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Old 01-17-05, 05:18 PM   #1
mark48310
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this whole "on your left" thing seems to work nicely USUALLY as far as other bikers are concerned. but for the general public, it appears to be some sort of secret code for "do a stupid little panicky shuffle/dance with your feet and proceed to your left, directly in path of bike."

three near misses today, one crash. the crash with an apparently mentally-deficient biker. "hello! this doesn't mean 'turn your head and steer bike into oncoming biker.'"
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Old 01-17-05, 05:29 PM   #2
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I've never had a problem with "On your left", followed up by "Thank you!"

It seems to work fine on cyclists, bicycle riders (there's a difference!), skaters, walkers, etc.

I make sure I know that the person in fromt of me knows what I'm trying to do too. I don't just blaze on by assuming they will yield.
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Old 01-17-05, 05:34 PM   #3
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usually does work...but today was apparently one of "those" days...
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Old 01-17-05, 05:35 PM   #4
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I'm gonna have to say that I agreed with this thread. I started to laugh when I read this. Its soooo true. People I think are amazed that someone else may be on the trail besides them and they just don't know their right from their left. Oh well it makes for a few good laughs.
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Old 01-17-05, 05:42 PM   #5
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I love the folks that walk or ride right down the dead center of the MUT. The only thing I love more is the rollerbladers that use the enitre MUT -and If I am lucky, its to music.

Maybe I need ask Usher to record "On Your Left"

Oh well- that's what my freindly little bell is for.
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Old 01-17-05, 05:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark48310
this whole "on your left" thing seems to work nicely USUALLY as far as other bikers are concerned. but for the general public, it appears to be some sort of secret code for "do a stupid little panicky shuffle/dance with your feet and proceed to your left, directly in path of bike."

three near misses today, one crash. the crash with an apparently mentally-deficient biker. "hello! this doesn't mean 'turn your head and steer bike into oncoming biker.'"
Cyclists are used to it... the general public is not... usually when I approach folks that don't seem to have a clue, I make noises just so they are not startled... I roll back on my pedals so my cluster clicks, I snap my break handles a few times... if I am going real fast, I announce myself early... let 'em get in their "dance" early.
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Old 01-17-05, 05:47 PM   #7
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How about:

"I'm passing on you're left"

If that doesn't work an ear-numbing scream seems to get results.
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Old 01-17-05, 05:54 PM   #8
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I ring my ding-a-lingy bell, and if that doesn't work, I say "Passing" or "Passing Left."

It is confusing for both neophyte bikers and peds to say, "On your left." I once had a neophyte biker run me off the trail because she thought "On Your Left" meant she was supposed to go to her left.

I have a whole bunch of walkers pretty well trained on my regular route!
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Old 01-17-05, 05:59 PM   #9
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I yell "on your left" and still assume the other person is going to do something moronic. Notification + maintaining a defensive status seems to work a lot better than notification alone.
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Old 01-17-05, 06:20 PM   #10
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What we really need is an international audible signal...like beep, beep...
Where I ride, I have to learn how to say "on your left" in at least three different languages.
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Old 01-17-05, 06:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugazi Dave
I yell "on your left" and still assume the other person is going to do something moronic. Notification + maintaining a defensive status seems to work a lot better than notification alone.
Same here. Usually when I'm on the greenway, people will hear my warning, move a little to the right and wave when I pass. Some days, you get those 'dancers' that have no idea what "on your left" means.

