How was your ride? For the week of April 23rd

Amazing weather we're having!

On my ride today I had a couple very large dogs charge at me on the pathway south of the Weaselhead that were part of someone with a pack of other dogs - probably on of those dog walking services.  It was very frightening causing me to slam on the brakes and jump off my bike.  The person walking the dogs cared not one bit and ignored me entirely - even after I "thanked" them for the heart attack.

I am wondering - has anybody else had a problem like this?  Are these dog walking companies being respectful enough of other pathway users?  Is there a connection to the growing numbers of these businesses and the growing numbers of bags of shit I see on the side of the pathways?  Shoud the bylaw police be more proactive in patrolling these services?

After that encounter the rest of the ride was spectacular!

Forums: 

Baker Park & Bowmont Park - very bad

Last year, I was attacked on the pathways through Bowmont and Baker Parks (west leg of Bow River Pathway System) three times by off-leash dogs that owners could not control.  I have been threatened many more times than that, and almost run over a couple or been clothes-lined by retractable dog leashes multiple times.  It is the reason I don't use the pathways any more (safer to be on the roads).  I have made multiple complaints to Bylaw & Animal Services, including with video footage to show that up to 100% of the dog owners I encounter some days on those paths do not follow the law and allow their dogs to roam free, often at distances well beyond their ability to shout commands to the dog (> 100 m), let alone control it.  Unfortunately, all I have ever received from Bylaw is at best a bit of sympathy (and the advice to just slow down on my bike! Thanks!).

There is a dog-walking company that operates in Baker Park that I used to frequently encounter (sorry, but I forget the name).  They are far and away the most respectful dog walkers on the paths, always going WELL out of their way to accommodate cyclists quickly and safely.  Very friendly people, too.  So sorry to hear that you had the opposite experience with another firm.  

And yes, the weather is so amazing!  The ride in was gorgeous and looking forward to taking the long-way home from work today!

Dogs should be banned from Pathways

Dogs are the MOST DANGEROUS single item on the pathways in Calgary.  As mentioned above, off leash dogs are often (usually) not under control.  Not surprisingly, the cyclist has no idea whether the off leash dog is under control or about to run in front of the bike.  Also, people with on leash dogs are often watching their cute puppy, not anyone else on the pathway.  As an example, last week I watched a person walk backward onto my side of the path while speaking affectionate words to the dog.  He was extremely unhappy with me ringing my bell multiple times to warn him to stay on his side of the path (after he had the dog on 1 side of the path and himself on the other, with the leash between them).  Last fall, I was bitten on the leg by large dog who pulled its owner by the leash from off of the path onto the path to attack me.


 


I expect that most regular riders, like myself, have near daily encounters with dogs enfringing on our safety.   It is too bad that the dogs can use the pathways as a linear toilet (and possibly for exercise), with seemingly greater rights than people using the paths.

I like dogs

I take some umbrage with such a blanket statement. I'm not going to say that there aren't bad dogs and bad owners, but I personally have never had a negative dog experience on the path system during the past three years of commuting.

My commute is 6km on the path system, and 6km on the roads, and all of my negative experiences have come from vehicles on the road portion. If you want to ban dogs in parks to get the few bad ones out, to me that is analogous to banning all vehicles from the roads to stop those agressive few that endanger cyclists. To me it sounds unreasonable.

Yes better enforcement of the existing bylaws would be great, but I can say the same for motorists on the road. My response has been to start riding with a camera so that the next time something egregious happens I have incontrovertable evidence of what happened. I imagine the same would be useful with dogs. No it won't help stop the next incident, but if I start compiling visual evidence of the dangers I am facing, then this becomes a useful lobbying tool for change.

Dogs won't be banned tomorrow, the leash bylaw won't be enforced tomorrow, but if you are experiencing difficulties with dogs, then compelling video evidence will go a lot further to increased enforcemend and compliance than a blanket statement on a cycling forum will.

I have not had a dog problem

I have not had a dog problem on the pathways in some 7 years of cycling on them. Nearly crashed due to geese, but that is another story.

And I am all for ":banning all vehicles from the roads to stop those agressive few that endanger cyclists." Seems like a good solution.Smile

 

 

and another one...

A large pit bull type dog, racing straight at me on the wrong side of the pathway, unleashed of course. Owner totally oblivious You guys who don't have issues with dogs must not ride near any off leash areas. I'm glad I'm already hyper-aware when I'm riding or I'd have crashed because of them by now.

