Etiquette When Cycling on Footpaths

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So, I live in an area where people often cycle on the footpath. I don't have a problem with this in itself, but I wish cyclists would bear pedestrians in mind a bit more.
I don't know how many times I have been walking my dogs on the footpath, when a bike has suddenly flown past me from behind. I have never had any idea that they were there, and had I or one of my dogs moved a foot to one side, we would have had a full-on accident. Surely there should be a rule that cyclists must announce their presence well in advance!?

Then the other day, I was walking up a steep narrow passageway (a footpath I might add) when suddenly a voice behind me tells me to keep it moving! It was a cyclist who didn't want to dismount his bike or even put his foot down on the ground to wait a second. I didn't even have a clue he was behind me. Yet he expected me to hurry on up the hill to get out of his way or pin me and my dogs against the wall so he could get past. I found this so incredibly rude and thought of all these things I should have said to him after the fact. Responsible cyclists out there, surely this guy was in the wrong??:mad:
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  • Stoke
    Stoke Posts: 3,182 Forumite
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    Alvinism wrote: »
    So, I live in an area where people often cycle on the footpath. I don't have a problem with this in itself, but I wish cyclists would bear pedestrians in mind a bit more.
    I don't know how many times I have been walking my dogs on the footpath, when a bike has suddenly flown past me from behind. I have never had any idea that they were there, and had I or one of my dogs moved a foot to one side, we would have had a full-on accident. Surely there should be a rule that cyclists must announce their presence well in advance!?

    Then the other day, I was walking up a steep narrow passageway (a footpath I might add) when suddenly a voice behind me tells me to keep it moving! It was a cyclist who didn't want to dismount his bike or even put his foot down on the ground to wait a second. I didn't even have a clue he was behind me. Yet he expected me to hurry on up the hill to get out of his way or pin me and my dogs against the wall so he could get past. I found this so incredibly rude and thought of all these things I should have said to him after the fact. Responsible cyclists out there, surely this guy was in the wrong??:mad:
    Both of your anecdotes sound like particularly selfish individuals. I tend to find most cyclists aren't like that and will be much more courteous than to 'expect' you to just move, however most ride on the road which is where they should be riding as much as possible. That isn't possible down the canal towpath, for example, but on roads they really should be avoiding the pavement when possible.

    I read this on Singletrack:
    * Ring with Two Tings
    Use a bell, giving Two Tings when approaching pedestrians. Ringing with Two Tings is not an order to pedestrians to get out of your way.
    Be aware that some pedestrians may have visual or hearing impairments and might not hear your Two Tings.

    The cyclist in your second anecdote sounds particularly !!!!!!.
  • tizerbelle
    tizerbelle Posts: 1,839 Forumite
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    Round here we have spates of mopeds and scooters on the footpaths. I have been known to block their way and loudly inform them "It's a footpath! Its a footpath!". It doesn't stop them and typically the mobile has been left at home so I cant take a picture of them or the reg plate. But it inconveniences them for a little while and hopefully the mad old fat b**ch puts a little crimp in their day!

    If it wasn't for the fact that I usually come across them when I have the dog with me (and I have to consider his safety first and foremost) I might one day go as far as knocking them off the scooter especially if its the second time on the same walk that I see them!
  • RichardD1970
    RichardD1970 Posts: 3,795 Forumite
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    edited 27 November 2018 at 4:55PM
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    Technically unless it is a designated shared path they are breaking the law.

    If I am using a footpath then I am always aware that it is "not my space" and act accordingly.

    Unfortunately a minority of idiots give all cyclists a bad name (in some peoples eyes).
  • spadoosh
    spadoosh Posts: 8,732 Forumite
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    edited 27 November 2018 at 5:07PM
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    tizerbelle wrote: »
    Round here we have spates of mopeds and scooters on the footpaths. I have been known to block their way and loudly inform them "It's a footpath! Its a footpath!". It doesn't stop them and typically the mobile has been left at home so I cant take a picture of them or the reg plate. But it inconveniences them for a little while and hopefully the mad old fat b**ch puts a little crimp in their day!

    If it wasn't for the fact that I usually come across them when I have the dog with me (and I have to consider his safety first and foremost) I might one day go as far as knocking them off the scooter especially if its the second time on the same walk that I see them!

