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SteveTheTech
06-04-2011, 03:24 PM
After a medium length morning ride I have another question.

As the title indicates.
Why are the riders who seem to be of a certain skill level (perceived or real) and above far less inclined to signal when passing?
Is it really too much trouble?

This must frustrate the "pros" that all these Aholes always swerving and cursing as they're dusted up a gradual grade. There are always plenty of people who are riding in aerobars or on alternative cycling devices who will overtake people and warn others of their approach. Personally we enjoy riding early in the morning were the typical commuters (who have legit skill, and passion for cycling) are quite friendly. I'm not asking to have a conversation just warn as you are creeping up behind someone and going to over take them. We signal almost all of the time and thank as passing. Exchanging pleasantries with others on the trails and rest stations will not slow you down but we should all pass on some good karma.

I'm sure all of the members and readers here are people who signal and are champions for safe riding and enjoyment of cycling, especially when you come up on a few slower or visibly new cyclists.

Enjoy the perfect conditions out there, and carry some bug spray http://forums.nicoclub.com/images/smilies/dblthumb2.gif
Cheers,

acc
06-04-2011, 10:15 PM
I think the only time I don't call out is when I'm tracking more bogeys than Maverick in Top Gun. When I've got a monster stroller in front of me and a two ladies on a social ride side-by-side coming at me and a dude hopped up on EPO threading the needle between us-- I'm just trying to survive. The other time I may not be loud enough to be heard is on a hill, I sound something like Jessica Rabbit.

I assume the others don't call out because they figure they'll be gone so fast it's not worth the effort. But I hate being startled like that. I couldn't care less if they zoom past me, but a warning is helpful.

Happy Trails,
ann

JustinW
06-05-2011, 08:54 AM
What I have heard in discussions is that, for some, it is perceived as being too much trouble. I think it has to do with a fatigue factor – if you are out on a longer ride at a higher speed, you pass a lot of people and the volume of “On your left”s gets numbing, thus they quit doing it.
On the other hand, if trail users remember that they are on multi-use trails, they, too, have some responsibility for being aware of their surroundings including approaching traffic (from the front and the back). Far too many trail users are oblivious of what’s happening behind them, and sometimes a verbal announcement is too late anyway.
A compounding factor – some trail users don’t like verbal announcements. For whatever reason, I’ve been offered middle digits and various curses when announcing a pass. Curious.
I’ll alternate between verbal announcements and bell ringing. The bell works better over longer distances or with larger packs of trail users. Either way it is hardly foolproof – which may be another reason people don’t warn. Sometimes warnings as simply not heeded.

CCrew
06-05-2011, 09:12 AM
Airzound for the win :)

StopMeansStop
06-05-2011, 12:54 PM
Airzound for the win :)

Dukes of Hazard Dixie horn.

GreyBear
06-05-2011, 06:21 PM
I think the answer is similar to the answer to the question, why don't drivers use turn signals? Why wouldn't you? Once in the 30 some years that I've been cycling, I've had a runner say F*** you when I said passing on the left. Besides him, I think most people appreciate a warning. A lot of people even thank me for warning them. I use a bell on my commuter bike. It took me a long time to realize that a bell is the best warning device--most people recognize the signal as a bike passing them, I don't have to announce that I'm female, I don't have to wear my voice out yelling, and I don't have to deal with the people who don't know left from right.
But people just don't give a warning or they do so when they're right next to you (OK, I can see you once you're right there).

SteveTheTech
06-05-2011, 07:33 PM
Airzound for the win :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYkBHGurj-I
Time 2:14

That is amazing. It is huge and loud enough to scare old and young. Not even a language barrier could misinterpret. This would come in real handy on the W&OD east of Vienna. I feel like I may meet my maker by way of one of those suv strollers and it's ipod wearing pilot.



What I have heard in discussions is that, for some, it is perceived as being too much trouble. I think it has to do with a fatigue factor Ė

On the other hand, if trail users remember that they are on multi-use trails, they, too, have some responsibility for being aware of their surroundings including approaching traffic (from the front and the back).

A compounding factor Ė some trail users donít like verbal announcements. For whatever reason, Iíve been offered middle digits and various curses when announcing a pass. Curious.


Saying it is too much trouble is kind of what I expected. There is no excuse for neglecting such a basic safety item like that. The rider themselves may have complete control but you can never expect the people around you especially if they are children on bikes.

If fatigue is the biggest issue than I would assume their stopping distance is going to be compromised and they should willingly remove themselves from the multi-use trail, as they are knowingly riding in an unsafe manner. If for no other reason that the fact that running down a child in a stroller could end up with the rider being sued, or injuring. Personally I am for running over slow people as much as the next person out there, but some days my wifes MS is acting up and we are the slower riders.

