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On Your Left - Humor

Old 11-22-21, 03:48 PM
  #26  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I say 'Hello' from a distance to give a bit of time for a reaction which is usually a look over one shoulder or the other a brief re-balancing and then a move to the side. As I approach I may have to say hello more than once.

That works, too. I especially like that when there are kids involved, makes it clear I'm just making sure they know I'm there so we don't run into each other.
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Old 11-22-21, 04:47 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
That works, too. I especially like that when there are kids involved, makes it clear I'm just making sure they know I'm there so we don't run into each other.
I've been doing it for years. Not the greatest example here, but...
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Old 11-22-21, 05:48 PM
  #28  
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Lefthanded people often have difficulty telling which is which.
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Old 11-22-21, 06:21 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Gyro View Post
I yell, "bike behind you" and let them decide.
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
"Passing on your left". Works better than anything else. Nothing is perfect.
I need to try one of these instead...


Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I don't rely on slowing as much as you do, what I find is the startle and annoyance is greatest when I make the announcement too close to the actual pass..
I struggle with this sometimes. On one hand, I don't want to announce so far back that they move over and wait... and wait... and wait... and then get annoyed. On the other hand, I don't want to do it when I'm right behind them so they're startled and then get annoyed. The other problem is that my voice isn't that loud, so I have the choice of either doing it from farther back but having to do it at a volume/tone that sounds like I'm screaming at them, or in a tone that sounds more friendly-- or rather, less angry/adversarial-- but from closer.

When I'm with my friend on her tandem, I'll yell loudly from further back and worry much less about the "feelings" of the pedestrian or other biker-- which is also where the bell can come in when needed. It's a different ballgame when I'm responsible for someone else's safety.
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Old 11-23-21, 08:09 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Not everyone can hear or even reacts to the bike bell. So you have to prepare to use your secondary warning system.
AirZound? It does scatter the peds pretty quickly... except for the ones that curl up in a fetal position with their hands over their ears...
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Old 11-23-21, 08:13 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
The secret to a safe and courteous interaction is to slow to a minimal speed disparity as you approach. That's what I do. If I see ear buds, I very slowly ease around them. If I don't see buds, I say in a conversational tone "I am easing around YOUR left." Then I ease around and say something polite when I do. Kids always get complimented on their bike and dogs are often told they are good doggies.
Honestly, this is almost what I do too... just a safe slow courteous pass, often just clicking brake handles to make a subtle noise... and if I say anything, it is something like "Nice Day," or "Howdy."

This action eliminates all the potential problems except the dog nipping at your heels...
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Old 11-23-21, 09:24 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
People's voices vary so much that I don't know whether they could announce as far back as I do and have it be effective and/or perceived as non-hostile.
That's a good point. My voice isn't the loudest... Maybe the pedestrians can hear me if I shout, but there's no way I want to spend my ride shouting at people. So I use a bell.

Nice thing about a bell (well, my bell anyway) is I can ring it full strength from a hundred feet away, or I can ring it softly from close range if necessary. Much more range than my voice.
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Old 11-23-21, 09:43 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
That's a good point. My voice isn't the loudest... Maybe the pedestrians can hear me if I shout, but there's no way I want to spend my ride shouting at people. So I use a bell.

Nice thing about a bell (well, my bell anyway) is I can ring it full strength from a hundred feet away, or I can ring it softly from close range if necessary. Much more range than my voice.

Yeah, I used to get into arguments about whether voice or bell is better, but then realized that really depends on your voice and where you ride. My main gripe with bells is I see too many confused pedestrians who can't figure out what to do when it rings as it's really conveying no information other than "I'm back here", but truth is that's probably true with voice a lot as people don't necessarily listen to the words and/or understand them.
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Old 11-23-21, 11:00 AM
  #34  
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Yes, it definitely depends on your voice and volume you can get out. As well as the ambient sound levels. There is a part of the MUP that parallels a very busy 4 lane HWY and sounds reflecting off the bare embankments on either side where even conversation while walking or riding side by side is a problem.

As for volume, some have it some don't. I'm always surprised that no matter how long I've ridden and tired I may be that I can bellow out with the loudest. I too have learned to make it sound a little friendlier and try to say something nice or courteous as I get next to the persons I'm passing.

On the other hand, I've had cyclist pass me and they can barely gasp out much more than a whisper. All I can say for them is they need to work on that. Maybe read some Army pamphlet on giving marching drill commands or read up on using lungs properly for singing out like an opera singer.

