There's nothing more irritating (and utterly hopeless) than a sign on a bikeway that asks riders to dismount and walk their bike.
I suppose there are instances where it makes sense — narrow mountain pathway, rickety rope bridge, valley of broken beer bottles — but most times, it's the result of some planning decision. Someone in an office somewhere is nervous that a municipality could be liable if something happened while someone rode on that tiny little stretch (across a road, through an intersection, over train tracks).
The Iron Horse Trail has a number of "dismount" signs. Leading a group or riding with kids, you might stop and dismount, but when you're on your own? And there's no traffic as far as the eye can see?
The reason this comes up in the recent newsstand issue of Bicycle Times. The page six article You Could Be Here, is about the 50-odd kilometre Elroy-Sparta Trail in Wisconsin. It's Wisconsin's first rails-to-trails project: a crushed stone trail that includes three tunnels built for the era of steam locomotives.
The longest soot-blackened tunnel is about a kilometre long. Not surprisingly, the article advises bringing a decent bike light, since the tunnels are not lit.
What caught my attention was the accompanying photo, that showed the mouth of one of the tunnels. Above it, a small sign with white lettering reads: "Please walk your bike through the tunnel".
Pardon me? Walk your bike a kilometre on a community trail? If you have to walk your bike, why bring it?