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baiskeli
09-13-2011, 08:05 AM
This morning I was riding on the Lee Highway section of the Custis, near the hotel, where it also functions as a Rosslyn sidewalk. Three ladies are walking--completely filling up both lanes.

Me: "Bike passing on your left."

Them: (moving over to the right) "Sorry."

Me: "No problem. You should watch out and stay to your right since there are lots of bikes coming through here, some alot faster than me." (Stops at red light with pedestrians)

Them: "It's hard to know the rules."

Me: "Just stay to your right and you'll be fine."

Them: "Yeah, especially when you're from out of town."

Me: "The rule is stay to your right."

Them: "That's because there are no rules!"

Me: "Stay...to...your...right."

Them: "People just do whatever they want and go all over the place!"

Me: "Just stay to your...never mind." (Light turns green. Proceeds through light).

JeffC
09-13-2011, 08:22 AM
I think I was right behind you. I saw those three ladies, it was a few minutes before 8 am. They had a Southern drawl and one kept going on about why they had fewer rights than others. Then I talked at the next light (Lynn) with somebody about not flying through that with the red hand flashing. I usually cut out of towners some slack, especially in that stretch of Rosslyn and on the MVT, the rest of Custis is more locals who should know the rules.

baiskeli
09-13-2011, 09:04 AM
I think I was right behind you. I saw those three ladies, it was a few minutes before 8 am. They had a Southern drawl and one kept going on about why they had fewer rights than others. Then I talked at the next light (Lynn) with somebody about not flying through that with the red hand flashing. I usually cut out of towners some slack, especially in that stretch of Rosslyn and on the MVT, the rest of Custis is more locals who should know the rules.

That was me you talked to. Nice to meet you.

I was nice to them. I was trying to keep them safe (and to not run into, literally, a cyclist less friendly than me). They didn't seem to fathom that I had told them all they needed to know - just stay to the right. It was funny how the more I told them the simple rule, the more they convinced themselves that there weren't any rules.

I think it's funny to watch the local pedestrians on the Custis because they know the drill and stay WAY to the right, single file. I'd be terrified to walk on that section. Heck, I'm scared to ride it sometimes.

pfunkallstar
09-15-2011, 01:20 PM
You were far more humane than I would have been in the same situation. One warning is normal, two for the distracted, and three I just give up and fly by.

On a completely different note, I was keeping a mental tally of the number of bicyclists riding with earphones in while on the way home yesterday (metro center - falls church). Once the count go above thirty I stopped paying attention. Am I being overly critical thinking that biking with earphones on is RIDICULOUSLY unsafe? It is hard enough yelling "on your left" at joggers with their tunes cranked up nonetheless the guy swerving on his beach cruiser after an extended happy hour.

baiskeli
09-15-2011, 01:26 PM
You were far more humane than I would have been in the same situation. One warning is normal, two for the distracted, and three I just give up and fly by.

It became amusing to see how far from reality they could talk themselves into. Having a kid with Down syndrome has also taught me to be patient and repeat myself for people who don't get it the first time, I guess.


On a completely different note, I was keeping a mental tally of the number of bicyclists riding with earphones in while on the way home yesterday (metro center - falls church). Once the count go above thirty I stopped paying attention. Am I being overly critical thinking that biking with earphones on is RIDICULOUSLY unsafe? It is hard enough yelling "on your left" at joggers with their tunes cranked up nonetheless the guy swerving on his beach cruiser after an extended happy hour.

You don't try to give them a little scare when you pass them, do you? I certainly wouldn't do that. Nope, not at all.

rcannon100
09-15-2011, 02:47 PM
Yup. Had that. Tends to be newbies and tourists - and in time I think it solves itself. If they do anything but stay to the right, they are gonna get buzzed and brushed. I had joggers around the Jefferson split - some on the left and some on the right - when I said "rule is stay to your right", they started cursing me. And then another bike buzzed them. And then another... I assume they get the hint after a while.

pfunkallstar
09-15-2011, 05:11 PM
I never try to scare anyone, quite the contrary. What I was trying to get at is how people, specifically those who don't seem to be paying attention to what is going on around them (earphones), tend to get annoyed when you actually announce yourself. On the way home today, rainy as it was, a woman with earphones on actually said "you don't have to say it so loudly!" As if I should adjust my "on the left" delivery to the current tune playing on her ipod. If I happened to be clairvoyant, I would probably use my powers for something else.

vvill
09-15-2011, 07:33 PM
I usually don't bother saying anything, as I figure they'll realise if they spend more time on the path, or they won't because they're out-of-towners, etc. I was crossing Key bridge this afternoon, and three young dudes were in conversation walking towards me, three abreast, in the middle of the path. None of them ever moved or did anything. It also happened about 15 seconds earlier with three ladies, but at least the one on my right moved a little bit (whilst looking disgruntled).

