Am I liable if I run over a jogger in musical solitude?



tinuvielberen

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Aug 6, 2005
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AmpedCycle said:
Oblivious women... I've seen so many. "Crazy Ivans," too... a crazy ivan is an asian on a bicycle steering eratically (I live in a town so full of asians it isn't even funny) (("crazy ivan" is a reference from the movie "A Hunt for Red October").
I can spot these women from at least a 1/4 mile -- I don't even slow down, anymore -- they look like fishing lures, from behind... arms swinging wildly, head in the clouds, a swerving gait,... trust me, I know. I'll tell you the truth, I'd like to stick out my arm and closeline one of them, or use my frame pump like a night stick. I'll bet I'd get away with it, too.
Got any other cute nicknames for ethnic groups you don't like?

And good idea about clotheslining or beating women. Unlike large men, they're less likely to be able to chase you down and beat the **** out of you.

I agree that rollerbladers and other oblivious people are really annoying on the trails...about as annoying as bicycles are to motorists on the roads. You've got the exact same mentality as the jerk in an SUV who throws things at cyclists.

Motorists have a responsibility to share the road. Cyclists have a responsibility to share the trail.
 

Stevedvg

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Jan 12, 2004
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DCWD said:
Having made no contact and confirmed that she remained oblivious to her near-death experience, I cursed all joggers under my breath as I worked back up to my previous tempo...

No way are you liable! It would be a mercy-killing...putting an obviously mentally-challenged inferior biped out of it's misery - I mean really what type of doofus actually prefers running to cycling?!! :D
 

crb189

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Aug 3, 2005
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To answer your original question, this really becomes a problem of conservation of linear momentum (Ok, I'm making a slight assumption that momentum is conserved). If you hit her, and you two became tangled together, your shared velocity (after impact) would be 20 mph, so her (and maybe your) brains would splatter however far tumbling at 20 mph would take you (depends on the coefficient of kinetic friction amongst other variables).

Again, using conservation of linear momentum, say you hit her and you stop perfectly still at the point of impact, she would go tumbling at less than 60 mph but higher than 20 mph (it would depend on the coefficient of restitution between your bike and the jogger).

Outlined above are the two limiting cases. Sorry I can't give a better quantitave analysis as there are too many unknown variables that would have to be determined.
 

AmpedCycle

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Dec 29, 2004
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So you've decided to comment on my experiences. Comment on another one-- I don't like overzealous cyclists with some kind of moral stick up their a** -- It's clueless idiots like you who think they have a right to talk about others. You're worse than the SUV driver.... because you're a moron with an attitude... not just someone with an attitude.

Go play your race and sex **** somewhere else, what's happened to me is true and if I want to talk about it it's not your territory.

I'd spit into the wind if you were behind me.

tinuvielberen said:
Got any other cute nicknames for ethnic groups you don't like?

And good idea about clotheslining or beating women. Unlike large men, they're less likely to be able to chase you down and beat the **** out of you.

I agree that rollerbladers and other oblivious people are really annoying on the trails...about as annoying as bicycles are to motorists on the roads. You've got the exact same mentality as the jerk in an SUV who throws things at cyclists.

Motorists have a responsibility to share the road. Cyclists have a responsibility to share the trail.
 

Dweezle

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Mar 4, 2005
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jaguar75 said:
As a cyclist multi-use paths do suck, however, laws favor the footboud pedestrian and rightly so. If you are overtaking a person walking, you can see them but they can not see you. It is your responsibility as a "fast-mover" approaching a walker/jogger to put your hands on the breaks negotiate a safe pass and prepare for and anticipate unexpected manuvers. This is elementary folks and frankly it is pretty snobbish for you to think otherwise...
I think this is more or less correct. It's kind of the same as rear-ending somebody in your car. Even though the driver ahead of you slammed on the brakes to avoid running over a pine-cone, you are still responsible to be able to stop in time to avoid hitting them.

Imagine going into court and arguing that it was okay for you to be riding 30 MPH among assorted pedestrians, dogs and kids that use a mixed-use trail. It just wouldn't work. You have to slow down to a speed that allows you to react to the toddler escaping momy just around that blind corner.

