So, this morning I was nearly hit from behind by a cyclist who came up the sidewalk behind me without bothering to let me know she was there. Had I moved a half-step to the right at the wrong moment, she would have taken my knee out.
Were this the only time something like this happened, it would be annoying, but nothing to write home about. Just one of the annoyances of pedestrian life.
But this happens far too often not to be infuriating. Do people riding bicycles not understand that people in front of them might not know they are there? That even a low-speed collision can cause serious injury? Is it too hard to use a horn, or a bell, or even to call out “coming through?”
From the Los Angeles municipal code:
- Sidewalk Riding (LAMC 56.15) Prohibits the riding of bicycles (or other human power devices) on sidewalks (bikeways or boardwalks) with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Disallows the riding of bicycles on Ocean Front Walk in Venice.
I maintain these people are breaking that very ordinance, though small satisfaction it will be to me for them to get a ticket while I’m on the ground, writhing in pain.
Wait! What am I saying? Bike riders are healthy, Green, saving Gaea — they’re virtuous! The sidewalks and roads are theirs by divine right, and therefore they need not worry themselves about lesser mortals such as you and me. It’s your responsibility to watch out for them, you drudge, lest your body damage their bike.
Meanwhile, I have to keep looking warily over my shoulder when walking to the grocery store.
PS: My apologies to any civilized riders reading this. I just needed to vent.