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Cyclist Passing Etiquette

Old 09-29-20, 10:06 AM
  #1  
Cyclist0100
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Cyclist Passing Etiquette

I don't get passed by other cyclists too often, but the past few times it's happened the person passing me has given no verbal warning (i.e. "on your left"), no ring of the bell (if they had one), and when they passed they were about a foot away from me. Extremely rude in my opinion, and to top it off they couldn't even stay in front of me after they passed.

What's up with the lack of etiquette from other cyclists? Do they just not know any better? Do they think that I'm "less" of a cyclist because they're on a road bike with drop bars and I'm not, therefore etiquette does not matter?

When passing any cyclist these are three basic rules that I follow:

1. Ring my bell or provide a verbal warning (i.e. "on your left") as I approach.
2. When I pass the other rider I try to give them 3ft. We are still in the midst of a pandemic, so if I'm not constrained by traffic there's no reason to "crowd" another rider.
3. If I pass another rider I make sure to stay out front and keep on going.

I'm not sure why other humans on bikes don't show similar consideration, but many don't. Is anyone else experiencing a similar dynamic? Does anyone think I'm expecting too much in the way of etiquette from my fellow cyclists?
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Old 09-29-20, 10:37 AM
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it's hit or miss. I attempt with a few flicks of the bell. Most of the time the rider just is too consumed into the ride that they don't pay any attention or they just try & speed up. I don't let it bother me.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:43 AM
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Around here, most cyclists on the road don't give a verbal warning, but do pass with plenty of space, and don't pull back in ahead till they're clear. There are a LOT of cyclists on the roads here, especially now, and I think between that and the wide berth everyone gives everyone else, the verbal warnings aren't as important as they'd be on an 8' wide MUP, for example, where to pass at 6' distance would require both riders to ride close to an edge.

I like to give a quick buzz of the freewheel when I come up behind someone, though. Let's them know someone's there, so they won't be startled when I come around. I know sometimes I've been so 'in the groove' that "On your left" or a pinging bell make me flinch big time.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:47 AM
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IMHO, the 1st and 2nd rules are mutually exclusive - I see no need for any warning if there is enough room to pass safely. (Exception would be if there are other riders in front of the rider I'm going to overtake, which he might contemplate to overtake himself.) I reckon every signal, be it a bell or verbal one, is an annoyance - a minor one, and often necessary, but still - so I try to avoid it.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:49 AM
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Personally, on the rare occasion I'm on a mixed use path, I announce depending on the individual. If someone is "holding their line" I'll pass widely to the left. If people are crowding the center of the path or being erratic I'll announce. My opinion is that there's not enough placed on slower users to maintain situational awareness, if you're on a path expect at all times you'll be passed, have your head on a swivel and don't do anything without looking. Announcing should frankly be unnecessary, after all if we're driving we don't need cars honking to tell us they are passing us.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
IMHO, the 1st and 2nd rules are mutually exclusive - I see no need for any warning if there is enough room to pass safely. (Exception would be if there are other riders in front of the rider I'm going to overtake, which he might contemplate to overtake himself.) I reckon every signal, be it a bell or verbal one, is an annoyance - a minor one, and often necessary, but still - so I try to avoid it.
Fair enough. I have no disagreement with your statement. If a cyclist passes me without crowding me and doesn't announce then that's fine. What I don't understand is why a cyclist with plenty of space to pass thinks it's OK to crowd me. That's when it becomes annoying.
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Old 09-29-20, 11:01 AM
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I always follow your 2 and 3. I don't like to go near anyone due to covid so that keeps me far away from the other cyclist when I'm passing them. If they are riding on the shoulder then I will move out into the middle of the traffic lane after checking to be sure there are no cars coming. I also can't stand it when someone passes me and then I have to slow down because they can't go fast enough. So I make sure that I can easily pass them and leave them in the dust, so to speak, so I don't interfere with their riding. As for number 1, sometimes I'll yell out "On your left!" but if I am nowhere near them I may not say anything. I don't have a bell on my bike. They weigh too much.
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Old 09-29-20, 11:06 AM
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Unfortunately, about half are below average.
That's my mantra on the drivers I see, helps keep me from getting F'ING ANGRY. Sorta.
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Old 09-29-20, 11:10 AM
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Old 09-29-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
.... and when they passed they were about a foot away from me.
I used to think the same way, but then I realized that being passed "a foot away" was probably more like three feet. It just seems like it's closer. I don't think anyone has ever passed me a foot away unless it was totally by accident and one or the other of us was in the process of crashing.

But regardless... If I'm overtaking a single rider who is well to the right, I just go on by and say nothing. If there are several, or if there are children, or if they're riding side-by-side, or it's a bunch of joggers, I ring the bell. I feel it's MUCH louder than my voice, unless I'm shouting.

