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  1. #1
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    Need some bike traffic etiquette advice.

    A few times now, I've caught up to a bike commuter and have had to stay right behind them because it was unsafe to pass. (narrow roadway/traffic). Then I've stuck right behind them because we're going the same way.

    Is there something I should call out like, "I'm not passing" or "don't worry about me!"

    Also, I feel like I should be saying something to fellow commuters when we're at stop lights. What do you say, if anything.

  2. #2
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Eh, I say don't worry about it. Just don't hang like 6 inches off his wheel. Assume that he may not know you're there and keep a safe enough distance.

    As for talking to people at red lights, I usually don't. It's just not customary around here. As a ped I wouldn't normally talk to another ped waiting to cross the street unless I had a compelling reason to do so. I don't see the bike scenario as being any different.

  3. #3
    Cold Rain and Snow Hot Potato's Avatar
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    When lined up at a red light, I follow the same etiquette as when lined up facing the wall in the restroom.
    Quietly elevating being dropped to an art form

  4. #4
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    If it is someone I don't know and it is a male I hang at about 10ft, if it is a lone female I drop back at least 30-40ft to not be some weird stalker unless I can pass really soon and keep past them.

    At a light/sign I'll roll up beside them but still stay behind them and if they look back I wave,nod or say hello.

  5. #5
    Member dciskey's Avatar
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    If I'm behind somebody I can't pass I just keep a safe distance. The fact that I'm not passing is a given and they probably don't know I'm there anyway.

    At a light I usually don't say anything but if it's somebody on like a cruiser bike or somebody I almost passed before the light and they got there first I might ask if I can go first. I especially do this at the last light before work because there's a big-ish bridge right after and I tend to climb it faster than most folks. It's not something I do very often but I've always been polite and nobody's said no.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
    When lined up at a red light, I follow the same etiquette as when lined up facing the wall in the restroom.
    Well played. Now I'm going to think about that on my commute home.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I nod my head - usually to bikers going in the opposite direction. Sometimes if it is quite I might say something. I once passed a biker who was struggling up a long hill and he was close to the top but it was a blind curve so I told him he was almost there to help encourage him. I use the same etiquette as hiking. But then I don't meet too many riders on my commutes. I don't always nod my head - it depends on my posture, if I'm working hard on a hill or of they other person is avoiding eye contact because they are unsure about bike etiquette.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  8. #8
    SA[in]NE FredOak's Avatar
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    I've had several different folks fall in behind me on one part of route. As long as they aren't riding up by back tire they are more then welcome to draft me.

    And when we have gotten to the lights they have either just stayed in line behind me or have pulled up along side.

    When they pull up along side I assume they want to go first and I'll let them, then it's my turn to draft!
    I just need enough to tide me over until I need more.
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  9. #9
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I nod my head - usually to bikers going in the opposite direction. Sometimes if it is quite I might say something. I once passed a biker who was struggling up a long hill and he was close to the top but it was a blind curve so I told him he was almost there to help encourage him. I use the same etiquette as hiking. But then I don't meet too many riders on my commutes. I don't always nod my head - it depends on my posture, if I'm working hard on a hill or of they other person is avoiding eye contact because they are unsure about bike etiquette.
    As far as hiking goes... It would be pretty weird to not say hi as you passed someone, either in the same direction or in the opposite direction. But before joining BF I had no idea that in some parts of the world, other cyclists acknowledged each other on the road.

    Context and local culture matters a great deal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibcrewin View Post
    A few times now, I've caught up to a bike commuter and have had to stay right behind them because it was unsafe to pass. (narrow roadway/traffic). Then I've stuck right behind them because we're going the same way.

    Is there something I should call out like, "I'm not passing" or "don't worry about me!"

    Also, I feel like I should be saying something to fellow commuters when we're at stop lights. What do you say, if anything.
    It seems you're concerned about getting him all flustered, requiring a reassuring comment.
    If you're clearly the faster rider but conditions prohibit a pass, why not back off him a little bit.
    Problem solved.

