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Old 12-28-08, 10:26 PM   #1
Crash2Much
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Woman and Dog use up WHOLE bike path.

I was riding along on the bikeway and all of a sudden something grabbed my bike and pulled it to a stop. I hit the brakes and put my feet down just in time to keep from falling over when I was forced to a stop then I noticed a tiny 1/8" black rope snagged under my handle bars and the rope goes to the left side and right side all the way across the bike path. I heard a yell too. As it turns out some woman was standing in the bushes on the right side of the path and her dog was on the left side of the path. The 20 ft of black rope was attached between her and the dog. The woman got mad, she told me to pay attention and watch where I am going. I told here to follow the RULES, keep right, pass on the left, don't' use up the WHOLE path other people would like to use it too. She starts yelling at me that I hurt her wrist and maybe the dog is hurt too. I told her it was her own fault but that pissed her off. After we got untangled she wanted to see my identification and I told her, "NO WAY"!!! Then I road off into the sun set and left here standing there. No way am I going to let that woman get me involved in some type of legal crap. It is her word again mine anyway, I know for a fact with no witness the judge will say it is her word again mine, case dismissed. I refuse to go there. Next time she walks her dog maybe she will be smart enough to keep to the right. I think she was having a blond moment.
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Old 12-28-08, 10:35 PM   #2
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I had the same thing happen once, but the woman wasn't as daffy.
When she saw what happening, she let go of the retraction mechanism and it went sailing around my head tube.
She also didn't try to blame me.
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Old 12-28-08, 11:16 PM   #3
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I've had narrow misses like that here too. Of course, for me, that means a leash across the face since I'm on a very low trike. Those are far less frequent than zipping around a curve and finding two people walking side by side just far enough apart that they manage to take up the whole path and no room to pass.

As for when I walk my dog, I've trained him to respond to 'MY SIDE!' when he forgets himself and starts wandering to the wrong side of the path. Took a bit of doing. Silly head strong huskies!
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Old 12-29-08, 08:56 AM   #4
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Solutions such as refurbishing your vehicle to look like something out of "Mad Max -Road Warrior" or "The Cars That Ate Paris" come to mind. However gladiatorial combat is not what enjoying an evenings bike ride is about.
Down on my bit of the planet we generally (we don't want to go into the nitty gritty of statutes here) can't ride on footpaths. We can however ride on Dual Use Paths but pedestrians have 'right of way'. While you have to go for a test in order to get a motor vehicle licence there is none such for pedestrians, this means that the understanding of 'right of way' is whatever the pedestrian thinks it is. Other examples of ignorance abound, few are aware that under the Australian road rules pedestrians can't walk two abreast on a DUP, for instance. However the basic principle, the same that is supposed to work on the road network, is that the larger and faster moving vehicles have a duty of care towards to slower. So we as cyclists are responsible for the calm and safety of our paths and pedestrian traffic. Scary isn't it?
This sort of thing has happened to me, it just doesn't stop me. Yes, you live in a litigious society and giving some clown you personal details really isn't attractive, agreed. But the actual experience isn't likely to happen to you again and really I don't think that anyone is going to solve the source problem other than not become the dog-toting assailant next time. And not shouting back at the lady would have been better, I expect that she went home to her husband or family to complain about the malicious cyclist who injured her. Hopefully there won't be mug shots of you plastered about the place all looking like a generic picture of a cyclist so that we all get the heat.
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Old 12-29-08, 08:57 AM   #5
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Were that to happen to me I can only hope that I could think fast enough to hit the ground and stay there. What better way to explain to an idiot the dangers of their lunacy than from the ground, as they fret over your well being?

Unfortunately, when I'm on an apparently empty path I'm usually moving quite fast and that would have proven to be very unpleasant for the dog and the ladies arm.

Last edited by cranky old dude; 12-29-08 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 12-29-08, 09:10 AM   #6
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What? She tried to clothesline you and then blamed you for not seeing it? Amazing.
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Old 12-29-08, 09:15 AM   #7
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Yup, and those retracto leash cords aren't very thick. Against any sort of dark background they will be near-invisible.
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Old 12-29-08, 09:21 AM   #8
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That takes a whole lot of nerve to attempt to decapitate someone and then blame it on the victim.
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Old 12-31-08, 04:49 PM   #9
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Two old men can do the same thing!