I find it surprising you would have been told to F yourself while following the rules. Then again some people are just mean.

Joe Chapline
06-05-2011, 07:33 PM
I think the answer is similar to the answer to the question, why don't drivers use turn signals? Why wouldn't you? Once in the 30 some years that I've been cycling, I've had a runner say F*** you when I said passing on the left. Besides him, I think most people appreciate a warning. A lot of people even thank me for warning them. I use a bell on my commuter bike. It took me a long time to realize that a bell is the best warning device--most people recognize the signal as a bike passing them, I don't have to announce that I'm female, I don't have to wear my voice out yelling, and I don't have to deal with the people who don't know left from right.
But people just don't give a warning or they do so when they're right next to you (OK, I can see you once you're right there).

I find the bell to be most effective, too. People can hear it from a distance, and usually move over. If I get close enough to shout (I'm not a great shouter), I find that a lot of people turn in my direction when they hear my voice. This is not an excuse for not giving a warning, I'm just saying that pinging the bell from a ways back works best for me, and I think it's less startling and confusing for the person I'm passing.

PrintError
06-05-2011, 08:21 PM
I don't just shout, I SHOUT. ON YOUR LEFT!!! Most often though I actually yell "PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH!!!" I have a very projecting voice though, and it's rare for anyone not to hear me.

That said, I feel the pain of the people out there training for the Reston TdF who don't signal. I usually yell out "NICE SIGNAL" as they pass. They usually tell me I'm number 1!

acc
06-05-2011, 09:04 PM
[QUOTE=SteveTheTech;4232]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYkBHGurj-I
Time 2:14

That is amazing. It is huge and loud enough to scare old and young. Not even a language barrier could misinterpret. This would come in real handy on the W&OD east of Vienna. I feel like I may meet my maker by way of one of those suv strollers and it's ipod wearing pilot.

If I heard one of those go off I'd assume it was the signal of the start of the apocalypse.

ann

5555624
06-06-2011, 06:28 AM
I tend to use both a bell and say, "On your left" (and often, to non-cyclists, "Thanks," when I pass).

I have noticed more and more people not saying/signaling at all. Lately, more fail to signal than signal. (I know that was the case last Friday, when I was actually keeping track for a while.) I think most are just too self-absorbed and they don't care about anyone or anything other than themselves. They don't signal when passing, they cut you off, they don't stay to the right, they ignore the "bike traffic lights" on the Custis Trail, etc. It's all part of a trend to less and less etiquette

Years ago, if you had a flat or other problem, it seemed like most people riding by would ask if you needed any help; now, it's maybe one in ten. (As I fixed a flat, I counted one out of eleven.) The look of surprise I get when I ask someone if they need help also makes it seem like not many people ask.

People are taking their driving mode -- once in their car, they're the center of the universe -- to their bikes.

OneEighth
06-06-2011, 06:58 AM
That happens every year when the weather gets nice and more people get out on the path.
Lots of 90+ degree days are coming, though, and that always thins the herd.
In the meantime, the only thing any of us can really do is lead by example.
On a related note, how many non-registered users visit this forum? I wonder if many of the strings on etiquette, etc., are just a case of preaching to the choir.

Joe Chapline
06-06-2011, 07:36 AM
On a related note, how many non-registered users visit this forum? I wonder if many of the strings on etiquette, etc., are just a case of preaching to the choir.

Google Analytics says there were 2781 unique visitors to the forum in the last 30 days. There are 539 registered users, many of whom probably have not visited the forum in that time period. So it seems that there are lots of non-members that visit. When I log in, there are always more "guests" than "members" viewing the forum, although members who aren't logged in will also be counted as guests.

txgoonie
06-06-2011, 07:54 AM
I was actually going to post something about this after a particularly frustrating 10 mile run on the MVT about a week ago on one of those super hot days. I was working my bum off already and really didn't appreciate the half-dozen or so shots of adrenaline I got from cyclists who passed me on the same side of the yellow line with no warning whatsoever. And in this one anecdote I'd have to qualify most of those riders as "recreational." The last couple of months seems to have brought a significant uptick in the number of infractions.

So it got me wondering if it's not a matter of ignorance. I honestly can't remember where I learned the rules. Plus, if people haven't been out there (especially on foot) and been buzzed by somebody going anywhere between 15 and 30 mph, then they don't know what a shock to the system it is. Or perhaps they think it's a rule that only applies to serious bikers going hella fast. I wouldn't mind a sign or two along the major multi-use trails that says something to the effect of, "call out all passes."

My reactions to uncalled passes range from the polite yet stern "Verbal warning, please," to the wholly aggressive, "Nice warning, a**hole." Some people should just know better.

