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Thread: Jerk!

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    Jerk!

    "Jerk!" the runner said as he sidestepped from the bike path to the sidewalk. It's a 4 lane, busy city street and I'm riding with the traffic while 3 runners are approaching me. The first two hop on the sidewalk as I get closer, the third does so reluctantly, and as I ride by him he calls out "Jerk!". Presumably I interfered with his plans of using the bike path instead of the more uneven surface of the sidewalk. His insult is wrong on so many levels that I won't waste time listing them. However, I'd like to ask if any of you would have bothered to stop to explain to him why there is a bike lane and a sidewalk and why the two are separate.

    Aldo

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    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldo
    I'd like to ask if any of you would have bothered to stop to explain to him why there is a bike lane and a sidewalk and why the two are separate.

    Aldo
    Nope..why waste your breath?
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    I had a run-in about 9 years ago with an entire high school cross country team who were running on the left side of the street, about 4 wide. As I approached them, not a single runner moved aside. I held my line and they finally had to give way. For a few moments it looked like I was going to get my head beat in...but they were cowards and settled for yelling at me...for what I'm not sure!
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 09-02-06 at 10:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldo
    "Jerk!" the runner said as he sidestepped from the bike path to the sidewalk. It's a 4 lane, busy city street and I'm riding with the traffic while 3 runners are approaching me. The first two hop on the sidewalk as I get closer, the third does so reluctantly, and as I ride by him he calls out "Jerk!". Presumably I interfered with his plans of using the bike path instead of the more uneven surface of the sidewalk. His insult is wrong on so many levels that I won't waste time listing them. However, I'd like to ask if any of you would have bothered to stop to explain to him why there is a bike lane and a sidewalk and why the two are separate.

    Aldo

    I would have replied with a "kiss my ass" as I pedaled away.

  5. #5
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    If I got upset everytime someone called me a jerk (or worse) I would have been starring on the 6 o'clock news while sitting on top of the Post Office with a deer rifle years ago.

    I just vow to live long enough to piss on thier graves

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I think I am volatile and I will tell people that cause me a problem that they are- Especially if I am right. I had a riding partner and as far as he was concerned- Any one riding in his Bike designated lane was fair game. He just rode at them and if they did not move he hit them. One particular ride we came across a car parked on one of our local trails. No idea how it got there, but he pointed out to the driver that cars were not allowed here and the quickest way for him to get off the path was--. At this the driver gave him a load of verbal. My mate did no more than shoulder his bike- stomp onto the bonnet- across the roof and down the boot- dropping and dragging his cranks across it at the same time. He then asked the driver to move his car. For some reason he did.

    This is the same rider that had a car driver swear at him, so he put on a spurt and caught him at the next junction. The rest of us were close behind and a bike on each corner of the shiny new car with the pedals touching the car, whilst my friend gave him a lecture on road etiquette and dont move your car cos it will get scratched, for the next 20 minutes.
    Last edited by stapfam; 09-03-06 at 01:30 PM.
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    I must be missing something here. Are we suggesting that pedestrians (even if they are jogging) are not allowed in the bike lane? Are they committing a crime by running against traffic? Would it have been so terrible to have moved over (even out of the bike lane) so that he could pass without taking the sidewalk?

    I hate to play the devil's advocate, but the attitude here is not unlike that which we detest when we see it in drivers.

    In my view, pedestrians definitely have the right of way, no matter where they are on the road and no matter the direction they happen to be travelling.

    I don't think you were a jerk, but I definitely would side with the runner from what you describe.

    Caruso

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    ...In my view, pedestrians definitely have the right of way, no matter where they are on the road and no matter the direction they happen to be travelling...
    Not always, Caruso - In my burg, the bike lanes are designated as BIKE lanes, and bikes have the right of way according to the City-Parish attorney, whom I e-mailed for an opinion. That doesn't mean that I don't yield to pedestrians on the bike path (and there are many). But if a particularly obnoxious pedestrian contested my right of way, I might politely point out that the path is clearly designated as a bike path. I've never done that, but you never know...

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    Is the City-Parish attorney equivalent to the DA in your parts? I am not an attorney, but have always operated under the assumption that a pedestrian's right of way always takes precedence except if he/she steps in front of a train or a plane.

    I think it would be interesting to hear legal opinions on the topic of right of way hierarchy from other parts of the country from folks who know.

    Of course, the DA's opinion (or your City-Parish attorney), while based upon current code, is still an interpretation. Even clearly written code can be challenged and overturned by higher authority.

    I'm not challenging you, at all, FarHorizon. Your point is well taken.

