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Riding Etiquette - Part Deux

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

Riding Etiquette - Part Deux

Old 08-25-05, 09:25 AM
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Riding Etiquette - Part Deux

Copied from the "waving thread" to get a response or two....

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Along the same lines as waving, but more difficult for me to figure out, is the etiquette when overtaking another rider or jumping on the wheel of someone that overtakes you. I ride alone almost exclusively, with no experience in group rides, etc.

I'll describe a situation from yesterday's ride:

Coming to an intersection, I heard a "Behind you" and was overtaken by the guy after we both took right hand turns. He was going at about the same pace (19-20mph), so after a 1/2 mile or so, I jumped back in front. We've yet to say a word to each other. We swapped back and forth a few times until we reached a section of road that's a dead end, 2 miles out, 2 miles back (it's a peninsula stretching out into the ocean, very flat). When I ride this solo, it's my normal habit to ride very hard (for me) on the 2 miles out, usually into the wind, and rest a bit on the way back...impromptu interval training! For the first mile the guy stays with me, then he drops off, and then he catches me again on the ride back out...we still have not said a word. I jump on his wheel, for a little bit, but then he takes a right-hand turn and that's it.

I felt sort of "bad" afterwards...did he think I was being a jerk for not starting a conversation, or for taking off on the ride out to the dead-end only to slow down and be caught on the way back? Should I have adjusted my normal routine to continue to ride smoothly with him?

Thoughts?
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Old 08-25-05, 11:29 AM
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being a solo rider myself I cant really speak of group etiquette but I would have started with hi or hello and if he wanted to talk it leaves the door open. Other than that continue with your normal ride and don't worry about it. One conclution I have come to is you can repeat the same action time and time again some will be offended by it and some will welcome it.
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Old 08-25-05, 11:58 AM
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Sometimes it is fun when you meet another cyclist on the road and just naturally start working together. When one of you has had enough or is going the other way, fine.

It's not like you need to stop and write a contract out. The big thing is that the two of you were being safe. It can startle you if someone is suddenly behind you that you didn't know about. So, he did the right thing by announcing himself. When I pass someone, I fully expect them to hang on. I also announce when I am passing. After you start working with someone, you rarely need to say anything.
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Old 08-25-05, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Avalanche325
Sometimes it is fun when you meet another cyclist on the road and just naturally start working together. When one of you has had enough or is going the other way, fine.

It's not like you need to stop and write a contract out. The big thing is that the two of you were being safe. It can startle you if someone is suddenly behind you that you didn't know about. So, he did the right thing by announcing himself. When I pass someone, I fully expect them to hang on. I also announce when I am passing. After you start working with someone, you rarely need to say anything.
This happened to me the other day. I got passed and the guy said "Great day for a ride"...scared the living crap out of me.
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Old 08-25-05, 01:27 PM
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I almost always offer a verbal greeting as my front wheel passes their line of sight. Once I pass them, if they catch me again, it is my problem, not theirs. If I am comfortable with their riding skills, I will offer to swap leads if we seem to be riding at the same pace. Some will decline and back off, while others gladly take me up on it. I met a new riding buddy the other day doing just that. I have never had someone faster than me decline to swap leads. They usually say ok and then drop me like a bad habit.
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Old 08-25-05, 01:31 PM
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Sounds like you guys were working well together, which is one of the cool things about this sport. Don't worry about changing your routine for a total stranger. No harm, no foul
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Old 08-25-05, 01:45 PM
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I'm not real chatty on the bike. If someone wants to talk for a second or just says 'hey' that's cool with me. I nod to riders but never wave. I'll say 'on your left' but I'm not gonna sneak up on someone and start chatting in their ear.
I'm not out there to socialize, but I'll definitely return your greeting.
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Old 08-25-05, 01:54 PM
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I'm not much of a chatter . I like a decent warning before somebody has come up behind me. Ill bum a draft without saying a word and I don't mind if someobdy else bums a draft without saying a word.
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Old 08-25-05, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasGuy
I'm not much of a chatter . I like a decent warning before somebody has come up behind me. Ill bum a draft without saying a word and I don't mind if someobdy else bums a draft without saying a word.
Warnings are nice but there are times when I won't give one. Like if I am passing a totally new rider and they might do something dangerous if I startle them from behind. I will sometimes just pass someone like that as far left as possible in silence.
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Old 08-25-05, 02:27 PM
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/thread hijack

