AITA? Dog walking edition

So I walk my two dogs in the mornings. Yes I pick up their poop.

I used to walk on a trail near my house but I switched to an all sidewalk route because the trail is for walking and biking and the cyclists are fucking rude.

Or maybe I am. You be the judge.

I’ve been going the trail route some days just for variety. (And there are poop stations on that route which is nice)

I use retractable leashes to allow the pups more latitude. Rabbits and squirrels would take over the world if it wasn’t for my dogs - ya welcome. So when no one else is near us, they are all over the place. But when someone comes near, walking or biking, I pull them close to me.

Certainly if the biker is coming from the opposite direction, I can see them and have the few seconds I need to pull my dogs in and give them their half of the trail.

The problem is the cyclists who come up behind me. They are going so fast that if they “on your left!” at all it’s not loud enough, soon enough for me pull my dogs in.

Yesterday it happened twice within the span of a couple minutes. The first time the guy (and it’s always a guy) called out just not quite loud/soon enough. I said as he passed, “oh sorry I didn’t hear you”.

The second time, the old fucker whizzes by me without saying anything. I jumped and pulled them in fast and said “oh shit!!! Ugh!! Y’all gotta make some noise!!” Old fucker stops his bike and starts yelling at me for not listening, not paying attention, whatever. Claims he called out but I’m not deaf.

I maintain that if you’re coming up behind me, it’s on you to slow the fuck down on a shared trail (with quite a few blind curves) and make some fucking noise!

I’ll go back to the sidewalk only route.

But what says GoA?

Is it a bike trail, or is it designated for both cyclists and walkers?

Cyclists are generally speaking, aggressive arrogant assholes. They’re worse in packs. And I say that as someone who loves cycling.
It’s the cyclist’s responsibility on a shared path to make sure other people see/hear them. Slow the eff down. (in other words, they should do exactly what you’d expect and is reasonable).

Cycling is the sport of 40yo entitled white men. And is shows. I hate cycling with other cyclists because their attitude sucks. Those mofos will knock you off your bike during a charity ride if you’re in their way.

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I am not a cyclist so I have no idea what the prevalence of jerks vs considerate riders is locally.

My POV: walkers and cyclists on shared trail is like cyclists and motorists on shared roads. Two different groups with different capabilities (and risk of injury) mean you have to be considerate of each other, taking care to operate in a manner that prevents injury. You can’t have a “Share the Road” sticker and be a jerk on the trails (without being a class one hypocrite).

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There’s a very busy walking/cycling path near me. On weekends it can be packed with people, dogs, kids, scooters, bikes… Serious cyclists would not ride there on the weekend, as you can’t get up to speed safely and you’ll have lots of annoying stopping and slowing. Yet there’s always one or 2 douche nozzles acting like they are on a time trial for the Tour de France weaving in and out and barking at people to get out of their way.

I live just off a very busy bike and walking path, which merges with the road at one point for about a half mile to cross a busy intersection before the bike and walking path veers off again into a wooded area.

I’ve lived here for seven years, and I use the path far more often than I drive in my area, as a walker, and the bikers in my area are absolutely terrible. They’re assholes to pedestrians, they cut off drivers on the road, they exceed the speed limit of the path, and they act irritated that anyone else would dare exist around them. My kids have almost been hit, my dogs have almost been run over, not to mention me. About half don’t signal as they zoom around me.

So yeah, in my experience, bikers are the assholes.

It’s designated for both. There are poop stations all along it which is one of the reasons I like to go that way.

Nice to see INTA

I bike around my city a lot, often on the trails that the city built. Also mixed use, cyclists, runners, parents pushing strollers, dog walkers.

I will alert dog walkers if I’m coming up behind them, and slow way down. They always pull their dog closer and then I give them lots of room, and I’ve never been yelled at or yelled at anyone.

Doesn’t sound like you’re the asshole here.


The bikers on my favorite trail are assholes as well.

To be fair, it’s probably only 10% or less that are actually assholes, but they stand out.

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Thats cyclists. I’ve done a lot of centuries for charities and they always announce that it’s a ride, not a race. But there’s always clusters that ride like that.

One time I was doing the Rideau lakes tour (Ottawa to Kingston) and they explicitly said not to bunch up. And further, let cars pass. Yet we got passed by a group of 50 that were doing all of that. We watched one of them get airlifted to hospital. I don’t beat many cyclists, but my time was faster than theirs that day.

Bikers in bicycle lanes that hug the line are assholes too. Ride in the damn middle of the lane.

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Yeah, if it’s designated for walking, as well as for cycling, the cyclists have an obligation to give fair warning, slow down, and generally not threaten those who are walking. You are not the asshole.

There’s a bike path near me that’s really intended as a bike path, and people who walk on it have an obligation to stay out of the way of the cyclist. But it’s clearly marked as a bike path. And few people walk on it, because doing so is frigging dangerous.

FWIW, the sidewalk route has bike lanes next to me in the street. Once in a while a biker comes along on the sidewalk.

If it’s a kid or someone else who really ought not be in the street, I’ll pull my dogs in and share. If it’s a middle aged white dude decked out in his “look at me! I’m a cyclist!” gear, or the like, I don’t. I pull in enough to keep my dogs safe, but I don’t move for them. They have to slow down and go around me in the grass.

I’ve gotten a few grumbly comments. I just say “bike lane is over there” and keep walking. :joy:


I’ve sometimes biked from work to a nearby university. There’s a place where i need to cross a bridge, and bicycles are supposed to be on the road, not the sidewalk. But the road is narrow, i can’t move nearly as fast as the cars, and using the road scares the hell out of me.

I illegally use the sidewalk. But i bicycle at a walking pace, and stay the hell out of the way of the walkers. If i need to hop off the bike and hold it/walk it briefly, I’ll do that.

But I’d rather risk a ticket than risk my neck.


Depends on the type of trail. When I was a serious biker I always trained on the road because I knew the local trails weren’t built for racing speeds. Experienced cyclists know this, so if these were road bikers they were either noobs or assholes. If a biker knows the trail will be shared heavily by pedestrians, they either slow down or don’t use it.

I would assume serious mountain bikers would also avoid such trails and use ones built exclusively for biking or would slow down as well.

I have multiple sets of that outfit!
I’m just sayin’, I do a set of bike shorts justice. On the days I can fit into them.


This annoys me too, but sometimes there’s so much debris in the bike lane that I can understand why. Needs better street sweeping or clamp down on landscapers who blow that crap into the road.

We have a perfectly good Insignificant Signals thread, ya know. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :popcorn:

Yeah, bike lanes are often too narrow and cluttered with debris. I’ve seen research showing that narrow unprotected bike lanes increase the risk to cyclists, probably because autos crowd them. Just give them enough space and don’t get too excited about exactly where the lines are.

Agree with this. Most unprotected bike lanes have sections that are functionally useless because of debris or crumbling road edges. When I take the shorter route on my bike commute there are several places where I need to use the car lane. It’s rarely a problem though as long as I can make eye contact or otherwise make my presence known before I edge out there.