Miss MUT manners

Maybe you ride a lot already, if so you may wish to skip this. Maybe you want to start. Good. I hope my musings help.

There are unwritten rules on a MUT (multi use trail). They are not hard and fast rules. MUT manners are a combination of behavior based on traffic law and good ol' common sense.

Let's start with a few I feel are based on traffic law.

Most trails are not divided by a center line. If yours isn't imagine the line and stay to the right of  it. Within that is another imaginary lane. If you're slower stay to the right. Slower than what? Slower than anyone at any time at any place on the trail. Slower than traffic ahead or even those bringing up the rear (use a mirror for that).

Just like cars we pass on the left.

Ahead of you is a kid with or without doting parents, or me jogging the elderly dog. You're faster than us so you call out and pass on the left.

The traditional cyclist call out is "on your left". I rarely use that. If I'm passing a new or newer rider or a child when I say "on your left" they will move to the left and run right smack dab into me.

Variations we use:

* a cheerful "passing on your left"
* hello! also said cheerfully
* good morning/afternoon/evening ... also cheerful

We prefer to use bells. The bright sound of a bicycle bell is understood by all. It's more fun for you than constantly calling out and it makes people feel good. It's lighthearted and fun.

We often encounter the tri or time trial training cyclist with or without peloton on the MUT. Their call-outs sound like this from afar:

passing ON.YOUR.LEFT!!!

Dude (it's mostly dudes) the M in MUT is mixed use. Meaning kids, trikkes, roller blades, hybrid bikes, new and newer cyclists. if you're so much faster than everyone else get some sleep and ride very early or late when the traffic is light or get out on the road. Or instead of yelling at us get a cheerful bicycle bell! It will look so Euro racer on your Cervello TT bike.

If you want to ride with us MUT's great!! Slow down, call out or ring your pretty bell, pass and accelerate out. Interval training after all is how you get faster. Insisting on coasting at your same speed to the detriment of the rest of us is not how to train.

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