    Its unlikely you have enough mass to guarantee no harming coming to you from kncking them off, id avoid it.

    Id also suggest whacking a phone out to take photos is more likely to see it taken from you (by them) than being used as evidence against them.


    To the OP 'proper' cyclists dont use footpaths, if theyre on a footpath theyre already disregarding the views of others so i wouldnt expect them to be considerate people anyway. If its a shared use path which you specifically seem to point out its not well they need to be shared so courtesy works both ways.

    We have a shared use path in our local park. Its quite a popular track and for the most part everyone gets on ok. I got shouted at by a lady once because her dog ran across my path adn told to be more careful, i pointed out that i had spotted the dog some 100 yards earlier and was watching it constantly whilst she was talking to her friend and not watching her dog.

    The people who use footpaths round here are children and what i term bin bag wearers. Rustly black clothing and a bike that probably doesnt have working breaks.
  • Mr_Singleton
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    Technically unless it is a designated shared path they are breaking the law.
    If I am using a footpath then I am always aware that it is "not my space" and act accordingly.

    In the same way that if you were burgling a house you’d remember it’s not your house so you’d take your shoes ofto protectthe carpetf???

    I really wish the police would enforce these laws. Nearly ran over a cyclist early this morning because they no doubt thought spending £5 on lights is too inconvenient while jumping a red light.

    Before anyone winges and whines I’ll do around 750 miles on the bike this month.
  • beefturnmail
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    It's technically against the law to cycle on a footway and any cyclist doing so could get a FPN but the Police are supposed to exercise discretion when enforcing it: “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

    https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/whats-legal-and-whats-not-your-bike

    I sometimes cycle on pavements in certain places in London where I would risk going under the wheel of an HGV if I stayed on the road. When I do I cycle slowly and give way to any pedestrians. I hope the Police would exercise discretion if they saw me doing this.

    Doesn't sound like this applies for the cyclist in your story.
  • Nasqueron
    Nasqueron Posts: 9,044 Forumite
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    Bikes are all sold with bells and are meant to be equipped with an audible warning device (includes the cyclist shouting). As I don't ride on the footpath I don't know but on shared spaces/canal paths etc I tend to give warning that I am approaching so they can move. I find on the shared places pedestrians don't understand the need to be aware of surroundings (they have music on loud enough they can't hear me shouting; absorbed in mobile; wandering side to side - particularly with kids or dogs out of control) so you have to be a bit slower
  • Johnmcl7
    Johnmcl7 Posts: 2,818 Forumite
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    When I'm on the bike I treat pedestrians as I would want to be treated myself so I slow right down and if needed particularly if there's dogs around will hop off the bike. If I'm on a faster bike I generally don't use any shared paths at all as a bike that can do 20mph+ is better on the road than sharing with pedestrians.

    I do a lot of mountain biking on natural trails so we frequently meet walkers often with dogs, we slow down and warn them how many more there are coming and walkers warn us if they have other dogs off the lead further along.

    Unfortunately there are inconsiderate asses, there's some which hammer along the pavement where I walk my dog even though it's a safe road so there's no need to be on the pavement for most. Also come across people walking their dogs off the lead at trail centres going backwards up downhill sections that are very clearly marked as no entry and not for walking which just doesn't make sense either.
  • Kite2010
    Kite2010 Posts: 4,304 Forumite
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    You mean there are some cyclists who break the law and cycle on the pavement?


    Blimey, whatever next, news that some cyclists ignore red traffic lights...


    Another example where it is clear that self regulation has clearly failed and more needs to be done to rope in the rogue cyclists giving other cyclists a bad name.
  • Nebulous2
    Nebulous2 Posts: 5,157 Forumite
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    Kite2010 wrote: »
    You mean there are some cyclists who break the law and cycle on the pavement?


    Blimey, whatever next, news that some cyclists ignore red traffic lights...


    Another example where it is clear that self regulation has clearly failed and more needs to be done to rope in the rogue cyclists giving other cyclists a bad name.


    Rogue cyclists don't give other cyclists a bad name, any more than rogue drivers give drivers a bad name. People are responsible for their own actions, not those of a diverse group they happen to be associated with.
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