A passing rider has the right of way

Discussion in 'Trials' started by motojunky, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. motojunky

    motojunky Professional Idiot

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    I'm reading my recently acquired copy of Observed Trials by Bernie Schreiber & Len Weed and the quote mentioned in the subject line caught my attention. "If all else fails, push by. A passing rider has the right of way." He's referring to passing riders when on the loop.

    This is a complete non-issue for me, as the 4 hour time window that we're provided is always plenty of time. I take a long time walking sections of the first loop (too long) and still have never had to rush. But I'm curious. Is time enough of an issue for passing to become necessary on the loop? At what level of competition?

    Is the above quote correct, or is it the responsibility of the passer to do so safely? I occasionally get hung up on the loop behind a very slow rider, but I've never worried about it given that I have plenty of time.
    #1
  2. PTRadam

    PTRadam Been here awhile

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    I like to ride the loop fast. I figure if there is a rider going sloe they have time to move over and let me by. I can usually pass them safely though. I'd never make someone wreck trying to pass. Special caution for kids.
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  3. mung

    mung Been here awhile

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    Not a chance! The rider in front always has the right of way.It is up to the passing rider to do it safely and reasonably.That said if a rider has caught you they are most likely faster so why not get out of there way so they can get on with their program?
    #3
  4. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Moto, I have 2 things to "guess" for the context of that comment...

    #1, at Nationals or "World Rounds" where usually only the best of the best (#2 especially back in those days) this could very well be true, that the PRO's were much faster on the loop, and most of the other riders were kind of supposed to give way? Kind of like PRO & amature, racing where they give the onerous of the lapped rider/driver to give way to leaders, since they are expected to be able to handle that task or not drive in those levels or racing?

    Nowadays, I suspect and think, it is less true! at least in the USA, where we've lost well over 60% of available trials and other riding areas, because of frivolous lawsuits and scares of such actions.

    #2a, Club level events are dictated by the club, Most around me (all 5 states I ride in each year) always dictate and plead to riders, that everyone please be careful on the loops, last thing we want to have happen is a hurt RIDER or Spectator, which could affect the club's land. So, both riders have to give way to being SMART, if you know what i mean. most of the time the guy passing has the duty to carefully pass, since if the guy in front is struggling he might not notice anything else around him, you know.
    #4
  5. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Riding nationals has always been a timed event. If some one acts in a hurry he is probably running behind for whatever reason. The slower rider had better yield or the other rider will more than likely pass without regard to the slower riders misfortune. You normally have a 30 minutes grace which you are given extra points for each minute. Also many a tie breaker can come down to the fastest time. I beleive Lampkin won the Scottish last year based on the faster time due to a tie of points.
    I was initiated to this at my first Ute Cup. Being a lowly `newbie` expert rider I was passed on a log and had my bars knocked out of my hands. Luckily a photographer came along and removed my bike off me. I rarely get passed ever since. Also my first national was so ill timed most riders timed out the first loop, something like 70% timed out that day.
    I usually make sure the slower rider is aware I am there. After that it is his problem!:D
    #5
  6. LowPSI

    LowPSI Been here awhile

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    What Bernie is talking about in the book is ......back in the day when men were men ;)... a proper Trial was 20 sections, 2 loops and 20+ miles/loop the time limits were tight and the loop was tough. I am talking about World Championship Trials primarily and to some extent Nationals, depending on the country.

    To be successful you had to be able to make time wherever possible. Being fast on the loop and able to pass another rider was key. Also, passing riders at the section was important.

    It went like this: arrive at a section, park your bike right at the entrance, run up the section and back down only stopping briefly to check a difficult part or to watch a good rider go through, then jump on your bike, elbow your way to the front of the line, ride the section and haul ass to the next one.

    and be glad if you finished with less than 100 points.


    Things are a bit different now.
    #6
  7. mung

    mung Been here awhile

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    Had a top 10 start at a National Hare and Hound in Utah a few years ago.After 20 miles or so my forearms were seized from being so amped up.I was riding down a two track way to the side with one hand on the bars when a guy came by and used me for a berm.Broken throttle,bent forks and some damage to me.Knocked the wind out of me so I am crawling around trying to breath.Right next to the road was a 30 foot deep sand wash that he made the mistake of stopping next to.I walked over to him and at the last moment I pushed he and his bike down into the sand wash.He was not to happy but it sure made me feel better.Moral of the story-be very careful of who you jack with on the trail.
    #7
  8. motojunky

    motojunky Professional Idiot

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    I gather you've been at this a while. Do you prefer "then" or "now?"
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  9. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    I was cleaning my closet the other day. A plonkers press had a nice picture of a montesa rider on the front page. Seemed like some kinda pipeline in the background,circa `76.:D
    #9
  10. DerViking

    DerViking Shred

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    Interesting discussion of Trials etiquette. I came from Mtn Bike racing, where you are on the course with many categories at the same time. Allowing passing is necessary, but not required, and most courses include plenty of wide spots. Trials is not a competitive loop, yet it seems that it would be rude to block a faster rider, simply on the basis that for those of us who can and like to go fast, it screws with our rhythm. In our club there are many desert racers and fast riders, also guys who ride the loop in first. A balance must be found.
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  11. laser17

    laser17 Been here awhile

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    To me, Trials isnt a race. Its a competition of skill. Its not a track, its a loop. Passing has no REAL meaning. 99% of us ride for $6 trophies. So for you fast guys who are dangerously blowing past people to "keep there flow" or whatever, please keep that in mind. The only etiquette of the situation is: dont be an A$$HOLE. (that also includes not pulling over for fast guys)
    #11
  12. DerViking

    DerViking Shred

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    Well said. Our club, and I assume most others, are small communities. Being a dick is going to hurt you, and running someone off the trail is unexceptable under any circumstances. But, if you are blocking for some reason, you are equally dickish.

