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...pass on the left. Thank you. 

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This doesn't work quite as well in the US -but a bell really does work quite well.  Ring it 50+ yards and 10 seconds before you get up to them to give them enough time to react, ring again closer if they don't get it.

I find this works really well.   "On your left" is something I only say as I'm passing them AFTER they have moved or otherwise looked/acknowledged my presence so I know they won't dart in front of me.  I almost always add in a "thank you" or "good morning" or something nice as I pass.

Scaring the crap out of peds and buzzing them is acting just like cars treat us when they do the same thing on the roads. 

On your left doesn't work well on its own because people need time to react so in order to say it from far enough away to give that reaction time you will have to YELL IT.

People, on the whole, don't respond very well to being YELLED AT.   A bell is much less confrontational and more cheery.  Do it from far enough away and it is not confrontational at all -just a warning that a fast-mover is coming by. 

And if enough riders used them more regularly the peds would start to get it and become much more trained to respond like the Japanese peds in the video.



Lisa Curcio said:

"On your left" did not work for me yesterday on the LFP near Belmont as I came up to two fellows riding slowly abreast.  As I moved into the oncoming lane to pass on the left I heard them speaking to one another in a language other than English :)!

Good points, h and James.  My new bike came with a bell, but I am not yet in the habit of using it.  When I do remember, it does work better than "on your left".

I do appreciate it, though, when cyclists passing me say "on your left" as they approach.  I listen to try to know what is coming up behind me since I have yet to get the mirror and cannot turn my head often enough.  So please keep saying it, folks, or ring your bell!

I find that bells generally work well on other cyclists, but are pretty much useless against clueless peds on the Lake Front Trail.

Indeed.  If you're passing someone it's your responsibility to get by without causing them (or other traffic) any grief.  If there's no space, slow down and wait until there is.

James BlackHeron said:

Just to be sure everyone is aware of this, folks should not be riding in the "door zone"

My experience has been rather different from yours.  I often find that bells are more effective with peds (especially non-English speaking peds) than calling out.

Adam Herstein said:

I find that bells generally work well on other cyclists, but are pretty much useless against clueless peds on the Lake Front Trail.

Every time one of us runs through a red light, aggravates a motorist, sits oddly halfway into the interesection or scares a clueless weekender, we put our future in jeopardy. We have all done it at times and there are, at times, some practical reasons to do it, but the reality of the situation is that our population has grown immensely and we are representatives of a better lifestyle. You may get away with it unscathed (for awhile) but I guarantee you that your actions will have negative results for the next bicyclist. Hope I don't sound like I'm getting old, I just really love every aspect of bicycling and plan on doing it for the rest of my life.

Oh, and if this seems slightly off the subject I apologize. It came up when someone mentioned being passed on the right as someone then proceeded to blow through two red lights.

Just let someone know you are behind them they'll move to the right.  A bell or an 'on your left' would be so cool.  Yet is so rare.  It's worth slowing down and pausing for a sec while the slow one in front figures out you're coming. 

Elliot Bennett said:

I agree with the pass on the left sentiment...but that also assumes that slower riders are riding to the right side of the path, which in my experience is not always the case. (example: just about anyone riding a Bobby's Bike Rental bike on the Lake Shore Path)

And if you're REAL cool you make a friendly noise...on your left or a bell or even whistle a tune.   C'mon Chicago cool up your game!

nicely put

Beau Sessions said:

Every time one of us runs through a red light, aggravates a motorist, sits oddly halfway into the interesection or scares a clueless weekender, we put our future in jeopardy. We have all done it at times and there are, at times, some practical reasons to do it, but the reality of the situation is that our population has grown immensely and we are representatives of a better lifestyle. You may get away with it unscathed (for awhile) but I guarantee you that your actions will have negative results for the next bicyclist. Hope I don't sound like I'm getting old, I just really love every aspect of bicycling and plan on doing it for the rest of my life.

Oh, and if this seems slightly off the subject I apologize. It came up when someone mentioned being passed on the right as someone then proceeded to blow through two red lights.

I ride slow (10 mph average) and so get passed a lot.  When cyclists pass me on the left without warning, I always say "On MY left!" in a "F*&* You" tone of voice.  Half the time, this elicits no response; about a quarter of the time I get an apology, and the rest of the time I'm told to perform an autoerotic impossibility.  This last response especially comes from cyclists riding fast at night with no lights and dark clothes, so I don't see them in my mirror (which I check every five-ten seconds).  This is, as so many of our conversations are, really about just plain old common sense and courtesy.  And Amen to Beau Sessions's comment about the general etiquette of the road.

That was you?  I won't repeat here what I said back to you at the time.   Seems I was not the only one.

LOL

Bill Savage said:

I ride slow (10 mph average) and so get passed a lot.  When cyclists pass me on the left without warning, I always say "On MY left!" in a "F*&* You" tone of voice.  Half the time, this elicits no response; about a quarter of the time I get an apology, and the rest of the time I'm told to perform an autoerotic impossibility.  This last response especially comes from cyclists riding fast at night with no lights and dark clothes, so I don't see them in my mirror (which I check every five-ten seconds).  This is, as so many of our conversations are, really about just plain old common sense and courtesy.  And Amen to Beau Sessions's comment about the general etiquette of the road.

I have a bell on one bike and use it. On my other bikes I work vocally and have more range and expression than the bell. When its a simple pass, I whistle a sing songy tune such as the theme from Woody Woodpecker or a riff from a jazz tune. I have a variety of yelps for more emergent situations including a blood curdling, "you better the #%&@! stop now" one that is generally used when I see a potential lemming leaping off the cliff.  As to the folks who don't give Bill the courtesy of an "on your left" I don't  give them a chance. When I spot them in my mirror and see that their pace is greater than mine I give them a wave to let them know its ok to pass. On occassion I extend a left arm and push back to let them know its not a good idea to do so.

 

I usually don't utter the words as they often get muddled.  The other rider simply needs to know that you are there. If I am riding in a pack I may say, "five bikes on your left" or if the person in front of me is plodding on the far left  I will rarely say, "I'm gonna have to pass on your right.  Watch your position after I pass." This is only done if there will be no stops for a long time and I am certain that nothing lurks to endanger us both.

 


As to the original post...+1. Please pass on my left.

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