People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

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chomango

People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby chomango » 12 Sep 2019, 2:05am

I have been cycling a particular canal path for many years to commute to work - It was made into a major bicycle route a few years back joined up with road cycle routes around the city.
I
It now resembles some kind of Tour de France race track - I first noticed this when I was walking down to the canal path and was nearly knocked over by a silent but deadly cyclist on a racing bike whizzing out of a tunnel narrowly missing me.

Anyway I avoid it nowadays choosing the road as I'm tired with all of the speed cycling on what I have always thought was a leisurely cycle.

Final straw was 2 guys whizzing past me nearly knocking me and my bike into the canal, One had shouted 'left' as he flew past and the other collided with my shoulder, I wobbled a bit but thankfully didn't come off the bike and fall into the water - They both shouted swear words at me as they dissapeared into the distance at speed.

I'm not really sure what I was supposed to do in the situation, I keep to my left anyway and do look around and give way or let other cyclists overtake - The part of the canal where this happened is only really wide enough for 1 bicycle or pedestrian anyway, I would usually stop and give way to any pedestrians unless they had acknowledged and given way first.

What I don't get is what I'm supposed to do about other cyclists approaching from behind at speed - I'm not familiar with these shouting instructions, it makes no sense, and literally a few inches more to the left I would have been in the canal. Surely it's on the onus for them to slow down until it's safe to overtake.

Anyway, just wondered what's with people shouting 'left' or 'right' as they approach and where do they teach that I'm pretty sure it's not in the highway code? I have only ever been self taught on the bicycle, did have a provisional licence and passed a scooter road safety test - Only every come across people shouting directions at me a few times whilst cycling and it's very confusing and quite alarming.

Thankyou

Stradageek
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby Stradageek » 12 Sep 2019, 8:42am

Firstly my sympathies, you've obviously encountered the new breed of Audi drivers who now ride Bikes because it's quicker than driving.

You did nothing wrong, the onus is on the faster cyclist to ensure it is safe to pass by making sure you a) know they are coming and b) have reacted in a manner permitting a safe pass. This applies when passing pedestrians and cyclists.

What 'Audi' cyclists cannot accept is that this almost invariably means that the faster cyclist has to slow down.

I have resorted to weaving around a lot when I can see these encounters coming - and a cheery "lovely day for a bike ride" often serves to defuse any ire or at least discombobulate the aggressors.

rfryer
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby rfryer » 12 Sep 2019, 8:49am

Normally, roadies will shout "on your right" to indicate where they are passing, or perhaps "keep left". I agree that a direction on its own is meaningless.

Also, this is completely inappropriate behaviour on a shared path. It generally implies that the cyclist is committed to barging through, and woe betide you if you get in their way. That might be ok in a sporting event with lots of like minded racers, but not in a shared space.

De Sisti
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby De Sisti » 12 Sep 2019, 8:59am

Ride in the middle, as that should result in the faster approaching rider having
to slow down to pass you safely.

reohn2
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby reohn2 » 12 Sep 2019, 9:05am

Uunfortunately it's a growing problem in a get out of my way selfish society.I would take the middle of the path in an ffort to slow these morons down and as guard against going in the drink,I would also recommend a rear view mirror to keep an eye out for errant idiots such as these.
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roubaixtuesday
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby roubaixtuesday » 12 Sep 2019, 9:15am

Good evidence that cyclists are every bit as likely to behave like morons as motorists. Sadly I don't think there's really anything you can do about it. Hopefully they'll fall into the canal before too long.

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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby pwa » 12 Sep 2019, 9:23am

If a roadie were to shout "left" I would assume they meant they were taking the left line so I should avoid drifting left. But it is wrong of them to assume you understand that. I'd be tempted to feign a wobble to worry them and get them to brake, which is what they should be doing anyway.

mattheus
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby mattheus » 12 Sep 2019, 9:33am

pwa wrote:If a roadie were to shout "left" I would assume they meant they were taking the left line so I should avoid drifting left. But it is wrong of them to assume you understand that. I'd be tempted to feign a wobble to worry them and get them to brake, which is what they should be doing anyway.

As a "roadie" and a muddy Sustrans commuter, I'd agree with all of that!

