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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I almost always say it.  I thank those who say it to me.  I too get aggravated by those who don't say it.

I have found that when I am biking and I say "passing" or "on your left", many runners/pedestrians are startled or confused--not sure what's happening--so they make a big abrupt move to turn around and see what's happening and they sometimes end up stepping towards me or into my path. My mom is super guilty of this and her friend actually got hit by a cyclist due to this exact scenario. If people are walking/running predictably, I personally have found it's best not to "scare" them. And of course they likely have their headphones on, so it wouldn't mater anyway. I do say it to other cyclists though since they are more used to it and likely won't make that mistake.

Erin, this is exactly why I use my bell and siren. Ever heard how a train gives signals when approaching a road crossing? Something like that: I start dinging the bell two or three hundred feet from a runner or walker I'm about to overtake. If they acknowledge my warning somehow (by glancing back or waiving hand), great—no more bell. If not, I will ring again, and again, then sound the siren. More often than not, it gets message across. I try to make sure they have been warned. If there's an idiot running in the middle of the trail with noise-cancelling headphones on, I will yell, preferably something unpleasant, and not necessarily in Russian, to ensure they understand how stupid they are ;)

Alright. You have now created a previously unknown need for me to learn a few unpleasant phrases in Russian.

Serge Lubomudrov said:

Erin, this is exactly why I use my bell and siren. Ever heard how a train gives signals when approaching a road crossing? Something like that: I start dinging the bell two or three hundred feet from a runner or walker I'm about to overtake. If they acknowledge my warning somehow (by glancing back or waiving hand), great—no more bell. If not, I will ring again, and again, then sound the siren. More often than not, it gets message across. I try to make sure they have been warned. If there's an idiot running in the middle of the trail with noise-cancelling headphones on, I will yell, preferably something unpleasant, and not necessarily in Russian, to ensure they understand how stupid they are ;)
Easy. And for you, Kevin, it will be pro bono ;)
I am wondering if people can even hear your noble attempts at civility when their ears are corked by digital isolation units.

Birds? Surf? The lyrics of a breeze? One's own thoughts? Yawwwwwn.... Boooooooring!

It has also become nearly impossible to distinguish the crazy street people from those jabbering away on their headsets.

I feel greatest the scourge on the lfp are the inconsiderate wanna-be "atheletes" that have no regard for anything but their own self-absorbtion.

Peletons of a-hole cyclists swarm the lfp every morning at speeds they cannot possibly consider safe. All with helmets... Thank Jah!

My experience? My policy? Having been chased, threatened and bullied while riding on my victorian toy?... Is that one interacts with our simian-minded fellow humans at ones own risk.

No limits. No boundaries. Swagger. Be your true self. Have pride. Be fierce!..

And now?... with that attitude?...

...Let's get out there and try to have a civilization where everybody is "equal". As if.

On your left. Noble in deed, indeed.

Adoreable.

I've been thinking about this thread and what I actually do when I'm on the trail.  I absolutely say "on your left" to every cyclist I pass. I also slow down before I pass them, so it's a lot easier for folks to hear me, and then I don't have to shout (I can also see if they have headphones.) It seems to work pretty well.

When it comes to to pedestrians, well, there's no good rule for anyone. I read an earlier comment that said that joggers and/or runners are well behaved. That's true for what I believe to be the population of runners that are experienced and use the trail all the time. At peak, those folks make up only a small percentage of the trail, and are themselves put in a position where they are forced into traffic or off the trail.

As far as what I do, it comes down to calling out when I think my or someone else's safety is in danger. There's not much more you can do. Ride predictably and keep to the right when you can and set an example for other folks.

Motorized vehicles generally do not have the ability to modulate their sound.  That would be a great thing. You could have a hard and soft beep. It would be cool if the pressure you put on the horn effected the volume. Soft push for "hey buddy just letting you know there is a car on your left: and harder push for "oh my God I don't think you saw that little kid who is about to cross the street."  Of course, we would have to give drivers music lessons and few of them would have the requisite skill. 

On the bike, we do it all the time. I have a whistle, a call and a war whoop depending on the situation. I also have a bike bell. The bell is perfect for a "passing on  your left" situation. Its not aggressive but its discernible. You want to be heard but there is no need to use a nuclear weapon (ie.airr horn) in such situations.  This way we can minimize the startle while continuing to announce our attention.  As to the noise cancelling headphones- I have commented  on other threads about cyclists using them. The best I can say is its all a part of natural selection. That gene may not live to breed. If you are walking or running with phones they should allow some environment in and you should not monopolize the lane.  We will do our best to avoid you and give you every bit of consideration.  Those who survive you will never believe us.

Back to the thread-- announcing our intention is what this is about. Its a good thing to let people know what you are doing so they can make a decision about what they will do. 
blair said:

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 noticed so many more people kindly saying "on your left" this morning (myself included) on the LFP. Maybe the drizzle made folks that much more polite, but I like to think The Chainlink gets a lot more readers than we think. :) 

Like Serge I am both a runner and a biker.

I have agonized over this issue too as sometimes I feel it is better to say nothing so they don't get more anxious.  I would say about half the time - depending on how much other traffic there is, I say "passing on the left."

The LFP is getting out of hand; we need to have separate bike and jogging paths.  In most places the space exists it seems to me.

For those of you biking on the LPF, this is NOT the place to bike fast. You will just have to accept the fact that the LFP is filled with tourists, high school kids, strollers, etc. - they just aren't looking out for bikes much of the time.  Thus, you always have to defer to the walkers/runners. If you want to do high speed biking, try some of the suburban routes. City riding  - and I say this as someone who bikes the LFP every day - is not designed for high speed travel.  

Agreed



Naomi Ruth Jackson said:

Most joggers I've seen run pretty predictably and avoid swaying into main traffic. I try to save my stage voice for the unpredictable pedestrians on LST such as: high schoolers, people with children/dogs, and people on skates.  

I wish I were as lucky as you two, Naomi and Sonny.

Sonny Sherwood said:

Agreed



Naomi Ruth Jackson said:

Most joggers I've seen run pretty predictably and avoid swaying into main traffic. I try to save my stage voice for the unpredictable pedestrians on LST such as: high schoolers, people with children/dogs, and people on skates.  

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