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Footpaths / Bridleways / National Trails
#1
As Ive been a mapping geek for the past week, just wondered what peoples thoughts are regarding riding off-road footpaths?

I guess by law, this is illegal, however, offroad marked footpaths have been ridden by almost all mountainbikers at some point.

For instance, Did anyone know that all riding of BBH to the WEST of Boxley rd is footpaths - and therefore "illegal" and the paths through Blean Woods are all footpaths with no Bridleways.

Just wondered if anyone has encountered anyone who has objected to you riding on an offroad footpath?

I have encountered one chap once, but that was a rights of way incident, and I still think he was wrong.

Im looking at doing a long trail ride soon (just to get out for the day and explore), which follows the main trail of the Saxon Shore Way - its a National Trail - however, its almost all "Footpath" so no rights for cyclists.

In a sensible world, we'd all get along fine and use common sense and respect our surrounding while all enjoying the countryside, but sometimes that just doesnt happen.
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#2
Consideration is the name of the game. As long as you slow down/stop & arent dangerous or stupid I dont think many people would mind you cycling along footpaths.... I've never had any problems with anyone (touch wood)
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#3
Surely everyone who goes to Blean knows its illegal to ride there as its clearly marked as footpaths. I ride on them but I always stop and give priority to ramblers and say hello, sometimes just slow down if theres space but I always stop if theres a dog as you never know what they will do. Dont forget that bridleways you also have to give priority to ramblers and horses, we are bottom of the ladder.

Only twice in my life have I had a walker get mouthy, cant even remember the details of the first one and the second one was in Friston recently, old couple and a dog when riding with Nigel and Derek. We were riding a trail coming up to a crossing which they were approaching from our left, I slowed as they had a dog and was about to comment about how clean it was but wouldnt be for much longer with the mud and she just went off on one, rant rant footpath rant, ramblers built this, theres a signed cycle path elsewhere so sod off etc. Tried pointing out that tons of paths in there had been made by cyclists, the trail we were on was not a footpath, we had not ridden into them or anything. The one they were on and we were crossing is marked as a walking path but only by the FC its not an official footpath and the whole place is forestry so we were fine to ride there.

Other way of looking at is is, Public Foot-path, I am a member of the public and I have a foot therefore 2 out of 3, im ok to ride on it......

I think technically unless its been rewritten, you cant actually push a bike along a footpath as theres some funny wording about you could only have with you something required for walking of which a bike isnt.
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#4
"Laggingbehind" Wrote:Consideration is the name of the game. As long as you slow down/stop & arent dangerous or stupid I dont think many people would mind you cycling along footpaths.... I've never had any problems with anyone (touch wood)

+1

Ive never had anyone moan at me (except for a bunch of walkers who were, ironically, on a bridleway) but I always make sure I leave room, or stop if necessary to pass people. Although I do refuse to carry a bell. A friendly hello/morning/afternoon/thank you goes a long way too.
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#5
Ramblers have priority over cyclists on a bridleway so you have to stop and get out of their way although common sense says they should give you some room. Used to like having a pro II rear hub as no need for a bell, you  just freewheeled!
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#6
"Breezer" Wrote:Ramblers have priority over cyclists on a bridleway so you have to stop and get out of their way although common sense says they should give you some room. Used to like having a pro II rear hub as no need for a bell, you  just freewheeled!

Something often lacking.

When horses and walkers have to start carrying bells then I will. Until then Ill stick to freewheeling or good old shouting!
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#7
The ones who are so engrossed in their talking that they dont see you till the last second then almost walk in to you are the funniest, had one like that couple of weeks back, I physically stopped yet he nearly walked into me, they look at you like wtf you nearly killed me!

fools!
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#8
"Breezer" Wrote:The ones who are so engrossed in their talking that they dont see you till the last second then almost walk in to you are the funniest, had one like that couple of weeks back, I physically stopped yet he nearly walked into me, they look at you like wtf you nearly killed me!

fools!

Agreed! I think I will fix a large spike to my bike to punish any stupid ones in future

Not dissimilar to this, just less yellow and horse-like

resim
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#9
Had one chap say something at blean ... said the usual "Sorry we will jump off at the next bit of singletrack" and he replied "Bloody cyclists ... i give up, go on ride on the f*cking footpaths"
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#10
Its all about common sense and courtesy - Im sure you'll agree, many "ramblers" are of latter years and perhaps dont like a bike tearing up towards them - it can be scary.  Im always polite, courtious and stop when necessary and let the walkers do their thing.

I was even very polite to the old man that wanted to Rant at me on that one occasion - but he couldnt see my politeness and continued to be rude - I hate that.  I was willing to reverse and take a "footpath" quite politly, but he continued.

Thats irrelevant though, as almost everywhere has someone like that.

Our plan for a 50+ miler in a couple of weeks simply takes in a "National Trail" so Im expecting Ramblers - but we will play it by ear if we have to hike over styles to get anywhere.

I know the rules, but just thought Id open the debate up (which crops up once in a while)
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