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  1. #1
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    Got yelled at today and deserved it (sort of, at least)

    Yup, got yelled at by a random rider today, and yes I deserved it.

    Was out my my usual 3hr training ride, and cranking along, things were going fine. I was working pretty hard trying to keep my power up, and getting more than a bit tired at the last hour, but holding steady.

    More than a few times, had to slow for other slower riders who are hugging the left side of the shoulder so you can't pass on the left if there's any traffic on the road. Most of the time I can get by no problem, but at least twice, had to slow to literally 50% of speed to wait for cars to pass before making the left-pass, and this is out of courtesy as the right shoulder was really big on these sections (like 4 cyclists side by side could fit) but I know from experience that people tend to yell if you pass fast on the right even with all that space.

    Came on the final mini-climb - an short, approx 300m incline of about 8-10% but which has a busy right sided freeway exit smack at the top of it. Because of that freeway exit, I try to hammer this climb and get up and over it ASAP - there are always cars waiting for you to get by, and some of them are impatient. Today there happened to be another rider on this same miniclimb, near the top, but I was probably going over 2x her speed as I approached. Again, she was totally hugging the left, and since the exit lane was to the right, I figured I'd make the pass on the right (lots of cars on the left 40mph) right when I hit the exit ramp (using the exit ramp as an extra-large shoulder of sorts.)

    Unfortunately, and not unexpectedly, she started going right at the same time as my pass, and even though I felt there was a lot of room (we weren't close to contact and she was going maybe 6mph), I def startled her, and she gave me the "WTF are you doing!?!" I sheepishly waved and said "SORRY MY BAD!!" twice, but Im' pretty sure she's still fuming now.

    So I def deserved that one, but at the same time, I do wish riders who aren't on the speedier side shouldn't hug the left aspect of the shoulder or bike lane, forcing anyone to pass way into traffic, when there's ample room on the right. Unfortunately, riding on the left does seem to be the norm, and I'm def not passing on the right anymore, no matter how clear that pass on the right looks.

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    Meh, if people are completely in my way and being uncourteous about it, I'll pass however I can. I wouldn't worry about it, but maybe shout something about passing on the right, or just passing, and MAYBE they will just move to the right themselves to give you some room.

  3. #3
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    I did that to a girl on a cruiser bike. She was stopped at a light that turned green as I was approaching. There were cars on both sides of the bike lane so I had to pass right and fairly close (but not very fast.) I spooked her pretty good, she audibly gasped twice. I felt kind of bad.

    Yesterday I had a close call on the bike path. I tried squeeze in front of a couple on beach cruisers. I ran out of room and was committed by that point so I hit the edge of a rising curb. I thought I was gonna go down but just a "bang, bang" as my wheels smacked the curb. Somehow there was absolutely no damage to the bike, rims or tires.

  4. #4
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    What we got here..... is a failure to communicate.

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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.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
    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.
    This. I dont understand people who dont yell "on your left" or "on your right". I do it 1. to not startle the person when I fly by them. and 2. to keep them from veering into my line while Im trying to pass them and causing a wreck.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, that was definitely one of those, "you are damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of situations.

    calling out "passing on your right" or "passing on your left" before you reach them is the best way.
    I agree. The rider yelled at you because you startled her. The next time, just give the rider ample warning that you will be passing on the right. And don't even consider it unless there is plenty of space to do it safely.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post

    More than a few times, had to slow for other slower riders who are hugging the left side of the shoulder so you can't pass on the left if there's any traffic on the road. Most of the time I can get by no problem, but at least twice, had to slow to literally 50% of speed to wait for cars to pass before making the left-pass, and this is out of courtesy as the right shoulder was really big on these sections (like 4 cyclists side by side could fit) but I know from experience that people tend to yell if you pass fast on the right even with all that space.

    Came on the final mini-climb - an short, approx 300m incline of about 8-10% but which has a busy right sided freeway exit smack at the top of it. Because of that freeway exit, I try to hammer this climb and get up and over it ASAP - there are always cars waiting for you to get by, and some of them are impatient. Today there happened to be another rider on this same miniclimb, near the top, but I was probably going over 2x her speed as I approached. Again, she was totally hugging the left, and since the exit lane was to the right, I figured I'd make the pass on the right (lots of cars on the left 40mph) right when I hit the exit ramp (using the exit ramp as an extra-large shoulder of sorts.)

    Unfortunately, and not unexpectedly, she started going right at the same time as my pass, and even though I felt there was a lot of room (we weren't close to contact and she was going maybe 6mph), I def startled her, and she gave me the "WTF are you doing!?!" I sheepishly waved and said "SORRY MY BAD!!" twice, but Im' pretty sure she's still fuming now.

    So I def deserved that one, but at the same time, I do wish riders who aren't on the speedier side shouldn't hug the left aspect of the shoulder or bike lane, forcing anyone to pass way into traffic, when there's ample room on the right. Unfortunately, riding on the left does seem to be the norm, and I'm def not passing on the right anymore, no matter how clear that pass on the right looks.
    Hi,

    I'm lost. You ride on the right on the roads, Yes ?

