I had an interaction with a pedestrian this morning on colquitz trail btw inter urban and the slippy bridge. He was walking his dog off leash and I had to come to a near full stop to avoid the dog. I was traveling slow enough that this was easy to do without any skidding or any drama. He made no move, verbally or otherwise, to encourage his dog to get out of my way. When the dog mosied out of my way I started to ride away and he made some kind of cyclist hating comment. So I stopped and asked him what the issue was. He complained about my speed and told me I should be on the road.
I was wearing a TS vest so did my best to engage productively. I explained that I stopped safely ya da ya da, explained what gravel cycling is and tried to have him see me as a person not a cyclist. It seemed to work bc he said “I’m sure you’re not a bad person“ but then he had a bit of a tirade about cyclists and said that he is tired of the speed groups of cyclists come through the trails when he is walking his dog. He admitted I was getting the brunt of his general anger and frustration. I empathized with him told him I’d pass it along. So that’s what I’m doing. I probably could have handled it better than I did but hopefully he feels a bit better. Just thought it was important to share our higher speed group gravel travels along some trails are being noticed and not appreciated.