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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-29-07, 04:12 PM   #1
MD1982
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Over the bars!

Hey everyone, I have been lurking on the forums for a while, but after my experience today I feel compelled to post.
I was riding on my local bike path here in RI doing my usual 20 mile ride. On the weekends, the path can get kind of crowded, so I keep the speed low and pass with caution.
I come upon two older men meandering along on Wal Mart special mountain bikes. As I approach, I call out my usual "on your left!" before I pass.
Apparently, this is enough to startle one of them into moving left--directly into my path.
I grab the brakes, knowing there's no time to stop and up and over I go, headfirst into my first crash at speed (I remember seeing 15.5mph on my way over).
I land taking the brunt of the crash on my left shoulder, also hitting my left knee, wrist, and my head (thankfully helmeted).
As I lay on the asphalt doing a mental check of all my body parts, I hear a spewing of inappropriate language directed at me.
"Serves you right, M.F.er, you need get a bell or a horn to let people know you're passing, you don't know S. you stupid A." Keep in mind, the only inconvenience I've caused this guy is that he had to stop his bike and yell at someone who just smashed themselves into the pavement to keep from running into him.
I get up, dust myself off and walk my bike in the direction I came from back to my car, dripping blood and limping without a single look from the 30+ people I walked past on my 2.5 mile journey back to the car.
So here I sit, banged up, swollen and bitter. Unable to ride for at least a week.
Anyone have any motivational stories that could help restore my faith in cyclists and people in general?
Thanks for listening to my whining and complaining!
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Old 09-29-07, 04:19 PM   #2
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Wow, big time bummer. Most I had was being run off the road by a truck, but I did not get hurt. Hope you get better and I suggest a different path in the future.
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Old 09-29-07, 04:27 PM   #3
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..you need get a bell or a horn to let people know you're passing...
Well hope you feel better soon glad it isnt' worse. So far the only time I have hit the pavement was when my mind wandered and a cement island wandered into my path.
I'd get a bell if I was riding on a path as they so "nicely" suggested Take a different path and give people a wide berth too
I must admit if I never signed onto bike forums I'd have absolutely no idea in the world what it meant. I remember when I was a kid some guy came flying up on route one and said on your left and the first thing I did is look ahead on my left like something was there maybe a loose dog coming right for me or something. Since I looked when riding my bike well you guessed it I moved toward the left. I had no idea why he said that for decades.
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Old 09-29-07, 04:31 PM   #4
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Wow, that's a bummer. I'm sorry to hear that happened to you. I hope you recover quickly and are able to ride again very soon.

Some people are just rude. I'd have been tempted in that situation to give the guy a predictable two-word rejoinder accompanied by the famous salute recognized by everyone as the universal gesture of brotherhood and good will, but it would likely only have exacerbated an already unpleasant encounter.
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Old 09-29-07, 04:37 PM   #5
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Yea, I didn't want to react that way because being a 25 year old former Marine, I would look like a jerk talking smack to a 60+ yr old man and his buddy.

I thought the "on your left/right" thing was fairly self-explanatory and common. I've known it since I was very young... Oh well, I see where assumptions get me!
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Old 09-29-07, 04:51 PM   #6
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Glad you are ok. Fortunately, our paths around here don't get too busy. I have had a pretty good spidey sense about who might give trouble and slow down a lot for them. I take into consideration some of the older folks might be a bit unpredictable and have slower reflexes. But, for me, dog walkers are the worst.

If our paths had 30 plus people on them, I'd probably hit the roads instead, though.
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Old 09-29-07, 04:58 PM   #7
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Well, this is probably the second or third "there I was on the MUP going 20mph" story I've read this week. Personally, I'm staying off the MUPs! I think it's safer mixing it up with 50mph cagers on the road! At least on the road everybody's going the same way, the other drivers are at least playing at being alert, there's not crowds of kids on roller skates or bikes with training wheels, joggers with iPods, or ladys walking their golden retreiver on 20 foot leashes!

At first, MUPs seemed like a good idea - and probably would be except for the 'MU' part.
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Old 09-29-07, 05:05 PM   #8
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Not being able to ride sucks and I hope your recovery is swift.

The law here requires a bell if you ride on multi-use paths and trails althouhg ringing the bell does not guarantee that people will hear you or stay to the right as you pass them.

My most severe accidents have involved other cyclists who did not seem to understand the rules of the road and I've had two crashes on the MUTS where an oncoming cyclist was taking a corner on the inside (my lane).

