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  1. #1
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    Please Let Me Know You're Going to Pass Me!

    I don't mind when another cyclist passes me. Really! Until I came to this forum, I had no idea passing inflicted such feelings of annoyance and humiliation on those being passed. I figure, so what? I'm not racing, and even if I were, I'd be in a race with myself, not someone else.

    But often when I am passed (most of my riding is in the city) people pass close. Even when it is on a bike path in the middle of a green space, with no other cars around, they pass so close, I can feel breeze on my left shoulder, and **-worse, that is the only sensory input I get. No "On your left", no "ringy-ding-ding" of the bell. Or even just "good morning" (or afternoon, as the case may be.)

    Here's the gist: I don't ride a perfectly straight line. One of these days, just as someone is breezing past me, I just might happen to wobble a bit, or be starting to correct my steering to avoid a pothole, or whatever. And I will hit the passer (or, more correctly, he or she will hit me) and we will both go down.

    I need, ideally, a little bit of road room - and above all, I NEED A WARNING. PLEASE! This is the 50+ forum, we all know that injuries take longer to heal than they used to. A damaged bike is annoying, a damaged body is something else. One can be replaced, the other, not so easily. My sister is still recovering from an incident exactly like this one when she was 'clipped' by a fellow cyclist. Both went down - he inquired after her wellbeing, she answered 'okay' (she really wasn't, she walked home) and he meanwhile simply re-boarded and sped away.

    I suppose I should be posting this on one of the 'regular' forums, since most of the time, it's a young testosterone that is the culprit - but the guy yesterday was well past the young stage (he'll doubtless argue the testosterone part, but I digress..)

    So, enjoy your biking. But remember, I have ears - unencumbered by ear buds by the way - and if you just let me know, I'll be sure to try and keep out of your way. But you gotta give me some help! A little room would be nice, too....

  2. #2
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Learn to hold your line.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
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    "Hold your line" as you go by is fine, too.

    I will try to do my part. But seriously, I am not a perfect individual. (I say as much to the motorists who pass too close, as well.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moth54 View Post
    I don't mind when another cyclist passes me. Really! Until I came to this forum, I had no idea passing inflicted such feelings of annoyance and humiliation on those being passed. I figure, so what? I'm not racing, and even if I were, I'd be in a race with myself, not someone else.

    But often when I am passed (most of my riding is in the city) people pass close. Even when it is on a bike path in the middle of a green space, with no other cars around, they pass so close, I can feel breeze on my left shoulder, and **-worse, that is the only sensory input I get. No "On your left", no "ringy-ding-ding" of the bell. Or even just "good morning" (or afternoon, as the case may be.)

    Here's the gist: I don't ride a perfectly straight line. One of these days, just as someone is breezing past me, I just might happen to wobble a bit, or be starting to correct my steering to avoid a pothole, or whatever. And I will hit the passer (or, more correctly, he or she will hit me) and we will both go down.

    I need, ideally, a little bit of road room - and above all, I NEED A WARNING. PLEASE! This is the 50+ forum, we all know that injuries take longer to heal than they used to. A damaged bike is annoying, a damaged body is something else. One can be replaced, the other, not so easily. My sister is still recovering from an incident exactly like this one when she was 'clipped' by a fellow cyclist. Both went down - he inquired after her wellbeing, she answered 'okay' (she really wasn't, she walked home) and he meanwhile simply re-boarded and sped away.

    I suppose I should be posting this on one of the 'regular' forums, since most of the time, it's a young testosterone that is the culprit - but the guy yesterday was well past the young stage (he'll doubtless argue the testosterone part, but I digress..)

    So, enjoy your biking. But remember, I have ears - unencumbered by ear buds by the way - and if you just let me know, I'll be sure to try and keep out of your way. But you gotta give me some help! A little room would be nice, too....
    Buy a bike mirror, and then monitor what is behind you, just look about once every 30 seconds or so, saves you the frustration and keeps you safer.

