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10/26/2008

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Jeff Carter

I've given up on calling out warnings unless the trail is blocked to the point I can't get by.

The problem is, when I call out warnings or ring the bell, a substantial fraction of pedestrians move the wrong way (i.e., into my path) and force me off the trail. This happens even if I call, "bicycle passing on your left", which should be a completely unambiguous statement.

As long as the pedestrians ahead are walking in a straight line and leaving me enough space, I believe it's far safer to pass quietly, leaving as much room as possible.

Bill

No warning at all? Wow, you're a trusting soul. I admit that I have had my share of people who don't know which way to go when I have called out "Passing on your left," but it feels wrong to pass them without so much as a warning shout.

Frank Xavier

ITS ALL ABOUT PATIENCE !

When I was younger(in my 50's), I used to get concerned about pedestrians blocking my way. However, one has to remember that all public trails are just that public trails, where courtesy and etiquette have to be the rule if we are to remain civilized human beings.

Anyone who thinks that the public trail is a bicycle freeway is wrong and should be out on the public highways with the cars. Pedestrians trump bicycles and any moving vehicles on public trails. Period. Ignore this fact at your peril. From my experience, 99% of pedestrians are courteous folks who do pay attention and readily yield to bicycles, especially when they are politely alerted of their coming.

I will not pass any pedestrian until I know they know I am coming. I have a bell on my bike and occasionally have to ring it incessantly. Even then, sometimes this means I almost have to stop because there are folks who do not hear so well (may even be deaf) and others who have sound equipment stuck in their ears. However, the one thing this rule eliminates is any potential unwanted collisions with other people.

Hitting someone is never a good or pleasant idea especially if those hit decide they have been injured and you are responsible...and they wish you to pay for their distress. When I am bicycling I like to stick to PLEASANT THOUGHTS not risk analysis of what the probability of hitting someone will be if I blitz by them.

What if an older person has a heart attack from being startled ? I remember one morning a few years ago. I was out around 5:30am heading down the Blair Trail adjacent to the Grand River across from Cambridge Hospital. There are a couple of fast up and down sections with blind corners. I made the mistake of doing a full speed run, figuring..who would be out at this hour...when sure enough I run into a couple of elderly ladies who are having their own magically mystery walk at sunrise..and I scared the living heck out of them as I barely missed them at 40kph. On my way back up I apologized but that was the turning point for me...no more risks of hitting anyone.

Higher levels of testosterone usually indicate less inclination to patience...lower levels more patience.

Regardless, WHEN PATIENCE and respect for others RULES 99.8% OF PROBLEMS TEND TO DISSOLVE AND RESOLVE

kate

Just got hit by a cyclist again yesterday (the first time was 10 years ago and I had my teeth knocked right out and was hospitalized for two months). I fell over and the cyclist didn't bother to even slow down, just yelled back "sorry". I'm getting really, really fed up of there being no consequences to cyclists doing whatever the F they want and not obeying traffic laws. It is illegal to ride on the sidewalk unless you're a child on a kid bike.

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