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Footpath stoush with cyclist

By JazzyJess - 27 March 2012 79

I was walking along a footpath in Ainslie this morning (Wise Street) and a cyclist coming up behind me shouted at me to get out of her way. I was a bit startled and jumped onto the grass verge when it occurred to me that I had right of way.

As she rode past me I shouted that she should be riding on the road and not the footpath.

She yelled back that she was allowed to and that I needed to learn the rules. I checked the TAMS website and cyclists are indeed permitted on footpaths but they must give way to pedestrians: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/move/cycling/cycling_and_walking_map/road_rules.

What do people think? Was she out of line? Am I being a princess?

Note that I have nothing against cyclists but feel it would have been easier for her to go around me (on the verge) than expect me to move.

What’s Your opinion?


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Footpath stoush with cyclist
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Dork 2:21 pm 27 Mar 12

“I find it particularly annoying when pedestrians at intersections take up all the space around the gutter lip (which they don’t need to cross since they don’t have wheels) and then stare at you because you are riding so close to them but only so you don’t hit the curb. It’s not just cyclists but people with wheelchairs and strollers who need this space whereas pedestrians can simply take one step up the curb with no trouble and it saves them getting run over by a bike.”

Aren’t you meant to get off your bike to cross at intersections (without a cyclist light) anyway?

Bussie 2:11 pm 27 Mar 12

madamcholet said :

In the spirit of sharing, shouldn’t it be thus….PEDESTRIANS: .if you see a bike coming towards you, ensure you are on the left hand side of the path. If you hear a bike coming along behind you – hopefully from the bell they have kindly rung to alert you – stay on the left hand side and they can then pass you easily on the right if it’s clear. BIKE RIDERS: If you see someone walking in the opposite direction to that in which you are heading, remain on the left, but perhaps be conscious of slowing down in case they have children, pram, dogs etc etc. If you are approaching someone from behind, please kindly ring your bell, and again, slow down until such time as you have safely passed them on their right hand side. No point in veering to their left as that’s a bit surprising and could end in all sorts of horror.

I know that I don’t really appreciate it when a bike rider just maintains their hair raising speed – it’s hard to know really what to do for the best if you have a dog or pram and the cyclist is not giving any ground in terms of extra care as they pass a pedestrian.

I have also been out on my bike, puttering along and still been passed at breakneck speed by serious cyclists which can cause you some surprise as those types mostly don’t signal their approach. They have to understand that sometimes they might just have to slow down a bit.

The problem with ringing the bell at pedestrians is that they all too often turn their head over their right shoulder to see what’s coming which usually leads to their body going to the right as well thus cutting the cyclists space even further rather than simply stepping to the left. Given this I tend not to ring the bell if I can squeeze through.
.

ShongRiChee 2:07 pm 27 Mar 12

You’re all nuts. I’ve ‘encountered’ this rogue footpath cyclist, walking to work, on a number of occasions now. She’s not right in the head and I don’t appreciate her attitude that, as a cyclist, the path should be hers. I WAS walking on the left hand side of the footpath … she wanted the WHOLE footpath. It’s just not right, I tells ya! If I she tries to run me over again tomorrow, I’m going to throw a fig at her@!

bitzermaloney 2:06 pm 27 Mar 12

JazzyJess said :

bitzermaloney said :

Cyclists are allowed onthe footpath… What’s the issue? She was being as selfish and you were.

Ever read “the Zax” by Dr Zeus?

I have indeed. It’s one of my son’s favourites. As are the Hairy Maclary books which I’m guessing inspired your moniker?

Kid’s will do that to you.

aceofspades 1:21 pm 27 Mar 12

Ben_Dover said :

Carry a stout stick, stick it in their spokes.

But if you forget your stick I find a nice stiff arm applied to the neck as they go past just as effective as anything else for teaching cyclists some manners.

Alderney 1:14 pm 27 Mar 12

carnardly said :

you used the word stoush – who threw the first punch? you or them?

or do you mean you just had words?