    So cycle lanes and shoulders should be the same ?

    Why would people typically ride on the left on bikes
    if you typically pass an oncoming rider on the right ?

    In the UK we ride on the left and generally never
    overtake a bike on the left unless its clearly already
    moving to a right lane or turning right.

    Our bike lanes are such that only one bike fits, and
    just like overtaking parked cars in the bike line, if
    you take a slow and gradual line into the traffic,
    the same line a car would, but you don't need to,
    but should, as drivers understand your intentions
    far better if your movements on the road mirror
    what they would do.

    If you pull out miles before you really need to, to overtake
    another cyclist, you are signalling your intentions at the
    same sort of distance that makes sense to a car driver.

    By the time you get to the cyclist you should never have
    to slow down as your already in a position to overtake.
    Most drivers are more than fine with this. Bad drivers
    usually not, they don't know that they are bad drivers.

    rgds, sreten.

    Still passing a cyclist riding none handed he swerved
    into me and I clipped his bars, it ended badly for him.

    He wasn't hurt but pathetically tried to blame me for
    not giving him enough room. Whilst basically wrong
    he was to a degree right - I should of given him more
    room than my generous normal - but that's experience.
    Last edited by sreten; 05-19-13 at 04:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Hi,

    I'm lost. You ride on the right on the roads, Yes ?

    So cycle lanes and shoulders should be the same ?

    Why would people typically ride on the left on bikes
    if you typically pass an oncoming rider on the left ?

    rgds, sreten.
    Because there's often sand and leaves and crap further over -- the left side of the shoulder is where I cruise solo. It's out of the way of cars, since I'm in the shoulder, it's clear of crap, and if other cyclists want to pass me they can do so in the lane.

    And as someone who's a serious cyclist but not a good hill climber, I'd have been completely ****ing startled by someone doing that and fairly pissed off -- that intersection sounds like it sucks, and she wanted to get through it as quickly and as car-avoiding as possible just like you did.

  10. #10
    My Bad! Makel's Avatar
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    seriously
    Quote Originally Posted by coasting
    hello kitty is evil. i was thrown out of the shop for trying to take a pic. evil big corporate strong arm tactics. kitty is dead to me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc0108 View Post
    This. I dont understand people who dont yell "on your left" or "on your right". I do it 1. to not startle the person when I fly by them. and 2. to keep them from veering into my line while Im trying to pass them and causing a wreck.
    Unfortunately, upon hearing an "on your left", about 50% of people look over their shoulder and swerve left.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc0108 View Post
    This. I dont understand people who dont yell "on your left" or "on your right". I do it 1. to not startle the person when I fly by them. and 2. to keep them from veering into my line while Im trying to pass them and causing a wreck.
    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.
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  13. #13
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    Don't any of you think ahead enough to give people time to react? You have the advantage of seeing the cyclist ahead of you, have time to make decisions and give yourself time to react.
    Man, it's not rocket science.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
    Because there's often sand and leaves and crap further over -- the left side of the shoulder is where I cruise solo. It's out of the way of cars, since I'm in the shoulder, it's clear of crap, and if other cyclists want to pass me they can do so in the lane.
    Hi,

    Sounds fair enough but undertaking is still a bad idea. You
    should pull out into the traffic lane in good time to overtake.

    rgds, sreten.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
    Don't any of you think ahead enough to give people time to react? You have the advantage of seeing the cyclist ahead of you, have time to make decisions and give yourself time to react.
    Man, it's not rocket science.
    Well, let's be a bit more generous, but hey guys, a bell is a wonderful thing. "Ding, On your left" and then you go by. Yes bells seem super-dorky sometimes, but they really are quite wonderful.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoninIN View Post
    Yes bells seem super-dorky sometimes
    I concur

    Quote Originally Posted by DoninIN View Post
    but they really are quite wonderful.
    I disagree

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoninIN View Post
    Well, let's be a bit more generous, but hey guys, a bell is a wonderful thing. "Ding, On your left" and then you go by. Yes bells seem super-dorky sometimes, but they really are quite wonderful.
    OP here. Some good commments above, all of which I have def considered in the past:

    - Calling "on your left!" - Only works part of the time. I'm not a stud biker, but I'm typically going fast enough (21+mph on flats) that there's really no time to shout on your left with a realistic chance of being heard. Trust me, I've tried it. Today was no different - I was coming up so fast, and with so much car noise on the left, there was no way she would have heard me.

    - Calling "on your RIGHT" is even worse. I myself haven't done it, but I've heard of people doing it and have had people (expectedly) swerve right into them on the right.

    - The BELL is actually the best solution, and I actually have one on my road bike. My TT/triathlon bike, though, will absolutely NOT be getting a bell. (It's my serious training bike as the powermeter is on the rear wheel of that bike as well.)

    - And seeing people ahead and reacting early doesn't do much if they can't hear you, or there are too many cars on the left to make the pass without slowing. I've been riding long enough in traffic that I know what's safe and what's not, and I'm not afraid to take the lane if needed, but often times, that's not the best solution.