OneEighth
06-06-2011, 08:09 AM
Thanks, Joe. I am very glad that the forum is getting lots of visits from non-members. Hopefully, they take something positive away from each visit.
Are you seeing a noticeable seasonal spike in visits?

skreaminquadz
06-06-2011, 08:23 AM
1/8 has a point. I"ll bet that the majority of the people on this forum do abide by the rules. I'll bet the majority of the "buzzers" do not participate in any cycling forum, member or not.

txgoonie - I never truly appreciated the impact of calling out passes until I started running on the trail. While I always have called out passes b/c I knew that I should, I never truly understood it until I used it for non-cycling activities.

baiskeli
06-06-2011, 08:32 AM
I think the answer is similar to the answer to the question, why don't drivers use turn signals?

Yes! Glad you connected the two. I have noticed in recent years that lots of drivers don' t use turn signals and lots of cyclists don't warn when passing. Both annoy the hell out of me, at least when such warnings would have been useful to me.

acc
06-06-2011, 08:39 AM
Last New Year's Eve I crashed and immediately two cyclists came to my aid. The guy that caused the crash, not so much. One man helped me up, the other patched Spartacus together enough for me to limp him back home. They were genuinely concerned and helpful, one even followed me for awhile to make sure I was steady enough to make it.

In the last two weeks I've stopped twice to help other riders, once to adjust a saddle that slipped out of position and once to offer my tool to fix a pedal. As I was working on the saddle, at least five people asked if we were ok and finally a young man stopped, identified himself as a bike mechanic and finished the job.

I notice the trail has a different personality on weekends. Every time I've ever had a problem with iffy behavior it's been on a weekend and generally not from the guys in the matching outfits :o To me the scariest rider is the person who rides once a week, they have a tendency to cut me off, fail to yield, ride close to the yellow line, and push to the front of a line of people waiting to get across a busy intersection.

ann

CCrew
06-06-2011, 09:45 AM
1/8 has a point. I"ll bet that the majority of the people on this forum do abide by the rules. I'll bet the majority of the "buzzers" do not participate in any cycling forum, member or not.
.

I'll cop to not always doing it. If I can pass with a wide margin, and it's something like a lone jogger with earbuds obviously in I frequently don't bother. Mom with a kid? I'll slow long behind and announce. It's more about the specifics of the pass, but I can admit that I don't always call it out. I'll NEVER buzz someone close.

I can't buy into a lot of the behavior I see out there... most recent that comes to mind was a cyclist spitting on a guys hood that was partially in the crosswalk at Wiele & W&OD, nor will I open up on speed in areas like Vienna or Herndon, but I will cop to not *always* abiding by calling out passes nor stopping at all stop lights/signs.

Mark Blacknell
06-06-2011, 11:23 AM
I'll cop to not always doing it. If I can pass with a wide margin, and it's something like a lone jogger with earbuds obviously in I frequently don't bother. Mom with a kid? I'll slow long behind and announce. It's more about the specifics of the pass, but I can admit that I don't always call it out. I'll NEVER buzz someone close.

This is my approach. (I feel like we've had this discussion before . . .). I just try to avoid MUTs in general, but they're often the only way to get across the Potomac, so I've spent many miles and hours on them. The utility of calling out varies greatly from season to season, and even by time of day. Mid-winter when it's just me and the hardcore runners? You'll get a ding (tho' I suspect it's mostly superfluous). Spring mid-week mid-day, and you look like a regular runner and there's plenty of room to pass? Probably no call out. Summer, along Memorial Drive? Call out every time, even though it won't matter a whit - it's like navigating a herd of buffalo.

I've also spent a lot of time (tho' fewer miles) as a runner on Arlington MUTs. Aside from the occasional incompetent cyclist who buzzed me, never really found a warning useful (tho' I usually tried to acknowledge them with a wave). Don't really understand how a lack of a warning can inspire so much annoyance.

Dirt
06-06-2011, 12:33 PM
The only thing any of us can really do is lead by example.
Good point. I've tried many different techniques for getting people to increase the frequency that they announce their intention to pass with no avail. Sarcasm and rudeness have been particularly unsuccessful, though they sometimes feel good for a few moments. The one that was really effective was the "Honk if you're horny" sign on the back of my bucket panniers (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4083/4844368142_4da1eaafba_b.jpg). I had a lot more people warning me of their intent to pass.... or they were just laughing at me. Not sure.

