going downhill and have to stop all of the sudden, I have seen many many crashes for downhillers trying to get out of the way of climbers, because when you are going that fast it is also difficult to spot an opening and pullover especially when the trail is tight in some of the sections.
  • 8 1
 Directional trails. Solving this problem since forever.
  • 5 0
 That only works in bike parks and trail centres... Out in the real world the trails were built by goats and they have no "rules" as they're naturally built trails out in nature.
  • 1 0
 @billreilly: Nearly all the trails in my state (and in the surrounding states) are directional. Actually, most trails in the USA are built, whether completely new, or an update of existing trail lines. With proper re-routing and segment additions/removals, most trails can be looped properly and allow for directional trail. You can can even mix-n-match that with day changes and other user group routing. See an example with the DTE trails: www.facebook.com/dtetrail/photos/1152790034779450 and www.facebook.com/dtetrail/photos/1152790031446117
  • 3 0
 On multi use trails I will always try to yield to hikers and runners, no reason why mountain bikers should be viewed as the alpha trail users. If I'm climbing I don't mind getting off the trail for a descending rider and I'll always make sure I yield to those climbing. I make sure my kids do the same. I say hello to everyone else out on the trail. Treating other trail users with respect adds to an already enjoyable experience. If I need anger and aggravation then I'll go for a road ride.
  • 3 0
 Having a bell sure seems to help a lot with these situations. I personally yield to people hitting the downhill on multi-use trails because I don't want to ruin their flow and taking a short break doesn't bother me. The bell allows people down trail to make up their mind on if they want to move off trail or continue uphill and expect me to yield (which I should do). Adjusting my expectations for a leisure activity keeps me from acting like a jerk to people who are also just trying to get outside and workout.

I do agree e-MTBs flying past people on uphills with no signal or communication needs stop and some etiquette regarding that would be good. That makes my blood boil
  • 4 1
 If I'm climbing then I expect downhill riders to yield to me. If I'm descending I expect uphill riders to yield to me so they don't kill my flow Smile

Seriously though. It depends on the trail and the rider I'm dealing with. Default is to yield to the uphill rider ( especially if they weigh 100lbs, are head to toe in spandex, and look like they're going for that KOM).

As a gravity rider, I fully appreciate flow and earned turns so if I'm lumbering up the trail on my heavy-ass enduro bike and I see a rider ripping down I move the F out of the way.
Conversely, I expect the glorified roadie picking their way down every chicken line to stop and let me lumber on by up the hill.
  • 3 0
 Q for the Pinkbike Podcast crew: Does right of way change when there is a group of 20+ riders (school bike team/club/lesson)? For example, while riding down I came across a school race team of 30+ students climbing the trail, all spaced bout 20 seconds apart...Ended up pulling over and waiting for the entire group to pass by, took over 5 minutes. Or even when the roles are switched and I am climbing- having those 30+ students crash/stop to yield to me while I am riding uphill but almost crashing into me. The constant heart palpitation of the repeated near misses is scary also. Do these group leaders have any obligation to educate their riders on etiquette? I feel like that lesson is lost much of the time.
  • 3 0
 When you are out riding, 99 % of the time you are on a trail being used by others so one should always be aware of other users. Meaning whether you are climbing or descending you should be thinking of others and when you come across someone else you take care to make sure that passing is done in a safe manner regardless of right of way. Meaning Descenders should slow and climbers should give way. One should not just blindly embrace right of way and not give way, yield or slow decent.

In short: Coming across another user is going to mean taking some action and altering how you are riding in that moment.
  • 3 0
 FIRST QUESTION: in which scenario are riders more likely to get injured:
1) A rider going downhill on a narrow singletrack clips or runs into a stopped rider?
OR
2) A rider going uphill on a narrow singletrack clips or runs into a stopped rider?

SECOND QUESTION: If downhill riders get the right of way to pass, what speed is too fast to pass safely and how can we be sure each rider (some who maybe new) is able to appropriately judge that speed?

Passing at speed on narrow singletrack is inherently dangerous whether the trail is steep or flat. It is ALWAYS safer for uphill riders to pass because their momentum is naturally limited to safer passing speeds.


