I’m Running here, Buddy! No Swerving or Honking Allowed!

October 29th, 2007

Are you an avid runner or bicyclist? If you are, you probably know what it feels like to be “scared” by drivers. Some drivers think it is funny to terrorize a bicyclist and/or runners by:Marathon runners

A) Honking when they are right next to them or

B) Swerving very close to them to push them off the road and scare the #$%*! out of them

I have had both happen to me many times in my running life. I know the drivers think it is funny. However, it can be downright dangerous.

A few months back, I had a woman come close to hitting me. I was running just off the road. The woman was talking on her cell phone and apparently didn’t see me (as I was on an open road, I don’t know how she would’ve missed me, but…). She just missed tagging me and gave a honk and a certain “hand gesture”. Apparently, she felt it was my fault. I stayed on the path and didn’t veer into the lanes of traffic. Nope, the driver felt it was my fault.

During my last marathon training season, I had a white Cadillac come extremely close to me. Once again, I was running just off the road, going against traffic. The man in the Cadillac thought it would be funny to swerve into me and “push” me off the road. If I hadn’t been paying attention or lost my balance, I would’ve been hit at 40 miles an hour.

Bicyclists I am constantly having to watch out for people pulling out of their driveways or onto a new road. Most drivers don’t even look in both directions. They pull right in front of me, only to notice me moments later.

If you are out driving, please WATCH OUT FOR BICYCLIST AND RUNNERS. We are in bike lanes, on roadside trails, and on sidewalks. You might think it is funny to swerve our way or honk at us. It isn’t. It is scary and dangerous. Give us some room!

5 Responses to “I’m Running here, Buddy! No Swerving or Honking Allowed!”

  1. BayAreaDM Says:

    Drivers have become more distracted than ever, and you have to be more proactive than ever if you are not encased in 2000+ pounds of steel. Although you are obeying the rules, you have to assume everyone else is oblivious or just doesn’t care. I’m even a little paranoid on the sidewalk.

  2. Alex Henderson Says:

    I don’t mean any disrespect by this question. This is a legit question.. I realize the runners have as much right to the streets as everyone else.. again this question is out of curiosity… I don’t run but I do walk. However, I don’t walk on our streets for fear of losing my life. Seriously. I usually jump in my car and drive a bit to Bohls or Wells Branch where there are trails so that I can walk safely. Just wondering why you wouldn’t run where you can run safely. Again, no disrespect intended. I hesitated to post, but I figured if I wondered perhaps others wondered as well. 🙂

    By the way, I really love reading your blog!!

  3. BayAreaDM Says:

    I would never run on the street – I would find somewhere with a sidewalk. Just like I am hesitant to ride my bike anywhere there is no shoulder. It’s just common sense.

  4. Shan Says:

    No disrespect taken. *grin* Actually, where I run has sidewalks, bike lanes, paths. As I am a long distance runner, I enjoy “going places”. Running at a track in a big circle is torture to me. Honestly, I prefer running in quiet neighborhoods with wide bicycle paths. When I do need to run on sidewalks, running 8+ miles on them does horrible things to my knees. I know, I am only 38 yr. old, BUT concrete is NOT good on knees.

    Marathon races are held on city streets. That is where I train. The paths that I take 99.9% of the time either have wide bike lanes, sidewalks, or paths worn in the grass. The lady that almost hit me a few months back swerved into the grassy area just off the street. The Cadillac swerved when I was running in a wide bike path next to a sidewalk.

    I have a friend that has a marathon training group a few cities over (they meet on Saturday for their long runs). They run only on city streets. Her runners have had the same problems with drivers. It would be great to come up with a way to be “seen” better, you know? Hmm…have to think about that one.

  5. Melissa Says:

    There are two sides to every story, and while deliberately running a bicyclist or runner off the road in a horrible thing to do, as a devoted motorist, ha, ha, I have to say I’ve come across some very rude, road hog bicyclists and runners.
    In my city, bikes are supposed to ride single file and share the road, and yet there they are, thirty in a lane not giving an inch to the motorists and not going the posted speed limit. They run stop signs and don’t signal their turns. If given a choice between the bike path and road, they chose the road. It’s a mess.
    Perhaps if the US Olympic training center moves, it will remove the majority of offenders.
    Please be careful out there. I wouldn’t want you to be squished by some ignoramus!

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