    I wonder in the event of a collision where neither cyclist nor ped yielded how it would be ruled.

    Personally, bike lane or no, I would yield happily to a pedestrian, so there would be no opportunity for him/her to display an obnoxious attitude - but, that's just me.

    I need to do a little research in my neck of the woods on this - perhaps I'm just spouting nonsense - but, I don't think so.

    Thanks for the info.

    Caruso

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    It really doesn't matter who's right or wrong. The best response is no response or a simple smile and wave. Defuse a situation because it may help the next guy they come across doing the same thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    ...I wonder in the event of a collision where neither cyclist nor ped yielded how it would be ruled. Personally, bike lane or no, I would yield happily to a pedestrian, so there would be no opportunity for him/her to display an obnoxious attitude - but, that's just me...
    The collision question is the specific question I asked of the city attorney. The answer I got was unambiguous - on our bike paths, bicycles have the right of way and pedestrians must yield.

    I yield daily to pedestrians on the bike path and plan on continuing to do so, but that's just me too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    I must be missing something here. Are we suggesting that pedestrians (even if they are jogging) are not allowed in the bike lane?
    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    Personally, bike lane or no, I would yield happily to a pedestrian, so there would be no opportunity for him/her to display an obnoxious attitude.
    In my case, I was riding down an extremely busy boulevard in a clearly marked bike lane, and a group of 20 plus high school runners were coming up the left hand side of the street, running 4 abreast. They were well into the traffic lane, even though there was a wide, empty sidewalk alongside. As I approached they very deliberately stayed in formation. It was obvious from their body language (talking amongst each other) that they were challenging me, and I made a conscious decision to hold my line, regardless of the outcome. This is not like me. I always back down for safety's sake, even if I have 100% of the right of way.

    When I got to them they were shocked that I didn't move over (which would have meant swerving into the lane of traffic). They parted, most of them stepping onto the sidewalk. They had plenty to say -- being a large group of of 17 year olds with their brains in their pants -- but when I gave it back to them, and they backed down.

    I have no idea who had the right of way, but given the circumstances, they should have either been on the sidewalk, or been more courteous as they moved down the boulevard.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 09-03-06 at 10:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    I always respond "Hi, neighbor!" with a smile. It throws them for a loop wondering if I'm in their Sunday School class or maybe their next-door neighbor... It also reminds them that I'm a human - not a "Jerk," and that perhaps they've been hasty in their assessment and comment.
    A great response that would be. I'm not sure I'm strong enough to give it myself, since I tend to be moody. So on a good day I'd say "Hi neighbor!". On a not so good day, it could very well be, "Kiss my arse!".

    Reminds me of one day this summer while riding my trike down the main street in a Northern Minnesota town. A gal steps onto the street in a crosswalk. I stopped for her to cross. She looked at me stunned and said that I shouldn't have to stop for her, saying it was to hard for me to stop and wait for her to cross. I just said, "But you have the right of way." She looked embarrassed to have me wait for her.
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    An interesting and unforeseen legal ramification Caruso; I did not think of this. Who is at fault should a runner collide with a biker on a bike path. I plan to ask the local city government about it.
    As far as the runners running against traffic, I made no implication that it is illegal. What might not seem obvious, however, is that they had full view of the oncoming traffic while I didn't, thus it would have put me at risk to move onto the car lane in order to yield to the runners (this is a busy 4 lane street). Keep in mind that the runners had a sidewalk available for their use. They chose the bike path mearly for convenience not for necessity. Bicycles always yield to those on foot when sharing the same path/trail, I don't think this is the case and the reason for it has to do with safety, hence a dedicated path for bikers.

    Aldo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldo
    As far as the runners running against traffic ... What might not seem obvious ... is that they had full view of the oncoming traffic while I didn't, thus it would have put me at risk to move onto the car lane in order to yield to the runners (this is a busy 4 lane street). Keep in mind that the runners had a sidewalk available for their use. They chose the bike path mearly for convenience not for necessity.
    This is my point exactly.

    When I enountered the large group of runners they had everything working to their advantage, and they exploited it, rather than use common sense and either move up to the sidewalk, or run single file...in which case, there would have been enough room for me to pass by them without having to move into traffic.They stayed 4 abreast and continued down the boulevard at full speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    This is my point exactly.

