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Does "on your left" mean "move out of my way"?

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Does "on your left" mean "move out of my way"?

Old 04-08-17, 08:54 PM
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Jarrett2
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Does "on your left" mean "move out of my way" instead?

Does "on your left" mean "move out of my way" instead?
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Old 04-08-17, 09:02 PM
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To a pedestrian, it means "jump to my left".

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Old 04-08-17, 09:04 PM
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Yep. To anyone but a cyclists it means "start moving about the MUP in very random fashion so as not to let anyone know where you intend to go."

And that's on a good day.
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Old 04-08-17, 09:17 PM
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Yelling out "on your left" whilst aboard a bicycle is the verbal equivalent of a coin flip. Half the people will veer to the left, half the people will do nothing at all. Then there's that all-but-statistically-impossible event where the coin lands on it's edge... that's the person that moves out of the way.
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Old 04-08-17, 09:17 PM
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All depends on the individual, their accompanying actions, and projected attitude.

I've heard it used as politely as how I use my bell and/or say "excuse me"....."thanks" .
I've heard it used as code for "get the **** out of my way" .

Last edited by cb400bill; 04-09-17 at 08:33 AM. Reason: bypassing forum censor
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Old 04-08-17, 09:23 PM
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And some people think frame pumps were for pumping tires. Hardly, and they were never especially good at pumping tires, but stuck in the spokes of a jackass things came to a screeching halt effectively.

J
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Old 04-08-17, 09:37 PM
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Reading some of the treads here on A&S, I suspect that for many here it does. It seems that many here feel entitled to a clear lane and see people the way I see Canadian Geese.

I look at MUPs as pedestrian walks with bicycles allowed, and don't expect pedestrians to defer to me. They're walking, and as the passing vehicle, it's my job to get around them safely.

I usually don't say "on your left" or the like, preferring "bicycle behind you" often followed by No need to move, there's plenty of room".
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Old 04-08-17, 10:08 PM
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It would be nice if pedestrians would waddle to the right as they do in most of Europe or at least Germany.
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Old 04-08-17, 10:16 PM
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It does if they are in the middle of or to the left of center on a narrow route. Otherwise It is a simple announcement that a cyclist is about to overtake on your left. Similar to a bell except they don't need to look back to asess the situation.

Where did the OP suggest pedestrians were involved.
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Old 04-08-17, 11:09 PM
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"On your left" confuses most pedestrians. I say "excuse me" instead. Or just ring a loud bell. I always bring a bell if I'm riding on a multi-use path.

If you're talking to a bicyclist, "on your left" means the same as "hold your line", but most people will try to move more to the right if they can do it safely without slowing down.
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Old 04-09-17, 12:53 AM
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I usually say "Bicycle passing on your (fill in the blank)" to indicate I'll pass when it's safe to do so. Some folks walk on the left and couples or groups will split to the sides, leaving the center open, so "left" doesn't always apply.

But the past several weeks I've used bells that jingle continuously while riding on the MUP, which seems more effective.

Either way, I try to pass no faster than the equivalent of walking speed on the narrow paved path (really, it's just a sidewalk). If passing walkers, I try to slow to 8-10 mph. If passing slower cyclists I try to pass no faster than roughly 3 mph faster than their speed.

On the wider gravel trail I'll pass a little faster because there's often up to a 10 foot buffer, and the crunchy gravel announces cyclists well in advance.

But I'm not in a big hurry on the MUP. If I want to ride faster there are plenty of public streets going the same direction. I take the MUP on days I'd rather ride casually, around 10-12 mph average.
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Old 04-09-17, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Does "on your left" mean "move out of my way" instead?
Nope.

It means ... "Hold your line. Don't move. Please don't move. For goodness sake, stop moving already!"


I find it is better to bellow, "BICYCLES PASSING!!!" at the top of my lungs.
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Old 04-09-17, 03:11 AM
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"On Your Left" is just as stupid as "Head's Up!!!" Seriously, wouldn't it be better to get that golf ball making contact with your thick skull rather than an eye???