The two days after Thanksgiving I ran into a similar issue on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST). I left from Clewiston on a two day, 122 mile ride around the lake. That was the second to last day of an eight day hike around the lake and as I started out on the trail towards Moore Haven, I met a LOT of hikers walking towards me. About seven miles down the trail, I came upon two old men, walking side by side, each with two walking sticks. They had on baseball caps, and had to be over 70 years old, each of them. They were walking along the trail, each looking at his shoes (I guess amazed that they could still walk at their age) and NOT looking at the scenery or each other, or for that matter, down the trail. I had to bring my trike to a full stop to keep from hitting them, and when I admonished them for looking at their shoes and not at what was going on around them, one of them finally stepped aside and let me ride by. Why take a walk around the lake on a levy that is 30 feet above the surrounding countryside, and look at the pavement? Beats me!

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee,FL
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Old 12-31-08, 06:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Crash2Much View Post
I was riding along on the bikeway and all of a sudden something grabbed my bike and pulled it to a stop. I hit the brakes and put my feet down just in time to keep from falling over when I was forced to a stop then I noticed a tiny 1/8" black rope snagged under my handle bars and the rope goes to the left side and right side all the way across the bike path. I heard a yell too. As it turns out some woman was standing in the bushes on the right side of the path and her dog was on the left side of the path. The 20 ft of black rope was attached between her and the dog. The woman got mad, she told me to pay attention and watch where I am going. I told here to follow the RULES, keep right, pass on the left, don't' use up the WHOLE path other people would like to use it too. She starts yelling at me that I hurt her wrist and maybe the dog is hurt too. I told her it was her own fault but that pissed her off. After we got untangled she wanted to see my identification and I told her, "NO WAY"!!! Then I road off into the sun set and left here standing there. No way am I going to let that woman get me involved in some type of legal crap. It is her word again mine anyway, I know for a fact with no witness the judge will say it is her word again mine, case dismissed. I refuse to go there. Next time she walks her dog maybe she will be smart enough to keep to the right. I think she was having a blond moment.
should have said OK to the ID thing, and just mooned her!
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Old 12-31-08, 07:18 PM   #11
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Because of the hard to see black color, even a problem with a short leash, I bought a bright orange leash with relective tape on it. It should really be a law. It's not a solution, but it would help a little for dummies like her. I also bought a wide leash insead of the thin cord for the size dog I have. It helps a little too.
Not that I would ever do what she did, but there are other times when an invisible black leash is a problem too. My guess is that black sells better. Too bad, it should go. Imagine walking the dog at night with a thin black leash!

I wear my "Take a Look" bike mirror if I walk the dog near the bike path. It is wonderfull.

Sometimes the dog takes almost all your attention, and it's a lot easier than turning around all the time to see what's coming. Some peds don't realize some bikes are almost silent, or just focus on the dog, or both. I have mentioned the mirror for dog walkers before, but it's a new and different thing, no one seems to understand what I am saying. It helps to be a cyclist and a dog walker, I guess.
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Old 01-01-09, 12:36 PM   #12
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Most leash laws have a limit of 8 feet for the leash. I train my dogs off leash so that doesn't happen.
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Old 01-10-09, 11:47 PM   #13
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Exactly why does one need a retractable leash anyways? What problem does this device solve? My aunt has one and the retracting mechanism is always breaking turning it into an expensive normal leash.
I usually deal with irrational, self important creatures like this by standing silently and staring directly into their eyes. Sooner or later they become really uncomfortable and move along. If you are wearing sunglasses remove them before doing this. That way you have done nothing illegal and get the point across that you really are not in the mood to deal with their crap.

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Old 01-11-09, 11:27 AM   #14
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Exactly why does one need a retractable leash anyways? What problem does this device solve? My aunt has one and the retracting mechanism is always breaking turning it into an expensive normal leash.
I usually deal with irrational, self important creatures like this by standing silently and staring directly into their eyes. Sooner or later they become really uncomfortable and move along. If you are wearing sunglasses remove them before doing this. That way you have done nothing illegal and get the point across that you really are not in the mood to deal with their crap.
In an open field without others nearby the extra length can give your dog some exercise in a place where it is illegal or unsafe to let a dog off the leash. So can a piece of rope, but it's more work. Too bad people don't keep the retractable leashes short when it is appropriate. They work great for that, but one must be aware of your surroundings (like passing bikes etc.). I keep a 26 foot retractable leash in the car for when we go to a huge open field in a park, or the woods. I never use it anywhere else. It's absurd to have it near, cars, bikes, or peds.

