Don't call out "on your left!"

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Good article, thanks for posting link. I don't agree with the advise of the thread title: Don't call out "on your left!". I feel it's best to signal with a device e.g. bell and announce your intentions: "On Your Left". Regular users of paths know what that means and new users will learn. ALL users must learn what will make everyone safe.
 
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PowerMe

Well-Known Member
One guy in the cycling group I joined a couple weeks ago did this (IMO) obnoxious yell "CAR BACK! CAR BACK!" To let us know there was a car coming up. The thing is, we were riding on the far right, on the white line. No one was moving off the white line and there were only 3 of us in our little pack. I got really annoyed at his yelling it. I started to yell back to him, "we can HEAR the car coming!" Geez. Better the car should see us since it's the one coming up from behind. I mean, there was no where else to go for a cyclist to go, so screaming that with every car got very old, very fast.

And then the peleton of 40 Lance Armstrong-type riders who were going much faster and felt the need to scream overAndoverAndover "ON YOUR LEFT! ON YOUR LEFT!" Again, I was hugging that white line of the road, which was obvious to anyone coming up from behind. I had no one to pass and there was no where else for me to go. They rode so close to me in their side by side formation that I thought I was going to get pushed off the road altogether. It was (IMO again) rude.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
Good article, thanks for posting link. I don't agree with the advise of the thread title: Don't call out "on your left!". I feel it's best to signal with a device e.g. bell and announce your intentions: "On Your Left". Regular users of paths know what that means and new users will learn. ALL users must learn what will make everyone safe.
Calling out "on your left" just startles people and confuses them, as the article points out. I slow down to the pedestrian's speed and talk to them, every time.

It's surprising how many people get startled when a bike comes behind them. I ding my bell, and I talk to them, and sometimes they still jump.

Why? My theory is because they're so used to bicyclists blasting by with no regard for safety.

Look, I'm not saying that anyone here rides like that. My concern is that a couple years from now, e-bikes will be prohibited from riding everywhere but the street.

Our highly considerate actions are one of the best steps we can take to help us gain/keep the access we desire.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I can't be an ambassador to every ped I approach on my daily 34 mile round trip commute... Time needs to be made, or bike commuting makes no sense and will never catch on in the US. I say Hi, Morning, Nice Day..... as I pass at a slow pace. Everyone needs to pay attention! "Sorry" if I scared you! I am a kind, responsible, generous cyclist, hope you are the same kind of pedestrian.
Calling out "on your left" just startles people and confuses them, as the article points out. I slow down to the pedestrian's speed and talk to them, every time.

It's surprising how many people get startled when a bike comes behind them. I ding my bell, and I talk to them, and sometimes they still jump.

Why? My theory is because they're so used to bicyclists blasting by with no regard for safety.

Look, I'm not saying that anyone here rides like that. My concern is that a couple years from now, e-bikes will be prohibited from riding everywhere but the street.

Our highly considerate actions are one of the best steps we can take to help us gain/keep the access we desire.
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
This is where a horn that can emit statements you either record or can program in would be wonderful! Things like, "Good morning, I'm about to pass on your left" followed by another sound you can trigger, 'Thank you and have a great day!" Or even a combo loud bell sound followed by a statement like above.
 

grench

Well-Known Member
This is where a horn that can emit statements you either record or can program in would be wonderful! Things like, "Good morning, I'm about to pass on your left" followed by another sound you can trigger, 'Thank you and have a great day!" Or even a combo loud bell sound followed by a statement like above.
I don't think the nature lovers or animals would like the mega horns going off as bicycles pass from two directions. We would have horns yelling at each other...lol. IMO the bicycle bell works as good as anything. The ear phoned, the distracted, the hard of hearing, groups, and kids will always be obsticles on shared path. My limited experience says if you want 20+ speeds - hit the pavement. Otherwise slow down and be considerate. The best answer would be dedicated bike paths...but then again what would the high speed boys think of my relatively slow pace? I would then be the 'slow pedestrian'.
 

Marty

Member
Follow these common-sense ideas and just maybe e-bikes will have some sort of trail access in the future.

http://www.pacificsun.com/upfront-sharing-the-path/
Bikes and pedestrians share a beach boardwalk type path here and there are two things that amaze me. One is that people will walk down the exact center instead of to the right hand side, and when people cross this path in a group, they line up like the Beatles did on the Abby Road album cover, and cross in a single file line. The speed limit for bikes is 8 mph, kinda hard to ride a bike that slowly, so no one does.

It really frustrates me that I will slow down for the guy meandering around the middle of the path and someone rides up from behind and calls out, "On your left!" which ignores the concept that I slowed down for a reason.
 

Marty

Member
Something to do with human nature, maybe a territorial issue. Ever notice the guy who takes his sweet time leaving a parking space? That's what's going on there, it's his territory and he wants you to know it.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
This is what goes on in my area with shared paths.
Yup, I will come across 75 year old ladies walking their fluffy little dogs. Between themselves, and the little dog stretching the leash, the whole path is covered. What to do?

- Slow down, be nice?
- Or yell "on your left" as we race on by?

I wonder which action will create goodwill among "the not a rider" public?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Wellll, you do ride in a rural area I think you said? So your situation may be different.
Yes you are correct. Most times it's different and if I plan well I can miss most traffic of all types. My schedule is also flexible most times and that helps. I do run into many of the situations you note, I also have wild animals to worry about. In the past week I had a deer and wild turkey stand in the trail staring me down wondering what I was:eek:

I've seen riders on cross bikes fly on the trail and brake to fishtail behind peds to scare them out of the way. I've had to do emergency stops when an unpredictable ped broke in an odd direction and everyone was scared, including me. I don't disagree with much of what's been said here and it's good to get the conversation going. I just feel everyone needs to be educated on the use of the trails/paths, including pedestrians. It never helps anyone to say "not my fault" after someone's hurt.
 

Paul E.

Active Member
- Slow down, be nice?
- Or yell "on your left" as we race on by?

I wonder which action will create goodwill among "the not a rider" public?
It's pretty obvious. It should be just as obvious that it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the bike is e or not.