    Bottom line, seriously reconsider if you're going to attempt passing right - especially for riders much slower than you who will get easily startled. It can really suck on a busy day but it's worth avoiding any confusion on the roads. And yes, it means if you're hauling along, you'll likely get stuck behind some slowster at some point. (I also got stuck today behind a 65 yr (at least) old lady in full racing kit whom I got stuck behind at a light, and got stuck there for awhile waiting for a very long stream of fast-moving cars to open up the lane for me to pass.)

  18. #18
    Oil it! sfrider's Avatar
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    A bell works very well. Unfortunately, finding one that fits modern road stems is virtually impossible. I attached one to the right side of the stem by cutting off the original silly band it came with, then drilling a couple of holes in the mount and attached it with a cable tie. It may look stupid (actually it's not all that obvious, being all black on black) or impinge on some roadies' sensibilities, but the space it creates easily makes up for any perceived stupidity - many times over.

  19. #19
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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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.

  20. #20
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    I agree with letting the riders now you are behind them by saying "on your left" but this can also backfire. Some cyclist really don't pay attention to what is going on behind them. I have a deep voice and almost every ride I go on I pass someone and scare the heck out of them when I say "on your left" as someone said above, they usually get startled, look back really quickly and start to swerve.

  21. #21
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    You guys who have had good experience with bells are lucky... I ended up removing mine, I think of the hundreds of times I have used it, both road and MTB, ONE person heard, or registered it as something they should maybe check out. This is in the Bay Area. in Santa Barbara, you can be fined if you don't have a bell for MTBing, so maybe those folks are more accustomed or something. if it were me and I heard a bell behind me I know I would expect to be overtaken.

  22. #22
    Oil it! sfrider's Avatar
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    It's probably 5x as quick to get across the eastern side of Golden Gate bridge with a bell compared to without... Also helps immensely on the crawl through Sausalito - pedestrians get back on the sidewalk and non-roadies try to ride in a straight line long enough to get by. Once north of Sausalito there's not much use for one. And the western side of the bridge, when open, doesn't ever need it either. I think the one I have is an Incredibell; it's pretty loud (which it has to be due to traffic noise) but easily modulated and kept quiet if desired.

    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.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
    OP here. Some good commments above, all of which I have def considered in the past:

    - Calling "on your left!" - Only works part of the time. I'm not a stud biker, but I'm typically going fast enough (21+mph on flats) that there's really no time to shout on your left with a realistic chance of being heard. Trust me, I've tried it. Today was no different - I was coming up so fast, and with so much car noise on the left, there was no way she would have heard me.

    - Calling "on your RIGHT" is even worse. I myself haven't done it, but I've heard of people doing it and have had people (expectedly) swerve right into them on the right.

    - The BELL is actually the best solution, and I actually have one on my road bike. My TT/triathlon bike, though, will absolutely NOT be getting a bell. (It's my serious training bike as the powermeter is on the rear wheel of that bike as well.)

    - And seeing people ahead and reacting early doesn't do much if they can't hear you, or there are too many cars on the left to make the pass without slowing. I've been riding long enough in traffic that I know what's safe and what's not, and I'm not afraid to take the lane if needed, but often times, that's not the best solution.

    Bottom line, seriously reconsider if you're going to attempt passing right - especially for riders much slower than you who will get easily startled. It can really suck on a busy day but it's worth avoiding any confusion on the roads. And yes, it means if you're hauling along, you'll likely get stuck behind some slowster at some point. (I also got stuck today behind a 65 yr (at least) old lady in full racing kit whom I got stuck behind at a light, and got stuck there for awhile waiting for a very long stream of fast-moving cars to open up the lane for me to pass.)
    The bell is the best solution. It's not perfect, but it's darn better than yelling "ON YOUR LEFT/RIGHT!"

    Also, it's legally required in many states. Many of us here are serious when it comes to riding with a helmet. We're take wearing a helmet so seriously that we often judge those who ride without one. The funny thing is that we should be angry at cyclists who ride without a bell, lights, reflectors, and mirrors. Those equipment pieces prevent accidents while a helmet protects your head after you get into one.

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    Yet another reason to use a mirror ... I've never been startled. I would never pass a cyclist on the right on the road, but that's me. I can wait a few minutes, if necessary, for a safe time to pass. Just shifting gears can serve as a "bell" (back and forth) ... I do that frequently to alert cyclists I'm approaching.

  25. #25
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Hi,

    Sounds fair enough but undertaking is still a bad idea. You
    should pull out into the traffic lane in good time to overtake.

    rgds, sreten.
    Yes, we're saying the same thing -- by "in the lane" I meant in the car lane, not in the shoulder -- I'm on the shoulder since it's large enough to be safe for at least one cyclist to ride there and let cars pass at will, but any bike that wants to pass me is going to need to go into the traffic lane. If they call out "on your left", since I know what I'm doing, I'll hold my line and not swerve in either direction.

    Also, re: bells -- I've found on MUPs and other locations crowded-with-slow-riders, which I avoid when riding to go fast but use while commuting/running errands, if I don't have a bell, yelling out "ding ding" will often have the desired effect, even if it sounds stupid.

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