If they're using Earbuds, or have a radio going (who has room for that?), even the bell might not be loud enough.
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Old 09-29-20, 11:41 AM
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I don't ride MUPs, so road exclusively. I'll usually give someone the heads-up as I'm approaching, and I won't pass until the road behind is clear and I can give them a full lane's space - until then, I just hang back. I generally don't care if people passing me don't prewarn me, as I can can generally see them coming in my rear view anyway. I did have one close call a while back that still gives my slight jitters - I was descending a long straight - 30-35 mph. I was with another guy, side by side, empty road - one can hear cars coming from some distance (but not bikes, as it turns out). There's a roughly repaired section in the middle of the lane, so I go left toward the center line, and the other guy goes right, toward the verge. As I'm veering left, I'm passed on the left by another cyclist doing a good 10-15 mph faster - he missed me by inches - it could have been very nasty for both of us, and certainly scared the crap out of me at the time. There but for the grace of god and a few inches etc etc..... That's the closest I've come to a collision in a long time, and it could have averted if he'd simply signaled his intention to overtake - of course, maybe if I'd indicated my intent to veer left, he could've given me more space, or if I'd rechecked my mirror first. We both could've done better, and I'm mainly just relieved that the closer encounter didn't have a less favorable outcome. Good communication in both directions is good for everyone.
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Old 09-29-20, 11:49 AM
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Iím mostly passing on trails. I always ring the bell and try to do it a few seconds back and several times and also make an announcement if it seems needed.

I just figure I should because itís
a) required by trail rule,
b) respectful to not surprise someone by suddenly showing up on their side and
c) safer for both of us if they know Iím coming by.

On those occasions where I get passed, I know I appreciate a signal in advance.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 09-29-20 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 09-29-20, 11:59 AM
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I simply pass at least 4 ft away and wait until I'm 30 ft ahead before pulling to the right. That's a lot of space in case the road has patches of wet surface so I don't spray the rider behind me.

If I needed to use the horn, I'll blast it from 60 to 30 ft away. I use electronic horn so I can't use it up close, will freak out the rider.
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Old 09-29-20, 12:02 PM
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I passed someone yesterday and did not say anything. He was aware of me behind him and sped up after a turn. Another turn was coming up quick and I didn't want to be stuck behind him any longer than I had to because I was trying to stay in a certain zone. I'm sure he thought I was a d***.
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Old 09-29-20, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
Unfortunately, about half are below average.
That's my mantra on the drivers I see, helps keep me from getting F'ING ANGRY. Sorta.
And yet, apparently 90% of drivers believe they're better than average. Go figure.
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Old 09-29-20, 12:29 PM
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Where is this happening? If it's on a MUP, then MUP rules apply and warnings should be given before passing - just as if it were on a sidewalk. MUPs cater to to those with the least skills. If, OTOH, it's on the road, then road rules apply. Vehicles are not required to warn other vehicles before passing. You probably wouldn't like if if every car about to pass you blew its horn!

In the case of the MUP, I blame overall ignorance and lazy behavior. So many people use MUPS without reading the rules that it seems to be the norm. Well, there's also the skillset factor. Due to the complete inexperience with some MUP riders, when you warn "Passing On your Left," they'll actually move left and blame you for the crash. My advice is usually to learn cycling skiils quickly and get the H off the dangerous paths, even if cars are scary.

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Old 09-29-20, 01:04 PM
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I've generally given up on giving an "on your left" when I pass because more often than not, the rider I am passing pulls left, intentionally or not. I just try to give them plenty of space and I wave and say hello or good morning when I go by.
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Old 09-29-20, 01:19 PM
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I try to not be a total tool when passing. A "good morning" or a compliment about their bikes goes a long way. I'm not racing anyone so sometimes I will ask about their route or where else they ride? Most riders are receptive to these lines of conversation.
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Old 09-29-20, 02:00 PM
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First world problems.
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Old 09-29-20, 02:21 PM
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The worst thing is they won't even wave when they pass you.
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Old 09-29-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
The worst thing is they won't even wave when they pass you.
That is because they are concentrating on not being catapulted over their bars by their disc brakes.
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Old 09-29-20, 02:29 PM
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I recetly had a guy pass on the right

Sit Rep:
Lightly trafficked MUP at that time of day, big downhill righty w/ poor vis ahead and to the right

I rarely get passed and this is a first for downhill

speed ~35mph drifting left( no visible oncoming)

I knew some one was back there at the top because I had passed him going into the staging area, just beyond the bottom I was stealing a look in my mirror to solidify where he was

next I know he's on the right beside me exactly where I need to go to clear the path for oncoming traffic
not a word of warning

passed him shortly after w/ a warning

IMO, Just another clueless putz that you run into everywhere these days

he subsequently tried to draft but was unsuccessful
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Old 09-29-20, 02:41 PM
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Old 09-29-20, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
That is because they are concentrating on not being catapulted over their bars by their disc brakes.
Or they were busy hating themselves after they realized that cycling is not real exercise.

Belonged to Seattles largest bike club, Cascade, where they beat, ever so gently, good cycling etiquette into us. Now I say “On your left” automagically.
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Old 09-29-20, 02:57 PM
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What about passing pedestrians? Yesterday in Pebble Beach, CA I saw how a cyclist shouted at a pedestrian who was about to cross a road. On a clearly marked pedestrian crossing. The cyclist startled the poor pedestrian and proceeded to ride quite fast in front of him. Looked really rude and obnoxious. On the other hand the cyclist was on a very expensive bike clad in the very best racing clothes. I guess he needed that PR on Strava badly.
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