On Your LEFT!

15 Apr

I had planned on writing about my 20 miler but that can wait until tomorrow! I have a gripe and a question!!

First quick update: I was running my usual Tuesday morning “hilly” route in my Brooks today. I wanted to try and keep the same exertion as I have the last 4 weeks. I didn’t want to dwell on the numbers. I felt a little slow at the beginning…which is normal. I ended up having a pretty good run. I averaged 10:14s so not much different than the last week of the experiment!! I was secretly hoping that it was going to be a huge difference. Now I need to go back to Terwilliger and see if my hill training on Corbett has helped my Terwilliger efforts! 🙂

Back to my gripe!
I was running along on the side walk and there is a lady (with headphones) walking along. I pass her and say nothing. No good morning. No on your left. No kiss my ass. Nothing. As I pass her (under her breath) she says: “say something.” I don’t know if she was saying it loud enough for me to hear or just saying it under her breath. I didn’t have headphones on. There were no cars passing. So I heard her.

I just kept running. I wanted to turn back around and say why? Did you want me to say on your left or good morning. What is the point? She was walking on the right side of the sidewalk. Its not like I needed to get around her.

I have said that to too many people (and on this route since the “experiement” started/every day life). They jump up and I scare them. Or they continue to walk in the middle of the sidewalk. I understand that it is a courtesy but do people actually care. People run pass me all the time and say nothing. Why should I say anything to anyone?!

The same thing goes with biking. I rarely see anyone on my bike commute to work (because I am travelling the opposite way of most commuters.) But when I do I always say on your left. If they seem nice or it is a nice day: I say: good morning or great morning or whatever. Now when I am on the waterfront it is a totally different story. (I try and stay away from the waterfront at peak times especially when it is nice out because everyone seems to think that the waterfront is the only green space in the city) There are too many people, strollers, kids, dogs…everywhere. I would be saying on your left constantly. Now if there are 4 people taking up the whole path I will say on your left(nicely). BUT 8 times of out 10. They DO NOTHING!! They do not move. They do not acknowledge me. Why am I saying anything. 1 time out of 10 the person will jump in front of me and cause me to break. The other 1 time out of 10 they will move out of the way. NOT.WORTH.IT!

I feel like saying nothing is better. Here is an interesting article. I don’t think about ringing my bell and I don’t have one on my “good” bike!!

I was reading this article about bike accidents. They mapped out all of the accidents in Portland. It was shared on Facebook so there were hundreds of comments(on the FB post). I wish I wouldn’t have even read 10 of the comments because I was so pissed after reading them (and right before bed). One of the comments was talking about how it is a law to say on your left when on a bike passing a ped! Whatever dude.

I also strongly feel that cyclists should obey the rules of the road. I know (and see) a lot that are not following the rules. Do not get me wrong. I have gone through a red light or a stop sign but at 5 in the morning when there is not a soul on the road! But in the middle of traffic or middle of the day. I watch it! Believe me I am not perfect but I try to be good. It is all those cyclists not obeying the rules that are giving the rest of us a bad name! 😦

So the moral of this gripe: I don’t really know. say on your left to everyone one you pass!!! I probably still won’t unless I feel like it is necessary!! What are your thoughts or opinions?

Does anyone remember the movie Spanglish? Tea Leoni runs a lot. She runs up this hill everyday and passes everyone screaming “on your left.” I tried to find a clip on You Tube but I didn’t have any luck!!

10 Responses to “On Your LEFT!”

  1. Heather @ HeatherRunsFast.com April 16, 2014 at 5:57 AM #

    Ya, this is a tough one, especially when people have headphones on. If you say it loud enough for them to hear you either a) scare them or b) seem like your yelling at them negatively. I’m sure it’s worse on a bike because you have to say it even earlier and louder. I think if the person is already on the correct side and there is plenty of room for you to pass you don’t need to say anything, but maybe a head nod or hand wave just to “say” good morning or “thank you” for being on the right side, would be good. Can’t make everyone happy, haha.

  2. Change of Pace April 16, 2014 at 7:03 AM #

    I feel your frustration! And that lady would have ticked me off saying that under her breath!
    During winter here, you generally have to say something if you’re passing a runner because everything is so much more narrow with the snow build up. It drives me bananas when I have to yell it or repeat it to no avail because people are listening to music or just oblivious.
    On the bike I usually try to say it just so another cyclist won’t jump out, causing me to end up in the road!
    When I’m walking Harold, I really appreciate when people warn me they’re coming from behind so I can pull him off to the side.
    It’s a conundrum! If you’re running and the person is on their side, why do you have to say something!?
    Hope your 20 miler went well!

  3. Kimberly @ Healthy Strides April 16, 2014 at 8:48 AM #

    OK, I have to say that I love Spanglish! I totally forgot about it. Must watch again. Anyway, I usually say runner behind you or something to the effect but usually get no response because of headphones. I only do it, though, when one person feels the need to take up the entire greenway. Seriously, why do you have to weave through the center of a 10 foot path?

  4. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust April 16, 2014 at 9:17 AM #

    My initial thought, because she was wearing headphones, was that maybe she was listening to the song “Say Something” by A Great Big World and Christina and singing along?? Running/Biking etiquette is an interesting topic of conversation because for those who DO follow proper etiquette it can be very discouraging when you come across someone who is clueless or could care less. Plus, when we get frustrated or annoyed mid-exercise (when our blood is already flowing and adrenaline pumping) it can heighten our emotional reactions whether good or bad (that’s the psychologist in me speaking). 🙂

  5. Runbug Jones April 16, 2014 at 10:01 AM #

    I prefer to think that she was singing along with whatever was going on in her headphones.

  6. Jesse - Questionably Texan April 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM #

    If I can run around someone, I don’t say anything. I’ll sometimes shuffle my feet a little bit as I get closer, so that they can hear me coming if they’re paying any attention at all. But I don’t usually say anything. I started feeling guilty about all of the people I was startling (one lady almost fell over when I said “on your left” when I was 10′ behind her).

  7. Herbivore Triathlete April 18, 2014 at 5:19 PM #

    I don’t usually say anything when I pass someone running but do usually yell, “On your left!” when I am on the bike. Interesting post, bike/run etiquette is definitely a great topic.

  8. Kecia April 18, 2014 at 6:14 PM #

    I always say “On your left,” because that way when I pass people who are wearing headphones and they don’t move over or jump in front of me, I have more “ammunition” for a legitimate argument. It has happened on more than one occasion, and I’m sure it will happen again 😦

  9. erin April 21, 2014 at 4:56 AM #

    I say something if the sidewalk is narrow or they’re walking with their dog so I don’t scare the dog (and risk it attacking me!) when I run by. But, if there’s plenty of room to pass, I don’t say anything at all and just run wide around them. As for biking – saying on your left is a must!

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