Offering an “On your left!” when you pass me on the trail will go a long ways towards endearing you to me.
My husband and I took a six mile walk on the Sammamish River Trail from Redmond to Woodinville this morning. This paved trail is used by walkers, joggers, roller bladers, parents with strollers, cyclists, you name it. It’s there for all of us to enjoy. Please understand that as a walker, I can not hear you coming up behind me: your sophisticated bicycle doesn’t alert me to your imminent arrival until you’ve zoomed past me, sometimes causing me to lose my footing or at the very least, jump starting my heart to where it need not jump. This shock to the walker’s system can be avoided by a simple announcement on your part that you’re about to pass me on the left.
To those who did announce themselves, my husband and I yelled an equally as loud, “Thank you!”
To those who did not announce themselves, they heard us shout, “Warning please!”
How inconvenient or difficult is it for you to either ring your handlebar bell or shout “On the left!” as you approach our backsides?
Young or old, two thirds of those who passed us from behind did not announce themselves. And lest my readers think we were walking in the middle of the path so as to be a hindrance to cyclists, we were not. We always hug the right side of the path to allow for oncoming and upcoming cyclists. We’re all supposed to share the path – that’s what we do.
None of those to whom we shouted, “Warning please!” apologized for their rude oversight. A simple, “Sorry!” or “My bad!” would have sufficed.
All I’m asking is that cyclists extend the courtesy of letting walkers know they’re about to whiz past them so they can be sure to get even further out of their way. Each and every time a rider alerted us to their presence, my husband and I thanked them and moved more to the right, to which the cyclists said, “Thank you!” What a delightful and courteous exchange, don’t you think?
A collision between cyclist and rider would most certainly cause severe harm to both.
That’s sure to ruin both our days, don’t you think?