An Open Letter To The Walker I Scared Last Night


Dear Ma’am,

Please accept my profound apologies for scaring you within an inch of your life last night on the Rte 234 multi-use path.   As I passed you on the right (due to your location on the left side of the path), the horrified scream you uttered clearly indicated your surprise at my sudden presence.  Although I immediately apologized, I suspect you did not hear me, due primarily to the iPod which continued to play music in your ears and also due to the fact you were continuing to cause a fuss with statements such as, “Oh, my God!” or words to that effect.

As I approached you, I tried very hard to notify you of my presence.  I shouted, “Hello!” and “Excuse me!” with no reaction on your part.  I slowed my pace so I could avoid any sudden movement on your part and I stayed as far to the right of the path as possible.  Alas, all of these efforts proved to be in vain as your scream clearly indicated.

Now that I have your attention, I wonder if I could presume to ask a few favors from you.  It may surprise you to learn that a great many cyclists are not interested in terrifying the local populace.  By following a few simple practices, I believe we can greatly reduce the number of unfortunate mishaps.  If you could be so good as to pass these along to your fellow walkers, I would be in your debt:

     – Feel free to walk on the right side of the path, thus allowing others to pass on the proper side.  Please do not take your half of the path down the middle.  If you are walking with a friend, consider the fact that you may be blocking the path and what that might mean to those who are traveling faster than you.

     – Take one of those earphones out of your ears so that you become aware of the world around you.  You might be surprised to learn there are all manner of travelers with you on the path.  Some of them might need your help.  Others might simply want to tell you they are rapidly approaching you and do not want to startle you.

     – If you’re walking at night, wearing some reflective material would be most helpful.

     – If you are walking a dog that likes to chase bikes and you would prefer that your dog NOT become horribly injured in a bike collision, consider keeping him/her under control when a cyclist passes you.

Again, I sincerely hope your heart rate has returned to normal and that you continue to enjoy your time on the multi-use paths of our wonderful county.  I hope our next encounter will be less… exciting.

                                                                                     – Steve



6 thoughts on “An Open Letter To The Walker I Scared Last Night

  1. Pingback: 2010 Wrap Up: Part 3 (The Blog) | There And Back Again – Steve's Cycling Blog

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