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"Passing on your left" vs. ringing a bell

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"Passing on your left" vs. ringing a bell

Old 04-29-13, 01:34 PM
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GeraldF
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"Passing on your left" vs. ringing a bell

Just curious, what does everyone think is the preferred etiquette for passing slower bikers, walkers, joggers, etc on Multi-Use-Paths (MUPs)?

1. "Passing on your left"
2. Ringing a bell
3. No audible warning, but slowing down significantly and giving plenty of space while passing
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Old 04-29-13, 01:40 PM
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Bell on my commuter bike, clicking sound with my tongue on my road bike.
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Old 04-29-13, 01:53 PM
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On your left! usually works. If they have earbuds, just gotta wait until they look behind them.
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Old 04-29-13, 02:01 PM
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A lot probably depends on your local conventions. Around here everyone - cyclists, skateboarders, inline skaters, etc - ALL use "on your left".

Slowing down and giving lots of space should be a given, especially around kids/animals/oblivious dweebs with earbuds.
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Old 04-29-13, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
Around here everyone - cyclists, skateboarders, inline skaters, etc - ALL use "on your left".

Slowing down and giving lots of space should be a given, especially around kids/animals/oblivious dweebs with earbuds.
Yes and yes. Here, too.

Better to talk to people than to make noise at them. Some of them won't hear, either way.
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Old 04-29-13, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
if they have earbuds
airzound!
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Old 04-29-13, 02:31 PM
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I just slow down and say 'hi'. Or 'excuse me'. It works fine.
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Old 04-29-13, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
airzound!
Excellent!
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Old 04-29-13, 02:42 PM
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I usually slow down and call "Excuse me please" which works most of the time. If I can see enough space on the path for me to pass a pedestrian without alarming them then I just pass them slowly.

I did call passing right to one person who hadnt heard me which was ok as he heard me then.


A lot of the time just the sound of me changing gear is enough for them to hear me coming.
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Old 04-29-13, 04:09 PM
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I don't know if it's of any value, but when someone says "On your left." I let them know I heard them by saying "You're clear." FWIW.
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Old 04-29-13, 04:15 PM
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Pass by fast enough so that you have already passed them before they realize someone is there.

I've had more than too many near misses caused by the famous "On your left" with recreational type cyclists as they either
1. Think I'm asking them to move to the left or
2. They just lose control

As far as "road cyclists" with road bike, cycling shorts, helmet who get mad when I don't announce myself, be aware of what's going on around you and learn how to hold your line
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Old 04-29-13, 04:22 PM
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Bell. A loud one.

Several times when I didn't have a bell and used 'on yer left' the ped actually moved to the left right into my path. People are off in their own worlds texting,Tweeting,checking FB,playing games,listening to music. When you call out they hear the word LEFT and subconsciously move that way.
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Old 04-29-13, 05:20 PM
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I prefer my voice over a bell. Because, If far enough back, I can shout, so the dog owner is prepared for me to go by, so the dog and the owner won't be alarmed.
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Old 04-29-13, 06:05 PM
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"On your left" makes people here MOVE left, so I don't use that. Calling out, "Comin' around!" works a lot better. Headphone wearers who block out the world get a "*YO*!" from about four feet, in my best drill sergeant voice. I've been thinking about a bell, also...but I'm tempted by the Airzound!
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Old 04-29-13, 06:14 PM
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3. No audible warning, but slowing down significantly and giving plenty of space while passing

Most of the areas I ride which require passing are so noisy due to adjacent car traffic that I have to shout at the top of my lungs, and often several times, if I am to give an audible warning. I flat don't enjoy that, and I believe it adds an air of anger and aggression to the interaction.

Added to that, there's a significant percentage (I'd say at least 30) that will result in the rider moving to the left into my path. Many of the others will look over their shoulder and either get unstable because of that, or jerk so reckessly to the right that they risk crashing. They just get too nervous for their riding skills. If there's any safety advantage to shouting, it is greatly reduced by these factors.

I've installed and tried several different versions of bells, etc. and they are worthless for my area.

So, I pass on a bike the same way I pass on a car - safely. I slow down to just a little faster than the person I'm passing, wait for a safe place, and when I actually make the pass, accelerate a bit to get around quickly. I believe, all in all, this is safer and more courteous than yelling.

If they're actually riding in my lane or taking up the whole path/trail and I can't pass by going into the traffic lane, well then, there's no alternative to shouting as loudly and as often as necessary to get their attention to pass safely. I slow down and wait patiently in these cases.

I never feel I have more right to any bike path than any other user, whether they be walking a dog, walking and talking to their friend, listening to ear buds, out on a family excursion with little kids..... whatever. They have no obligation to walk like little soldiers in single file, perfectly controlled. I have the obligation to ride at a safe speed and pass safely and courteously.
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Old 04-29-13, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rubato View Post
I don't know if it's of any value, but when someone says "On your left." I let them know I heard them by saying "You're clear." FWIW.
I appreciate it when people respond. A lot of folks around here say "thank you" or they give me a waive. It's nice to know that they know I'm there.