Uncontrolled owners

I encounter, almost weekly, dogs off leash in both Laycock Park and in Nose Creek Park.  The owners appear oblivious to the bylaw, or just don't care. 

Banning all dogs from the paths until the owners demonstrate respect for the bylaw is the best way to resolve this because there aren't enough by law enforcement officers available to monitor the situation closely.  Those who are available are more concerned with catching cyclists going over the 20 km/h limit on the bike paths rather than dealing with legitimate problems.  This is typical of beauracratic governments who want the cash cow vs. catching the real troublemakers.

 

Ban dogs, children, strollers, rollerblades, headphones, adults

Can't say I've ever had an altercation with a dog.  I have been hit in the shoulder with a tennis ball thrown by a dog owner playing fetch.  And many times I have ridden off the pathway to stay clear of dogs, which may have prevented problems.  I use this tactic more often to avoid children, who frequently have no concept of keeping their lane whether on foot or on bicycle.  CX tires FTW.  (My pet peeve is baby-stroller pushers that use the whole path to walk 2-3 abreast - at least this group should know better but they can't quickly reorganise themselves to avoid traffic so... I ride off the pathway to avoid them.)  In general I steer clear of the path system outside winter months.  The new bike lane infrastructure is really the way to go.

Passing Kids

I use the paths to commute every day, so I sympathize with the complaints about other users, but seriously, cyclists are some of the worst offenders out there. A few thoughts - 1. When someone is in your lane and there is oncoming traffic (be it a cyclist, dog walker or duck) slow down until it is safe to pass. Any time the weather is nice and people are out I get run off the path by a cyclist passing someone in their lane by using my lane. Just slow down and wait to pass. 2. Kids are kids, give them space. I have a very energetic 4yr old, I do my best to train him to stay to the right (I remind him every time someone wants to pass and gives warning and about every two minutes the rest of the time. However, he's a kid and gets carried away or distracted and wanders from time to time, this worries me, since time and time again cyclists will rush up behind us and pass in close proximity without any warning. Again, slow down and give space, if you hit a child at 25kms/hr someone is going to get hurt. I should point out that this frequently occurs in Stanly Park where the speed limit is 10km/hr. 3. You might not like it, but our path system is classified as a multi-user system, that means that you have to share it. A lot of us are used to being a small fish in a big pond on the roads, but on the paths you must keep in mind that you are the big fish. You may not be heavy, but you posses a great deal of kinetic energy that can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time, as such, you should ride responsibly. 4. It would all be so much simpler if dogs were on leashes and everyone stayed to the right of the path. It’s not complicated…. 5. MUPs are great for casual recreation, but this discussion reminds us again that the paths are designed with slow paced recreation in mind. That’s why we still need on-street infrastructure for people that want to get somewhere. Right now we rely on the parks department to provide our bike transportation infrastructure and not the transportation department, and that’s F’ed up. (That said, the parks department is so much better at clearing snow on the paths then roads people are at plowing streets). And that is the end of today’s rant. J

Agree with pt 1 above. No one

Agree with pt 1 above. No one likes it when car drivers don't wait until its safe to pass and buzz you, walkers on the pathways don't like it either.

Agree with pt 2. Children are children and are unpredictable. They are out for a walk in the park and get exciting by all kinds of things (birds, flowers, rocks etc.) Slow down and be cautious. I once had a little guy walk up to me while I was riding trying to give me a stick or something that he had found ... good thing I was going slow!

Once this good weather comes I use the pathways as little as possible ... too many people and it gets too stressful.

Totally Agree With Pt 2

I totally agree with Point 2, and not just because I have 3 kids 4 and under.  Last week I had to pick up our van in Ogden so I took the Bow River path East of downtown.  I got onto the path at 1 St SW, and was 100m or so behind this really big guy (220+ lbs) cruising on his road bike when he had to overtake a mother and her 3-4 year old girl.


The huge brute totally didn't slow down near enough nor give the mom and her kid near enough of a berth.  Long story short is that he ended up clipping the poor girl with his leg or shin which caused her to spin around and fall onto her back.  The guy didn't even look back, and just took off.  I was incensed, but couldn't do anything because I stopped to see if the girl was okay - thankfully she was okay, just really scared.  A few cms more and she could have been REALLY hurt.

What about cyclists then?

If you're going to ban all dogs until all dogs are under control, then the same logic should apply to cyclists.

