Poll: How do you overtake hikers?

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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnycat View Post
    When you are trailrunning, and come up behind a walker/hiker/backpacker, do you:

    A) Pass them if is safe to do so (or wait to pass them until it is safe to do so), or
    C) Expect them to get off of the trail so you can pass and if they don't you become rude and insult them?
    I usually just come up behind them and come to a slow jog until they hear me... maybe breath hard just a little bit so they hear me.... and then they usually get the point and move over.

    I don't usually say anything verbally because I'm not a real big talker and I feel somewhat like I am imposing by asking to pass.

    I also figure that certain things in life don't really require words, and they should just naturally work themselves out, because people should just see the situation and respond appropriately. Having to even use words to communicate something so basic, seems wholly unnecessary to me.



    Here's my little theory on the matter... just a random collection of brief thoughts.

    (1) What we are dealing with here is an extension of a social norm. It's an informal customary way of dealing with people. Some social norms are complex, whereas others are so seemingly simply they almost don't seem like social norms. People tend to think of the latter as being "common sense," but rarely is it that simple.


    (2) Because it is a type of social norm which is voluntary, there is no party who is "in the right" or "in the wrong," if one of both of the parties:

    (a) do not understand the norm, because they have not really been exposed to it, and

    (b) who did not consensually agree to it, and even moreso maybe they don't think it's a sound rule to follow.


    (3) Expectation that others should abide by these social norms are to be judged 'in context,' particularly in regard to (2)(a) and 2(b), but also factoring in how complex the norm is. What we are dealing with here, as it pertains to the original question, is arguably one of the simpler norms, so that also has to be taken into account.

    For complex norms, it is an unreasonable expectation of people to understand them if they have not been exposed to the rules such that they are familiar with them.

    For simple rules, however, one could make the argument that there is a reasonable expectation that even those unfamiliar with the norm should understand them, as they are sufficiently obvious in nature such that anyone with sufficient mental faculties should be able to figure it out. However, one might argue that that fact alone does not mean they are ethically bound to follow the norm, just because they understand it. Point being, you can't get all pissy when somebody doesn't play the way you want them to play.


    (4) The passing [hikers] from behind rule in trail running is a lot like the issue which runners face when they sometimes to to the running track to workout. If you ever go to a frequently used high school running track, you have likely run into this problem of having to pass assorted moo moos and middle aged house wives doing their little power walks, and slow walks on the inside lane of the track.

    Pedestrians and slow polks who use the inside lane at the running track and don't want to make way for the 4 and 5 minute/mile guys tends to annoy the latter group greatly. And I won't like and say its never annoyed me, because it does irritate me, and it still does. But I ask myself are these slow polks "wrong" for hogging the inside lane of the track, and not moving over, and my answer is usually "no." It takes a pretty contorted argument to convince onself that they have some kind of "right" to exclusive use of the inside lane of a track thats not even theirs to begin with, and where no rules are laid out at the gate for all to see.

    With regard to the norm on the track, first off, I can't really fault the moo moos and house wives too much for hogging the inside lane and obstructing fast runners doing their interval workouts, because maybe nobody taught them track etiquette. However, this norm is so simple, that one might argue that it is self evident that they should be able to figure it out for themselves, which is a plausible argument, but that doesn't negate the fact that unless a posted sign or agreement somehow exists binding others to follow a certain norm in order to use the facilities, then regardless of how much of a nuisance it is, they really don't have the follow the rule. It's annoying and inconvenient, but such is life. They ostensibly have just as much right to be there as you do.



    (5) With regard to what social norm rule I think should exist, I would favor a rule that gives priority to the faster party, such that the slower party should make way for the faster party. I don't think it should require any special prompting on the part of the faster party to request that the slower party make way. I think the slower party should simply move over, and no words need be exchanged.

    All parties ostensibly have a right to be there on the commons with everyone else, but I don't think in pursuance to that, that any party should obstruct anyone else in the process, and I would say that that is the basis for a rule which favors the faster party, and puts an obligational burden on the slower party to yield.

    So... I would say the obligation is thus placed on the slower party, and the faster party coming up from behind should not be obligated to ask permission to pass. This of course assumes that the slower party is aware of the approaching [faster] party approaching him.


    To the extent that I think the faster party coming up from behind should make a verbal cue or communication that they want to pass, I think that has more to do with the fact that sometimes (oftentimes) the slower party up ahead just does not hear an advancing party for a variety of reasons ("in the zone", hearing your own rapid breathing which drowns out the sounds of the upcoming parties, etc...), and so they cannot be faulted for that which they cannot hear.


