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Old 10-19-06, 04:15 PM   #1
saharvey2
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"On Your Left" -- Bike Path Courtesy

There has been a discussion in the Yahoo bikepaths group regarding announcing when you are passing someone. I thought this forum would provide a better discussion.

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Originally Posted by kandeforever@yahoo.com
Hello,

I took my first trip on the santa ana river trail yesterday, saturday. I really enjoyed it. I do have a question. I'm new and slow, that is an understatment.. for the most part I stay to the right, but I thought that If you overtook someone you were supose to say 'ON the left " I rode all 26 miles, 13 up and 13 back(today my legs are hating me : ). and only heard it 4 times.. are there times when you are not suppose to say it ??

thanks
kristi
I don't believe there is a common etiquette regarding calling out when one passes. Based upon rides and comments others have made there are distinctively different expectations. Some riders expect you to move to the right when they call out "On Your Left". Other riders are just announcing their presence. They don't expect you to do anything, just maintain your line. And, of course, there is the group than never says anything.

Typically, I do not callout anything when I pass. I have been cutoff several times by walkers and riders who immediately moved left after I called out. If riders are riding single file and maintaining their line, I typically pass wide to the left without saying anything. On the other hand, if riders are weaving or riding several abreast, I will call out either "On Your Left" or "Bike Back" or "Wet Paint" depending upon the situation. My expectation is that riders maintain their line when I call out.

Stuart
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Old 10-19-06, 04:19 PM   #2
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I typically wait so I can pass wide on the left and when it's clear of cars, I'll call, on your left.

On the trails, I just say rider up and call out the side. Or could use the bell.
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Old 10-19-06, 04:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saharvey2
There has been a discussion in the Yahoo bikepaths group regarding announcing when you are passing someone. I thought this forum would provide a better discussion.


Stuart
I feel very strongly that a rider should announce it when riding on roads with traffic as I do not want to have to go out wide left. I also think it wise to announce it on organized rides since you do not know the skill level of the riders. I've yelled at cyclists who have passed me extremely close on the left or right without announcing. It's just rude. You could be the most skilled rider in the world and get taken out by someone who squirrels left not realizing that you are passing. Also, with respect to pedestrians, I always try to announce it as well as reduce my speed. If I hit a pedestrian, I could kill him/her. It just isn't worth it and I'd rather assume they didn't hear me/don't know the rules/etc., than hit them. My two cents...
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Old 10-19-06, 04:23 PM   #4
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More often than not I'm the one being passed :-)

However, when there's lots of room to pass, I normally won't yell anything. If there isn't much room or I'm on the road, I'll always yell it out since I'll be making a close pass. If there are two abreast and they're dawdling and not paying attention, I yell one thing, but I'm definitely thinking another.
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Old 10-19-06, 04:35 PM   #5
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Make your presence known. Make sure to pass safely nonetheless, waiting for a safe opportunity if necessary. Don't assume anything about riders who you do not know.
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Old 10-19-06, 04:38 PM   #6
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For peds on a MUP I slow way down, say "Hi" wait for them to twitch, realizing they've been greeted, then tell them which side I'm passing on if they haven't moved one way or another already. If you call out "on your left" about half of them will step to their left, right in front of you. If you want to ride fast, don't be on a MUP. Better to slow down and let them figure out they're being passed.

On the road I move over enough to pass with enough clearance that they can be all the **** they want and it won't matter. I'm fine being out in the traffic lane to pass and will speed up if I think I need to.

On a club ride I'll skim by and if you look like a squirrel will either put my hand gently on your hip or, more likely, about an inch away, so that if you start to move over on me you'll stop (but I won't push except to keep you on your line).

On a big ride full of squirrely people I'll probably be somewhere else.
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Old 10-19-06, 04:40 PM   #7
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I try to provide notice that I am passing people, but sometimes it just does not happen. However, I have discovered that people are morons and will move to the left when I shout 'On Your Left'. Now I just use a bell.
many people laugh that I have a bell on a $3000.00 road bike, but people understand when they hear it that they are going to be passed and they maintain their line. It works perfectly for MUP's that have rollerbladers, walkers, bicyclists, and animals (cause even dogs understand!)

In reality, I only want people to maintain their own line because if I am passing them, I need to make sure that it is safe. It is not their responsibility to move to the right (unless they are riding on the left side of the trail already).
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Old 10-19-06, 04:45 PM   #8
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"Good morning" or "Passing through" works better for me than "On your left"
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Old 10-19-06, 04:46 PM   #9
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While passing,I give the courtesy shout 99% of the time only for saftey concerns (even have an incredi-bell on my bike). The other 1%, the rider will whine and lecture me on how to pass. So pretty much I flip the bird twice for every 200 riders I pass.

As far as being passed, I get a warning maybe 25% of the time. Prolly the same riders whining about it in a forum.

