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Old 04-17-09, 11:37 AM   #1
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Vicious Jogger

Just thought I'd share (cause, you know, sharing is caring or something like that):

My wife and I went for a short ride today on the local trails. They're all within the city so they get quite a bit of foot traffic as well as bike traffic. My wife and I aren't particularly fast. Actually, we're quite slow when we ride together. I think we averaged about 11 today.

All in all we had almost no problems.

That was until the end of the ride. We passed a jogger. My wife said "on your left" before. He was one the far right of the trail. We rode by giving him probably 2-3 feet of space: Plenty when you're going 12mph and we're all clearly capable of maintaining a straight line.

As we rode by the guy muttered. My wife couldn't understand it and neither could I. I said "oh, sometimes joggers mutter to themselves, he was probably saying 'one more mile' or something like that."

We stopped about two blocks down the trail for a break. He came running by after we'd been standing for a few minutes. I turned hearing him talk to hear him spout on about how weak our signal was. I said something (I'm hard to set off, so I can assure you I said it in a kind voice) and he called us fat asses and lance wannabes.

At this point I'd like to give you a picture of us. I'm about 5'9". I weigh 180lbs and I'm wearing jean shorts and a tshirt. I did have on "moon shoes" (Shimano's touring shoe) but other than that normal clothes. I'm riding a Surly Cross Check with fenders, a rack, a pannier, and a B17 saddle. In no way could I be mistaken for a lance wannabe. I know, cause I have those clothes and that bike too!
My wife is no lance wannabe either. Although she was on that style of low end road bike.

Well, I didn't say much until he'd gone a ways. I suppose I yelled some, um, foul language at him as he left: I guess I'm no angel. We saddled up later and went on. We stopped at the bike shop to drop something off and then continued again.

Then we catch up to him. Yay. One of us may have said something rude to him as we passed the second time: Clear across the other end of the 14' trail.

He then screamed at us and pointed threateningly until we were too far away to hear him. I yelled back that that was assault. I figured that if we ran into him again it'd be good for him to have been warned before I called 911.

We managed to avoid him the rest of the way home, although, thanks to the light, we took a shortcut to do so.

This is the first time I've been assaulted by a jogger. The cagers do it constantly, but this is the first time by someone outside the cage.

I must admit I'm a bit afraid. I might avoid the trails for a while. Cars aren't scary. Angry monkeys are.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:59 AM   #2
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Just ignore them. The fact that you engaged the jerk in conversation when he made his initial muttering was problem #1 - that's what he wanted in the first place.

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Old 04-17-09, 12:02 PM   #3
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At some level, a `Lance wannabee' is just some guy on a bike.
You could have retorted and called him a (look up some famous runners) `Jeff Galloway wannabee' ...
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Old 04-17-09, 12:31 PM   #4
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Next time you see him, yell "Run Forest! Run!"
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Old 04-17-09, 12:40 PM   #5
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I guess I missed the actual assault part. Pointing was it?
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Old 04-17-09, 01:14 PM   #6
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I guess I missed the actual assault part. Pointing was it?
I read it twice and couldn't figure out how they were assaulted. Maybe the pushing or throwing part was left out?
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Old 04-17-09, 02:00 PM   #7
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If he was pointing a finger in a manacing manner I think the authorities should have been notified.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:23 PM   #8
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If he was pointing a finger in a manacing manner I think the authorities should have been notified.
Really? What should he do after the police were done laughing?
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Old 04-17-09, 02:24 PM   #9
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2 feet is not enough, your fault.

Oh wait he wasn't a cyclist, so obviously he is at fault.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:29 PM   #10
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I guess I missed the actual assault part. Pointing was it?
I felt he was about to get violent. The threat of violence is assault, yes.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:30 PM   #11
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2 feet is not enough, your fault.

Oh wait he wasn't a cyclist, so obviously he is at fault.
Really? At 12mph? Shall I give 10 feet next time? Maybe I should just ride 3mph if there is anyone walking on a trail.

2 feet is plenty. I've never come close to touching a ped.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:31 PM   #12
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Really? What should he do after the police were done laughing?
I think he's being sarcastic. It's a common form of dialog. I'm a big fan actually.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:37 PM   #13
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I read it twice and couldn't figure out how they were assaulted. Maybe the pushing or throwing part was left out?
I think that's called battery.

