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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-19-13, 07:01 PM   #26
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Because for many people hearing "on your left/right" causes them to veer left (or right) and therefore causes the exact situation you were trying to avoid.
I just say "hello".
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Old 05-19-13, 07:35 PM   #27
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Not your fault she changed lines without looking.
This.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:38 PM   #28
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I just say "hello".
This is what I do in situations like that.

Pull up, announce yourself, and move on. BTW, many of the slowest riders are also the most clueless. When you're near them, you need to adjust your style accordingly.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:58 PM   #29
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I have nothing helpful to add, but it does make me happy to live near the Santa Cruz mountains. There are so many nice roads to ride that don't have traffic (car or bicycle), that I can only think of a few times where I had to slow down more than a little to pass someone, and when I do I just use the road.
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Old 05-19-13, 09:32 PM   #30
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I systematically pass on the left. One thing take screws every kind of trick to make people notice you is music. I see more and more people riding with earphone and it's incredibly dangerous. Last time I yelled at someone who was just swirving slowly left and right unpredictably, so I shouted at him, only to notice he had some f***ing earphone and didn't understand anything. That s**t really pisses me off. (I ended up passing him from the grass... just to be REALLY safe)
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Old 05-20-13, 05:54 AM   #31
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Are you sure you just didn't want to tell us that even after close to three hours of hard riding you could still crush a woman?
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Old 05-20-13, 07:17 AM   #32
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Are you sure you just didn't want to tell us that even after close to three hours of hard riding you could still crush a woman?
No, I don't need to chest-thump about crushing women on the road. I've got a powermeter and it tells me pretty much exactly how good I am without deluding myself.

I'm also usually in the top 5% of bike splits overall in the triathlons I race (was 2nd age group in my last one) so I know I'm at least decent. (Still not fast enough to not get shelled on the "A" ride in town though, although with the local pros who show up, that's not surprising.)
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Old 05-20-13, 07:51 AM   #33
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A few years ago I passed a couple out for a ride. 8' shoulders on this particular road and I passed her uphill so speeds were low. I passed her silently and she yelled after me "Say 'on your left!'". Her partner was 50' ahead, so as i came up on him, I yelled "On your left!". No reaction, then as i passed i saw he had ear buds in.

This weekend's ride I passed and was passed several times. Each time silently, with a small wave to acknowledge each other.

I will call out something if I'm riding in a place where I'm not necessarily expected...the hike and bike trail in town is a good example. But many of the roads I ride have plenty of cyclist and everyone should expect to be overtaken every now and then.
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Old 05-20-13, 08:00 AM   #34
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Because for many people hearing "on your left/right" causes them to veer left (or right) and therefore causes the exact situation you were trying to avoid.

True.
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Old 05-20-13, 08:38 AM   #35
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Old 05-20-13, 09:32 AM   #36
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Around here, this time of year, it's downright dangerous to ride in the right side of the bike lane. Too much gravel, glass, goatheads, rocks, and other debris from the winter (still). Half the time you even need to ride ON the white line or even in the road.
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Old 05-20-13, 10:01 AM   #37
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I passed a rider in the middle of a two lane road on the double yellow as I was in the midst of an interval and didn't have the desire to talk.
Dude flipped the f out. I slowed down and after gathering my breath asked him what his problem was. He continued his tirade on and on. Finally after telling him where I intended to insert my shoe I continued on with my intervals.

There are times when the other rider has a chip the size of a boulder on his or her shoulder.
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Old 05-20-13, 10:38 AM   #38
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OP here - just as an aside, on this very same ride that I posted about, I recall passing at least 5 separate paired rider groups (must have been a group ride of sorts, loosely spaced out) on a rolling flat 10 mile stretch, where I can get 24+mph on the flats and downhills and still hold 20+ on the roller ups. Fortunately this wasn't a busy road, but because the paired riders were taking up both lane and shoulder, I had to pass in the left (oncoming) lane for most of those paired riders.

Again, I think you just have to adjust for the levels of the other riders there. I'm not a super speedster, but I'm fast enough that most recreational riders won't expect someone coming at my speed from the rear on a bicycle - they usually expect more time to hear or become aware of an approaching rider, so I have to adjust for that.