I've been running on local MUTs a bit more often these days. It is DANG scary sometimes. It is really good for me to do that now and then to remind me how obnoxious we are as cyclists. I'm a firm believer in spending a bit of time in someone else's shoes. It reminds me that I need to slow down when I'm in an area with a fair amount of traffic of any kind. Do I really need to get to work any earlier? It is much better if I dial it back a little and be safe and polite. This has had an interesting effect. Last week I had three times where I almost got rear-ended by cyclists when I slowed, rather than make a dangerous or impolite pass. I was polite and kind to the loved and valued members of society who almost killed us all.

I'm actually pretty good about announcing my intent to pass. I pretty much do it all the time. On a rare occasion I'll forget that I need to vocalize the warning... I guess that I just assume that people can hear the noises in my head. I think most of the regulars have heard my schtick for announcing my intent to pass. I've found that insane, psycho-babble singing (best when out of tune, off key and with the wrong words) alerts the world that I'm coming by. (This morning it was the Chicken Dance song.) People are not exactly sure what is going to pass them, but there's little doubt that they don't want it to be behind them.


Thanks for the great discussion.

Pete

PS: If you look carefully at the photo of my bucket panniers, you'll see the black smudges at the bottom of the bucket. That's where I actually was rear-ended by a cyclist who a) couldn't believe that I would actually stop at a stop sign; and b) was texting while riding. I was polite and helpful in getting him back on his bicycle. I had to fix his front wheel and brake lever. I did laugh at him openly though. Sometimes it is hard to resist the "holier than thou" attitude. Gotta work on that.

JimF22003
06-06-2011, 12:45 PM
I'm sure I announce my passes way more than the average user, but I won't if 1) the trail is plenty wide, and I'll be passing completely on the left side of the trail, 2) the person is wearing earbuds, 3) it's a Mom/Dad with a wobbly kid on a bike. 99% of the time, the poor kid will be startled, look back, and just swerve right into the lane in front of me. I just coast on by with my hands on the brakes ready to ditch if I have to.

Basically I'm not an "always" person. I'll do it when it makes sense, and when it is actually helpful.

CCrew
06-06-2011, 01:20 PM
Every time I've ever had a problem with iffy behavior it's been on a weekend and generally not from the guys in the matching outfits :o

*sniff* I guess I'm going to have to mix my clothing so it doesn't match so that I don't get lumped in with the others. After all that time spent getting matching stockings and high heels for my kits too.... :(

LOL. Seriously, I know exactly what you mean. Seems like the testosterone fueled stupidity runs high on the weekends.

eminva
06-06-2011, 01:25 PM
I'm a firm believer in spending a bit of time in someone else's shoes. It reminds me that I need to slow down when I'm in an area with a fair amount of traffic of any kind. Do I really need to get to work any earlier? It is much better if I dial it back a little and be safe and polite.

I think this is a good point and it bears repeating. Yes, we have had this conversation on this forum before and yes, we are somewhat preaching to the choir, but I think it is incumbent on those of us who use the trail A LOT to look out for the more vulnerable trail users, whether they be runners, pets being walked, small children, or even adults who are new bicyclists and may not be familiar with all the etiquette yet.

Tomorrow we'll be back in the 90's so I bet the trail quiets down a bit again. :cool:

acc
06-06-2011, 01:41 PM
LOL. Seriously, I know exactly what you mean. Seems like the testosterone fueled stupidity runs high on the weekends.[/QUOTE]

Heh, heh, heh. ;)

I like using the multi-use trails because the odds are in my favor. I feel certain that even if everything goes wrong, I will survive the incident and live to ride another day. I don't have the same soft fuzzy feeling out riding with short-fused, anger-prone drivers of multi-ton vehicles. Even if I play nice, obey all the traffic laws, and deck myself out in every neon color never found in nature, if bad things happen, I'm going to get hurt worse than the car every time.

On days like today, I can go long stretches on the W&O without seeing a single soul. Lots of baby ducks though.

ann

Mark Blacknell
06-06-2011, 01:47 PM
On days like today, I can go long stretches on the W&O without seeing a single soul. Lots of baby ducks though.


And right now, somewhere on the Duck Internet, one of them is posting about some strange bird who flew by without even politely dropping off something to eat.

acc
06-06-2011, 02:49 PM
Like I'm going to share my bugs. I caught them fair and square. The crunchy ones are quite tasty.

baiskeli
06-06-2011, 02:56 PM
I'm sure I announce my passes way more than the average user, but I won't if 1) the trail is plenty wide, and I'll be passing completely on the left side of the trail, 2) the person is wearing earbuds, 3) it's a Mom/Dad with a wobbly kid on a bike. 99% of the time, the poor kid will be startled, look back, and just swerve right into the lane in front of me. I just coast on by with my hands on the brakes ready to ditch if I have to.

Basically I'm not an "always" person. I'll do it when it makes sense, and when it is actually helpful.

