If you’ve been riding for any amount of time, you’ve probably had someone yell something out a car window or say something ignorant to you trailside about the way you’re riding, where you’re riding, how you’re dressed, the list goes on and on.
There are plenty of horror stories of people throwing things out of car windows, leaving tacks in corners and even just this week, on a route I regularly ride here on the Gold Coast, a jogger lunged at a rider and punched him in the stomach and ran off.
It’s not just limited to the road, not long ago a friend told me about a hiker who directed a few snide remarks towards his riding group, who’d stopped for a snack, approaching them to say something along the lines of ‘I hope you all crash on the descent’.
Just like pretty much every other rider, I’ve had all manner of abuse and threats hurled at me, both verbal and in the form of a large McDonald’s coke from a driver who I assume thought I looked thirsty.
I’ve also had a few stand out positive encounters. When I lived in Fort Collins, Colorado a dude driving a big diesel truck — who I expected to ‘roll coal’ and engulf me in a plume of black exhaust when we took off from a light — tooted his horn to get my attention and handed me an ice-cold can of PBR through his truck window — on this occasion I was thirsty as it was a particularly hot day and the beer was delicious.
Have you ever been harassed on the road or trail? Has someone attacked you or made you feel uncomfortable out riding? Inevitably, when someone does yell or do something how do you respond?
On the other side of the spectrum have you ever had a stand out positive experience like me? Maybe a stranger offered a helping hand at just the right time? Or a random person offered you a beer on the side of the road?
Let us know in the comments!