After almost getting into a relatively serious head-on collision with another cyclist yesterday, I feel the need to post something, anything about passing on a bike path.
When you look at a bike path, what does it resemble? That’s right, a road. This means that basic road rules apply, such as:
- ride on the right hand side of the yellow line
- pass only when clear
- ahem, speed limit, ahem, snicker snicker
Now, none of these are really enforced and there is lots of wiggle room depending on how busy the path is. One though has to be at least respected, and that is passing only when clear. Often there is room to pass along the yellow center line if the path is wide enough, but when you have to take over the opposing lane, it better be clear.
Think of a bike path as an old country, two lane road that if you try to pass on a blind corner, you might wind up playing an involuntary game of chicken. A bike path is no different. If we collide head on, no one is going to be getting up laughing.
The incident yesterday though troubled me much more because it was two pedestrians the other cyclist was passing. Due to the other cyclist’s inability to judge my oncoming speed and whether there was time to pass, the pedestrians were inadvertently also put into risk of injury. Pedestrians are slower than bikes, they are walking, not on wheels. Deal with it.
Patience is a virtue. If you don’t have time to pass, slow down and wait until you do. Simple as that. When you don’t, you put everyone else around you in danger as well, and no one wants to see that.