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Liability insurance?

Old 06-09-23, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
When approaching and passing pedestrians on multi use paths you should be giving them enough room so that even if they do step sideways there is no danger of hitting them. Pedestrians have the right of way on multi use paths and it's your responsibility as a cyclists to respect that and make sure that you don't hit them. Insurance is not the solution, the solution is to slow down and pass safely with plenty of room between you and them. You should not be riding fast on crowded MUPs, if you want to ride fast go ride on the roads.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a reckless guy and only a 10 MPH average guy, so I assume on the level I'm going 10-15 but also being heavy that's going to be like a normal person hitting at 20-25.


There's really no speed we can go at where there is no chance of hitting someone and I think of it as like hitting animals in our cars; we never try to do it but we've all done it even without being careless and it's no one's fault. Sometimes there is evidence of drug use on the trails which means someone might not react sensibly to my motion. We only have a few square inches of road contact for braking and the condition of those inches at any time is uncertain which gives the activity an intrinsic danger that can never be completely eliminated.


Anyway thanks to all for the information and I'll check my other insurance policies to see if they cover me for liability when operating non-motorized vehicles.
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Old 06-10-23, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
It doesn't matter if it's a pedestrian or an elderly cyclist. The same thing applies to both scenarios. Slow down and give plenty of room when passing.

If I have plenty of room, I don't need to slow down. Width of path, sight lines, and cues from the person I am passing matter.
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Old 06-10-23, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MagnaRota
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a reckless guy and only a 10 MPH average guy, so I assume on the level I'm going 10-15 but also being heavy that's going to be like a normal person hitting at 20-25.


There's really no speed we can go at where there is no chance of hitting someone and I think of it as like hitting animals in our cars; we never try to do it but we've all done it even without being careless and it's no one's fault. Sometimes there is evidence of drug use on the trails which means someone might not react sensibly to my motion. We only have a few square inches of road contact for braking and the condition of those inches at any time is uncertain which gives the activity an intrinsic danger that can never be completely eliminated.


Anyway thanks to all for the information and I'll check my other insurance policies to see if they cover me for liability when operating non-motorized vehicles.

I will say that at those speeds, your chances of hitting someone are probably really small. You may be overthinking this. Also, I think last second crash evasion is usually more of a matter of effective swerving than stopping distance.
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Old 06-10-23, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
That's what OP said. They ride faster than average and are looking for insurance to protect them in case they hit a pedestrian. There is no mention of slowing down, giving room and passing safely...I think OP needs to adjust their riding style and ride according to conditions, instead of looking for insurance to protect them from liability in case they injure somebody.
Well I'm not going to assume the OP has no sense at all and rides at break neck speeds as they pass pedestrians. Maybe they do, but in order to keep the question from being a novel in length and something that other will just respond, TLDR to, you can't just always apply literal interpretation to the few facts given and then extrapolate valid conclusions about everything else. You've added a lot of your own imagination to what you think the OP does when they are riding.

So do you own a car? Do you have liability insurance (or at least more than the minimum required by your state)? I guess you must drive like a bat out of hell and don't slow down for others you pass or encounter.

The OP nowhere says they ride irresponsibly, they just want to protect others further by investigating if they should get insurance so they can pay for damages they might do while protecting their own financial wellbeing.

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Old 06-10-23, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
On foot, elderly people's zags are not of the sudden variety. And it certainly didn't specify being crowded.
Two years ago 2 little old ladies on foot put me into a bridge rail and on the ground with two cracked ribs when they made a "zag of the sudden variety." I had announced I was passing, they turned and acknowledged me, and as I came abreast of them the one zagged and I had the choice of taking out the little old lady or the rail.

I admit to a couple of bad decisions:
1. I broke my DON'T TRUST ANYBODY rule.
2. It was a long bridge over wetlands - I elected to pass where I had no bail-out option rather than idle along behind them until the end of the bridge.

More to the point of the thread: I once had the opportunity to talk with the manager of the local park district trails. He told me the biggest danger and complaint on the trails is extremely fast bikers. I know that they have been a menace to me on occasion, and a couple times I helped pick up some hot dog who overestimated his skill level on a curvy stretch. But I also recognize that any bike is "fast" to a pedestrian.

