This is about a hiker, not a paddler, but the same thing could happen on a paddle outing.
My husband and I were descending a popular ridge trail, when I slowed down because I had caught up to a woman and, just behind her, a very loud-talking man. The trail is 1-person wide. I kept walking slowly, hoping he'd shut up long enough I could let him know I would like to pass. (I did not drop "hints" such as clearing throat, coughing, etc.)
Finally they pulled off to the side and I passed as he turned to watch. Immediately he yelled (I do mean YELL), "It's okay, I don't get insulted because you passed me!" I didn't know what to say back so I just ignored him and kept walking. Then my husband passed, and Loudmouth fired off more sort-of-joking-but-mostly-hostile shouts. For example: "She must be running away from something! I tried to get my kid to run away but he wouldn't go." (At this point I almost turned back and got in his face to tell him I was a kid many decades ago. But I kept going, wanting to get far awaaaaayy from that abrasive, hostile tone.)
After my husband passed, Loudmouth yelled at him, "Show-off! You're showing off!" By this time he was no longer pretending to joke. My husband calmly replied, "Nobody's showing off; this is our normal hiking pace." He, too, kept going. Although we had to endure hearing this kind of verbal attack due to switchbacks above us, soon we were out of audible range.
I have to wonder how many other hikers passed that jerk before we did, for him to go apesh*t over something like that. One clue as to his mindset is that when I came up behind him, he was bragging to his woman friend that he wasn't into using lots of equipment (as he tapped his way down with a hiker's staff) but still did just fine without it. And then along came me and husband, descending quickly without any sticks.
Would you have said anything to him? I'm glad I did not respond.
Paddler's Truck Rack
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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Just a guess|
Posted by: steve_in_idaho on Sep-04-13 2:40 PM (EST)
But I bet he was more put off by the fact that you didn't strike up any conversation with him in the first place. You know like "hi...mind if we pass by"? Simply following in silence and then walking by without comment can be taken as a personal insult by some. As if you are too good to talk to them.
I did say Hi as I passed|
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-04-13 2:42 PM (EST)
But he was already shouting at me.
a case of overreaction |
Posted by: suiram on Sep-04-13 2:43 PM (EST)
Perhaps you read too much into it?
I would likely say|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-04-13 3:17 PM (EST)
"Have a good time on your hike." Then just carried on as you did. Who the heck cares what other folks are doing when it's not impacting an activity you're doing for your pace and for your own enjoyment? Not a contest or competition.
Mind if we squeeze by?|
Posted by: nickjc on Sep-04-13 3:19 PM (EST)
Best not engage someone that aggressive. I've run in the mountains for years so have passed many people. I always ask to pass and say thank you, have a nice day etc. That said, walking behind someone and just clearing your throat without saying anything is not a good method. seems a little too much 'you're in my way'.
he was just having a bad day|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Sep-04-13 3:35 PM (EST)
would be my guess or what I like to think. Been on crowded trails and never had something like this. I normally approach and just say "hello" as a combo greeting and warning that I'm approaching. But yeah, if he's talking a lot that won't get through. I probably would have done as you did and just keep on walking. He may have just been having a bad day or encountered some rude hiker earlier and had his shields up. If he's always like this then at least you likely won't see him again.
Might have been manic. Best not respond|
Posted by: ezwater on Sep-04-13 4:03 PM (EST)
given that you have no relationship with him that would require it.
Hubby and I were guessing|
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-04-13 11:12 PM (EST)
...what his job position or career had been.
Posted by: Kudzu on Sep-04-13 4:38 PM (EST)
I'm pretty sure I would have thought he was joking. I would have joked back "Hey, the wheelchair trail is over that way."
Posted by: carldelo on Sep-04-13 4:52 PM (EST)
That made me laugh out loud at my desk --- I would probably do much the same, but I'm from NYC and accustomed to dealing with mild- to very- crazy people. Which is to say I'm ready to bolt for cover at the first hint of truly crazy-violent behavior.
Don't try that on your bike rides!|
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-04-13 11:19 PM (EST)
While I've never had anybody else react even close to that negatively while hiking, some cyclists obviously hate being passed. I had one guy threaten to beat me up because I passed him and his girlfriend--prefaced with a friendly (not yelled) "On your left". Maybe some guys just need to play Caveman when they're trying to impress their female companions. Except they got it wrong...a much larger man threatening a woman over something like that does not impress *anybody.*
Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-06-13 3:43 PM (EST)
Apologize for embarrassing him in front of his daughter.
Cave Man in a Power Boat|
Posted by: Kudzu on Sep-07-13 6:44 AM (EST)
Last year I had a power boat come straight at my kayak; get very close; turn sideways, and cut the engine. The cave man operating it immediately looked at his wake to see how big it was then he looked at me to see if it would knock me over. Also on the deck of his boat was a woman and a little girl! He was trying to impress them with his manly boating skills! (Girls want boyfriends with skills).
that was classic|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-04-13 4:49 PM (EST)
Especially this line:
Saying nothing is best|
Posted by: Celia on Sep-04-13 4:50 PM (EST)
Narrow trail in the middle of nowhere and a person at least a little out of his senses. March on and hope all he does is yell from a distance.
