Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | May 27, 2008

To See A Man About A Dog

Given the following hypothetical situation, how would you as a disinterested party assess the following situation?

Dog On A LeashA guy on a bicycle is traveling along a bike path several miles from his home. He has been on his bicycle for about 45 minutes when up ahead he sees a woman, an old man, and the man’s dog. They are stationary for the moment; the old man and women appear to be carrying on a neighborly conversation. The dog is on a long leash but is presently heeled very near the old man’s legs. Together, they are occupying about 80% of the bike path. There is some room for the cyclist to pass off to his right.

As the cyclist approaches, the old man is facing the opposite direction and cannot see him. The woman, however, is facing the cyclist and can clearly see that he is coming quickly toward them; she has plenty of time to put the old man on notice that a bicycle is about to pass them. As the cyclist comes upon this little assemblage, he makes the decision to move off the side of the bike path to show some courtesy to these folks and also to avoid getting too close to the dog who has a good deal of slack in his leash.

Several seconds after the cyclist passes, the old man yells out, “Do you think you own the bike path!” The cyclist at first thinks he will ignore this comment; but then, deciding not to let it pass without a response, he stops his bike and turns around. He calls back to the old man, “Do you have something to say to me?” Whereupon the old man answers back, “You should give some warning when you’re going to pass.” The bicyclist responds, “I got off the path to avoid your dog.”

So would you, again as the disinterested person, believe the the bicyclist acted properly to get off the bike path and not call a warning ahead, especially since the woman clearly saw him approaching? Or do you believe that the old man was right to take the bicyclist to task for not issuing the warning?

Last but not least, do you believe that the writer is the old man, the bicyclist . . . or the dog?



  1. Getting Grumpy in your old age? Maybe you need to borrow some of Scott’s Grumpy t-shirts. He shrunk out of them all.

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