I make it a point to be as cautious as I can around people, kids, dogs, etc. (and phone zombies) They can be a nuisance and frustrating on occasion, but trail rules (and common sense) require I yield to them. I carry a blanket liability policy but it must be considered as an item of last resort, not a license to act irresponsibly.
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Old 06-11-23, 05:47 AM
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It is kind of funny how many cyclists complained about motorists in such a hurry and going way too fast for the conditions. And now the tables have turned and it's the cyclists in a hurry going way too fast for the conditions.


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Old 06-11-23, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
It is kind of funny how many cyclists complained about motorists in such a hurry and going way too fast for the conditions. And now the tables have turned and it's the cyclists in a hurry going way too fast for the conditions.



Yeah, no. The real disagreement here is with people who are assuming that being on a MUP is automatically a condition requiring slower riding than roads. There are definitely MUPs that are too crowded or curvy for fast riding, and I have yelled at other cyclists for endangering kids and the like, but that's a far cry from the "if you want to ride fast, choose a road" type stuff on this thread.
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Old 06-11-23, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MNebiker
Two years ago 2 little old ladies on foot put me into a bridge rail and on the ground with two cracked ribs when they made a "zag of the sudden variety." I had announced I was passing, they turned and acknowledged me, and as I came abreast of them the one zagged and I had the choice of taking out the little old lady or the rail.

I admit to a couple of bad decisions:
1. I broke my DON'T TRUST ANYBODY rule.
2. It was a long bridge over wetlands - I elected to pass where I had no bail-out option rather than idle along behind them until the end of the bridge.

More to the point of the thread: I once had the opportunity to talk with the manager of the local park district trails. He told me the biggest danger and complaint on the trails is extremely fast bikers. I know that they have been a menace to me on occasion, and a couple times I helped pick up some hot dog who overestimated his skill level on a curvy stretch. But I also recognize that any bike is "fast" to a pedestrian.

I make it a point to be as cautious as I can around people, kids, dogs, etc. (and phone zombies) They can be a nuisance and frustrating on occasion, but trail rules (and common sense) require I yield to them. I carry a blanket liability policy but it must be considered as an item of last resort, not a license to act irresponsibly.

That's a bit of a "man bites dog" story.

It's definitely possible to ride too fast and pass too close on a MUP, but generally, I think it's actually hard to get in trouble if you're using anything resembling normal prudence. I think we can agree that acting irresponsibly is bad.

BTW, I am frequently thanked by pedestrians for the way I announce my passes.
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Old 06-11-23, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Yeah, no. The real disagreement here is with people who are assuming that being on a MUP is automatically a condition requiring slower riding than roads. There are definitely MUPs that are too crowded or curvy for fast riding, and I have yelled at other cyclists for endangering kids and the like, but that's a far cry from the "if you want to ride fast, choose a road" type stuff on this thread.
Yes, I'm one of those that believe if you want to ride fast, get on the roads. However, I'm specifically talking about sections of MUPs that are crowded and provide conditions not conducive to riding at 20+mph. I'm not talking about open sections of MUPs that allow very fast speeds -- I guess I just thought that was obvious.

Like I said above, much of my MUP rides have been in the DC area and much of those MUPs are just too busy and curvy to ride faster than 15-mph. However, there are some exceptions, such as much of the W&OD trail, which goes from Shirlington to Purcellville.



.
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Old 06-11-23, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
Yes, I'm one of those that believe if you want to ride fast, get on the roads. However, I'm specifically talking about sections of MUPs that are crowded and provide conditions not conducive to riding at 20+mph. I'm not talking about open sections of MUPs that allow very fast speeds -- I guess I just thought that was obvious.

Like I said above, much of my MUP rides have been in the DC area and much of those MUPs are just too busy and curvy to ride faster than 15-mph. However, there are some exceptions, such as much of the W&OD trail, which goes from Shirlington to Purcellville.



.
​​​​​​I took your post to mean that people on this thread were advocating riding too fast for conditions, and I was a bit surprised that anyone could interpret any of the posts to do that. If that's not what you meant, I apologize.

I will say that from what I've seen, I suspect that the people who ride like jerks on the MUPs probably drive like that too.

I rode on the Mt. Vernon trail a couple years ago. Definitely of the too curvy to go fast variety, but I was glad I rode it.
​​​​​​

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Old 06-12-23, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
Yes, I'm one of those that believe if you want to ride fast, get on the roads. However, I'm specifically talking about sections of MUPs that are crowded and provide conditions not conducive to riding at 20+mph. I'm not talking about open sections of MUPs that allow very fast speeds -- I guess I just thought that was obvious.

