Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

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recumbentpanda
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Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby recumbentpanda » 20 May 2019, 10:28pm

Cyclists often complain of pedestrians being obstructive, but I seem to have the opposite problem. I must present a terrifying spectacle because I often notice pedestrians I pass on my local shared use paths shrinking away from me.

For example, me travelling southbound at a moderate pace, two older persons walking northbound. As they see me, they actually leave the path and walk along on the rough despite being, apparently, not particularly agile. This on a path over two metres wide. Meanwhile, I am trying to set their minds at rest by cycling so far over on the opposite side that I am collecting wildflowers from the verge between my sandalled toes. This has no effect and they continue to treat me as if I might violently explode or suddenly fling myself two metres sideways.

This I find, is a not uncommon pattern. It worries me. Quite a lot of the people who do this are, like the pair in my example not the most nimble.

Now, I know I am riding one of those terrifying recumbents, and it is painted a rather alarming shade of green, but i still wonder what is going on in these peoples minds. I don’t mean any of this as a criticism of pedestrians, I’m just a little concerned that I am apparently seen as such a hazard. Is it the ingrained effect of motor car bullying? Is it that the elderly, as my sainted mother points out, can’t suddenly take evasive action, so are inclined to be cautious? (But it’s not just the elderly who do this) Or is it just me? Do I need to get a less frightening bike? Or get plastic surgery? Or stop wearing that awful magenta pink? Comments awaited with interest.

awavey
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby awavey » 21 May 2019, 12:35am

no its not just you, Ive noticed that often with pedestrians at crossings/red lights,they will often warily stare at you even if youve stopped as if as soon as they step in front of you youll just start riding again and hit them. Even when the crossing is green in their favour, and Im just slowly rolling towards the line hoping Ive timed it right so the crossing clears and then goes green for me as I get to the line, they still give me the evil eye as if yeah Im about to postal on them or something. Yet a car or even a truck doing the same, they wouldnt even second glance.

and on shared paths too, theyll leap or walk crazily far away from you, either the media has a lot to answer for portraying cyclists as crazy rule breakers or these are just permanent nervous wrecks

pwa
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby pwa » 21 May 2019, 7:33am

Old people are often afraid of bumps and falls because they know that relatively minor incidents can leave them in hospital for weeks. Both my parents have had falls that have left them with broken bones and long stays in hospital. My father died following complications resulting from a fall. That is probably why older people back away from someone approaching on a bike. They have reason to be nervous.

brynpoeth
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby brynpoeth » 21 May 2019, 7:39am

awavey wrote:no its not just you, Ive noticed that often with pedestrians at crossings/red lights,they will often warily stare at you even if youve stopped as if as soon as they step in front of you youll just start riding again and hit them. Even when the crossing is green in their favour, and Im just slowly rolling towards the line hoping Ive timed it right so the crossing clears and then goes green for me as I get to the line, they still give me the evil eye as if yeah Im about to postal on them or something. Yet a car or even a truck doing the same, they wouldnt even second glance.
..

As a PoF I do not trust motors to stop, very often they creep forward over the line
If one waits until they stop there might be no time to get across or the lights might have changed back, have to press the button and wait again
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Patrickpioneer
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby Patrickpioneer » 23 May 2019, 6:31am

I think they have meet so many inconsiderate yobs on bikes they have learnt to fear all. I get this too when out, I go slow, say hello but I still see worry in their eyes.
I was talking to a man walking his dog on a shared path just a few days ago, his little dog was barking at me on my bike so I stopped to swap dog stories, he told me the dog has never liked cyclists since a young man on a bike ran into his dog on a bend in the path and yes the dog was on its lead

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Cugel
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby Cugel » 23 May 2019, 9:25am

Shared paths - a bad idea born out of cheapskate attempts to crowd everyone not-a-motorist out of their way, on to a one-size-fits-all "facility".

Although cycling "accidents" with pedestrians on shared paths may be less dramatic than being run over by a car, there can be serious consequences, as the posts above illustrate. After various experiences using them (very carefully indeed) I now go on the road rather than a shared path whenever and wherever possible. After all, in just short of 60 years riding a bike on the roads I've only been hit by one car and never run into a pedestrian.

It's saddening that so many who ride bikes behave just as badly as when they're driving their cars - inconsiderate, entitled, lacking all empathy for others. As a pedestrian, we're bottom of the aggression chain,which is one reason why pedestrians on shared paths cower away from cyclists, who may be bunny rabbit or hyena.

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Mike Sales
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby Mike Sales » 23 May 2019, 9:46am

Perhaps some of these cowerers are convinced of the hierarchy of road users. When they are in their car they expect deference from cyclists and pedestrians. When afoot or awheel they defer to motors. They are the gutterscuttlers or pavement riders on a bike. They defer to cyclists as well as motors when walking.

Ellieb
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby Ellieb » 23 May 2019, 10:21pm

If it's a recumbent, then they are getting a pair of spinning feet with a chainwheel sticking out towards them. I'd say that is more intimidating than a normal bike. Also 2 metres is not that wide for a path.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 24 May 2019, 7:40am

I don't have a problem. spot them well in advance, assess their movement and behaviour, and adjust approach as necessary. I'm sure if I blatted past them flat out with inches of clearance that might send a few cowering, but I prefer to spread the word of peace and love when out enjoying myself on the bike, even if that means stopping and waiting a few seconds.
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby mjr » 24 May 2019, 7:55am

Ellieb wrote:If it's a recumbent, then they are getting a pair of spinning feet with a chainwheel sticking out towards them. I'd say that is more intimidating than a normal bike. Also 2 metres is not that wide for a path.

To put it mildly. It's substandard, below minimum width for two-way mixed traffic.
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recumbentpanda
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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby recumbentpanda » 24 May 2019, 9:27am

@Ellieb Un fortunately for that theory, it happens when I ride my uprights too. It must be the hat . . . Or my face . . . :)

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Re: Cowering pedestrians -is it just me?

Postby recumbentpanda » 24 May 2019, 9:35am

@Ellieb & mjr: “over two metres wide” (Probably quite a lot over, now I think about it!)

@Mike Sales: Alas, the ‘hierarchy’ thing had occurred to me too. It’s deeply sad, if true.