Agree with this. I don't expect EVERY pass to be called. But damn, I've had some close calls.

Joe Chapline
06-06-2011, 05:06 PM
Here's a thread from last March (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?598-Is-bike-etiquette-dead/) on this subject.

Dirt
06-06-2011, 05:37 PM
Here's a thread from last March (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?598-Is-bike-etiquette-dead/) on this subject.
It's good to know that I'm just as much of an idiot now as I was 3 months ago. The "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" days bring back fond memories for me. ;)

brendan
06-06-2011, 07:41 PM
Airzound for the win :)

I'm a fan of the double bell...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnL4fjMzsSU

Of course, everyone needs a bit more training.

I've followed pedestrians slowly on the bike when coming upon a congested area (or a complex tactical mix w/ kids/dogs/etc.). If I follow too long with my (noisy) bike, sometimes they move off the trail and I have to tell them "no, keep walking, I'm waiting for oncoming traffic to clear" or "it's my responsibility to wait".

Generally, no matter how wide the trail, I find passing folks while oncoming traffic is also passing them to be utterly moronic and won't do it (often to the annoyance of cyclists behind me).

I've screwed up a couple of times, though. What happened was that I thought I was clear to pass (and belled/called it out) until I got closer when I realized I couldn't really do it safely. I called out "stopping" or "slowing" (just in case someone is tailing too close) and hit the brakes. This inevitably alarms the folks I'm trying to pass (darn squeaky brakes). Then I apologize for the sudden noise. And get a tongue lashing. Which I deserve.

Brendan

SteveTheTech
06-06-2011, 08:15 PM
I hate to rehash an old topic but this is indeed one of the more important issues facing WABA members, and all local cyclists. Most of us want more accommodations for cycling made in traffic legislation, and or support the rail to trail projects. Not following the basic rules set forth on the trails and streets are just not leading by example, not surprising though as many of the other locals have pointed out with some pretty horrifying examples, some people suck.

To be a more conscious cyclist my wife and I are planning on taking some of the waba classes,. To learn proper safety and technique. I want to take a few of the mechanic classes, and eventually pursue mechanic certification as time and skill progress.

I always take both of my trusty multi-tools and a tire pump just in case, but I would be hard pressed to stop on the highway. For some reason being on a bike makes me a friendlier person, maybe I enjoy cycling more than driving. That sucks I used to be a hard core car guy...ahh getting older.
At a speed where you have typically a few seconds to decide whether to offer assistance or leave them be, we all have a few criteria that we ask ourselves. If the person looks like they are in distress I think we are all legally obliged to do something if we can.(total Seinfeld moment)

http://youtu.be/zPnK0NCn_MQ
Thanks for indulging, it's a throwback (didn't want to link the actual video it was too big).

Basically don't do that ^ If you see someone who needs help...help them if you can. Seems simple enough.

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 08:20 AM
Well I personally I think the whole idea of announcing a pass should be phased out. It shoud be just like driving...do you announce you are going to pass when you are driving? No. You just do it. The reason this works is because people have an expectation that others will be passing them. Bikers should also just have an expectation that others will be passing them. When you are driving it is your responsibility to make sure that the lane you are going to switch to is safe...you do this by checking your mirrors, checking your blind spot, and then announcing with a turn signal your intention. I have no idea why it should be any different for biking.

baiskeli
07-08-2011, 08:25 AM
Well I personally I think the whole idea of announcing a pass should be phased out. It shoud be just like driving...do you announce you are going to pass when you are driving? No. You just do it. The reason this works is because people have an expectation that others will be passing them. Bikers should also just have an expectation that others will be passing them. When you are driving it is your responsibility to make sure that the lane you are going to switch to is safe...you do this by checking your mirrors, checking your blind spot, and then announcing with a turn signal your intention. I have no idea why it should be any different for biking.

I think it's different for biking because it's harder for cyclists to see behind them. Cars all have a bunch of mirrors to do that. Calling a pass is a bit like a turn signal for cars.

I don't think you have to call passes all the time, but you should when there's a potentially dangerous situation.

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 08:34 AM
I look over my shoulder (usually) to check the lane before switching. It seems unsafe not to. Do you? Just curious.

Also, to be realistic alot of people wear headphones. Thats just how it is. So it doesn't work to announce because headphonewearers (HWs) won't hear, and HWs also have to check the lane anyways to make sure it is safe.

By my estimation at least half of people on the trail wear headphones.

brendan
07-08-2011, 08:42 AM
Well I personally I think the whole idea of announcing a pass should be phased out. It shoud be just like driving...do you announce you are going to pass when you are driving? No. You just do it. The reason this works is because people have an expectation that others will be passing them. Bikers should also just have an expectation that others will be passing them. When you are driving it is your responsibility to make sure that the lane you are going to switch to is safe...you do this by checking your mirrors, checking your blind spot, and then announcing with a turn signal your intention. I have no idea why it should be any different for biking.