I ring bell and announce, "passing on your left" as I get closer. No need to say "bicycle" since the audible bell ringing is a universal sound associated with an approaching bicycle. All of my bicycles have a bell.
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Old 04-09-17, 04:22 AM
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it's the cyclist equivalent of some wanker driving up behind you at some ungodly speed, flashing their brights, and
expecting you to move out of their way in some mind melded, predetermined way so as not to slow them down one whit.
in my limited experience, it's usually just best to stay on the path and let the nutters go around-unless it's in an open carry state of the us.
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Old 04-09-17, 04:37 AM
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If you are in the middle or even on the right side of the road or path, absolutely.
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Old 04-09-17, 04:59 AM
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I think it is pretty clear that when a cyclist says "on your left" that someone is coming from behind on your left.
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Old 04-09-17, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
it's the cyclist equivalent of some wanker driving up behind you at some ungodly speed, flashing their brights, and
expecting you to move out of their way in some mind melded, predetermined way so as not to slow them down one whit.
in my limited experience, it's usually just best to stay on the path and let the nutters go around-unless it's in an open carry state of the us.
Are you threatening other cyclists?
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Old 04-09-17, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
I think it is pretty clear that when a cyclist says "on your left" that someone is coming from behind on your left.
It could also be a warning that there is a snake on the ground on your left or here in Florida an alligator.

Of course if they have just seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show they might be thinking about "JUMPING"
48 seconds.

Last edited by OldTryGuy; 04-09-17 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 04-09-17, 06:14 AM
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Any chance that we never see eye to eye on this based on the group we identify with.... as a commuter, I use my bell and sometimes "on your left" and then wait to see what happens (like folks above, the reaction is unpredictable). But, I am not training and not really in a hurry, so the reactions don't bother me, and in turn my "on your left" might sound nicer than some folks.

But, for people out training and in groups, they are hoping not to lose pace, nor mess up the group dynamics. So, it could be that their "on your left" sounds like a command, in place of a notification, or request. Then, the people are startled or angry and react poorly. Plus, if things don't go well, the cyclist then gets frustrated, and the negativity continues.
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Old 04-09-17, 06:17 AM
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"On your left" is obvious to an overtaken cyclist, but to a pedestrian, it's a foreign language, not to mention dogs and young children on bikes. I use a bell for MUPs.
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Old 04-09-17, 06:57 AM
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I never say 'left' or 'right', way too many people move the wrong way. I just say 'passing please' and let them figure it out.

Another topic is bells.
With younger people listening to their cell-phones and older people being hard of hearing, don't expect a bell to accomplish anything good.
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Old 04-09-17, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Does "on your left" mean "move out of my way" instead?
Sometimes, but certainly not always.

I find every situation to be different. Sometimes there's really no reason to say anything. If someone in front of me is jogging with earbuds in, holding to the right, clearly they know what they're doing and don't need or even want any sounds from me.

But in most situations it's just polite to announce yourself before overtaking and potentially startling others. And here's the thing I've found:

No matter what I say, (or if I ring a bell) as long as they hear it they ALWAYS look. So since it really doesn't matter what is said as far as getting their attention, I like my words to be polite or pleasant. "Good Morning" and other such greetings are my preferred, and in a friendly tone. I certainly don't want others to think I'm commanding them to "Move out of my way".

I've been thanked many times when doing it this way.
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Old 04-09-17, 07:49 AM
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I am considering just yelling "Git the hell outta my way mother****ers

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Old 04-09-17, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Are you threatening other cyclists?
Oh chill out. I would just use the incredible shrink ray I invented. It only works on people with rotund rears who cannot tell left from right or fathom that there may be somebody else in the world other than themselves. Not FDA approved yet and I still need to do some fine tuning. Sometimes it gets confused and just shrinks everybody to ant size.
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Old 04-09-17, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
"On Your Left" is just as stupid as "Head's Up!!!" Seriously, wouldn't it be better to get that golf ball making contact with your thick skull rather than an eye???

I ring bell and announce, "passing on your left" as I get closer. No need to say "bicycle" since the audible bell ringing is a universal sound associated with an approaching bicycle. All of my bicycles have a bell.
Why are either "stupid"? Both convey information in a short declarative manner. Adding "passing" to "on your left" is a nice touch but completely unnecessary. Additionally adding "passing" doesn't make "on your left" any more useful or more intelligent.

Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Does "on your left" mean "move out of my way" instead?
It can mean that but I think most people use it in the manner of "don't move into my way". The people that I see riding in the "move the hell out of my way" are more often the children of nonmaritial sex who say nothing when passing.

Most of the people that call out "on your left" to appreciate the warning. I know that I do if someone is passing me...although it seldom happens. Yes, pedestrians can scatter when you call out but I ride defensively and am prepared for that to happen.

On the other hand, I never say "thank you" when passing. It's not the "thank" part but the "you" part that can be misconstrued. I've been yelled at because someone thought that a different work preceded the "you" part.
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