Please don't tell me to "say something" or admonish me for not saying "on your left" when I'm passing you with 5+ feet clearance in the car lane, especially if you're riding dead center of the bike lane.
Yes I'll say something if I'd like you to move over a tad, I'm passing you in the bike lane, or it'll be a closer pass. As far as I'm concerned, I'm doing something 50+ cars have already done to you on your ride, only slower and with more space.
For those of you that demand every cyclists who passes you, no matter the amount of space, to declare their act: stop being righteous weenies.
I ride in the middle of the bike lane so that I am not hugging the cars because I don't want to get doored.
I also use my bell to signal to other cyclists that I am passing them so they don't suddenly go left (it's been known to happen).
If someone comes really close to me, giving me no room for error, and doesn't announce their existence, I do get irritated because I could suddenly move to avoid a pothole. I'm not saying that's what happened here but thought I'd offer a little counter POV to the post. I'm not really always a "righteous weenie" but I do get irritated when someone puts me in harm's way because they don't think some of these things through. :-)
Nothing wrong with any of what you said above. The 3-feet law is to compensate for some of that error (doors, potholes, etc) and I always announce myself if it's a closer pass.
But, if you're to the right and I'm passing you near the center line 8 feet away, don't shake your fist and tell me I should have said something.
Ha! I reserve my fist shaking for motorists that buzz me, swerve while distracted, etc. Usually accompanied by yelling "jacka**!" because I'm from Chicago.
Oh, and "Righteous Weenies" sounds like a good band name. Just sayin'
I do like that. "Righteous Weenies" - it's a great name!
Since i'm a bit hard of hearing in my left ear, i always appreciate having a passer announce themself, mainly because it often startles me to have a rider suddenly and silently flash by too close to my elbow. i understand your point of view if you're passing outside of ~5 feet, but any rider who passes me too close unannounced will hear about it.
If people give you 3' why would you be upset or surprised by a pass?
You have a bubble of 3' you can reasonably expect to not have anything in it If you get surprised or scared by things outside of that bubble you may want to rethink your mode or transportation or take a route with less traffic; possibly one not on roads...
I get it but it is a tough call. Sometimes we are doing something, whether on the bike or elsewhere, and we are in our zone. We get spooked when somebody passes on their bike, or when somebody walks into a room. Did you pass a weenie, a person in a zone, a shrill rules monger or perhaps a new commuter who still has a bit of bike lane claustrophobia? Who knows. What I do know is that airing it out here was a much better option than responding on the road. We've all been on both sides of this one, left and right.
Yeah that's tough feedback especially if you are someone that makes a concerted effort to typically call out 'on your left' when passing and it sounds like you did everything right.
Now I know this is a bit different than what you are describing but I find it a difficult topic because the large majority of cyclists I encounter do not say a thing when passing within a few inches or if they insist on passing in a PBL do so without saying a peep (which I find totally bananas)-- it depends on the day but when this happens I try to give a friendly 'hey bud, next time can you call it', usually to no response. Once someone kind of looked back and smirked, ONCE. Maybe for this weenie they had 10 people pass them too closely so even your benign passing was enough to trigger their already heightened emotions. That doesn't mean they have a right to be rude but it's just a thought. Today someone passed me in the PBL, they called it but didn't give me anytime to move over-- I guess I'll take what I can get?
My hot take is that it takes zero effort to say on your left and if nothing else feels like a friendly greeting to our other bike pals so maybe it's not the worst to make it a habit even when unnecessary, there are lots of barriers for folks that want to get into cycling as it is. I was 100% a weenie when I started out full disclosure and still probably lean towards weenie-ness on most topics.
Thanks, I think this is a good point. I use a bell every day to communicate my position. If you don't want to talk (which is sometimes what I feel like), a bell can work as an alternative to communicate "on your left".
Definitely, I should have clarified but I do feel that 'on your left' is the equivalent of a bell to announce your passing.
Although we are outside subject to the wind and vehicular traffic we still hear tone of voice. There are other threads where this has been discussed. Sometimes a bell or an "on your left" is a gentle reminder to a fellow traveler. Other times it is code for "get the @#$&*outta my way." The bell does the same. A basic bell like the Incredibell sounds friendly with a single ring. I have had good friends and good riders tick that thing a half dozen times as we passed somebody and have thought to myself, "That was kind of aggressive, was that really necessary?" I kept the thought to myself.
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