With autumn’s increased use of towpath riding a number of recent incidents have occurred between cyclists and other users of the towpath. As both a cycling club, and as individual cyclists, we need to make concerted efforts to insure such issues are not repeated. If complaints made to the Metro Parks cause park officials to regulate towpath usage by cyclists, then ultimately cycling will be the activity that will be limited by such regulation. As a Club we must be proactive in insuring this does not happen. If you are riding the towpath, PLEASE follow these simple guidelines to help prevent any future mishaps between riders and other users.
1. Begin your ride of the towpath from the boat launch. The area of the towpath from the gravel parking lot to the boat launch is the highest use area of the park. To prevent possible incidents with other users simply do not ride this section of the trail. Continue to park at the gavel parking lot, but then ride Old 24 to the boat launch area and access the towpath there. This will be particularly beneficial on the weekends when the towpath has greater use by pedestrians, and we tend to ride in a larger group.
2. Install a bell on your towpath bike. A number of folks already take this courteous precaution, and those of us that haven’t should! Use the bell to then alert other users of your presence.
3. When passing other towpath users politely state “Passing on your left.” Avoid using other statements, as they may not be clear nor meaningful to other non-cyclist users.
4. Pass other towpath users in a single file. A single file group of riders is less intimidating by allowing more space between riders and pedestrians.
5. Slow down when passing other users. What is perceived as a reasonable passing speed by a cyclist, is not necessarily perceived as reasonable by a pedestrian. As cyclists we use the towpath, in part, to develop or maintain fitness. Try to view the occasional fluctuations in pace as efforts that contribute to that fitness.
6. Do NOT ride the towpath at night. Night use of the towpath is expressly prohibited. We don’t need to further aggravate towpath usage issues by participating in something that is specifically prohibited. As of the fall of 2013 Toledo Metroparks have made available a Commuter Special Use Trail Permit. This pass applies only to the University/Parks and Wabash Cannonball trails. Click here for more info on obtaining a permit. Click here for a pdf copy of the 2014 permit, which will open in a new window.
Over the past few years the towpath has become the Club’s main venue for winter riding. Please accept your role in making sure such can continue in an unencumbered manner.