As a cyclist predominantly, I can never understand why cyclists have to be at the bottom of the food chain, yielding to everything and everyone on the trails. Especially since the cyclists are normally going the fastest and are normally the most aware of what is happening around them. I also walk and yes, I have a horse too. But realistically, I think the people walking should he yielding to everyone else…. But then again, I guess that would mean that the walkers have to pay attention to what they are doing, which, is most often not the case.
Today for example, I had to brake and come to almost a complete standstill twice. Cycling along, I notice a gentleman in the middle of the trail, walking in such a way, I cannot pass. I announce my presence with a polite passing on your left… in other words, asking him to move to the right and stay there… where he should have been in the first place. He ignored it and stayed on the middle of the path. The second incident involved two women walking and doing what most women do well: talk and not pay attention. Again, from a distance, I announce my presence with passing on the left. They were exactly where they were supposed to be, but not knowing where people are going, I always, like most cyclists, announce I am behind them, and am planning to pass them on the left. The rules of the trails. The one looks over her shoulder at me and stops, I start to pass, when the other lady steps in front of my bike. Luckily, I have sixth sense that just senses these things a second before it happens. I swerve and brake while she profusely apologizes…
And then there are the other type of walkers that drives me nuts and really makes cycling unsafe. The social walker that walks around with earbuds. They have their heads in the clouds and their ears, oblivious to any sounds. In fact, they are just oblivious to other trail users. And then you have to dog walkers. They walk on the side of the trial… with the dog leash crossing the trail and the dog on the other side of the trail. As a cyclist, that is probably one of the most dangerous situations. If you do not see the dog, or the leash across the trail, that is a definite fall for you and most certainly some injuries and probably an injured dog. In my case, and injured walker too, since I am bound to hit something, and it will not be the poof innocent dog that had to walk with an ignored person. I often fear for the poor dogs, what their owners expose them to on the trails. How can I blame the dog if he makes me fall? He had not choice in the matter, he was put there, without a leash, by his owner who trusted him to know how to respond to a cyclist.
Of course, there are those who are so polite, who even leave the trail all together to not be in your way. Or they stop with their dog and let you pass. I salute those of you who are considerate. And there are many of you out there. I can honestly say the less considerate cloud walkers are less than the considerate walkers.
I obviously survived another day on the trails, since here I am moaning about the little inconveniences of life. They are little compared to what others deal with. And it just made me realize how fortunate I am if this is the only thing I have to complain about.