Did anyone else come across the angry guy on the southbound bike/walk lane on the bridge this morning? At approximately 6:40 AM I started to cross the bridge and noticed a couple of riders ahead that seemed to be stopped. I watched from about 50 yards away as they navigated around a pedestrian. I ride this bridge often and the scene looked a little more awkward than the usual bike/walker dance.
As I approached man, a blonde guy in a white dew rag in his 20's, I slowed and announced my presence from about 10 feet away with the obligatory "on your left." As with most bridge pedestrians, he was wearing ear buds. Nothing new here, so as I usually do, I kicked into "repeater mode" with louder, more frequent requests; "Bike on your left!", "On your left, please!", etc.
After 4 or 5 requests, the guy went into his own "Mad as Hell" rant. He stopped, removed his headphones then proceeded to tell me about the lady before me who bumped into him with her bike, that he had had enough and I would need to wait because he wasn't going to step aside.
"Great", I thought.
I tried to plead my case, but he wanted none of it. He put in his ear buds and kept on walking. With easily a quarter mile to go on the bridge and my blood boiling, I dismounted, lifted my bike over my head and walked around him. As I mounted and rode away, I could hear a bike bell from another rider coming up from behind. I didn't hang around to see how this encounter turned out. (If I was riding my usual commuter, complete with loaded panniers, I wouldn't have been so nimble.)
After I rode a couple of miles and was able to replay the scene in my head I came to the conclusion that one of two scenarios explained my experience. Either the man was new to town and was, therefore, unfamiliar that he was walking on one of the busiest bike commuter routes in the city; or he was a frequent bridge walker who had just had it.
If your out there angry guy, I'll just say this- Dude, the bridge is too narrow. Nobody likes it, but we all have someplace to go. If you don't like yielding to cyclists, then walk to Fremont.