The similar argument with a car and a bicycle... "I was driving my Porsche the way it was designed to be driven... very hard, and I encountered a bicycle going a measly 30 MPH around a curve, I didn't have time to stop." None of us would buy that argument.
 

lwedge

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Mar 3, 2004
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Insight Driver said:
I am very fortunate that I can ride on the American River Parkway also known as the Jebediah Smith BICYCLE trail. Although it's primarily a bicycle trail it's open to walkers, joggers and roller-bladers. Although the rules and etiquete rules are posted on multiple signs on the trail, there are still clueless people that don't believe rules apply to them. Such is life. Live with it. I understand it.

I can't stand wearing headphones when I run, I like to hear what is going on around me. That is at least half the reason why I run and cycle in the first place, to be able to enjoy the surroundings, the sights and sounds. Well maybe not all sounds, certainly not the sound of a 120lb Mountain Lion's paws hitting the pavement behind me (man, I hope that never happens). I am fortunate in the fact that I can hear for miles where I run. I can sometimes hear the chit-chat and the chains of the paceline cutting through the mountain roads 3 or more miles away. Ahh, I want to go there now but I must get some work done today. :(

The American River Parkway is an absolute gem, I used to cycle there often, mostly the Fair Oaks portion and would not only run in to skaters and runners but an occasional horse back rider and roller skiers. The skiers, you will really have to watch out for, they have polls, the skies fly out on push off and they can't hear well either due to roller noise and wind blowing by their ears.

LW
 

baj32161

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Jul 15, 2004
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friedmikey said:
Multi-use paths are a nightmare. Let's not kid ourselves here. We (the cyclists) are the fast-movers on the path... you all know that we'll get the blame for an accident no matter what the circumstances may be. Sucks.
But 30mph on a multi use trail?!?!? Isn't there some law that states that a cyclist must maintain a safe, responsible speed? There is such a law for the trails where I live. I try to remember that multi use trails or paths are there for everyone, not just us speed happy cyclists.
 

baj32161

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Jul 15, 2004
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Stevedvg said:
No way are you liable! It would be a mercy-killing...putting an obviously mentally-challenged inferior biped out of it's misery - I mean really what type of doofus actually prefers running to cycling?!! :D
Ummmmm...I HOPE you're being sarcastic here.:eek:
 

baj32161

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Jul 15, 2004
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DCWD said:
Yah. I guess I was wondering about that, too. A lot of my frustration at the time was that I rarely (really RARELY) hit that kind of speed on the trail and I was really (and I mean REAAALLLYYY) enjoying it. But at the same time, ipod-jogger is alive today because I *was* paying attention. That's my frustration, too. ...I mean, nothing but her state of mind prevented her from looking up to see me, pausing half a second, and then going after whatever it was she was picking up. Her choice to jog in oblivion denies me the freedom to push myself a little harder every day as I make my commute.

Now, this trail is called a "shared-use" trail (with no speed limit that I've ever found). I don't begrudge joggers on the trail, even when they wonder or jog two-abreast. I get a bit miffed when they stop in the middle of the trail to chat or jog three and four-abreast. And I don't expect them to be tripping over themselves to stay out of my way, either. But shouldn't they be responsible for sharing the trail with me, just as I am responsible for sharing withe them? Where's the justice?
You are so right here. But you know...all you can do is your part and hope that others do theirs. I have often asked joggers/walkers why they do some of the things they do and I find that most of them are simply oblivious to the "rules" of sharing the paths. I also find that when I explain it to them without sounding condescending, they usually respond very favorably. It is just like drivers having to deal with us on the roads, we have to deal with joggers/walkers on the paths. The frustrations are very real though and I feel your pain.
 

