While doing interval training on the evil sandy bike path of doom (no stop lights to interrupt intervals, though), I came across a stretch that borders a pier (Manhattan beach pier for those who know Los Angeles). During the weekends, there is a mandatory ‘walk your bike’ thing going on for this stretch (yet another reason NOT to bike on the weekends on the bike path). As this was around 5 PM on a weekday, no walk your bike and not a lot of foot traffic.
I was in the middle of my ON interval, so I was doing about 17 MPH (hey, there was a strong headwind, ok?) and going hard. Watching the pedestrians, I see a guy saunter his way as slowly as possible across the bike path (which is what, five feet wide?). I could gauge he would almost clear it by the time I got there, unless he stopped. Regardless, I could still go around him.
I get within 15 feet, and all of a sudden a runt ass pre-teen starts to go out onto bikepath!! Now I have BOTH father and kid (or however they knew eachother) ON the path, completely blocking the way!!
Too close to stop, I screamed something at them twice. I don’t recall what it was. Something like ‘MOVE IT’ or ‘WATCH OUT’. I think I screamed MOVE IT (with a follow up of BIKES ONLY!!) at the couple that was walking DOWN the BIKE PATH holding hands.
Now, I narrowly avoided crushing the child with my Trek5200 by going in between kid and father (it was a close shave). Treat a bike path like a road, kid! Apparently his father never taught him to look both ways before crossing!!
This is not the first time I have almost murdered children on my bike (usually on the bike path, where they like to dart out of nowhere at the last second).
It’s definitely possible to be killed by a cyclist, where penalties for bike-slaughter may only be a fine. Granted, if you Google ‘killed by bicycle’ you see a billion more articles about cyclists that were KILLED, usually by our evil metal brethren, the car.
The more hard core cyclists (read: not goobers on beach cruisers) are easily doing over 20 MPH. It’s gotta SUCK to get hit by ANYTHING doing over 20 MPH. Hell, I clocked myself doing over FIFTY miles per hour going down a really long hill in Palos Verdes. That was awesome. I knew if I hit any kind of serious hole/rock/etc, I was gonna get splattered. It was sooo awesome. That is like..suicide by cyclist, right??
Apparently you can also use your bicycle during drive by shootings, which is giving me a lot of ideas. Trust me, I often thought about packin’ some serious heat and/or a crowbar in my bike jersey to smash car windows of those who dare to get too close (and then are stuck at the stop light up ahead) and little children that scamper around the bike path.. or beach cruisers doing 5 MPH three abreast… the possibilities are endless! Yes, I suffer from extreme road/bike path rage.
And I will have you know that the entire time I wrote this post, a kitten was on my lap, purring and snuggling and trying to prevent me from typing with it’s truly murderous cuteness. I was not able to find any incidents of ‘death by kitten’, but the Google images for that term are adorable.
Click kitten pic to enlarge. Kitten’s name is ‘snap’. Kitten is orange.