20 August 2007

Being Courteous On The Road... Or Trail.

So many of my friends know of a blog that I find very informative, well written and above all hilarious-The Fat Cyclist (http://www.fatcyclist.com). The reason I mention this is that (being somewhat of a newbie-that's to say reintroducing myself to cycling after far too long of a hiatus) is there was a post today that really got me to thinking. One part in particular really made me curious as to whether or not I am actually cycling correctly, and it seemed to really get the troops going on the subject. The following is said excerpt:

"I called out 'on your right' which, apparently, where she’s from, means, 'Veer suddenly to your right immediately!'
Which she did, sending me into a ditch, over my bar, and into the sagebrush."


People have taken all sorts of sides on this. The point received some interesting responses:

"I’ve never understood calling out “on your left” or “on your right” when overtaking a rider going a lot slower
than you are. Now, I suppose it is different when mountain biking, but on the road, I’ve found it safer to
pass in silence. Sometimes I say “hold your line.” But it seems to me that “on your left” is greeted with a
swerve to the left around seventy five percent of the time. I prefer to pass several feet to the side and so
quickly that I’m past before the person even fully understands that I’m there."

And...

"I am a newbie road cyclist and would find it very disconcerting if anyone were to shout something at me
from behind. The convention on the roads in France is to do as you suggested, pass slower riders as
quickly as possible giving them plenty of space. There’s no calling out other than the odd “Bonjour” or a
few words of encouragement if someone’s labouring. On the odd occasion I have managed to overtake
someone ( 1point for a mountain bike, 3 points for a road bike, 5 points for road bike and club jersey,
500 points for a pro-cyclist - plenty of them out training on the Cote d’Azur), I too have followed this convention."


OK, so just to get my sarcasm (I have a habit of being sarcastic and having a broken filter between brain and mouth), I would like to point out that we are not in France, and thank GOD! First off, after said hiatus there is NO way Im climbing ANY of those hills... yet. Second the bakery is way too tempting. Sorry, off track. As I have already mentioned it has been a minute or two since I rode (OK, so I used to ride BMX-dirt trails, jumps and the like-and some road when road bikes were simply called 10, 12, 21 etc speed… I am more of a restart). Anyway, I have ALWAYS been of the belief that “On the left/right” means I coming up, and fast, and if you don’t move you’re gonna get creamed! Seriously. The bad side of that is it also meant IM going to get creamed, more likely then not, and that there will be a beating with a hand pump or stick, rock, or pieces of debris of the similar size when all was said and done. (Just my two cents). The reason I say this is that I think most riders are not of the Prima Donna variety. I started off never saying hello or waving at a pass to riders (not sure of the etiquette) and (where I live anyway) got waves and hello’s all of the time. It’s almost like “a jeep thing” (© Diamler Chrysler, please don't sue me) where I am. Everyone understands we have our zones, but we are cordial and above all courteous. Maybe I am just naive, or old school, or, well I don't know. But any help on that you are willing to offer up on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

juancho said...

Logic says "on your left/ right" followed by a quick "thanks" (cuz we're southern and therefore appreciate good manners)is correct. Unfortunately, when a person is lost in daydreams of cycling reverie all they hear is the directional "left/right" and their body immediately responds in that direction.

I like to go with "Asallamulakum" from 20 yards back.