Unfortunately, pedestrians treat MUTs like sidewalks, and it'll be a cold day in hell before that ever changes. Bell + called pass seems the safest thing passing both pedestrians and cyclists. Runners w/ headphones are generally experienced enough to check before turning but if they don't, hey, at least *you tried to warn them*.

Also: it's important to note that most experienced cyclists will slow down when coming up on another cyclist who is poised to pass a 3rd party. Sometimes they don't and you end up with a double pass or pass-crash. Less likely to happen if the rear-most cyclist is calling passes, especially if there's a great difference in cyclist speed.

Brendan

eminva
07-08-2011, 09:24 AM
Unfortunately, pedestrians treat MUTs like sidewalks, and it'll be a cold day in hell before that ever changes. Bell + called pass seems the safest thing passing both pedestrians and cyclists. Runners w/ headphones are generally experienced enough to check before turning but if they don't, hey, at least *you tried to warn them*.

Also: it's important to note that most experienced cyclists will slow down when coming up on another cyclist who is poised to pass a 3rd party. Sometimes they don't and you end up with a double pass or pass-crash. Less likely to happen if the rear-most cyclist is calling passes, especially if there's a great difference in cyclist speed.

Brendan

Agree 100% with Brendan. And when kids or dogs are involved, any expectation of predictability goes out the window. I know the dog can't and the kid might not heed the warning, but at least the responsible adult has fair warning.

Liz

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 09:39 AM
Well it sounds to me like you are in a certain sense excusing stupid dangerous behavior. I took my nephew out on the trail once and the first thing I told him was how it important it is not to cross over into the other lane. Any adult that lets their kid just run around on a bike trail like its a playground should be forced to take some kind of parenting class that explains to them how to protect their offspring.

eminva
07-08-2011, 09:42 AM
Well, I'll ignore your stronger assertions, but just to clarify one point: if you are talking about most of the trails in our area, they are not bike trails, they are mixed use trails. Big difference.

Liz

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 09:51 AM
How does the fact that are MUTs change anything? You are essentially saying parents should allow their kids to run around on a trail where bikes are. No difference whatsoever. A trail where bikes are present is a trail where bikes are present - they aren't a playground. Thanks for ignoring my stronger assertions, I'm glad I took out the part about forced sterilization:)

CCrew
07-08-2011, 10:46 AM
How does the fact that are MUTs change anything? You are essentially saying parents should allow their kids to run around on a trail where bikes are. No difference whatsoever. A trail where bikes are present is a trail where bikes are present - they aren't a playground. Thanks for ignoring my stronger assertions, I'm glad I took out the part about forced sterilization:)

If you look at the MUT's though, cyclists are at the bottom of the pecking order for right of way. It's pedestrians, then horses, then us. I don't have an issue with sharing trails. My issue comes in when the "it's my trail I have the right of way" mentality kicks in.

baiskeli
07-08-2011, 10:49 AM
I look over my shoulder (usually) to check the lane before switching. It seems unsafe not to. Do you? Just curious.

Always. But sometimes (not always) there is a dangerous situation simply when passing someone who is moving straight, especially in traffic. The slightest twitch on a bike can be a disaster.


Also, to be realistic alot of people wear headphones. Thats just how it is. So it doesn't work to announce because headphonewearers (HWs) won't hear, and HWs also have to check the lane anyways to make sure it is safe.

By my estimation at least half of people on the trail wear headphones.

Yeah, well, I wouldn't expect anyone to call a pass to me if I had headphones on either. On the other hand, I have had people (usually joggers) with headphones suddenly decide to do a U-turn or something, without looking for traffic.

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 10:59 AM
So you are okay if a parent brings their kids onto the bike path and just lets them run around in both lanes?

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 11:05 AM
Yeah, well, I wouldn't expect anyone to call a pass to me if I had headphones on either. On the other hand, I have had people (usually joggers) with headphones suddenly decide to do a U-turn or something, without looking for traffic.

Yeah, I've seen joggers with headphones on do that too and it doesn't make sense to me, they are endangering themselves and others.

brendan
07-08-2011, 11:17 AM
So you are okay if a parent brings their kids onto the bike path and just lets them run around in both lanes?

No, but there is nothing that I can do that will change the behavior other than slow the heck down and call my passes as loudly and authoritatively as possible. Perhaps I let some incredulity creep into my voice when the brainlessness is on display...sometimes more than others...but I'm just passing through: a parenting lesson from anyone, even from the park police, isn't going to go over well.

