Close Encounters Can Happen on the Bike Path

I’m pretty sure he saw me coming.

I’m certain he wasn’t expecting to see a cyclist in the middle of the afternoon on an early January day.  But I was rather hard to miss as I sat tall atop the saddle of my bike.  Though my bike and I were mostly clad in black, we still appeared in stark contrast to the wide-open gray and tan landscape he was accustomed to.

He didn’t stop.  He didn’t even hesitate.  He barely glanced in my direction before he took off like a rocket.  I could see him looking back for me.  I’m sure he was relieved that I didn’t take chase after him.

Who knows how long he may have been there before he decided to cross.  When he made his move to bisect the bike trail – less than thirty feet in front of me – he appeared fully resigned to do it with speed.  He may have already been approaching at speed with no awareness that the path even existed.

If I hadn’t been delayed by a school bus making a left turn at the previous intersection, he and I may have arrived at the same spot at the exact same time.

As he was approaching from my right, I would have certainly yielded the right of way had I seen him in time.  But I’m not so sure that his type is even aware of such courtesies.  He seemed to be an adherent to the “run it and gun it” technique.

The presence of the bike trail, I’m sure, meant absolutely nothing to him.  If he were one to give it any thought, he would probably view it as an incursion into his turf.  It was just another ribbon of asphalt bisecting a scenic open space, attracting interlopers who had no business being in his neighborhood.  He was a NIMBY, if ever there were one.

For my part, I was relieved that we didn’t cross paths sooner.

Startled as I was to see him there in front of me, I was happy to see him keep moving on.  I had no desire to catch up with him and confronting him was the furthest thing from my mind.

Still, I feel it’s my duty to warn other cyclists of the danger guys like this represent, especially when you’re riding on the bike path.

If you see this guy, use caution…



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  • Photo courtesy of (like them on Facebook at I couldn't figure out how to post this info below the pic.

    My encounter occurred at the Poplar Creek Forest Preserve on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 just north of Shoe Factory Road between Route 59 and Bartlett.

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