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.
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)
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?
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.)
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.
2014 Specialized RoubaixOOOOOO 2003 Interloc ImpalaOOOOOO 2007 ParkPre Image C6 (RIP)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
There's indecision when you aint got nothin left
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.
Last edited by d.vader123; 05-20-13 at 04:03 PM.
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 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.)
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.)
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.
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.
2008 Specialized Roubaix, CF, Ultegra Triple Started 6/2010 at 64 (impelled by lethargy, bad knees, 247#), 4,700 mi in 1st 7 mo! But 4-5K/year since.