Some of the more parkish areas on the W&OD and MVT are overrun with cross-trail and along-trail kid and dog traffic, especially on the weekends. Fighting against that is like trying to stop a tidal wave with a bucket. Some kid is going to get hurt, and it may be partly the parent's fault. But I'm not going to be involved.

Brendan

Jsnyd
07-08-2011, 11:56 AM
I'm getting the bell. For sure. After riding up and down MVT the other day I got tired of calling and that was on a week day. It wasn’t that I was too tired, it just got really annoying. Especially when you call and the person is an "HW". There were also a few blind turns and I just felt funny shouting, biker coming around! or whatever I should say. I starting laughing because I've never narrated my actions before.

A few non callers passed me. I didn’t mind too much, but at the same time they kind of scared the crap out of me. Here I am riding into the wind by myself, haven’t seen a person in 2 miles, head is down just chugging away and all of a sudden there goes a damn peloton going about 30mph. I didn’t have enough time to react until they we already past me. Not a word out of any of them was said. I hope they were more considerate of the day walkers and sight see'ers

CCrew
07-08-2011, 12:18 PM
So you are okay if a parent brings their kids onto the bike path and just lets them run around in both lanes?

I expect it to happen and I deal with it accordingly. Last I checked, it's not MY path :)

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 12:28 PM
No, but there is nothing that I can do that will change the behavior other than slow the heck down and call my passes as loudly and authoritatively as possible.
Yeah, I completely get what you are saying. I do this too.



Perhaps I let some incredulity creep into my voice when the brainlessness is on display...sometimes more than others...
lol



Some of the more parkish areas on the W&OD and MVT are overrun with cross-trail and along-trail kid and dog traffic, especially on the weekends. Fighting against that is like trying to stop a tidal wave with a bucket. Some kid is going to get hurt, and it may be partly the parent's fault. But I'm not going to be involved.

Brendan
I think a cyclist actually died on the trail out there a couple of years ago because they were avoiding someone's kid.

I think I get what you are saying: basically your position is that it is unreasonable for me to expect that some people on the trail are going to act in a way that even approaches common sense, and therefore the onus is on me to alert them to danger (that being me passing them).

This still seems upside down to me. To me it seems like common sense that if you are on a bike trail (that being a trail where bikes are present) you should act accordlingly (i.e., make sure what your about to do will not result in you getting run over)...and if the general public needs this explained to them then signs should be put up.

Usern Ame
07-08-2011, 12:35 PM
I expect it to happen and I deal with it accordingly. Last I checked, it's not MY path :)

Its not their path either. Its a shared path. Letting kids run around on it is dangerous and moronic The other thing I have to point out is that I'm not sure I've ever actually seen kids running around on the path.

KLizotte
07-08-2011, 12:47 PM
Its not their path either. Its a shared path. Letting kids run around on it is dangerous and moronic The other thing I have to point out is that I'm not sure I've ever actually seen kids running around on the path.

Oh I definitely have, esp around Gravelly Pt on the MVT. I've seen toddlers left to play on the asphalt with their toys(!), scooters left lying in the middle of trail (which I removed with a warning to the parents - who looked completely confused by what I was saying BTW), kiddies on big-wheels riding wherever they like, kiddies making sudden u-turns, kiddies suddenly darting across the trail without looking, etc.

Also keep in mind that the MUTS around here are filled with tourists who may never have been on a MUT before or even speak English for that matter. In fact, they may not even be familiar with bicycles and how they are used in an urban setting or even be aware that cyclists are on the trail at all. When I was in Munich for the first time over a decade ago I didn't know what the funny green paint signified on the sidewalks; after almost being run over by cyclists a few times I quickly figured it out (but not before being yelled at).

Then there are those folks who do not think we have a right to be on the MUTs and simply won't give way.

And lastly, there are those who simply lack good common sense.

invisiblehand
07-08-2011, 12:47 PM
Aside from the occasional incompetent cyclist who buzzed me, never really found a warning useful (tho' I usually tried to acknowledge them with a wave). Don't really understand how a lack of a warning can inspire so much annoyance.

That is because you experience both sides of the issue. In short, people get surprised a few times by some combination of silly choices and it becomes a mantra.

Nonetheless, it's polite to announce one's presence.

FWIW, I find that a bell works noticeably better than calling out.

StopMeansStop
07-08-2011, 09:50 PM
I ride with headphones. I'm listening to NPR so I can always hear a pass, but I've trained myself to check my six when changing my line. Saved my ass many times from a non caller.

SteveTheTech
07-09-2011, 02:31 PM
It shoud be just like driving...do you announce you are going to pass when you are driving? No.

