Advocacy & Safety - Frightening Pedestrians and Dogs
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05-10-01, 02:43 PM
My conscience is really hurting.
Often while cycling, I seem to unintentionally frighten motorists, pedestrians, dogs, even small children. Am I a monster?
I even try to warn them... "Ahem!" I clear my throat, really loud. Or, "Hi!" But when I pass, it's always the same.
Am I a freak? Once, a kid fed up with this nonsense tried to scare me.
"RAAAaaHHH!!!" he roared. I tried to encourage him. "Good job!" :thumbup:
Maybe I can contract out to the federal government in their "stealth" program. Better yet, I suggest the local police use bicycles more because they can sneak up on
people. It's amazing the weird things you sneak up on, whether on foot or by bike (you know, you've seen them.)
05-10-01, 02:54 PM
You're not a monster...just misunderstood. I find a slap to the back of the head alerts most pedestrians of my presence.
The police in this town are all over the place with their bike patrols...and to think, I used to like bikes. The other day I was standing inside the back door loudly reprimanding my dog, and looked outside to see a bike cop standing in the alley staring at me from just yards away. I'm going to have to be more careful in the future.
No problem--just be politically correct when you chastise your dog: instead of "Bad dog!" be sure to say "Good dog!" and that way you won't end up in psychological counseling.
05-10-01, 05:30 PM
When I'm riding with my SO, it's usually on a bike path in the local park (the kind that don't go anywhere, but that's togetherness!). There are a lot of pedestrians, slower cyclists, roller bladers etc. I've got a small bell on my bike and ring it to alert them, or at least yell before I get there, "passing on your left" etc.
05-10-01, 08:59 PM
I think the issue with pedestrians is the perception that much of society has that bikes are basically toys used to spin around the local park on Sunday morning. With that in mind, many of them are going to experience some degree of shock if they see you riding down the road at 30km/h.
Originally posted by Chris L
...many of them are going to experience some degree of shock if they see you riding down the road at 30km/h.
Chris, I watched a Public Television program last night about the Conquistadors--historian Michael Wood was the host. He quoted an Aztec account of seeing Cortes and his men riding onto shore on their horses: "They ride deer as tall as houses!"
Maybe that's akin to the shock you describe.
I was talking to a guy just recently about cycling. He was quite a bit older than me and too he insists on riding the road. He told me how he'd make himself known on the street using the "spitting rule". If he can spit on a passing vehicle, then it's too close. I wonder if he ever spat on a pedestrian that were in his way to make himself known.
Now you can rest assured that cycling silently scaring people is far less monstorous than some alternatives.
Personally, I find people panic more at the sound of the bell coming up behind them than my silently keeping a wide distance between myself and the ped as I pass.
05-11-01, 02:19 AM
Maybe i need a shrink, but the fact people get scared of me cruising 2.5 mph in the park makes me LOL :D , even if you yell a couple of times it`s like Pete said; "Yikes" , "Watch out you little devil" and "Aaagh"!
Some pedestrians are crazy, around here they like to hike & run on the MTB-track, looking angry if you passing by with lightspeed!
05-11-01, 02:48 AM
Well Pete, if you look like your avatar, even I would be scared of a large blue man with a huge chin and a topknot riding down the street! ;)
The answer is crystal clear to me... people are simply not paying attention to their surroundings. They're too invloved in their own worlds to look around them and see what is there. I mean, when you have the windows rolled up, A/C and radio blasting on your way to get a triple greaseburger Mega meal from McD's, how can one be expected to look for someone else on the road!
I scare people sometimes even long after I announce myself, so don't feel like it's just you.
05-11-01, 07:45 AM
I have been thinking of a variation of the spitting rule for cars coming up from behind. How about a bike bumper sticker that says "If I can reach your car with this HAMMER, you are passing too close."? :)
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