    As far as stoplights go, a nod and hello is appropriate. You may get something back... or not.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  11. #11
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    mirror (and/or visually check), signal, manoeuvre and while you're waiting to pass, as tempting as drafting is, don't tailgate (you never know if they'll swerve to avoid a pot hole or need to stop suddenly)
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
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    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  12. #12
    Who farted? Ka_Jun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibcrewin View Post
    A few times now, I've caught up to a bike commuter and have had to stay right behind them because it was unsafe to pass. (narrow roadway/traffic). Then I've stuck right behind them because we're going the same way.

    Is there something I should call out like, "I'm not passing" or "don't worry about me!"

    Also, I feel like I should be saying something to fellow commuters when we're at stop lights. What do you say, if anything.
    Be an individual and do the unexpected. Blow kisses their way.

  13. #13
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    If you can't pass them, don't crowd them.

    Give them plenty of room.

    What's the rush?

  14. #14
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
    When lined up at a red light, I follow the same etiquette as when lined up facing the wall in the restroom.
    You check out their bike and size it up against yours?

  15. #15
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    I have similar but opposite problem, slower cyclists will pass me at the red light standstill and then say something assessing at the next light like, "hey, you did pretty good" when I'm right behind them, all the time wishing they wouldn't just dodge in front of me when I'm stopped at a light, assuming I'm going to be slower. This kind of cyclist typically sprints at the green, and then slows down about 10-15% of their max speed once they are out of the gate and sit down to ride at a steady state, and I wish I could get by safely about a minute after that.
    Longbikes Slipstream

  16. #16
    Senior Member snowman40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evblazer View Post
    If it is someone I don't know and it is a male I hang at about 10ft, if it is a lone female I drop back at least 30-40ft to not be some weird stalker unless I can pass really soon and keep past them.
    I've noticed I can't ride behind women as well, I get distracted.....

    I like pacers and follow about 50-100 ft back of males and try my darndest to catch them. If a light screws up my plan I let them get back out there and then I start chasing them down again.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpinist View Post
    If you can't pass them, don't crowd them.

    Give them plenty of room.

    What's the rush?
    It's a race. It's always a race.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  18. #18
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evblazer View Post
    If it is someone I don't know and it is a male I hang at about 10ft, if it is a lone female I drop back at least 30-40ft to not be some weird stalker unless I can pass really soon and keep past them.
    I like your etiquette. Nothing worse than a strange dude on a bike riding up on my romp and following me too closely to get me to break out my **** whistle!

    I simply hang back at a safe distance then pass them when it's safe to do so. If the person is on a folding bike (like me) I might wave, smile or say "hi" but I normally don't speak unless I feel compelled to do so. I'm normally "in the zone" when I'm riding and like to stay fixed on my objective, not idle chit-chat with a complete stranger whom I'll be passing the second a gap opens up.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  19. #19
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpinist View Post
    If you can't pass them, don't crowd them.

    Give them plenty of room.

    What's the rush?
    Riding fast is more fun than not riding fast. Makes me enjoy my commute more.

  20. #20
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    I like your etiquette. Nothing worse than a strange dude on a bike riding up on my romp and following me too closely to get me to break out my **** whistle!
    I don't want to start a battle of the sexes or anything, but I hate how being male automatically makes me a potential villain.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mechanicalron's Avatar
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    At red lights I like to yell, "what the f*** you looking at" OK I don't do that but I do feel like I should say something to fellow cyclist and tend to pick out a bike part or something to complement them.

  22. #22
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    I don't want to start a battle of the sexes or anything, but I hate how being male automatically makes me a potential villain.
    This isn't a battle of the sexes so don't make it out to be one. It's simple common courtesy.

    Don't ride up on my ass like I know you because I don't. It's dangerous, not cool and way creepy so back off, and that goes for women too (although I have yet to have a woman ride up on my ass. Only dudes. Go figure. )
    Last edited by KitN; 04-02-09 at 12:06 PM.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mechanicalron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    And I hate how being a woman makes me a potential victim.

    Statistics don't lie and I refuse to become one.
    I can totaly see that. It must be mind numbing for some woman.
    "newbie at heart"

  24. #24
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    AH goodmorning might work/Kenneth

  25. #25
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    I don't want to start a battle of the sexes or anything, but I hate how being male automatically makes me a potential villain.
    You should be used to that by now. If you are a ..... male you are a super villain

    On that note.. Anyone know how to ignore just one persons sig line.. er pic in their sig line *shudder*

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