With the arrival of spring, the track network around Arrowtown is getting busy. And with increased visitor numbers and the popularity of ebikes it is only going to get busier.
Unfortunately increased use seems to have resulted in friction between cyclists and walkers, both of whom have equal right to use these shared tracks. There are reports of local walkers no longer using trails as they have been put off by the behaviour of cyclists. And mountainbikers are concerned about conflict between users and reporting verbal abuse by walkers.
Here at the AVA we want to see the tracks shared safely and responsibly. Here are a few things you can do:
- All users – please acknowledge the right of others to enjoy the trails, be it cycling, walking or running.
- Cyclists – ride at a speed that’s safe for other trail users, especially when approaching walkers and blind bends. Generally this is going to mean riding slowly, as there are lots of walkers and bends!
- Cyclists – fit a bell to your bike and ring it to warn pedestrians before you come up behind them. To avoid startled leaps, don’t leave ringing it until the very last moment!
- Walkers and runners – move to the left when you hear the bell.
All users – be aware that if you’re listening to music you may not hear bike bells or cyclists calling out to let you know they’re there.
- Dog walkers – Dogs are allowed off leash on the river tracks, but must be under voice control and you must be carrying a leash. Please keep them with you when passing other track users: being rushed by a dog can be frightening – and bike vs dog collisions are only going to end in pain for both.
The Arrowtown Millennium Trail, which loops both sides of the Arrow River and is part of the Queenstown Trail network, is one popular area we have received comments on. Cyclists are encouraged to use the east (far) side of the river but are welcome to use both and it is just one of the many multi-use trails in our beautiful area.