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  #41  
Old 25.06.2015, 19:15
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Re: Wandered and cycling. ...laws?

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The reality is it's pretty difficult to do serious braking and also take avoiding action to avoid the two hikers that somehow spread themselves to occupy every available millimetre of path space AND try to ring your bell.

Basically it's thumb and two outer fingers to hold onto the bars, two inner fingers to brake. Nothing left to bell. So brake. Or ring. You choose.
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Afterthought...when I wrote that I was actually thinking of a recent occasion when I came down a road (tarmaced and everything) and rounded a corner to find the entire 3m wide road blocked by a group of scouts. I had to do an emergency brake and they had the cheek to complain that I hadn't rung my bell.
The bell is fairly useless if you have to emergency-brake as the hiker's reaction time alone will usually be longer than the time it takes you to hit the hiker, e.g. in the situation described above, where you were simply riding too fast and the hikers right to complain. If you can't be bothered to slow down you should at least have the decency to ring before "entering" the curve.

However, if it's normal or serious braking you should have no trouble using your thumb - that's why the trigger is perferably placed so you can easily reach it with the thumb while having your other fingers on the brake.

(Quote and editing work fine for me, though that's not always the case)
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  #42  
Old 25.06.2015, 20:51
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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You completely ignored my clear point on being safe.



It wasn't intended as advice, just my approach - I don't cycle dangerously, and I do minimal damage. And for that matter generally not in ZH.
I do indeed appreciate your safety concerns! But accidents can happen even with safety precautions.

And the law does not only or even primarily exist for safety reasons, but also for the preservation of the forest itself and wild life!

According to St. Gallen's forest law, you are only allowed to drive bicycles on streets and paths in forests which are at least 2m wide!

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Irrelevant when interpreting the law unless it explicitly refers to 1958 bikes. Which it doesn't. Intent is also irrelevant, it is only the words that count and also only what a court would make of it. Your own wish interpretation is irrelevant.
I am not sure whether the intention is not relevant at all, but I am not a lawyer, even not for Swiss law. Whatever, I mainly gave you this picture to make it more obvious to people like you, for example. Nevertheless, the law itself clearly states that "such as foot paths and hiking paths". Word by word. So there is no discussion, even in your perception!
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Last edited by Sublime; 25.06.2015 at 21:22.
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  #43  
Old 25.06.2015, 22:41
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Re: Wandered and cycling. ...laws?

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The bell is fairly useless if you have to emergency-brake as the hiker's reaction time alone will usually be longer than the time it takes you to hit the hiker, e.g. in the situation described above, where you were simply riding too fast and the hikers right to complain. If you can't be bothered to slow down you should at least have the decency to ring before "entering" the curve.

However, if it's normal or serious braking you should have no trouble using your thumb - that's why the trigger is perferably placed so you can easily reach it with the thumb while having your other fingers on the brake.

(Quote and editing work fine for me, though that's not always the case)
Well (1) I didn't hit them and stopped so wasn't going too fast, (2) was on a tarmaced road so the walkers clearly should not have spread right across it causing me to need to emergency brake and (3) you can't reach my bell (a common type here) with your thumb as it is flicked from above.

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  #44  
Old 26.06.2015, 00:12
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

What bugs me most is when you see two people walking abreast on the Wanderweg.

Why can't they put that damn breast on a leash?
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  #45  
Old 26.06.2015, 12:26
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Re: Wandered and cycling. ...laws?

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Well (1) I didn't hit them and stopped so wasn't going too fast, (2) was on a tarmaced road so the walkers clearly should not have spread right across it causing me to need to emergency brake and (3) you can't reach my bell (a common type here) with your thumb as it is flicked from above.

Quote seems to be working again!
There's no reason for such an assumption based solely on the trail being tarmac'ed.

Bicycles, pedestrians, rollerblades, skateboards, etc are all part of what's called Langsamverkehr (slow traffic, broadly defined as being propelled by muscle force). Unless signposts explicitly say otherwise, you need to assume paths suitable or designated for slow traffic are used by more than just one of these subcategories. For pedestrians that includes walking side by side.