On one occasion I slammed into a railing and on another ended up going down to avoifd a total head on and ruptured the bursa in my knee which kept me off the bike for a month.

I've oftten thouhg that one of those air zounds hirns would be a good idea except that startled people often jump into your path.
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Old 09-29-07, 05:07 PM   #9
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Get an air horn and give a 5 second blast behind everyone from now on - that'll teach 'em!

Glad you're OK!

And I tend not to like MUPs that are well traveled since so many idiots are on them.
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Old 09-29-07, 05:14 PM   #10
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Sometimes the best warning is none at all. Everytime I ring the bell people seem to go into my path.
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Old 09-29-07, 05:20 PM   #11
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Stay off the MUTs. They're a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Ride on the road. It's safer.

Some MUTs are safer than others.
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Old 09-29-07, 05:23 PM   #12
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That sucks man I ride 11 miles a day most on a multi use path In Brooklyn NY, while I haven't lost control yet I have a close call at least 3x a week, Screaming and whistles seem to work best yelling on your left on a brooklyn path doesn't work unless you have a translator riding with you.
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Old 09-29-07, 05:26 PM   #13
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If you can get on some of them that are not so urban, they can be a lot of fun and turn into more bicycle paths as the pedestrians only wander so far before turning back.
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Old 09-29-07, 05:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MD1982 View Post
Hey everyone, I have been lurking on the forums for a while, but after my experience today I feel compelled to post.
I was riding on my local bike path here in RI doing my usual 20 mile ride. On the weekends, the path can get kind of crowded, so I keep the speed low and pass with caution.
I come upon two older men meandering along on Wal Mart special mountain bikes. As I approach, I call out my usual "on your left!" before I pass.
Apparently, this is enough to startle one of them into moving left--directly into my path.
I grab the brakes, knowing there's no time to stop and up and over I go, headfirst into my first crash at speed (I remember seeing 15.5mph on my way over).
I land taking the brunt of the crash on my left shoulder, also hitting my left knee, wrist, and my head (thankfully helmeted).
As I lay on the asphalt doing a mental check of all my body parts, I hear a spewing of inappropriate language directed at me.
"Serves you right, M.F.er, you need get a bell or a horn to let people know you're passing, you don't know S. you stupid A." Keep in mind, the only inconvenience I've caused this guy is that he had to stop his bike and yell at someone who just smashed themselves into the pavement to keep from running into him.
I get up, dust myself off and walk my bike in the direction I came from back to my car, dripping blood and limping without a single look from the 30+ people I walked past on my 2.5 mile journey back to the car.
So here I sit, banged up, swollen and bitter. Unable to ride for at least a week.
Anyone have any motivational stories that could help restore my faith in cyclists and people in general?
Thanks for listening to my whining and complaining!
Gee, maybe it's my Canadian politeness, but if I saw someone do an over the bars, inappropriate action or not, I would stop and ask if they were okay, and offer some assistance. Mind you, I would probably reply to his diatribe, "I THINK I'M HURT, SOMEBODY GET ME A LAWYER". Yeah I know, a doctor or paramedic would be more useful, but it would likely shut him up, really fast, while he wonders if you know something he doesn't.
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Old 09-29-07, 06:01 PM   #15
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I haven't really figured out the best solution for that situation. One problem with saying "On your left" or whatever ("Passing on your left" is more clear) is that you have to be pretty close for it to work, and if you're going fast and they don't move, you don't have time to dodge. The path I ride on, you can generally go around people if you need to, and that seems the more prudent course of action if you're making any speed.
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Old 09-29-07, 06:31 PM   #16
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MD you're a saint. If that were me rage would take over and that a-hole would've been on the ground.
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Old 09-29-07, 07:42 PM   #17
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Well, this is probably the second or third "there I was on the MUP going 20mph" story I've read this week. Personally, I'm staying off the MUPs! I think it's safer mixing it up with 50mph cagers on the road! At least on the road everybody's going the same way, the other drivers are at least playing at being alert, there's not crowds of kids on roller skates or bikes with training wheels, joggers with iPods, or ladys walking their golden retreiver on 20 foot leashes!

At first, MUPs seemed like a good idea - and probably would be except for the 'MU' part.
Hear! Hear!

