Share the road?

Morning commute on a side road. Pitch dark, no shoulder and somebody running on the side of the road. No streetlights and no lights on the person either.
It is my understanding that he should have used the other shoulder (running on the shoulder southbound on the northbound lane) and facing traffic so he can see if a car is getting close to him?
Same morning bicycle on the road close to the shoulder going south bound no lights. I thought a helmet will not help if I run him over because I can not see him… Are these people lazy or crazy?

I have a reputation as an old grouch in our neighborhood because I tell people walking and running that they should be facing traffic so that they can vacate the road if need arises I also tell the kids on bicycles to ride with the flow of traffic. Just the other day I explained to one our 16 year old drivers that he was parking on the wrong side of the road. If the parents do not know these things it will just get worse with each generation.

We have a new law in CA that we have to give cyclists 3 ft of space. Well intended but sometimes on local streets the lane itself is around 5 ft wide, then add the cyclist and my car, I have to go to the opposite side traffic lane.

Also, lane splitting for motorcyclists is legal here. If they are not happy with the amount of room they have to split the lane, sometimes they break your side view mirror.

Yes, you are right, pedestrians should either be on the sidewalk or if on the shoulder, face the oncoming traffic. Bicycles go in the same direction as traffic and – as long as they obey all the traffic laws – have an equal right to share the road with autos. Common sense would indicate when riding a bike in the dark with a narrow shoulder you’d sport lights to make you visible and a reflective vest in addition to the helmet, but common sense isn’t so common.

Myself, I’m a mt. bike enthusiast. I ride frequently. But I rarely ride on the streets, mostly only on dirt trails. Avoiding street riding isn’t so much common sense for me as fear … lol …

I can’t explain the behavior but I’ve come very close on several occasions to flattening some jogger who was loping along in the dark with black clothing on and not a sign of lighting or reflective tape.

The really irritating part to me anyway is that in most cases they were jogging in the street with a sidewalk present on both sides of the roadway. Latent death wish maybe…?

There’s bad examples everywhere, the road between my house and the major street isn’t very well lit in several places and those seem to be the spots where people cross the street without warning. Back when I was commuting by mountain bike I had as many lights as possible so that I could be seen. Not everyone has that common sense but you just have to be careful. Thankfully I haven’t seen any attempts like the one a few years ago where the bicycle not only ran the red light (thank god there was no traffic) but the rider had neither lights or helmet.

I would like to explain why when I ran (facing traffic and reflective clothes ) I did not use the sidewalks. There often cars that are past the sidewalk edge, kids toys left out and not all intersections have the handicap ramps. Also if there has been any sidewalk repair you might not see the uneven seam until too late.

I very often (read: yesterday) see someone cycling, walking, or running on the side of a secondary road at night in black clothing. I saw one very tough looking lady running in the street on a busy secondary road with no streetlights or shoulders a while back giving people the finger and yelling et them because she thought they cam too close. She had black clothing without reflective material and no personal light (vistalight, headlight, whatever). I had to brake and wait for an opportunity to go around her. If I’d have been a drinker, I would have flattened her for certain. For the first time in my life, I almost stopped and gave an unwanted lecture, but since I’m not in prison I obviously didn’t.

I started my bicycle riding as a roadie many years ago. Once I tried mountain biking, I was hooked… no more squeezing on a tiny road edge while tractor-trailers passed and trucks blew diesel fumes in my face. Only the bears, the moose, and the boulders to worry about.

Around here we’ve had a guy that hit a lady in the morning and killed her. Wrong side, walking the dogs, headphones on. It was going on for at least two years and the guy I’m sure has spent tens of thousands on lawyers. The county Attorney charged him with criminal manslaughter, a felony, which would have cost him his job. Its been a long haul and finally took a plea down to careless driving and we voted that county attorney out last month. Got to be very careful out there because depending on the attorney, they can ruin your life regardless of the circumstances.

Same guy now is charging a hunter with a felony animal abuse. Yeah the guy was a real jerk when he shot a guys dog while deer hunting. The dog was sniffing the deer trail so he just shot him. Said he knew it was a mistake as soon as he pulled the trigger but the damage was done. Faces a couple years in jail and a $5000 fine, loss of voting and hunting privileges because you can’t own a firearm with a felony. Guy admitted it, apologized, offered to pay for the dog, etc. I understand liking dogs, but a felony?

