Cyclists overtaking etiquette
   

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Cyclists overtaking etiquette

This is a discussion on Cyclists overtaking etiquette within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse overtake bike
  • Horse cyclist road etiquette

 
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    07-12-2011, 03:38 PM
  #1
Foal
Cyclists overtaking etiquette

Hi, I'm a bike rider and not a horse rider but I thought someone here can tell me what the correct way for a cyclist to overtake a horse is.

The other day I was cycling along a single track road (paved) and came across a group of horse riders (about 6). The riders at the back of the group heard me and they went into single file. I overtook slowly leaving as much of a gap as possible (say 1.5m). None of the horses got spooked - but the lady on the leading horse might have been cos she shouted something at me a few minutes later (advice I think - not abuse). Couldn't really make out what she was saying cos I was concentrating on manoeuvring onto the main road.

So, can a horse rider let me know what they would prefer. I know they say you should take sensible precautions etc, but if you don't know horses this may be too vague. Should I give lots of advance notice by shouting while I'm still some distance of - and if so what? Does the law say I need to ask permission to overtake or is it polite enough to let them know I'm about to overtake? And what about the horses further along the convoy - do I need to keep signalling or do horse riders have a system for warning the riders ahead?

Thanks.
     
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    07-12-2011, 03:51 PM
  #2
Yearling
I don't know proper etiquette, but anyhing too sudden or too loud may spook a horse. I think keeping your distance, but close enough to hear a firm but nice "Excuse me, to your ____(right,left)" and let them know which side you're approaching. Some riders will signal their fellow riders, but don't count on it. Continue with your signal until you're clear of the horses. Don't ever yell, ring a loud bell, etc as you could cause a dangerous chain reaction. It sounds like you did ok.
     
    07-12-2011, 04:05 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
How nice of you to ask this! Speaking out in a calm voice, but loud enough to be heard , while you are still some distance back is helpful.
I ride in the woods and runners/walkers sometimes see me and then walk off the trail into the bushes , in order to give me more room. However, my horse thinks there is something lurking in the bushes and interprets their move as predatory. If they just speak out, he then knows, Oh , it's only a human being. I swear, sometimes in the shadows he sees movement but doesn't recognize it as a human being.
     
    07-12-2011, 04:50 PM
  #4
Showing
I just want to say a HUGE thank-you for actually taking time out of your day to ask this question. I wish all cyclists had the same attitude as you. So - a giant thank you from me on behalf of the equine community.
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    07-12-2011, 04:52 PM
  #5
Yearling
Were you on a "horse" trail? If you were, maybe that is why the lead horse person said something. Either way, you handled it fine.
     
    07-12-2011, 05:01 PM
  #6
Yearling
I think you did well, but adding a little verbal heads up could do wonders.

I'm curious though for some other opinions. I was out with a few experienced students on experienced horses but we encountered a skateboard on a small private road next to the trail we were on. The road was smooth so the board made no noise but the quick and unnatural movement caused our horses to give more then their usual second glance and one even quickly moved away. All worked out ok but in the future ill beware of similar things.

As a horse rider how should I address someone being polite and letting me know they are there but I would really appreciate if they slowed down or let me get to a safe place before passing? Is this a reasonable thing to ask?
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    07-12-2011, 05:01 PM
  #7
Showing
I also think that you handled it very well and I truly appreciate your concern about having proper etiquette. I am unsure about what the true "proper" way would be but I like what everyone else has said, if you are coming up behind, slow down and give a verbal warning like "Cyclist coming up on your left/right". Give them as much room as possible and continue your verbalization until you are past.

One other thing that I don't think was discussed is what you should do if one of the horses begins to spook as you are going past. In that event, I would advise you to stop immediately and remain still or slowly back away from the horse that is freaking out. You might also want to be prepared for the event that the rider may want to approach you with the horse and let the horse get a good look/smell of you before continuing on.
     
    07-12-2011, 05:43 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
I also think that you handled it very well and I truly appreciate your concern about having proper etiquette. I am unsure about what the true "proper" way would be but I like what everyone else has said, if you are coming up behind, slow down and give a verbal warning like "Cyclist coming up on your left/right". Give them as much room as possible and continue your verbalization until you are past.

One other thing that I don't think was discussed is what you should do if one of the horses begins to spook as you are going past. In that event, I would advise you to stop immediately and remain still or slowly back away from the horse that is freaking out. You might also want to be prepared for the event that the rider may want to approach you with the horse and let the horse get a good look/smell of you before continuing on.
My thoughts exactly:

My previous house was on a road commonly used to cyclist races and practices. Bikes were something my horses had never seen, especially not 20 of them coming at me at once. One day on a ride, we got into a situation where I crossed a small creek bridge (then a truck started coming behind me) and at that same moment about 15-20 cyclists topped the hill coming downward at me. My horse freaked out feeling trapped, the truck noticed and stopped on the bridge and a few of the cyclists noticed and got everyone to stop and get off their bikes. I got off my horse, who was starting to rear up and dancing in panic, and walked him over to the group of cyclist. They were all very friendly and let my horse smell them and the bikes, then ONE BY ONE they got back on and left him standing (they retreated from him, it's a horse training tactic). To this day, he will walk/trot/run to try to keep up with a bike if it passes us, like he has to catch it! It was a bad situation that took no longer than 5 min to correct and those considerate people were able to teach my horse a VERY valuable lesson.

Thank you for being so kind. There are fewer and farther between good, curtious people these days.
     
    07-12-2011, 07:07 PM
  #9
Yearling
I want to also add my thanks to you for being considerate enough to ask the question!

The only addition I have to the great advice given would be to not only hollar to make riders aware of you, but also ask the riders if it is OK that you pass.. because you don't want to be beside a horse who is freaking out. So by asking before you actually start passing, you might save yourself (and the rider) a lot of trouble by just waiting a moment for the problem horse to turn around, move over, whatever necessary to make both you and the rider safe during the pass.

I think the above is proper regardless of the vehicle doing the passing.. I have seen some ugly situations where other riders passing only hollered 'on your right' and then proceeded to run past young/green/whatever horses. Its always worth the extra 5 seconds to make sure nobody is going to get into a bad situation!
     
    07-12-2011, 08:26 PM
  #10
Super Moderator
See how much horse people appreciate your kind of courtesy? It's because we all too often encouter the opposite type. So, pass it on and could we clone you?
     

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cyclist, overtaking, road

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