Dear fellow cyclists (and pedestrians)…
Keep to the right (or left, if on foot). Keep alert. Pay attention to your surroundings. Please!
Today I was out on a training ride around Amager. On one of the many paths out here I had to pass two older ladies riding side by side talking, blocking the whole path completely. And this on a 3 m wide path, well done! I was doing about 35 km/h at that time, three times their speed, and started coasting so they could hear me approach, and they clearly did. The left lady swerved out left so I could pass between them, which is a really stupid thing to do instead of keeping to the right, but I thought “oh well, quick reaction after all” and aimed to pass between them … and then the old and slow lady started turning to look back over her right shoulder, swerving back right again, blocking my passage!
By this time I was within a bikelength of them and I just had to pass, scaring both them and myself in the process. I heard a shocked gasp as I passed between them.
I should've know they wouldn't react quickly and ridden accordingly. And I should've stopped after passing them and apologized and explained myself. Just for some closure and a chance to tell them what I'm writing now. Because I didn't do the entirely right thing myself, but they certainly didn't either.
Here's the things I see cyclists and pedestrians do wrong all. the. time.:
- Cyclists riding two abreast and never looking back to check if they're blocking someone, neither paying attention or thinking.
- Pedestrians using the bike path when there's a designated sidewalk or path for them right next to the bike path, just because… this is something runners often do. No idea why the fuckers think that's OK.
- Pedestrians keeping to the right where the law actually says they should keep to the left when sharing the road/path with non-pedestrians. This is a rule I'm really surprised that almost everyone is ignorant of here in Copenhagen, because I vividly remember learning it when I was about 6 or 7. And it totally pisses me off when I get reactions from cyclists when I'm out running in the rigth (ie. left) side.
I understand that the rule about walking on the left is kind of counter-intuitive when everyone else must keep to the right according to Danish law, but it does start making sense when you visualize your situation when out walking on a completely black road at night and some guy comes racing along. You stand a much better chance at jumping successfully for your life if the car in your side of the road comes right where you can see it instead of from behind.