saviourag

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Jun 20, 2005
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KGnagey said:
30mph on a multi-use trail is dangerous for both biker and non-biker. Some multi-use trails have a speed limit and for a good reason. If you were going slower would you have had more time to react? Save the speed for the road.
On the road it's just as dangerous as some pedestrians don't hear the bike coming (as opposed to a car) and they cross the road without looking in both directions.
Last week I was cycling on a main road and there was this guy (I think he was a tourist and he wasn't used to us driving on the left) who as soon as he got on the road from behind a van, he looked to the left for any cars coming, and VOILÀ! I was coming right then from his right! Luckily I managed to brake just in time and I didn't hit him but by the look on his face as he turned back he looked terrified.. Then I cursed a bit and mentioned a series of saints (typical of us mediterraneans) and went on.
 

mattjf

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Jul 31, 2005
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crb189 said:
To answer your original question, this really becomes a problem of conservation of linear momentum (Ok, I'm making a slight assumption that momentum is conserved).
I think it's a safe assumption that momentum is conserved. At the point of collision, external forces will be negligible relative to the crash. A 200lb man colliding at 30mph with a 150lb woman, friction and the other external forces is not going to do much.


-Matt
 

DCWD

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Aug 5, 2005
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Dweezle said:
The similar argument with a car and a bicycle... "I was driving my Porsche the way it was designed to be driven... very hard, and I encountered a bicycle going a measly 30 MPH around a curve, I didn't have time to stop." None of us would buy that argument.
This situation would have been more like, "I was driving my Porsche along the road when a cyclist riding along the shoulder suddenly, without warning, and without looking to see if there was any other traffic on the road, darted out in front of me to pick up a quarter on the other side of the street."

In this case, there was no blind corner, no bright sun to blind her, nor anything else that would have prevented this jogger from seeing me coming upon her. ...it's just that she wasn't paying attention AT ALL. (For those that know the area, I was headed North right at Gravely Point - a gently sloping trail going around 5 acres of grass, often used for soccer and such.) If I'd hit her, my speed would have affected how badly the jogger got hurt, but not whether she got hurt. My speed was only relevant if impact had occured.
 

cydewaze

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Jun 17, 2004
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I wonder, if you were driving a car with your stereo blasting so loudly, you failed to see (and yield to) an emergency vehicle with its lights and sirens on, would you be at fault, or would the emergency vehicle?

I guess it's not a good comparison, because a driver legally has to yield to an emergency vehicle, and the jogger isn't legally obligated to yield to you, but still. IMO the walkman (assuming it's turned up loud enough) impairs one's ability to safely navigate the trail.
 

The Wheel Thing

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Aug 17, 2005
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DCWD said:
So yesterday morning I'm sweeping along my way to work at about 30mph and look up to see a jogger, engrossed in her ipod-induced solitude, stopping to pick up some something-or-other in my lane on the Mt Vernon trail. I slam on the brakes and swerve to avoid hitting her.
I ride a lot in this area also. "defensive riding" is my policy while biking.
 

badhat

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Jul 10, 2005
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friedmikey said:
Multi-use paths are a nightmare. Let's not kid ourselves here. We (the cyclists) are the fast-movers on the path... you all know that we'll get the blame for an accident no matter what the circumstances may be. Sucks.
a couple of years ago i was riding the Lake Shore Multi Use Path in Chicago (which is in my opinion one of the most amazing urban trails in the world), and i was clipping along at a good 22-24ish mph and swung wide to get around this married couple who were seriously just standing around in the lane, chatting....

well turns out that thier 3 year old was behind them and decided to dart across the path at almost exactly the same time i was passing them and i swerved at the very last second and missed this poor kid by no more than a couple of inches. and then lost control of my bike and slid/rolled for about 25* feet, still clipped in.

i was rashed up pretty good and as i layed there i had no idea if i'd hit the kid or not, but figured the worst, and basically saw my life flash before my eyes, convinced i'd maimed/killed a toddler with my bike.

the parents ran up to me and i was totally prepared to get screamed at, but to my surprise the kid was fine, i hadnt hit him and the parents rushed up not to chastise me to to apologize for the kid and make sure i was ok (which i basically was)....

i'm still haunted by that kid and how close i came to something really bad happening, not through any negligence on my part, but just thru the really bad combo of being a fast cyclist on a recreational path. that was the last time i ever tried to train on the LS path. i continued to ride it at rec speeds and as a commute, but i only train on streets now.