The quality retractable leashes last for years, if they are rated for the right size dog.

One can use the retractable leash as a short leash and keep the extra length off the ground and out of the way, just by pushing the lock button. I don't see anyone doing this correctly. There is a retractable leash that is only 6 feet long, that would help situationally unaware people a little. It also has a white strap and it has reflective material in the strap too. At least they were thinking.

If people would just lock the length of the retractable leashes down to just long enough to work near bikes, cars, and peds, they would work great. But human nature......
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Old 01-11-09, 12:06 PM   #15
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Thanks 2manybikes. I was wondering if there was a legitimate use for these things or just people in pursuit of gadgets. I guess a 26 ft leash would be a pain, especially since it usually just ends up wound up around the dog's legs. Another case of a tool being misused by people.
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Old 01-11-09, 12:29 PM   #16
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...I usually deal with irrational, self important creatures like this by standing silently and staring directly into their eyes. Sooner or later they become really uncomfortable and move along. If you are wearing sunglasses remove them before doing this. That way you have done nothing illegal and get the point across that you really are not in the mood to deal with their crap.
This has worked for me in the past, especially if you take the time to stop, dismount, walk back to them slowly as you remove your glasses and stare silently and directly into their eyes until you arrive a few inches from their face. Don't lose your cool - let your eyes do the talking. Of course this will backfire if the other person is 280 pounds and covered in tattoos so use your best judgement, go to Plan B, cut the line and leave quickly.
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Old 01-11-09, 12:38 PM   #17
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This has worked for me in the past, especially if you take the time to stop, dismount, walk back to them slowly as you remove your glasses and stare silently and directly into their eyes until you arrive a few inches from their face. Don't lose your cool - let your eyes do the talking. Of course this will backfire if the other person is 280 pounds and covered in tattoos so use your best judgement, go to Plan B and just leave.
Of course you should judge your adversary. I am 6'2" 250lbs so that helps. However a little guy using this tactic may come off as an even bigger problem. If you are crazy enough to stare down some one a lot bigger than you you are either a) a good fighter or b) mentally unstable either way not to be messed with. It also depends on the facial expression you use. A calm uncaring vibe (think 200 yard stare) is the one I usually use, a menacing attitude might create more problems later (boyfriend, husband, son tracking you down). I just try to make them uncomfortable not scare them, usually. I am also not terribly worried about 280lb tattooed guys, I know most of them.
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Old 01-11-09, 12:43 PM   #18
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I hear yah. Hope you kept your bikes above the high water line there.
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Old 01-11-09, 01:19 PM   #19
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I hear yah. Hope you kept your bikes above the high water line there.
I just try to ride my normal trail yesterday. First 5 miles were under water, now under mud. I only fell once. Giro 20 + mud + wide slicks = BAD IDEA
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Old 01-12-09, 08:04 AM   #20
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Thanks 2manybikes. I was wondering if there was a legitimate use for these things or just people in pursuit of gadgets. I guess a 26 ft leash would be a pain, especially since it usually just ends up wound up around the dog's legs. Another case of a tool being misused by people.
Also........

Most, if not all, urban and suburban places have leash laws with a maximum length limit. These days many town ordinances are on line. If you see a repeat offender, or someone doing something really dangerous, I would bet that you could check the local laws and mention it to them. It might not help but, you could make a legitimate complaint if you knew the law.

Here's mine, for example...

Sec. 3-31. To be restrained at all times.

The owner shall keep the dog under restraint at all times and shall not permit the
dog to be at large or off the premises of the owner, unless under the control of a competent person and further restrained by a leash no longer than six (6) feet in length
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Old 01-12-09, 10:27 AM   #21
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I have a bell on my bike, I ring that bell when I'm coming up to pass anyone on the bike path, I let them know that I'm behind them, ring a few times to let them know that I am approaching and most of the time they will turn their head and look for me, dogs usually turn and look also.

On occasions, with rollerbladers that have headphones blasting with music and swaying side to side on the whole bike path, I go off the path to pass them on the grass.
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