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South Side Trail Group Ride Etiquette

This topic contains 16 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  StuInMcCandless 1 yr, 3 mos.

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sierramister

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Aug 22 2013 at 7:42pm #

There is the little detour around the country trucks near Station Square that most bikers (guilty myself) skip and just ride the gravel/small section of concrete. Sometimes I’ll get off and walk if there is heavy foot traffic through there when I come through. It seems like the bikers and walkers coexist on that section pretty well.

Unless you’re directing a group ride from UPMC South Side Sports Complex on Thursday night, then etiquette apparently goes out the window. Why you thought it would be a good idea to push 25+ riders up the 3 foot wide sidewalk while my wife and I were coming upstream is a bad idea.

And you deserve every bit of harsh words my wife let loose on you for running her off the trail. She literally got pushed off the 10 inch curb between the track crossing and the concrete plant segment because you somehow thought it was possible to ride two abreast on the small section of sidewalk.

I don’t blame the riders. The lead rider should have halted the group until we finished the sidewalk, or they should have taken the official detour around the block. I had my baby in a bike trailer and was far enough back to get off the sidewalk and take the small parking lot, but the trailer should have been even more evidence for why you should have stopped.


Marko82

Private Message

Aug 22 2013 at 10:02pm #

…not cool! Come on guys, let’s show some courtesy.


edmonds59

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 5:52am #

I am one of apparently a small handful of riders who observe that sign, as ridiculous as I think it is. For a group ride leader to disregard it is definitely not cool, especially if your group is going to be discourteous to boot. Somebody needs to show some leadership there.
(Sierramister – you imply that you think it was this “team phenomenal hope” ride?)


sierramister

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 6:05am #

edmonds59 wrote:I am one of apparently a small handful of riders who observe that sign, as ridiculous as I think it is. For a group ride leader to disregard it is definitely not cool, especially if your group is going to be discourteous to boot. Somebody needs to show some leadership there.
(Sierramister – you imply that you think it was this “team phenomenal hope” ride?)

We saw a handful of their jerseys so I made the inference from the calendar. The timing would have been correct for their ride as well.

And as I said, I know a lot of us are guilty of skipping the detour. Especially with the baby trailer, I tried taking her on the brick road and the shaking was particularly uncomfortable for the trailer, so we usually just stroll through the sidewalk.


edmonds59

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 6:19am #

Dude, with a baby in a trailer, I would totally give you a pass through there. Some raam asshats who should know better, not so much.


Mikhail

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 7:28am #

Well, I am going top say the same — whoever organized ride — it’s their failure.


scott

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 8:03am #

Bill, I love you, but easy with the name calling (please). The women putting on that ride are simply awesome people. @Sierramister, sorry you had a bad experience with this particular ride. In retrospect it should have been handled differently on behalf of the ride leaders. I’m sure they feel pretty bad about causing any problems.


Benzo

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 8:13am #

The bike detour is awesome, so many cobbles (technically belgian block?), It reminds me how much I love the paris-roubaix.


edmonds59

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Aug 23 2013 at 8:31am #

Sorry chief.


bikeygirl

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 10:01am #

Sierramaster,
I know the people who lead this ride and will pass-on your observations. I’m sorry to hear about what happened -it is understandable how you feel. I concur that the ladies putting the ride are great people, and sometimes when on a group, things can get off-hand and are not thoroughly though-out.


rpalermo

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 10:47am #

Everyone, I was in charge of the group ride under scrutiny, and I want to issue my sincerest apology for the altercation. While no excuse at all, it was my first time at leading an urban trail ride, and I take full responsibility for the complete failure on my part to avoid that section of sidewalk. While I did call back to my fellow riders to slow (and I slowed at the front), go single-file and that walkers were up, it certainly would have been more prudent to continue along the detour. I couldn’t trust that everyone heard me. Sadly, it was my intention to continue along the detour until the last second. I do want to say that the stroller got off the path well before I approached, although I agree that they shouldn’t have felt the need to do so.

Unfortunately, a hard lesson has been learned here. I’m thankful that no one was injured, and you can be sure that this will never happen again. I am incredibly remorseful at the poor decision-making that occurred, but please know that my mentality was not to run anyone off the sidewalk or to intimidate or to cause any disruption at all. I merely hesitated to make the right decision (stopping ride or pulling the group off the walkway) after making the wrong decision (getting off the detour).

I hope these mistakes won’t reflect poorly on my teammates, the people who attended the ride, or cyclists in general, although maybe it already has. If I could convey anything in this post, I hope it is my deep regret. I had good intentions to organize this ride, but I failed to prepare myself and follow through with my top priority as group ride leader- trail safety.

Ryanne Palermo


WillB

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 11:22am #

This is a really good reminder that often what we think is malicious/rude behavior is really just an error in judgement or execution.


rpalermo

Private Message

Aug 23 2013 at 11:38am #

To add- I also want to make it known that I did not hear the comments made to the group during the ride; if I had, I would have pulled over right there to apologize. Please don’t think I continued to ride past and ignore a situation.


stefb

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Aug 23 2013 at 4:08pm #

This brings up a good point about big group rides and the trails. I am not a fan of and I try to talk people into taking the road instead of trails on cat 6 group rides.


Mikhail

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Aug 23 2013 at 4:40pm #

Yep, this is way Bruce announced that on his ride group is never going to go above 15 mph on trails.


sierramister

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Aug 23 2013 at 4:54pm #

rpalermo wrote:To add- I also want to make it known that I did not hear the comments made to the group during the ride; if I had, I would have pulled over right there to apologize. Please don’t think I continued to ride past and ignore a situation.

It’s probably for the best that you didn’t stop… My wife through some choice words your way that were probably better ignored :)

Just to clarify, we were on bikes and she had to hop off the curb. She’s pretty new to cycling and I’m pretty sensitive to keeping her experiences positive so she’ll keep riding with me. I think there was also a pedestrian pretty close to the group through that area as well.

We certainly don’t put any blame on any cyclists or think there was any malice or bad intent. We both agreed that is was just bad execution by the ride leader to not stop.

And certainly it’s a punch to the gut to be called out in public like this, but I really want my wife to start biking with me. I started out at 320 pounds and have completely turned my health around by biking. I want to show my wife the impact biking has on your health. So I posted this just in the hopes that the next ride leader will read this and remember how seemingly small interactions could have huge implications in leaving new riders with bad tastes in their mouths.


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Aug 25 2013 at 10:04pm #

I think that this also shows how important the message board is. In this case, it keeps everyone honest, all grievances are aired and explained.

While I can see there is no malicious intent here or serious trouble to deal with, it shows that since everyone knows someone else, there isn’t anyplace to hide. You can’t intentionally do something and get away with it, whether a large group or small. We have a really good thing going here in Pittsburgh, and the board helps keep it that way.

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