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Riding on shared paths

sikllama's picture

By sikllama - Posted on 23 June 2014

My riding route yesterday took me along a marked shared path (one of the very few that has been built totally separate from the road in my area) which is normally not a problem however yesterday I had a very near miss with a pedestrian.

As I came around a corner about 50m up ahead was a jogger with an iThingy. I'll admit I was doing a fair speed but was keeping as far left as possible on the wide (>2.5m) path. As we approached each other I noticed the jogger was looking down and adjusting the iThingy and started to drift over to my side of the path. At this stage we were probably 20m apart and by this time I had slowed down to about 20km/hr. About 10m apart the jogger was on a collision course with me so I shouted out a warning (bell wouldn't have helped when the jogger was wearing in ear headphones) and slowed down further to about 15km/hr at which point the jogger looked up and corrected their course a few metres away - narrowing avoiding a possible injury to both of us.

Apart from re-affirming my preference of riding dirt as much as possible who would have been in the wrong had we hit each other? The cyclist handbook from the Road and Maritime services mentions that cyclists need to give way to pedestrians on shared paths and adjust their speed to suit the environment (which I feel I did). Surely both pedestrians and cyclists have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings whilst using such paths - luckily I was!

LadyToast's picture

Pedestrians have the right of way. If you had hit him it would have been your fault.

You should also use your bell, or any other method (sound like you did the right thing there).

If they don't look like they have heard you I generally slow down to a stop and overtake on the right. Common sense really I guess.

That all said, pedestrians are in the news a lot recently for paying to much attention to their phones etc and not the environment around them so I understand the reason for your post.

hawkeye's picture

What he said ^

iZombies: I must say it can be an entertaining way to spend a lunchtime in the city. Plonk yourself in their path, stand absolutely still, and wait for them to wake up just as they are about to walk into you.

Extra points for having your arm out in front slightly bent with your palm at face height. Evil

sikllama's picture

Must practise my palm-offs...

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