Peevish on this gorgeous November day

And no, Peeves did not waft by me clinking ice cubes tonight but I have a few peeves about today and none of them have to do with work but here is one of them…

I was walking *on the sidewalk* down N. Maple late this afternoon. I was heading to the Plum Market thinking a brazillion thoughts. I was a quadjillion miles away off in the clouds somewhere. Suddenly! “On your right!” Yiiiiiiy! I flipped my head around and made an involuntary “huh” kind of noise. He didn’t hit me, thank you god.

Again… If you are a cyclist and are riding on the SIDEWALK (!), please, please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top… If you see a baggy old pedestrian in front of you, don’t wait until you are five feet behind her to quietly state your presence. First of all, you scared me out of my wits! Also, I cannot parse “on your left” or “on your right” in a nano-second. Right? Left? Say what?

If you are going to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, either 1) get off and walk it when you see a pedestrian ahead of you or 2) yell “THERE IS A BICYCLE COMING UP BEHIND YOU” from a half-block away (I will get off the sidewalk and wait and give you the equivalent of a high five) or 3) install one of those bells that the kindergartners have on their bikes. AND USE IT!!! Starting from about a half block away.

This young man was towing a trailer behind his bike. I couldn’t exactly see if there was a baby in it or not. If there was (and even if there wasn’t) I can understand why he was riding on the sidewalk. I would have been too. North Maple is a speedway. It’s four lanes with no median of any sort and the speed limit is 35 but people regularly go 55 or whatever. But still. If I had lurched the wrong direction, I could easily have knocked him off his bike and would probably have sustained injuries myself.

There has been a lot of strife here on the Planet Ann Arbor between walkers, cyclists, and drivers. We have to work together. That is all for now.

5 Responses to “Peevish on this gorgeous November day”

  1. Marquis Says:

    Sounds exactly like the reaction that I strive for, when I pass a ped.

  2. Marquis Says:

    Really, I try to warn pedestrians, but the noise of traffic, headphones, whatever, makes it rather problematic. If I don’t get comfirmation of my warning and there is room, trying to slip on by, is often the best way to go.

  3. Margaret Says:

    Dangerous and scary. I’m peevish too, but for different reasons.

  4. kayak woman Says:

    True that there are a lot of pedestrians who seem oblivious to their surroundings…

  5. Pooh Says:

    Just to clarify, Le Marquis and I seldom ride on a normal sidewalk. We do however do a lot of riding in Forest Park, on the “wheels” path. There is a pea gravel “heels” path that roughly parallels the bike, er, wheels path. There are a lot of people on both paths, but I figure people on the paths are more aware of the possibility of being passed, because it is a busy park. (As opposed to an oh-skunk-thirty walk.)

    Now what Marquis does on a dawn launch bike ride, when he passes the St. Louis Track Club, “I know nothink”, to quote Corporal Clink.