On your left - tales of woe
This morning I was riding down the Custis trail - GLORIOUS DAY BTW - and was passing a woman in her mid twenties. I gave my customary "On your left!" moved to the left lane and passed without incident - my voice is one part bullhorn, two parts foghorn, zero parts leghorn. About two seconds later the woman explodes in a cloud of anger, "Thanks a lot A$$hole, stupid, f@#k!" and so on.
Now normally I just let angry people be angry, it is a GLORIOUS DAY (did anyone see that freaking sun!), but today I slowed down and went back to see what was unhinging this otherwise seemingly hinged woman.
I pulled up and said:
Me: Sorry, I said "On your left."
Lady: Well it was just so quiet and then you cut over and just whizzed by.
Me: (Pointing to headphones) Did you have you headphones on?
Lady: You are so f#$king smart, you think you are so smart! I didn't have any music on. You know I'm a biker too! Why don't you try walking!?!
I loved this last bit - "Well I have _________ friends too!"
At this point I just smiled and rolled away as she went off on another outing into crazy land - let angry people be miserable angry people on glorious days.
Last edited by pfunkallstar; 04-17-2012 at 09:58 AM.
I've had that happen a lot over the years. Using a bell helps, but honestly, if I see headphone cords these days I don't even bother giving a warning. If they really wanted to hear whats going on around them, they wouldn't be wearing fricking headphones.
Sounds like an encounter I had with a dog walker last year in Bluemont Park, I had rung my bell, but that wasn't good enough for him. I still see him several days a week on my commute, but he hasn't exploded again.
+ 1 there. Figure if they want to blot out their surroundings it includes me.
Originally Posted by jabberwocky
When I'm pretending to be a runner on the trails, I listen to music/podcasts at a low enough volume that I can hear approaching cyclists who call their passes. I generally give a little wave with my left hand to acknowledge that I've heard the call.
So while some runners have the headphones too loud, there are many others who appreciate the warning.
Perhaps I've been lucky, but most of the joggers I pass either totally ignore me (which is fine) or give a little wave, which I appreciate. A couple get off the path, which I think is silly, but whatever. I always figure I'd rather give tons of warnings to people who won't hear them than hit one person.
Originally Posted by Tim Kelley
I walk a section of the W&OD in Falls Church nearly every day to get my daughter. I never wear headphones, although when it's cold, I do put the hood up. Calling passes happens a fair amount, but not nearly 100%. I try my best when on a bike to call my passes, and I definitely appreciate it when I'm not biking, even more so if I'm pushing a stroller.
I haven't had anyone go off on me, but I'm sure it's coming... I probably call many of my passes too quietly, but part of the problem is the area near Gravelly point with the airport, the highway, and usually wind drowning out pretty much everything but yelling. In that area would peds prefer I scream at them as I pass, or do they assume that with all the noise it's not likely they'll be able to hear normal voices?
I notice more people acknowledge the warning on the Custis than on the W&OD/Mt Vernon. I have had people actually say "thank you" when I announce that I'm passing on the Custis, even while they're running.
Originally Posted by Tim Kelley
I do appreciate the a runner/walker's acknowledgement of my bell or "passing on your left," especially when it comes from someone two or three up from the first person I'm passing. This morning the Army was doing PT, 40 to 50 runners, from the Gravelly Point parking lot to the 14th St Bridge cutoff and back, I think it's their one mile course. I didn't ring for everyone, but maybe about every five or six, or for a new cluster. One thing about that group is that none of them are using earbuds!