Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Panic!

Reply

Old 09-12-07, 12:31 PM
  #1  
kokomo61
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
kokomo61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 893

Bikes: Giant OCR C2, Kona Jake the Snake, Scattante 650-R

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Panic!

Since I've finally been able to put a bar-end bell on my bike, it's been a lot easier to let people (peds and cyclists both) know that I'm approaching to pass. One, it's easy to ring, and two, it has a tendency to ding when I go over bumps (which can be annoying when I'm following another cyclist, but I try to let them know that it's ringing on its own, and I'm not trying to pass them.......

....well, today, I was coming in on the MUP, and getting ready to pass a slower cyclist (older woman, no helmet, headphones).

As I was approaching, I rang the bell several times (it's fairly loud). When I was a couple lengths behind, I moved to the opposite lane (dividing line down the middle), and called out "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT" as I rang a couple more times.

...When I pulled along side, the woman, visibly startled, said "WOOOO!" (really, not kidding), and started calling out all sorts of German-accented comments about how she was in the right lane, and shouldn't be passed. I slowed and tried to explain that I started signaling 50 yards before passing, moved into the other lane, called out, etc......but nothing seemed to help, so I just gave up.

I'm chalking it up to the headphones, but what can you do? Next time, I'm tempted to use the AirZound.
__________________
Giant OCR C2
Fuji Cross Pro
Scattante 650-R
'06 Kona Jake the Snake - back to stock, and up for sale.
kokomo61 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-07, 01:12 PM
  #2  
dalmore
Neat - w/ ice on the side
 
dalmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Big Ring. Little Cog.
Posts: 1,200

Bikes: 2005 Dahon Speed TR, 2006 Dahon Mu SL, 2000 GT XiZang, 1999ish Rock Lobster, 2007 Dean Animas CTI

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You did all that you could do, in my view. kudos.
__________________
Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

Change you can believe in - Bigfoot Nessie 08
dalmore is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-07, 01:19 PM
  #3  
StokerPoker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Livonia, MI
Posts: 873

Bikes: Pacific Duece AL with mods

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I start with the bell because I feel it is more polite. (maybe just my opinion) I try the bell 3 times total if it doesn't work. Because most hearing loss begins with high tones, especially in older adults I am prepared for the inevitable fact that someone might not hear me. I then give my horn a squeeze to announce myself. usually most people hear that. if they still don't, I have no problem slowing down until they realize I am there or passing wide on the grass. I try not to be in a hurry at any point in my life because I believe that more accidents happen and my stress level rises when I rush.
StokerPoker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-07, 01:24 PM
  #4  
cc_rider
Calamari to go
 
cc_rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,109

Bikes: Trek 750

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If that was on the W&OD, the posted rules are "keep right", "pass left" and "warn before passing"
You were following the rules and she's a fool who's probably not competent to be on a bike.
cc_rider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-07, 01:28 PM
  #5  
kokomo61
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
kokomo61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 893

Bikes: Giant OCR C2, Kona Jake the Snake, Scattante 650-R

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It was on the Custis, between the 66 cutover and Ballston exit.

I even slowed down before passing, just to make sure I didn't take her by surprise. Oh well....She was still spouting comments when I turned off the trail to head towards work.

Related headphone item....on my way home (I'll probably see him again today) is a guy on a hybrid or flat bar road bike that, while he wears a helmet, rides AGAINST traffic in the road, and wears over the ear head phones with the connecting headband under his chin I guess that he can't bear to hear the sound of traffic before it runs over him.
__________________
Giant OCR C2
Fuji Cross Pro
Scattante 650-R
'06 Kona Jake the Snake - back to stock, and up for sale.
kokomo61 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-07, 01:29 PM
  #6  
Flimflam
Raving looney
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 2,482

Bikes: 70s Leader Precision w/Shimano 600 (road), IRO Rob Roy (Fixed)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got into 'it' and out of 'it' with a fellow cyclist by saying "On your left!" politely and friendly-like. He started giving me ****, telling me to get a bell (to which I answered "I have one, I just thought I'd be more friendly") turns out he either backed down, or we miscommunicated and he was joking and I missed it.. either way, we ended up chatting and parting ways in a good way (which made me feel much better - I'd much rather resolve these things than leave someone frustrated/uppity).

Seems in this case you did everything you could've, so good for you, and good for you for trying to resolve the issue (some people just won't get it) - try the airzound next time, and perhaps mention that headphones are a little dangerous when turned up too loud. I get wary of cycling behind someone with headphones in, though most times when I pass and say "hi" I get a response, so they're obviously using sense in their volume levels.
Flimflam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-07, 06:33 PM
  #7  
Allister
Devilmaycare Cycling Fool
 
Allister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Wynnum, Australia
Posts: 3,819

Bikes: 1998 Cannondale F700

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yet another reason to stay off MUPs.
Allister is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-07, 09:07 PM
  #8  
kokomo61
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
kokomo61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 893

Bikes: Giant OCR C2, Kona Jake the Snake, Scattante 650-R

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On the way home, I saw another older rider wearing headphones (and no helmet) cutting across a major intersection (riding in the striped lane down the middle of the road, then turning on to the MUP). As I caught up to him, I had to go across the other lane and into the grass, since he was riding down the center stripe, and generally weaving back and forth.

Also came on a guy using a 2-stroke assist motor on his bike - they're illegal on the MUP, but I was tired of playing cop for the day. Someone else can worry about him......
__________________
Giant OCR C2
Fuji Cross Pro
Scattante 650-R
'06 Kona Jake the Snake - back to stock, and up for sale.
kokomo61 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 09:55 PM
  #9  
allan_dunlop
Senior Member
 
allan_dunlop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Panic!

