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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Passing

Old 03-27-22, 06:01 PM
  #1  
VegasJen
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Passing

If you come up on a slower cyclist, do you alert them before you pass? Just curious.

Out on the main highway, the shoulder is a designated bike lane but I live in a small town and there are only a few of us who ride seriously. I'm not involved in any groups so it's unusual to come across another rider at the same time. But yesterday I was out on one of my longer rides and about 6-7 miles outside of town I came up behind a gentleman going a little slower than I was. Since we don't often run into other riders, a lot of times we get kind of comfortable with taking whatever space we want. This guy was kind of right in the middle of the shoulder. Not really a big deal but passing him on his right put me right at the edge of the travel lane of a highway with 70mph traffic. I generally try to announce myself and say something like "passing" just so the person knows I'm back there.

Do any of you do similar? What do you say?
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Old 03-27-22, 06:51 PM
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Bike behind you.
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Old 03-27-22, 06:52 PM
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It depends on the rider I'm coming up behind. I always yell out if they're kids because children are unpredictable. But If I can safely swing out and around another bicyclest by riding out into the other lane without issue, I do. But usually I yell "On your Left!" and wait for them to acknowledge me, usually they just move over to their right without saying anything. Then I'll give them a low five as I go by. Unfortunately, sometimes yelling out startles riders and they'll swerve unexpectedly. One time I came up behind someone and was clear over in the far lane from them when they decided to do a 'U' turn and turned right in front of me without checking over their shoulder for traffic; vehicular or biker. Still don't know how I missed her.
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Old 03-27-22, 06:56 PM
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What country are you in? In the US passing on a riders right would put on next to the curb and I would never pass a rider on the right. I always call out passing on your left, this works for me. I have never had a rider move to the left, ever.
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Old 03-27-22, 06:58 PM
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Bell works best
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Old 03-27-22, 07:33 PM
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depends. plenty of room, no traffic, big speed differential, rider holding a clean line, no.

narrow path, lesser speed differential, traffic, inexperienced rider, any wobbling, yes. "on your left!"
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Old 03-27-22, 07:37 PM
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On your left
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Old 03-27-22, 07:40 PM
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Old 03-27-22, 07:53 PM
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If I can safelygive a wide berth when passing I don't say anything. I get into an almost nonverbal state of mind when riding. If I'm talking while riding, I find I don't remember that part of the ride. I remember the conversation.

If I need them to make a bit of room - as happened today when two riders were taking up 3/4 of the traffic lane (one rider riding almost on the fog line - in a 6 foot wide bike lane - and the other riding left of the center of the traffic lane) I'll say "On your left" to get them to move closer. Hell, if you don't like the people you're riding with well enough to ride within a foot or two of them, maybe don't ride with them!
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Old 03-27-22, 08:06 PM
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I say "Passing on your left!" so it's more of a complete, informative sentence than most things that get barked at pedestrians.
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Old 03-27-22, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
But If I can safely swing out and around another bicyclest by riding out into the other lane without issue, I do...
My too. Sometimes it seems pretentious to tell people "I'm faster than you so I'm coming by." But one time on a MUP I rode by two riders (lots of room; no conflict) and the people I passed scolded me for not announcing that I was coming by.
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Old 03-27-22, 08:20 PM
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I like to just say "Hello" when passing people. Not demanding anything from them, but it should let them know that someone is coming up from behind.

As far as passing on a road, I would simply follow a person until I knew I could safely pass. If I can't safely pass, then I won't.

The only super high speed road that I could imagine trying to share a shoulder would be on a freeway... which would be exceptionally rare.
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Old 03-27-22, 08:44 PM
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Don't pass on the right. If you're going to say "on your left" precede it with "passing". I like to announce my presence far enough back to see what they are going to do.
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Old 03-27-22, 11:19 PM
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I almost always say hi or similar when passing.. I give 3 ft+ and encroach on the cagers space when passing cyclists, dont really care if they get mad. If someone passes without saying hi they automatically have a target on their back and Ill do what I can to pass them back at speed

Last edited by LarrySellerz; 03-27-22 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 03-27-22, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I like to just say "Hello" when passing people. Not demanding anything from them, but it should let them know that someone is coming up from behind.

As far as passing on a road, I would simply follow a person until I knew I could safely pass. If I can't safely pass, then I won't.

The only super high speed road that I could imagine trying to share a shoulder would be on a freeway... which would be exceptionally rare.
I have found that saying "hi" or "good afternoon" results in less instances of unpredictable reactions from amateur cyclists, who sometimes misinterpret "on your left" as a command to veer to their left.
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Old 03-27-22, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
It depends on the rider I'm coming up behind. I always yell out if they're kids because children are unpredictable. But If I can safely swing out and around another bicyclest by riding out into the other lane without issue, I do. But usually I yell "On your Left!" and wait for them to acknowledge me, usually they just move over to their right without saying anything. Then I'll give them a low five as I go by. Unfortunately, sometimes yelling out startles riders and they'll swerve unexpectedly. One time I came up behind someone and was clear over in the far lane from them when they decided to do a 'U' turn and turned right in front of me without checking over their shoulder for traffic; vehicular or biker. Still don't know how I missed her.
???

If you rarely have to pass anybody, what would the problem be to announce your presence? If yelling startles people, maybe, don’t yell? Why are you even asking this question?

For people doing u-turns in front of you (on a highway?) without looking, there’s not much you can do except announce yourself.

Last edited by njkayaker; 03-28-22 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 03-28-22, 03:23 AM
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My Campy Bora freehub is so loud it works like a bell but an additional on your left makes sure.
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Old 03-28-22, 03:42 AM
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No, but I do say a "hello" while passing.

​​​​​​
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Old 03-28-22, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
If you come up on a slower cyclist, do you alert them before you pass? Just curious.
Sure, why wouldn't I?


I generally try to announce myself and say something like "passing" just so the person knows I'm back there.

Do any of you do similar? What do you say?
Pedestrians, I'll usually say "Good Morning!" or similar, see which way they go and respond accordingly. Cyclists I'll say "Passing" or "Passing on your left" and go from there. (I'm in the US, sounds like you're in a left-side drive country so adjust accordingly)
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Old 03-28-22, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Don't pass on the right.
Unless in a left-side drive country... which the context seems to be since OP mentioned passing on the right put them at the edge of the travel lane.
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Old 03-28-22, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
Unless in a left-side drive country... which the context seems to be since OP mentioned passing on the right put them at the edge of the travel lane.
I thought about that but the username seems to reference Las Vegas and all the speed references are in MPH.
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Old 03-28-22, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I thought about that but the username seems to reference Las Vegas and all the speed references are in MPH.
Yep, it is a bit confusing and would be helpful for VegasJen to add an approx location to their profile.
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Old 03-28-22, 09:30 AM
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Honestly, the right answer is you have to use your best judgment. There is no perfect answer.

You don't want to scare or shock the rider you are passing, but it depends on how close the pass is whether you need to say something or ring the bell.

I usually just shout "good morning! Rider coming through!"
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Old 03-28-22, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
unless in a left-side drive country... Which the context seems to be since op mentioned passing on the right put them at the edge of the travel lane.
us.

Originally Posted by vegasjen View Post
why not? The people in washington dc haven't done a g****n thing to help me the last couple years. R or d, i don't give a damn, they're all worthless.
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Old 03-28-22, 11:02 AM
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"Hi there! I'm passing on your left." Then I give a friendly wave as I go by. Give the passee a bike length at least as you pull in front. Carry on about your ride.
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