It's no secret. There tends to be a general animosity between cyclists and runners. Whether you like to admit or not, if you're a cyclist, you have some built up hatred for runners and if you're a runner, there's some pent up rage for the cyclists. In a perfect world, we like to think that we all get along as "road warriors," afterall, we should be kindred spirits... we love getting outside, enjoying nature, breathing in the fresh air, pushing our bodies, getting fit, and dodging shitty drivers that are constantly trying to take us out one by one.
But, a perfect world this is not.
To preface this, I have to say: I am envious of bikers. I admit that whole-heartedly. I'm a little resentful in the fact that I don't have the extra time or the extra income
I've always been friendly to bikers. Even if they're riding on the sidewalk and come barrelling through, expecting me to get over, while they take up the entire freaking sidewalk. I still generally say "hey" to them and give them a wave. Only about 40% of them say "hey" back. Bastards.
A couple of weeks ago, I was running with my friend C down Belmont Boulevard, which has designated bike lanes, along with on-street parking. Now, we were running at about 5:15 in the morning. It was dark. And we hadn't met a car yet. It was very quiet out. We decided to run in the parking lane (opposing traffic, of course), because the streets are lit and the sidewalks are not and we all know my proclivity to falling. It's a no brainer.
Now, there are some spots along Belmont where there are lots and lots of cars parked in the parking lane. So, when we encounter those spots, we swing out into the bike lane a little, but always head back to the parking lane as soon as we can.
We're running, talking about god knows what, and all the sudden I feel C grab my arm and pull me to the side, closer to her. And then as a bike whizzes past me I hear a girl in a super bitchy tone say, "SHARE THE LANE."
"Whoa". I said. "I didn't even see her!" And there's a good reason for that... because it's 5:15 am and pitch black and she didn't have a light on the front of her bike. I immediately got pissed at her bitchy tone. SURE, I was in the bike lane a little, there were cars in the parking lane. So, yeah, technically I was in the wrong. My bad. But dude... it's 5:15 in the morning. There were no cars out. There was still plenty of room for you in the bike lane. Bitch.
It really pissed me off that she took such a bitchy tone with us. How many times have bikers ran me off the damn sidewalk and do I ever shout SHARE THE SIDEWALK to them??? No. I get over and let them go on their merry-freaking-way.
Then, this past weekend, April and I were running along a greenway and there were tons of bikes out. We seriously heard "On your left" about a zillion times. Which is fine. I'm all about the warning! Nothing freaks me out more than to have a biker sneak up behind you like a ninja. A lot of them were even being friendly and saying "hello" back!
Until about 6 miles in... "On your left" we heard. We scooted over to the right and the biker passed, we stayed to the right and about 10 seconds later we heard... "On your right" and 1 second later some chick flew past us on the right, I started to move over to the left confused as to why she was passing on the right, when we were hugging the right side already, when her cycling partner whizzed past us on the left. WTF?
Now this area of greenway is VERY wide. Plenty of room for her and her biking buddy to both pass us on the left with no problem. Even if they wanted to both pass on the right... okay, it would have annoyed me, but I would have gotten over it. But to SPLIT us and announce that you're coming on the right, when in fact you're coming on both sides???? Not cool, my friend. Not cool.
I feel like cyclists don't generally respect or like runners and vice versa. And it's a shame, because there truly is room for all of us. Bikers, can't we come together... and be friends? Sometimes us runners are wrong and sometimes you cyclists are wrong. It happens. Neither of us are perfect. Let's make a pact to be friendlier to each other.