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· passive/aggressive
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I changed my route recently and now I have a stretch of single lane bike lane which I have avoided in the past due being hit twice in one. I also now have 5 miles or so of 2 lane bike path.

So the question is: when approaching a slower rider (generally people on department store bikes and riding quite slowl)y is it best to pass with a callout, just pass quickly or call out well in advance?

My biggest fear is spooking them and either having them turn into me, the curb, or traffic.

FWIW I have only commute on full size bike/bus lanes or bike routes through neighborhoods since i was hit commuting on single lane bike lanes.

TIA
 

· The web is a MUT
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1,380 Posts
Every situation is dependant upon the overtaker and the overtaken.
Sometimes I'll call out, sometimes I just go past, sometimes I'll say hello, sometimes I click/clack the brake levers, sometimes I'll ring the bell, but if I see they have headphones or earbuds on I'll just go past as quickly as I can.

And sometimes I'm the one getting passed and in those cases I'll just try to hold my line.
 

· passive/aggressive
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yes but the question is: is it better to ring or call out right before you pass, well in advance before you pass or just sneak by and hope to not startle them. I am running into many people that are what you might call no-cyclist cyclists; recreational cyclists, DUI riders and those that can't afford a car. I am afraid of scaring them into an accident because some do listen to headphones and most do not expect to be passed by someone doing twice the speed that they are.

I will look at a bell though. Do they make one that fits on 31.8 bars? Will other roadies mock me and my bell equiped litespeed? (kidding, roadies mock me anyway).
 

· The web is a MUT
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1,380 Posts
rockcrusher said:
yes but the question is: is it better ....
There is no "better", there is only "it depends". Every situation is different, every rider you encounter is different. Experiment and let experience be your guide.

And as to the DUI riders, not even they know what they'll do.

Also, if you're really worried about making them crash then get a jersey or bicycle license plate with somebody eles's name on it. ;)
 

· Back from the dead
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20,800 Posts
You do what you have to do to protect yourself, which means announce yourself in some way. Other trail users have to realize that they are not alone on the trail, and they have the same responsibility to share the trail and be aware of their surroundings. So if ringing a bell scares someone and they crash their bike, that's not your problem. If someone is wearing headphones, can't hear you, gets scared and crashes as a result, that's not your fault or your problem.
 

· Ethical Nihilist
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1,070 Posts
I use a referee's whistle. ( And boy was he mad when I took it from him ) Really gets their attention. I think you probably have a legal obligation to give audible warning before passing. That's the law here in on the Federal trails.
 

· Banned
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7,191 Posts
FWIW, I've got a bell, and most people just ignore it.

I think around here, I'm the only one who uses a bell, so most people who hear it don't even look (assuming they aren't wearing headphones and can't hear anything).
 

· Registered
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5,525 Posts
Type of ringer matters, I think

Brinnnng Rinnng.

I used an "Incridibell" for several years. It had a single "ding" that was loud and clear. I found that it seemed to startle people much more than than the bell I now have, which has two, multi-contact rings with each push of the thumb level. "Brinnnng Rrinnng." I get thanked alot when I use that bell. Folks seem much less startled with this bell, even though it might not be as loud as the single-"Ding"-Incredibell. YBMV.
 

· Registered
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274 Posts
My personal opinion is to shout out WELL in advance, something like "Coming up on your left". Which is also etiquette for downhill skiing. I do a fair amount of group paceline riding on a local bikepath and that's what we do. The bell thing is kinda inconclusive, because many times the rider you're passing doesn't know what side you're coming up from.
 

· Failboat Captian
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6,559 Posts
I would strongly urge you NOT to use the word "left" if you call out that you are passing. People hear "left" and move left. If I'm on a bike w/o a bell, I simply call out "Passing!", and people will simply move further to the side they are already on.

What's the Spanish word for "left"? (I had my wife tell me once, but I forgot). We have lots of people on the MUT here that don't speak English.

When you pass on the single lane, as with a sidewalk, I tend to just go into the gravel or grass.
 

· Big is relative
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11,901 Posts
My Hawaii commute was mostly on the MUT. I used a bell with a compass on top (GPS V.1) that was loud and clear. I would ring the bell and say "passing on your left side". "On your left" resulted in the person moving to his/her left too many times for my comfort. After a while, the usual morning joggers would hear my bell and move to the right or get single file so I could pass. Most people don't have a problem taking direction either. I would approach a group of runners and say "please single file on the right so I can pass". iPODs throw a completely different wrench in to the problem. I do what a previous post said, just pass as quickly as possible.
 

· Yo no fui.
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8,486 Posts
Bill Silverman said:
A la izquirda
"A la izquierda."

"Perdón, gracias."

"Te paso a la izquierda."

!Muévete! (Mexican).

"Che, vamos flaco. Dale. Movete el culo." (Argentina).
 

· RBR Veteran Opinionater
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1,512 Posts
In answer to the question, Yes, give warning. If you piss someone off, and they catch you at a light, they'll be too winded to start a fight. Then calmly explain that some folks get mad no matter what you do, so you preffer to issue an early notice rather than startle someone.

In answer to the non-question: I used a bell, but it didn't carry above traffic noise in some areas. Now I call out "left" far enough in advance to see what people will do.
 

· Yo no fui.
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8,486 Posts
I prefer to use a bell if I think they need notice. A fake cough also works. Loud hubs are bonus points. For example, I'll cough for say something on a bike path, but if it's a quiet road with lots of room to pass, I'll just blow past with plenty of room. Bells are darn near mandatory on mountain bike trails.
 
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