The Chainlink

Attention cyclists! The weekend is upon us, so you, like me, will be out there riding. And, inevitably, some of you will pass me on the road. That's ok. But when you pass me, I want you to know that I prefer a gentle "good morning" rather than a loud "on your left!'. The former usually results in a pleasant smile from me; the latter results in me saying something like "on my left? Really? Cus you would have to be retarded to try passing me on the right." You have been warned. :)

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May I have permission to ring my bell instead?

Good evening, Tristan. I sense you're being a bit defensive. Chill. Have a good ride.

I dunno. Every rider seems to have their own preference on how an overtaking cyclist should announce their presence. I'm not going to try to split the difference: everyone gets an "on your left," at a volume befitting the relative speed, ambient noise, density of traffic, and the apparent skill/attention level of the rider being overtaken. If you're riding safely on a calm street at a moderate speed, I'm not going to shout at you - I might even pass at such a distance that I won't bother. But if you're hogging the lane, riding erratically, wearing headphones, and taking your damn sweet time, I'm going to shout at you.

Sorry.

Is it ok if I say both?  I usually say "Good morning, coming by on your left."  I have to admit, is sounds odd at night though, "Good evening" just doesn't roll off my tongue like Good morning does.

As long as they don't pass me on my right I don't care what they say. Even if they just warned me with anything that they were passing now on the left I'd be ok.   Clearly my peeve is all these cyclists who keep passing me on my right in the bike lane.

But I don't care what people say honestly, as long as it's something.  


Statements like this result in me thinking you're an insensitive jerk:

"... Cus you would have to be retarded to try passing me on the right."

Seems perfectly reasonable to me. Quite frankly, unless it's yelled in a rude way with enough lead time to react if needed, I don't see why anyone would take offense at "on your left."  Just my $0.02...

yaj 7.4 said:

Is it ok if I say both?  I usually say "Good morning, coming by on your left."  I have to admit, is sounds odd at night though, "Good evening" just doesn't roll off my tongue like Good morning does.

The only ones who get me yelling On Your Left are joggers with clearly visible ear buds.
Other times most others are paying attention and see me coming.
Some other times I will sing On Your Left in a manner to get their attention and not scare people.
Anyone with ear buds and headphones though I will be yelling cause I just don't trust them to pay attention.

That sounds so pleasant. You can pass me anytime.

Jeff Schneider said:

Sometimes I just say, "Hi" and comment that it's a beautiful day...

Bells are cool.

Tandemonium said:

May I have permission to ring my bell instead?

Defensive how? :)

Tom A.K. said:
Good evening, Tristan. I sense you're being a bit defensive. Chill. Have a good ride.

That sounds very reasonable. And, to be clear, I'm only annoyed by a particular type of on-your-left: the type shouted, in jerk tone, on a quiet, wide street, with little traffic. For instance, someone used the jerk type on-your-left on me while I was cruising through Fort Sheridan. I was like "dude, you got at least 20 feet to pass me without shouting at me". And that's really my point: there is zero point of saying it at all if you can pass me safely without saying it. And, stylistically, it's annoying because on-your-left typically imparts zero useful information to me, because, when I'm already all the way to right, then, of course, you're going to pass me on the left. So just saying "good morning" is more polite. And, IMHO, the sense of community among us cyclists is bettered by us greeting each other politely. 


Simon Phearson said:

I dunno. Every rider seems to have their own preference on how an overtaking cyclist should announce their presence. I'm not going to try to split the difference: everyone gets an "on your left," at a volume befitting the relative speed, ambient noise, density of traffic, and the apparent skill/attention level of the rider being overtaken. If you're riding safely on a calm street at a moderate speed, I'm not going to shout at you - I might even pass at such a distance that I won't bother. But if you're hogging the lane, riding erratically, wearing headphones, and taking your damn sweet time, I'm going to shout at you.

Sorry.

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