Though it's intended for use within town limits, there's even a traffic sign explicitly declaring a path designated for use by pedestrians and bicycles alike (round with blue background, pedestrian above bicycle).
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  #46  
Old 26.06.2015, 12:47
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

Which picture? You posted several.

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And as soon as a path gets explicitly indicated/designated, this rule, the SVG law becomes obsolete!

But you get the picture now, don't you?
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  #47  
Old 26.06.2015, 12:47
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

Well after all that, one has to consider buying a map showing cycling routes for the area in question.

I think the forest wardens can hand out on the spot fines. I know a friend was fined after parking the car at the entrance to a forest.

.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 26.06.2015 at 14:58.
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  #48  
Old 26.06.2015, 12:53
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

So according to Sublime, all the bikers on the Panorama route are breaking the law?
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  #49  
Old 26.06.2015, 14:35
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

If it is signposted, then it's OK innit?



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Old 26.06.2015, 14:52
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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I do indeed appreciate your safety concerns! But accidents can happen even with safety precautions.
Obviously, otherwise it would be negligent not an accident - but the only way to avoid accidents is for everyone to do nothing at all.

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According to St. Gallen's forest law, you are only allowed to drive bicycles on streets and paths in forests which are at least 2m wide!
I checked and found the law, you're absolutely correct.

http://www.gesetzessammlung.sg.ch/frontend/versions/1015

I guess most of the mountain bikers in SG and ZH are breaking the law.

As apparently are all the walkers who go off the tracks; and the Pfadi should probably be locked up for life.

I think local custom and obvious usage is probably a better guide, hopefully the rather heavy handed laws will be used for just the idiots who spoil it for sensible users.
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  #51  
Old 26.06.2015, 15:12
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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I checked and found the law, you're absolutely correct.

http://www.gesetzessammlung.sg.ch/frontend/versions/1015
Actually not quite. Extracted from that....:


Quote:
1 In the forest riding and cycling are permitted on public roads. Reservations are limitations arising from the implementation of [17] of the forest development plan and of riding and bike path or concepts from related rights [18] result.

2
2 On private roads and paths cycling and horse riding are permitted provided that the Forest Development Plan or corresponding wheel and Reitwegkonzepte provide. (If) these fundamentals are missing, cycling and horse riding on private roads and paths are permissible if they are more than two meters wide.
Public roads or if permitted or if > 2m wide. Which I guess also includes all signposted bike routes. Which would probably allow most CC MTB-ers but not downhillers.
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  #52  
Old 26.06.2015, 15:21
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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Which would probably allow most CC MTB-ers but not downhillers.
I'm definitely CC / enjoying tricky singletrack, not downhill I'm far too chicken. According to http://www.veloland.ch there are hardly any MTB routes around Lake Zurich, I'd be very very bored sticking to those for more than a few weeks.

In a lot of cases most of these routes also seem to be on forest tracks that would be OK under the >2m rule anyway (and pretty boring).

Where are you getting signposted MTB routes from? (Genuine question, any new routes would be great).

I use these: http://www.swisstravelcenter.ch/moun...ke_karten.html - few of the routes would appear to actually be legal
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  #53  
Old 26.06.2015, 17:35
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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So according to Sublime, all the bikers on the Panorama route are breaking the law?
No, since it is signposted! So it's explicitly legal.

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Well after all that, one has to consider buying a map showing cycling routes for the area in question.

I think the forest wardens can hand out on the spot fines. I know a friend was fined after parking the car at the entrance to a forest.
Not a bad idea I suppose.

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If it is signposted, then it's OK innit?



.
Yes, of course. There is hardly a better indication.

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Obviously, otherwise it would be negligent not an accident - but the only way to avoid accidents is for everyone to do nothing at all.
My point is: Accidents can happen anywhere, on streets, on Weldwege, on explicitly designated bicycle routes etc – all legal for bicycles –, but also on Wanderwege, or offside of paths in forests that are not legal for bikes. The difference will be that your insurance will pay your duties if you drove on legal routes, but very propbably not when it happened on a non-legal path – besides any fines.