    When I enountered the large group of runners they had everything working to their advantage, and they exploited it, rather than use common sense and either move up to the sidewalk, or run single file...in which case, there would have been enough room for me to pass by them without having to move into traffic.They stayed 4 abreast and continued down the boulevard at full speed.
    Since they were a herd, they were using the herd mentality. In other words I'd look out for groups of people to be a problem.
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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    I had a run-in about 9 years ago with an entire high school cross country team who were running on the left side of the street, about 4 wide. As I approached them, not a single runner moved aside. I held my line and they finally had to give way. For a few moments it looked like I was going to get my head beat in...but they were cowards and settled for yelling at me...for what I'm not sure!
    Most likely one high school team. Report them to the vice principal, not the coach. Students are not supposed to use the bike lane. The school and coach will get in trouble. The vice principal does most of the interfacing with the non parent, teacher, admin things. Where I live the local H.S. boys and girls cross country team does the same thing, all summer long.

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    Mmmm, Blue Salsa.... BubbaDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldo
    "and as I ride by him he calls out "Jerk!".
    To which you reply in your best Pee-Wee Herman voice, "I know what you are, but what am I? HaHa!"



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    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaDog
    To which you reply in your best Pee-Wee Herman voice, "I know what you are, but what am I? HaHa!"



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    Spittin' my coffee at the monitor...BEST POST OF THE DAY!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldo
    "Jerk!" the runner said

    Aldo
    I would have replied "Its pronounced Jacque."

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    Not defending the runner's behavior - he should have more courtesy. But, please don't expect runners to keep to a sidewalk any more than cyclists would. A sidewalk is about the worst surface for running. Of course, we don't have many sidewalks here in our 'burbs, so it's not an issue for me, but when I was a runner (before I saw the light and moved to two wheels), it was nothing but roads.

    Come to think of it, we don't have bike lanes, either, so I speak from near total ignorance. Oh, well, that's never stopped me before.

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    Mmmm, Blue Salsa.... BubbaDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Spittin' my coffee at the monitor...BEST POST OF THE DAY!
    Kill 'em with kindness, that's what I say ....

    Of course, I live in a state where the defense of "He just needed killin'" is considered justifiable homicide ....

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    How hard could it possibly be for both the riders and the runners to both move over and avoid a confrontation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hask12
    How hard could it possibly be for both the riders and the runners to both move over and avoid a confrontation.
    I agree - and I'm not trying to be judgmental, either. Some of my actions/responses on the road are such than I am less than proud. Those teens aren't a lot unlike me when I was that age. I raised a couple of kids who could have behaved in an equally discourteous manner. Hind sight is always 20/20, but, at least, here on the forums, we are free to examine our actions (and those of others) from the comfort of our keyboard.

    I think a gesture of accommodation by Aldo might (I stress . . . might) have been met with a modicum of courtesy in return by the runners. If not, at least a show of courtesy might have planted a seed in those teens for the future.

    It has been observed that they were running against traffic - that is, after all, the preferred direction of travel for pedestrians on a roadway - right?

    I hadn't thought about the implications of running on the sidewalk. If they are anything like the ones we have here, they present a never ending trip hazard with slabs heaved up all over the place. Not ideal for any sort of long distance jogging.

    In closing, I'd like to thank Aldo for sharing and for not being defensive. We can all learn from his experience.

    Caruso

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Wow, this thread strikes quite close to home. Yesterday I went out to ride some hills thanks to Roccobike's recent post on getting better at hill climbing. After I finished I thought I'd take a leisurely spin down the bike path near my home to give the legs a chance to cool down and stretch out. Since it was Labor Day there were hundreds of riders on the path. At one point a large group (I was only able to count 31 of them, but there were more) came flying up the path three abreast while approaching me. They did not move to two abreast which would have given me room. So, I had to go off the paved path for about 20 yards while the passed. I was not happy about this, but also too tired to make an issue about it. In any event, on my return home on the same path, I come upon the same group off to the side of the path taking a break while one of their members was fixing a flat. I stopped and introduced myself as a rider they had recently passed going the other way. I went on to say, "You guys really tested my skills today. There was no room on the path for me as you came flying by, and I had to leave the path to avoid getting consumed by your group. I'm not used to doing that, and you all got my heart rate monitor up to the red zone pretty quickly. I'd sure appreciate it if you'd remember that there are folks like me out here who don't have the skills or speed you all have. At this point one guy apologizes, another challenges him and says they don't have anything to apologize for. At this point the group gets into a heated discussion about proper riding etiquette with well over half the group recognizing that they were in error. As I rode away I could hear several of the more obnoxious (my view) being taken to task by others.

    So, it's not just runners who act this way. Many cyclist do it too. Yet, most are able to see that it's not really a good way to act. For my part, I realized that, without meaning to, I probably put a damper on a perfectly good ride for many in that group. It was hard for them to police the behavior of thier own.
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