I live in an area with a lot of out of town riders and more and more newbs. I don’t want to now need to prepare to hurl myself out of the way on narrow singletrack every time a rider is descending just because there is a chance the next rider down could be some gaper that thinks it’s safe to pass going +15mph without his feet on the pedals riding over-inflated plus tires that are bouncing off baby heads on a 1 foot wide trail
  • 3 1
 We have hills and lots of ups and downs. If I'm climbing a known fun DH section, I'll get out of the way for DH riders. But if it I'm climbing a random stretch of trail I wont budge for those going DH. Modern MTB brakes are phenomenal. Learn to use them effectively.
  • 2 0
 Most bikers are polite & yield whether going up or down. I think trail conditions should dictate who yields. Sometimes re-establishing a technical downhill is more difficult than climbing but no matter what, politeness & etiquette should come first.The most conflict I have encountered is with walkers/hikers, runners & dogs. I’ve had the biped crowd refuse to move, purposefully walk 2 or 3 abreast even on double & triple track & dogs...No matter what your outdoor discipline, if you have no control over your dog, you should not have it out on the trail.
  • 11 5
 Uphill loses the right of way to me if they're on an ebike.
  • 6 10
flag davemud (Mar 18, 2021 at 11:11) (Below Threshold)
 You'd better get out of my way. I'll run you the fuck over. You wanna be an asshole I'll be a bigger one.
  • 11 0
 agreed, E- bikes yield to everyone!
  • 1 0
 @hop3: Get the f*ck out of the way or get run over. Im not not slowing down for you, I'm going faster bike weighs more. Its your funeral.
  • 2 0
 I think that 9 times out of ten a two way trail either sucks in one direction or both due to the compromises it has to make. I can think of maybe 4 good two way trails off the top of my head. For hat reason I am a proponent of designated climbing and descending trails to avoid this mess in the first place.
  • 2 0
 I think Los Angeles has the worse trails in the world. Not because of the trail but because of the trail users. Playing loud music is socially acceptable, hikers will wear headphones making giving them a heads up impossible, lots of under prepared users, and nobody does trail work.
  • 3 0
 So happy to live in an area where that if I see another rider coming towards me I probably know them. My default is to stop to exchange pleasantries and send my regards to the missus.
  • 2 0
 Never had an issue with this on the trail, especially since a lot of the trails ride are directional.
Personally when I'm going up a trail I always get out of the way if I hear someone coming. It's just me but I really don't care about the climb up, I only go up so I can go back down. I understand this isn't the case for everyone, so i make sure to yield when I'm going down if needed.
As for e-bikes, (I don't have one and likely never will) I think they should just be treated like everyone else, if they're polite, courteous and follow the rules then I don't care if they have an electric motor helping them or not.
  • 4 0
 So, a-holes can't stop or control themselves, don't follow the rules anyways, and advocacy is hard, f it, let's rip up the rules.
  • 3 1
 @brianpark @mikekazimer after having the opportunity to listen to the entire podcast, you mentioned the area I live. And it possibly sounds like neither of you have ridden the other (and arguably much better) trails in my zone. I had already stated my stance about DH should have the right of way, situationally dependent, AND it being less damaging to the trails (I can provide much evidence of this). Yes, we as MTBers should yield to other trial users. However, if you have ridden the other trails in my zone, you would know the forest is dense enough (temperate old growth rainforest) to mute the sound of the downhill rider, as well as the prevalence of blind corners necessitating the need to give hoots/hollers or having a bell to announce your presence. I am still VERY unclear as to why riders have such a hard time with this concept. If you don’t like bells, then give a hoot, it isn’t that hard. Other trail users are ALWAYS grateful for it, and my interactions with them are almost always positive. I can’t count how many times I have been told “I can’t be bothered with hooting/hollering before every blind corner on this trail,” when I have had close calls with other riders, as it happens FAR too frequently. This is typically a response I get from shuttlers and the overbearing prevalence of shuttles on the the trails that I speak of are the primary culprits. It isn’t hard to keep your head up every now and then on the way up, as most of the trails are not what I would consider technical. Physically demanding, most definitely. If I hear/see you coming down, I will get out of your way. Keep that flow going and have fun! If I don’t, and you come skidding up to me with a near miss, chances are I will be a bit annoyed. I like climbing and descending the same trail as it’s more of a workout, and faster than the logging road climb. AND I get to enjoy the old growth forest for what it is. So all things being equal in this scenario, DH should have the right of way, AS LONG AS YOU WORKED for it (situationally dependent, you see?). If you are banging out shuttle laps on a multi-use, directionally non designated trail at full speed, chances are you are part of the problem. Simply put. Earn your turns, that is why you bought a trail/all mountain/enduro bike! Personally when I only have time to climb the trail, to then turn around and descend it. I am very much so wanting uninterrupted flow of the DH.