  5. #5
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    Wear a mirror. I feel as naked on a bike without a mirror as I would in a car. This way you can keep track of the space around you. I can't believe everyone doesn't follow this common sense procedure.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
    Buy a bike mirror, and then monitor what is behind you, just look about once every 30 seconds or so, saves you the frustration and keeps you safer.
    Looks like we're on the same wavelength, you being the quicker typist!
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  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I ride a lot on back roads and I often take a few other riders out and we are a social group. Not much traffic about on our back roads and we keep an ear and eye open for cars.

    But it is one of my bugbears when a cyclist come up behind us and passes fast and close. Perhaps if we were on a MUP then they would call out to give us warning but they never do on the roads. Now even if I am doing a respectable speed on a road with traffic and I am keeping a tight line to the kerb- they still pass close and without warning. That is a worry as I might have to move out a foot or so to miss some debris or pothole or manhole cover.

    So I am with moth54. If you want to pass me- then give me warning. It is not only courtious- it is safer for you and me.
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  8. #8
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    I also always have a pleasant sounding "polite" bell on my bike so as not to surprise any bikers or pedestrians I intend to pass, throwing out a quick "thank you" as I do so.
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  9. #9
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I agree with you - folks shold give some sort of warning when passing. Often, when they pass without warning, I shout out "On your left" which startles them a bit.

    On the other hand, BE SURE TO USE HAND SIGNALS. I signal every turn, stop, etc., etc. I have had several times when that signalling saved my A$$. Also, yes, ride in a straight line and learn to do that.

    Several local jurisdictions post signs that state, "Give audible warning when passing" or something similar, on MUPS.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
    Buy a bike mirror, and then monitor what is behind you, just look about once every 30 seconds or so, saves you the frustration and keeps you safer.
    I second that advise. I wouldn't want to ride without my mirror, on the road or on the path. I don't know how busy it is where you ride, but I ride one 5 mile path frequently that is very busy and if the fast riders (and I'm not one of them) were to warn everybody they were passing they would be horse and everybody else would be annoyed by the noise. And bells would be worse.

    I'm a slow rider and get passed all the time so I just got into the habit of checking the mirror to know what's coming up behind me the same as when I'm driving. And I've never had a car say "on your left" before they passed close to me.

  11. #11
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    I have a mirror and hold my line but I still agree with Moth. I have frequently started to move left for one reason or another and then seen a fast moving roadie blowing up without a peep. I have always caught the movement in time but it is still very irritating. And the assumption that the other riders should "learn to hold your line" by the fast riders is just plain stupid. Many people don't and can't. The overtaking rider will be injured just as badly as the one he hits. Fat lot of good his righteousness will do him.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  12. #12
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moth54 View Post
    "Hold your line" as you go by is fine, too.

    I will try to do my part. But seriously, I am not a perfect individual. (I say as much to the motorists who pass too close, as well.)
    it IS the responsibility of the passer to pass safely...and many state vehicle codes require some audible warning - but when it all comes down to it, you are responsible for your own safety.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Learn to hold your line.
    No! I am riding for my pleasure, I may wander, I may stop, I may decide to stick my leg out to stretch..whatever. The faster rider assumes all responsibility for the overtaking and should give adequate warning when executing a pass.

    Mike
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  14. #14
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moth54 View Post
    Here's the gist: I don't ride a perfectly straight line. One of these days, just as someone is breezing past me, I just might happen to wobble a bit, or be starting to correct my steering to avoid a pothole, or whatever. And I will hit the passer (or, more correctly, he or she will hit me) and we will both go down.
    Thank you for your candor. This issue comes up fairly regularly on our cycle club's web forum, and there's (at least) one guy who's always insisting that announcing your presence when passing is stupid. I'm going to point him to this thread next time, because apparently he doesn't believe it when members of his own club say they'd appreciate the warning.

  15. #15
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
    I may wander, I may stop, I may decide to stick my leg out to stretch..whatever. The faster rider assumes all responsibility for the overtaking and should give adequate warning when executing a pass.
    ^^^This

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Learn to hold your line.
    Yeah hold your line, through broken glass, potholes, gravel, sticks, plastic bottles, cups, road kill, mufflers, dog poop, and trash of every varity.
    It's common courtesy to give a warning when your about to pass, or are on a strangers wheel. But like all other common courtesies, not so common any more.