Interestingly, the belgians seem to treat their better canal-paths as legitimate group training routes; but they were *very* wide, and I never saw any interactions between fast-moving roadies and groups of peds. I *hope* they would adjust their speed/attitude as required - just as most roadies in the UK slow for unpredictable hazards on a road (e.g. family group with toddlers on a country lane).

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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby reohn2 » 12 Sep 2019, 9:36am

roubaixtuesday wrote:Good evidence that cyclists are every bit as likely to behave like morons as motorists. Sadly I don't think there's really anything you can do about it. Hopefully they'll fall into the canal before too long.

When they come in contact with other equally moronic cyclists :wink:
And with any luck both may end up in the canal :)
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eileithyia
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby eileithyia » 12 Sep 2019, 9:39am

On the road, I would call 'left' or 'on the left' to any following riders to indicate that there is something on the left to avoid ie, parked vehicle, pothole, road furniture etc...... Where do they learn these intructions, usually as a result of riding in clubs.... though it does seem as less riders do their apprenticeship in traditional clubs they are not learning this sort of etiquette....

It does sound as though they were being a bit over hasty in their overtaking and not slowing down to take account of conditions.

There are idiots in all walks of life.
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hemo
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby hemo » 12 Sep 2019, 10:14am

Lycra lout hooligans riding a bike, what else is there to say (Well there is something else to say but that is not for airing).
Big enough to swear as they ride off but not big enough to stop for punch in the mouth.

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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby Bmblbzzz » 12 Sep 2019, 11:03am

Calls such as "left", "on the left", "on your left" are useful in groups where everyone agrees on their meaning. As warnings to others, they're ambiguous. Does "on your left" shouted from behind by an overtaker mean you should move to the left to let them through or that they are overtaking on your left? Far better, where needed - for instance with small children on off-road paths, who should not be assumed to have road sense and are anyway liable to lose attention, drift, and just play - to use a whole sentence: "I'm coming past on your right."

However, there's a lot of bile on display in this thread; wishing unknown people to fall into the canal, for instance.

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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby Spinners » 12 Sep 2019, 11:37am

hemo wrote:Lycra lout hooligans riding a bike, what else is there to say (Well there is something else to say but that is not for airing).
Big enough to swear as they ride off but not big enough to stop for punch in the mouth.


Well. Why don't you chase them down and do just that?
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby mjr » 12 Sep 2019, 12:44pm

eileithyia wrote:Where do they learn these intructions, usually as a result of riding in clubs.... though it does seem as less riders do their apprenticeship in traditional clubs they are not learning this sort of etiquette....

Club riding has always been an tiny minority activity, so I think club riders in the past wouldn't make such calls to other riders because they'd not expect them to be understood - but now there's the internet and British Cycling promoting GCN and nowhere on their "ride smart" videos like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcw8JEj ... PY&index=4 does it warn people not to use them on random ordinary riders and many other guides are similar.

eileithyia wrote:It does sound as though they were being a bit over hasty in their overtaking and not slowing down to take account of conditions.

There are idiots in all walks of life.

Agreed. Top priority IMO would be to keep yourself safe by keeping left but a good distance from the edge, as far as possible.
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Re: People shouting 'left' 'right' etc on a cylce path whilst approaching from behind

Postby Vorpal » 12 Sep 2019, 1:08pm

It could be coming from the US. Most states don't require bells on bikes, there, and when I was living there (20 years ago), it was common practice for cyclists on shared use facilities and during organised events to say to joggers, pedestrians, or slower cyclists, 'on your left/right' or 'passing on your left/right', and this was generally understood to mean that the faster cyclist(s) would overtake on the stated side. This was not done to plough through, but to inform the other user(s). That allowed them to restrain dogs, move over, or simply not be startled by a passing cyclist on a quiet path.

Two things about the practice in the US,though... 1) many shared use facilities in the US have signs asking pedestrians and joggers to keep to the left, and cyclists to keep to the right, except when overtaking 2) Cyclists still need to go at a reasonable speed, and slow down for vulnerable users.

I never heard folks do this in the UK. As eileithyia said, 'on your left' on a club run means a hazard on the left.
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