A letter to the Cyclist who hit me on the Rock Creek Trail
So you hit me on Rock Creek today right by the Watergate crosswalk. Were you even paying attention to what was going on around you? You came up from behind me while I was walking all the way on the right side of the trail (the literal and metaphorical “right” side, if you will) and all of a sudden I felt someone’s wheel on my foot and handlebars hit my back.
Perhaps you are unaware of the rules of the trail, much like the rules of the road. You stay to the right and if you want to pass, you say “on your left” so that the person knows someone moving faster than they are is coming up behind them. This is why I do not listen to music–I’m a responsible trail runner. I can see how this might be confusing, after all not that many cyclists observe the rule especially the ones who think they’re really cool and clad all over in spandex going too fast on the trail. Yes, they will create accidents and I can assure you they won’t get the worst of it.
Except, the thing is, you weren’t passing me, you just weren’t paying attention. And that’s as much a problem. As the operator of a vehicle around pedestrians, you have a responsibility to be hyper vigilant and aware of your surroundings. What if some kid darted away from their parents? What if there was a dog? A large group of elderly walkers or tourists on those rental bikes that go really slowly and take up the whole trail? You need to get your shit together and start paying attention.
If you want to ride a bike, you need to accept that it’s a vehicle and that you need to treat it just like you would a car because you can do some serious damage hitting someone with it. I’m not kidding. All the bicycle people need to do that.