Love you too|
Posted by: tor on Sep-04-13 5:24 PM (EST)
Once you had passed him, you could have sung "Love You Too". Lol. What a freak.
More and More....|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Sep-04-13 5:34 PM (EST)
.....people like that in our society. I grew up being taught to be "Social," so I typically speak or at least smile and "Nod" to most people I pass close by. Twenty five years ago, everyone else around here did the same. 10 years ago it was fewer. Nowdays, many give me a glare like I just told them to go to Hell. A sign of the times IMHO.
haven't experienced that change |
Posted by: jcbikeski on Sep-04-13 5:46 PM (EST)
so it's not a universal one yet thankfully. I've always had a mix of responses and none really negative.
Not the norm|
Posted by: KatieD on Sep-04-13 5:58 PM (EST)
That sounds, thankfully, like someone who does very little hiking and so doesn't realize that passing and being passed is a completely normal part of the activity.
Posted by: daggermat on Sep-04-13 6:15 PM (EST)
part of that is regional|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-05-13 8:46 AM (EST)
"The bride " and I have reached the age |
Posted by: jackl on Sep-04-13 6:58 PM (EST)
where we are much slower hikers then we used to be, so we always pull over when we hear some one coming up behind us.
yeah, I know about getting passed,|
Posted by: tdaniel on Sep-04-13 10:01 PM (EST)
and rarely do I pass anyone; the knees ache, the hip gets stiff and I'm only 52. I'm almost always the slowest one out there. I do smile a bit when I think about having hiked the whole AT or some of my other adventures while I'm standing off to the side of the trail letting folks go by. Even paddling I get left behind. I just ask folks to slow down so I can be included in the group.
Judgments based on speed|
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-04-13 11:29 PM (EST)
Sometimes it's nice to go slowly and look for critters or listen to natural sounds. Sometimes it's nice to "play" the trail, letting momentum and loose/relaxed body dance freely and quickly together even while wearing clunky boots. Sometimes I just feel tired and want to make sure my feet step where they should. Other times I want to make my heart pound and thighs burn.
My wife and I are old|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Sep-04-13 10:55 PM (EST)
And we don't give a sh*t if someone passes us on a hike. In fact we are glad to not have someone breathing down our necks. BTW, there is nothing negative about using hiking poles. They help those of us with bad knees to still do what we love to do. Feel free to pass us by.
"I'm, I'm...so sorry! I've...|
Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Sep-05-13 8:41 AM (EST)
...got to get back to the vehicle! My husband left his lithium there! OH GOD! HE'S GAINING ON ME! GOTTA GO!"
I shoulda counted on you|
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-05-13 11:41 PM (EST)
...to come up with the best reply possible! LOL.
Thank you kindly for the invite.|
Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Sep-06-13 7:56 AM (EST)
I'd love to traipse trails with you in any of those wonderfully inclined western state forests. Usually I'm a fairly quiet hiker (try'n to sneak up on those birdy denizens, such as the occasional Staffclappet Snippet), so I guess we'll feast verbal at our rest stops.
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-06-13 1:02 PM (EST)
"... tapped his way down ..."|
Posted by: placidpaddler on Sep-05-13 8:48 AM (EST)
As a person who has used a hiking since my days of hiking in the Swiss Alps, I have never thought of myself as "tapping my way down."
it was a descriptive phrase|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-05-13 9:39 AM (EST)
Don't internalize and project. The point was the guy claimed to be a sort of minimalist. If I'd have had to deal with a jackass like that in a public place it would have been hard to keep my muttering to myself.
Posted by: magooch on Sep-05-13 11:43 AM (EST)
People who display rude behavior toward strangers in any setting are either very gregarious, or nuts. Pikabike, I think you and your husband used your best judgment and did the right thing in not engaging the subject.
Posted by: thebob.com on Sep-05-13 12:39 PM (EST)
Absolutely true about road rage|
Posted by: pikabike on Sep-05-13 11:55 PM (EST)
Do not engage in their warfare. It's not worth the potential violence. Yeah, it's not fair when you know that some people habitually bully others out of "their way".
silence is golden!|
Posted by: TomD on Sep-05-13 1:52 PM (EST)
I think trying to talk to someone like that is like mud-wrestling a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.
Posted by: PJC on Sep-06-13 4:50 PM (EST)
If a person makes you feel like that merely by passing them on a trail, aren't you glad you don't have to LIVE in his head? (As he does.)
Posted by: Fred_Randall on Sep-07-13 10:08 AM (EST)
I never give stuff like this even a second of my time or thoughts.
you just did.|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-07-13 4:35 PM (EST)
I would have answered him pleasantly.|
Posted by: WaterBird on Sep-07-13 8:06 PM (EST)
This person seems to be immature and someone who has a strong need to be acknowledged. The first clue to that is his loud trail voice. When people like this aren't acknowledged it sets off a strong reaction of feeling rejected and then possibly rage, as in this case.