    But, since these social norms are voluntary.... though I favor this rule I laid out above, I do not see an ethical expectation that anyone is obliged to follow it, unless they previously agreed to follow it. Hence, I really can't get pissy when the forward party doesn't do exactly as I would like them to do, unless they are in some way intentionally obstructing my right of passage, which I think has more to do with a larger universal ethical rule which falls outside the scope of the much more narrow in scope social norm rule of rules of passing.

  2. #22
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    I always find it best to saying "excuse me". It is a nice way of passing someone without anyone having a reason to get piss off.

    Wolf
    this always works for me
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  3. #23
    Registered User Plodderman's Avatar
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    People pass me and I raely pass other hikers. Not because I do not want to but I have not found that many hikers who hike as slow as I do. Just tell me to move and I will.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Coast Alex View Post
    Here's my little theory on the matter...

    My little theory on the matter ... shared by most of humanity--

    "Please" and "Thank You" are worth more than gold.

    RainMan

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    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by East Coast Alex View Post
    I usually just come up behind them and come to a slow jog until they hear me... maybe breath hard just a little bit so they hear me.... and then they usually get the point and move over.

    I don't usually say anything verbally because I'm not a real big talker and I feel somewhat like I am imposing by asking to pass.

    I also figure that certain things in life don't really require words, and they should just naturally work themselves out, because people should just see the situation and respond appropriately. Having to even use words to communicate something so basic, seems wholly unnecessary to me.
    That's what the majority of people I encounter do, and it is a flawless system which works efficiently. I only wish all trailrunners would understand this.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnycat View Post
    That's what the majority of people I encounter do, and it is a flawless system which works efficiently. I only wish all trailrunners would understand this.

    I've often found that sometimes when I trail run and pass walkers, that they sometimes don't really care for that. Could be for a variety of reasons:

    The first is that they are just "in the zone," kind of just enjoying things and then somebody comes whizzing up from behind and passes them like a freight train.... I suspect they occasionally get startled. Sometimes they also have their headphones on listening to music, so they don't hear somebody coming from behind and then get startled for that reason when somebody just whizzes by on their left or right.

    A second reason I suspect, especially with women, if I can be so misogynistic as to proffer, that they may occasionally think somebody is coming up behind to attack them. I occasionally hear the mumbling under peoples breath, various utterances when I pass them... like.... "oh geez," followed by a flinch and recoil.... as if they did not hear me approaching.

    A third slightly more amorphous reason I think it annoys certain people is that maybe certain people just have some kind of expectation of verbal contact such that they just want to hear the words "Pardon me, coming up on your left/right," or something... and maybe it irks them for whatever reason when somebody passes them and does not say anything. Perhaps also certain people think it impolite to pass somebody and not at least say... something... if only to greet them "hi," not necessarily just asking to pass.



    In any case, I don't really verbally contact people when I want to pass while I am running. If the trail is wide enough I just pass without saying anything, though I make somewhat of an effort to slow down, so as not to barrel past people like a freight train at top speed, as I have found too often that that scares people..... If the person sees me in advance, then I'll pass at full speed, otherwise I'll slow down and pass in a more gentle manner such that I don't look like one of those aggressive drivers on the highway who insists on flooring it at 90 miles an hour, just to pass somebody.

  7. #27

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    Hey Alex, you bring up a good point, especially about the startle factor. I have been startled by a trailrunner waiting until she was just off my shoulder to announce her presence, and unfortunately it was an uncomfortable experience for her.

    I think it is wise to let someone know you are coming up behind them (especially on a deserted trail); usually this is easy enough to do with a foot scuffle or a cough or a throat clearing.

    My reason for starting this thread was to address those trailrunners who feel that a hiker needs to physically stop and accomodate the trailrunner. My perspective (as a hiker) is that I will move to one side of the trail, and share the trail with them, but I'm not going to stop my momentum for them (especially on my local trail, in which I encounter >30 trailrunners in a three hour span).

    Thanks for your perspective.

  8. #28
    Registered User cowboy nichols's Avatar
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    Pass please is nice! I tend to be a little deaf and respond defensibly if surprised by some one right by me from the back.

  9. #29

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    If I am approaching someone as a trail runner, I stop running and walk. I usually walk faster than most people so when they hear me behind them, they let me go by. I can barely run up a hill anyway.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacific Tortuga View Post
    I don't pass anyone but mtn. bikers yell "on your left or right" when passing in my local hills and that seems to work.
    It doesn't work with me. When someone yells, I tend to jump willy nilly. Which means that half the time I either end up getting run down, or forcing the biker to run off the trail.

