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Whenever someone is riding the wrong way towards me, I notice that as they approach they will expect me to veer into traffic that I can't see coming while they go on the side closest to the sidewalk.

This is really annoying! I can't see the cars coming and they can.

What do you do in these situations?

To some degree I usually "play chicken" and go straight towards them and try to force them to go around me but more often than not I lose my nerve to have a confrontation and end up going to the traffic side to avoid a head on collision.

Normally wrong way bikers (salmoners?) don't bother me except for this tendency to want to pass me in this manner.

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Some people have been taught by their elders to ride facing traffic.  How would your suggestions change when it is a cultural and awareness issue, rather than a malicious, intentional act by an individual?

All I'm suggesting is that they pass me on the traffic side and not the curb side. Their intentions aren't really relevant to the fact it's selfish to expect the person who can't see the traffic to veer into it.

You're talking about their reasons for biking the wrong way. I'm talking about which side they pass me on. They can ride the wrong way all they want for all I care as long as they would simply pass me on the other side.

I don't think that's unreasonable.

You raise a good point, Suzanne, and it's always helpful to allow emotional space for the benefit of any kind of doubt, if only as a way to keep cool ourselves, but I also agree with VW here: the question was, how do you deal with this unsafe situation? And it really doesn't matter why the person is riding straight at us, we still need to do something. I am also in the "pull to the right and stop" group. Often I'll even get out my phone... nobody's ever challenged me on it.

It matters not why wrong-way riders do what they do in terms of actions that must be taken to deter them.  If somebody innocently and unintentionally forces me into traffic and I'm killed, I'm still just as dead.  

My question was sincere and I wasn't just trying to be p.c.  Where I live, Memphis, over half the bicyclists I see on my commute are coming towards me. They may also be saying, how you?  I have stopped being aggro in this context.  However, re-reading the question, my point is not specific to which side they pass me on (usually curb, if they are already to the right (their left) of oncoming cars/bikes).  

From what I can tell, in Tennessee the law requires cyclists to ride in the same direction as traffic.  So all those people going the other way are the ones who should be reconsidering their habits.  At least you know to expect them.  Here, most people do ride with the traffic, making the ones who don't more dangerous.  When you're hugging the right side of the road as best you can, you don't want to have to veer into traffic because someone is riding the wrong way.  Also, it certainly wouldn't surprise me if cyclists in Tennessee are a little more polite than here!

You may have 'stopped being aggro', but they haven't. Saying 'How you?" is passive aggressive at best. Wrong way riders are woefully misinformed. If they can't operate a bike properly, tell them to take the sidewalk with the other children.

I do what I need to do to keep myself safe.  If a cyclist isn't savvy enough to figure out riding the wrong way is bad, I wouldn't count on them being savvy enough to avoid a collision if you play a game of chicken.

If that means safely taking a lane to get out of their way, I do it. I'll then not-so-gently remind the wrong-way cyclist to get a f**ing clue, which probably doesn't do anything to get them to change, but makes me feel momentarily better. 

What does one do about runners (joggers) on the same side. I would guess there is no choice but to pass on the left, moving out into the lane. Of course this doesn't happen in the city.

If you're talking about joggers in the road, OH YES IT DOES.

Just two months ago I was biking on Glenwood, just south of Devon. Along came a jogger, coming towards me in the road. I barely had enough space to pass her because a car was behind me and that section of Glenwood is narrow. 

Even then, she screamed a few choice words at me as if I were the one at fault. Never mind the fact that there was a perfectly fine sidewalk available for her.

The thing is, sidewalk or not, if someone is on foot and in the street they should be moving toward traffic. Any time I approach a jogger on the street I check traffic and swing out early, taking more of the lane, giving the jogger plenty of room for their run.

As cyclists we should show them the same considerations that we expect from automotive traffic.


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