Communication is KEY here folks. Hence giving hoots/hollers before blind corners (or a bell ring), then slowing down significantly, smiling and acknowledging if/when encountering another user. That is and should always be a courtesy to others. Rarely do I get out and ride these trails on the weekends due to their popularity.
Ultimately I do agree, that it is VERY situationally dependent. Yes, having more directional trails would alleviate the issue. But that isn’t an option a lot of the time. I would urge the hosts of PB to come to my zone and ride with me on a busy weekend then we shall chat more about the topic. In the grand scheme of it all = Just be nice and courteous to other users, and don’t cause unnecessary trail work for those of us that are the primary care takers of trails in areas that do not have a prevalence of resident MTBers, it helps keep the relationships with the other users copacetic.
  • 7 2
 This episode was so dumb and frustrating I bailed halfway in.
  • 6 5
 Here are my two cents, living in a remote, heavily forested area with limited bike trails (over 75% of the trails in the area I live are in designated wilderness). The trails we MTBers have access to here are STEEP and FAST. So, to be taken with a grain of salt I suppose...
Guideline #1: Downhill travelers should have either a bell or be giving hoots/hollers when approaching blind corners. (NO EXCEPTIONS on multiuse trails). #2, Uphill travelers should yield, as the amount of damage done to the tread of the trail, and the erosion that it causes for the downhill traveler to come to a quick stop is insurmountable in comparison to the uphill traveler that can quite easily take a step to the side to allow passage.
Being as that I am one of the only full time resident MTBers here, I catch a LOT of flack from other locals on how MTBers, especially shuttlers, act on the trails. To that, I am one of the few and proud trail volunteers that is constantly maintaining the trails accessible by bike, so I see the damage done when DH travel has to yield.
Since I have moved here and have adopted the hoot/holler on the down hill (not a fan of bells), a vast majority of trail users have acknowledged the hoots and kindly stepped off the trail to allow passage and thanked me for the warning and I of course slow down and communicate with them.
And since I have weighed in, bring on the disagreements...
  • 3 1
 In the grand scheme, it is very situationally/trail dependent. I wish common sense were an actual thing...
  • 5 2
 I just scream " RIIIIDEEERR... RIIIDDEERRR" going down the hill and most people hear me coming and give me a little chuckle as I pass.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer i am with you on the climbers get priority, also feel that the decision could be left to the climber. On plenty of occasions I have pulled to the side to waive the DH rider through, but there are some climbs I just don’t want to stop on.

Appreciate this podcast, would be awesome to see you guys go further into etiquette and the fragility of our sport for all the new riders.
Sent a call out to the media biguns to do so, sent directly to Levy too, but have a read and would love for you guys to put out a little more of a history lesson for new riders.

dirtmurderr.weebly.com/straitjacket-talk-no-bull/2021-could-be-the-best-year-and-an-important-year-for-the-mountain-biking-community-plus-a-call-out-to-mtb-media-bigs

Great talk on the podcast today
  • 1 0
 Let's get the PC stuff out of the way:
I can see both sides have some level of correctness so you're both right. You should figure it your own hashtag, get done FB groups started to further your case, and get yourselves some thought provoking and funny memes.
I also can see that both sides have a certain amount of incorrectness so you're both wrong. Each dude needs a hashtag to accuse and attack the other side, FB groups to spread the misinformation, and photoshopped memes with celebrities and politicians making hateful statements about the other side.