Next time I'll say "harassed."
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Old 04-17-09, 02:39 PM   #14
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Just ignore them. The fact that you engaged the jerk in conversation when he made his initial muttering was problem #1 - that's what he wanted in the first place.

-Kurt
No we did not. We said "left" or "on your left", he muttered. We discussed. We stopped. He caught up (he couldn't hear our discussion) and began to yell at us.

If I didn't tell it right the first time I apologize, that's my fault. But no, he definitely started up the yelling a couple minutes after the passing event.

My wife tells me that what he was saying was that we're not supposed to call "on your left" unless in a group and that he could hear us coming from a mile away or something to that effect. So I'm really confused now why he was mad.
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Old 04-17-09, 03:06 PM   #15
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The guy is probably the same way with other people, on bikes or not. There are cranky people who jog, after all.
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Old 04-17-09, 04:08 PM   #16
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I felt he was about to get violent. The threat of violence is assault, yes.
Technically, yeah...but he was on foot, you were on bicycles, already a fair distance away from him, and moving further away by the second. There was no immediate way he could hurt you, unless you chose to approach him. Unless he was threatening to track you down later, the threat of violence was nil.

I can't imagine any DA trying to get assault charges to stick. His actual crime, in technical legal terms, is "being an *******", and the standard punishment is that everyone around you knows you're an *******, and reacts accordingly. No doubt the penalty is already being applied rigorously in his case.


Edit: Does remind me of an exchange from a Dave Barry book, though:

"I hope you realize you just committed assault."
"I know, I know. I remember time was you actually had to hit somebody."
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Old 04-17-09, 04:57 PM   #17
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"My wife said "on your left" before. He was one the far right of the trail. We rode by giving him probably 2-3 feet of space"


My state has a 3 foot passing law. Seems like if the lane is 14 feet wide, and he was all the way over, you could've given more than 2 feet of clearance.

I know itís the accepted thing to do, and I know itís better than just sneaking up on people, but I HATE IT when somebody says "On your left!" to me. Or even worse, just "Left!" The idea was to give a little warning, like a tap on a car's horn from a bit of distance; but the way itís worked out is to be just a way of saying "Get out of my way." Itís never soon enough to react to, itís often too soft, and itís occasionally muttered at my Right elbow as I'm trying to ease around a walker myself. I pass at 5 or 6 mph and I ding my stupid little bell from 30 feet back and I try to be the cyclist the peds don't remember when they're thinking about how folks go too fast in the place they thought was going to be a lot more quiet and peaceful than it turns out to be. And if I want to go faster, or maintain my speed for some reason? Roads. That's what they're for, after all.

"I must admit I'm a bit afraid. I might avoid the trails for a while. Cars aren't scary. Angry monkeys are."


I think sometimes folks are so used to the isolation that modern life affords us, that dealing with strangers in unscripted situations really can make us afraid. But the solution to that isn't to stay home and dehumanize the rest of your fellow humans; it's to get out there on the path among them. So he's a thin-skinned cheeser and over-reacted to some little everyday slight; there's lots of us like him out there and we get to keep using the path.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:05 PM   #18
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Cranky, not vicious

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I felt he was about to get violent. The threat of violence is assault, yes.
If you really think this is true, you should check the actual laws in your state. Where I live, the threat has to be credible, putting you in actual, credible fear of being harmed. A man on foot raising his voice and pointing his finger, while you're on a bike, would never meet that standard. Why do I know this? I was on a jury with just that question. Now if he'd been holding a gun, even if it was pointed at the ground, while he was yelling at you, that would be assault (at least that's what we thought and we convicted him).

I hope to never live in a world where what you're talking about is actually chargable assault.

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The guy is probably the same way with other people, on bikes or not. There are cranky people who jog, after all.
My thoughts exactly: the thread title should have been "cranky jogger". Vicious? that's funny.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:17 PM   #19
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You don't have bells yet? Peds like them.

I was standing in my driveway this morning and a car full of teenagers drove by. One of them yelled "Crackhead hippie!".

Urban static...
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Old 04-17-09, 05:20 PM   #20
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If you really think this is true, you should check the actual laws in your state. Where I live, the threat has to be credible, putting you in actual, credible fear of being harmed. A man on foot raising his voice and pointing his finger, while you're on a bike, would never meet that standard. Why do I know this? I was on a jury with just that question. Now if he'd been holding a gun, even if it was pointed at the ground, while he was yelling at you, that would be assault (at least that's what we thought and we convicted him).

