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Old 12-09-09, 09:51 PM   #1
jR21
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Announcing to Pass... question;

I seem to have an issue startling persons on my local trail when I go to pass them. I am courteous to others when riding on local trails whenit comes to passing them from behind (mostly people running or walking). But just about every time I acknowledge I am going to pass, they seem to become startled and practically jump out of the way. I even started indicating "passing on the left", and still they seem to be startled when I announce I am passing. In most cases, if the person in front of me does not look back and see me when I am approaching them, I always slow way down and prepare to stop just incase... so it is not like I am only giving two seconds notice before passing. I feel kind of bad, but, I really don�t know what else to do. Aside from putting a bell on my bike, lol that would cramp my style, is there anything else I can do? Or is this just how it is.

Thank, jR
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Old 12-09-09, 10:00 PM   #2
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I'm going to speculate that many pedestrians using a MUP have experienced being passed by cyclists at high speed without notice and leaving little room to spare. You seem to be doing every right, maybe on the extreme side of "right", but it's all about circumstance: width of MUP, bicycle speed limit, amount of non-bicycle traffic. We sometimes ride our tandem on a narrow MUP with no expectation of setting land speed records. Got to be especially careful passing adults with kids on bicycles and such.
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Old 12-09-09, 10:13 PM   #3
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You'll get that reaction from people when it's practically a rite of passage to become lost in one's own little world while out in public.
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Old 12-09-09, 10:23 PM   #4
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Whistle. Mary had a little lamb, jingle bells, etc.
I ride mavic wheels and their freehubs are loud as all heck. I coast as well.

However, since most are wearing headphones you may as well call out,slow down, and expect surprise.
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Old 12-09-09, 10:44 PM   #5
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Just keep doing what you are. I announce 'on your left' when I'm a very reasonable distance away and people still say sorry and apologize when I reach them. I just give them a smile and say 'its ok, thanks' or 'you're good'. I used to wonder if I was announcing my presence in any intimidating or mean way, but even when my voice is as calm and pleasant as possible, people are still startled. As long as you're not riding up their leg when you announce yourself, just smile and be friendly back.
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Old 12-10-09, 12:28 AM   #6
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My best solution has been a single dinger bell. It sounds just odd enough for people to look up. They usually smile. I have no idea why people ignore or react badly to verbal announcement, but that is my experience. I don't know why a bell would cramp your style. You ride on a MUP just like I do. Might as well forget style.

If all else fails, clamp on the brakes and scream "Oh, Shucks!" That always works.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:51 AM   #7
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put a bicycle playing card in your spokes. constant noise so you can't sneak up on anyone!

Yeah I get the same thing, so anymore I usually try to make some sort of noise before anouncing, in hopes that they look first. usually the clicks of the shifter works, but I hate it when its some kid jammn with his head plugged into his ipod.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:38 AM   #8
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Get a bell, use it when necessary to indicate your presence; problem solved.
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Old 12-10-09, 08:20 AM   #9
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The bell is great, I have actually beeen thanked for having it.http://www.mirrycle.com/incredibell_bells.php
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Old 12-10-09, 12:53 PM   #10
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Thanks, lots a good suggestions. LOL, it seems I'm not the only one who experiences this... Yeah, I do the shifter thing too -, or some other noise if I can. A bell may be ideal. Thanks for your replies.

jR
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Old 12-10-09, 01:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jR21 View Post
I seem to have an issue startling persons on my local trail when I go to pass them. I am courteous to others when riding on local trails whenit comes to passing them from behind (mostly people running or walking). But just about every time I acknowledge I am going to pass, they seem to become startled and practically jump out of the way. I even started indicating "passing on the left", and still they seem to be startled when I announce I am passing. In most cases, if the person in front of me does not look back and see me when I am approaching them, I always slow way down and prepare to stop just incase... so it is not like I am only giving two seconds notice before passing. I feel kind of bad, but, I really don�t know what else to do. Aside from putting a bell on my bike, lol that would cramp my style, is there anything else I can do? Or is this just how it is.

Thank, jR
Have seen the same thing. I now announce my intentions well ahead of time and continue to talk right up to passing, often offering a "hello" or "good afternoon."

Just the "passing on the left" confuses some folks... and the first thing they do is move left... as that was all that sunk in.

Bells work great, but I don't have one on every bike. And sometimes I don't know I am going to use the MUPs until I get there.