I too was dissappointed at the lack of a physical confrontation in this thread.

There could always be more contact councilling going on.

madamcholet 1:10 pm 27 Mar 12

In the spirit of sharing, shouldn’t it be thus….PEDESTRIANS: .if you see a bike coming towards you, ensure you are on the left hand side of the path. If you hear a bike coming along behind you – hopefully from the bell they have kindly rung to alert you – stay on the left hand side and they can then pass you easily on the right if it’s clear. BIKE RIDERS: If you see someone walking in the opposite direction to that in which you are heading, remain on the left, but perhaps be conscious of slowing down in case they have children, pram, dogs etc etc. If you are approaching someone from behind, please kindly ring your bell, and again, slow down until such time as you have safely passed them on their right hand side. No point in veering to their left as that’s a bit surprising and could end in all sorts of horror.

I know that I don’t really appreciate it when a bike rider just maintains their hair raising speed – it’s hard to know really what to do for the best if you have a dog or pram and the cyclist is not giving any ground in terms of extra care as they pass a pedestrian.

I have also been out on my bike, puttering along and still been passed at breakneck speed by serious cyclists which can cause you some surprise as those types mostly don’t signal their approach. They have to understand that sometimes they might just have to slow down a bit.

geetee 1:05 pm 27 Mar 12

Ahhhhhhhhhh….

A rainy miserable Canberra day. Me, here at home with man-flu, trying to stay warm…

Was just thinking about some comfort food for lunch… Beans on Toast?? Boiled Eggs with Toast Soldiers??

And then I log in here to see the comfort food of Riot Act. Canberra Cyclists vs The World! 🙂

Feel better now…

Grail 1:00 pm 27 Mar 12

That was an exchange, more than a stoush. While it was rude of her to yell instead of use her bell, it was just as rude of you to insist that an obviously insecure cyclist should use the road.

Expecting the cyclist to go off the path to give you the entire path to walk on is not just rude, but dangerous. The gap between the concrete and the grass can trap wheels and cause the cyclist to come off, if they haven’t learned how to safely transition between grass and concrete (i.e.: approach from a wider angle).

A more polite approach from the cyclist would have been to ring her bell as she approached, then politely ask you to move aside. A more polite approach from you would have been to move aside and say, “G’day!”

Sadly, the combination of lack of confidence on a bike and facing a precarious situation while on said bike, leads most people to act emotionally rather than rationally. Patience is usually the better part of valour in this case. That person who is yelling at you is obviously upset about something, so it’s better for all if you act with understanding and patience and consider letting your rights slide for a moment while sorting things out.

Principles and ideology are fine things, until they control your behaviour. “Rules are for the guidance of the wise, and the blind obedience of fools,” and all that jazz.

Yes, you’re being a princess.

bloodnut 12:56 pm 27 Mar 12

You could both learn from this excellent Japanese experiment that shows how it is done properly…

But I guess in Japan it only works because pedestrians and cyclists have manners…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_MphtzCOEc

Ben_Dover 12:50 pm 27 Mar 12

Carry a stout stick, stick it in their spokes.

JazzyJess 12:47 pm 27 Mar 12

carnardly said :

you used the word stoush – who threw the first punch? you or them?

or do you mean you just had words?

I meant a verbal stoush – no fisticuffs

mouldy 12:46 pm 27 Mar 12

ShongRiChee said :

OMG! I was nearly run over this morning by the same woman in Ainslie. When I suggested she use a bell next time, instead of yelling “Watch Out!” to me, she shouted back that people wouldn’t move for a bell. What’s the problem with riding around a pedestrian who is in front of you and obviously isn’t aware that you’re approaching? Lucky I didn’t have my headphones in my ears, otherwise I’m sure she would have just run me over!

Step 1: remove headphones from ears whilst walking on a shared path
Step 2: give self uppercut
Step 3: carry on.

carnardly 12:41 pm 27 Mar 12

you used the word stoush – who threw the first punch? you or them? or do you mean you just had words?