When I first got back on my bike (was it only August?), I thought I'd be making much use of the MUP around the tip of my town's peninsula. I now do loops up and down the beachfront roads, preferring to take my chances with car doors than with the Multiple Users. I don't do bells or horns, believing my voice to be more reliable, louder, and much more colorful, but it amazes me how many people respond to a loud shout from behind, "Passing on your left!" by immediately jumping left.
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Old 09-29-07, 07:52 PM   #18
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Hear! Hear!

When I first got back on my bike (was it only August?), I thought I'd be making much use of the MUP around the tip of my town's peninsula. I now do loops up and down the beachfront roads, preferring to take my chances with car doors than with the Multiple Users. I don't do bells or horns, believing my voice to be more reliable, louder, and much more colorful, but it amazes me how many people respond to a loud shout from behind, "Passing on your left!" by immediately jumping left.
I think the problem with "on your left", or "passing on your left", is that by the time the person denotes someone is speaking, and that the message may be directed at them, they only comprehend "LEFT" so they go left. I find that using a bicycle bell that goes brrring brrring works just as well, in that people will look around for the bicycle, which is the whole point, if they see you, they will not collide with you.

Now for the OP, to get all serious, on a crowded MUP, 15MPH is far in excess of the speed you should have been going, if you do not have time for evasive action, your going too fast.

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Old 09-29-07, 07:56 PM   #19
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^^^^ "No! Your Other Left!!!!" ^^^^
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Old 09-29-07, 08:14 PM   #20
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^^^^ "No! Your Other Left!!!!" ^^^^
LMAO!!!

Don't hear that one nearly enough anymore.
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Old 09-29-07, 08:42 PM   #21
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Now for the OP, to get all serious, on a crowded MUP, 15MPH is far in excess of the speed you should have been going, if you do not have time for evasive action, your going too fast.
Just to clarify, my going 15+ mph on the path pales in comparison to the freds going 20+ on their litespeeds in full kit. By busy, I mean on weekends I pass more than the usual 6 cyclists and 10 joggers. This was a situation that would've been avoided had I merly blown by them in the left lane, most likely causing them to shoot me the bird.
Can't win!
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Old 09-29-07, 09:00 PM   #22
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Glad your ok- use the experience as a lesson- not everyone on a bike knows proper etiquette. In your case they were rude and out of line. Sorry you had the experience.
The bike trails I ride on have a lot of Mexicans walking on them and most of the time when I call out "On your left" they simply raise their left hands and don't move over..............
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Old 09-29-07, 09:29 PM   #23
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You should have tased him.
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Old 09-29-07, 09:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MD1982 View Post
Hey everyone, I have been lurking on the forums for a while, but after my experience today I feel compelled to post.
I was riding on my local bike path here in RI doing my usual 20 mile ride. On the weekends, the path can get kind of crowded, so I keep the speed low and pass with caution.
I come upon two older men meandering along on Wal Mart special mountain bikes. As I approach, I call out my usual "on your left!" before I pass.
Apparently, this is enough to startle one of them into moving left--directly into my path.
I grab the brakes, knowing there's no time to stop and up and over I go, headfirst into my first crash at speed (I remember seeing 15.5mph on my way over).
I land taking the brunt of the crash on my left shoulder, also hitting my left knee, wrist, and my head (thankfully helmeted).
As I lay on the asphalt doing a mental check of all my body parts, I hear a spewing of inappropriate language directed at me.
"Serves you right, M.F.er, you need get a bell or a horn to let people know you're passing, you don't know S. you stupid A." Keep in mind, the only inconvenience I've caused this guy is that he had to stop his bike and yell at someone who just smashed themselves into the pavement to keep from running into him.
I get up, dust myself off and walk my bike in the direction I came from back to my car, dripping blood and limping without a single look from the 30+ people I walked past on my 2.5 mile journey back to the car.
So here I sit, banged up, swollen and bitter. Unable to ride for at least a week.
Anyone have any motivational stories that could help restore my faith in cyclists and people in general?
Thanks for listening to my whining and complaining!

Sorry you hit the pavement so hard. Heal quickly.
That's a normal move from walkers on bike paths. Expect it, that's all you can do.
Was that today? Did you pass Bailey and I in the green trike today?
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Old 09-29-07, 09:59 PM   #25
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I got scared off my bike by a big canadian goose and I went for a spill and ripped my leg up pretty bad. I had been yelling at him to get off the path but instead he turned towards me and opened his wings and made this loud hissing noise so I swerved hit soft dirt and down I went.

I'm sure the noises the goose was making afterwards was the equivilant of laughing and talking some trash to his buddies about what he did to me.
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