    I find the loop one of the funnest parts of some trials, Ute Cup for example. Sure you have enough time to ride it all in 2nd, but why wouldn't you make the most of bitchen trail, and get your shred on?
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  13. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Before I say something dumb, have you actually riden the UTE CUP? Most (except the fittest of the mountain states members [used to elevations] )are worn the hell out just riding the sections, let alone the loop...

    I know I fit this category, especially since our club only has about 3 acres to ride. we do "remodel" the terrain with skidsteers or even back breaking railroad bars, and a block and tackle... but there is NO WAY IN HELL, to make 22 mile loop, even if we dictated that you had to circle every tree :huh, 500 times on the way to the next section, LOL...
    #13
  14. motojunky

    motojunky Professional Idiot

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    A seasoned veteran rider suggested that I ride the loop slowly. His opinion was that it would help to stay in the "trials mindset" if you rode the loop slowly between sections. Usually I use the loop to cool off and go a little faster but it's an interesting idea.
    #14
  15. neilking

    neilking Been here awhile

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    Most trials I've ridden, time has not been an issue. However, there have been some that it was a major issue.
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  16. LowPSI

    LowPSI Been here awhile

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    Here is the what the Bernie Book says about passing:

    Passing
    "Be courteous and allow faster rider to pass you on the loop, particularly on narrow trails. Slow and wave them around or pull over to make the pass easier.

    Expect other riders to extend the same courtesy. But first, let them know you're there. Often just approaching fast and revving the engine will deliver the message. Or call out. "passing on the left" let's them know what's happening. It also eliminates the possibility of them swerving into your line because they didn't know you were there.

    Sometimes you have to startle a rider who's not responding. Yell at him. If all else fails, push by. A passing rider has the right of way."

    This has little to do with the way club trials are run today. Please read my previous post for some perspective.

    In the past time WAS a big factor in National and World events. That is why this is in the Bernie Book.
    Copyright 1983

    I had a teammate lose a Pro Class National on time. He won on observation and lost by being 2 minutes late.

    Today club events have short loops and only 10 sections or less and there is plenty of time.

    Unless you are riding in the Scott Trial, SSDT or one of Europe's LDT Classic multi day events time won't be a factor.


    Some of you guys are taking this wrong and turning this into a "road rage" confrontation.
    #16
  17. LowPSI

    LowPSI Been here awhile

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    Good question. Both eras have things I like. But I wonder if today's rider knows what he is missing. There is lots of Old School stuff that we just don't do any more and I think some of the fun has been lost.

    NOW: I like the bikes. They are amazing. Tires today are sooo good its ridiculous. Someday if you get a chance ride and old twinshock bike with original suspension and tires in a slippery creek be and you'll know what I mean. Brakes, suspension, motors, clutches are all so good now. The light weight is another cool thing. Back then the bikes were 200+ lbs. The new techniques are cool too, I like the splatters and big stuff. Some of the set up moves are cool too. I wish I could do it all.

    THEN: I miss the flow of the sections and the loops. I miss the long loops. I love riding a great piece of trail. That's why I love the UTE CUP. .... Going 100 ft to the next section just doesn't do it for me. I know not all clubs have ideal terrain. I miss the variety of sections. Good section design is an art form, like a great road race track. Ravines, hill climbs, off cambers, mud all of it. I like sections that are designed to be fun and not just to get points. Today there is too much hop in a box then a rock. I feel like that is why people drop out. They get bored with the same 'ol thing.
    #17
  18. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Glad you chimed in. The craziest trials I ever rode was a Texas state series. They were so anal on the rules that with a larger turnout than expected and a blown time table an insane trials developed. The Texas series organizers are rule zealots that would not bend. The trialsmasters from a local club knew the time limit they set was impossible.
    So the trialsmasters allowed more than one rider in a section at a time to get most riders finished within the time limit. So you let a scorer know you are entering a section and hope they could watch for a correct score. You guys are worried about passsing on the trail, I passed two riders in a section multiple times during this event! Pure craZINES, but everyone was in the same boat. I cannot remember anyone really complaining too much. Most riders had traveled a long distance to compete and nobody wanted to DNF on time!:eek1:lol3:D
    #18
  19. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    For those that don`t follow the rules. NATC nationals go to time to decide the final tie breaker. There is no ride off, coin toss or whatever. There are a lot of clubs that run strictly the same rules to keep up with the current changes. So time does still count for placings at quite a few clubs across the country.
    If you are a competitive type rider, time can matter. It`s best to just clean a few more sections. So riding at a snails pace is the silliest thing I have ever heard of between sections. Shift through the gears, burn some oil out of the exhaust and have some fun.
    The guy blowing by you is not being a jerk, He is there to ride and win!!! :evil:D:rofl
    Or it`s me and I`m thirsty!:freaky
    #19
  20. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider

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    In nationals, the pros and their minder's blow by. Then the EX and so one also whiz the loop. I hear them coming and give them the wave when I can move over. Same with others slower on the loop. Throttle rev and typically they do same. When they don't, it pisses me off in a big way. Move the fuck over and let me by. Some times you may have has a break down and and are in a mega hurry, others times like riding on the road, please speed up or move over. The pros spend 60 percent of their time on the first loop then they fly. What else needs to be said?
    #20