ShongRiChee 12:36 pm 27 Mar 12

OMG! I was nearly run over this morning by the same woman in Ainslie. When I suggested she use a bell next time, instead of yelling “Watch Out!” to me, she shouted back that people wouldn’t move for a bell. What’s the problem with riding around a pedestrian who is in front of you and obviously isn’t aware that you’re approaching? Lucky I didn’t have my headphones in my ears, otherwise I’m sure she would have just run me over!

Gungahlin Al 12:35 pm 27 Mar 12

On the plus side: someone else now knows that it is perfectly OK for a cyclist to use the footpath.
On the minus side: a cyclist got rude over a misunderstanding with which they should well have been familiar, and thereby helped give the rest of us cyclists a poor rep.

You don’t need to get off the path. Just move carefully towards the left. Although sometimes if there is overgrowing veg on their left, which could snag their handlebars and cause an incident, or some other form of hazard, it will be appreciated if you do make a little more room – I certainly do appreciate such consideration and situational awareness. If you can’t, then it is perfectly reasonable to expect them to just slow up for a moment.

But it’s a two way street. My pet hate is that there are far too many cyclists I see who don’t even have a bell let alone use it. (Really are 4 grams going to slow you up that much?) When passing other cyclists too. Even if they do have mirrors, doesn’t mean they’ve seen you. And cyclists should be well aware that as a cyclist you can do a quick weave at any moment to dodge a screw or something. So why cut so close unannounced? You’ll get just as messed up in a tangle as they will. Get a bell. Use it politely for pedestrians and other cyclists, and we can all get through our days with a little less aggro.

Far too many people hung up with their own self-importance in this town…

Thanks.

GardeningGirl 12:30 pm 27 Mar 12

JazzyJess said :

Point taken, I definitely over-reacted and will graciously move aside next time. As several people have asked I can assure you she really did yell “get out of the way” but I shouldn’t have yelled back and escalated the situation.

Rude. What’s so hard about something like “coming through thanks” (at a polite distance and speed)?

schmeah 12:29 pm 27 Mar 12

Wow! Another anti-bicycle rant on the RiotAct, another day ending in ‘y’.

GardeningGirl 12:25 pm 27 Mar 12

Regardless of the rules I don’t mind stepping off the path for a cyclist, it seems to me to be easier for me to step off for a moment than for a cyclist to have to go crosscountry over somebody’s nature strip (some naturestrips worse than others). But not all cyclists have the sense or the manners to give adequate warning of their approach and to slow down especially if it’s not clear where either of us should best go. Some of them act like the rules are they have right of way everywhere and the rest of us should just be prepared to instantly jump out of the way (into shrubbery or puddles of water if necessary). I sort of agree with nescius but the fact that the cyclist indicated her belief that “she’s allowed to” and it was the pedestrian who should check the rules makes me wonder if she’s one of those.

Saintly, I don’t know anything about mountain biking except aren’t mountain bikes built for rough terrain, so I would have been surprised too. Perhaps the rider wasn’t very experienced or had noticed something coming loose on his bike and wanted to be extra cautious? Seems to me just stopping on the left and waiting for you to walk past would have been a reasonable thing to do?

Something occurs to me about both these cases. Is it possible sometimes cyclists sound more impatient than they mean to because they are out of breath? A gasped request to move aside comes out sounding like a rude demand? Perhaps if pedestrians didn’t have experience of jerks who assume you’ll be happy to leap for your life as they woosh up suddenly behind out of nowhere, they wouldn’t be so ready to jump to conclusions about all other cyclists? I don’t know. I just know these days I don’t even walk in some areas any more because I can’t relax and where I do walk I tense up as soon I become aware of bikes and every time one rings a bell or calls out at a safe and polite distance I feel like running home to post about it on RiotACT because it seems like such a noteworthy event instead of something that happens all the time because we are civilised people who know how to share. [/rant]

carnardly 12:08 pm 27 Mar 12

by the way – you were probably on a shared recreational path

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