Like I said above, much of my MUP rides have been in the DC area and much of those MUPs are just too busy and curvy to ride faster than 15-mph. However, there are some exceptions, such as much of the W&OD trail, which goes from Shirlington to Purcellville.



.
Why would it be obvious? Especially when you state that people that ride fast should not be on MUPS.

Even the 15 mph speed limit is too fast to be going when around others moving at a walking or even a jogging pace. At that speed one is going over 20 feet per second. So especially when overtaking others I'd think most of us that ride fast in the open will be much slower when we get close to others.

And I don't see why riding a certain speed limit makes a difference for safety. A person doing 15 mph around some of the blind curves on the MUP here isn't going to fare much better than any going faster if traffic is encountered and not expected.

The issue isn't so much the speed limit, it's not doing a reasonable speed when around others.
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Old 06-12-23, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Why would it be obvious? Especially when you state that people that ride fast should not be on MUPS.

Even the 15 mph speed limit is too fast to be going when around others moving at a walking or even a jogging pace. At that speed one is going over 20 feet per second. So especially when overtaking others I'd think most of us that ride fast in the open will be much slower when we get close to others.

And I don't see why riding a certain speed limit makes a difference for safety. A person doing 15 mph around some of the blind curves on the MUP here isn't going to fare much better than any going faster if traffic is encountered and not expected.

The issue isn't so much the speed limit, it's not doing a reasonable speed when around others.

Yes, I know that 15-mph is too fast when cycling around walkers and some corners. I just said 15-mph, because it's a speed limit sign I've seen a lot and didn't want to break it down and say what one's speed should be in various conditions.

Just like on normal roadways where there's a posted speed limit that is unsafe for people to exceed. However it's also just as unsafe, if not more so, if people don't slow down (below the posted speed limit) on those roadways in response to certain conditions. How slow? Depends...

I do have a local trail here that has a posted 20-mph limit (Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail), but that's a fairly nice trail with a lot of straight sections; however, as ebikes get more popular, I would not be surprised if that speed limit is lowered sometime in the future.



.
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Old 06-12-23, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
Yes, I know that 15-mph is too fast when cycling around walkers and some corners. I just said 15-mph, because it's a speed limit sign I've seen a lot and didn't want to break it down and say what one's speed should be in various conditions.

Just like on normal roadways where there's a posted speed limit that is unsafe for people to exceed. However it's also just as unsafe, if not more so, if people don't slow down (below the posted speed limit) on those roadways in response to certain conditions. How slow? Depends...

I do have a local trail here that has a posted 20-mph limit (Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail), but that's a fairly nice trail with a lot of straight sections; however, as ebikes get more popular, I would not be surprised if that speed limit is lowered sometime in the future.



.

I will say this. If I'm on a straight level MUP and I can see a good 1/2 mile or more ahead of me, and there's no one in view, I'm going to feel free to ignore any posted speed limit.
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Old 06-12-23, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
I will say this. If I'm on a straight level MUP and I can see a good 1/2 mile or more ahead of me, and there's no one in view, I'm going to feel free to ignore any posted speed limit.
IKR. IIRC, you rode the SRT from the Philly 'burbs. Most of it is pretty straight with relatively good sightlines. Ride it at 6:00 am on a weekday and you will be lucky to see one or two people every mile. You're far more likely to hit a bunny than a person. (I once killed a bird during a weekday morning training ride.) Riding it on a nice summer Saturday at 11 am is usually an entirely different story.
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Old 06-12-23, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
I will say this. If I'm on a straight level MUP and I can see a good 1/2 mile or more ahead of me, and there's no one in view, I'm going to feel free to ignore any posted speed limit.
I would agree with that. A good example are two trails I already mentioned, The W&OD and Jacksonville-Baldwin trails. Both have long, straight sections that are wide open. I wouldn't have a problem doing over 20 on those trails, even with the 20-mph speed limit on the J-B trail.

I think these speed limits on trails are an evolving thing, but they are a kind of gray issue nowadays. But I can't elaborate on that, since I don't spend much time on these paths and don't give the issue much thought.



.
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Old 06-12-23, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
IKR. IIRC, you rode the SRT from the Philly 'burbs. Most of it is pretty straight with relatively good sightlines. Ride it at 6:00 am on a weekday and you will be lucky to see one or two people every mile. You're far more likely to hit a bunny than a person. (I once killed a bird during a weekday morning training ride.) Riding it on a nice summer Saturday at 11 am is usually an entirely different story.