I don't have this sort of problem with racing roadies though - most of the guys in team kit out here adjust really well to being passed or being passed, no matter if they're fast or slow. It's the recreational riders that are jittery. If you pass them with the near elbow-to-elbow space that roadies routinely ride side by side with, they'd give you a verbal beating for getting all up in their space, whereas the roadie would just nod in acknowledgment of your straight line handling skills even if you're nearly brushing elbows.
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Old 05-20-13, 10:50 AM   #39
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Not your fault she changed lines without looking. I don't normally call out prior to a pass because more often than not it startles the other rider and they change lines while looking back usually to the left, the side I am passing on.
I totally agree. Her fault. She failed to hold her line. And her fault. She failed to be aware of the circumstances around her.
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Old 05-20-13, 11:21 AM   #40
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I try to give everyone enough room and when possible with enough distance that I'm passing. I did enounter two joggers on the local path that when I said "passing on the left"! they moved to the left! I didnt feel they did it with malice, just not very smart. I had to pass on the right and I told them, Use Your other Left next time.
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Old 05-20-13, 11:30 AM   #41
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On centuries where I see lots of riders, I usually call out passes on the left. On normal training rides, I just try and get into the lane and pass without calling out. If I am stuck behind someone and cant get in the lane AND there is room on their right, I will ask if I can get by. (or just wait till I can get in the lane)
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Old 05-20-13, 02:01 PM   #42
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Because for many people hearing "on your left/right" causes them to veer left (or right) and therefore causes the exact situation you were trying to avoid.
I always read this, but I have never seen it happen.
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Old 05-20-13, 02:04 PM   #43
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calling out "passing on your right" or "passing on your left" before you reach them is the best way.

who knows, maybe she was trying to take the lane for safety.
Just blowing by someone on the inside, I'd be pissed too.
Had to re-read the OP to be sure I didn't skip that part. Thanks OP for making the case for the announcement as SOP
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Old 05-20-13, 02:59 PM   #44
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I always read this, but I have never seen it happen.
http://www.arlnow.com/2012/06/11/wom...it-by-cyclist/

Basically, someone died because yelling confused the pedestrian. However, the way I see it is that if you can't stop in time then you are riding way too fast.

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Old 05-20-13, 03:37 PM   #45
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However, the way I see it is that if you can't stop in time then you are riding way too fast.
This.

There is no excuse for crashes like this. Nor is there any excuse for running into peds, dogs, kids, or other cyclists when you can see the threat with enough time to react -- it's extremely rare to not have that much warning. People should be aware. But you have to be totally clueless to think you can ride like those you encounter have a clue.

The OP should have called out as a courtesy. But he obviously was ready to deal with the swerve and the exit ramp gave plenty of room even if she came up it. I almost never pass on the right but if I understand his situation properly, I would have in that case.

I definitely wouldn't have felt bad about making someone mad. If you're gumming up the route, it's not reasonable to expect people to just sit and wait while you lollygag unaware that they're even there. And yes, that same logic applies when I'm on the bike and someone is behind me in a car.
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Old 05-20-13, 03:58 PM   #46
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This.

There is no excuse for crashes like this. Nor is there any excuse for running into peds, dogs, kids, or other cyclists when you can see the threat with enough time to react -- it's extremely rare to not have that much warning. People should be aware. But you have to be totally clueless to think you can ride like those you encounter have a clue.

The OP should have called out as a courtesy. But he obviously was ready to deal with the swerve and the exit ramp gave plenty of room even if she came up it. I almost never pass on the right but if I understand his situation properly, I would have in that case.

I definitely wouldn't have felt bad about making someone mad. If you're gumming up the route, it's not reasonable to expect people to just sit and wait while you lollygag unaware that they're even there. And yes, that same logic applies when I'm on the bike and someone is behind me in a car.
I hate it when people gum up my route.
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Old 05-20-13, 05:26 PM   #47
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This.

There is no excuse for crashes like this. Nor is there any excuse for running into peds, dogs, kids, or other cyclists when you can see the threat with enough time to react -- it's extremely rare to not have that much warning. People should be aware. But you have to be totally clueless to think you can ride like those you encounter have a clue.

The OP should have called out as a courtesy. But he obviously was ready to deal with the swerve and the exit ramp gave plenty of room even if she came up it. I almost never pass on the right but if I understand his situation properly, I would have in that case.

I definitely wouldn't have felt bad about making someone mad. If you're gumming up the route, it's not reasonable to expect people to just sit and wait while you lollygag unaware that they're even there. And yes, that same logic applies when I'm on the bike and someone is behind me in a car.
Sorry, but I think a very significant % of crashes with peds, dogs, other cyclists, etc., are specifically in situations where the rider was doing something reasonable and there simply wasn't enough time to react. If a dog (or deer in my area) jumps in front of your bike, you have almost no chance. Same with kids, and same with cyclists who suddenly swerve into your path. Doesn't necessarily mean you're doing something risky, and while it's not frequent, it happens enough when accidents do occur that I don't think it's fair to assume the cyclist is always at fault.

