Passing other cyclists

ebikeerwidnes

Über Member
Hi all
I was riding along today on my ebike - just a normal A road through a local village when I got a big shock when someone said 'Hi' about 1 foot from my right ear - or so it seemed.
I had no idea he was there

He was a normal cyclist wearing lycra (but no showy stuff) and riding a road bike - so it is no surprise that he was going faster than me.

The point is
a) bikes are basically silent - especially as the leading cyclist will have wind noise in their ears
b) when he passed there was no warning - which is normal - I have seldom had anyone warn me when they pass on a road - and don't tend to do it myself (but might now!)
c) if a car passed that close I would be at least annoyed - probably only just 1m - maybe less

Anyway - how do other people pass cyclists on a road - assuming there are no cars coming up behind and there is room etc etc?

do you normally ring a bell?

how much room do you leave?

what - if anything - do you say??

just wondering
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
'On your right' usually
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Typically on the open road with no announcement and a decent berth. Depending on my mood and their appearance as I pass they get a cheery "hello", a wave of varying degrees of severity or naff all if I'm really in the zone / a foul mood :laugh:

When in the city (past tense :rolleyes:) I'd not usually bother with acknowledgements due to the volume of other cyclists and need to keep an eye on all the other hazards.

If the path we're on is narrow / I fear a collision I use my bell or shout "on your right" or simliar to warn them of my approach...
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I think the OP needs better situational awareness if they wish to ride safely on public roads. If you're paying attention when on a ride then no one is going to sneak up on you like that.
 

BoldonLad

Veteran
Location
South Tyneside
I don't routinely overtake very many other cyclists, but, on the rare occasions I do, if I think they are unaware of my presence (unlikely, my laboured breathing normally gives adequate warning), or, space is limited, I will give a cheerful "Good Morning/Afternoon", or, ding on the bell, just to make them aware of my presence, then pass. I would always aim to allow at least a metre of space, but, if the track is narrow, I would allow as much as possible, slowing if necessary". I like (but, don't always receive) the same courtesy, when being overtaken. ;)
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
I move closer to centre line, offer a good <whatever time of day> and go about the rest of my ride
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
Trouble with 'warning' cyclists ahead, before passing, is that a warning makes their movement (ie holding the line) less rather than more predictable. The OP didn't say the passing cyclist was within a foot, just that they seemed to be one foot from their right ear (and estimated a gap of a metre. And a silent pass is often unexpected unless the rider in front is diligent with looking behind or has a mirror fetish, so there is the 'surprise' element to a cheery 'hi' or morning, even though a rider knows there'll be other riders on the road. The stronger the rider (or motor) the less often they're passed and the more surprised some are.
Quite likely (I'm sure I have seen several such threads), if the passing rider didn't say 'hi' you'll have people on here whining about impoliteness. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. On an open road I don't warn ahead, though I might 'sniff' loudly on approach, and do say 'hi' when alongside and passing.
I think leaving a metre gap is reasonable, bearing in mind that the differential in speed will not be great, unlike when a motor vehicle passes a cyclist. Hold your line, everyone, and look behind (and indicate) before manoeuvering.
The issues 'caused' by other road users being 'silent' is only going to get worse with the increased proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles. The requirement for an artificial external noise generator needs to achieve progress, for the continued safety of cyclists and pedestrians alike.
 

Solocle

Well-Known Member
Location
Dorset / Oxford
As much room as is safely possible. Warning at an appropriate moment. Choose the right time to go past. If catching someone on an uphill , decide whether they are likely to want to race you. if so, are you willing to go all out? Sometimes if you are only a little bit faster it’s easier to just slow down and wait till the top.
I had one nut who was actively blocking me from passing, for god knows what reason. Commuting type gear.

So, when we hit an incline, I opened up a 1000W sprint and flew past, he didn't know what hit him :laugh:
 
although i see plenty of cyclists normally there's two lanes so a wide pass and a hello as i go by, last weekend whilst stationary deciding how many layers i needed to stop me freezing to death a group of three came past at speed, same hellos as i'd do but the road from there was very narrow so once i caught up to them (on the hills) they were spread three in a row so no where to pass for a mile or so, that's bad form. I wasnt about to squeeze past them either, IMO there are far to many people out of the roads in all forms of transport including walking that need to be more aware of what's around themselves.
 

Notafettler

Über Member
Hi all
I was riding along today on my ebike - just a normal A road through a local village when I got a big shock when someone said 'Hi' about 1 foot from my right ear - or so it seemed.
I had no idea he was there

He was a normal cyclist wearing lycra (but no showy stuff) and riding a road bike - so it is no surprise that he was going faster than me.

The point is
a) bikes are basically silent - especially as the leading cyclist will have wind noise in their ears
b) when he passed there was no warning - which is normal - I have seldom had anyone warn me when they pass on a road - and don't tend to do it myself (but might now!)
c) if a car passed that close I would be at least annoyed - probably only just 1m - maybe less

Anyway - how do other people pass cyclists on a road - assuming there are no cars coming up behind and there is room etc etc?

do you normally ring a bell?

how much room do you leave?

what - if anything - do you say??

just wondering
It was deliberate to scare you there are a fair few maybe the majority of those on racing bikes do it. They expect car drivers to give them room but they don't think they have to give cyclist or walkers any space. If you are passing another cyclist you give them just as much room as you would expect from car driver and you let them know well in advance with a shout of "coming past"
 
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