I usually use either an "on your left" or a "passing in your left." A few people waiver a bit if they get startled, but a vast majority do not. I usually give my signal well enough in advance that if there is a communication error (e.g. they go left instead of right), I can stop.
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Old 04-29-13, 07:26 PM
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I'm a big fan of slowing down and saying "Good Morning," or whatever the appropriate greeting is for pedestrians. Bikes I just pass when there's enough space. Here in Chicago, the "Lakefront Lance" has recently come out of hibernation, weaving in and out of foot traffic using his mating call of "ON YER LEFT!!!"

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Old 04-29-13, 07:37 PM
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I like the genteel idea of a bell, and I have them on most of my bikes. But they don't work very well for me. Around here there are lots of oldsters (high frequency hearing loss) and lots of iPods (oblivious to everything). And, as others have noted, "on your left" often results in unwanted reactions. So mostly I just give as much room as possible.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:00 PM
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I have a nice little bell on all my commuting bikes and use it with some frequency but judiciously and somewhat selectively. I also sometimes say, "On your left!" or, if appropriate, "On your right!". Or "Coming by!" Or "Hey!" Or even "Hey, A--hole!" Or I don't say anything and slip right by. But I pretty consistently slow down when passing, wait for a clear pass and am especially cautious around kids and dogs on and off the leash.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:20 PM
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It is a fatal, selfish flaw for bicyclists to be expecting people to move out of the way while tooling down a MUP on a bike.

Bicyclists, yield to peds and equestrian traffic.

Get a bell, ring it, be polite, and slow down if they aren't hearing you. A little holler here and there is okay, but - never rude, folks.

NEVER rude to the peds on a MUP.

Poor form very poor form, even if you think there should be some sort of marching orders.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:26 PM
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I have a lot more positive results with my bell. Everyone seems to understand the reason for the sound of the ring. It never hurts to say good morning, on the way by.
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Old 04-29-13, 11:42 PM
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I prefer silence but...a nice bell tone "ding-ding" from my brass Incredibell Duet is not too annoying on paths and country lanes. Yelling at people all day is annoying to me and mostly not effective thanks to ear buds worn by everyone on bike trails. In the city a loud, from the diaphragm "WAKE-UP" tends to get attention.

So my answer is: All of the above.

1. All adult MUP users should be paying attention in the first place, so often I pass unannounced. If they jump out of their skin - good. Now they are awake for a while.

2. MUP users spread out in a "hands across the path" manner who need to alter their behavior so I can even get by get a ding-ding first, then WAKE UP!! If they have visible ear buds and do not react they just might get buzzed depending on circumstances.

3. In the noisy city grid, bells are nearly useless and just blend in with all of the other mechanical sounds. But a hearty "WAKE-UP" projected properly will arouse everyone for a block radius.

I do find yelling more gratifying in the city. Unlike my bell I can share a short verbal suggestion (often anatomically impossible) that also doubles as an audible alert.
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Old 04-30-13, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
. . . Several times when I . . . used 'on yer left' the ped actually moved to the left right into my path. People are off in their own worlds texting,Tweeting,checking FB,playing games,listening to music. When you call out they hear the word LEFT and subconsciously move that way.
Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
"On your left" makes people here MOVE left, so I don't use that. . .

+1

I prefer the generic "Passing !" and make sure I've got the room to pass safely and am already started doing so before I say it so even if they do try to move towards my line I'm already beside them so they run into me rather then the other way around. That is when I deal with pedestrians which is usually in parking lots. I don't generally ride on MUP or side-walks.
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Old 04-30-13, 05:41 AM
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I either use my "bell" - plucking the brake cable against my steel frame, or if it's a kid I say "beep beep."

Speak to people in a language they understand.
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Old 04-30-13, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
It is a fatal, selfish flaw for bicyclists to be expecting people to move out of the way while tooling down a MUP on a bike.
Get a bell, ring it, be polite, and slow down if they aren't hearing you. A little holler here and there is okay, but - never rude, folks.

NEVER rude to the peds on a MUP.
But saying "on your left" isn't the same as "get out of my way." It's "I'm passing you on your left, so please be aware of my position and don't move further to the right."

I have a bell on one of my bikes, and I use it occasionally. Basically I try to judge whether a pedestrian or cyclist looks like they're keeping right and maintaining a straight line. If so, I don't yell or ring, just pass. If they're walking side by side or weaving all over the place, I ring the bell or yell "on your left" before I pass.

If they're walking four or five abreast and taking up the whole path so no one can get by--not even runners--I DO expect them to get out of the way. Of course I usually start with "Excuse me!" and go from there. I usually have to slow waaaaaay down for these folks because they tend to have no clue as to how others might want to use the path, so it takes a minute for them to figure out that they need to move to the right.
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