I did a triathlon with a steep hill in the middle of it last year, and since we were launched in waves from the swim start, I had to pass hordes of slower cyclists gumming up the road (which was not closed to traffic as well).

You wouldn't believe the number of people who veered unintentionally right into my path when I clearly and repeatedly yelled "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT! COMING UP ON YOUR LEFT!" I yelled that pretty much the entire way up this climb, and at least 3 cyclists (who were struggling pretty hard on the climb) veered LEFT right into my path, and I had to literally do emergency swerves to avoid the crash by inches. (Fortunately we were going slower on the climb.) Bad things do happen to responsible cyclists.

I also consider myself a really safe, defensive cyclist. If I feel there's any risk of crash or contact on a training ride, I'll slow down a LOT. But as in the situation I described with the much slower girl on the climb, it's sometimes better to just hammer past as fast as possible (but next time I won't do it on the right!) As per my race experience, you greatly increase the chance of getting crashed when you come up slow on a rider struggling to crest the hill, and thus often has dicey steering as a result (I was going over 2x her speed, but still <15mph.)
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Old 05-20-13, 05:30 PM   #48
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This.

There is no excuse for crashes like this. Nor is there any excuse for running into peds, dogs, kids, or other cyclists when you can see the threat with enough time to react -- it's extremely rare to not have that much warning. People should be aware. But you have to be totally clueless to think you can ride like those you encounter have a clue.

The OP should have called out as a courtesy. But he obviously was ready to deal with the swerve and the exit ramp gave plenty of room even if she came up it. I almost never pass on the right but if I understand his situation properly, I would have in that case.

I definitely wouldn't have felt bad about making someone mad. If you're gumming up the route, it's not reasonable to expect people to just sit and wait while you lollygag unaware that they're even there. And yes, that same logic applies when I'm on the bike and someone is behind me in a car.
In the girls' defense, she really wasn't gumming up the route. The average speed for recreational riders cresting this portion of the hill she was on is literally walking speed - no faster than 6mph, and probably closer to 4mph. Most riders are barely making it up the hill.

I was definitely the outlier in terms of speed on this hill. As said, I hammer this hill intentionally to get past the exit. And even though we joke about it on these forums all the time, I literally do dial it up to 400 watts on this climb for peak power (the avg for the entire miniclimb comes out closer to 300, but I def hit 400 peak and 350+ for a lot of it - it's a hard effort.)
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Old 05-20-13, 05:44 PM   #49
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..
You wouldn't believe the number of people who veered unintentionally right into my path when I clearly and repeatedly yelled "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT! COMING UP ON YOUR LEFT!"...
Actually, I probably would.

With drivers, my motto has always been to ride like everyone is actively trying to kill you, but not take it personally.

With dogs, peds, other cyclists, the motto is to ride like they're all trying to kill themselves and to not be a part of it.

The one thing you can really count on is for people to occasionally do the craziest thing possible.
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Old 05-20-13, 05:57 PM   #50
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...
One thing to keep in mind is "positive instruction". Never yell "don't go left" - always yell "go straight" or "go right", or what you actually want people to do. Never tell them what not to do. If you're training someone and you want to correct something they're doing poorly you show them how to do it, guide them until they do it right. Never discuss or divert their attention towards the wrong way. Similarly, you'd never yell "on your left" - always yell "keep right" or "passing". The response to "on your left" is "my left, what?" because it's not something that directly maps to action. It requires thought, so has a multi-second delay, and is prone to error if rushed. If they think immediate reaction is required and don't have time to think, all that's actionable is "left" and they will step out left. This is why positive instruction is more effective.
Interesting. And a good point, I think. I do a lot of group (CRW) rides west of Boston. They encourage saying "on your left." But the addition of "I am passing" to "on your left" is clearly better. It is less ambiguous and, I think, it could be broken into "I am passing" from maybe 6 bike lengths back (I'm thinking out loud here) and then "on the left" when I get closer.
Note: I have a loud voice, I don't whiz by anybody (except on downhills). As I think about it, I do not pass many riders except on group rides, and even then it's mostly only when riding with the group that's mostly retired riders (i.e., old riders, like me). On group rides I do "pass" (actually "pull up even with") on the right so I can talk to the person using my left (an only working) ear. But I am very, very cautious about doing that because it definitely tends to freak people out. After they get to know me, it's different - they pick up the pace whenever they see me approaching in the mirror so they won't be forced to talk to me. But that's another story...
I also often say "Cyclist passing" to pedestrians and gardeners. I've had a lot of people startled when they are passed - I am big and my bike is silent. Going by anyone who thinks they are alone at 15 MPH can easily be startling. Trouble is, it's sort of hard to avoid startling them, whether you call out or not.
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