DaveK
09-15-2011, 08:56 PM
This is why I love my bell. I don't like riding on the trails without one anymore. When that fails, singing to yourself loudly enough usually gets you noticed.

KLizotte
09-15-2011, 11:28 PM
I usually don't bother saying anything, as I figure they'll realise if they spend more time on the path, or they won't because they're out-of-towners, etc. I was crossing Key bridge this afternoon, and three young dudes were in conversation walking towards me, three abreast, in the middle of the path. None of them ever moved or did anything. It also happened about 15 seconds earlier with three ladies, but at least the one on my right moved a little bit (whilst looking disgruntled).

To be fair to non-locals, one would not guess that the Key Bridge sidewalk is also a bike path. Let's face it, it's a sidewalk that has been put into bike commission due to poor road design. If I were a ped there, I'd be annoyed too since the sidewalk is so narrow. Some well designed signage on the bridge would help a lot.

KLizotte
09-15-2011, 11:30 PM
Yup. Had that. Tends to be newbies and tourists - and in time I think it solves itself. If they do anything but stay to the right, they are gonna get buzzed and brushed. I had joggers around the Jefferson split - some on the left and some on the right - when I said "rule is stay to your right", they started cursing me. And then another bike buzzed them. And then another... I assume they get the hint after a while.

Further evidence of a need for well-designed signage along all of the metro area designated bike trails/routes; that is, signs showing peds walking to the right and single-file, speed limits, etc. This would also help give cyclists legitimacy for using the them.

JeffC
09-16-2011, 09:29 AM
This thread is hitting on all my major annoyances with riding. First, the horrible signage. Would it be too much to have a few signs every mile or so pointing out that peds walk on the right, bikers stay on the left? Some areas around University of Colorado have this, all sidewalks in Germany are like this, but here, no way. There is actually a small part of a scene in the German movie "The Reader" where the Ralph Fiennes character gets chewed out by bikers for walking on the bike part of the sidewalk.

Second, distracted bikers, who are almost as bad as a distracted peds. Nice thing about cooler weather is it that it brings out the more considerate bikers and I usually get an "on your left" from other riders but frequently I don't. Given the shape of the trail (tree roots, etc.) I sometimes pop over on the other side to avoid a bump. Would it be too hard to say "on your left, passing, etc." every time a biker passes me?

Third, peds who feel the need to walk slowly two or three abreast or with a dog. I have a dog, I love dogs but dogs have dogparks, and many parks prohibit dogs for various reasons. Would it be too much to ban dog walking at rush hour? What is it exactly about Arlingtonians that find it is so exciting to walk two abreast next to Interstate 66 and 65mph traffic with Starbucks coffee? Is the scenery really that much better than the side streets. Honestly this mystifies me why someone would want to walk on many portions of the Custis--MVT I totally understand why people want to walk many stretches of that, it is beautiful.

Sorry, rant over, my wife is getting tired of hearing this.

baiskeli
09-16-2011, 11:04 AM
I never try to scare anyone, quite the contrary.

Don't worry, I was being sarcastic about myself, not you. I like to give just a little hint of a scare.


What I was trying to get at is how people, specifically those who don't seem to be paying attention to what is going on around them (earphones), tend to get annoyed when you actually announce yourself. On the way home today, rainy as it was, a woman with earphones on actually said "you don't have to say it so loudly!" As if I should adjust my "on the left" delivery to the current tune playing on her ipod. If I happened to be clairvoyant, I would probably use my powers for something else.

That's hilarious. How dumb can people be?

On the opposite side of things, I recently called a pass to a guy, then saw his phones and thought it was pointless, and then he said "thanks."

baiskeli
09-16-2011, 11:06 AM
To be fair to non-locals, one would not guess that the Key Bridge sidewalk is also a bike path. Let's face it, it's a sidewalk that has been put into bike commission due to poor road design. If I were a ped there, I'd be annoyed too since the sidewalk is so narrow. Some well designed signage on the bridge would help a lot.

Yes, signs would help alot. There should be a huge one outside the hotel.

Dirt
09-16-2011, 02:10 PM
There are signs all up and down the path. Adding one there might help. Not sure how many casual, non-local users would bother to read though. To most, it looks like a fairly normal sidewalk with a line on it. Maybe something with paint can be done to indicate that it is a multi-use trail.

baiskeli
09-16-2011, 03:33 PM
There are signs all up and down the path. Adding one there might help. Not sure how many casual, non-local users would bother to read though.

Yes, since as my conversation with them showed, even repeated verbal explanations by a guy on a bike didn't sink in one bit.

StopMeansStop
09-17-2011, 12:07 AM
My conversation on the Custis today was to tell the kids smoking weed that if the are going to burn in public to use a bat instead of papers.

Kids these days!