And finally...How dare you try to present both sides intelligently and logically while trying to educate riders PinkBike?!? I don't have to read Do Not Enter/One Way/Yield to Climbers/Mandatory Gap signs! Trails aren't One way or Bi-directional. Trails are MY-Directional! I can also cut across the trails, make my own path, yell at hikers, tailgate little kids and parents that are too slow, and anything else I want. And I know this because I read and educate myself from all the FB groups I'm a member of... As Abraham Lincoln said, "If it's on FB it's true!".
  • 1 0
 One thing that wasn’t brought up in the POD was the other rule that could apply to this. Most centres have the rule to ride in control at all times. If you are riding downhill fast enough to not be able to stop for trail debris or other riders than maybe that shouldn’t be considered under control for a bidirectional trail?
  • 1 0
 “They’re working harder than you so be nice”. Okay next time everyone is rioting and burning city’s down make sure you tell them to be nice to the business they destroy since the majority of the working class is obviously working harder than them.
  • 1 0
 The people who don’t have to ride by directional trails don’t understand. When I get my descent I’m going for it. Kazimer doesn’t seem to understand. There are many directional trails that are pretty gnarly in the pisgah and people do climb.I never thought I would agree with Brian. When I get to a good downhill I’m sending it. The argument for climbers sounds so dumb, Ecspecially from Two people who get tons of dedicated downhill only trails.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer @brianpark @sarahmoore @jamessmurthwaite Sorry for tagging you all but I think this is going to be buried in the flame war.

Question for next podcast: if you were to buy land for your own trails, just for you and whoever you deem worthy, what would be the minimum vertical and minimum acreage to make it worth your time? Subquestion, would that answer change if you were to do an airbnb type situation like a la Pilot Cove?
  • 1 0
 Would be quite happy to hear a podcast about footwear, as it seems this is still in a "wild west" period. 5.10 was the leader but with the acquisition from Adidas and their new Terrex line, the relationship riders had with 5.10 has faded. Could it be explained why open laces are still "ok" on a freeride shoe when most flat pedals have spikes that catch on them or just moving through the woods tends to snare laces as it is? A lace cover is still a valid piece on a freeride shoe. The 5.10 Raven and Karvers were quite good shoes and Shimano continues to put out DH shoes with lace covers, as Sarah pointed out.
The most interesting piece is why there isn't an option to have a half shank or full shank flat pedal shoe. Flexion of the heel past the pedal platform upon landing is the cause for most heel/ankle injuries. Having at least a half shank on the forefoot of the shoe could limit this movement as well as improve pedaling efficiency.
It would be nice to get a review or shoot out between the Vaude Moab Tech All Mountain, RC's, 5.10's, Giro, Shimano's, and maybe even the Unparallel West Ridge?
Levy, no SPD sandals, sorry bud I can't support you on that Smile
Stoked for these podcasts, can't wait for the next one!
  • 5 0
 Grabbing popcorn...
  • 2 0
 I got the drinks
  • 4 4
 Interesting conversation. Never really thought about it to any great depth till listening to this. I will say this. Everyone has made good points. I hate having to stop on climb as much as anyone else. Sometimes you just can't get going again. I think you should yield to the downhill rider. Fast downhill is more dangerous if you have to stop abruptly. In the prairies all trails are bi-directional. Some single track can have enough turns and the foliage and undergrowth can be thick enough that even with eyes up you can't always see that far ahead on the trail. Here is case for quality noisy hubs...the uphill rider cab definitely hear the downhill rider first. I also think about it like anyone travelling by any method should consider in North America. Keep to the right! Even in tighter areas and coming upon each other quickly if everyone would just do their best to keep as far right as possible it will limit or mitigate the potential for a crash. I yield in all directions if needed, certainly nice if nobody has to yield. Thinking about it in terms of safety and who can stop faster more easily....it's definitely the uphill rider. Hikers definitely need to step aside and if you hit wildlife....oh well that can happen on dedicated downhill tracks just as easily...they're usually pretty quick about moving.
  • 1 1
 McKenzie River Trail was just dissed as the most frustrating trail in the world and the only good thing about it is the hotsprings?!?! IF you're taking a DH or enduro bike and you're all padded up - I agree it would be disappointing, but top to bottom on a trail bike - that trail is epic and rips (avoid weekends in the summer due to hikers). No comment from Sarah was surprising - but maybe she's never ridden it? I knew something would be missing on this podcast without Mike Levy - but on this issue specifically would love to hear his input on the MRT if he's ever ridden it.
  • 1 1
 What I do... move outta the way for the guy coming downhill. Because that's my preference. Say hello on the way down, and if they want to move outta the way, I let them, but otherwise, I'm happy to move over. I run into (meet) a lot of hikers on some trails and while they have the right of way, I've noticed that most prefer to hear me ASAP (Hello!) and then would rather just move outa the way so I'm soon gone and they can enjoy the rest of their walk (that's my impression, I haven't asked them...). My favorite experience was one a good downhill section where I saw a group of high school students on a guided hike a few curves down the hill. After I was already aware they were below, one of the girls full out screamed. I'm assuming it was to let me know of their presence. Threw me for a little bit of a mental loop, lol (is everything o.k.?).
  • 5 5
 Downhill should have the right away, 90% of riding is climbing, screwing someone's 10% so you don't have to pause on your 90% is stupid. You ride for 2 hours and you have to yield for the 12 minutes you were actually having the most fun so someone can climb up the trail makes no sense.
  • 3 0
 Whatever your opinion on the topic: Brian & James win on pure debate points
  • 1 0
 Some of our exposed trails in Sedona (hangover, hiline, hogs ) have no priority, even over hikers, it's whoever is in the better spot to pull over. It is written down by forest service
  • 2 2
 Everything in my area is 2-direction. The only way to ride fast is to hand over cash to the bike parks. I can tell you I would MUCH rather stop when climbing than stop when descending. I might spend 50-70 minutes climbing, but I only get to descend for 15 minutes. I hate it when those few special minutes that I worked so hard for get taken from me.
  • 1 1
 1
flag BlueClaw (0 mins ago)

