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JessLeigh
06-14-2007, 10:38 AM
...riding so slow that you no longer can balance yourself and must put your foot down or dismount your bike?

I'm a new cycling aficionado and recently joined to forum to get ideas and share in the community. You guys are full of awesome information, so I thought immediately to ask when the following happened:

My boyfriend and I were taking a leisurely ride in the Beavercreek Wetland Park in Beaverton one Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful day...weather was perfect...and we were just enjoying ourselves. There were other people enjoying the beauty too, and we made sure to share the space generously with them. We are very polite when we come up behind a pedestrian, often asking them "How are you?" or "Can I squeeze by?" very cheerfully. We always, always, always, wave and thank them as we pass.

All was fine and dandy until I came up behind a woman and her husband. About 20 feet approaching, I politely (and I mean politely!) said, "Coming up on your left." I thought she didn't hear me because I didn't get any response, so I said, "Excuse me, may I squeeze by you on the left?" This time, she moved from the right side of the path to the left side! I figured she didn't know her left from her right, as this seems to be a common problem among pedestrians I've noticed. So now, to avoid running into her, I have slowed to the point that I'm teetering on my bike and she will not let me pass, and there is not enough room on the other side of her between her and her husband. Eventually, I barely squeeze by by riding a little off of the trail, and as I pass, this woman starts yelling at me, "Don't you DARE tell me you're on the left! You are the supposed to yield to ME! How dare you!"

I was floored. I haven't been riding this long, but I have never encountered anything like this by a pedestrian! The whole time that I rode home, I kept asking myself, what did I do wrong? Could I have done something else? Does yield mean that I have to stop and get off of my bike? The thing that makes my blood boil is that I could have gotten past her without saying anything...she was that far to the right on the path. But I decided to be polite and announce my presence so as to not startle her. What kills me is that she was so deliberate in blocking the path so that I could not get through.

I understand that bikes are supposed to yield to pedestrians. Hell...I'm all for the rule! But did the woman go too far in her interpretation? Does the rule mean that a pedestrian may deliberately block the path of a cyclist?

I never meant any harm, but this really put a damper on my otherwise beautiful day.

tjf9
06-14-2007, 11:29 AM
Crazy. That woman was clearly off her rocker. Don't let one grouch ruin your day - you were doing fine!

Beegeeboss
06-14-2007, 11:39 AM
Just one grouchy old lady. I ride through there all the time and have never met anyone like that. You did all that could be expected and more.

Some people are just mean.

nuovorecord
06-14-2007, 01:10 PM
Sounds like you handled the situation properly to me. The yield to peds law doesn't mean that they can block you from passing them.

Tbird
06-14-2007, 01:47 PM
I generally avoid the "On yer left" call as, like you said, some folks don't seem to know right from left, plus even when done "in a polite manner" it tends to startle the average self absorbed person.

I use a bell.
I ring it loud and clear, several times if I have to and then continue on my way. Rarely do I have to stop because the PED still doesn't realize what's going on at that point. If they give me grief I usually don't respond. I just go on about my way.

Although as a point I tend to disagree with the PED first R.O.W. mentality.

Don't sweat it.

tao
06-14-2007, 02:33 PM
Bummer.

There are short tempered motorists and cyclists. I guess some pedestrian is short tempered, too. What the lady did was totally rude.

I find bell works best with pedestrians. I say thank you whenever I pass the pedestrian and cyclist. Never had the bad experience as you did. Sometimes, I did almost come to a complete stop when I yield to pedestrians.

Bad things happen to good people. Don't let this affect your day.

lazlo
06-14-2007, 03:11 PM
Some people just can't be pleased. I don't know what more you could do to yield to her; maybe she just expected you to stay behind her. As for the "on your left" thing, I like the rule that says don't direct someone to where you don't want them to go. Sometimes when I've yelled that, people move in that direction. I learned in the bow of a canoe that if there's a rock ahead on your left, you don't say "rock on the left", you say, "go right". I got a bell, which gets most of its use on the Esplanade, and seems to get better recognition from peds. I would urge people, however, to try walking on a multi-use path on which you normally ride; you'll get a very different perspective and hopefully give peds more slack.

lazlo

Oldguyonabike
06-14-2007, 03:50 PM
I agree with ringing bells over "on the left". Seems like all people hear is "left" and then that's the direction they move over to. Deer in the headlights...
The bell seems friendlier and if there's any proprioception in their heads they know where it came from.

Rixtir
06-14-2007, 04:33 PM
...riding so slow that you no longer can balance yourself and must put your foot down or dismount your bike? It means not running into pedestrians, it means not cutting pedestrians off, it means passing only when it is safe to pass.

I'm a new cycling aficionado and recently joined to forum to get ideas and share in the community. You guys are full of awesome information, so I thought immediately to ask when the following happened:

My boyfriend and I were taking a leisurely ride in the Beavercreek Wetland Park in Beaverton one Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful day...weather was perfect...and we were just enjoying ourselves. There were other people enjoying the beauty too, and we made sure to share the space generously with them. We are very polite when we come up behind a pedestrian, often asking them "How are you?" or "Can I squeeze by?" very cheerfully. We always, always, always, wave and thank them as we pass.

All was fine and dandy until I came up behind a woman and her husband. About 20 feet approaching, I politely (and I mean politely!) said, "Coming up on your left." I thought she didn't hear me because I didn't get any response, so I said, "Excuse me, may I squeeze by you on the left?" This time, she moved from the right side of the path to the left side! I figured she didn't know her left from her right, as this seems to be a common problem among pedestrians I've noticed. So now, to avoid running into her, I have slowed to the point that I'm teetering on my bike and she will not let me pass, and there is not enough room on the other side of her between her and her husband. Eventually, I barely squeeze by by riding a little off of the trail, and as I pass, this woman starts yelling at me, "Don't you DARE tell me you're on the left! You are the supposed to yield to ME! How dare you!"Yielding in this situation would depend on whether there are rules in place to govern the site. I'm assuming it was a trail and not a sidewalk. On the sidewalk, she would have right of way. On a trail, she would only have the right of way if the agency regulating the trail says she has the right of way. Did she have the right of way?

That said, she was being a rude, arrogant ass, and you did nothing wrong. She was the one at fault.

I was floored. I haven't been riding this long, but I have never encountered anything like this by a pedestrian! The whole time that I rode home, I kept asking myself, what did I do wrong? Could I have done something else? Does yield mean that I have to stop and get off of my bike? The thing that makes my blood boil is that I could have gotten past her without saying anything...she was that far to the right on the path. But I decided to be polite and announce my presence so as to not startle her. What kills me is that she was so deliberate in blocking the path so that I could not get through.

I understand that bikes are supposed to yield to pedestrians. Hell...I'm all for the rule! But did the woman go too far in her interpretation? Does the rule mean that a pedestrian may deliberately block the path of a cyclist?

I never meant any harm, but this really put a damper on my otherwise beautiful day.Don't let her ugliness get to you. You did nothing wrong, she's just being a bully.

toddistic
06-15-2007, 10:03 AM
i just feel sorry for that lady's husband, he has to deal with that everyday or at least a few days every month :).