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Why Do Hikers Hate Mountain Bikers?

why do hikers hate mountain bikers

If you’re a hiker or a mountain biker, you would understand how there’s nothing better than a trip up the mountains on a sunny day. However, while both hikers and mountain bikers have the same interest in the mountains, there is one thing that they duly disagree on – and that is how much hikers hate mountain bikers.

But if they both have common interests in exploring the mountainous trails, why do they not see eye to eye with the existence of one another? Much of this is due to the need to share the hiking trails, and hikers may feel intimidated by the speeding mountain bikes. They may have also experienced rude mountain bikers in the past, providing them a negative hiking experience.

While this may be the main reason, there are still numerous causes as to why hikers may dislike mountain bikers. Below, we’ll explore more reasons why hikers hate mountain bikers and how you can fix this as a mountain biker.

3 Reasons Why Hikers Dislike Mountain Bikers on Their Hiking Trails

Considering how both hikers and mountain bikers enjoy the mountains and hiking trails, why would hikers hate mountain bikers so much? Well, here are the 3 main reasons why some hikers have a fair dislike for mountain bikers:

Hikers Think Mountain Bikers Are Rude

One of the main reasons hikers hate mountain bikers is because they think bikers are rude. Coupled with the dangers of the bicycle speed and narrow trails on the mountains, it can be easy for either party to get hurt when an accident occurs.

Unfortunately, this hatred is not unfounded. Hikers may have encountered these rude mountain bikers first-hand or heard about them from their fellow hiker friends. As the discussions on mountain bikers begin to grow within the hiking community, this creates a dislike for mountain bikers.

This is especially true for hikers who may enjoy exploring the hiking trails with their partners or young children. Considering how it could be dangerous for their loved ones, it’s easy to see why hikers may hate mountain bikers so much.

Hikers Think Mountain Bikers Damage the Trails

As mountain bikers may often ride or yield fast on the trails, it could be easy to leave behind tire tracks or create grooves on the ground. This makes it tougher on hikers who wish to conquer the mountains, as they may have to walk around the damage left behind by the mountain bike tires.

This may also be the reason why hikers may hate mountain bikers, especially on muddy trails. Issues like mud and sand being kicked up are common for mountain bikers, and much to a hiker’s dismay, it isn’t something that mountain bikers can control.

Hikers Are Unable to Have Peace of Mind During Their Hikes

Finally, hikers may have a dislike for mountain bikers because they must constantly be watching out for them. For hikers, it’s one thing to be careful with the way they conquer the trail on foot, and another if they must consistently watch out for mountain bikers zipping through the trails without a care for other users.

Hikers may find this to be a hassle, as they were initially only looking forward to a peaceful hike as a form of relaxation. When coupled with having to share the trail with mountain bikers, however, hikers may not enjoy themselves to the fullest as much as they want to.

Do Mountain Bikers Yield to Hikers?

Thankfully, the hate that hikers have for mountain bikers don’t always have to end badly. As a rule of thumb, mountain bikers should typically yield to hikers when they come face to face with one another. This is common etiquette to follow when it comes to shared trails between mountain bikers and hikers.

Much of the reason why mountain bikers are expected to yield to hikers is because of a pecking order of trail use. Like how cars would yield to pedestrians on the road, mountain bikers are often expected to yield to hikers as a mark of respect.

Unfortunately, be it out of fear or the lack of action from mountain bikers, many hikers are the ones who would yield to the other party instead. This could be dangerous for hikers especially on narrow trails and isn’t a recommended course of action.

The lack of yielding from mountain bikers may also be the reason why hikers often hate mountain bikers on hiking trails.

As a Mountain Biker, What Should You Do to Respect Hikers?

So, if you’re a first-time mountain biker, you may wonder how you can incite less hate from hikers the next time you want to tackle the hiking trails. While the simple answer is to have respect for the other users of the trails, here are some additional tips on what you can do for a smooth ride on the mountains:

Be Sure to Yield for Hikers and Not the Other Way Around

As we’ve mentioned, it’s common etiquette for the mountain bikers to yield for hikers and not the other way around. When you adopt this as a part of your mountain biking habit, it becomes easier for hikers to respect you – just as you respect them. This helps form a civil relationship between both parties, and you’ll never know when the hikers may even allow you to go before them.

Don’t Go Too Fast on the Trails

Many mountain bikers may use the excuse of their bike’s speed as a reason not to yield to hikers. Hence, if you’re keen to keep a civil relationship with the hikers on the trails, then it’s always best to not go too fast when you’re riding.

Keeping your speed in check not only makes it easier for you to yield but also reduces the possibility of losing control of your bike. More than a reason to gain respect from hikers, going slower on the trails should also be for your safety as you’ll want to ride for enjoyment and not to get into an accident.

Ride During off-Peak Hiking Hours

If you’re keen to ride your mountain bike without having to worry too much about hikers on the trail, a good way to enjoy is by riding during off-peak hours. Whether it’s riding before the sun comes up or after the sun goes down, this should ensure you get to ride your bike without being a bother to the hikers on the trail.

Be sure to always be equipped with lights during these rides, as you’ll want to have a safe and enjoyable mountain biking experience after all.

Explore “Bike-Only” Trails or One-Way Hiking Trails

Finally, you may also consider exploring “bike-only” trails or one-way hiking trails to avoid bumping into hikers. Selected hiking trails often alternate days when the routes are put in use, making them solely for hikers or mountain bikers. This allows either party to utilize the trail to its fullest without having to worry about the other.

Subsequently, one-way hiking trails also make for a great way to enjoy mountain biking as you will not have to worry about bumping into hikers coming the opposite way. While this could mean you need to plan your mountain bike excursions around selected days only, this is a great way for you to enjoy your mountain biking trip without angering hikers along the route.

Final Thoughts

Many of the issues related to hikers and mountain bikers is caused by sharing the trails as well as hikers feeling intimidated by mountain bikers since they are on foot.

Not all mountain bikers are careless or reckless, but it only takes one bad experience with a hiker to give the impression that all mountain bikers are rude or careless.

As a mountain biker, yield to hikers, cycle at an appropriate speed, and always stay on designated trails.

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