Showing posts with label MUP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MUP. Show all posts

Monday, August 28, 2017

On Yer Left

I recently read an article from the Bikesnob in Outside magazine called "The Politics of Passing" in which he goes through the various ways in which a cyclist can alert pedestrians to their presence and ultimately the no-win situation we often face.

I rode another piece of the Thames Valley Parkway yesterday and captured the video I'll need to put together another tour; that will be coming sometime soon. This part of the TVP on a sunny Sunday is crowded with people on foot. It made me want to offer my two cents on this inexhaustible topic.

Waiting my turn on yesterday's ride

As much as people talk about bike bells being a happy sound, I think they take on an annoying, almost self-important character when repeatedly used by multiple cyclists navigating lots of people walking on a path. I have a bell, but I use it very rarely.

Today helped me decide once and for all how I prefer to govern myself in overtaking situations. Here are the guidelines I currently use:

1) If it is a busy place where people pretty much expect to be passed by bicycles, I say nothing, use lots of caution and pass only when there is room to do so without anybody feeling like they've been "buzzed".

2) If it is a situation where I think people might be startled, I prefer to loudly say "Bike comin' up", sooner than one would think necessary. My phraseology here has evolved from "On yer left" to "Bike on yer left" to "Bike comin' up". My rationale is that when processing an unexpected message, people (myself included) kind of freeze up or even dart the wrong way when they need to quickly process the word "left" (wait, which left)? Adding Bike to the front of the phrase helped to quickly identify the "threat" and "Bike comin' up" seems like all the info I would want or need in order to react properly were I the one on foot.

3) Sometimes I just get a gut feeling that saying anything at all will cause a pedestrian freak out. In these cases I slow down and give as much room as feasible. When people startle anyway, I feel bad, but most times (and with most things, many of which are infinitely more important than bike path passing) trusting ones gut works out.

4) Runners are an exception. I may well say "on yer left" when approaching a runner or runners, because I think there's a good chance they invented it. In any case, they always respond quickly and well. I love runners; they get how the path works, or should work.

What works best for you? Rather than something like the ;^%$!#@ helmet debate, this is one topic I could talk about all day!

Yer Pal,

PS - One final note: I have zero tolerance for the pathletes who put people at risk or get pissed off or both in situations like the ones above. If you're chasing a Strava KOM or a personal best or need to train HARD, don't hit the multi-use pathway in prime time. Just don't. Idiots. I'm angry at them right now even thought I didn't see too many stupid moves yesterday. Grrrr.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Just for the Record, I am 44 and my name isn't Wayne.

There was some local London Ontario news I meant to share 2 months ago but only remembered today. Among multi use path people, groups of joggers really slow cyclists down. Especially when you have to literally run them over. All that annoying bumping, you know...
From a local CTV article:
A 65-year-old London man is facing a number of charges after a woman who was running on a trail was struck from behind by a cyclist and then run over, causing serious injuries.
Wayne Morrison has been charged with assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, mischief and common nuisance in the incident.
London police say the woman was running on a Thames Valley trail in December 2012 when Morrison allegedly rode directly into her back, causing her to fall to the ground and then rode over her.
The 37-year-old woman suffered a concussion, broken ribs, a pulled neck and severe bruising on her face including two black eyes. The incident appears to just be the latest in a string disruptive behaviour involving a cyclist and area runners.
When I'm riding the paths, groups of runners present some of the biggest slowdowns and I find it a little vexing when I have to deal with lots of them, as I'm sure they do when it comes to lots of bicycles. The path is meant to be shared and they have every bit as much right to the path as I do.
In addition, groups of runners (and individuals too) are among very few users who seem to get the whole "on your left" idea. Although they often spread out across the whole path, when I announce "bike on your left" they very reliably spread the word amongst themselves and move over.
Even then, I never blow by a group like that because it just isn't safe. Instead I pass at fairly low speed. We often share a few thank you's and a wave and sometimes even a "have a good run" or "have a good ride". I really like that part, because in most day-to-day travel, that kind of civility and goodwill NEVER happens. It happens with joggers and me. I like joggers.

My name is Patrick Cormier. I am 44 years old. I do not own a black leotard, although at 200+ lbs and 5'10", I bet I would look awesome in one.

Yer Free of Pending Charges Pal,