  17. #17
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    The problem only intensifies at dusk & nightfall, unfortunately for those of us who enjoy riding at such times. I live in a very congested, bike-active community..... there are more bikes on the roads around here at any given time than there are cars. I'm outfitted with a strong flashing rear light & a blinking blue front facing light in addition to my headlight & valve cover lights..... I'm seen coming & going. I'm flabbergasted & angered by the number of cyclists riding sans any of this equipment, in addition to their lacking a bell or mirror. These are, of course, the riders (almost invariably the young & "indestructible") who zip along at breakneck speeds, coming out of the shadows at the last moment to pass, my mirror affording me less allowance, at such times, than during the daylight hours. What are these people thinking?!
    Last edited by raymeedc; 09-13-11 at 08:07 AM.
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  18. #18
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Yes, in a perfect, polite world, people would announce a pass and give plenty of room. The fact of the matter is, though, not everyone does. You can't control the racer boys who want to fly by you an inch away; all you can control is yourself. So.... get a mirror, hold your line, and desensitize yourself to close passes. Complaining about them on BF will not make them stop. The best we can offer is advice for taking control of the situation.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



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  19. #19
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Learn to hold your line.
    ...or ride faster


    Seriously, when I pass someone on a bike path it's over in a split second. If there are children or older ones (or visibly newbs out for a recreational ride) I'll nicely say "on your left". But that doesnt always work so I try to make the passing ordeal as quick as possible.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
    No! I am riding for my pleasure, I may wander, I may stop, I may decide to stick my leg out to stretch..whatever. The faster rider assumes all responsibility for the overtaking and should give adequate warning when executing a pass.

    Mike
    There's nothing wrong with the way you ride.

    If I noticed you wandering a little, I would assume yelling something from behind might make you move one way or the other and I'd rather you just stayed as steady as possible. If there's a headwind and reasonable speed difference it's unlikely you'd hear any instructions from behind.

    As far as worrying about having to swerve for a pothole or debris, the overtaking rider has as good a view of the road ahead as you and should notice any potential obstacles.

  21. #21
    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    If I pass someone I always say "on your left sir", or "on your left mame". Seems like common courtesy to me. Plus it protects me from catching a snot rocket or a wet lugee!!
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  22. #22
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    "Hold your line". But you want me to warn you about that pothole I'm about to hit while holding my line? I'm avoiding the pothole. You do what you need to do.
    I give people a wide berth when passing and I look for problems in front of them that could cause them to swerve toward me. Just because I'm passing I don't expect someone to "hold their line". When over-taking someone YOU have the responsibility for making that is a safe event. Read the "skier's code" some time. Much of it applies to bike riding. Those passing another have the responsibility to make sure that is done safely. End of subject.
    If you are so insecure that someone passing you causes you problems....... GROW UP! You are probably the same person that speeds up on the highway as I'm passing. Stop it already! That's only slightly better than the person that is going to pass you and then slows down and never makes the pass. Sheesh people, learn how to drive!

    Skier's code:

    Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
    People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
    You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
    Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
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    Last edited by bigbadwullf; 09-13-11 at 09:10 AM.

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  23. #23
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teachme View Post
    If I pass someone I always say "on your left sir", or "on your left mame". Seems like common courtesy to me. Plus it protects me from catching a snot rocket or a wet lugee!!
    You just generated a glimpse of a 70yr old woman on a big upright leaning over and launching one. Thanx for the grin and the warning....I'd not thought about that particular danger.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  24. #24
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
    No! I am riding for my pleasure, I may wander, I may stop, I may decide to stick my leg out to stretch..whatever. The faster rider assumes all responsibility for the overtaking and should give adequate warning when executing a pass.

    Mike
    Is this how you drive for pleasure too?

    If there are other users on the same venue, you need to be as considerate as you expect them to be.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  25. #25
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwullf View Post
    I give people a wide berth when passing and I look for problems in front of them that could cause them to swerve toward me. Just because I'm passing I don't expect someone to "hold their line". When over-taking someone YOU have the responsibility for making that is a safe event. Read the "skier's code" some time. Much of it applies to bike riding.
    +1 If a rider swerves left to avoid a pothole or something and a passer crashes into him, it is the passer's fault - period! Of course that doesn't lessen the injuries. Alert them or not, but give wide berth and be alert.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

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