...Actually here is what the Virginia drivers manual.
http://content.screencast.com/users/Stevethetech/folders/Jing/media/f7b2f67c-5886-459f-b3de-14a66ecf7347/2011-07-09_1026.png

Not trying to be a d*ck I was curious myself and figured since I was there I would share.


Also: it's important to note that most experienced cyclists will slow down when coming up on another cyclist who is poised to pass a 3rd party. Sometimes they don't and you end up with a double pass or pass-crash. Less likely to happen if the rear-most cyclist is calling passes, especially if there's a great difference in cyclist speed.

I have been using a small sunglass mounted mirror since a double pass almost caused a wicked wreck recently. I pay attention to things in all possible directions but people who are passing us when we are going are 17mph tend to literally come out of no where.

Last weekend we were double passed by an oddly slow moving but aggressive pace line just after we passed the BBQ spot in Ashburn. They were already riding double wide when they tried to pass us (2) and two very new to cycling older people who we had just overtaken still riding double wide. I tried to get my phone to snap a pic of the caravan of danger ambling unsafely down the wod, but there was allot going on. Kind of like a celebrity DC police escort, just slower.


Any adult that lets their kid just run around on a bike trail like its a playground should be forced to take some kind of parenting class that explains to them how to protect their offspring.

I too advocate forcing common sense upon people who decide to have children...but we can't even ensure everyone can get their medical needs met, I think the common sense police are a few generations away. Then again I am a happy DINK. For the most part people who have used the MUT more than once tends to learn how things operate. Although in areas like Vienna (Community Center) there are Mommy and Me classes of children within 5 feet of the trail on weekend mornings. There are posted signs and boards all over the trail listing the rules and etiquette to be adhered to but all too frequently see them being ignored.


The slightest twitch on a bike can be a disaster.

Yeah, well, I wouldn't expect anyone to call a pass to me if I had headphones on either. On the other hand, I have had people (usually joggers) with headphones suddenly decide to do a U-turn or something, without looking for traffic.

Cycling can be quite dangerous as my wife learned last week. It seems like every little bit of attention to detail can save someone for physical or legal troubles. As the commercial for that huge insurance company keep repeating "Mayhem happens".

Usern Ame
07-09-2011, 03:04 PM
Yeah you're right cars do signal the car in front they are passing...I've always just thought I was alerting people behind me but it cuts both ways. Nevertheless, the way people know a car is going to pass is because they see someone coming up faster than them.

I have a question if anyone knows - do people announce a pass in road races?

SteveTheTech
07-09-2011, 09:06 PM
I have a question if anyone knows - do people announce a pass in road races?

In most cases they have something a little different. In circle track racing or IRL racing there are members of the race team that sit at the top of the stadium and act as mirrors for the racers. More amateur types of racing like SCCA use stock cars with additional safety features so they are still typically equipped with rear view mirrors.

Depending on the type of car and seating position you prefer the line of sight of your rear view mirror usually grants enough of a view in you periphery to notice a vehicle closing in fast and if they signal their turn you should see it without having to remove your focus ahead of you. We have all been surprised by a car in the blind spot even when driving straight. Typically on the highway there is enough time and distance to take evasive actions to avoid contact. On a MUT the distances are much closer and while speed is less a factor the proximity alone is enough to increase the likelihood of some type of wreck.

This is a great discussion especially in this group we all have different experience and background levels, it has progressed quite interestingly.

Usern Ame
07-10-2011, 10:58 AM
I shoulda been more clear...I meant road bike races (as opposed to mountain bike.)

Personally I always check my blindspot while driving. I always check while biking too (because not to seems dangerous). To me calling a pass would is equivalent if we honked everytime we passed someone while driving.

Jsnyd
07-10-2011, 01:16 PM
Personally I always check my blindspot while driving. I always check while biking too (because not to seems dangerous). To me calling a pass would is equivalent if we honked everytime we passed someone while driving.

When we pass in a vehicle, we assume the person we are about to pass has seen us in either 3 of the mirrors they are required to keep an eye on. Plus we then need to signal our pass using our turn signals (to me, using a turn signal is the same as calling a pass). Cars have windows, radios and passengers. That’s mainly why we use visual aids to signal on the road. Bikes, as we all know, have neither of those unless you wear headphones. An audible signal is just good practice for everyone. Especially when calling out to those who seem to not be on the trails that often. With the more seasoned riders, calling is just a courteous gesture. We are all on the trail for just about the same reason. Bottom line is. We enjoy it. So why fight each other and be just the slightest bit rude or inconsiderate? I dont care if people call when they pass me, but It puts me at ease when I KNOW someone is about to pass me. It's a multi use trail open the the public, not a grand tour.