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Dismounting: Left, Right or Both?

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Dismounting: Left, Right or Both?

Old 05-20-18, 01:50 PM
  #1  
IslandTimePE
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Dismounting: Left, Right or Both?

Random cycling-related question of the day......

While out on my ride today, I started thinking about how I dismount from the bike - not something I have ever really considered before - no idea why it came into my head today. As best I can remember, I have always dismounted on the right, never the left. In fact I suspect there would be a relatively high probability I would fall over trying to exit stage left.

So here are some questions:

1) is it unusual or typical that I can only dismount one direction?
2) does it really matter? Can anyone come up with scenarios with it is legitimately safer to be able to dismount in both directions? Perhaps to be able to keep the bike between the rider and a dog if unable to outrun the animal?
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Old 05-20-18, 02:11 PM
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I always dismount on the left, whether it's getting off the bike completely or just unclipping the pedals. Just what I'm used to. The only time I unclipped on the right I fell, so never again.

I don't see any advantages or disadvantages to either, unless you dismount at every light and you want to be on the right side to be away from traffic, but even then I can't see much of a safety advantage.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:14 PM
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always left for me. no reason really.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:15 PM
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Left. Same as a motorcycle. Most people probably got the left side habit as a kid with a bike that had a kickstand that always leans the bike to the left.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:18 PM
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I unclip my left foot when coming to a stop to keep my dominant foot on the pedal when leaving a stop, so I typically dismount left foot down as well. Do what's comfortable and safe for you.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:20 PM
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Mount/dismount on the left in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere mount/dismount on the right.

(On the equator, if facing east, mount on the left, dismount on the right. Vice-versa if facing west.)
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Old 05-20-18, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Mount/dismount on the left in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere mount/dismount on the right.

(On the equator, if facing east, mount on the left, dismount on the right. Vice-versa if facing west.)
Makes sense. They do drive on the wrong side of the road.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:29 PM
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Classic style Cyclo Cross racing dis-mounts and re-mounts are to/from the NDS as are the start drills for mass start race line up.
Left for me.

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Old 05-20-18, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Mount/dismount on the left in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere mount/dismount on the right.

(On the equator, if facing east, mount on the left, dismount on the right. Vice-versa if facing west.)
Seriously, mounting from the left side is pretty universal. (Because your sword is carried on your left side, so it would be dangerous to swing your left leg over because it might hit your sword.)
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Old 05-20-18, 02:40 PM
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Looks like I am in the distinct minority on this one...

I guess it all goes back to when I first leaned to ride a bike. I taught myself without training wheels and there was a little hill on the right side of the driveway. I always started from that little hill because I could reach the ground with my right foot as I tried to get going. Now that has stuck for 40+ years.

Hadn't considered the cyclocross angle.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Mount/dismount on the left in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere mount/dismount on the right.

(On the equator, if facing east, mount on the left, dismount on the right. Vice-versa if facing west.)
Odd. I figured given that drivetrain-on-right is universal on bicycles...and Mount/dismount on left means you never get Cat5Tattoo, Our Southern Hemisphere folks would do the same.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pass the peas View Post
I unclip my left foot when coming to a stop to keep my dominant foot on the pedal when leaving a stop, so I typically dismount left foot down as well. Do what's comfortable and safe for you.
Ditto for me for the very same reasons. Never tried a dominant left foot but don't think it would go well.
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Old 05-20-18, 03:01 PM
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Exit stage left. Maybe because I'm right handed? I don't know. It's just the way I've always done it.
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Old 05-20-18, 03:07 PM
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I unclip my right foot to stop. Always. Bonus of this, I can put that foot on the curb and stay seated while at stops.
I always get off of the bike to the right. ALWAYS.
I can get on either way. Doesn't matter.

I assume most, if not all of this is due to being left-footed.
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Old 05-20-18, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Exit stage left. Maybe because I'm right handed? I don't know. It's just the way I've always done it.
The larger question is, when unclipping, heal in...or out? I'm a heal in (toward the crank) kind of guy.
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Old 05-20-18, 03:08 PM
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Also left. Done so since the J.C. Higgins that I got in 1956. Don't know why, though.

On my trike, I can go both ways throwing either leg over the cruciform, but that isn't really mounting, is it?
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Old 05-20-18, 03:43 PM
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Always left side mount/dismount. Reflective of my motorcycle background. Unclip either foot, depending on situation. Had a horse that only liked to be mounted from the left. I learned the hard way on that one.

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Old 05-20-18, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DGoodrow View Post
The larger question is, when unclipping, heal in...or out? I'm a heal in (toward the crank) kind of guy.
Heel out, always. Snapping my heel out creates momentum to carry my leg out and away from the bike, allowing me to plant my foot confidently.

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Old 05-20-18, 03:56 PM
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I unclip right foot first and dismount to the left. And I am left handed.
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Old 05-20-18, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DGoodrow View Post
The larger question is, when unclipping, heal in...or out? I'm a heal in (toward the crank) kind of guy.
Heel out for me....but for no particular/good reason
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Old 05-20-18, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Always left side mount/dismount. Reflective of my motorcycle background. Unclip either foot, depending on situation. Had a horse that only liked to be mounted from the left. I learned the hard way on that one.

-Kedosto
Now that you mention it, I rode a motorcycle for a few years in my younger days. Dismounted to the left due to the kick stand being there. But that never transferred to the bicycle.
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Old 05-20-18, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I unclip right foot first and dismount to the left. And I am left handed.
You unclip both shoes???
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Old 05-20-18, 04:24 PM
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Just like a horse,
Mount & dismount on the left
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Old 05-20-18, 05:24 PM
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Left for me. It dates back to my childhood, when every bike had a kickstand.
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Old 05-20-18, 07:04 PM
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Mounting bicycles from the left side goes all the way back to mounting horses. Horses tend to be sensitive (and often spooked) by mounting from the non-standard side, so it makes sense to consistently mount from the left side so that the more commonly dominant right hand can better help pull the rider onto the saddle. Yesterday I was brushing a large 16.5 hand tall, 1,700 lb Percheron who didn't like to even be approached from the right let alone mounted from the right. Bicycles naturally developed with the same convention so the drive-trains tend to be on the right side so as to avoid soiling one's trousers on the chain and the kickstand tends to be on the left so they can be more easily folded while standing on that side of the bicycle.
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