Originally Posted by kokomo61 View Post
...When I pulled along side, the woman, visibly startled, said "WOOOO!" (really, not kidding), and started calling out all sorts of German-accented comments about how she was in the right lane, and shouldn't be passed. I slowed and tried to explain that I started signaling 50 yards before passing, moved into the other lane, called out, etc......but nothing seemed to help, so I just gave up.
How rude of you, kokomo61. Honestly. Waking up someone who's having a perfectly good nap while out on a walk in a public thoroughfare. Shameful.

Next time, be more polite and lay down a pillow and nap blankie (mints on the pillow are appreciated) before you spring the bad news on such people that you're in their midst.



Allan
allan_dunlop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-07, 11:31 PM
  #10  
UmneyDurak
RacingBear
 
UmneyDurak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NorCal
Posts: 8,900
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Oh yes headphones are responsible for her not understanding the rules or the road, or in this case MUP.
Originally Posted by kokomo61 View Post
Since I've finally been able to put a bar-end bell on my bike, it's been a lot easier to let people (peds and cyclists both) know that I'm approaching to pass. One, it's easy to ring, and two, it has a tendency to ding when I go over bumps (which can be annoying when I'm following another cyclist, but I try to let them know that it's ringing on its own, and I'm not trying to pass them.......

....well, today, I was coming in on the MUP, and getting ready to pass a slower cyclist (older woman, no helmet, headphones).

As I was approaching, I rang the bell several times (it's fairly loud). When I was a couple lengths behind, I moved to the opposite lane (dividing line down the middle), and called out "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT" as I rang a couple more times.

...When I pulled along side, the woman, visibly startled, said "WOOOO!" (really, not kidding), and started calling out all sorts of German-accented comments about how she was in the right lane, and shouldn't be passed. I slowed and tried to explain that I started signaling 50 yards before passing, moved into the other lane, called out, etc......but nothing seemed to help, so I just gave up.

I'm chalking it up to the headphones, but what can you do? Next time, I'm tempted to use the AirZound.
UmneyDurak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-07, 05:49 AM
  #11  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 2,940

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Soma Smoothie, Miyata City Liner, Specialized FSR Comp, Fuji Professional

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 933 Post(s)
A bell.

How quaint

I had a bell for a year or two on my commutes, NOBODY paid the slightest bit of attention.

Mind you, the pedestrian intensive section of my commute is in the beach community of the Rockaway's in Queens - NYC, NY, as well up thru the heart of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn section is either on wide city streets, or on Bedford Ave.

Bedford Ave. has a designated and painted bike lane, which in NY is typically used as the "I'm not really parked, I'm just stopped and blocking the lane while I'm in the store/house/whatever for a second that turns into 10 minutes" lane.

Sorry - rant over.

I used to use a whistle, but found that unless I kept it in my mouth all the time, I was never quick enough to grab it and activate it. The bell was none too quick either and in any event was never loud enough. I'm not going to bother with an airhorn (tempting though)

I simply shout. It's the quickest, I can vary the message from a soft - "passing", to a shout of "GET THE F_ _K OUT OF THE WAY". This command is most commonly used in the beach communities where the favorite cycling activity seems to be what I call the Rockaway Wrong-Way - I.E. a semi-literate, somewhat intoxicated male riding a beach cruiser the wrong way in traffic. Almost always on the afternoon leg, as these guys are rarely awake in the morning.

Sigh.

SB
Steve B. is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-07, 05:57 AM
  #12  
gcl8a
Je pose, donc je suis.
 
gcl8a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Odense, Denmark
Posts: 1,463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by kokomo61 View Post
and started calling out all sorts of German-accented comments about how she was in the right lane, and shouldn't be passed.
You should have apologized for passing her, gotten back behind her, and then held her wheel for a mile or two.

PS. Any chance we can get the transcript of the conversation?
gcl8a is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-07, 06:29 AM
  #13  
edzo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
MUP season is coming. they are best to ride at night when no one uses them but the stoners, runners, and cyclists with lights who are fairly serious and have a clue. sooooo relaxing to rip them in the dark
edzo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-07, 06:41 AM
  #14  
Mr. Underbridge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Reston, VA
Posts: 2,369

Bikes: 2003 Giant OCR2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by kokomo61 View Post
It was on the Custis, between the 66 cutover and Ballston exit.

I even slowed down before passing, just to make sure I didn't take her by surprise. Oh well....She was still spouting comments when I turned off the trail to head towards work.
Man, you've got a nice commute if you're going from there to Herndon! What is that, 16 miles or so with a couple hundred feet of gain?

Custis is a tough area to ride (did it myself yesterday for the first time in months). Tons of pedestrians, bad sightlines, narrow, twisty, and the surface is chewed to death from tree roots. At least there aren't any intersections.

Hey, just be glad she didn't keel over on the spot. You don't want that on your conscience.
Mr. Underbridge is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-07, 07:57 AM
  #15  
1ply
Plays in Traffic
 
1ply's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
A bell.


Bedford Ave. has a designated and painted bike lane, which in NY is typically used as the "I'm not really parked, I'm just stopped and blocking the lane while I'm in the store/house/whatever for a second that turns into 10 minutes" lane.

SB
I'm still waiting for the first story of someone actually hopping on the trunk of such a car and riding down the middle across their roof, down the hood as if nothing happened. You park in the bike lane, we run over you :shrug:
1ply is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service