The trails I ride are densely covered with brush and lots of blind corners and directional trails are almost as rare mtb trails in MD. I also ride pisgah and sc low country trails and on the east coast these trails have limited view as well. It’s much safer for the climber let downhill rider have right of way. On rowdy trails you can easily hear the suspension pumping and tires pounding! It’s time to change the rule, here’s why- E Bikes! This is gonna make it impossible for the downhill rider to yield to a fast climbing E biker. Please set up a poll and let’s get this fixed now because more e bikes will be blasting uphill with ease, make em yield
  • 1 1
 I think where I live we do not have any rules on priority on trails. Although my people love rules!

We do not really have any mtb specific trails or directional trails. Not taking into account bikeparks with lifts.

It all just works out. People use common sense for a specific scenario. Of cource there is conflict every now and then especially between people walking dogs and descenders. But most of the time it is not a problem. More than 50% of the time whoever has the most momentum will have the right of way. But it is really just using reason case by case.
  • 15 15
 Every rider I know lives for the downhill portion of the ride. Why break the flow of a good downhill section for a climber who is already almost stopped? Plus the climber has way more time to hear and see someone coming.
  • 2 0
 All these multi use 2 ways trails sound pretty miserable regardless. Seems more straightforward in the uk.
  • 2 1
 it should group size!!! The leader of each group shouts the number of people in their group. Lower number GTFO. Tie's go to a rock/paper/scissors war.
  • 2 0
 WORST TRAILS SHOWCASE? The Front Range Colorado/Metro Denver multi-use trails. $hit show
  • 3 4
 Give way to those with the most kinematic energy... its physics.

dont be a d!ck about it (obviously) but yeah.. it just makes sense. doing 5km/h up a trail as opposed to 30+ on the way down.. what takes the least amount of energy to come to a halt and move out of the way.

I move over for descenders.. they are doing the fun bit.. the climb sucks but is part of the fitness in our sport (earn your turns).