Bells? The ones that sound like the little brass bicycle bell and make a tl'ing tl'ing sound are readily recognizable to me. However some cyclist have had electronic devices that make a odd sound like a horn or other type bell and they are hard for me to recognize that they are behind me or even on the road with me. I'm looking elsewhere for their origin.

Still for all those pedestrians that get confused and move where you don't want them to move or jump out of their skin, they almost always are new to the MUP. If this isn't their one time per year on the trail they usually figure it out after another time or two.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-23-21 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 11-23-21, 01:30 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
AirZound? It does scatter the peds pretty quickly... except for the ones that curl up in a fetal position with their hands over their ears...
Not from my experience. Some people are just so obvlious, they can't even hear it when you blast it right in front of them. Mind-boggling.
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Old 11-23-21, 01:56 PM
  #36  
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Threads like this reminds me just how good I have it out on the roads
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Old 11-23-21, 01:56 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Not from my experience. Some people are just so obvlious, they can't even hear it when you blast it right in front of them. Mind-boggling.

If I'm walking around and you blast me with that damn thing, I'd probably go out of my way not to let you pass. The only reason drivers get away with it is because they're encased in a heavy metal shell.
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Old 11-23-21, 02:00 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Threads like this reminds me just how good I have it out on the roads
I ride thousands of miles on both paths and roads every year.

I've never been in any situation on a path that I would consider remotely life-threatening. They happen fairly regularly on roads.
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Old 11-23-21, 02:02 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I ride thousands of miles on both paths and roads every year.

I've never been in any situation on a path that I would consider remotely life-threatening. They happen fairly regularly on roads.
1000 X

Doesn't mean I'll stop riding roads... but anyone that thinks they are "all the same" is clearly NOT paying attention.
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Old 11-23-21, 02:26 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If I'm walking around and you blast me with that damn thing, I'd probably go out of my way not to let you pass. The only reason drivers get away with it is because they're encased in a heavy metal shell.
They were just walking around. One guy was standing in the middle of the bike lane.
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Old 11-23-21, 02:35 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
They were just walking around. One guy was standing in the middle of the bike lane.

If you blasted me with that thing, I wouldn't move either just out of spite. Ask nicely or even gruffly, I'll hop out swiftly, but you assault my ears like that, you can go to hell. I don't think I'm even close to being the only person who would react like that. I wouldn't use one of those on a path unless I wanted someone to remove my teeth.
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Old 11-23-21, 02:49 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
THANK YOU

did not know any New Yorker article could be so short. I'm used to reading page after page after page. now I'm wondering about the writer's motivation & if they ever ride a bike themselves
Must have slipped by the editor. One would think there would be at least five pages devoted to the origins of ‘On your left’ followed by a few more pages devoted to how ‘on the left side’ became associated with ‘evil’.
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Old 11-24-21, 01:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I ride thousands of miles on both paths and roads every year.

I've never been in any situation on a path that I would consider remotely life-threatening. They happen fairly regularly on roads.
That's funny, because I also ride at least a 100-miles per week, but rarely ride on trails; however, of the times I have ridden on the trails, I hated it. You'd think someone that rides "thousands of miles...every year" would be perfectly fine on the roads. I live in the "most dangerous" State and City for cyclists, as some have said and I feel perfectly safe on the roads, mostly because I'm a very defensive cyclist.

Riding on trails just slows me down too much, not that I'm a speed demon, but with over 30-years of cycling, I simply don't want to pedal at below 15-mph and that's what I had to do on the trails in the DC area. There are some trails, such as the W &OD Trail, that goes out towards Purcellville, Va that is a very nice trail, but the bulk of other trails I've been on just suck.



.
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Old 11-24-21, 01:52 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Kat12 View Post

I struggle with this sometimes. On one hand, I don't want to announce so far back that they move over and wait... and wait... and wait... and then get annoyed. On the other hand, I don't want to do it when I'm right behind them so they're startled and then get annoyed.
I ride mostly on deserted rural roads and the startle factor is hard to overcome. There's plenty of room to pass another rider, but you want to announce your presence because you'll really startle them if you don't. But a voice from behind startles as well. Unless you do it from so far back that you have to yell to be heard. Which ends up feeling rather silly.
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Old 11-24-21, 02:02 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
That's funny, because I also ride at least a 100-miles per week, but rarely ride on trails; however, of the times I have ridden on the trails, I hated it. You'd think someone that rides "thousands of miles...every year" would be perfectly fine on the roads. I live in the "most dangerous" State and City for cyclists, as some have said and I feel perfectly safe on the roads, mostly because I'm a very defensive cyclist.

