I played ice hockey tonight and thought I would unicycle afterward. I went to the Virginia Beach oceanfront which has a cement boardwalk and a paved bike line, which has a lane and two directions. Pedestrians are supposed to stay out of the bike lane and bikes are supposed to stay off the boardwalk. That being said, there were people everywhere and a lot of them were half plastered, sunburned or both.
Anyway, I was going about the speed of a fast walk or a slow jog on the bike lane. A 4 person beach bike was passing me. Just as they started to get even with me, I thought I saw a dog running into the bike lane from behind a hedge row. I did a UPD and as my feet hit the ground I realized it was a 2-3 year old kid. I missed the kid by maybe 2 feet but the kid ran into the side of the bike and the rear wheel ran over one of the kid’s legs. Fortunately, the leg was laying flat on the blacktop.
An immediate crowd surrounded the scene. The father picked up the kid and ran into the doorway of the hotel. His wife/girlfriend came back to the crowd and said the child was fine, no injuries. They disappeared into the hotel and the crowd dispersed but I don’t see how it was possible the kid didn’t get injured. I am just glad that I saw the kid soon enough to avoid a collision.
I am never riding down there in tourist season again. I will stick to empty parking lots, rural jogging paths and trails.
My family vacationed at Virginia Beach when I was a teen and I was on a bike cruising along and found it scary how people would just walk onto the bike path without looking. After several near misses I slowed down and assumed people were going to cross without looking.
Yes; when riding among pedestrians, you do so slowly and with readiness to stop at any moment because they can and will stop or dart right in front of you. It’s what they do. You wouldn’t want to interrupt their texting.
That’s a bad situation, but really if you were keeping to ‘your side’ (be it the cyclist’s side vs. the pedestrian side) I wouldn’t feel too guilty about it. Parents should’ve kept their kid under control in a place where people are riding fast machines (specially ones as large as 4-person beach cruiser things!)
I take a similar view towards dogs. Specially if I’m riding the cycle routes, and people are walking their hyper dogs leashless. I’m not going to waste my breath apologising if I almost (or do) hit your dog, and ‘he normally doesn’t do that!’ or ‘he’s just being friendly!’ aren’t excuses.
You don’t have the right to run somebody over just because they aren’t supposed to be there. If you could have avoided them, and didn’t, you are as much or more at fault, and guilty of a worse offense.
Kids aren’t supposed to run into traffic, either, but that doesn’t mean it’s a death penalty offense, with you in your automobile as the appointed executioner.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t avoid the collision when possible!
I just dislike when people let their dogs/kids run wild in a location known to be full of *cyclists, then start moaning when something bad happens. I see it far too often round here to be remotely sympathetic about the situation, but that doesn’t mean I believe the kids/parents deserve to be put through it. Most people know not to let their kids run across a busy road, yet don’t seem to realise bikes can hurt you badly too.