Sunday, March 11, 2012

My evil deed for the day

A quick break from my Arnold reports to share this little story...

Yesterday I decided that I wanted a break from running, so I got my mountain bike ready for the first ride of 2012!  It was a lovely, sunny, warm-ish day for a ride on the bike paths.

As I approached a corner to wait at a stop light, a runner also came up to wait.  We started a delightful conversation in which he told me about how he's running to stay healthy and to keep up with his 10-year-old son and 10-year-old nephew.  He said that he was 32, and when I said that I was, too, he couldn't believe it. 

The day was beautiful, I was out on my bike, and people were friendly.  Wonderful!

The light changed and I continued on down the bike path.  Not a quarter mile later, I caught up to an older couple on their bikes riding side by side.  As usual, I came up and matched speed behind them, and indicated that I would pass on the left.  Well, I must have startled the older gentleman.  Or maybe he's had some bad experiences with cyclists racing up and blowing past him.  In any case, when he heard my "on the left", he glanced back and then jerked his bike to the right directly into his wife's.  Their tires rubbed, and he lost his balance falling sideways and tumbling into the bushes.

I stopped to make sure he was OK and that everything was intact.  I was terrified that the curled up heap of elderly man on the ground was going to be broken in some way!  But he picked himself up, and said he was OK.  A lens had popped out of his glasses, but he found it, and joked that he was fine due to his hard head (no helmet on).  I apologized for what happened.  And then he scolded me for not giving him more warning before passing.

OK.  I take that to heart.  The reason I didn't yell earlier was that people never hear my quiet voice if I yell too early.  That's why I tend to ride behind a group matching speed to give them all the time they need to rearrange.  But with timid looking riders, I guess I'll try to announce myself sooner.

At the same time, I think this guy just kind of freaked out.  He didn't notice that I wasn't rushing up on him.  Or that I still hadn't made the pass even after he fell.  Honest mistake, I guess.  Bruised ego even.  I can see things from his perspective.  And I accept my part in the accident.

But, *sigh*.  I still don't like being blamed when I'm pretty sure I followed proper trail etiquette.

Oh well.  That was my evil deed for the day.


  1. I did my run today and since it was in the mid-60s... I wasn't alone. The campus at NU was PACKED with walkers, runners, roller bladers and cyclists. I have to say this: this world is too full. Everyone seemed to be unable to communicate with others about where they wanted to go.

    It sounds to me like you did the right thing and I'm guessing the older man was probably just a little freaked out. He probably kissed on of hips goodbye (in his mind) from the first tire rub to the fall into the bush!

    And shame on him for not wearing a helmet. So many of the cyclists that weren't sharing space today didn't have helmets: I say they lose all rights to complaining if they aren't wearing helmets.

  2. Doesn't sound like you did anything wrong to me. Guessing he was just embarrassed and was projecting that however he could.