One of the many things I enjoy about my rides along the canal is the quiet and sense of civility. In a world that is often filled with raised voices and the use of four letter expletives to make a point, it’s a welcome respite.
The other day, not one, not two, but five other cyclists passed me, and not a single one of them bothered to let me know they were coming up behind me.
By the fifth one, I was frustrated, nah, I was downright mad, so I piped up.
“You really should announce yourself.” I shouted.
“It’s ok hon, you weren’t in my way.” was the reply
Doh’! Are you kidding me?
I guess some people just don’t get it.
Do they not understand that the dog standing quietly next to his owner could suddenly catch the scent of squirrel in the air and bound recklessly onto the path causing a canine collision and a serious case of road rash?
Or perhaps they can’t picture the possibility of a classic Abbott and Costello shtick, complete with a fishing pole and misplaced hook. Ouch!
Not to mention the prospect of a heels over wheels tumble into the canal. I’ve seen it happen. Well, ok, admittedly the guy was drunk and he rode off of the path into the canal on his own, but the point still stands.
Clearly none of these scenarios has crossed their mind, so I can only conclude that they are abiding by some unwritten rule of no four letter words on the towpath.
My message to them is this…
For the love of Pete, let people know when you are passing them.
Shout out and say it. “Passing on your left”! Or even just “on your left” will do. Left is not a four letter word. It’s ok to say it out loud, in fact you can even shout it.
If you have an aversion to the word “left”, then perhaps you could invest in a bell, although personally I find the cheery “ching ching” annoying and it doesn’t let me know for certain that someone is going to pass on my left.
Fellow cyclists, for your safety and mine, remember left is not a four letter word, in fact it might just be music to my ears.
This message is brought to you courtesy of ‘Beth, just being me’ – Please ride responsibly.