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 10-19-06 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 10-19-06, 05:06 PM   #10
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As much as possible—I make it a practice to say "on your left" whether it be on the road, bike path (especially) or the trails (with horses i just stop). I also make a concerned effort to say hi, whether giving them a nod or whatever, even more so when people just stare back at you thinking <newbie>.
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Old 10-19-06, 05:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitingduck
If you call out "on your left" about half of them will step to their left, right in front of you.
yeah, exactly right-- i was on the mup today, not going fast at all when there are pedestrians around. the two up in front of me are side-by-side, taking up the whole path-- i yell 'on your left', and they split.

so as i'm going through (slowly), the one on the left jumps in front of me. of course. why do they have to make things so complicated?? : /
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Old 10-19-06, 05:44 PM   #12
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It's like the joggers with headphones on. Screaming at them and they don't hear a thing, but then when you pass them they get startled and ticked off that you didn't warn them. Go figure.
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Old 10-19-06, 07:40 PM   #13
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I find that a combination of this and these seem to work well.
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Old 10-19-06, 08:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extort
I try to provide notice that I am passing people, but sometimes it just does not happen. However, I have discovered that people are morons and will move to the left when I shout 'On Your Left'. Now I just use a bell.
many people laugh that I have a bell on a $3000.00 road bike, but people understand when they hear it that they are going to be passed and they maintain their line. It works perfectly for MUP's that have rollerbladers, walkers, bicyclists, and animals (cause even dogs understand!)

In reality, I only want people to maintain their own line because if I am passing them, I need to make sure that it is safe. It is not their responsibility to move to the right (unless they are riding on the left side of the trail already).
Perfectly stated. I had a bell for years but didn't put it on my new roadie (no longer new...or $3,000).
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Old 10-19-06, 08:40 PM   #15
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I agree, it's a judgement call based on each person's appearance and behavior.
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Old 10-19-06, 08:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SixEye
As much as possible—I make it a practice to say "on your left" whether it be on the road, bike path (especially) or the trails (with horses i just stop). I also make a concerned effort to say hi, whether giving them a nod or whatever, even more so when people just stare back at you thinking <newbie>.
Slight tangent.... Good call on the horses. I don't ride trails, so I don't see them often. But, when I see them on backroads or whatnot I'll stop and let them pass or stop and walk the bike past them. Some horses spook easily and many horse riders are inexperienced. That can be a very unfortunate combination. .....Slight tangent over
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Old 10-19-06, 08:46 PM   #17
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i just turn my cell's speakerphone on and pump the ludacris song "Move B****""



jk i usually dont call. i just gather enough energy, shifts up, and rockets pass
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Old 10-19-06, 09:05 PM   #18
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i cluck. a couple of clucks provides direction and speed (you know-the clucky doppler effect).

then I pass, give them "the look" and kick it up to 400 watts.

the beach path is my gateway to the hills, so I'm on them quite often, except during the summer on the weekends of course.
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Old 10-19-06, 09:15 PM   #19
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These are some good ideas. I typically just ride by but give a wide berth unless they have children or a dog, and then I will slow down and give them an "on your left." I especially liked the "Wet Paint!" idea.

Q
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Old 11-01-06, 12:56 AM   #20
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on weekends i'll ride on a bike path and i've found that yelling out freaks alot of people out so i just take a look at who i'm coming up on-- a bad rollerblader, a wobblylooking kid on a bike, a family, smooth looking roadie, a couple on cruisers and base my decision on who it is and how they're moving. peds are actually the worst, everytime i yell on your left, they jump 3 feet inthe air and about half the time move into my path so i just slow down and go wide around them.
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Old 11-01-06, 01:27 AM   #21
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theres a "bike" path and a "pedestrian" path for a reason. people are stupid. especially the ones that walk 3 across on the bike path. i just want to ride right through them. air horns would especially come in handy.
j/k.

if theres a slow rider in all over the lane i yell "on your left" but if the rider is going at nearly the same speed and im passing, i just go, unless theres a need to make my presence known.
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Old 11-01-06, 08:44 AM   #22
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I have found that when I say "On your left" they jump out to the left in front of me (as posted above). So after saying "On your left", I pass them on the right.

Where I live, we have separate bike paths and sidewalks. Why do the ped's use the bike paths when it's illegal for cyclists to use the sidewalks?
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Old 11-01-06, 08:55 AM   #23
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My worst crash ever was on the bike path near Marina Del Rey. If you are riding on these things when they are crowded you should go slow and assume everyone is an oblivious idiot. If I do find myself on the "Death Path" I will say "Passing" and wait for the reaction.
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Old 11-01-06, 09:38 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big john
My worst crash ever was on the bike path near Marina Del Rey. If you are riding on these things when they are crowded you should go slow and assume everyone is an oblivious idiot. If I do find myself on the "Death Path" I will say "Passing" and wait for the reaction.
Best advice. I usually slow down when I'm not sure if the person heard me or not. It saved me from a bad fall last week when I called my pass and noticed the rollerblader tuck in behind the pedestrian (supposedly to wait for me). At the last moment, she darted in front of me to pass the ped and I was squeezed next to her. Since I was only going about 5 mph for the cautious pass, I maneuvered enough to stay on the path and she went down instead of me. After turning around I noticed the earphones on her head and said "that's probably why you didn't hear me" to which she only replied "don't worry, I'm ok". I'm trying to find better routes on actual streets. I pick up too many thorns on the MUP anyway.
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Old 11-01-06, 09:47 AM   #25
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I'd say 99 out of 100 times I'm passing someone on a lonely road, no matter what I say or do, no matter how early I call out, I'll startle them.

I've taken to fake sneezing about 50' behind people, or snorting...some naturally occuring 'guy' sound that isn't as obtrusive as actually 'talking' to someone.

What bell does everybody use? I had an IncrediBell on my MTB, but after realizing it got 0 attention from anybody, I just took it off.

I'm thinking of using a coaches' whistle like Lawrence Fishbourne in Quicksilver.
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