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I checked and found the law, you're absolutely correct.

http://www.gesetzessammlung.sg.ch/frontend/versions/1015
Well, baboon seems to be more precise.

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I guess most of the mountain bikers in SG and ZH are breaking the law.
I assume so as well.

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As apparently are all the walkers who go off the tracks; and the Pfadi should probably be locked up for life.
No, since the restriction does not apply to walkers, even though they are sometimes/often adviced/requested to stay on roads or paths for the sake of the wildlife, it is indeed not generally illegal for walkers (e.g. mushroom seekers)! But the masses do not tend to do it too often, since walking offside of roads or paths is really tiring.



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Actually not quite. Extracted from that....:



Public roads or if permitted or if > 2m wide. Which I guess also includes all signposted bike routes. Which would probably allow most CC MTB-ers but not downhillers.
Indeed (in the case of St. Gallen ;-))!
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  #54  
Old 26.06.2015, 17:51
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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I use these: http://www.swisstravelcenter.ch/moun...ke_karten.html - few of the routes would appear to actually be legal
With these you are on the safe side. But there are not that many, indeed.
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  #55  
Old 26.06.2015, 17:57
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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Actually not quite. Extracted from that....:



Public roads or if permitted or if > 2m wide. Which I guess also includes all signposted bike routes. Which would probably allow most CC MTB-ers but not downhillers.
Now, I got the meaning of CC (Cross country). In forests it is definitely not legal (as long as not explicitly allowed). You must stay on legal roads and paths!

Last edited by Sublime; 26.06.2015 at 18:21.
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  #56  
Old 27.06.2015, 01:08
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

I'm not on here much these days, but I received a few emails from various people about this thread.

In general there is NO mountain bike "Verbot" in Switzerland (the known exception to me is Appenzell). For me mountain biking specifically implies riding on Wanderwege (singletrails).

There are a few issues here that I have seen from quickly scanning the thread. There is what the law says, how it is interpreted and how it is applied. Also, each Kanton can amend the law to suit them. The only place I am aware of where the law has been amended to specifically restrict mountain biking on Hiking trails is Appenzell. Graubunden has actually amended it's laws to explicitly allow mountain biking on all trails unless there is a bike Verbot or it is a National Park. (No grey area) Most other Kantons lie somewhere in between. A lot of the greyness concerns the wording of the law and the suitability of bikes for the terrain.

What the law says
The law you are speaking about here was brought into being in 1958 when mountain bikes didn't exist. The law speaks of whether the bikes are suitable or not for the terrain

Hard to argue that modern mountain bikes are not suitable to be ridden on hiking trails. Respect and common sense do play a huge role as to when and where we ride though. This picture was taken on a day when there were no other people on the trail, on a sunny Sunday afternoon this trail may not be an ideal location to ride a mountain bike.

Quote:
Fahrrädern nicht eignen oder offensichtlich nicht dafür bestimmt sind
In 1958 there were no bikes "suitable" for the terrain. In the link above from Zurich it actually goes on to say
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c. Reiten und Radfahren
§ 6.
1 Reiten und Radfahren im Wald sind nur auf Strassen und Wegen erlaubt.
2 Ausnahmen regelt die Gemeinde.
Wanderweg are Wege (6th degree track on an ordanance survey map) and thus cycling is allowed. Trampfelpfad are paths that are usually not on the map and these are technically not allowed to be cycled on. Therefore trails built by local kids in the woods are illegal to ride, but trails which are part of the mapped wanderweg network are ok. In some places a blind eye is turned to this, in some places you will be fined for it. Kanton Zug is an example of that at the moment. The IG Mountain Bike Zug works with the Gemeinde and the Police and it's been officially stated it's ok to ride on the hiking paths, but the extra trails which are not on the maps and just cut through the forest will result in fines. One of these trails had been built quite substantially into what approached a downhill track and anyone riding this now faces the risk of getting fined.

