Cycling and Pedestrians do not mix!
Waking up this morning and seeing what a lovely sunny day it was I set off on a trip down the Trans Pennine Trail on my beloved iron horse. My route took me from Manchester heading West to Warrington and back again, a trip of almost 40 miles in total. The route is mainly off road, flat and straight but it does take you through some lovely countryside as the route heads West to Lymm. Due to the weather the route was busy with a mix of other cyclists, dog walkers and even the odd horse rider. For those of you that know the route it is a wide track and you can see for miles due to the flat and straight nature or it. My ride this morning has made me think more and more about the etiquette that should be used when cycling, walking or riding down a path such as this.
One of the annoying things about sharing the route with other users is the absolute disregard for safety and total disrespect walkers and dog walkers show for cyclists. This has made me think about the rules between cycling and pedestrians and how both can enjoy the trails in perfect harmony. On a number of occasions on my cycle this morning I approached dog walkers from the front and It is clear that they have seen me coming from at least a quarter of a mile away yet they do not move to the side and they insist on taking up the whole 5 meter wide track with dogs, they stand there and look at you as if you have just dropped in from Mars, their pooch walks in front of you and you have to stop. All the momentum that has been gained in top gear has been lost and the dog walker does not even utter a hint of a good morning.
I understand that the trails must be shared but for people to notice you but then ignore you and cause you to stop without a hint of an apology is way out of order! If I had come out of knowhere at high speed than I would expect to slow to a walking pace and let them past but when approaching on a straight track and my needs as a cyclist are ignored. If I was to run over the dog, hurt the dog or even collide with the pedestrian then I am sure I would get the blame!
My bike is equipped with a bell in order to alert walkers and other trail users of my presence when approaching from behind and again I have witnessed a number of times when I have rang my bell, the pedestrian has turned to acknowledge my ring of the bell yet they still continue to walk in the center of the path and ignore your signal to let you through! Cyclists and pedestrians must live in harmony on the trails but it is give and take and when pedestrians ignore the needs of cyclists it makes me annoyed.
Let them know your coming! ring that bell! and let cycling and pedestrians mix together.