Just talk out loud. Of course there is nothing you can do for the ipod deaf.
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Old 12-10-09, 01:31 PM   #12
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EVERYONE knows to move over for a bell!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_MphtzCOEc
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Old 12-10-09, 06:08 PM   #13
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I've settled on saying, "heads up" in an authoritative tone, well before I get to non-cyclers that seem unaware of me. I smile and say, "Thank you" in a friendly voice when I pass. It works well for me and does not seem to confuse anyone.
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Old 12-10-09, 06:43 PM   #14
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That's the way it is. I've found "Passing on your left" seems to be better than "onyerleft!" as I often hear it. Do slow down unless you have lots of extra room. Ideal solution is to ride on a road. The problem is people oblvious to their surroundings. Must be great for muggers, but not good for cyclists.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:36 PM   #15
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I call out a cheery "Bike passing!" and watch which way they scatter, then go opposite.

They seem to jump a lot less that way, as opposed to the authoritative voice, and by leaving out the "left", 95% of the time, they move right like they should.
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Old 12-10-09, 09:23 PM   #16
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I live only 2 miles from the Katy trail so I ride on it quite a bit. The bike that I use most often has a tiny brass Incredibell that goes "ting". It's about 50% effective. In the cases where I get no response from the bell, I'm alerted that the other users are oblivious so I pass them with a lot of caution.
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Old 12-10-09, 11:55 PM   #17
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I've got a little bell on one bike, and I found it largely ineffective, as people didn't hear it- I think you need a big loud bell to make that really effective.

I was riding along one time and heard this "ting". It sounded like something had fallen off the bike and went "ting" on the pavement. It was the bell on the bike behind me. Would have worked better if they guy had just said "Hello".
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Old 12-11-09, 04:00 AM   #18
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I've got the traditional loud bell on my commuter. Works great. People quite often thank me for using the bell. You can give advance warning well before you get so close that you end up startling them.

The smaller single click bells don't work very well. Most people can't hear them.
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Old 12-11-09, 02:39 PM   #19
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I yell "get the eff out of the way!!!!"

OK, maybe in my dreams. I use "on the left" as my passing notice. i too give plenty of notice. Still, I gotta tell ya most times the jogger/runner/walker turns around and drifts right across my path. For that reason I either take it slow when pedestrians are around or use the paths at time with low traffic. Earphones are another problem.

Here in the northeast bells are the law on MUPs. Not heavily enforced, but a pain if the bike polce catch up to you 10 miles from nowhere and force you to the street.
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Old 12-11-09, 02:48 PM   #20
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I just use an Air Horn! After that my path is clear!
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Old 12-11-09, 03:57 PM   #21
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I call out a cheery "Bike passing!" and watch which way they scatter, then go opposite.

They seem to jump a lot less that way, as opposed to the authoritative voice, and by leaving out the "left", 95% of the time, they move right like they should.
I like this one.I shall try it next opportunity.I find alot of them move left when shouting on your left or some variation of that.
Also use a single ding bell,sometimes i hit it a few times,works in combination with speaking out quite well.
Sometimes in the summer there are these group(20- 30 kids) rides for 8-10 year olds,with one adult in front and one in back,and usually spread out.Lots of bends in our mups,when these kids come along going opposite direction, ive learned to pull over get off and let them pass.They will run into you,looking right at you,even if your yelling and ringing bell.Lol,they are scary!It gets worse if i am riding my Brompton.Its a magnet for kids.Lol.
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Old 12-12-09, 06:01 PM   #22
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I've got the traditional loud bell on my commuter. Works great. People quite often thank me for using the bell. You can give advance warning well before you get so close that you end up startling them.

The smaller single click bells don't work very well. Most people can't hear them.
That single ding is so unusual that it gets their attention in a high percentage of times. Whatever works for you is best, but this is my experience.
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Old 12-12-09, 07:31 PM   #23
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there's no real way to address it except for trying to get the gov to make it common knowledge for people to get the out of the way and stay on their right. I've tried everything from the "on your left" to the "get the hell out of my way before I skin you alive and make you into jerky" and I get the whole gamut of reactions from sheer horror to that look people who have lost brain function have. I just think that if we run enough of them over eventually they will get the message and spread it around.
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Old 12-13-09, 12:33 AM   #24
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Get a bell, use it when necessary to indicate your presence; problem solved.
I did that a couple months ago on a fairly new path, ringing repeatedly until I was practically on the heels of the walkers. They finally turned around and said "That's what that was! I was wondering where the ringing was coming from."

It was a quiet morning, smooth path, no other traffic... what did she think it was? UFO's?

Many years ago I was riding with a friend on a MUP when we came upon a walker zig-zagging down the middle of the path. We slowed way down, called "Excuse me", etc., with no apparent effect. My friend blasted him with his Airzound horn. I swear, we could have ridden under him... incredible hangtime.
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Old 12-13-09, 04:56 AM   #25
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Hey, come on, you're a US citizen. Just pull out your handgun and fire it in the air.
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