iPod versus Bicyclist

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Jun 2, 2003
Pedestrians and joggers that can't hear me or that won't budge anyway when I approach them from behind on a shared sidewalk/bike path have driven me to desperate measures. For some reason 2/3 of folks walk always right in the middle, leaving not enough room to pass them safely. Some people ignore a regular bell, other simply don't hear it. I usually just ring the bell gently and if someone moves over a little to let me pass, I thank them. If they don't move, I blast them now with an air horn (120 dB). This is generally very upsetting to people, because it sounds like the USS Nimitz is bearing down on them, and people get literally blasted out of my way. Either someone will have a heart attack because of it, or somebody will wait behind a bush until I ride by and club me from behind in a fit of rage. Let me again point out, this is not just a sidewalk, but also a bike path. How do you handle this sort of issue?  - Maybe I should borrow Kong's bike for a day and clear the path. [Razz] [ August 11, 2006, 12:13 AM: Message edited by: moribundman ]
Avoiding that place means sharing the street with city traffic, which does not not constitute an improvement.
Sorry, I really have no fear of traffic. I respect it, but do not fear it. I'm not saying you do, mind you, just that I love playing in it. I used to ride Police mountain bikes and became a very aggressive, yet defensive cyclist. This has transfered over to my road cycling which is really all I do now. Obviously our cities are quite different and what works for me won't for you. [Smile] I have a feeling that your horn (as you mentioned) will only serve to tick off the regular walkers and probably make them less likely to yield to you. You may try the "on your left" call and then if they don't move, blast em. Can't say you didn't warn them! [Smile]
I would think that most drivers avoid running over a cop on a bike, even in SF. [Big Grin]
You may try the "on your left" call
People here don't know the difference between left and right. They start jumping right and left randomly. The ones who at least react to yelling also react to the bell, so there's no need for me to yell my lungs out. The problem are the people who either don't hear due to wearing headphones and those who don't want to hear. An option is to switch from road tires to off-road tires and pass folks via the sandy dirt strip next to the walking path. That'll kick up dust and is also an intrusion, because the dirt strip is meant to be used only by joggers. I really love my low rolling resistance, high pressure road tires, though. I've also resorted to letting other bicyclists do the trailblazing. I simply avoid running over the scattered carnage. [Big Grin] I hope everybody realizes that I'm somewhat exaggerating here.
Sometimes they glance back and see me coming and ignore me.
Try yelling "No brakes!!! -- outta my way!!!!" [Razz]
Privilege maybe? Walking squarely in the middle, with headphones plugged in or playing deaf on a shared walking and biking path while ignoring anything around you is A-okay with you? A pedestrian must adhere to traffic rules just like anybody else.
Mori., I love it about the air horn,am going to try this on the roller blade people ,on the bike path,sounds mean,but I blade only a little still,,,as most of the people,joggers etc either dont pay attention,or no rear vision,please be alert on the pathways,BL
I've yet to run anybody over who didn't absolutely deserve it. [Razz] I'm kidding. I don't discriminate when... oh I give up. [Wink] PS: If I were 12, I'd arm myself with a good supply of water bombs. [Big Grin]
I often see a bunch of people take up the entire path think they own the road. Obviously some people don't know how to share the road. Sometimes they glance back and see me coming and ignore me. So I just go around them using the street if possible. Once someone told me I should ride on the street, no bikes allowed on sidewalk. I don't like that sand path that much, slows my speed down a bit. Riding on the street is okay if there are bike lanes.
Originally posted by Master ACiD: biking is a privelage and should be thought as such.
So is driving. I'm sure the post was only meant to flame so I will be brief. Cyclists are subject to the same traffic rules as autos. Cyclists are also required (in my state anyway) to ride on a bike path if one is available. Pedestrians are subject to their own set of laws, most of which require walking AGAINST the flow of traffic, in this case, the bike traffic. There would be no excuse for them not to see and assist in avoiding the cyclist. Hmmm, SHARED bike path. SHARE the roadways. Cyclists have just as much "right' as the walkers and joggers. Agree or not, that's the way it is.
laws, most of which require walking AGAINST the flow of traffic
Even if it's not a law, common knowledge suggest doing this. But you know, many people think if they "don't" see or hear what's going on around them, then they are absolved of all responsibility. These are the same people that will step on your heels when in line at the supermarket or that will bump merrily into other pedestrians. "Sorry, didn't see ya there, mate." The general lack of common sense and courtesy is frightening, especially in the city.
I can understand wanting music to pass the time... but thats when youre inside on the rowing machine, bike or treadmill... when woure outside, you dont need music to keep going, there is scenery and lots to see to keep you into it. I see no reason to wear an ipod or similar when working out outside. It IS a safety issue. That said, we have to yell at more than our share of people when biking at Farimont Park in Philadelphia, as folks do exactly as you describe... I think Ill try the air horn treatment next time... I have seen other bicyclists with the little portable can of noise horns on their handlebars! JMH
The air horn that comes with a cage bottle that you pressurize with your pump is very loud. I found it at Sheldon Brown's Harris Cyclery site.
When I biked daily on campus I had the SAME ISSUE. I used my air horn regularly (Delta AirZound) When they didnt move out of the way in time and I had nowhere to go I usually hit them. It taught them a lesson and its 100% legal. Police dont consider it violence since its a pedestrian vs pedestrian accident and they can't do anything to you. Teach em one at a time to walk in the walking zone so I can get by. Also, I yell "ON YOUR LEFT" before passing so they know. It works some of the time.
You hit people? Why not just run 'em down like rabid dogs... Seriously, I hope you're kidding. "To your left" doesn't work here. People don't hear it (headphones} and I can't and don't even want to yell 50 times off the top of my lung during an hour, because I'd lose my voice. Also, when yelling "On your left!" a good number of the people who hear me get confused (scared deer syndrome?) and run left, then right, then spin before freezing in a random spot. Often three or four people walk next to each other, blocking the full width of the path. The air horn works best, so far. I have also pointed a few people who were standoffish at the signs that clearly state that pedestrian have to walk on the right of the path and that bikes are not allowed on the sand-covered jogging lane, which some pedestrians believe to be a bike passing lane.
I'll usually yell "comin round ya on yer left" with good success. Then I'll thank them for moving over. If I can I'll ride during off-peak times to avoid pedestrians.
Lots of poor riding etiquette...hope you dont ride on trails. As a mountain biker youre taught that poor behavior equals bikers losing rights to trail use. I dont normally hollar anything, nor do I use a bell and a horn is just obnoxious! And I know how loud those are...youre just asking for trouble(violence maybe). I find if you pass not too close that it doesnt startle the pedestrian making them jump into your path. If you ring a bell and youre behind them, often they have to turn to look and sometimes this also puts them in you path. Once you are past them say "hi" or "excuse me"...the key is not acting like a jerk. I say change your additude and treat pedestrians as moving obsticles and use this to improve your ride as well as riding style/abillity...the only thing you are going to be able to change in this situation or any other life situation is to change yourself(and your way of thinking)! They are the pedestrian and have the right of way...just like you are driving...get over it! Sometimes, like this, people really disappoint me.
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