Wanderweg need this sign on them to be specifically bike Verbot unless the Verbot is written widely into cantonal law or the area is a Wildlife Protection Zone or National Park (then it is signed on the entrance to the zone with a MTB and an X through it) like in Appenzell. (Zurich city is a law onto itself!)

How the law is interpreted
In most places the interpretation of the law is that mountain bikes as the exist now are suitable to be ridden on hiking trails when they are ridden responsibly. If there are no specifics restricting mountain biking then it is generally allowed.

How the law is applied
In some built up areas (around Uetliberg is one I am aware of) the law is interpreted much more strictly than it is in almost the entire rest of Switzerland. Here people have been fined for riding routes that are not the marked bike routes. Everywhere else I am aware of (except Appenzell) the law is interpreted as to allow mountain biking.

Specific Cantonal laws are a little differently worded. As I already stated Graubunden changed the law a number of years ago to specifically allow mountain biking on Wanderwege unless otherwise stated. Wallis states that the Wanderweg network is for the use of "Langsam Verkerhr" - mountain biking comes under "Langsam Verkehr".

A number of years ago the Wanderweg Verein commissioned a report to make recommendations on mountain bikers on hiking paths. The report found that the only place where there was a potential for problem was on exposed, narrow trails. Everywhere else mountain bikers and hikers can happily coexist and the recommendation is more that mountain bikers would avoid exposed trails at times when they are highly frequented by hikers.



Signs like this are cropping up in many places and show that mountain bikers are welcome on the trails and that both hikers and bikers should look out for each other and be respectful

Where has it been tested in the law?
The only place where there has been a legal case involving mountain bikers on hiking paths was a very sad accident which occurred in 2009 where a mountain biker died on a guided tour. There was a criminal investigation and the guide was cleared of all wrong doing. It was never an issue that the group were on a wanderweg. Even in the civil case there was no mention of whether they were allowed to be there or not. If the law was applied to mean mountain biking was not allowed on on hiking paths then this case would have led to problems for the guide, which it didn't. In another situation I was assaulted while mountain biking with a group on a hiking trail by someone who tried to say I wasn't allowed to be there. I called the police knowing that we were allowed to be where we were. The police had no issue with us being there and kept the person who was giving us grief occupied while we got on our way.

Switzerland is unique in it's infrastructure and freedom to mountain bike. I believe that it is important that all mountain bikers behave responsibly and give way to hikers when riding on hiking trails, ride without locking the back wheel (skidding) and are respectful to other trail users, wildlife and livestock at all times while we are out and about so that we can retain this freedom.

To make a section of trail specifically bike Verbot actually requires a fairly lengthy procedure by the land owner. To make an official right of way forbidden for bikes the request has to be put into the "Grundbuch" at the gemeinde and this also costs a certain amount of money... this has to be done before the landowner can issue fines to anyone cycling through their land.

A number of years ago there was a proposal in Kanton Bern to change the wording of the law to a phrasing which would have made mountain biking on anything except forest roads illegal. There was a petition created and the change to the law was dropped. The wording of the law in Bern is the same law as elsewhere where they talk of "suitable" bikes.

Conclusion
In general mountain biking is allowed on hiking trails in Switzerland (with some exceptions). If you conduct yourself responsibly, respect those you share the countryside with and obey any local restrictions (bike Verbot, National Park, certain Wildlife Protection areas) regarding mountain biking you will have no problems and can ride almost any trails which are on the map.

I know people will pop up and say that I've no idea what I'm talking about as is always the way here on the EF, but I do have a certain level of experience in real life on these topics. For those of you who don't know me this is my 14th year mountain biking in Switzerland. I ride a few thousand kilometers on single-trails (hiking trail) each year and run what is probably the largest cycling community in Switzerland. I've had a lawyer create a document for me which specifically looked at this topic and how it relates to Swiss law. I am also a qualified Swiss Cycling Mountain Bike Guide and a Mountain Bike Guide trainer for Swiss Cycling. The above is actually the policy as it is thought by Swiss Cycling when training Swiss Mountain bike guides. We will actually fail a guide on his final assessment if he/she takes a group on a path which is forbidden.
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Last edited by Eire; 27.06.2015 at 10:12. Reason: spelling
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  #57  
Old 27.06.2015, 01:14
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

Zzzzzz.....