So I guess I’d take a different route to work. Some of those prosecutors can ruin your life.

Famed NCAA basketball coach Billy Tubbs was jogging in the street once near the University of Oklahoma instead of sticking to the sidewalks and campus paths.

The car that whacked him sent Tubbs to ICU with a fractured skull, broken pelvis, loss of hearing in one ear, and I believe the loss of senses of smell and taste.

well, I don t have much sympathy for the dog hunter. you must (italics) be sure of your target when hunting. it could have just as easily been a person.

what I don t understand about joggers is the tendency of some to jog on busy roads when there are back roads branching off the same busy rds.

I think, ceteris paribus, you should walk/jog facing traffic…but ceteris ain’t always paribus! If one side of the road has a wider shoulder…or if you’d have to cross a busy road to jog against traffic…it dosen’t pay to do it.

I’m with you 100%: riding without lights–or adequate reflection–is just stupid! I used to commute by bicycle–just too poor to afford a car–and the two best “bang-for-buck” safety items were a) a GOOD lighting system, 3W LED or better, and b) a rear-view mirror. Yes, more important than a helmet as far as safety goes, IMO.

I know some of you who also bike and jog on the roads know that staying on left walking and on the right when riding a bike is not always the safest thing to do. When walkers, bikers and runners fail to realize the subtle differences, they actually put themselves in harms way with passing autos and make it more not less difficult to pass them. On more narrow roads when approaching and leaving curves and grades, It’s not always the best policy to be on the left when walking/running and the right when biking. So there are no easy answer. The only real thing that works is creating space all the time…sorry to say we walkers…that is as much our responsibility as the motorist who is more restricted by lanes and vehicles size.

Joggers who jog/walkers with head phones on are really putting them selves in harms way and it should be addressed with as much candor as the driver who drives and texts.

No doubt, a rear view mirror on a bike is a critically needed item if you ever ride on a street or even a bike trail.

I think, all things being equal, that people who say ceteris paribus are show-offs.


@RodKnox Agree 100% !! " No doubt, a rear view mirror on a bike is critically needed…" Had one that attached to my helmet for years…and still do. Much better then the bike attached kinds. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to wear one while jogging.

My major gripes with bicyclists have to do with those who insist on riding side-by-side.
In my neck of the woods, most of the roads have no shoulder (or–at best–a “shoulder” about 4 ft wide) and one lane in each direction. When I approach a cyclist from behind, I try to give him a wide berth, in the interest of safety.

However, that wide berth becomes a ridiculously wide one when these jerks insist on riding next to each other. It is not unusual for me to have to trail them–perhaps 20 mph below the speed limit–for an extended distance, until I can pull into the opposing lane in order to pass their rolling roadblock.

Related to this side-by-side phenomenon, when I walk in the nearby state park, the paths are used by walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists, and equestrians. The rules which are posted clearly state that cyclists are supposed to yield to those on foot, and that everyone is supposed to yield to horses.

However, more and more moronic cyclists insist on riding next to each other on the fairly narrow paths. You would think that they could withstand separation anxiety for…perhaps…30 seconds in order to ride single-file temporarily when it is warranted, but an appalling percentage of them insist on maintaining their side-by-side positions.


One street down, there is a person who hosts a jogging group once a month it seems. Ten of them jogging three abreast on a 45 mph roadway with no sidewalks but hills and curves. Scary !

The ‘shoulder to shoulder’ comradery can be annoying for sure. Whether from behind them when driving and needing to pass or biking and meeting them on a narrow trail the need for some to be bonded at the hip can be a problem for others that the comrads seem oblivious to or unconcerned for. But then the same situation is common when shopping. I sometimes wonder if the offensive couple blocking me is important or ignorant.

Here is a summary of the recent changes in our state, which already was considered one of the most bike friendly states in the union. It seems or appears to say that bikers are free to select the safest path of their choosing. So, they could be anywhere and the motorist accepts more responsibility for a collision. A Bicycling group around here has long advocated that being “left” or 'right" by law limits their ability to be “safe”. I get that…but it puts a lot of pressure on motorists if bikers abuse or are ignorant of how to properly employ the concept. It doesn’t matter in a collision with a car if you are right as a biker, you always “loose”.

So, theoretically, i don’t know where that puts the driver when he approaches bikers riding shoulder to shoulder from behind. I guess now it means here, stop or go slower until they “allow” you to pass.