The Chainlink

. . . Or "on your right"?

In order to be ready to run a marathon this October, I've started to appear more often on the LFT as one of those annoying joggers a.k.a. runners.

I do try hard to be not very annoying, though, given my own reaction to 'em joggers. Do upon others, practice what you preach, and all that. I look back before making turn or changing lanes, I even point to the direction I am about to make a move, just like I would do when I ride my bike.

I found that something is almost totally missing now.

It didn't take me long to realize what it was: almost never do I hear a warning from cyclists overtaking me, even when they pass within a couple of inches.

Has "passing on your left" gone out of fashion? Do cyclists save their breath, considering that runners and others will not hear them, anyway?

Or, may be, cyclists are trying not to annoy runners?

WTF?

(Sorry, Chi Lowe ;)

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It's a matter of yelling on your left to CYA against runners who wear earbuds and can't even hear your warning before they turn across the path without looking.  At least the biker provided a warning, even if the runner chose not to be able to hear it.  I will wait if I can't safely pass.  But there is little that bikers can about runners who chose to be careless and not be aware of their surroundings.

Eli Naeher said:

At the very least, it might serve as a CYA: if they don't hear, or ignore your warning, it will be their fault.

I think this is the attitude that angers pedestrians on the receiving end. No, it will not be their fault if you hit them while passing. It is your responsibility to pass safely, or to wait until you are able to do so. This is a common feature of every system of "rules of the road" that I have ever heard of, from US driving rules to marine navigation rules: it is the overtaking vehicle that must keep clear of the vehicle being overtaken, not vice versa. Why should it work differently on the LFP?

For anyone else who didn't know, I looked it up: "Against stupidity the gods themselves fight (contend) in vain." - Friedrich Schiller, from The Maid of Orleans


Serge Lubomudrov said:

Mit der Dummheit kampfen Gotter selbst vergebens.
Just showing off, Sarah, just showing off ;)

I was on the path yesterday and behind a group of four people walking side by side--I was going pretty slow so I just said, "bike in back of you" and gave them a wide berth. As I passed, I heard one of them say passive-aggressively, "Whenever they do that, it startles me." I've had the same annoyed reaction if I say "on your left," use my bell, whatever. I give up: I can't read people's minds as to what they prefer me to do.

Isn't startling them the point, though? If you yell out "on your left" or ring your bell, and they get startled and move, didn't you accomplish your goal? If they don't want to be startled, then they probably shouldn't block off the entire trail.

Heather said:

I was on the path yesterday and behind a group of four people walking side by side--I was going pretty slow so I just said, "bike in back of you" and gave them a wide berth. As I passed, I heard one of them say passive-aggressively, "Whenever they do that, it startles me." I've had the same annoyed reaction if I say "on your left," use my bell, whatever. I give up: I can't read people's minds as to what they prefer me to do.

Startled people don't always move the way you want them to, particularly if they try to look toward the source of the alarm.

That said, I got sideswiped going around some walkers because a couple post-midlife crisis types on a speed run thought yelling on your left meant they had the right of way and I was supposed to collide with the people I was overtaking.

I personally don't say "On your left." Mainly because when someone does it to me it startles me and I think something wrong is happening, every time. I do make sure to pass someone with ample room being allowed though.

"1) I worry I am going to scare someone screaming behind them as I approach."

Thank you for not doing this to me.

"Isn't startling them the point, though? If you yell out "on your left" or ring your bell, and they get startled and move, didn't you accomplish your goal? If they don't want to be startled, then they probably shouldn't block off the entire trail."

I always bike as far right as I can on the trail so that people can pass me easily. If honking a car horn at a biker is forbidden because it may startle them, so should be yelling at them.

Wait - honking at a biker is forbidden/illegal?

Shawn M said:

If honking a car horn at a biker is forbidden because it may startle them, so should be yelling at them.

I doubt it's illegal but it's a very bad thing to do unless you have a very good reason to do so. It could scare someone, make them fall over and get them killed.

Edit to add: I have seen cyclist fall over several times from cars honking at them. It's not a good thing because you do not know each and every cyclists skills on riding. Frantically looking back can cause imbalance.

Yes - I get that.  Just thought I missed something when you referred to it as "forbidden".  Cabs honk at me/other bikers all of the time.

Shawn M said:

I doubt it's illegal but it's a very bad thing to do unless you have a very good reason to do so. It could scare someone, make them fall over and get them killed.

Poor choice of wording. I apologize.

"Cabs honk at me/other bikers all of the time."

They do do it a lot and they shouldn't :(

blair said:

Yes - I get that.  Just thought I missed something when you referred to it as "forbidden".  Cabs honk at me/other bikers all of the time.

Shawn M said:

I doubt it's illegal but it's a very bad thing to do unless you have a very good reason to do so. It could scare someone, make them fall over and get them killed.

Fresh experience, from running this last morning.

I was running with my girlfriend, which makes me a bit over-protective, perhaps (I run to the left of her; and I always switch to a single line where there's no shoulder on the LFT, GF or not). I was not wearing headphones, and, as usual, I'd glance back before turning, etc. The trail was not crowded, so there was plenty of space for passing cyclists to give me several feet of a berth. Most of them did.

But a couple of f****** morons whooshed by so close to me they made my skin crawl. And those were going real fast. (Goes without saying that not a single warning has been given.)

WTF?

Really? Why would you expect a driver give you your three feet, if you are not willing to do the same?

I think persons like that will not learn for as long as they are lucky and are not taught hard way. Or may be never.

Unfortunately, there's almost always someone else to pay for their f****** idiocy.

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