I hope to never live in a world where what you're talking about is actually chargable assault.



My thoughts exactly: the thread title should have been "cranky jogger". Vicious? that's funny.
He wasn't cranky. I'm cranky. He was spewing. People who call you "fat lance wannabes" aren't crankee.

I'm not making a legal case out of this so I don't see the need to back up my terms with multiple witnesses and legal proof. I might have picked harass instead of assault. I just tend to use the term assault.

Really didn't think that would be so controversial.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:28 PM   #21
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"My wife said "on your left" before. He was one the far right of the trail. We rode by giving him probably 2-3 feet of space"


My state has a 3 foot passing law. Seems like if the lane is 14 feet wide, and he was all the way over, you could've given more than 2 feet of clearance.

I know itís the accepted thing to do, and I know itís better than just sneaking up on people, but I HATE IT when somebody says "On your left!" to me. Or even worse, just "Left!" The idea was to give a little warning, like a tap on a car's horn from a bit of distance; but the way itís worked out is to be just a way of saying "Get out of my way." Itís never soon enough to react to, itís often too soft, and itís occasionally muttered at my Right elbow as I'm trying to ease around a walker myself. I pass at 5 or 6 mph and I ding my stupid little bell from 30 feet back and I try to be the cyclist the peds don't remember when they're thinking about how folks go too fast in the place they thought was going to be a lot more quiet and peaceful than it turns out to be. And if I want to go faster, or maintain my speed for some reason? Roads. That's what they're for, after all.

"I must admit I'm a bit afraid. I might avoid the trails for a while. Cars aren't scary. Angry monkeys are."


I think sometimes folks are so used to the isolation that modern life affords us, that dealing with strangers in unscripted situations really can make us afraid. But the solution to that isn't to stay home and dehumanize the rest of your fellow humans; it's to get out there on the path among them. So he's a thin-skinned cheeser and over-reacted to some little everyday slight; there's lots of us like him out there and we get to keep using the path.
Your state has a 3 foot passing law for cars passing slow moving vehicles. Big difference. The car is passing a 15mph vehicle at 35mph. Verse an 8mph ped at 12mph. See the difference?

We probably gave more than 2 feet but I didn't want to exaggerate my distance as it wasn't high on my mind and I didn't want to sound like I was being perfectly pleasant: I'm sure I did something wrong.

This wasn't the time when you calmly say "I'm sorry." Calmness wasn't going to diffuse this guy. Keeping my mouth shut didn't diffuse him. He yelled until we were out of sight and we weren't egging him on (yet, we did that later). We were sort of flabbergasted at that time.

In thousands of miles on these trails I've never seen anyone so pissed off.


Anyway, I suspect that the guy may have felt the "left" was asking him to move over. That's really not the case. I use it as a warning to mean: "Please don't move to the left until I pass." And I think that's the normal meaning. "Excuse me!" is what you say when you need them to move because they're blocking the whole trail.


You can't pass a jogger at 6mph. They're going 6mph.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:33 PM   #22
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I think that there was a thread on here somewhere the whole "on your left thing"...

It can get annoying

Ride safely, pass safely, allow room go around, protect yourself, watch out for vulnerable parties, yeah there are those more vulnerable than a cyclist.
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Old 04-17-09, 05:33 PM   #23
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Now if he'd been holding a gun, even if it was pointed at the ground, while he was yelling at you, that would be assault (at least that's what we thought and we convicted him).
I would definitely agree with that. I'm not trying to make a legal case. "Assault" was obviously a poor choice of words. Next time I'll tell him "shut the blankety blank up you freaking scumbag prick."
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Old 04-17-09, 05:38 PM   #24
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Really? At 35mph? Shall I give 10 feet next time? Maybe I should just drive 12mph if there is anyone riding a bike.

2 feet is plenty. I've never come close to touching a Cyclist.
We see a commonality here?
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Old 04-17-09, 05:51 PM   #25
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We see a commonality here?
Yes I see where you changed 12mph to 35mph. That's 3 times the speed and easily 4 times the difference in speed. So should cars give us 8 feet when they're doing 35mph.

What I'm seeing is you giving no usable guidelines.

How many feet StrangeWill? How many feet?
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