    I never have responded very well to directions, especially shouted directions.

    Weary

  11. #31
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    Over the weekend I did a fast hike up dragons tooth and it was the most crowded I'd ever seen ... I didn't have a problem passing anyone and when I had to stop to let people coming down the mountain by (sometimes in groups of 15) I didn't let it bother me. Most everyone I passed simply stepped to the side when I approached and I thanked everyone for letting me by.
    I kept positive, kept my heart rate up, and kept having a great day. Not everyone was out that day for conditioning and I'm not entitled to the trail anymore than anyone else is. No need to get upset with people.
    it is strange that a man would put the pieces together as they please opposed to being content with where the pieces fall

  12. #32
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    I like this thread as this is something I've struggled with in the past. It reminds me of passing someone on the road...because I've noticed when you approach someone from behind some people will start hiking faster for some reason, just like when you're driving a car, strange eh?

    I usually say "hello" or make some noise and 95% of the time they let me pass them, if they start to hike faster I usually tolerate it for a few mins and then ask "mind if I get by" type of comment.

    In the event I'm hiking and hear a hiker approaching from behind, I will stop hiking right then and get off the trail to allow the hiker who is clearly hiking faster than I to pass me so they are not inconvienenced.

  13. #33
    Captain Fantastic's sidekick soad's Avatar
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    Once I tried to pass this guy while we were both trail running, instead of letting me pass he just sped up and stayed in front...I thought "okay, lets do this!!" I sped up in turn until we were both in an almost sprint, he lasted about 3 minutes and had to stop!!! I winked at him as I passed and sprinted around the corner....and puked...at least I beat him......yea it's a stupid guy thing.
    “Back in the day, when the emperor or the king or whatever waged war, they went to war, too. But that's been lost in time.” DM

  14. #34
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    I can usually hear people coming up behind me. I figure they are moving faster than I am (or want to) and I simply move over so they can pass. I have had a few people come up behind me and I was totally unaware they were there. That'll get your heart rate pumping!

    On the flip side, I don't pass a lot of people but the ones I do, do the same as I and move to the side as they hear me coming up behind them.

    If I'm in a group of fellow hikers and someone is directly behind me, I'll ask if they want to get around me because they may like to hike at a faster pace.

  15. #35

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    When you're within earshot, yell (politely) "HI!" Then, when you get closer, say "Coming through". As you pass them say, "Thanks!"
    It should work for you. It does when I'm riding my bike.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  16. #36

    Thumbs up Love the friendly greetng .....

    Greet first and ask to pass when the space allows.

    Single track along tight space and a drop we all walk safely.

    No one has ever upset that we were running and easily let us by.


    More of a pain in town when some idiot stands or pulls car in front of me or even an urban bike rider...

    BUT

    I am well over 6'6 and still built like the football playe rI used to be. .. I get some notice and space....


    I ALWAYS SAY THANKS

  17. #37
    Registered User kyhipo's Avatar
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    Default overtaking hikers

    I just pass them and keep going,really not cool to be a fool.ky

  18. #38

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    I whistle first and then say "good morning, how's it going?, Como esta?" The whistle doesn't scare anyone, and the smile I give them makes them smile back. A win-win. This is whether I'm running or riding my bike.

  19. #39
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    I'm failry slow so me passing anyone that is not stopped or otherwise dead along the trail is highly unlikely. Someone hiking fast or runing is not a problem I have a pretty good set of ears and haveyet to be startled on the trail...I know when someone is coming up from behind so nothing need be said I keep walking ad give them as much of the trail as I can.

    What annoys me is bikers. probably becasue I bike a lilttle myself and Iknow way back inthe stone age we were taught that pedestrians have the right of way. Why is it then that as a hiker I find myself relegated to standing in the weeds to allow bikers to pass...and if I refuse to yeild they get very pissy?

    I always slow down and pass when I can. Then again I am not blitzing through a trail trying to make my best time ever or whatever. I'm not a bike club member just a guy that takes his bike out and goes for a liesurely ride in the woods. If I want to go fast I take my bike to a bike trail...not a multiuse trail.

    Ok I'm done whining...yes I had some cheese with that as well...a nice pepperjack if you must know.
    Take almost nothing I say seriously--if it seems to make no sense what so ever it's probably meant as a joke....but do treat your water!

  20. #40

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    If A) is Pass them if it is safe & C) is Expect them to get off - then B) must be Trailrunning? Not gonna happen with this body. I'm usually aware of anyone around me so I simply step off the trail without being asked if someone wants to pass. It's not too difficult to get me to pause for a few seconds, especially when going up hills.

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