same now that i'm in ft collins, i'm finally to the point where i can get on the PV trail and just cruise at a very relaxed speed, where i can watch a kids playing and laugh at the ducks and the watch the river twinkle, rather than crouched in my drops, staring at my line in the asphault. i still rip it up on the road, mind you, but not on multi use paths anymore.


edit: 25 feet, not 250.... heh
 

islandboy

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Jun 15, 2005
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badhat said:
i'm still haunted by that kid and how close i came to something really bad happening, not through any negligence on my part, but just thru the really bad combo
Great post - passing off responsibility to others, references to rights, solutions, bravado, etc. do not bring back toddlers, heal broken bones, or repair bikes.
 

tchak attack

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Dec 3, 2004
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badhat said:
a couple of years ago i was riding the Lake Shore Multi Use Path in Chicago (which is in my opinion one of the most amazing urban trails in the world), and i was clipping along at a good 22-24ish mph and swung wide to get around this married couple who were seriously just standing around in the lane, chatting....

well turns out that thier 3 year old was behind them and decided to dart across the path at almost exactly the same time i was passing them and i swerved at the very last second and missed this poor kid by no more than a couple of inches. and then lost control of my bike and slid/rolled for about 250 feet, still clipped in.

i was rashed up pretty good and as i layed there i had no idea if i'd hit the kid or not, but figured the worst, and basically saw my life flash before my eyes, convinced i'd maimed/killed a toddler with my bike.

the parents ran up to me and i was totally prepared to get screamed at, but to my surprise the kid was fine, i hadnt hit him and the parents rushed up not to chastise me to to apologize for the kid and make sure i was ok (which i basically was)....

i'm still haunted by that kid and how close i came to something really bad happening, not through any negligence on my part, but just thru the really bad combo of being a fast cyclist on a recreational path. that was the last time i ever tried to train on the LS path. i continued to ride it at rec speeds and as a commute, but i only train on streets now.

same now that i'm in ft collins, i'm finally to the point where i can get on the PV trail and just cruise at a very relaxed speed, where i can watch a kids playing and laugh at the ducks and the watch the river twinkle, rather than crouched in my drops, staring at my line in the asphault. i still rip it up on the road, mind you, but not on multi use paths anymore.
I ride and run the Lake shore multi use path in Chicago almost every day. I live just one block from it. I too have had 2 close calls of similar situations in years past with little kids that are exited to go to the beach and dart out in front. I have found that you have to respect the trail just like cars respect bicycles on the street. (We are the cars and runners and pedesrtians are the bikes).
Also timing is very important, most of my rides are between 9:00 a.m to 2:00p.m. it is not that crowded as it is 5-8 a.m and after 5p.m. and the week ends I either avoid it all together or I enjoy the sceneryif I do ride. You have to think of your ride as an EXTREME tempo ride when the trail is congested. There are some times when I come to a complete stop with my foot down but the trail is 18 miles long so there are stretches where I can definatly put the hammer down and keep the hammer down but be prepared to change up the tempo and I always caution on the side of danger. Also during the fall winter and early spring months it is much much more open for go ahead!:)
 

badhat

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Jul 10, 2005
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good point that time of day and season are big factors.

i used to love riding the LS path at like 4 or 5 in the morning. such an amazing experince, especially riding northbound between the museum campus and navy pier.... its the most surreal view of the skyline....

and i winter commuted from my apt in andersonville down to the museum campus and typicalyl had the whole thing to myself, like you said.

sorry that was a total tangent. i love CO but i still miss riding on the lake.
 

Kazoo

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Jul 8, 2005
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so far I've had to curse at two people, both car drivers. Once I was just walking down the street when a guy pulled out of his driveway at 50km/h without looking anywhere, i stopped just in time, when he got on the street i walked right next to his car rubbing against it, he apologized.
Second was on my bike some idiot decided that stops signs weren't there for him and even though i had right of passage he still drove through honking and yelling at me.
 

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