I almost feel bad when I'm about to pass some older people, yell "on your left", and they jump and grab their chest
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Old 01-17-05, 06:28 PM   #12
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Ring bell, wait for them to make a hole wherever, use hole. This requires a bit more time, but you never guess if you wait for them to make the move first. Don't blame the pedestrians; they have the right of way and there are no rules of the road that apply to them. I generally stay off paths because the safe speed is too low.
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Old 01-17-05, 06:40 PM   #13
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I take a clue from bike messengers of old, I make police siren noises, that seems to do the trick. Works with cars too! My favorite part is the looks onlookers give me because that is the last sound they expect someone on a bike to make.
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Old 01-17-05, 07:00 PM   #14
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I find that most people (except for cyclists of course) don't respond to 'on your left' because it means nothing to them. So on bike paths if i'm passing joggers, etc, I say EXCUSE ME. Everyone knows what excuse me means. O course, if they're plugged in to their stupid walkman, tough **** if they can't hear me. Sometimes I just snap my fingers in their face- so rude! But too bad.
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Old 01-17-05, 07:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
What we really need is an international audible signal...like beep, beep...
Where I ride, I have to learn how to say "on your left" in at least three different languages.
Try riding with an obnoxiously loud set of screeching brakes. Works every time and language doesn't matter.
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Old 01-17-05, 07:50 PM   #16
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get a bell. ring it. it works better than a voice because the walker just hears the bell, does not have to think about left or right. Most bikers who pass me who say "On your left" are already next to me, with no warning. I'm not slow on my bike, so those bikers are going very fast. If they come up on a ped, there is no warning whatsoever.

Get over your fear of having a bell on your bike. It works.
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Old 01-17-05, 07:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velogirl
Get over your fear of having a bell on your bike. It works.
Plus I leave it on when I enter the occasional competetive 'non-race' event, and I use it. It drives the other riders crazy.
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Old 01-17-05, 08:01 PM   #18
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I think the worst is when their are two or more talking. Sometimes it takes a loud "oh S**t!" and screeching brakes to do the dance and you still windup coming to a complete stop in a big gear.........................damn it!
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Old 01-17-05, 08:07 PM   #19
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Bells do work and if used properly i.e. not at the last moment and not demandingly are polite.

Also the phrase for passing another cyclist is indeed "On your left" but for a pedestrian "Passing on your left" "Passing you on your left" clears up any confusion. The trouble stems from not realizing that the traditional phrase really is a cycling thing and doesn't indicate to the uninitiated just what it is you're doing. There's no reason at all a pedestrian or novice rider should know what to do or not do when it's encountered.
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Old 01-17-05, 08:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Try riding with an obnoxiously loud set of screeching brakes. Works every time and language doesn't matter.
Great idea! I'll start toeing out all my brake pads.....
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Old 01-17-05, 08:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junioroverlord
I take a clue from bike messengers of old, I make police siren noises, that seems to do the trick. Works with cars too! My favorite part is the looks onlookers give me because that is the last sound they expect someone on a bike to make.
when i was younger i had this red thing on my bike, it was a light, but built in was a police siren instead of a bell this worked great! by the way does anyone have any expirience with one of those air horns?
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Old 01-17-05, 08:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark48310
this whole "on your left" thing seems to work nicely USUALLY as far as other bikers are concerned. but for the general public, it appears to be some sort of secret code for "do a stupid little panicky shuffle/dance with your feet and proceed to your left, directly in path of bike."

three near misses today, one crash. the crash with an apparently mentally-deficient biker. "hello! this doesn't mean 'turn your head and steer bike into oncoming biker.'"
Let me guess... You were riding on a multi-use path.
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Old 01-17-05, 08:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt swindell
when i was younger i had this red thing on my bike, it was a light, but built in was a police siren instead of a bell this worked great! by the way does anyone have any expirience with one of those air horns?
Yes I have used one of those air horns. Most people if I gave them time to react, and was a little ways away they did not think it was a bike, they thought it was a car on a nearby street,then did nothing. If I got a little closer they had a heart attack.

Now I start yelling "Passing" very far away, and keep doing it if needed. It seems to work the best.
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Old 01-17-05, 08:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velogirl
Get over your fear of having a bell on your bike. It works.
are you kiddin me? i have a 100% elementary-school-girlie-bike-sounding bell on my mountain bike...not one of those conservative one-ding incredibells, but the full-blown briiing-a-ringa-ringa-watch-out-we're-late-for-a-holly-hobbie-tea-party bells...no fear here, sister! the dorkier the better is my philosophy... but i can't find one that'll fit the handlebars on my road bike...and i'm too damn lazy to figure out a way to rig it up otherwise...

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Old 01-17-05, 09:00 PM   #25
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I wonder if there is a way to mount the spinner portion of an air-raid horn to your rear hub and hook it up in such a way that all you have to do is pedal backwards in order to sound-off.
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