He hated being passed

Hubby and I were guessing
…what his job position or career had been.

Hubby said engineer; I said No Way–more likely in management but with “anger management” problems.

We’ve had other people pass us, too, and our reaction is typically Oh, Well.

Don’t try that on your bike rides!
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.

Judgments based on speed
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.

It’s all good. And what’s fast for one person might be Meh for someone else.

“I’m, I’m…so sorry! I’ve…
…got to get back to the vehicle! My husband left his lithium there! OH GOD! HE’S GAINING ON ME! GOTTA GO!”

Sometimes one’s simple hike is but the prelude within a Hitchcock film.

part of that is regional

"… tapped his way down …"
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.”

This sounds more like a personal issue with the OP. Chill out!

it was a descriptive phrase
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.

My perception
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.

Lately, I have encountered some very discourteous drivers and I’ve vowed to not let them get to me. It’s excruciatingly hard to let drivers crowd in and cut you off, but it’s much preferable to initiating any kind of “road-rage.” No day is worth ruining with a bout of road-rage, or trail-rage.

Missed opportunity…

– Last Updated: Sep-05-13 1:22 PM EST –

I think the guy missed a couple of good opportunities to keep his mouth shut, and mind his own business.

On a hiking trail, it is virtually impossible to not know when someone is close behind you. I personally don't like other hikers being close behind me. When it is safe for me to do so; I step off the trail, and let them pass. Then they, and I, can travel at the pace that suits them, and me. This requires no cute, smart ass, aggravating, or antagonistic comments. In fact, it requires no comment at all from either party.

Reminds me of the guy in the passing lane on the interstate. The speed limit is 70; he seemingly has his cruise control set on 65. Traffic backs up behind him; people honk their horns, they flash their lights, people repeatedly pass him on the right. Still he refuses to yield the passing lane.

What's the message he's sending?
I don't think it's a positive message.
I think the message is F U!


silence is golden!
I think trying to talk to someone like that is like mud-wrestling a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

I shoulda counted on you
…to come up with the best reply possible! LOL.

You’re welcome to hike with us anytime regardless of pace, could be a crazy verbal feast hatched from it!

Absolutely true about road rage
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”.

It’d be hard not to instinctively, defensively respond angrily to some of the horrible things I’ve heard about when it comes to road rage. I try to keep in mind that most people, including myself, have done some dumb things out of simply being tired/inattentive. Things that someone else could take as deliberate antagonism. There does not exist a driver who has never made such a mistake. Sometimes you have a chance to make it right, such as the time I didn’t see someone when I pulled next to a gas pump just as he was (slightly) ahead of me, timewise. He honked his horn angrily, I backed up and got out, then told him I was sorry, just did not see him. The truth. He instantly became apologetic also. It’s easy to defuse something like that, but some situations where high speed is involved would be less conducive to defusing the situation.

Thank you kindly for the invite.
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.

Unless we’re in bear country, that is, where I understand it’s better to announce your presence coming down the thicket-lined trail. Perhaps then we’d best take up show tunes (maybe from Annie Get Your Gun), like a duo of Ethel Merman and Katherine Hepburn…if only to help disseminate the bear population into the adjoining 30 or 40 states and provinces. Might even set the Staffclappets migrating to Mozambique.

Staffclappet snippets?
Ummm, yeah.

True about making noise in bear or mountain lion country. Or so the advice goes.

The aggressive critter in the park mentioned is actually–hold onto your Tilleysnippet–mountain goats. A couple years ago a hiker got gored to death. We found plenty of hoofprints and scat on the trail, but the only goats we saw were far away.

So don’t let that deter you!

easy response:
Apologize for embarrassing him in front of his daughter.

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.)

Let 'em be. Maybe it’ll pass. Maybe it won’t. Nothing you can do will change it, though.

Cave Man in a Power Boat
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).

I just said “How ya doin’?” and the cave man sped off.

I never give stuff like this even a second of my time or thoughts.

you just did.

I would have answered him pleasantly.
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.

The reality is that there are a LOT of people like this in society, and some of them push it to a dangerous level. You don’t want to set off that kind of reaction in a remote place.

Your thinking was rational: “This guy is nuts. I’m not going to even answer him. It’s best to ignore a crazy person.” But your rational thinking led to an irrational response from him. In my opinion, that means that your own response was NOT the right course. If you and he had been alone on the trail, your response would have put you in danger.

In a situation like this your goal should only be to stay safe (e.g., a woman hiking alone in a remote place). For that reason, I would always reply to a person like this. His attempt at humor was thinly veiled aggression, but I would have replied humorously or pleasantly in some way to give him the acknowledgment that he needed. Something like, “Hey, howya doin? Great day for a hike, eh?” That would have sent him the message, “You’re worthy of my attention.” That may have been all he was seeking. You sent him the opposite message: “You’re NOT worthy of my attention.”

Your husband’s reply was perfectly rational but again, denied the guy the acknowledgment he needed and his anger intensified.

People like this are very sensitive to how others respond to them. They will take a tiny response from you—a word, a glance, your tone of voice—and have an exaggerated emotional response to it.

I recommend doing whatever it takes to pacify crazy people wherever safety is your first concern. I think if you had replied pleasantly the incident would never have escalated. Once you realized he was angry you could have said, “Oh, sorry, I guess I was lost in my thoughts. I didn’t mean to be rude” to diffuse him.

I would have had a concern about his girlfriend. That can’t be a nice or safe guy to be in a relationship with.

There are other situations in life when you have to call people on their behavior to let them know it’s not acceptable, but in the woods might not be the place. Don’t forget that there are plenty of armed hikers. I

About road rage, before I set off on any trip I remind myself to always “cede my territory” to anyone who wants it on the highway. Being “dead right” isn’t helpful. Right or wrong, we need to think about our safety before the rightness of our position.