just like if someone is coming through faster (either climbing or descending), where you can, move over for them where safe enough to do so... dont be a d!ck and slow them down. for the whole trail.
  • 2 0
 @MrZ32 I completely agree.
  • 1 0
 Exactly.
  • 2 0
 You should do a podcast on gearboxes and when the hell they will become more mainstream on bikes.
  • 2 0
 Climbers, descenders blah blah.... can't we just all agree we hate ebikes Smile
  • 1 0
 When climbing I've always moved to the side ... it's a courtesy to let them through. It's same when driving–I'll pull aside then too to let faster cars go by.
  • 2 3
 Why is this even being debated, it's shitty when your killing it uphill literally working against gravity and people going down hill think they got the right away????????????.
It can be hard to start pedaling again and can disrupt your cadence. Literally physics should dominate this, and if you are riding uphill on a two way trail there shouldn't be any reason why the downhill person can't stop unless they are an total a*shole-you should be checking your braking away. The f*cking worst is dealing with an entitled down hiller because they wanna look cool going down some shitty line and I gotta stop.
I can't even believe this is a debate I've never ridden on a trail that does not follow up hill right away. I grew up in a ski/bike town and this was never an issue.
  • 2 0
 @Warnickr its just as easy to say this about an a**hole spandex laden xc rider.
  • 1 0
 Whoever doesn't have sleeves on his shirt always gets right of way, if you got no shirt you should never pull over. haha. Suns out Guns out.
  • 1 0
 So it’s okay for them to descend a climbing trail when know ones around i.e. breaking trail rules but when someone does something they don’t like they say it’s wrong.
  • 2 0
 Or you can just play chicken
  • 1 0
 yes pinkbike do more controversial topics which get the community heated, it makes for the best comment sections lmao
  • 4 4
 The sport/bikes have changed so dramatically since the 80s that the old "uphill always has right-of-way" mindset just makes no sense in any pragmatic way.
  • 5 7
 It's shocking how proudly bigoted many PB commenters are towards e-bike riders. So someone else is getting some assist up the hill. Does that affect you? Is your ego so fragile that someone going faster up the hill really hurts you that much?
  • 2 0
 @Explodo not an ego thing, a trail etiquette and trail management thing. When a rider can more easily spin out/loose traction going up hill thanks to the help of the motor (which I DO NOT want to hear whilst I am in the forest), it creates more work for me with trail maintenance. Thankful e-bikes are not allowed in old growth forests where I live.
  • 5 4
 All things being equal and safe DH should have the right of way. It’s harder for DH to regain speed they achieved.
  • 2 0
 Everyone saying no means except when they are the climber.
  • 2 0
 I just want everyone to get out of way. Lol
  • 3 1
 Move over grandpa! I’m bombing this b*tch!
  • 1 0
 This pod brings up the two rules of my life 1) Follows Newton’s Third law 2) Don’t be a dick
  • 2 0
 Climbers should yield to descenders. Makes sense IMO.
  • 1 0
 Wow, Brian sounds like the annoying know-it-all guy that you can't debate with, hopefully he's not like that in real life.
  • 1 0
 Only his opinion matters on these podcasts, so annoying
  • 1 0
 Clearly the guy going down hill should have the right of way. Mike, you are wrong, you know it but you're stubborn as hell.
  • 2 0
 Brian forcing his opinion on everyone again...
  • 9 8
 Why not just stick to a designated uphill or downhill trail?
  • 11 0
 This is the ideal solution but does not work on multi-use trails.
  • 10 0
 you have never been to denver have you...
  • 4 0
 @adrennan: longhorn, floyd, enchanted forest. Am I missing any?
  • 4 0
 @Nmullen55: Technically only longhorn is DH-only, and there's no designated uphill-only routes for any of those trails either (unless you count the debacle that is odd/even day rules)
  • 3 0
 @hi-dr-nick: no the sluice at floyd is DH only, enchanted forest and magic mountain (the gut) are bike only DH only on even days, no bikes on odd
  • 1 0
 @Nmullen55: The Betasso loops are directional.
  • 4 0
 @Paddock22: Betasso shows how effective directional can be. One of the most fun xc trails around, and it would be a totally miserable ride as a 2-way with the amount of traffic it has. Think about how much it would suck if the whole ride was like the 2-way connector section, it’d be awful, you’re hitting people every 45 seconds.
  • 1 0
 @hi-dr-nick: Debacle?! The current rules at Apex seem like a great compromise for a high use set of trails to me. Prior to the DH only, bike only days I've even run across an idiot climbing Apex on a bike.
  • 2 0
 @texag: It'a a debacle because no one really gives a shit about it most of the time. Oh well, doesn't matter to me so much as I was smart enough to get the f*ck out of the front range after high school.
  • 1 1
 @hi-dr-nick: Have you ridden Apex since they changed the rules in 2020 and put up gates? It's freaking great!
  • 2 0
 Yes
  • 1 0
 Has James been calling people pinkers?
  • 1 0
 I just back pedal my hydra hub and the hikers hear me for miles
  • 1 0
 Whatever the direction, just be nice and greet the person you encounter
  • 1 0
 Nice Guys Finish Last - Green Day
  • 1 0
 uhh yea?
  • 1 0
 #ridekanuga
  • 15 15
 Uphill should move over
  • 6 10
flag davemud (Mar 18, 2021 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 DH should read the IMBA rules of the trail. Uphill is always at fault if they hit a rider below them as its the uphill rider's responsibility to be in control, avoid other trail users and pass only when safe to do so. Get over it. You aren't a racer on a closed course with the right of way.
  • 3 4
 Brian is 100% correct for once.
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