12345

Approaching a Cyclist - Which Side of the Road? (Read 127 times)

Julia1971


    It seems I have made an enemy of a cyclist in my neighborhood.

     

    Last week, running through neighborhood streets, I was running against the flow of traffic down a street that dead ends at the rail trail (The W&OD).  A cyclist approached because he's going with the flow of traffic (there was also a car parked on that side of the street), so I switched sides of the road.  The cyclist remarked something like, "You were doing okay until you switched lanes."  I replied something like, "Is that right?" and keep going.  I wonder why he even said anything because the only time there is any car traffic on this street is on trash day.

     

    Today, again, running against traffic in the street when a cyclist approaches going with the flow of traffic.  Again, I switch to the other side of the road.  He says, "You're running on the wrong side of the road."  And, I replied, "I can run wherever the f*** I want."  (Yes, this escalated quickly.)  This street is busier but I had shoulder checked and there were no cars behind me.

     

    I know the general rule is to run against traffic.  But, it doesn't make sense that he and I should try to share the same four feet of asphalt.  What am I missing so I can respond more politely the next time our paths cross?  (I found a thread on a bike forum that suggests the cyclist should move to the center of the road, but that makes no sense to me because they can't see whether a car is behind them.)

    JMac11


    I spilled the milk

       

       

      I know the general rule is to run against traffic.  But, it doesn't make sense that he and I should try to share the same four feet of asphalt.  What am I missing so I can respond more politely the next time our paths cross?  (I found a thread on a bike forum that suggests the cyclist should move to the center of the road, but that makes no sense to me because they can't see whether a car is behind them.)

       

      This is how the interaction has always gone with me. I always run against traffic, and stay as close to the curb as possible. It's the biker's responsibility to be aware of his/her surroundings. Usually, they have a mirror (or should) so they can see what's behind them.

       

      I definitely would not switch sides of the road: I never ride a bike, but I can see that being super jarring. It's like when you're running behind a pedestrian and all of a sudden they dart to the right. In their mind, they're doing the right thing by moving all the way to the right, but the main thing you want from anyone in any traffic situation (car, bike, skiing down a mountain, etc.) is predictability.

      5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

       

      Next Race: Grete's Great Gallop 10K (8/27)

      Half Crazy K 2.0


        I'm pretty sure this varies by state, but cyclists technically have the same rights to be on certain roads as cars (can't be on diviided highways). On a neighborhood road, the cyclist should be in the travel lane to safely pass someone on foot.

         

        Again, state dependent,  but are there sidewalks? My understanding of  MD's laws are that if there is a sidewalk,  that's where I need to run.

        dumrunner


          I think you're doing him a favor. Because you're running against traffic, you can see what's coming and by crossing to the other side of the street, you give him the space he already had to continue on without worrying about having to move towards the center to give you space. I do this quite often when I'm running in a bike lane against traffic (I never do it when bikes are there) and I see a cyclist approaching, as long as it's safe for me to do so. Again, the theory being that I can see what's coming.

           

          I applaud your reply today Smile

           

          signed: fellow W&OD runner

          Julia1971


            I'm pretty sure this varies by state, but cyclists technically have the same rights to be on certain roads as cars (can't be on diviided highways). On a neighborhood road, the cyclist should be in the travel lane to safely pass someone on foot.

             

            Again, state dependent,  but are there sidewalks? My understanding of  MD's laws are that if there is a sidewalk,  that's where I need to run.

             

            Yes, he has the same rights as a car.  I agree.  I don't think he was doing anything wrong.

             

            I thought about whether his real issue was that he felt I should be on the sidewalk.  (Even though his comments were about the side of the road I was on.)  For the street conflict from last week, there was no sidewalk for me to be on until the end of the street.  There is sidewalk in front of two or three houses at the end of the block right before you reach the rail trail.  For today's street conflict, I could have opted for the sidewalk, so that would be a valid criticism.

            Julia1971


               

              This is how the interaction has always gone with me. I always run against traffic, and stay as close to the curb as possible. It's the biker's responsibility to be aware of his/her surroundings. Usually, they have a mirror (or should) so they can see what's behind them.

               

              I definitely would not switch sides of the road: I never ride a bike, but I can see that being super jarring. It's like when you're running behind a pedestrian and all of a sudden they dart to the right. In their mind, they're doing the right thing by moving all the way to the right, but the main thing you want from anyone in any traffic situation (car, bike, skiing down a mountain, etc.) is predictability.

               

              I see your point about predictability...  I took a motorcycle riding class a few years ago and have my class M license. The number one thing the instructor drilled into us is to ride like everyone is trying to kill you. You may want predictability, but you should ride expecting the unexpected.  I tend to run like that as well and put distance between myself and hazards even if it means breaking rules like running against/with traffic.

              Julia1971


                I think you're doing him a favor. Because you're running against traffic, you can see what's coming and by crossing to the other side of the street, you give him the space he already had to continue on without worrying about having to move towards the center to give you space. I do this quite often when I'm running in a bike lane against traffic (I never do it when bikes are there) and I see a cyclist approaching, as long as it's safe for me to do so. Again, the theory being that I can see what's coming.

                 

                I applaud your reply today Smile

                 

                signed: fellow W&OD runner

                 

                Not sure what part of the W&OD Trail you ride but I enter in Barcroft. I think this guy is a bike commuter exiting the trail at 7th St. to avoid Columbia Pike.  He's going through neighborhood roads that are technically a "bike route" but he's annoyed by how many people are walking/running in the streets.

                  I wouldn't ever cross the road to avoid a cyclist. It should be no big deal for a cyclist to take the lane to go around an oncoming pedestrian, they aren't restricted to the shoulder in any way and you don't need mirrors to know what's around you on a bike. If they can't handl this then they probably shouldn't be riding on public streets.