Until all cyclists respect the speed limit, none of them may use the paths.

How does that sound?

Bang on

Yep, your logic is bang on.

 

I am sure all the responsible dog owners would be very upset to hear this kind of talk, just like all the responsible cyclists would be upset to be banned from the paths for the transgressions of the few.

I think awareness and enforcement is the only way to improve pathway problems, and the City does a bad job of both.  I would LOVE to see Bylaw Officers on bikes on the pathway, (1) so that they can see what cyclists encounter, (2) they would be well equipped to deal with (i.e. chase down) any users, including cyclists, who flaunt the law and deserve a ticket, and (3) they could cover a lot of ground on a bike ans ensure that enforcement was spread around the City more evenly.

gone to the ...

Dogs are certainly a problem on the pathways.  My normal commute is to the Northeast from Mission, so I ride the zoo and then up nose Creek.  While I've had several unpleasant encounters along this route it seems to me that dog owners in Nose Creek are generally much better than other parks. 

 

My rides to the south end of the city have produced many dog encounters and most people ignoring the "dog always on leash on the pathway rule".  I've logged 311 complaints, but never had any real response other that "it's up to the community association to put up signs" feedback.  This is bunk.  Animal and bylaw services should be out several weekends a year to enforce the existing bylaws.   

Take my chances

Generally, I'll take my chances with the dogs, wandering pedestrians, etc. on the pathways as opposed to the roads.  I find it's usually more relaxing, often more efficient (no stopping for lights, stop sings, etc.) and I don't have to inhale diesel and other nasty toxins (as directly).  Of course, I find that the Bow River MUP from Downtown to Shouldice has few issues.  It's further out that it becomes a problem but I've still had good luck continuing on to Silver Springs.  Varsity on the other hand...well, I've had a few issues there.  I have had a couple nasty altercations though...twice bitten and once ambushed into an endo!

Riding in at noon

Had to go to an appointment this morning and lect my house about 11:30, which put me on the paths at about - NOON!


 


Wow, were there a lot of joggers east of 10th Street on the MUP on the north side of the river!  I crossed the Peace Bridge and went right to 3rd Ave. for the rest of the ride in.


 


'Guess Everybody likes nice weather.

Ridin' home at 5...

I can't stand the heat!  But it seems to me that the warmer it is and the less clothes I wear, the faster I go! 


 


Nice to ride home sleeveless and get some vitamin D.

Nice

Wow, what great weather! Too bad about the flat I got on the way home!  Go figure, it was the valve stem that pulled out of the tube.  It took me a bit of checking to figure that out.  Would have been much nicer if I could have at least made it a bit further west and changed the tube near the osprey nest instead of on squeezed between the pathway and Memorial Drive.  Oh, well, could have been worse.

"Fish hooked" at the Edmonton Trail bike path underpass

As I was cycling home yesterday afternoon on the bike path going towards the zoo at around 4:45,  some guy caught me in his fishing line.  I don't know if he was casting or retrieiving from the wrong side of the path or from the bridge  -- both are unsafe and the latter is illegal. 

Fortunately the hook caught on my brake cable near my handlebars and didn't catch me or my tires.  The line went across my face but I kept going (maybe out of shock or fear from stopping in that unsafe area), snapped his line and he shouted, "Sorry."  I stopped about 200m down the path, untangled the hook, line and sinker and disposed of them. 

I now have a nice fishing line mark (cut)  on my lower lip.  Thankfully he wasn't using 50 lb test fishing line!

Be careful riding under that bridge as many homeless and other n'er-do-wells congregate and usually are up to no good.

The one that got away! - HE WAS POACHING

As a fly fisherman, bicycle commuter season is not open and this fisherman is poaching an indangered species!


 


Sorry to hear, tis the season of beginner fly fisherman who have no idea how to cast and dont realize how many bloddy things they hook besides a fish.


 


Hey HE WAS ILLEGAL FISHING! OR POACHING


Here is the rules


from Bearspaw Dam downstream to Western Headworks Diversion (W.H.D.) Weir (including the Elbow River below Glenmore Reservoir).
CLOSED Apr. 1 to May 31 and Oct. 1 to Nov. 30


 

Commute only to the polling station yesterday

Yesterday, I was working from home, but got to take a short, slow ride to the polling station with my 4 year old riding his bike with the training wheels. It was a beautiful day for it. I also got out on a 50+KM club ride last night. What a wonderful evening!

