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Thread: Right and Left?

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    Right and Left?

    I made a big assumption last night when I called out "On your left" to a mom and her little kid. Obviously, the little kid didn't know his right from his left. He cut right in front of me on the bike trail. Rather than crushing the kid or riding into oncoming bike traffic, I ditched. Got a scraped up arm and a bent derailleur hanger out of it. The mom and the kid didn't even show any concern but a few riders came by and offered their assistance.

    Could have been worse but I definitely need to be more careful around kids.

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    Not just kids. I've had adults dodge directly into me (to their left) after saying "on your left".

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    You need to practice kicking the 3-4 year olds to the side when riding by. It's all in the placement of your shoe against their hipbone. It sends them right to the ground.



    In all honesty, nobody remembers right or left and anybody wearing an iPod won't hear you at all.

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    They hear "mm mmm LEFT", so they turn to look left and, as humans tend to do, they swerve left (cyclists and drivers do it, too).

    Just get a bell or squeaky horn, use it (or just call out, "Ding ding!", which always gets a chuckle), and slow down as you pass.

    I quit saying "On your left" a long time ago. If I say anything, it's just, "You're good, you're good," which lets them know that I'm back there, I'm keeping an eye out for them, and whatever path they're maintaining isn't a problem for me.

    And, yup, I repeat it, because from their perspective, a sudden voice out of nowhere gets interpreted as a surprising sound, and they're too busy being startled to remember to pay attention to what the words actually are.

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    XR2
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    As the one overtaking you are responsible for a safe pass.Sorry you went down but to rely on others for your safety will always end badly.
    I owe-therefore I am.

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    getting bent Engyo's Avatar
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    "Passing left" seems to get better responses from adults (who speak english), at least....
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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engyo View Post
    "Passing left" seems to get better responses from adults (who speak english), at least....
    It does, because the brighter sounds of "passing" cut more clearly than the soft "onyour" and are more easily interpreted.

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    Senior Member vsopking's Avatar
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    Use a bell and slow down when in doubt?

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Guess I'll post it...

    The universally recognized power of the bicycle bell:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_MphtzCOEc

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    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    It is so rare that I even see anyone to pass. I am not sure what I would do. LOL

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    Senior Member shmily_dana's Avatar
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    I'll slow down and make sure the parents are aware of me. (They are usually in the rear). Then they will warn the kids. Once I am sure I know what the kid is doing then I pass. I will always thank the child or complement his/her bike.

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shmily_dana View Post
    I'll slow down and make sure the parents are aware of me. (They are usually in the rear). Then they will warn the kids. Once I am sure I know what the kid is doing then I pass. I will always thank the child or complement his/her bike.
    There was a dad and his two boys out there this past weekend. I was waiting to pass until we got around some blind corners, and he knew I was back there, so we had plenty of time to figure out what to do. Once it opened up, I came up alongside the dad, and his sons started weaving side-to-side across the whole path. I don't really blame them, actually -- I remember how much fun it is to swoop around on a bike. He reminded them, "Don't forget, stay on the right side of the yellow line," and they stopped swerving.

    I joked with him, "It's like they were warming up their tires," which got him to chuckle, and I finished my pass. No harm, no foul, and a few seconds of entertainment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ljholland View Post
    I made a big assumption last night when I called out "On your left" to a mom and her little kid. Obviously, the little kid didn't know his right from his left. He cut right in front of me on the bike trail. Rather than crushing the kid or riding into oncoming bike traffic, I ditched. Got a scraped up arm and a bent derailleur hanger out of it. The mom and the kid didn't even show any concern but a few riders came by and offered their assistance.

    Could have been worse but I definitely need to be more careful around kids.
    The other problem is that you expected a response (moving/keeping to the right) instead of observing the actual response.

    Any warning needs to be done at least twice. The first time gets attention (hopefully), the second gets comprehension (hopefully).

    People passing often expect that people are going to respond much more quickly (and correctly) than is reasonable.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 09-23-09 at 01:38 PM.

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    Senior Member ntime60's Avatar
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    There is some truth to the repeating of statements.

    I was in my own little world Saturday concentrating on fighting a 15mph wind up hill, when a voice behind me said, "The wind is brutal today huh?" as this 20 something whizzed right by and I about made new racing stripes in my shorts being startled out of my concentration.

    So to me it makes sens that you ring the bell twice or repeat your statement again so everyone gets on the same page. ;-)
    2009 Trek 7.3 (Black), Cateye Strada /w cadence. My Cycling Adventures

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    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Guess I'll post it...

    The universally recognized power of the bicycle bell:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_MphtzCOEc
    I so much more prefer the other universal sound for the MUP....

    The sound of a pump shotgun chambering a round

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    The sound of a pump shotgun chambering a round
    HAHAHA

    Yeah.....all good points. I actually did slow down a lot. But when it was clear there was no way to go, I choose the "butt" landing. I could have been MUCH worse.

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    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    try "stop" and see if the ignorant huddled masses of stupid people respond...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    I so much more prefer the other universal sound for the MUP....

    The sound of a pump shotgun chambering a round
    If you need to chamber a round it's too late.I'm one step ahead of you. The click of the safety is all you'll hear.
    I owe-therefore I am.

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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    It's probably best to warn them by bell or by voice, then wait to see what they do before making your move.

    That's why I don't like MUPs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ljholland View Post
    Yeah.....all good points. I actually did slow down a lot. But when it was clear there was no way to go, I choose the "butt" landing. I could have been MUCH worse.
    The fact that you had the "butt" landing indicates that you, as the overtaking vehicle, didn't really do the right thing. (I do think you understand that.)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    It's probably best to warn them by bell or by voice, then wait to see what they do before making your move.
    It's not merely "best", it's required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    It's probably best to warn them by bell or by voice, then wait to see what they do before making your move.

    That's why I don't like MUPs.
    Agree about the MUP's but I do use them occasionally. Bells don't work unless you throw it along the trail or just past their ear. And Yes I have tried them and even used a horn but they just don't get heard.

    I always Yell out "Bike Behind" from about 50 ft away and wait for them to move. Then I know roughly where they will not be- but not always. And if they don't hear me then I repeat it. And then if they still don't hear me- I ask them which side they want the tyre marks as I trackstand behind them.
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    moving target c0urt's Avatar
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    i try to slow down around people. it will be there when I get there. and people are suspect.
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    Senior Member Brian T.'s Avatar
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    Crossing the Purple People Bridge from Newport, KY to Cincy, they have a pretty wide lane on one side and a "pedestrian only" lane. Coming back one night, I said "Passing on you right!" three times to a guy who was BS'ing with his wife and would not move until I was right behind him. Sheesh! Car or walking, some people are just dumb.
    Never get into an argument with an idiot, they only drag you down and beat you with experience.


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    I sense a certain ignorance of facts in all the above answers. Those pedestrians who are not stone deaf have little wires coming out of their ears which preclude any possibility of hearing bells, voices, and shotgun blasts, to say nothing of the slide being racked.

    Those approaching from the front seem to have a similar visual impairment.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero View Post
    try "stop" and see if the ignorant huddled masses of stupid people respond...
    This is what I am thinking. Around here nobody would call "on your left". Does not make sense to me, unless everybody knows what it means.

    Something more like a command: "stop" or "keep right" would be easyer to understand in a split second.

    A bike bell makes more sense to me than a voice. Peopel know what a bike bell is, and that bikes mowe fast.

    The nutscases with music on BOTH ears you just ride up close behind them and blow the airhorn, totally stupid to mowe around in traffic like that.

    I guess riding on the MUP you can not expect peopel to respond the way you want and you just need to go slow.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

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