what is the protocol for saying on your left/passing on your left? on the bike trail i like to ride on i do it about 5 feet behind them (assuming im passing at a slower rate). The reason I ask is because occasionally when i tell a recreational biker they will get flustered and almost lose their balance (and nearly take me out!). How can I improve my technique (and everyones safety!)
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Old 08-25-05, 02:36 PM
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No specific rules, just wait until it's safe to be able to move out a bit (3 yards, just like you'd give if you were driving) and pass. Say hello in a quiet voice. From 12 feet it's not a shock and the person will usually pick you up in their peripheral vision. If someone is riding erratically, you might give a quick whistle when you're about 15 yards back.
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Old 08-25-05, 02:51 PM
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I always let people know if I'm behind them, either verbally or with an audible shift that gets a look back. I exchange a few words as I pass or get passed. It rubs me the wrong way when somebody hammers past me without a word, then I pass as he slows down to suck air from the effort, only to have him come huffing by again a little later. I guess he feels like he's winning the race. This happened to me last week on a bike trail and I was kind of chuckling about it, riding 10 yards off the guy's wheel. We got to a turn where he feinted right, then decided to make a u-turn in front of me. I missed him and ran into the grass on the other side of the intersection, no harm done, but what a ****!
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Old 08-25-05, 04:11 PM
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I personally don't like people drafting me without asking. First, it makes me nervous cause newbies like to cross wheels. Second, when someone's following me I feel responsible for pointing out potholes, signaling my turns and slow-downs, etc. None of which I like to do. But if they ask nicely to draft me, that usually means they're experienced, and it puts some responsibility on them to pay attention.
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Old 08-25-05, 04:26 PM
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I hate when people sneak up and suck a wheel. It has happened to me and almost caused me to wreck. I was going at about tempo pace and did not hear the guy come up. I noticed him on an occasional glance back to check out cars, etc. Saw something right behind me and caused a wobble. What a pain in the butt. He said that he often will do that when on the hill...

I always announce my presence when I am about to pass. I learned that was proper etiquette. I have gotten compliments from riders that our group has passed. They thanked me for being the only member to take the time to say anything...
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Old 08-25-05, 05:05 PM
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On a trail, I'll shout out "on your left" when I'm around 12 feet behind so they have time to either overreact and then recover or show that they're not going to overreact.

I wouldn't draft off someone without announcing myself and I wouldn't want someone to slide behind me without doing the same...not that anyone would be looking to draft off my slow ass.
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Old 08-25-05, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ZappCatt
I hate when people sneak up and suck a wheel. It has happened to me and almost caused me to wreck. I was going at about tempo pace and did not hear the guy come up. I noticed him on an occasional glance back to check out cars, etc. Saw something right behind me and caused a wobble. What a pain in the butt. He said that he often will do that when on the hill...

I always announce my presence when I am about to pass. I learned that was proper etiquette. I have gotten compliments from riders that our group has passed. They thanked me for being the only member to take the time to say anything...
agreed. as far as i'm concerned, if someone i dont know jumps on my wheel, its just plain dangerous. i've had this happen a number of times and usually i just wave them past because when i'm out riding i'm usually training and i dont want to deal with someone else. i also hate it when dudes decide to 'race' me. its just stupid and dangerous. if i were you, i wouldnt feel bad!
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Old 08-25-05, 06:12 PM
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Jumping on a wheel never used to be a big deal. I guess now it is. The world changes and not always for the better. Dangers folks in the back? New riders hang on, but don't hang that close. Experienced riders know better than to follow an unfamiliar rider too closely. It's a non-issue.
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Old 08-25-05, 06:44 PM
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puddin' legs, WRONG...the guy who sucked my wheel was experienced, but I guess felt that he was so talented he could get out of any trouble I got him into...
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Old 08-25-05, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by puddin' legs
Jumping on a wheel never used to be a big deal. I guess now it is. The world changes and not always for the better. Dangers folks in the back? New riders hang on, but don't hang that close. Experienced riders know better than to follow an unfamiliar rider too closely. It's a non-issue.
another vote for WRONG. if s/he's overlapping me it could be very dangerous, especially if i dont even know s/he's there.
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