                   

                  And while its usually safer to run facing traffic, there's no law specififying which side of the raod you should run on so the cyclist was just wrong telling you that you're running on the wrong side of the road. This isn't a cyclist issue, this is one person being an idiot. I approve of your f-bomb in this circumstance.

                   

                  As for the sidewalk being a valid criticism, maybe. I generally hate it when I see runners in the street right next to a perfectly available and wide open sidewalk but there are places where the sidewalk is too busy with dog walkers and baby strollers, or too pot-holed and broken to by runnable and so I run in the street. In these cases when a motorist yells out the window "what do you think the sidewalk is for??" my normal reply is, "WALKING".

                  Runners run

                  Running Problem


                  Problem Child

                    I run WITH traffic, and into traffic. I was educated to go WITH the flow of traffic, not against it. I do not understand the mentality of people who run into traffic. Clearly he has a problem with you running with the flow of traffic, and you're being a bitch about someone who believes you should run into traffic. Stop making exceptions to your rules to justify your behavior. If it's a rule then don't break it. Otherwise it's just a suggestions and you shouldn't comment to people running with traffic. Next time just mind your business. The world doesn't need anymore opinionated assholes.

                    Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                    VDOT 54.9

                    5k19:35 | Marathon 2:56:07

                    Julia1971


                      I run WITH traffic, and into traffic. I was educated to go WITH the flow of traffic, not against it. I do not understand the mentality of people who run into traffic. Clearly he has a problem with you running with the flow of traffic, and you're being a bitch about someone who believes you should run into traffic. Stop making exceptions to your rules to justify your behavior. If it's a rule then don't break it. Otherwise it's just a suggestions and you shouldn't comment to people running with traffic. Next time just mind your business. The world doesn't need anymore opinionated assholes.

                       

                      I said it's a general rule. I never said it was my rule.  My rule is to run where I feel safest.

                       

                      And, I was minding my business. He felt the need to comment on what I was doing. So, we're in agreement that the world doesn't need more opinionated assholes.

                      Julia1971


                        I wouldn't ever cross the road to avoid a cyclist. It should be no big deal for a cyclist to take the lane to go around an oncoming pedestrian, they aren't restricted to the shoulder in any way and you don't need mirrors to know what's around you on a bike. If they can't handl this then they probably shouldn't be riding on public streets.

                         

                        And while its usually safer to run facing traffic, there's no law specififying which side of the raod you should run on so the cyclist was just wrong telling you that you're running on the wrong side of the road. This isn't a cyclist issue, this is one person being an idiot. I approve of your f-bomb in this circumstance.

                         

                        As for the sidewalk being a valid criticism, maybe. I generally hate it when I see runners in the street right next to a perfectly available and wide open sidewalk but there are places where the sidewalk is too busy with dog walkers and baby strollers, or too pot-holed and broken to by runnable and so I run in the street. In these cases when a motorist yells out the window "what do you think the sidewalk is for??" my normal reply is, "WALKING".

                         

                        Yeah.  Between your comment and JMac11, I'm guessing he's expecting me to stay where I am and it's rattling him when I go to the other side of the road.  I'll "hold my ground" next time I see him and see how it goes.

                        Anonymous Guest


                          I wonder if he is (or was at some point) also a runner. In that case, you probably really surprised him when you switched sides of the road, and the unexpected threw him for a loop. I say this since my husband is a cyclist, and while he understands that runners generally go against traffic (and why), he has ridden with guys that get annoyed that runners are coming at them until he explains why runners should go against traffic for the most part.

                           

                          Anyway, if it were me I'd stay where I was at and let the cyclist go out into the road. If it's a runner coming at my and running with traffic, I'll move out more towards the center of the road, since I can see that nothing's coming. Does this make sense? Probably not, but that's usually just the way it works out.

                          Coaching testimonial: "Not saying my workout was hard but KAREN IS EVIL."

                           

                          Upcoming races: October - Dana Peak 50k, Ragnar Trail Texas, November - Dinosaur Valley 100k.......others TBD

                          Check out my website and youtube channel

                          Julia1971


                            I wonder if he is (or was at some point) also a runner. In that case, you probably really surprised him when you switched sides of the road, and the unexpected threw him for a loop. I say this since my husband is a cyclist, and while he understands that runners generally go against traffic (and why), he has ridden with guys that get annoyed that runners are coming at them until he explains why runners should go against traffic for the most part.

                             

                            Anyway, if it were me I'd stay where I was at and let the cyclist go out into the road. If it's a runner coming at my and running with traffic, I'll move out more towards the center of the road, since I can see that nothing's coming. Does this make sense? Probably not, but that's usually just the way it works out.

                             

                            Yeah, it makes sense-ish.  I'm not looking to make enemies in my neighborhood so I'll stay put and force him into traffic since that seems to make him happy.  Smile  But, to be clear, I'm crossing waaaaaay before I'm encountering him.  If he's surprised by a runner crossing the street a half-block away, I'm not sure he's paying enough attention to be riding these mean metro D.C. area streets.

                            JMac11


                            I spilled the milk

                               

                              Yeah.  Between your comment and JMac11, I'm guessing he's expecting me to stay where I am and it's rattling him when I go to the other side of the road.  I'll "hold my ground" next time I see him and see how it goes.

                               

                              I'm looking forward to this continuing saga when you do stay put and he tries to buzz you. Update us the next time you see him!

                              5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                               

                              Next Race: Grete's Great Gallop 10K (8/27)

                              Running Problem


                              Problem Child

                                terms of service
                                12345