Thursday, August 23, 2007

Annie Can't Win

After our great ride on Sunday Annie's confidence was just about all the way back and her lingering aches and pains were just about gone. But it seems she just can't win. This morning just at the end of our ride she collided with a dog. Said dog was not leashed and its owner was sauntering along the path some yards distant from the site of the crash. The level of inconsiderateness, stupidity, irresponsibility and self-centered-ness is astounding. The dog walkers, I've said from the beginning, are the worst offenders hands down among the various people who make sharing a multi-use trail difficult. They have no sense of where they are as long as their little puppies have the freedom to do whatever they need to do. We were furious, but, thankfully, it does not appear that Annie was seriously hurt. Her right side did take another hit and until we see how sore she gets we won't know for sure. Her glasses were bent, her head did hit, although not hard, so a new helmet may be in order and the bike will definitely have to be looked at again. The fenders, at the very least, look mis-aligned. I was so angry and so helpless. If it would not have taken hours I would have called 911 just to get a cop to cite the girl. It is, after all, illegal to walk a dog without a leash. We are amazed at how much we try to not only obey the rules of the path, but extend ourselves in the interest of politeness. Always calling out "bikes passing on the left" and so on and how many people just don't care. Cyclists who shoot by us on the left without a word, walkers walking 3 and 4 abreast plugged into ipods, skateboarders and dog walkers oblivious to everything. It really does suggest that the safest place to ride is in the road, but I'm not sure I could get Annie to go for that, especially since we ride when it is still dark and rush hour traffic is just getting going. What a bummer. And to top it off, the weather is still lousy.


Yokota Fritz said...

SOrry to hear about that trail collision. The dog owner should be the one to pay for the damaged eyeglasses, helmet, and damage to the bike.

I slow *waaay* down on multiuse paths when other users are around, though I know it's impossible to predict what dogs will do. As a dog owner, I always keep my dogs on a short leash on the rare occasions I use a path.

I know what you mean about cyclists whizzing by without warning, too.

Anonymous said...

That's just terrible to hear! (I've had some problems with my home computer and didn't get a chance to get on to congratulate you guys on the Century ride and now I find this!) It's strange but not too long ago I was commenting on Kent Peterson's blog about a similar issue. Bike paths may be a great idea, but only sometimes. Here in Spain there has been concern as of late over the supposed practical and safe aspects of bike paths where it seems politicians find it easy to just get rid of cyclists and put them in some park environment. Cycling is -- thankfully -- much more than this mere amusement. It is a part of people's lives in ways that other activities aren't. We can cycle for joy, for health, for transportation; you name it. But what it isn't is this amusement park type of activity where all can go and do as they may. Falling off a bike can have serious consequences and safety must prevail above all. The dog issue is universal. Everybody thinks its cute and nothing happens. Why are people so rude, selfish and uncaring? So sorry to hear about Annie. I hope she doesn't get discouraged. (My wife, Mo is doing great, by the way. She is confident again and we certainly don't need these types of set backs.)

Ira F. Stone said...

Thanks to you both, Fritz and Alberto. It is comforting to know our cycling community is out there in support and sympathy. Annie is shaken up, but she is not a quitter. It turns out her helmet and glasses are ok and I've already had the bike checked out. Her ankle is swollen so she may not be on the bike for a few days, but I'm sure we'll be ready for our big NY ride over Labor Day.

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