Today, it's a ride in, ride out day and and I've thoroughly enjoyed the first part of that! I know that it's not here for the long haul, but I'll keep wishing for the sunshine. Enjoy your pathway time as much as you can, regardless of dogs, joggers, walkers, 'bladers, geese, fisherpeople, et al.

This morning, I decided to go

This morning, I decided to go to the office late, as a human being gets tired of riding in the dark. It was nice to see 6 and 7 bikes at the stop lights. And thanks to my new found winter cycling, I pass more people than I used to.

I also decided to take my lunch hour out on the bike. Left Gulf Canada and spun out to Edworthy Park going up the gravel path to Wildwood (nice little climb) then bombed down the hil into the park, and came back on the North side of the river to check out the peace bridge. I was impressed with how many users were out on the MUP this afternoon.

Question for you joggers out there. Why must you run three or four abreast AND wear i-pods?

Spring wildlife

Back on the bike after a couple weeks of vacation.  Nice to see that the ospreys by Memorial Drive/Crowchild are back!  Not so nice to have to dodge all the goose droppings on the MUP!

beaver

saw the beaver again this mornng (or "a" beaver, maybe a different one) this time from the south side Bow pathway just before I went under the 14th street underpass headed east. He was swimming close to the edge with a small branch in his mouth.

Bikes again take a beating?

I noticed that the contra-flow bike lane on 9A Street NW, between 3rd and 4th Avenues NW (i.e. east of the Safeway), is fenced off.  I'm assuming this is to make room for construction on the Sunnyside LRT station.  Seems to me closing this section of bike lane makes it a little less convenient or safe for cyclists travelling from the Centre City north.  The options now include riding over to 10th Street (pretty busy), riding against traffic on 9A street (not really legal) or diverting over to ride on the sidewalk on the east side of the LRT tracks (akward).  I have asked for clarification on the status of the bike lane with the City via 3-1-1.  Has anyone else noticed this closure?

Rode home last night, didn't

Rode home last night, didn't eave the office until 22:00. Awesome ride!! No trafic, and the air had been recentl cleaned by the rain.

This mornings ride was cooler than I had anticipated, but made it the 20km with no problms. I came in pretty late this morning, so there were NO other bikes out there, but the bike room was pretty full whe I arrived.

won't give up

First ride of the year (okay, I'll be honest, of 2 years).


Long (Mckenzie to DT) and hard but I won't give up! Keep going fellow Calgary bikers.

Awesome ride

As a suggestion, if you find the ride length is too much to do everyday, try driving halfway and cycling the rest. This is a very common strategy. On my route in the northwest there are at least 50 cars parked at the bottom of Home Rd, maybe 100, which are all left by cyclists using this trick.

The nice parts are you still get to cycle, you miss the heaviest traffic close to downtown, and you get free parking!

You can also try this. If

You can also try this. If you have a secure facility at work for your bike, ride in Monday, train home, train in tuesday, bike home. I ride deep south to DT, and sometimes did this in the winter.

Wacky Weather Thursdays

2 weeks ago - Rain and Snow! 


Actually, enough snow that I had about one-quarter inch packed on my handlebars & forks.  The crocuses in Bowmont Park were completely covered by Friday night....


 


Last Week - +27C!! Un-FN- believable weather for April!


 


Today - More stupid rain


But there is a bumper crop of crocuses in Bowmont Park, probably the most I've seen in the last 10 years!


 


Let's see what next week brings!

Hello Hello Hello (echo)

Is there anybody out there?


Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
Relax.


 


a VERY quiet morning commute from the NW.  Hardly saw anyone, not surprising really given the cr@p weather last night and forecast for today.  Hey at least it didn't snow, but now the puddles are all bird-poop-soup!

Late ride home

I left the office about 8pm and only saw 3 or 4 joggers in Edworthy Park, and that's it!  It's kinda nice when you feel like you own the place!

Bike cage

Yesterday the bike cage was full, with the weather at the end of the day I thought there would lots of bikes sleeping over. Was surprised this morning to see an empty cage.


Good ride this morning despite the headwind. There was a dry line of the roads, might not be as dry at 2:30 this afternoon.

chiming in

Yes, I was one of the few riders NW to downtown this morning - there were a few others out there when I rode in about 7:30. Not the numbers I've seen in the last couple of weeks but I was by no means alone out there.