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No, since it is signposted! So it's explicitly legal.



Not a bad idea I suppose.



Yes, of course. There is hardly a better indication.



My point is: Accidents can happen anywhere, on streets, on Weldwege, on explicitly designated bicycle routes etc – all legal for bicycles –, but also on Wanderwege, or offside of paths in forests that are not legal for bikes. The difference will be that your insurance will pay your duties if you drove on legal routes, but very propbably not when it happened on a non-legal path – besides any fines.



Well, baboon seems to be more precise.



I assume so as well.



No, since the restriction does not apply to walkers, even though they are sometimes/often adviced/requested to stay on roads or paths for the sake of the wildlife, it is indeed not generally illegal for walkers (e.g. mushroom seekers)! But the masses do not tend to do it too often, since walking offside of roads or paths is really tiring.





Indeed (in the case of St. Gallen ;-))!
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Old 27.06.2015, 14:55
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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If it is signposted, then it's OK innit? [pic reomoved]
Yes. Your sign indicates an MTB trail. While I think that by default all other categories of slow traffic are allowed, the trail may not be suitable for (all of) them.

Perhaps take a peek here (page bottom) for a quick overview if the sign types. Notice that burgundy red indicates wheeled categories (bycicles, rollerblades, MTB, etc), orange is for hikers, while white indicates barrier-free trails. The diamond shaped signs simply indicate continuation, "you're still on that trail" or "continue here".


Red and orange background mean that you have an uninterrupted trail ahead that's designated for slow traffic exclusively, i.e. all motorized traffic is forbidden [that's the difference to the circular signs with blue background (the ordinary traffic signs) most of us encounter in everyday traffic, where bicycles and pedestrians are part of the full spectrum of traffic categories]. Very often you'll have no motorized traffic at all in adjacent areas, too. Special needs (e.g. pebble-free for rollerblade trails) are fulfilled. But of course you still have to respect other participant's needs, and adjust your speed to the situation, including slowing down ahead of awkward turns and crossings.

Notice the similarity to hiking trail signs. In my picture below, the left half points to a trail without particular demands on the hiker, while the right half indicates a hiking trail in mountaineous areas that poses increased demands [that most half-fit persons fulfill easily] and equipment [hiking shoes, map, etc], as indicated by the white-red-white symbol. In alpine areas the background is blue instead of orange, the sign itself is the same.


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Old 30.05.2016, 11:08
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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Yeh like them stupid gits trying to break a record or something: "Ausss'mwech"
(out of the way), they command, I tend not to comply and amuse myself when they go ballistic over a loss of 1/100th of a second.
Ah - that's what the chap said on Saturday. On a straight bit of paved wanderweg (the Bahnweg, alongside the railway between Duggingen and Grellingen), about 3m wide, with my wife and I walking on the left, and no-one coming from behind us. I saw him make the decision to not pass us on the other side but come straight at us. (Eye contact, he makes slight shift to our right, then changes his mind, sets back and comes on).

Not quite sure why he decided we had to get out of his way. Because I didn't oblige, he had to brake and lost a bit more than 0.01 seconds.

OTOH the other 99 cyclists we encountered were entirely courteous - even friendly.
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Old 30.05.2016, 13:41
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Re: Wanderweg and cycling. ...laws?

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... with my wife and I walking on the left, and no-one coming from behind us.
Do you drive on the left side here too? When in Rome and all that.

I was biking this weekend and I especially like when Europeans and English are walking the path together. Two abreast on the left. Two abreast on the right. Both sets facing the same way. No reaction from either party when the oncoming bike approaches.

Between this and the apparent lack of peripheral vision prevalent in this part of the world (standing in your group of 12 across the width of the trail while deciding the fate of central Europe, it seems), I have given up deciphering any sense of trail courtesy or ROW consideration.

On a positive note, I'm getting very good at staying clipped in at 0.000005Km/h
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