Riding on trails just slows me down too much, not that I'm a speed demon, but with over 30-years of cycling, I simply don't want to pedal at below 15-mph and that's what I had to do on the trails in the DC area. There are some trails, such as the W &OD Trail, that goes out towards Purcellville, Va that is a very nice trail, but the bulk of other trails I've been on just suck.
Mazel tov, you must have better luck in the offensiveness of the drivers you deal with. I'm riding about twice as much as you do during bike season up here, about 225 miles a week, roughly 2/3 on roads,
1/3 on paved MUP. On both, I'm typically cruising at or above 20 mph. I'm perfectly fine on the roads and apparently better on the paths than you are or I just have a lot better paths available to me than you do.

I just rode on the Mt. Vernon trail in VA last year. If you had to keep it under 15 mph, you lack skill.

Look, there's absolutely no objective criteria by which road riding is safer than riding on paths. You stated otherwise. You may "feel" perfectly safe on the road, but that's clearly a delusion. No one is perfectly safe, and no matter how "defensive" you are, you cannot react fast enough if a driver goes full stupid. I'm confident in my road riding skills and do at least as much of it as you do, but your complaints about paths have absolutely nothing to do with comparative safety.
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Old 11-24-21, 05:26 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
That's funny, because I also ride at least a 100-miles per week, but rarely ride on trails; however, of the times I have ridden on the trails, I hated it. You'd think someone that rides "thousands of miles...every year" would be perfectly fine on the roads. I live in the "most dangerous" State and City for cyclists, as some have said and I feel perfectly safe on the roads, mostly because I'm a very defensive cyclist.

Riding on trails just slows me down too much, not that I'm a speed demon, but with over 30-years of cycling, I simply don't want to pedal at below 15-mph and that's what I had to do on the trails in the DC area. There are some trails, such as the W &OD Trail, that goes out towards Purcellville, Va that is a very nice trail, but the bulk of other trails I've been on just suck..
I've pretty well given up on riding on the rail-trails around here. Between dog walkers with dogs on long thin retractable leashes that do an excellent job of "clotheslining" you and people walking with earbuds in their ears with the volume on high; it's far safer to ride on the quiet country roads instead.

Cheers
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Old 11-24-21, 05:29 PM
  #47  
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I yell NAKED MAN BEHIND YOU! Works every time.....
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Old 11-24-21, 06:53 PM
  #48  
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What happened to the OP?
It's ironic that the guy whose objective is to close down the A&S section by poo-pooing everyone's post has an active thread in it that's two pages long.
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Old 11-24-21, 09:37 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I ride mostly on deserted rural roads and the startle factor is hard to overcome. There's plenty of room to pass another rider, but you want to announce your presence because you'll really startle them if you don't. But a voice from behind startles as well. Unless you do it from so far back that you have to yell to be heard. Which ends up feeling rather silly.
I've had it come out too harsh when I'm trying to be loud enough to be heard-- in biking/running situations and others-- and then I feel bad. Not long ago I was at a coffee shop waiting for my order, and it was kind of busy. Server calls out what I think is my drink, but pronounces my name incorrectly (he mis-read it on the receipt) and as what he says is also a different name, I wanted to be sure I wasn't about to take someone else's drink. "{other name}!" he calls out. "{my name}?" I clarify, loudly enough to be heard. At which point he apologizes profusely, because the way it ended up coming out, it sounded I was mad rather than just trying to make sure it was in fact my order. Oops. At a loud enough volume, I have a hard time keeping a "strident" tone out of my voice even if it's not intended. I need to figure out techniques that sound more "friendly," I guess, but all I can think of is adding a kind of "up-speak"-- "on your left?" and... no.


Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
I yell NAKED MAN BEHIND YOU! Works every time.....
Or I could just try this one, too. No, I don't think I'll change it to "naked woman"-- much more interesting the other way.

Really, though, I could pick anything that sounds somewhat interesting enough to make people look. "Zombies!", for example, could work. ("Free beer coming!" could backfire, though.)
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Old 11-24-21, 10:10 PM
  #50  
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Yeah, yell Naked Woman. They''ll just stop and turn around. I would.

Now if I was on my bike I would ride away fast..........
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