As I recall, I had a stretch where I was racing with a SEPTA train.
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Old 06-12-23, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
As I recall, I had a stretch where I was racing with a SEPTA train.
Yeah. The Conshohocken area is where you can see the train clearly, although they parallel each other for longer. The trail is the former Penn Central line in that area. The SEPTA line is the old Reading Railroad line. When they both were deeded to Conrail in '76, they became redundant. The Penn Central line was abandoned, and the Reading line was sold to SEPTA operate the passenger service formerly operated by the Reading.

I remember when the initial 3 miles became rideable in the mid-80s. It wasn't paved, but such a novel thing for people in the area. Flat with no cars.
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Old 06-12-23, 01:26 PM
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I will add my $.02 to the umbrella liability suggestion.

With most auto insurers, $500k personal liability is considered an extremely high limit; according to my agent, most people's limits are much lower. But if you make a simple and common error while driving and kill someone, you'd better hope that the person is too young or old to earn income or has no dependents -- because otherwise, you'll be liable for the present value of the lost lifetime earnings stream, and that will quite easily be >$500k for many people in our country. Then you can say 'bye bye' to your savings (including retirement), house, perhaps even future earnings.

In addition to carrying the max limits on our motor vehicle insurance, the wife and I carry a $1m umbrella policy. I think it costs only a few hundred bucks a year. It'll cover a rather wide range of f---ups.

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Old 06-14-23, 05:04 AM
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I have $1M as well.

And note that, depending on the state, “qualified” retirement accounts like 401ks may be judgment proof.
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Old 10-15-23, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
I'd look into an umbrella policy.

It could cover more than just you on a bicycle.
It seems to be worth checking out. I never thought about it. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 10-15-23, 11:34 AM
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The vast majority of people I see either standing still or walking slowly on bike paths are people under the age of 30 who are busy talking on their cell phones. If I am pedaling along at 15 mph I need sufficient sight distance to be able to stop completely when I encounter pedestrians. I avoid bike paths that do not provide adequate sight distance. There are too many stupid people that will walk along 4 abreast and then stand to converse in the middle of a bike path. I encountered exactly the same kind of people on the bike path along the American River in 1974 as I do now on the bike path in Monterey in 2023. There needs to be separation of bicyclists and pedestrians to avoid accidents and injuries. Everyone knows this but those who are in charge do not care about the little people.
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Old 10-15-23, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
The vast majority of people I see either standing still or walking slowly on bike paths are people under the age of 30 who are busy talking on their cell phones. If I am pedaling along at 15 mph I need sufficient sight distance to be able to stop completely when I encounter pedestrians. I avoid bike paths that do not provide adequate sight distance. There are too many stupid people that will walk along 4 abreast and then stand to converse in the middle of a bike path. I encountered exactly the same kind of people on the bike path along the American River in 1974 as I do now on the bike path in Monterey in 2023. There needs to be separation of bicyclists and pedestrians to avoid accidents and injuries. Everyone knows this but those who are in charge do not care about the little people.
Are the "bike paths" that you are pedaling on at 15 mpg designated as "bike riders only" or "pedestrians prohibited" or "cell phone use prohibited"? If not, perhaps what you need to do is find such a bike path, or slow down when the local "bike path" conditions warrant such caution.
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Old 10-15-23, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Are the "bike paths" that you are pedaling on at 15 mpg designated as "bike riders only" or "pedestrians prohibited" or "cell phone use prohibited"? If not, perhaps what you need to do is find such a bike path, or slow down when the local "bike path" conditions warrant such caution.
They said they avoid such. Why the need to come up with even more warning for them?
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Old 10-15-23, 03:04 PM
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Absolutely, waiting on hold can be a real patience-tester. But don't sweat it too much, we've all been there. Next time around, consider reaching out to wellcare of kentucky customer service here. They're often a faster way to get things sorted and answer your questions. They've got your back when it comes to healthcare concerns and can save you some time on the phone. Hang in there!

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Old 10-15-23, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
They said they avoid such. Why the need to come up with even more warning for them?
If "they" avoid such bike paths, how do "they" know what the conditions are on the local bike paths and why are "they" posting about the alleged needs of the actual users of the so-called bike paths?

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-15-23 at 03:16 PM.
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